Round up of the week

Round up of the week

Week beginning Monday 14 March

New Asset  

Monday 14 March

Government statistics launched by the Office of the Deputy Prime
Minister showed that the number of people becoming
homeless in

England had fallen by 6 per cent from 2003-4. The figures also
revealed that there has been a 23 per cent reduction over the last
year in the number of households living in bed and breakfast

Tuesday 15 March

A Social Exclusion Unit report proposed a
“Sure Start for older people” and a shift towards
preventive services as the way to tackle social exclusion among
older people. The report said that consultation with older people
suggests many would favour a Sure Start style system through which
they could access a range of services from a single source.

In a separate report, Sir Michael Bichard warned
that a huge amount of work was needed in order for the national IT
system for England and Wales to support police intelligence by 2007
to be created. Bichard made his comments in a review of the

Sir Michael Bichard

progress on his recommendations from the report published last June
and said a great deal of work was needed to deliver a scheme
barring those who should not work with children by the same

At the same time Donna Anthony, who spent six
years in jail for murdering her two children, was freed on bail at
the Court of Appeal after the prosecution said that it would not be
seeking to uphold her convictions which relied on evidence from
paediatrician professor Roy Meadow.

Wednesday 16 March

Chancellor Gordon Brown revealed in the Budget for
2005 that hospital charges for older people would be abolished and
this group would also see an increase to £199 in pensions by
2007, along with free bus travel. He also said there would be a
rise in the child tax credit in line with earnings by a total of 13
per cent over the next three years and payments from the child
trust fund  – currently £250 and £500 – would be extended
from primary to secondary school years.

The Russell Commission
launched a report about
volunteering which suggested there was an “untapped
potential” for young volunteers to help out within the public
sector in hospital, schools and leisure centres. The report also
said the government should develop and implement strategies to
encourage greater levels of volunteering within public

Health secretary John Reid also confirmed that the
Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care
Inspection will merge
to form a single organisation by
2008. The children’s social care function of the CSCI will
merge with schools watchdog Ofsted to create a single
children’s services inspectorate.

Thursday 17 March

Members of UNISON, PCS, T&G, AMICUS and UCATT confirmed that
they were gearing up for a one-day walk-out on 23 March in protest
at changes to their pension scheme. Last minute talks were being
held in a bid to come to an agreement and prevent strike
, which would be the biggest walk-out since the
General Strike in 1926.

John Reid

Friday 18 March

Health secretary John Reid announced that a Health and
Social Care Information Centre
will come into operation in
April this year. The centre will co-ordinate information
requirements across health and social care and reduce burdens on
NHS frontline staff. The HSCIC will take on functions previously
carried out by the NHS Information Authority and the Department of



More from Community Care

Comments are closed.