A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.

Extra cash for NHS fails to improve care

Gordon Brown’s massive cash injection to help the NHS may
do little to meet the improvements ministers are demanding,
according to a study today.

The report shows that NHS efficiency fell sharply between 1995
and 2000, but spending on it climbed by £10 billion. This
resulted in a 25 per cent increase in resources, but services to
patients only increased by 15 per cent, the study, based on
department of health figures says.

The analysis by the Office for National Statistics will
aggravate ministers’ private fears that Brown’s plans to
double NHS spending to £105.6 billion by 2007/8 will not
produce the hoped for changes in performance.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 15 May page 1

Asylum holding centres to be built in rural

Tens of thousands of asylum seekers are to be held in up to 15
large accommodation centres planned for rural areas in the

The units are likely to go ahead if three pilot schemes,
announced yesterday, prove successful.

The privately-run centres will hold around 750 asylum seekers
and immigration minister Lord Rooker unveiled plans for three or
four pilot accommodation centres on disused military sites in rural
Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire.

Ministers want them up and running by next year.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 15 May page 4

Minority groups oppose single equality

Minority groups have opposed the government’s plans for a
single equality commission to champion women, ethnic minorities
disabled, gay and older people.

The proposal by minister for women Barbara Roche to merge
Britain’s gender, race and disability commissions has left
the different groups fighting for their own right to exist.

The Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities
Commission and Disability Rights Commission would be merged, and
also address religion and sexual orientation.

Roche will tell the Institute for Public Policy Research that
she is to carry out a consultation exercise with a view to bringing
proposals in the autumn and legislation in the next parliament.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 15 May page 9

Truancy mother taken to hospital

The woman, who was jailed for condoning her children’s
truancy, has been admitted to the prison hospital wing last night
as her lawyer began moves to secure her release.

Patricia Amos’ children were given permission by their
head teacher to take a day off from school yesterday to visit their
mother in Holloway Prison, north London,.

Amos from Banbury, Oxfordshire, was said to have been in a
distressed state after she became the first person to be jailed for
condoning her daughters’ absenteeism from school.

The government has applauded the decision, but her lawyer
Stephen Warrington has said the move has triggered a pre-existing
medical condition. He will apply today to Oxford crown court for
her to be freed on bail.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 15 May page 9

Big Issue faces cash crisis

The magazine set up to help homeless people is facing its
biggest crisis in its 11-year history.

After failing to set up an offshoot in Los Angeles and being
affected by the severe advertising recession, its London office is
being scaled down to save money.

Most content production will be moved to Manchester, and seven
out of the 11 London staff face redundancy.

The move is described by the Big Issue’s managers as an
“exciting new phase”, and they claim they are responding sensibly
to the advertising recession.

But present and former staff see the development as the end of
an era and fear for the future of the magazine.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 15 may page 5

Night courts to go on trial in London and

Experimental courts to tackle crime at night will be piloted in
London and Manchester this week, but on a more modest scale than
originally envisaged.

Downing Street wanted the courts to sit six days a week from
10am to 10pm or midnight. But the plans were scaled down after the
home office warned of difficulties.

In Manchester, the courts will sit until 8pm instead of the
usual 4pm. The Bow Street magistrates court in London, will operate
a late session from 6pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays to
tackle cases building up over the weekend.

Announcing the four month pilot scheme at Bow, courts minister
Michael Wills said: “These schemes are aimed at ensuring criminal
justice is able to deal swiftly and effectively with night
offenders, deter criminals and make the courts more responsive to
the needs of victims and witnesses – above all to reassure
local communities that it is the public rather than the criminal
who benefit from the criminal justice system.”

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 15 May page 8

Tunnel security ‘to be stepped

The French railway operator SNCF denied police had pulled out of
the Channel Tunnel freight yard, saying security may have lapsed
temporarily last week, but was about to be significantly

British rail freight operator EWS said French police had
abandoned Frethun depot on Friday allowing 60 illegal immigrants to
enter Britain.

An SNCF spokesperson said a routine rotation of gendarmerie
forces on duty at the yard may have resulted in temporary problems,
but rejected EWS’s claim that French police had “given up”
guarding the depot.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 15 May page 8

Christian schools fight smacking ban

The court of appeal was told yesterday that private Christian
schools can smack pupils with parents permission because it is part
of a religious doctrine protected by the European Convention on
Human Rights.

The 40 schools spearheaded by the Christian Fellowship in
Liverpool want a change in law to allow them to use corporal
punishment. Their attempt to challenge legislation banning smacking
in schools by claiming it did not apply to independents was
rejected last year by the high court.

Paul Diamond, representing the schools, told Lord Justice Buxton
and Rix and Lady Justice Arden that the convention gave everyone
the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Corporal
punishment was a doctrine advocated in the Bible and was thus part
of the ethos of evangelical schools.

Judgement was reserved.

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 15 may page

Guardian Society

Peer pressure

Call for comparative audits of charities

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 15 May page 4

Ride on target

Praise for rickshaw taxis for the elderly

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 15 May page 4

Heads in the sand

Human Rights Act being ignored in councils and hospitals

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 15 May page 4

Backs in business

How private treatment is helping NHS staff return to work

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 15 May page 5

Hidden danger

A new Asian child protection helpline is aiming to help address
delicate cultural issues

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 15 May page

Working for change

Top firms back campaign to employ learning disabled staff

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 15 May page 119

Reprieve package

Charity takes over Children’s Society projects in

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 15 may page 119

Scottish newspapers

Scottish site could be back on asylum

A former RAF base near Edinburgh could still become
Scotland’s first accommodation centre for asylum seekers
under proposals from home office ministers.

