IN thinking about the death of baby Kimberley Baker, we should never forget that blame ultimately rests only with her inadequate parents.

Nevertheless, reading the official report into the tragedy, one can only feel frustration and anger.

While Kimberley was being slowly starved to death in conditions of squalor, social and health workers who knocked on the door were met with no answer.

On finally being allowed into the house, they did not ask to see the child, despite the sordid environment.

Surely elementary commonsense should have dictated that in such circumstances the only appropriate course of action was to demand access to the child in the most forthright terms and, if necessary, accompanied by police officers and a warrant?

The gist of the authorities' response to the report is that nobody did anything wrong.

If this is the case, a terrifying scenario emerges: That the entire system designed to protect our most vulnerable children was wholly incapable of doing so.

There is talk now of new procedures being put in place and lessons being learned.

Let us all hope that those lessons are being learned very thoroughly indeed, as when the people learning them fail in their studies, it is not they who are punished.

It is the Kimberley Bakers of this world, and their punishment can be dreadful and permanent.