Brown and Cameron at war over social services failure

By Colleen Reid

Gordon Brown was attacked today at Question Time by Conservative leader as the case of Baby P unravels

Neglect and systematic failure by the state led to Baby P dying at the age of 17 months after eight months of suffering. Since the first incident, Baby P was on the Child Protection Register in Haringey and despite 60 social service visits throughout his traumatic life, the toddler eventually died suffering injuries such as broken ribs, a broken spine, countless bruises and wounds.

Just days before Baby P’s death he was taken to a paediatrician in Haringey who failed to detect the eight broken ribs and spine. Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat failed the child along with several health workers who continuously ignored the suspicious injuries.

The case, which bares similarities to that of Victoria Climbie who was also on Haringey’s Child Protection Register, has arroused a nationwide attack on these so called ‘systematic failures’ leading to child deaths

The House of Commons was in uproar today as Cameron voiced his anger and disappointment within a system who receives £100 million in funding every year. He referred to the investigation into the case as ‘wrong’ as Sharon Shoesmith, Chairman of the Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board, was left to investigate her own departmental failures.

Brown accused Cameron of making this issue a case of party politics after which The Speaker reminded the Commons of the delicacy of the case and asked for respect to be shown.

Ministers have requested an independent nationwide inquest, led by Lord Laming, into the state’s neglect of this child and of others suffering all around the country.

Wes Cuell, acting chief executive of the NSPCC, said last night: “Even with substantial child-protection reforms, spotting the danger to an individual child remains fraught with difficulty – especially when the child is too young to speak out.”