A summary of social care news

Blair to tighten law after internet babies

A new law making it illegal to adopt children in this country or
abroad without being assessed as suitable by an approved adoption
agency, will be rushed through the House of Commons before the
general election.

The government is planning to publish a bill on Thursday which
also sets a target of a 40 per cent increase in the number of legal

Prime minister Tony Blair has overruled health ministers who
wanted to drop the proposals contained in a white paper published
in December. He wants action to address public concern created by
the adoption by a Welsh couple of twin baby girls from the United
States arranged over the internet.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 13 March page 9

Parkinson’s miracle cure turns into a

The results of a trial of a new technique to cure Parkinson’s
disease have been disappointing after a number of patients were
left with serious side effects.

Many people hoped the technique, which involves the implantation
of foetal cells into the brain, would prove to be a major

But American scientists conducting the research found that none
of the patients aged over 60 benefited at all, and although some of
the younger patients improved, for 15 per cent of the patients
their condition worsened.

Source: The Guardian Tuesday 13 March page 1

Justice at last for Liam

An eight-year-old boy who suffers from cerebral palsy since
mistakes were made by medical staff at his birth, is expected to
win £2 million in damages.

Liam Brown’s parents Steve and Sandra Brown are expected to
receive £190,000 in general damages included in the overall
award, which is believed to be the largest amount ever awarded.
Liam will need continuous care for the rest of his life.

King’s Lynn and Wisbech Hospitals Trust has admitted liability
for the actions of staff during Liam’s delivery at Queen Elizabeth
hospital in King’s Lynn.

Source: Daily Telegraph Tuesday 13 March page 20

Cash incentives to stop GPs taking

GPs who are nearing retirement are to be offered bonds worth up
to £10,000 to persuade them not to retire early at 60.

The government wants to prevent a shortage of GPs in deprived
areas. Ministers are also set to announce an increase of 10.4 per
cent in bursaries for student nurses.

Source: Daily Telegraph Tuesday 13 March page 12

Internet pest who abducted girl of 12

A has appeared in court after admitting abducting a 12-year-old
girl he met through an internet chatroom.

Richard Wait from Loxwood, near Billinghurst in West Sussex,
exchanged e-mails with the girl for a week before she agreed to
meet him at a railway station.

Winchester crown court heard how police spotted Wait’s van but
not before he had driven the girl around for several hours. The
girl, who was unharmed but distressed by her ordeal, told her
parents she was going shopping. Wait was bailed for reports.

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 13 March page 37

Scottish newspapers

Head teachers suspended over ‘ghost’

Two head teachers in Glasgow have been suspended from their
posts amid allegations that they falsified school rolls suggesting
they had more pupils under their responsibility than actually
attended. Larger school rolls result in more resources including
teaching staff.

Marie Whitehead, head of St Mirin’s School in Kings Park,
Glasgow, and Lesley Dalgleish, head of Mount Florida Primary
School, Glasgow, now face investigation and possible disciplinary
proceedings. In addition, Whitehead has been suspended from her
role of independent assessor vetting applications for membership of
national quangos after only two weeks in the post.

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 13 March page 5

Big rise in families losing their homes

The number of private home owners losing their homes due to
financial difficulties has trebled in Scotland since 1994 according
to a new report by the Chartered Institute of Housing in

The report, Private Renewal or Public Problems, points out that
repossession orders served through sheriff courts have increased
across the country to a total of almost 6,000 in 1999. From 1994 to
1999 in Aberdeen there has been a 14-fold increase; numbers have
increased in Greenock from three to 83 and the relatively affluent
area of Lanark has registered figures rising from none to 44.

The Chartered Institute in Housing (CIH) blames successive
government policies encouraging home ownership at all costs. Ian
McLean, chairperson of CIH in Scotland, said: “The promise of home
ownership is a hollow one for people facing repossession or unable
to afford basic repairs to their homes.” The report calls on the
government to reform the private housing market by developing
mortgage rescue schemes, and allowing local authorities to provide
low interest loans for repair and improvement.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 13 March page 3


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