A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Poor health services and meddling ‘could lead to
disaster in prisons’

A shortage of resources in prisons and interference from prison
governors could lead to a public disaster in Britain’s prison
service, the British Medical Association warned yesterday.

Poor working conditions and lack of support is resulting in a
number of medical staff leaving the Prison Service.

The BMA report ‘Prison medicine: A Crisis waiting to
Break’ has warned that nine out of 10 prisoners had mental
health or drug problems, that were not being tackled in prison and
could cause the prisoners to re-offend once released.

The government reacted by announcing a £25 million cash
injection to improve the health service in prisons, but chief
inspector of prisons Sir David Ramsbotham said the amount was too
little to meet the demands.

Pressure on prison budgets has led to restrictions on the
service’s healthcare and many inmates have been denied drug

A survey in 1998 of the Office for National Statistics showed
that 70 per cent of prisoners had an identifiable personality
disorder, and that figure rose to 90 per cent when drug problems
were included.

Source:- The Independent Thursday April 19 page 9

13-year-old exhumed in child abuse inquiry

A child abuse inquiry in Ireland has led to the body of William
Delaney being exhumed 31 years after his death ages 13.

The alleged abuse took place over four decades at a Christian
Brothers reform school in Co Galway. More than 130 former pupils
have made statements regarding conditions between the 1940s to
1975, when the school was closed.

The Gardai have spent five years investigating the allegations
at Letterfrack in the Connemara mountains, one of the biggest
investigations ever undertaken in the republic.

The school was set up in 1884 by the Roman Catholic order to
house boys aged six to 16 from broken homes and deemed young

The inquiry began in1996 after a man claimed he had been
assaulted as a child, following reports of past abuse in
institutions run by the Christian Brothers in Ireland.

Some of the alleged perpetrators are dead and others are
elderly. Court appearances are expected within weeks.

Yesterday pathologist Marie Cassidy carried out a post mortem on
the body of William Delaney who attended the school in 1967 when he
was 10. He died a few days after returning home to spend a holiday
with his family. At the time meningitis was given as the cause of
death, although a more sinister cause of death was suspected.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday April 19 page 6

Cocaine spreads among young as price falls

Cocaine is no longer the drug for the elite and glamorous, and
is readily available and common among young people, a survey
published yesterday suggests.

The drug is particularly common between 16 to 24 year olds and
apparently many do not think of it as a class A drug.

‘Face’ magazine surveyed 1,000 young people and found that
although the use of cocaine varied across the UK, in Leeds, Bristol
and Brighton, more than half of those questioned said they had
taken it.

In Brighton, 86 per cent of those surveyed said they had used
the recreational drug.

The main reasons behind its availability come down to falling
prices, with the cheapest gram costing £10. Another
contributing factor was the glamour attached through “celebrity
confessions” in newspapers and magazines.

Adam Frankland of drug charity Turning Point said: “We are
certainly seeing more young users of crack coming along for help,
and this trend seems to be spiralling down towards the early

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 19 April page 11

TV sting to catch thief put wrong man in

A care home worker has had his name cleared for theft yesterday
as his trial by television came to an end.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police had positioned a camera
at a cash-point branch of Lloyds TSB in Salford, and waited for
their man – a known credit card thief. Viewing the tapes,
they saw the footage of their man caught in action, but
unfortunately they had the wrong man.

Allan Dunne was featured on Granada TV’s Crime File as a thief
because he had used the cashpoint to withdraw £20, moments
after the real thief. A police officer then misread his withdrawal

Dunne saw himself on television and went to his local police
station to clear his name, but was arrested on suspicion of
burglary and handling stolen goods. Later that day, he was
suspended from his job as a care worker at a Blackburn home and has
been dogged by stress ever since.

Police eventually dropped the case on realising their mistake,
but it wasn’t until yesterday that his trial by television
came to an end.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police claimed Dunne
received an apology, and the mistake was due to an officer
misreading the print-out.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday April 19 page 3

Two more Tories refuse to sign party anti-racist

Race relations in the Conservative party have received fresh
embarrassment as two more of the party’s MPs have refused to
sign the anti-racist pledge.

Senior Tory MP James Cran has refused to sign the pledge
agreeing to “avoid using language which is likely to generate
racial or religious hatred. He joins John Townend who claimed
immigrants were to blame for the rising crime and “undermining
Britain’s anglo-saxon society”.

A third Tory has refused to sign the pledge but remains

The Commission for Racial Equality will publish the name of
those MPs, who have not signed the pledge.

Ethnic minority campaigners have warned William Hague to expel
any member of his Conservative party who fails to agree with the
anti-racist stance, and claim that by allowing Townend to remain in
position he “has not shown a firm signal that racism will not be

Source:- The Independent Thursday April 19
2001 page 1

Scottish newspapers

Nurses demand training on domestic abuse

Nurses are not trained in dealing with domestic abuse according
to the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland. The organisation
calculates that 8,000 nurses in Scotland will come in contact with
patients who have experienced domestic violence yet are ill
equipped to respond.

Quoting US research which indicates that almost 35 per cent of
women attending accident and emergency units are there because of
domestic violence yet only 5 per cent are ever identified, the RCN
is calling on the NHS to provide extensive training to nurses.
Today the RCN will launch its own guidelines for nurses which
coincides with a training programme on domestic abuse to be held in

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 19 April page 2




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