By Janet Snell, David Callaghan, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.
Father’s warning of abuse ignored
The local government ombudsman has recommended that three
children should be given £12,500 after finding that Birmingham
social services failed to heed warnings that the children’s mother
was subjecting them to abuse and neglect.
The children’s father, who was separated from their mother, had
repeatedly told social services staff that his three children, aged
seven, five and two, were dirty, underfed and tired. But social
services staff, whose attitude was described as inexcusable by the
ombudsman, ignored his warnings because they thought he was
motivated by the break-up with his former partner.
Ombudsman Patricia Thomas also said the council should pay the
father, who was not named, £2,000.
Source:- The Times Friday 7 June page 12
New schizophrenia drugs to be prescribed on
Six new drugs that should help keep people with schizophrenia
out of hospital have been given the go-ahead by the National
Institute for Clinical Excellence.
The drugs, which cost in the region of £1,220 compared to
£70 a year for the old ones, have fewer side effects and so
clients are more likely to continue taking them.
The move has been welcomed by the National Schizophrenia
Fellowship which has been calling for some time for an end to
Source:- The Guardian Friday 7 June page 13
New novel aimed at teens explores
A novel about a 10-year-old boy’s experience of homosexuality is
thought to be the first book on the subject aimed at teenagers
since the introduction of Section 28 legislation.
Simon and Schuster, publishers of Paul Magrs’ largely
autobiographical ‘Strange Boy’, expect schools and libraries to
stock the book, which explores the feelings of a child who has a
crush on his 14-year-old friend.
The novel also features the main character’s family problems and
experience of bullying at school.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 7 June page 10
Swedes back adoption rights for gay couples
Sweden has passed a law allowing homosexual couples the right to
apply to adopt children from within the country and abroad.
MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move after hearing
evidence from a major study arguing that gay couples made just as
good parents as heterosexuals.
But a plan to allow artificial insemination for lesbians at
public hospitals was shelved pending an outstanding court case over
a donor being sued for child support.
Currently gay couples in Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands
can adopt, but only within their own country.
A bill allowing homosexual and heterosexual cohabiting couples
to adopt in Britain is currently going through parliament.
Source:- The Independent Friday 7 June page 11
Mothers sue over birth control failures
Sixty three women are suing the manufacturers of a contraceptive
device that was designed to predict when it was safe for them to
have sex. They all conceived despite using Persona after it was
launched in 1996.
Each woman has issued a writ against manufacturers Unipath for
When Persona was launched it was heralded as the replacement for
the condom and the pill.
Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 7 June page 13
Fury as BBC shows paedophile abuse
Viewers flooded the BBC switchboard with complaints after a
documentary displaying graphic images of abuse by paedophiles was
broadcast on BBC 2 last night.
Images of a father raping his six-year-old daughter were shown
only 15 minutes into the programme at 9.15pm.
The three-part documentary ‘The Hunt for Britain’s Paedophiles’
follows Scotland Yard’s paedophile squad as they stalked prolific
Source:- Daily Mail Friday 7 June page 6
NHS urged to recruit more foreign staff
The department of health has urged NHS trusts to sign deals with
clinics and agencies in Europe to recruit more nurses and
The move is aimed at tackling waiting lists and health secretary
Alan Milburn wants empty hospitals and mobile operating theatres to
be brought into service by the end of July.
Skills in particularly demand include ophthalmology,
orthopaedics and ear nose and throat surgery, and may later include
Source:- The Guardian Friday 7 June page 2
The truth about youth crime
Confronting the political calls to blame the mothers and fine
the parents of young offenders, this feature asks parents about the
reality of their lives.
Also focusing on the work of several agencies particularly NCH
Scotland and Barnardo’s, the feature concludes that an
investment in community services and alternatives to custody would
be more effective than the calls for punishment.
Source:- The Herald Friday 7 June page 17
Social services remain caught in political
A political row that erupted following the publication of a
critical report on Caerphilly social services in south Wales,
continues to rage.
Labour councillor, Keith Griffiths called for the entire council
cabinet to resign after the joint review by the Audit Commission
and the Social Services Inspectorate for Wales. He described the
report as the worst indictment he has seen in 35 years of politics,
and called on the controlling group to publish the report in full
in the council’s official paper, ‘Newsline’.
But the leader of the Plaid Cymru-ruled authority, Lindsay
Whittle, has accused councillor Griffiths of descending into “right
wing extreme politics”, and using social services, its users and
staff as political footballs. He added that the report was based on
services in December 1999 when Plaid Cymru had only been in power
for nine months, and said it was not possible to put right 70 years
of Labour misrule in such a short time.
Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 6 June page 8 and