Laming rejects criticism from Haringey in Climbie inquiry

Lord Laming, chairperson of the Victoria Climbie inquiry, made a
blistering attack on Haringey Council’s solicitor for attempting to
influence the conduct of the inquiry, writes Rachel

Laming received a letter from the solicitor suggesting the
inquiry was being uneven in its treatment of social workers and the
staff from other agencies.

Laming said he would not tolerate any covert attempt to
influence the way in which the inquiry was conducted. He completely
rejected any suggestion that there were different levels of
questioning for different staff groups.

Laming said there would no change in the inquiry’s approach as a
result of the solicitor’s letter.

Meanwhile, the inquiry heard that incomplete notes outlining
suspicions of nurses at the North Middlesex Hospital and poor
communication meant Haringey social services received an unclear
picture of Victoria Climbie’s situation, the inquiry into her death

Beatrice Norman, the nurse in change of the paediatric ward at
the NMH, where Victoria was admitted with burns concurred she had
failed to ensure that social services knew about her staff’s
serious fears for the eight-year-old girl.

In response to Lord Laming, Norman said the notes “were not good
enough”, and the failure had been a substantial one.

Norman told the enquiry she had not been informed about a
strategy meeting concerning Victoria or its outcome. She was very
surprised that Victoria had been discharged, and reported her
surprise to Dr Mary Rossiter, the consultant paediatrician, but
there was no follow up to find out what further action had been

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