NHS trust told to improve learning disability services

NHS trust told to improve learning disability services
An NHS trust has been told it faces prosecution if it does not improve services for people with learning disabilities. Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust operates 19 care homes and a home care agency. The Commission for Social Care Inspection said yesterday it had found several failings.
Source:- Financial Times, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 2

Scientists warn of cannabis ‘timebomb’ over schizophrenia
By the end of the decade one in four new cases of schizophrenia could be triggered by smoking cannabis, scientists say. Research has suggested that regular users of the drug are up to six times more likely to develop schizophrenia, although whether the drug is the direct cause remains disputed. A study published in the journal Addiction predicts that, if the causal link between cannabis use and schizophrenia is accepted, rates of the illness will increase substantially by 2010, especially among young men.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 27

Man hanged himself on webcam
Kevin Whitrick logged on to an internet chat room and announced that he was going to commit suicide. He then switched on his webcam, stood on a chair, smashed through his ceiling to expose a joist, tied a rope around his neck and hanged himself. Several visitors to the site thought that it was a hoax and egged him on, but one dialled 999.
By the time police arrived at his flat, he was dead. The case is believed to be the first of its kind in Britain. Police said that an internet surfer alerted them to the suicide on late Wednesday. Officers broke into Mr Whitrick’s flat but, despite attempts to revive him, he was declared dead just after 11.15pm.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 2

New deal for trafficking victims
Victims of human trafficking are to be granted the right to stay in Britain temporarily, the government has announced. John Reid, the home secretary, signed the European convention on action against trafficking in human beings yesterday, as part of a wider plan to crack down on the crime.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 8

Sex trafficking and illegal workers threaten Olympics
The London Olympics will be a magnet for people traffickers smuggling sex slaves and illegal workers into Britain, Home Office and police chiefs forecast yesterday.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 15

Human black box ‘triggers memories’
Alzheimer’s sufferers given a “human black box” have shown significant improvements in long-term memory, scientists say.
Initial research suggests SenseCam, a wearable miniature camera being tested by Microsoft, could enrich the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Britain with dementia and other memory problems.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 7

Charities worse off after Budget
Charities are big losers from the Budget, with the sector calculating it may be at least £70m a year out of pocket after income tax changes.
Source:- Financial Times, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 3

The hardened criminal aged 13
A court has named a boy who has terrorised his home city with his violent behaviour.
Charlie Mitchell, who turned 13 two months ago, has been convicted of crimes ranging from shoplifting and vandalism to arson and burglary.
Magistrates in Plymouth imposed an antisocial behaviour order banning him from large parts of the city and harassing residents, swearing, using racial abuse and leaving his home after dark unless accompanied by a responsible adult.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 17

Bollywood tells true story of the wife who fought back
Bollywood is to tell the true story of a west London Sikh housewife who killed her husband after suffering years of physical abuse at his hands.
Provoked, a collaboration between Bollywood and the British film industry, opens next month. It follows the life of Kiranjit Ahluwalia whose ordeal became the focus of a campaign for justice that changed the law, forcing the courts to recognise a new defence of provocation in cases of domestic homicide.
Source:- The Independent, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 16

New generation of academies will educate children from three to 19
A new generation of all-through state schools to educate children from the ages of three to 19 is being created under the government’s academies programme.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 8

Flu drug warning after two child deaths
The anti-flu drug that has been stockpiled by the Department of Health for a future epidemic has been given a new pack warning after reports of teenagers falling to their deaths from tower blocks.
It has been reported that two 14-year-olds in Japan died in separate incidents while taking the antiviral drug Tamiflu.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 11

TV does not turn teens into couch potatoes
Watching a lot of television or spending hours playing computer games does not turn teenagers into couch potatoes, psychologists say.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 24 March 2007, page 13

New campaign on changing the way medical evidence is considered in court
A mother, whose baby son was taken away after she was wrongly accused of harming him, had an abortion because she could not bear to have a second child removed from her family. The case emerged as victims of miscarriages of justice prepared to unveil a campaign aimed at changing the way medical evidence is considered in court.
Among those at the launch at Westminster this week will be Angela Cannings, who spent 18 months in prison after being wrongly convicted of killing two of her children, both victims of cot deaths; and Ian and Angela Gay, cleared in a retrial this month of poisoning their adopted son with salt and shaking him. The couple served 15 months in jail after being convicted of manslaughter in 2005.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 25 March 2007, page 6

