More than 200 child safeguarding cases in Kingston had to be re-assessed following the borough’s inadequate Ofsted inspection in 2012.

Director of children’s services Nick Whitfield, pictured, revealed in an update to Kingston Council’s scrutiny panel on Monday the amount of work his department had to carry out following the disastrous inspection was “scary”.

A total of 400 cases were flagged up as potentially below standard, with 208 being completely re-assessed due to the poor quality of work, he said.

Mr Whitfield added the service had improved significantly, with more permanent social workers and managers now employed, and a more transparent way of working in place.

Councillor and panel member Rachel Reid said after the meeting: “We were all totally shocked when the Ofsted results came out.

“You do think to yourself ‘how did we take our eye off the ball like that?’ “The only thing to say is that we are miles away from where we were.

“It was really good to hear there’s a lot of work going in to making sure there is a single point of access for anybody that feels they need to talk to someone about children’s services – not necessarily just safeguarding.

“But Nick made it very clear that, while we’re well on the way, let’s not start thinking we’re there.”