Health professionals must take more responsibility for child
protection issues, an inquiry into the death of six-year-old Lauren
Wright has recommended, writes Sally
Key findings in the 45-page report, commissioned by Norfolk
Health Authority, were that doctors had relied too heavily on other
professionals to act, and that there should be more emphasis on
child protection training so that it was seen as essential for all
health professionals and “not an optional extra”.
Inter-agency communication was also criticised by the review
team. Chairperson Barry Capon said: “In this case we find the all
too frequent problem of poor communication.”
A series of errors or lack of best practice had led to the
“failure to safeguard Lauren,” he added.
Accepting the review’s findings, John Alston, chairperson
of Norfolk Health Authority, said: “Much work needs to be done to
strengthen our approach to child protection locally, this review
gives a clear picture of the extra steps we need to take.”
He added that the report had addressed wider issues, which would
need to be addressed nationally. Among them was the need for
doctors “to take more ownership of child protection cases”.
Lauren’s stepmother Tracey Wright was given a 15-year sentence
for manslaughter and wilful neglect last November. Her father Craig
Wright received a three-year sentence for the same charges.