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Lord Laming to deliver keynote speech at University of Suffolk conference

16 Mar 2017 1:45PM

The Rt Hon Lord Laming, who was responsible for reports on high profile cases such as the Victoria Climbie Inquiry and the report into the death of Baby P, has been invited to deliver the keynote speech at a  landmark conference next week (Wednesday 22 March).

In 2009 it was reported that Lord Laming’s inquiry into the death of Baby P criticised the failings in information sharing between agencies, the poor training and support given to "overstretched" frontline staff and the red tape "hampering" social workers.

Eight years on from that report Lord Laming, who is a former social worker, will be coming to Suffolk to speak to University of Suffolk students as well as those currently working in health, social care, education and the police.

The annual conference, “Can you hear me?” The Voice of the Service User, is being held at Trinity Park and puts the service user at the heart of issues. The conference will view scenarios from the service user’s perspective in an attempt to encourage best practice and interprofessional working.

Suzanna Pickering, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Suffolk said “Since the damning reports following the tragic deaths of Victoria Climbie in 2000 and Baby P in 2007 we have, as a body of professionals, become better at working together and making sure vulnerable individuals aren’t missed or haven’t ‘slipped through the net’. However there is still much work to be done, we aren’t yet perfect and it is recognised that we constantly need to learn, work together and improve to make sure incidents of the past aren’t repeated in the future.”

Dr Ruth Strudwick, Associate Professor in Diagnostic Radiography at the University of Suffolk, added “As a University we have an obligation to our students and society as a whole to make sure they are best prepared for the world of work and the tough challenges they will undoubtedly face whether they are professionals working in health care, social care, education or the police.”

The conference will involve 350 students from the Department of Health Sciences and the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work.

Delegates will benefit from seeing The Phone Call, the 2015 Academy Award winning short film by University of Suffolk honorary graduate Mat Kirkby.  The film, starring Jim Broadbent follows a woman who works in a crisis helpline call centre and a phone call that changes her life forever. It is hoped the film will act as a springboard for discussion between delegates over lunch.

As well as Lord Laming, Louise Smith, the Macmillan Cancer Support Living With & Beyond Cancer Lead for East & West Suffolk will also be speaking alongside service users who will share their experiences of encountering health and social care services in the eastern region.

Tickets for “Can you hear me?” The Voice of the Service User at Trinity Park on Wednesday 22 March 2017 are available to purchase through the University’s Online Shop. Visit

Copies of Lord Laming’s independent review of looked after children in the criminal justice system In Care, Out of Trouble which was produced on behalf of the Prison Reform Trust, will be available at the conference


University of Suffolk Press Office
T: 01473 338476