New details of Baby P failings to be published

More damning failings that led to Baby P’s death will be revealed today with the publication of previously secret official reports.

More damning failings that led to Baby P’s death will be revealed today with the publication of previously secret official reports.

The toddler died due to the incompetence of “almost all the staff in every agency involved”, according to details from two serious case reviews reported today.

Baby P’s GP failed to report suspicious bruises, police failed to fully investigate his injuries and a key meeting between lawyers and social workers to decide whether he should be put into care was delayed for seven weeks, The Sun said.

So far only summaries of the two “serious case reviews” carried out into the tragedy have been released.

Now the documents are being made public in full, following pledges by Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians.

Baby P, now named as Peter Connelly, was just 17 months old when he died in Tottenham, north London, at the hands of his mother, Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend Steven Barker and his brother Jason Owen in August 2007.

He suffered more than 50 injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police over an eight-month period.

The first serious case review, published in November 2008, was overseen by Sharon Shoesmith, who was later sacked as director of children’s services at Haringey Council in north London over failings exposed by Peter’s death.

It found “numerous examples of good practice” in the toddler’s care, although it also noted some weaknesses in information flow.

But Ofsted inspectors ruled that this report was inadequate and former children’s secretary Ed Balls commissioned a fresh investigation.

The second serious case review was released in May last year to coincide with the sentencing of the trio responsible for Peter’s death.

It was far more critical, finding that the tragedy “could and should have been prevented”, but social workers and other agencies were too concerned with keeping mother and child together.

Social workers, doctors, lawyers and police should have been able to stop the situation “in its tracks” at the first serious incident but their practice was “completely inadequate”, it said.

The review concluded: “Peter deserved better from the services which were there to protect him, and they in turn deserved better than the ethos which influenced their work at the time.”

The full reports will be released today at a press conference at Haringey Civic Centre in Wood Green, north London.

The event will be attended by Children’s Minister Tim Loughton, Haringey director of children’s services Peter Lewis, and Graham Badman, who chaired the second Baby P report.

Ministers have also pledged to release the full serious case reviews for Shannon Matthews, who was kidnapped by her own mother in February 2008, and the two young brothers who tortured two other boys in Edlington, South Yorkshire, in April 2009.

The full report into the case of Khyra Ishaq, who died in Birmingham in May 2008 after months of starvation and cruelty at the hands of her mother and stepfather, was published in July.

Serious case reviews are carried out after a child dies or is seriously injured through abuse or neglect to see what lessons can be learned.

But until now the detailed findings of the reports have been kept confidential and only a summary has been published.

The previous Labour government said publishing them in full would put vulnerable children and their families at greater risk, as well as making people more reluctant to take part in child abuse investigations.

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