A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Early action by Brown to lift 1m out of

The Chancellor will today announce Labour’s aims to lift
one million children out of poverty within three years.

Gordon Brown is to commit a second term Labour government to
achieving the goal by 2004 or early 2005, a year ahead of

The optimism is a sign of Brown’s growing belief that an
anti-poverty drive is paying off, despite the subject barely
surfacing as an issue in the election campaign.

In 1999, Tony Blair announced that child poverty would be halved
within 10 years and abolished within 20.

The first million of the four million children in poverty in
Britain, have already been taken from the breadline.

Helping another million by 2005 would see the halfway point
achieved in six years rather than 10.

Brown is expected to say: “Because they are our future, the most
important investment we can make as a country is in developing the
potential of all our country’s children.”

Source:- The Guardian Friday 25 May page 15

Shake up likely to give Blunkett anti-drug

The government’s crusade against illegal drugs is likely
to be headed by David Blunkett in a shake up of the Whitehall

The education secretary is preparing to take over as home
secretary in a post election re-shuffle. He is expected to be
handed control of anti-drugs policies, as part of his role.

Labour’s manifesto prioritises combating drugs and
promises to create an agency to seize the assets of traffickers, a
register of dealers and £200 million to fund neighbourhood

The switch is likely to be resisted by drugs tsar Keith
Hellawell, and would be seen as a decision which gave a renewed
emphasis to the law enforcement policies of the home office above
education, and treatment and rehabilitation programmes.

The Labour manifesto also pledges to raise spending on drug
treatment by 70 per cent by 2004.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 25 May page 15

Deaths blamed on NHS beds shortage

The shortage of NHS beds has been blamed for almost 39 per cent
of deaths among people moved out of intensive care units too soon,
as their deaths would have been prevented had they remained in the
unit for 48 hours longer.

The British Medical Journal publish a study today, which looks
at the fates of 14,000 patients admitted to intensive care between
1989 and 1998.

The researchers, led by Rene Chang of St George’s
Hospital, south London, conclude that 16 per cent more intensive
care beds are needed to prevent those at risk being sent to other
wards too early.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 25 May page 5

Voters turn against Blair plans for public

Tony Blair’s plan for the private sector to play a bigger
role in delivering public services, is facing growing opposition
among the public and the Labour party.

Some ministers privately think it was wrong for the prime
minister to make it a centrepiece of Labour’s general
election manifesto, and Labour’s Millbank headquarters is
alarmed by the opposition from trade unions and party

Four out of five voters oppose the plan, according to Rasmussen
Research. Even if the NHS pays the cost of all care, 81 per cent of
people believe hospitals should be run by the NHS.

Labour officials admitted there was “some confusion” over the
policy, and Millbank would launch a campaign to reassure public
sector workers that the proposals do not amount to a backdoor plan
for privatisation.

Source:- The Independent Friday 25 May page

Archbishops decry cynical campaigns

Society could be damaged by negative election campaigning,
according to the archbishops of Canterbury and York today.

Their concern comes amid Labour’s fury at a Conservative
Party election broadcast showing school children buying drugs and
vandalising property. The broadcast suggests the government’s
shortage of teachers had led to the crimes.

Although the archbishops would not have seen the campaign when
they wrote their letter, they express concern about the invective
being used by both Labour and Conservative parties.

Dr George Carey and Dr David Hope, the Church of England’s
most senior figures said that policies at its best was about values
and when parties lost sight of that, “political life is itself

Source:- The Times Friday 25 May page 1

Scottish newspapers

Care homes slated

Former health ombudsman, Sir William Reid, has criticised the
level of care provided to the dying in nursing homes and hospitals.
Sir William said that all such care units should provide the
standard of care to be found in hospices.

Source:- The Herald Friday 25 May page 4

Executive quells care home row

The Scottish executive is accused of smothering a potentially
politically damaging campaign over care homes for older people.

Scottish Care, the umbrella organisation for 800 private
residential and nursing homes, had planned to mount a high profile
and potentially damaging publicity campaign on lack of funding.
However, officials from the Scottish executive intervened and
offered talks. A meeting has now been scheduled for next


Opposition political parties combined to accuse the executive of
trying to “sweep the issue” under the carpet.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 25 May page 1

Church welcomes the Royal Commission on Long Term

Implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on
Long Term Care for the Elderly will be the most significant
contribution of devolved government to the quality of life and well
being of a large number of people, according to Anne Allen,
convenor of the Church of Scotland’s board of social

Speaking at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland,
Allen said that implementing the Royal Commission redress the
balance of dignity and care due to older people.

Source:- The Herald Friday 25 May page 16






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