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 Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 16:59 GMT
Climbie report: The reaction
Victoria Climbie died in February 2000
Lessons will be learnt from the death of Victoria Climbie, according to those working in children's services.

The chairman of the General Social Care Council, which regulates social workers, said new checks would help to prevent the same mistakes being made again.

NHS managers said they were now collaborating with other agencies to ensure children like Victoria do not slip through the net.

The tragedy of Victoria's death must mark a watershed for all those agencies working to protect vulnerable children

Gill Morgan, NHS Confederation
The police said they would fully implement the recommendations made by Lord Laming in his inquiry report.


Rodney Brooke, the chair of the GCSC, a new code of practice for social workers and a register of those licensed to practise in the sector would deliver improvements.

"In the future, we will have a register of social care workers," he said.

"Workers who breach our code of practice could be removed from the register. In this way, any person found to be unsuitable would be prevented from working in social care."

He added: "These measures, coupled with the work of other new bodies, such as the future Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and other innovations in the sector, will raise standards and improve protection."

Gill Morgan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, urged all agencies to work together to prevent a repeat of the case.

"The tragedy of Victoria's death must mark a watershed for all those agencies working to protect vulnerable children.

"If we follow through the recommendations in spirit and in practice, they will transform children's lives.

"All our efforts must now be focused on tackling the flaws in the system that failed Victoria and her parents."

Lord Laming
Lord Laming has called for sweeping changes
The Metropolitan Police Authority said it would ensure Lord Laming's recommendations were introduced.

Richard Sumray of the MPA said: "Since Victoria's death much of this work had already begun and is well advanced.

"The MPA has worked closely with the MPS to effect wide-ranging changes and provide sufficient resources for child protection investigation.

He added: "We will be monitoring on a regular basis the implementation of these changes."

'Corporate responsibility'

The former chief executive of Haringey Council Gurbux Singh said he accepted corporate responsibility for the council's failure to help Victoria.

He added: "We all need to digest the report, carefully consider and fully implement the recommendations ensuring that a repeat of this tragedy never occurs.

"Protecting our children must be the number one priority and I am sad on this occasion we failed Victoria."

Politicians urged the government to ensure that the lessons are truly learnt.

Shadow Health Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "Every report says something must be done. Why will this one be different?"

He added: "Communication is the main problem between different agencies. How will this improve in practice beyond just setting up new structures?"

Liberal Democrat social services spokesman Paul Burstow said: "There is a terrible sense of deja vu in the Laming report. The same weaknesses have led to the same mistakes with the same missed opportunities to save a tortured child's life."

He added: "The law must now be changed so that all agencies involved in child protection have to take a proactive part in the work of Area Child Protection Committees and support the local authority in delivering an integrated children and family service."

Better services

Health Minister David Lammy, in whose Tottenham constituency Victoria was living in the months before her death, said: "People in deprived communities deserve and require the best from public services. Too often they receive the worst.

"We must strive to ensure that these failings cannot be repeated so that no other child in Haringey can fall victim to such abuse."

The National Children's Bureau said the care system must put a greater emphasis on listening to children.

Its chief executive Paul Ennals said: "All professionals working with children should be trained in recognising their needs and listening to their voices."

Mr Ennals said the organisation believed children needed much more help to come forward.

"Children themselves must know where to go to seek help for themselves or others, with access to adults they can trust," he said.

"Teachers, health workers, social services, police and voluntary organisations must be willing to make fresh efforts at co-ordination so that information flows more easily and cries for help are not missed."

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