A summary of social care news

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay

Police want new law to shut ‘crack’

Senior police are to meet with the home secretary to demand new
laws to eradicate “crack houses” that are used to sell the highly
addictive drug.

A loophole in the law has alarmed police in England and Wales as
it prevents them prosecuting individuals who organise dealing. The
meeting follows a month long crackdown that targeted flats and
houses used to sell crack cocaine.

The 30-year old Misuse of Drug Act is frustrating the drive to
ensure drug dealing properties remain shut, according to police.
The law allows homeowners and tenants who let their property be
used for drug dealing to be arrested, but only if the drugs are
cannabis or opium. In those cases, civil action must be taken by
local authorities.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 20 March page 3

Consultant faces 33 sex charges

A consultant gynaecologist faces 33 charges of indecent assault
on patients.

The assaults are thought to have been carried out between
December 1981 and March 2000 by Paul Vinall, who worked in the
private and NHS sectors in Leeds.

Vinall appeared at Leeds magistrates court yesterday and the
case was adjourned until April 27. He was granted unconditional

Source:- The Times Tuesday 20 March page 12

Blair treats GPs with £10,000

The prime minister tried to win GPs support yesterday by
promising more money and less time wasting paperwork.

Improvements in every surgery will be viable with £5,000,
including extended practice hours. Those who meet locally agreed
performance targets will be given another £5,000 to spend as
they want at the year end.

Blair announced the plans at the Royal College of General
Practitioners and promised GPs would soon have the “lion’s
share” of NHS spending. By 2004, primary care trusts would have
responsibility for at least 75 per cent of NHS money.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 20 March page 12

Help plan for 1.4m with learning

More than 1.4 million people with learning difficulties will be
promised a better deal today in the first white paper on the
subject in 30 years.

Long stay hospitals will be closed, according to health
secretary Alan Milburn, after evidence that they institutionalise
residence and reduce opportunities for independence. The remaining
1,500 beds will be eradicated by 2004.

£3 billion a year worth of improvements will be targeted at
improving services. It will include more individualised day care
facilities, better housing and more job opportunities.

The white paper, Valuing People: A new strategy for learning
disability for the 21st century, will promise £2.3
million to fund advocacy services to help users exercise their
rights. A joint partnership with learning disability charity Mencap
will set up a national information centre.

A health plan and designated health professional will be given
to the 210,000 people with severe learning difficulty, and 1.2
million with moderate difficulties.

Financial support will increasingly be channelled to individuals
and carers instead of local authorities.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 8

Homeless campaign raises just £10,000

Just £10,000 has been raised in four months through the
government’s controversial £240,000 advertising campaign
designed to persuade the public to donate money to homeless
charities as opposed to giving to beggars.

The campaign launched on the run up to Christmas, received a
furious reaction from Shelter, which warned of the dangers of
labelling all homeless as cheats and drug addicts.

The government’s rough sleepers unit revealed the amount
raised yesterday, but a spokesperson said: “It has raised
£10,000 in the first four months of a 12 month campaign, which
is a lot of money considering it was not meant to be a

She continued that the aim of the campaign was to encourage
volunteering and gifts in kind.

The RSU did not disclose how many volunteers had been recruited
as a result of the Change a Life campaign, but the spokesperson
said they had been “inundated” with offers of help.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 8

US internet adoption twins case adjourned

A decision regarding the future of the American twins allegedly
sold over the internet had not been decided yesterday, as a high
court hearing was adjourned in Birmingham.

Lawyers representing Judith and Alan Kilshaw from Buckley, north
Wales, spent five hours trying to persuade Mr Justice Kirkwood that
their adoption of twin baby girls Belinda and Kimberley should be
allowed to stand.

Flintshire council, which currently has the eight-month old
girls in their care opposed the Kilshaws, as did Tranda and Aaron
Wecker, the natural estranged parents of the girls, who both want

American courts believe the twins should be returned to their
country of birth on the grounds that the adoption was invalid. The
hearing will be resumed in London on April 2.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 20 March page 4

Career women sign up as foreign aid

Voluntary posts abroad have been taken up by a record number of
women, according to figures released today.

