Tuesday 9 March 2004

By Natasha Salari, Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Protecting children puts doctors at risk
Threats and complaints against doctors and other health
professionals are driving them out of the area of child abuse
leaving vulnerable children potentially unprotected.
A survey carried out by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child
Health found that formal complaints against doctors involved in
child protection work were increasing, though not a single
complaint to the General Medical Council had been upheld.
Nearly one in seven doctors involved in such work had received a
An unpublished survey from the British Association for the Study
and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect revealed that nearly a
third of professionals involved in child protection have been
subject to violence and two-thirds have been threatened with
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 9 March page 5
One-stop centres proposed
Plans for one-stop welfare centres in deprived areas are set to be
unveiled by a thinktank with close links to Labour ministers.
The Institute for Public Policy Research said that thousands of the
most vulnerable people are being failed by the state because none
of the agencies that are supposed to help them takes an overview of
their complex needs.
The institute will call for new “connected care
centres” to provide comprehensive packages of social care,
including tailor-made support for those with health and housing
problems or experiencing family breakdown.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 9 March page 8
Helping hand ‘key to election’
The way that political parties respond to the needs of parents and
carers could swing the results of the next election, according to a
poll for the Equal Opportunities Commission.
The poll found that 68 per cent of adults said the way they vote is
likely to be influenced by what the political parties intend to do
to make life easier for those with caring responsibilities. The
figure was 79 per cent among parents and 74 per cent among other
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 9 March page 8
Barclays gives Big Issue seller credit card
A Big Issue in the North seller has managed to receive a credit
card with a £300 limit.
He was approached by a woman with a clipboard in the street and
despite his reservations she told him to fill in the application
form anyway. The credit card arrived in the post a few weeks
The vendor, who does not want to be identified, was approached in
Leeds city centre just before Christmas. A spokesperson for
Barclays said that the card was issued because the vendor had lived
in the same place for four years, which checked out with the
electoral roll. He also had a bank account and said his income was
£15,000 a year.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 9 March page 10
Mother on trial over toddler who died 13 years

A woman has gone on trial for the murder of her son 13 years after
the toddler was found dead in a duck pond.
Sallie-Anne Loughran is accused of drowning two-year-old Thomas
Hunt in a bath and then dumping his body in the pond to make it
look like a tragic accident.
Loughran, aged 39, wept in the dock at Nottingham crown court as
the prosecution said that detectives reopened the case after
Loughran made “powerful observations” to her
father-in-law, which suggested that his grandson had not died in
the pond. She also boasted that he would never be able to prove
that she had killed the boy.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 9 March page 7
Minister owns up to immigration scandal
The government had to do an embarrassing u-turn yesterday when it
was forced to admit that immigration officials had been running
their own policy to waving checks on people from Eastern Europe
trying to move to Britain.
Beverley Hughes, the immigration minister, told MPs that she did
not know about the secret practice being followed by civil servants
under her control.
Steve Moxon, a civil service whistleblower, revealed the policy,
which involved “fast-tracking” immigrants at the weekend.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 9 March page 1
Social workers failed to link Huntley sex

A senior social worker who handled three allegations of unlawful
sex involving Ian Huntley over a four-week period in 1996 did not
link the cases.
Phil Watters, who was giving evidence to the Bichard inquiry, said
that he did not regard Huntley as ‘notorious’.
The cases were referred to him in April and May 1996. Two of which
came in a 24-hour period.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 9 March page 6
Scottish newspapers
Backbenchers support SSP motion for nurses’

Labour MSPs are placing increasing pressure on the Scottish
executive to intervene in the nursery nurses dispute.
A growing number of Labour backbenchers are set to support a motion
from the Scottish Socialist Party calling for a national settlement
to end the strike.
So far, first minister Jack McConnell has refused to get involved
in the dispute, insisting that an agreement should be made between
unions and local authorities.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 9 March
Charity manager cleared of financial

A senior manager at a homeless charity in Edinburgh has been
cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation into
allegations of financial mismanagement.
The probe into Four Square, which provides frontline services to
homeless people, has found that allegations of financial
mismanagement against Tom McFarlane, head of support services, are
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 9 March
Antisocial behaviour fight wins £20m

Scottish councils are to receive a share of £20 million to
help tackle antisocial behaviour.
The funding is designed to help local authorities implement
measures outlined in the executive’s Antisocial Behaviour
Bill, according to Margaret Curran, the communities minister.
A further £10 million will be spent by the executive to help
support pilot projects across the country.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 9 March
Nurse struck off for stealing cash
A nurse who embezzled hundreds of pounds from older patients in her
care has been struck off the profession’s register.
Lennox Neil was caught with £560 in cash, cheques and
chequebooks after colleagues became suspicious about
“misappropriation” of patients’ cash at Rowallan
House nursing home in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway.
Neil was convicted of embezzlement of the money at Stranraer
Sheriff court in 2002 and sentenced to 240 hours of community
service. She was struck off as a registered nurse yesterday for
professional misconduct by a Nursing and Midwifery Council
disciplinary panel in Edinburgh.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 9 March
Number of calls to abuse hotline soar in three

The number of calls made to a domestic violence hotline run by the
Scottish executive has risen from 170 per week in 2000 to 230 per
week in 2003.
More than 80 per cent of the calls to the Scottish Domestic Abuse
helpline were made by victims and 15 per cent were made by a friend
or relative.
The findings were disclosed as ministers announced that groups
which help women and children who have been sexually abused will
receive £5 million of funding.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 9 March
Fears as social work posts remain unfilled
Union chiefs have claimed that there is an accident “waiting
to happen” in Edinburgh Council’s overstretched social
work department.
Almost 30 per cent of social workers posts in the children and
family department are currently vacant. Unison branch secretary
John Stevenson said the percentage of unfilled posts had doubled
since the death of 11-week old Caleb Ness in October 2001 and
raised serious concerns about the ongoing shortage of staff.
Source:- Evening News Monday 8 March
Welsh newspapers
Truancy fines for parents

A group of parents have been fined after failing to ensure that
their children are attending school.
The fines come after Cardiff Council carried out a truancy sweep in
the city, last autumn. A spokesperson for the council said that the
message was very clear, that parents who condoned their
children’s absence from school, would be liable to
Source:- South Wales Echo Monday 8 March page 2
Isolated and depressed: Welsh pensioners

Welsh communities are especially vulnerable to problems of
loneliness and depression amongst older people, according to
volunteer workers.
A survey by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) found
that isolated older people see fewer people each day than their
younger counterparts. And Sharon Sinclair, who runs the Meals on
Wheels service in north Wales, believes that the problems are made
worse by the high numbers of older people living alone, in coastal
and rural communities across the principality.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 9 March page 2
Think tank calls for one-stop-shop
New ‘connected care centres’ are needed in deprived
areas of the UK to stop people being failed by the system.
A report by the Institute of Public Policy Research has found gaps
in the provision of services for those who most need them and
argues that a one-stop-shop could address the problems that many
people face.
Jennifer Rankin an IPPR researcher said that successive generations
of policy makers had failed to implement integrated people-centred
services, and that those with complex needs do not receive a joined
up response from service providers.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 9 March page 9

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