A quarter of workers paid by public purse
Almost a quarter of all workers are employed in the public sector. Almost seven million people say that they work for the state – 900,000 more than when Labour came to power a decade ago, according to a poll accompanying the respected Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 25 March 2007, page 2

Visa age raised to curb forced marriages
The minimum age at which foreign nationals can receive marriage visas to enter Britain is to be raised from 18 to 21 in an attempt to crack down on forced marriages.
The government also intends to introduce confidential interviews for people entering the country who might have been forced into marriage.
Source:- Sunday Times, 25 March 2007, page 2

Number of children charged with killings soars
The number of children prosecuted for murder or manslaughter has risen by more than 140 per cent in two years, prompting new fears over Britain’s teenage gang culture.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 25 March 2007, page 3

MPs attack low-cost homes waste
The government’s flagship scheme to help council tenants and ‘key workers’ get a foot on the housing ladder is wasting tens of millions a year and helping just a few thousand families, a hard-hitting Commons report will warn this week.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 25 March 2007, page 5

From the mean streets of Newham to Rugby School
From September, 13-year-olds Marcus Kerr and Charles Ogunkeyede from Newham in London will take up places at Rugby School on full bursaries worth nearly £24,000 a year. It is thanks to the Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy, in Upton Park, an intensive after-school programme for bright but potentially disruptive black boys, aged nine and 10, established five years ago.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 25 March 2007, page 3

Soup kitchens? Not in my back yard says Tory peer
John Patten, a housing minister under Margaret Thatcher, is pressing for the closure of soup kitchens run for the homeless near his London flat.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 25 March 2007, page 14

UN warns of cannabis dangers
The United Nations has issued an unprecedented warning to Britain about the growing threat to public health from potent new forms of cannabis, saying there is mounting evidence of “just how dangerous” the drug has become.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 25 March 2007, page 2

Police hunt chatroom users over web suicide ‘goading’
About 100 internet chatroom users who witnessed a British man kill himself online — including some who allegedly incited him to hang himself — were this weekend being traced by detectives to be questioned over their roles in the “cyber suicide”.
The death has highlighted concerns that some internet forums encourage people to take their lives. According to one charity which works to prevent suicide, there have been 17 deaths in the UK since 2001 which involved chatrooms or sites which give advice on suicide methods.
The Home Office is reviewing the laws over the possible prosecution of internet users who “aid, abet, counsel or procure” others to take their own lives.
Source:- The Sunday Times, 25 March 2007, page 10

Alzheimer’s role brings Julie Christie face to face with reality
In a new film Julie Christie plays Fiona, a beautiful and intelligent woman who is entering the in-between world of forgetfulness and confusion as Alzheimer’s takes hold. To the dismay of her husband, she forms an attachment to a fellow sufferer in the care home. Away From Her has its UK premiere this weekend at the Belfast Film Festival, and opens at cinemas in late April.
Source:- The Sunday Times, 25 March 2007, page 3

Older mothers fuel rise in low-weight babies
Professional women who have children later in life are blamed for the rise in low birthweight babies at risk of developing health problems, according to a new report.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 25 March 2007, page 10

Quarter of over-65s ‘are overweight’
A nationwide survey of people aged 65 or over has found that although more than half described their health as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, more than a quarter were overweight and an even greater number were unfit. Two-thirds of the women said they found it difficult to walk up a flight of 12 stairs without resting.
The Information Centre for Health and Social Care, which provides information to the NHS, said that many older people were living with at least one physical limitation.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 25 March 2007, page 10

Drug-taking troops provoke army crisis
Fifteen British soldiers a week are being thrown out of the army for taking drugs, including heroin, ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 25 March 2007, page 17

Teenagers want good jobs and like to stay in
The 21st-century teen is a conscientious, home-loving, would-be entrepreneur – who spends little time thinking about the opposite sex, according to researchers.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 25 March 2007, page 16

Judge speaks out over parents wrongly labelled child abusers
A High Court judge has published a judgement into a case in which parents were wrongly accused of harming their baby boy, which led to him being taken into care for 12 months and the mother to have an abortion.
Mr Justice Ryder took the unusual step to ensure practitioners learnt from the case, in which a consultant neuroradiologist said the parents had shaken their son. However, a paediatric neuroradiologist called at the High Court, where the case was reheard, said the boy had suffered a period of profound asphyxia in the womb, which caused his brain injury, and shaking could not have been the cause.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 26 March 2007, page 14

