Staff in caring jobs ‘are undervalued’

Staff in caring jobs ‘are undervalued’
Low pay and high staff turnover are a growing threat to the caring professions, according to a report by the Equal Opportunities Commission.
It says professions such as childminding and caring for the sick or elderly are being undermined because of “pocket money” pay rates.
Jenny Watson, chairwoman of the commission, said: “It is time for us all to challenge our outdated perceptions of female-dominated roles.
“It is shocking that we still expect women who work in caring roles to work more for love than money. As our population ages, those of us who need more support to live independently will rightly expect high quality services.
“But these expectations will not be met if we continue to undervalue the skills required to do such roles. We want to see reform of the law to make equal pay a reality.
Source:- The Times, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 4

‘I took my mum out for her 95th birthday lunch…when we got back they had shut down the nursing home’
A man took his mum for a pub lunch on her 95th birthday – and got back to find her nursing home had been shut.
Notts county council, said they investigated after being “alerted to concerns about standards of care” by the Commission for Social Care Inspection official watchdog.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 23

Forced to crawl to her train seat because her wheelchair didn’t fit
A disabled pensioner had to crawl to her seat on a train because her wheelchair did not fit through the carriage door.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 33

Mother’s stress affects unborn babies
Stress experienced by a woman during pregnancy may affect the brain and development of unborn babies, a study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, though it said that further research was needed into the issue. Following the findings, the baby charity Tommy’s called for family, friends and employers of preganant women to provide them with more support to minimise stress.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 4

Teenagers lured into meeting virtual strangers
One in five teenagers has met someone face-to-face whom they first encountered on the internet, according to research into the risks taken by young people online.
Source:- The Times, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 25

A million debtors face court action
Up to a million households struggling with rising living costs and lured by offers of easy credit will face court action over their debts this year.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 1

Disney’s villains ‘give wrong image of the elderly’
According to academics, Walt Disney’s seemingly ageist cartoon depiction of older people as evil or incompetent risks adversely influencing children.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 3

Prisons ‘could be full within two weeks’
Secretary of Justice Lord Falconer will make a statement next week on easing the pressure on the prison population, after numbers rose to a record 80,846 after the bank holiday weekend, including nearly 450 prisoners in police or court cells.
Source:- The Independent, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 20

Schools stretched to breaking point by immigrant children
Schools are having to admit up to 65 new Eastern European children a day new figures have revealed.
Home Office figures released yesterday show that 4, 200 children came to Britain from Eastern Europe with their families in the first three months of this year. This works out at about 65 each school day.
Source:- Daily Mail, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 16

Teachers given right to search pupils in knife crackdown
Teachers or security guards will be able to search pupils for weapons without their consent under a new law that comes into force today.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Thursday 31 May 2007, page 16

Scottish news
Free care man dies but row on costs goes on
A man who was placed on a waiting list for free personal care has died while the legal row over the way he was treated rumbles on.
William McLachlan was told by Argyll and Bute Council that it did not have enough money to provide him with free care when he was admitted to a residential home.
His son complained to the Scottish public services ombudsman who ruled that the local authority was wrong to delay four months of payments – around £3000. But the council has taken the case to the court of session.
Source:- The Herald, Thursday 31 May 2007

Senior managers and councillors blamed for social work failings
Councillors and senior managers in Highlands have been blamed for failings in the social work service, including services for older people.
A critical report said that while inspectors recognised the difficulties providing services in the sparsely populated Highlands and found examples of good practice throughout the service, they discovered serious flaws among the support for the council’s 1000 home carers.
Inspectors from the Social Work Inspection Agency said in their report that they met groups of carers of children, disabled people, and the elderly across Highland Council and consistently heard “strong views about poor performance” by the social work service.
Source:- The Herald, Thursday 31 May 2007

One city teenage girl a day has abortion
More teenage girls in Edinburgh have had abortions carried out than ever before with an average of one a day now going through the trauma.
New NHS statistics show that 359 teenagers living in Edinburgh underwent abortions last year – an increase of five per cent, and the highest level on record.
The figures sparked renewed calls for changes to sex education in city schools – but with competing demands as to the direction of the changes. NHS Lothian has come under fire in the past for its liberal approach to the issue.
Source:- The Scotsman, Thursday 31 May 2007

Welsh news

Debts help sought
The numbers of people seeking help to tackle debt problems has reached a record high in a part of South Wales.
The Legal Services Commission figures show that there has been a 58 per cent increase in people asking for advice and legal aid in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Source:- South Wales Echo, Thursday 31 May 2007

Council body’s cross-party commitment
The Welsh Local Government Association yesterday publicly pledged to back cross-party power.
The association said that cross party working in local government was working well and that the different groups were working as a team to support the new Welsh Assembly government. No party has overall control of the association.
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday 31 May 2007



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