A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Britain pays for £5m Sangatte fence

Britain is to help fund a £5 million security fence at a
French railway depot in a bid to deter illegal immigrants entering

The government is also to provide high tech scanning devices for
French officials, under a package of measures agreed last night.
But David Blunkett and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy
failed to agree on a timetable for the closure of the Sangatte Red
Cross centre near Calais, which houses around 1,500 asylum

Blunkett hopes an agreement can be settled at a meeting in Paris
on 12 July, but France claims it will take no action until measures
in the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill begin to take

Blunkett will publish a consultation paper next week on
entitlement cards.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 26 June page 2

Vitamin boost for young criminals cuts offence

Young offenders commit fewer crimes and behave better in jail
when their diet is supplemented with vitamins, minerals and fatty
acids, research has shown.

Violent offences at Aylesbury young offenders’ institution
in Buckinghamshire, fell by almost 40 per cent among those who took
the dietary supplements, according to research by the charity
Natural Justice, which carried out the study.

The study found that poor diets may also influence criminal
behaviour in the community, Bernard Gesch from the department of
physiology at Oxford University, who led the team of researchers,

Source:- The Times Wednesday 26 June page 7

Dangerous psychopaths may be held

Dangerous psychopaths could be detained indefinitely, and people
with mental health problems in the community could be compelled to
take medication, under reforms to the mental health

In the draft mental health bill published yesterday, the
measures aim to close a legal loophole that allows patients with
dangerous and severe personality disorders to avoid detention in
mental hospitals if doctors consider them to be “untreatable”.

The changes mean, however, that if it becomes law, anybody with
a “disability or disorder of mind or brain which results in an
impairment or disturbance of mental functioning” could be forcibly
detained or treated, providing they are at risk of harming
themselves or others, and if treatment is available.

However, the plans provoked widespread condemnation from the
mental health field. Michael Shooter of the Royal College of
Psychiatrists said the criteria for compulsion were so wide that a
huge number of patients would find themselves inappropriately
sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

The Mental Health Alliance, which represents over 50
organisations, said more compulsory detentions and forced
treatments in the community would increase stigma associated with
mental illness and deter people from seeking treatment.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 25 June page 10

Police investigate second hospital rape

Police in London are investigating allegations that a
60-year-old female patient at a mental health unit was raped
– the second sexual attack on a hospital patient in two

The woman was attacked on a ward at the John Connolly unit of
the West London Mental Health Trust.

The first victim was a terminally ill 71-year-old patient, who
was assaulted by a man in his fifties in a lavatory on a ward at
King’s College Hospital in south London.

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 26 June
page 4

Guardian Society

Eyes open

It takes two to tango – so when a project in Rotherham was
started to tackle the problem of teenage pregnancies, boys were
targeted as well as girls

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 26 June page

Specially unhealthy

Problems of obesity and heavy smoking at Rampton

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 26 June page 4

The way-in sign

Top award for charity helping offenders

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 26 June page 4

Getting the giving habit

Schoolchildren targeted in charity and volunteering drive

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 26 June page 4

Off the ground

New thinking on different ways of funding charities is helping
to effect change in the sector

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 26 June page 10

Baby alarm

How agencies are facing up to the growing problems of adopted
children born to drug abusers

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 26 June page

Polishing the flaws

East Sussex council acts after review slams adult services

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 26 June page

Desperate shortage

Survey pinpoints need for thousands more foster carers

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 26 June page

Scottish newspapers

Councils defend performance on free elderly

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has claimed that
staff “had moved mountains” to ensure older people do not miss out
on their entitlement to free personal care.

Cosla was hitting back at criticisms that thousands of older
people were likely to miss out on the package because of lack of
information. Cosla claimed that staff working on the implementation
of free personal care “should be congratulated not criticised or
sniped at”. Free personal care will be introduced in Scotland on 1

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 26 June page 10

Welsh newspapers

‘We need a crusade against poverty in

A major Welsh assembly programme aimed at tackling poverty has
been marred by confusion and lack of funding, according to a
council chief.

Cardiff council’s deputy leader Lynda Thorne described the
£83 million earmarked for the 100 most deprived wards in Wales
over three years under the ‘Communities First Programme’ as a
“national scandal”.

Thorne, who has special responsibility for community planning
and neighbourhood renewal, said that the aims of the programme were
laudable, but that Wales desperately needed a concerted campaign to
tackle poverty and deprivation.

She added that the Communities First programme was failing to
meet the challenge and had been marred by confusion and failure to
clarify the responsibilities of local agencies.

Edwina Hart, the assembly minister with responsibility for the
scheme, declined to comment on the criticism.

Source:- South Wales Echo Tuesday 25 June page 14

Call for a conference to tackle drugs

The Welsh assembly yesterday heard a call for an all-Wales
conference to look at how to curb the growing problem of drug
misuse in the country.

Deputy health minister Brian Gibbons said that while a rise in
drugs misuse linked to crime had not yet materialised it was
important to “head off” potential problems.

Police have warned that Wales is likely to become a major market
for illegal drugs in the future.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 26 June page 2

Probation service told it could do better

The north Wales probation service has been given an official pat
on the back, but told it could do better.

In a report published today the area’s probation service is
praised for delivering an above average service with particularly
good work managing high risk cases, pre-sentence reports, enforcing
court orders and supervising people on licences following their
release from prison.

The report though does say that there are areas of weakness with
inspectors noting that the quality of supervision plans and
assessments could be better, and in total there are some 15 areas
of work that require improvement.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 26 June page 9








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