A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Including the headlines from the weekend.

By David Callaghan and Reg McKay.

Children may die in care crisis

Social services departments are on the verge of collapse
according to the Moira Gibb, president of the Association of
Directors of Social Services.

She said children could die unless the pressure on staff is not
eased. Caseloads have grown too large for the available resources,
she said.

Unaccompanied child asylum seekers were putting an extra strain
on resources, especially in London, she said. An inquiry into the
death of Victoria Climbie at the hands of her great aunt and her
great aunt’s boyfriend is due to begin later this month.

“Social services are seen as somehow letting everyone down while
more and more people want a piece of us than we can possibly give,”
she said.

Liam Fox, the Conservative health spokesperson, said services
were underfunded. “But it would be totally irresponsible for us to
use this as an excuse for avoiding legitimate criticism of either
individual social workers or the system of social work management
in general,” he added.

A spokesperson for the department of health said the government
was committed to improving children’s services, and a national
recruitment for social workers would be launched later this

Source:- Observer Sunday 16 September page 1-2

Pension cuts for sick elderly condemned

Many older people who experience long stays in hospital have
their pensions cut, it has been revealed.

A new report from Age Concern, ‘Penalised for Being Ill’, says
that 14,900 people had their pensions cut by 40 per cent last year,
and a further 16,600 lost a fifth of their pension entitlement.

A single person loses £28.30 each week after a six-week
stay in hospital.

Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, said: “Older
people are not able to settle down and recover after treatment
because of the enduring impact of having their finances cut. It is
exactly the wrong moment to add to their stress.”

Source:- Observer Sunday 16 September page 2

Legal niceties fail woman sexually abused in care

The case against a care worker accused of sexually abusing a
woman with Down’s Syndrome was thrown out of court. Her family are
now pursuing a civil case against the home and are also campaigning
for a change in the law.

Source:- The Guardian Monday September 17 page 13

Scottish newspapers

Private care talks

The first meeting aimed at resolving the dispute on private
residential and nursing care since the action was suspended took
place on Friday. The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the
Scottish executive and Scottish Care, representing 800 private care
owners, described their first tri-partite meeting as “positive and

Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 15 September page 12

Free personal care set to cost £122

The introduction of free personal care is set to cost £122
million per year slightly more than first thought, it emerged last
night. The Scottish executive bungled the release of their plans by
putting them on their website by mistake then hurriedly removing

The report was spotted by the Tories and downloaded, forcing the
executive to formally release their plans two weeks ahead of
schedule. Free personal care up to £90 per week and nursing
care up to £65 per week is to be introduced for those with
assessed needs from April 2002.

Source:- The Herald Saturday 15 September page 13

Cash crisis forces top head injury unit to turn away

One of Scotland’s top neurosurgery units, the Western
General Hospital in Edinburgh, has started to turn head injured
patients away because of a £600,000 cash crisis. Hospital
managers are to reduce their services from eight high dependency
units for critically ill patients to five in order to recover the
financial deficit.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 16 September page 19

Protest at pill for girls under 16 years

Religious and anti-abortion groups have protested at plans to
make the morning after pill available free of charge to all women
including girls under the age of 16 years. Ayrshire and Arran
Primary Care Trust says women will be able to get free Levonelle-2
contraceptive pills from November, and may offer the service
“irrespective of age”. The trust say that they are addressing a
significant problem with underage pregnancies. Last year in
Ayrshire and Arran there were 719 teenage pregnancies.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 17 September Page 8

Domestic abuse courts being considered in

Domestic abuse courts could be set up in Scotland to speed up
prosecutions and offer more protection to victims. The move comes
after Margaret Curran, deputy minister for social justice, visited
Canada to study specialist courts which are considered to have been
useful in reducing domestic violence. The move is backed by
women’s groups who claim the current system is too slow and
confrontational. Research indicates that women are assaulted an
average of 35 times before they contact the police.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 17 September






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