A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Drugs tsar falls victim to Whitehall

Drugs tsar Keith Hellawell is to lose his full-time job, the
Home Office confirmed last night.

The highest paid adviser in Whitehall has been criticised as
ineffective, and had his three-year contract suspended last

Hellawell, who is paid £106,000 a year, agreed yesterday
that he would step down this summer on the publication of his last
annual report. He will take on a much reduced role in the home
office of “tackling international drug trafficking on a part-time

Hellawell was given the tsar job after the 1997 election by Tony
Blair, in a bid to lead the drive against drug abuse.

The prime minister has now announced that the new home secretary
David Blunkett, will take over Hellawell’s role of co-ordinating
the national policy on drugs.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 13 June 2001 page 9

Nurses stressed by bed-blocking

Staff shortages and bed-blocking are putting senior hospital
nurses under enormous stress, according to a report which paints a
bleak picture of the NHS.

In the report by Isobel Allen, professor of health and social
policy at the Policy Studies Institute, some ward sisters and
charge nurses were said to be “often near breaking point”.

The senior nurses from nine hospital trusts in London made up
focus groups for the research. Their concerns provide a snapshot of
the problems the NHS is labouring under.

Staffing the ward was cited as the chief cause of stress. But
the burden of “inappropriate” patients on the ward was also

Those working on general wards often felt these patients “should
have been discharged, but had nowhere to go or had no ‘care
package’ arranged for them”.

Both medical ward sisters and those in casualty said that this
bed-blocking, caused mainly by older patients having been
successfully treated but then having no suitable residential home
to go to, was their greatest source of stress.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

Hospital waiting lists to be abandoned

Hospital waiting list targets will be scrapped, health secretary
Alan Milburn will tell MPs today.

The drive to bring down numbers of those waiting for hospital
admission in England will be replaced by targets focussing on the
amount of time patients wait.

Last year, the NHS Plan proposed that the maximum time a patient
had to wait for admission would be cut from 18 months to six

In the first week of the election campaign, the government
announced that waiting lists had fallen by 26,000 in March.
However, the day after the election, it announced that the lists
rose by 16,800 in April.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

Caring fathers help children to thrive

A father’s involvement in their child’s life is crucial,
according to a report which reveals how children who are close to
their fathers do better at school, stay out of trouble and have a
large circle of friends.

The part government-funded research, commissioned by four
charities working with fathers, states that a father’s involvement
is as important as a mother’s.

A father’s involvement in family life significantly increases a
child’s chances of achieving good GCSE results, and reduces the
likelihood of them having a criminal record by the age of 21.

The report ‘What Good are Dads’, was co-written by Charlie
Lewis, professor of psychology at Lancaster university. He welcomed
the government’s promise to introduce statutory paid paternity
leave but said it was vital that employers addressed the issue of
flexible working for men as well as women.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

Care feels the squeeze

Elderly and disabled people lose out to best value pressures

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

Parish counsel

Forum to help youths in rural areas

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

Plug for research gap

Lottery money will enable charities to examine needs

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

Acute wards

New burdens on senior nurses are bringing many of them to
breaking point

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

A question of balance

Mike Weaver, president of Cipfa wants an early statement of what
and when the government will deliver

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

Walk the talk

As charity chiefs meet to discuss leadership, Liza Ramrayka
reports on the salutary story of Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

Healing words

How offenders with dyslexia are being helped to recognise and
overcome their condition

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

Home grown talent

How Hull social services are tackling skills shortages

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 13 June 2001 page

A lonely struggle

Male carers reluctant to take advantage of support

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 13 June 2001 page


Scottish newspapers

73-point plan to protect children

Scottish schools should provide every child with personal safety
programmes, according to the recommendations of an expert

The group of experts, chaired by Lady Cosgrove, released the
conclusions of their three-year study in a report entitled
“Reducing the Risk – Improving the Response to Sex Offending”. The
report details some 73 recommendations but the main thread is to
educate children on the real risks and equip them to protect

The panel rejected the proposal to name and shame known
offenders as failing to promote public safety. Instead schools
should educate children that the typical offender is likely to be
known to them and living unobtrusively in their community.

The report was welcomed by Jim Wallace, justice minister, who
will now distribute it widely for consultation.

Source:- The Herald 13 June 2001 page 2

GP shortfall reaches crisis point

Scotland needs 700 more GPs urgently to avert a mass emigration
to England, according to Dr Keith Harden, leader of the Scotland’s
family doctors.

Harden criticised the Scottish Executive for failing to increase
numbers of doctors or matching the £5,000 “golden hello”, and
additional £5,000 for practising in deprived areas, recently
announced for England and Wales by Westminster health secretary
Alan Milburn. GPs in Scotland earn around £20,000 less than
their UK counterparts due to lower list sizes. Harden warned that
the number of patients per GP had to fall to increase standards and
the financial discrepancy is likely to attract doctors away from

Harden’s comments come a day before Susan Deacon, health
minister, is due to speak at the Scottish Primary Care NHS Trust in
Edinburgh today.

Source:- The Scotsman 13 June 2001 page 1

Last minute bid fails to avert care crisis

Aberdeen City Council has failed in a last-minute plea to avert
private care home-owners from banning all new council-funded
admissions as of today. In a formal statement last night, Len
Ironside, leader of the council, accused Scottish Care of using
vulnerable people as pawns in a business dispute. Joe Campbell,
chair of Scottish Care, rejected the comments and confirmed that
the ban on new admissions would commence in 19 residential and
nursing units as of today.

Source:- The Scotsman 13 June 2001 page 8

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