Publishing serious case reviews in full would make them less interesting to the media, children’s minister Tim Loughton has told Community Care.
“Full publication is much better than serious case reviews being secret documents that make us wonder what’s been brushed under the carpet,” he said. “The sensationalism would melt away in many cases because it’s the culture of secrecy promotes that.”
He added that full publication needed to be implemented alongside better comparison work.
“The most relevant part of a review is what went wrong in the case of that child and how that’s paralleled with what went wrong in the case of another child at another end of the country, and another child in another area, and whether there are clear systemic problems that need addressing or clear failures that keep cropping up,” he said.
“If we are to really value serious case reviews we have to do some substantial comparisons across a number of reviews. One review in isolation is not useful. You need to properly assess several together and have an ongoing learning process from them.”
He added that concerns about identification of families involved could be resolved by learning from mental health and homicide reviews, which have been published in full for years.
“Nobody’s jumped up and down and said the anonymity or confidentiality of the people involved has been completely compromised in these reviews and we know that lessons are learned from them,” he said.
SPCC slams serious case review system