The result of the rise was due to the number of single, career
minded women delaying marriage and children, according to Voluntary
Service Overseas, which has almost 2,000 volunteers in more than 70

The proportion of women working abroad had more than trebled in
the last 20 years, according to the report. Almost 40 per cent were
aged between 20 and 29. There are now 1,130 women overseas compared
to 620 in 1990.

Ruth Lewis, director of recruitment at VSO, said the figures
contradicted the myth that single women were on a constant quest to
find a husband.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 20 March page 10

Jail for drug family trapped by undercover police

A woman was jailed for two years yesterday having been caught in
an undercover police operation which discovered she used her
three-year-old child to peddle drugs.

Three detectives, posing as student drug addicts after a tip
off, were supplied with heroin, cannabis and amphetamines by five
members of a family business that included Donna Horrigan and her
parents, brother and uncle.

Officers were once handed drugs by a child through an iron
grille at the rear of the heavily fortified house in

Children were also present when Donna Horrigan and her boyfriend
Craig Woodier handed heroin to a police woman from a car.

Horrigan’s father Gerard was jailed for four years for
supplying cannabis and being concerned in the supply of heroin. His
wife Christine was jailed for nine months having admitted supplying

Darren Horrigan was jailed for nine months for supplying
cannabis and amphetamines, and his uncle Patrick and Woodier were
jailed for four years.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 20 March page 11

Paedophile-free chatrooms for children planned after
abuse cases

Evidence that sex offenders are increasingly targeting the one
million youngsters who currently talk online, has led to plans for
“paedophile-free” internet chatrooms to be set up.

Specialist cyber police, who are trained to investigate
suspected paedophiles who use the internet to lure children, will
monitor the new electronic “talking shops”.

A police and home office report to be published today found that
five million boys and girls aged 16 and under in the UK were
internet users and 1.15 million use chatrooms worldwide.

‘Chat Wise, Street Wise,’ was carried out due to
concerns in the growing number of cases in which adult sex
offenders posed as children on the internet to meet and abuse

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 20 March page 5

The Guardian

The common good

Guardian journalists interviewed 200 public servants from a
hospital porter (£9,000pa) to a general (£150,000pa).
Their voices are not often heard. The results are surprising
– and inspiring.

A social worker in the neglected Scottish housing estate
of Craigmillar

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page1

Vote of confidence in public services

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 1

Home care senior, Denbighshire

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 2

Social worker, Kinross

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 4

Reporter to the children’s panel for West

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 6

Why some angels are natural born carers

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 7

Home carer, Age Concern Manchester

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 9

Project worker, Barnardo’s, Gloucestershire

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 10

Carer, Oxfordshire

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 10

Community care manager, Sutton

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 10

NHS care assistant

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 12

Hospice consultant in palliative care

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 12

Foster agency founder

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 12

Rehabilitation worker, Portland young offenders
institute, Dorset

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 12

Operational manager, youth offending team, south

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 20 March page 13

Scottish newspapers

Child poverty increases

Child poverty in Scotland is worse now than under the Thatcher
government according to the Scottish National Party quoting
statistics in the Scottish executive’s social justice annual
report 2000. The report defines severe poverty as those living on
less than 50 per cent of median income. According to the SNP the
number of children living in severe poverty in Scotland has risen
from 21 per cent to 23 per cent between 1999 and 2000.

A spokesperson for the Scottish executive denied the claim and
said: “Of the six indicators of relative child income poverty, only
one is going in the wrong direction.”

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 20 March page 8

Private prison a failure

Scotland’s only private prison has been branded an
“expensive failure” following a damning report by prison
inspectors. Trade union leaders who have seen the report claim
inmates are being given £60 a week for sitting in their cells
doing nothing.

According to the report, a number of prisoners were found asleep
at their workstations apparently high on drugs. Staffing levels are
said to be inadequate and there are concerns regarding the number
of violent attacks on prison staff. The report will come as a blow
to the Scottish executive’s plans to privatise more

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 20 March page 1

Murder prompts review of child protection

A comprehensive review of child protection services in Scotland
will be announced today by Jack McConnell, minister for education.
The decision follows on from the independent inquiry into the death
of three-year-old Kennedy McFarlane in Dumfries and Galloway, which
recommended a multi-disciplinary review of child protection across
all services. The nationwide review is expected to involve social
work, education and health agencies.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 20 March page 2



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