Laming slams council’s solicitor

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

Laming received a letter from the solicitor
suggesting the inquiry was being uneven in its treatment of social
workers and staff from other agencies. The solicitor also queried
the inquiry’s letter of potential criticism of the North Middlesex
Hospital, where Victoria was treated for burns.

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. He added that potential
criticisms were entirely a matter for the inquiry.

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

Meanwhile, the inquiry heard this week 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

Beatrice Norman, the nurse in charge of the
paediatric ward at the North Middlesex Hospital, where Victoria was
admitted with burns, said 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

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

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.