Page last updated at 13:47 GMT, Sunday, 15 March 2009

Review of Baby P's death leaked

Baby P
Baby P died from abuse despite 60 visits from authorities

A leaked report into the death of Baby P suggests there were further missed opportunities to save him from abuse.

The Serious Case Review, seen by the Mail on Sunday, sheds new light on the investigation into his injuries.

Baby P was 17 months old when he died with more than 50 injuries, despite being on the child protection register.

The government has opted not to publish the review in full, saying it could deter other investigations of abuse.

In the months leading up to Baby P's death in August 2007 he was seen about 60 times by child welfare officials, who missed the signs of abuse.

According to the leaked report:

  • a legal meeting days before he died was delayed by six weeks due to "workload pressures", although it ultimately decided against taking the child out of his home
  • six months before Baby P's death it was agreed an interim care order could be issued to remove him but no action was taken
  • the child was allowed to return home despite warnings that dogs there should be removed first
  • the police officer who took over the child abuse claims case was not briefed fully and the investigation was allowed to "drift"
  • a doctor who apparently failed to spot Baby P had a broken back just two days before he died was under the impression the case concerned "behaviour" rather than abuse

Children's Secretary Ed Balls was criticised for refusing to make this report public but the government insists publishing the documents may put other vulnerable children at risk.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "It is hugely regrettable that someone who has had sight of the report has leaked confidential information from the Baby P Serious Case Review.

"Whatever their motive, the person has been deeply irresponsible and ought to reflect on the fact that they are putting vulnerable children at severe risk now and in the future."

When this report was produced in November it was judged to be inadequate by Ofsted and Mr Balls ordered it be rewritten, the spokesman said.

The summaries of that report will be published in full, added the spokesman, but the full version will remain confidential in order to protect the identity of vulnerable children and ensure professionals in the future can give evidence frankly.

Nationwide failings

The toddler's mother admitted causing or allowing the boy's death. Her boyfriend and Jason Owen, 36, were convicted of the same offence in November. All three have yet to be sentenced.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls sent inspectors into Haringey after the trial of those responsible for Baby P's death.

Inspectors identified a string of serious concerns about the council's child protection services, which they described as inadequate.

A nationwide review of child welfare services led by Lord Laming found significant failures among social workers.

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SEE ALSO
Sacked Baby P boss lodges claim
09 Mar 09 |  England
Judge postpones Baby P sentencing
28 Nov 08 |  UK Politics
What happened to Baby P?
18 Nov 08 |  Panorama

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