The quality of child protection services at North East
Lincolnshire Council has improved considerably since a highly
critical report over a year ago, government inspectors said last
The re-inspection of child protection services followed a report
in September 1999 which identified serious deficiencies and made 41
The inspection arose from the council’s part 8 review into the
death of four-year-old Philip Martin, who was killed by his mother
and her partner just weeks after he was removed from the child
protection register. This led to the council’s social services
department being put on special measures in autumn 1998.
The re-inspection, however, found that child protection services
are actually outperforming national targets.
Overall improvement in all areas were noted in the council’s
position statement for the performance assessment framework.
For child protection, the rates of registration per 10,000
children, which had been 38 in 1999, have been reduced from being
above the English national average of 28 to below average at
Despite this, the department will not be taken off special
measures, a Department of Health spokesperson confirmed this
A position statement drawn up by the council before the second
inspection was felt to be an accurate assessment of progress, say
inspectors, who note a “positive will and determination to deliver
improved services” from managers and staff. The comprehensive
strategy for improvement was delivering significant results.
However, more could still be done to improve frontline practice
and outcomes for children. The quality of assessments, rigour of
planning and quality of case recording still have room for
Councillor Kelly Bradley, cabinet portfolio holder in social
care, said: “I am delighted that the enormous effort and commitment
made by the council and its staff is showing such progress. I am
determined that we continue to develop this service and I am
pleased that the inspection concludes our future prospects are