U-turn on care threat to failed asylum seekers’ children

U-turn on care threat to failed asylum seekers’ children

A Home Office policy, which can lead to the children of failed asylum seekers being taken into care, has not succeeded in its purpose to increase voluntary removals, a review found yesterday.

Following the Home Office-commissioned review of the section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004, immigration minister Liam Byrne said it would remain on the statute books but would not be used on a blanket basis.

Byrne also said there would be reforms to so-called section 4 support – given to failed asylum seekers who are unable to leave the country – to provide extra support for pregnant women and mothers with babies in this category.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 26 June 2007 page 12

Pavement flaws cost NHS £1bn a year, says Help the Aged

Falls are costing the NHS nearly £1bn a year, mainly due to older people tripping on damaged or uneven pavements, Help the Aged warned yesterday.

The charity called on councils to improve paving after a survey found 2.5m people over 65 had recently falled on defective kerbs or flagstones.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 26 June 2007 page 8

£200 fines for fathers who do not give names

Fathers could be fined if they refuse to put their names on their children’s birth certificates, work and pensions secretary John Hutton will say today.

The reform is designed to ensure more fathers remain involved in their children’s lives.

Around 50,000 of the approximately 650,000 children born each year receive birth certificates only naming their mothers.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 26 June 2007 page 15

Children ‘in a poverty trap’

The decline in social mobility in the 1970s and 1980s appears to have levelled off suggesting new Labour has stopped things getting worse, a report by think-tank the Sutton Trust has found.

The charity found that poorer children born in 1958 had more opportunity as adults than those born in 1958, despite equivalent education performance.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 26 June 2007 page 18

GMC denies ‘hounding’ paediatricians

The General Medical Council has denied it is “hounding” paediatricians following warnings by their professional representatives that fewer recruits are entering the profession because of conduct hearings.

A survey by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health found one in seven British paediatricians had been the subject of a formal complaint about child protection.

But the GMC claimed that only a handful of its complaints since 2004 had concerned paediatricians, a group that includes Sir Roya Meadow and David Southall, who were both criticised over their role in the case of Sally Clark.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 26 June 2007 page 24

New guides to end ‘postcode lottery’ in care for elderly

The government will unveil a new national framework for NHS continuing care today to end the postcode lottery in provision that currently exists.

However, Age Concern has warned that th enew provisions will not go far enough in providing fully-funded care to those in need.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 26 June 2007 page 11

Appeal call over ‘pathetic’ jail term for child rapist

Outgoing Attorney General Lord Goldsmith is considering an appeal against a two-year sentence given to a man for raping a 10-year-old girl.

The sentence, meted out by Judge Julian Hall at Oxford Crown Court, on 24-year-old Keith Fenn sparked outrate from children’s groups and MPs for its leniency.

Source:- The Daily Telgraph Tuesday 26 June 2007 page 13

Aren’t our lives worth £2.50 a day?

The judicial review into the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s decision to limit access to a series of Alzheimer’s drugs began yesterday, when the High Court heard the case for retaining provision of the medicines on the NHS.

The review has been brought by drugs companies Pfizer and Eisai, which manufacture Aricept, one of the drugs, and is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Source:- The Daily Mail Tuesday 26 June 2007 page 1, 4

Scottish news

Raids on asylum seekers’ families must stop, says commissioner

The Children’s Commissioner for Scotland has called for the Home Office to end immediately the detention of asylum seeker families settled in the country, describing the practice as “inhumane”.

Kathleen Marshall said she believed the removal of thousands of so-called legacy families, including children who have lived in the country for more than three years, should be stopped and the Home Office should complete a review of the system urgently.

She gave her damning indictment of detention and dawn raids after speaking to “traumatised” children from asylum-seeking families now being educated in schools in Glasgow.

Source:- The Herald, Tuesday 26 June

Cut crime by giving addicts hard drugs on prescription – police chief

One of Scotland’s top police officers has called for hard drugs such as heroin to be prescribed to addicts who have turned to crime to feed their habit.

John Vine, Tayside’s Chief Constable, said: “We need to consider things that have perhaps been unpalatable in the past, such as the prescribing of class A drugs to chaotic users. If we could help addicts to get a fix on the state rather than from dealers, then it’s possible we could stop them housebreaking and thieving.”

He admitted enforcement had failed to make a dent in the illegal drugs trade or stem the tide of drug-related crime, despite seizures of hard drugs in his area tripling in the past year.

Source:- The Scotsman, Tuesday 26 June

Welsh news

Social worker’s office torment

A Swansea social worker told a tribunal how her colleagues had subjected her to “baiting, insults and abuse” on a number of occasions yesterday.

Julie Jones, 42, has taken a case of constructive unfair dismissal out against Swansea Council.

Jones, who has been a social services complaints officer since April 2004, said that the atmosphere in the office towards her was “frosty” and that things had been made worse when she became aware of dealt with a number of “breaches of duty” to be public by the corporate complaints team.

The tribunal continues

Source:- Western Mail, Tuesday, June 26, 2007.


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