Blair to push through changes to benefits system
Prime minister Tony Blair and work and pensions secretary John Hutton will announce today they are to push through big changes to the welfare system, recommended in a report, before the summer.
The reforms, in a report by banker David Freud, include hiving off employment support services for the long-term unemployed to the private and voluntary sectors.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 26 March 2007, page 15

Labour will send fewer to jail in U-turn on crime policy
The government is to announce a new strategy on law and order this week focused on tackling the causes of crime, rehabilitating offenders and a fresh approach to offenders with mental health problems.
The strategy will include special courts for people with mental health problems, “hybrid” prisons for serious offenders with mental illnesses and a greater use of community punishments for those convicted of less serious crimes, while also promoting earlier interventions for children at risk of crime.
Source:- The Independent, Monday 26 March 2007, page 6

Deprived children
Shelter today launched a campaign at three London Underground stations to raise awareness of an estimated 400,000 children living in damp, overcrowded housing.
Source:- The Times, Monday 26 March 2007, page 4

Cameron joins Willetts in lost childhood campaign
The Conservatives have launched an inquiry into childhood that examine the role of advertising, the decline of extended families, the relationship between fathers and sons and the impact of health and safety fears and perceptions of “stranger danger”.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 26 March 2007, page 7

School bullies targeting special needs children
MPs will tomorrow demand more government action to tackle bullying in schools amid evidence of attacks on children with special educational needs and those from minority groups.
The education select committee will say teachers are not sufficiently trained to tackle the problem and that some schools were reluctant to record details to protect their reputations.
Source:- The Independent, Monday 26 March 2007, page 8

‘I could have died like Sally’
Donna Anthony, whose conviction for murdering her two children was quashed in 2005 after expert evidence by paediatrician Roy Meadow was discredited, speaks of her shock at the death of Sally Clark, who faced a similar miscarriage of justice.
Source:- Daily Mail, Monday 26 March 2007, page 34

Scottish news

Quarriers staff threaten to strike
Hundreds of vulnerable children and adults could be denied vital care if staff at one of Scotland’s largest charities vote for industrial action.
Up to 600 workers at Quarriers will decide this week whether to strike over a pay disagreement, with management offering 2.5 per cent while employees want £600 more.
Public-sector union Unison, which represents more than half the Quarriers workforce, claims the majority of staff are low paid and work in challenging settings.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 26 March 2007

Council and police to target antisocial behaviour
The first company in the UK dedicated to tackling antisocial behaviour will employ a dozen CCTV vans and innovative audio-visual technology in its battle against low-level crime.
Jointly owned by Glasgow Council and Strathclyde Police, Glasgow Community and Safety Services will have around 500 staff, including dozens of serving police officers and community wardens.
It is hoped that a formal partnership can offer a commitment and resources to tackle low-level crime which both agencies working separately could not.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 26 March 2007

Welsh news

Ex-policeman jailed for sex attacks
A former police officer was jailed for 15 years yesterday at Cardiff crown court for sex attacks on four young girls.
Stephen Glover, 51, was found guilty of 13 sex offences including rape, indecent assault and indecency with a child.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday 24 March 2007

Memorial service for Peter Clarke
A memorial service for Peter Clarke, Wales’ first children’s commissioner, was set to take place on Monday.
Clarke died from cancer in January 2007.
Source:- Western Mail, Sunday 26 March 2007

Sex offenders cautions spark outcry
Hundreds of sex offenders across Wales have been let off with their crimes despite admitting their guilt.
Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have given hundreds of offenders cautions rather than taking them to court a Wales on Sunday investigation has found.
Source:- Wales on Sunday, Sunday 26 March 2007

Health and care day
More than 50 health and social care organisations are set to lobby Welsh Assembly members on Wednesday.
The health, wellbeing and social care advocacy day, organised by public affairs agency Positif Politics, aims to influence politicians ahead of the National Assembly elections in May.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 26 March 2007

Assembly to hand £1m package to carers ‘for their own health’
A grant for carers in Wales is set to be increased by £1m the assembly deputy health minister John Griffths will announce today.
Griffths is also set to announce the carers strategy for Wales action plan 2007 at the Help the Aged conference in Llandrindod Wells.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 26 March 2007






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