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28 January 2003


The Laming report into the death of Victoria Climbie must be ‘the watershed that heralds a revolution in child protection’, the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association said today (Tuesday, 28 January).

The CPHVA director, Mark Jones said: ‘The Laming Report is a searing indictment of the manner that Victoria Climbie met her death, but it also opens the way for fundamental reforms in the area of child protection.’

‘We who work in the health and social services must take on the lessons very quickly. The public won’t forgive another case such as Victoria’s.’

The CPHVA has welcomed the potential for new children’s trusts, bringing together social workers, police and other childcare professionals under one roof.

Mark Jones said: ‘When Health Secretary, Alan Milburn proposed the formation of children’s trusts in the autumn we said it was worthy of exploration. The Laming Report gives this concept extra impetus. Dramatic improvements in inter-agency communication are imperative.’

However, Mark Jones expressed concern about the shortage of social workers; with London said to be almost 50% below strength. Health visitor vacancies in the capital are running at around 7%.

‘We need properly resourced, highly trained professionals to give the child protection services the clout they need to do the job. Making do with threadbare resources must end.’

The CPHVA also welcomed other key Laming proposals – national standards to end variations in child welfare, and closer monitoring of children coming from abroad and living with unvetted private foster parents.

The CPHVA said that the role of the school nurse needs to be urgently reviewed to take into account their contribution to the welfare of school age children outside the immediate school environment.

The CPHVA was also in favour of all health staff in a primary care setting, including practice nurses and GPs, being trained to recognise potential ‘deliberate harm’ in children as part of their professional education.

Mark Jones said that he hoped that the lessons of Laming would be swiftly implemented in all four countries of the UK.

Mark Jones said: ‘We must put to an end once-and-for all the roll-call of notorious child abuse cases that stretches right back to the death of seven year-old Maria Colwell in 1973.’





For further information, please contact:

Mark Jones ( 07768 737773

Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA website:


The CPHVA represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the amicus trade union. MSF joined with the AEEU to form amicus, the UK’s second largest union, on 1 January 2002.




For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 Mobile 0468 69 39 40 MSF

press releases can be seen on our web site:

Amicus/MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners' Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.

Amicus/MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries. It is the UK's second largest union.