Thursday, 9 July 2009

'Baby a' new protocol

I have written before about 'baby a'. This child died in Sefton and I was uncomfortable with the way that the issue was dealt with. No formal protocol existed for reporting the outcome of Serious Incident Report and the informal process seemed to me to be inadequate. I believe that if we are to learn the lessons of such incidents then that has to be done in public. It keeps us honest.

My colleague Richard Hands, chairs the Scrutiny and Review Committee and has been active in trying to improve the draft protocol that was presented to them. This is all laid out in the cabinet papers today in item 21. I think Richard and his committee have done a good job. The amendments that they have suggested are a great improvement on the original.

I was concerned at cabinet this morning to fill some of the gaps in the protocol which seemed to me ended without dealing with what happened to a Serious Incident Report (S.I.R) once it was published.

At the end of the session I think we had made further progress. We agreed at my suggestion that once a S.I.R. is published it should be reported to the Cabinet Member meeting and Scrutiny and Review. Given the synopsis is a public document I take it that the item will be held in public. My second proposal was that the FULL report should be shown to the 3 party leaders. This was accepted in principle and we are going to get a further report on how that will be implemented.