A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom.

Case ‘shows up mental health

Serious shortcomings in the provision of mental health services
for young people has been highlighted in the Sarah Lawson case, it
was claimed yesterday.

Mental health experts said her death at the hands of her father
illustrated the lack of adequate support and help for young

Sarah was discharged from Homefields Hospital in Worthing for
allegedly smoking marijuana. She died hours later.

An independent inquiry was ordered yesterday into why Lawson was

Sue Baker of the mental health charity Mind said: “People with
mental health problems often have a dual diagnosis. They have drug
and alcohol problems as well as a mental illness.”

“Like Sarah, who had problems with alcohol and was alleged to
have smoked marijuana, these people are often turned away from
services at a crucial time because they have other issues. This is
not an answer,” she added.

James Lawson suffocated the 22-year-old after she had taken an
overdose of painkillers and anti-depressants.

The murder charge against him was dropped yesterday at Maidstone
crown court after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds
of diminished responsibility. He will be sentenced next week.

About one in 100 people suffers with manic depression in
Britain. The illness is characterised by extremes of mood, ranging
from periods of deep depression to moments of overactive and
excited behaviour, known as mania.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 16 May page 4

Hague’s equality pledge to disabled

A Conservative manifesto for the disabled promised to end unfair
discrimination as it was published yesterday.

William Hague criticised Labour for altering the benefit system
so that disabled people on income support were treated less fairly
than pensioners in the same circumstances.

Hague said in Stafford yesterday: “The benefits system is
discriminating against disabled people as a result of a deliberate
decision by Labour ministers. This is inexcusable and

The complaint relates to savings as while pensioners with
savings do not lose benefits until they have £6,000, disabled
people lose benefits when they have £3,000.

Hague said he would raise the limit for disabled people to bring
it in line with the limit for pensioners.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 16 May page 8

Secret reform agenda revealed

Labour is being advised to enable private contractors to run
publicly owned services, including health services and most aspects
of local government, if they had a second term.

The plans are contained in a report completed four weeks ago by
the Institute for Public Policy Research, and is being held back
until after the election.

In launching the party’s manifesto, Blair will hint at the
new agenda and claim Labour needs another 10 years to secure

The report’s proposals included private contractors could
manage health authorities and primary care groups, the private
sector should bid for the £1 billion contracts to replace
3,000 GP premises and the private sector could co-ordinate services
for GPs such as payroll, administration and IT support.

A commissioning health authority would be “entitled to switch to
a new service provider, if, at agreed points in the life of the
contract, the key performance indicators had not been

Party modernisers are warning that an injection of private
sector competition may be the only way to improve public

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 16 May page 1

Guardian Society

Poll position

Election day check on access for disabled

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 16 May page 4

Class acts honoured

Public servant awards salute ‘brilliant people in vital

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 16 May page 4

Art attack

Kendra Inman discovers how properties painting and puppetry are
being used to boost the self-esteem of socially excluded groups

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 16 May page 5

Stark relief

After more than two decades working on the emergencies
frontline, Tony Vaux has more questions than answers about the role
of aid organisations

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 16 May page 10

No excuses

An appalling child abuse case in Bedfordshire has sent legal
shockwaves through local authorities

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 16 May page

Protective powers

Wales strengthens the role of its children’s

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 16 May page 111

Sheltered existence

The housing choice which needs more understanding

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 16 May page 111



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