Round-up of the week
Round up of the week beginning 4 April
Monday 4 April
The Children’s Workforce Strategy was published by the
Department for Education and Skills. Under the plans, councils will
be expected to draw up a local workforce strategy and
children’s services directors will be expected to take lead
responsibility for the local workforce strategy that will involve
carrying out an analysis of the local labour market.
Tuesday 5 April
The concluding report on antisocial behaviour by the home
affairs select committee accused social services departments and
child mental health services of failing to commit to antisocial
behaviour strategies. MPs identified “insufficient”
support for perpetrators who had mental health and addiction
problems, or those living in chaotic families as the “most
important factor” in the high number of asbo breaches.
At the same time, MPs called for the pharmaceutical regulatory
regime to be overhauled, saying it has let the interests of the
industry override public safety. In a report, the health select
committee says the adverse reactions caused by a number of drugs,
such as the antidepressant Seroxat, have revealed fundamental flaws
in the regulatory regime. It also calls for sponsorship of the
industry to be transferred from the Department of Health to the
Department of Trade and Industry, saying the DoH had let
companies’ interests override its responsibilities towards
Wednesday 6 April
Tom Aldridge, young person’s manager for the National
Treatment Agency, predicted the national drugs treatment monitoring
service, currently being piloted, would surprise people by showing
the true number of young opiate users in drug treatment programmes.
Aldridge told the drugs and alcohol today conference in London
that, as substance misuse services targeted at young people became
more established, there were likely to receive more self-referrals
from those currently not accessing support such as homeless people
and sex workers. The true demand for young people’s substance
misuse services had probably been underestimated because of a lack
of robust local needs analysis, he argued.
Thursday 7 April
The Mental Capacity Bill, the Drugs Bill and the Disability
Discrimination Act all received Royal Assent.
At the same time, the Labour and Conservative parties revealed
the low priority they would be giving to social care in the
election campaign at a three-way debate at the King’s Fund.
Only the Liberal Democrats included social care among their
priorities for the Department of Health, with spokesperson Paul
Burstow restating their commitment to free personal care.
Friday 8 April
The Clean Neighbourhoods Act has become law after receiving
Royal Assent. The Act was fast-tracked through the remaining stages
of the Parliamentary process ahead of the formal dissolution of
Parliament before the general election.
It contains a range of measures to improve the quality of the
local environment by giving Local Authorities and the Environment
Agency additional powers to deal with fly-tipping, fly-posting and
graffiti and noise,