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Paul Brown

Volume 979: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now announce the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry into the death of Paul Brown.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will report progress on establishing the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Paul Brown.

I am pleased to be able to announce that Mr. Michael Morland QC has agreed to chair the inquiry, which will be held under section 98 of the Children Act 1975 and section 84 of the National Health Service Act 1977, with the following terms of reference:

"To inquire into (a) what information or professional opinion relating to Paul and Liam Brown existed, was made available to, or could have been obtained by, the relevant authorities; (b) the action taken by any relevant authority or by any individual in connection with such information or professional opinion; (c) the arrangements for communication within and between the relevant authorities and other persons and agencies holding information about Paul and Liam Brown; (d) the working relationships of the social services committee within the Metropolitan Borough Council of the Wirral in so far as they are relevant to the discharge of functions of that committee in relation to children—and to report".
Although, as I said in my reply to my hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) on 20 December—[Vol. 976, c. 364–651—no new evidence has come to light to date on the involvement of the Wirral area health authority, my right hon. Friend has decided to invoke both the Children Act 1975 and the NHS Act 1977 to ensure that the inquiry is fully equipped to investigate all aspects of the case.Names of other members of the committee of inquiry will be announced later.