Lord Rooker announced the location of three pilot centres in
England, and said three other sites, including RAF Turnhouse near
Edinburgh, were still under consideration.

Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West John Barrett said: “I am
disappointed that Turnhouse is still in the running. After taking
advice from everyone concerned in the process, it appears no-one
has said RAF Turnhouse may be a good idea.

“On the west side of the city there are five villages, and this
centre would be potentially larger than three of those five
villages. I don’t think there has been a huge amount of
listening going on,” he added.

The Scottish Refugee Council said it remained “firmly opposed”
to the concept of large scale accommodation centres.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 15 May 2002

Cash scheme for truants pays dividends

A scheme in Edinburgh was highlighted yesterday for displaying
bold approaches to combating truancy, as a woman in England was
jailed for 60 days for permitting her children to play truant.

The ‘On-Track’ programme at Liberton High School pays pupils
£10 a quarter for turning up to class. It is credited with
cutting truancy rates among pupils about to leave school without
qualifications or job prospects.

Under the scheme, pupils sign a contract promising to attend two
one-hour classes a week in place of core lessons in religion and
physical education and to improve overall attendance.

In return they earn £10 a quarter to go on trips to bowling
alleys or cinema.

The scheme was highlighted as a different approach to tackling
the problem of truancy in England. Patricia Amos was sentenced to
60 days in prison by magistrates at Banbury, Oxfordshire, for not
ensuring her two children regularly attended school.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 15 May 2002

Woman charged over death of baby girl

A woman has been charged in connection with the death of a
13-month-old girl, according to police.

The child was taken to Sick Children’s Hospital in
Aberdeen on Monday, where she later died from injuries.

Grampian police confirmed a 20-year-old woman had been charged
in connection with the girl’s death.

A report has been submitted to the prosecutor fiscal in

A man was charged in court yesterday with the murder of the
13-month-old girl.

Alexander McClure of Forgue, near Huntly, Aberdeenshire,
appeared on petition at Aberdeen sheriff court.

He made no application for bail and was committed for further
examination and remanded in custody.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 15 May 2002

Smack ban will swamp police

Senior officers will warn today that the Scottish
executive’s plans to ban smacking are unworkable.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland is to tell
a parliamentary committee that the plans could lead to thousands of
reports of minor incidents, which will have “significant resource
implications” for individual forces.

Opposition politicians joined the attack last night claiming the
proposals would clog up the procurator fiscal service.

ACPOS highlighted its fears in a written submission to the
parliament’s justice committee, which continues its inquiry
into the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill today.

The bill will make it an offence to smack children under three,
or to hit those of any age with an implement, removing the
possibility of a defence of discipline or reasonable

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 15 May 2002

Welsh newspapers

Care home trawls ‘led to modern witch

Trawling inquiries into alleged paedophile rings in care homes
were like a modern version of the Salem witch-hunts, MPs were told

The all-party home affairs select committee is looking into
‘trawling’ in police investigations in
‘historical’ abuse cases that may have led to
miscarriages of justice.

Richard Webster, author of the Great Children’s Home
Panic, told the committee that throughout history there have always
been people who have reacted to the suggestion that there may be
evil conspiracy especially where it involved children.

He said that the reaction was always a danger, and one to which
many police forces had succumbed.

Tony Rogers, south Wales police assistant chief constable, who
was also giving evidence said that the south Wales police inquiry
had involved a series of separate complaints which were not linked,
and which had been carried out by a bank of highly experienced
officers. He added that it had been commended as a model

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 15 page 1 and 3

Sully scheme comments criticised as

The Welsh Refugee Council has criticised the way that the public
debate over housing asylum seekers at Sully hospital in south Wales
has been handled, saying that many of the comments on the scheme
were ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’.

Yesterday, the home office confirmed that the disused hospital
in the Vale of Glamorgan would not be used immediately for asylum
seekers but that talks would continue.

Zahid Noor, of the Welsh Refugee Council, said that the council
was disappointed over the public reaction and that many people
appeared to believe that asylum seekers would rob them or attack
their children and that this was very unfortunate.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 15 May page 3

Resign Call To Cabinet

A south Wales councillor is calling on the whole of his
authority’s cabinet to resign following a critical report on
social services.

Keith Griffiths, a Labour councillor says that the nine-person
Plaid Cymru-run Caerphilly cabinet should stand down, following a
review carried out jointly by the Audit Commission and the Social
Services Inspectorate for Wales. The review found that there were
delays and backlogs in people getting help, and that the council is
caught in a ‘vicious cycle of over spending’.

Councillor Griffiths, who is deputy leader of the Labour group
described the report’s findings as a disaster, and said that the
public had a right to be concerned.

Social services director Joe Howsam said that the review was
based on the state of services last summer, and that improvements
had been made since then.

Source:- South Wales Argus Tuesday 14 May page 1 and












More from Community Care

Comments are closed.