Monday, 1 December 2008

Six suspended after Baby P report (BBC News)

Watch The News Broadcast At The End Of The Article:

Six people have been suspended on full pay from Haringey Council after a damning inspectors' report into the case of Baby P.
Sharon Shoesmith, head of children's services at Haringey Council in London, was removed from her post.
Council leader George Meehan and the cabinet member for children and young people, Liz Santry have also resigned.
The 17-month-old boy died despite being on the child protection register and being seen by professionals 60 times.
The boy's mother has pleaded guilty and her boyfriend and a lodger have been convicted of charges relating to the baby's death.
Councillor Lorna Reith, deputy leader of Haringey Council, confirmed a director, a deputy director, a senior team manager and three social workers had been suspended on full pay.
Children's Secretary Ed Balls said the findings of the independent inquiry into the failings of the local authority over Baby P were "devastating".
He announced new leadership in Haringey children's services and said a new serious case review would be carried out into Baby P's death.
The inspectors' report delivered a "damning verdict on the current management of safeguarding in Haringey", he said.
One of the factors that was most troubling, Mr Balls added, was the "failure to talk directly to children at risk".
The key failings highlighted include:
· Agencies acting in isolation from one another without effective co-ordination
· Poor gathering, recording and sharing of information
· Insufficient supervision by senior management
Action to be taken includes:
· A new serious case review to be undertaken into the death of Baby P, with an executive summary to be published by the end of March
· Education watchdog Ofsted to carry out unannounced annual inspections of children's services across the country
· More action to be taken at those authorities in England which have had "inadequate" serious case reviews, to see if they have made improvements.
Mr Balls announced new leadership would be introduced in Haringey's social services, with Hampshire County Council's John Coughlan immediately replacing Ms Shoesmith.
He added if he was not satisfied that there was significant progress in improving the department he would not hesitate to step in again.
Mr Meehan and Ms Santry expressed deep sadness at the death of Baby P acknowledging their responsibility in the case.
Mr Meehan said: "The reasons for my resignation are matters of personal honour and local responsibility.
"I am acutely aware of my accountability to people in Haringey.
Ms Santry said: "I am the accountable lead member and I accept that accountability and take my full share of responsibility.
"We have a hard task ahead to rebuild confidence in Haringey's child protection services."
Ms Reith said the change in leadership was necessary and it showed how seriously the council was taking the report's recommendations.
'Very worrying'
The Metropolitan Police welcomed the report.
In a statement, they said although their management was good: "We are not complacent and will fully support the new serious case review.
"Police in Haringey and across the Met want children to be safe."
The chief inspector of Ofsted - one of the agencies involved in the report - said the findings were "very worrying".
Christine Gilbert told the BBC: "You had very committed hard-working people working in different services, social care, health police and so on but working in parallel not really talking well enough to one another."
The report looked into the roles of health service, social workers and the police in the case.
Mr Balls ordered the investigation two weeks ago, after saying it was clear mistakes had been made and that those responsible would be held accountable.
The inspectors have been examining why the toddler was not taken into care despite numerous injuries including broken ribs and eventually a broken back.
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