A summary of social care stories from the national newspapers

    By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

    Left declares war over Blair reforms

    The prime minister will stand by his plans for disability tests
    and private sector reforms of public services, despite facing angry
    Labour MPs.

    Tony Blair has been warned that he will face a damaging
    backbench rebellion this autumn over plans to introduce stringent
    medical tests every three years for those claiming incapacity
    benefit.

    Trade unions are already in an open revolt over plans for
    increased private sector involvement in schools, hospitals and
    other public services.

    Disability organisations have already asked to meet Blair for
    clarification on the plans.

    Source:- The Times Thursday 5 July page 1

    I won’t give up Gordonstoun dream, says foster
    care girl

    A teenage girl in foster care will discover today whether she
    will be able to attend Gordonstoun school, after social services
    banned her taking the place.

    Suzanne Turley says she was banned as social workers disapproved
    of private education. She says she will take legal action if
    necessary.

    Turley applied for one of 40 places, after being attracted by
    Gordonstoun’s strong reputation. She was awarded a place, and
    her grandparents and the school agreed to pay the fees between
    them.

    Wrexham Council has banned Turley from attending the school in
    Scotland, despite not being required to provide financial support.
    It says it would be in her best interest to attend Yale further
    education college in Wrexham.

    Gordonstoun has described the girl as “very talented”, and has
    promised to keep her place open until the decision is made.
    Headmaster Mark Pyper has written to social services in support of
    her case.

    Source:- The Times Thursday 5 July page 3

    Contempt hearing over Bulger article

    Manchester Evening News could face contempt proceedings over the
    alleged breach of injunction protecting the anonymity of James
    Bulger’s two killers.

    Attorney general Lord Goldsmith wrote to the editor Paul Horocks
    last week, giving the newspaper the opportunity to make any
    representations it would wish him to take into account when
    considering proceedings.

    The article, published on 22 June appears to have broken the
    terms of injunction granted last year barring Robert Thompson and
    Jon Venables from being identified.

    The lifetime injunction was granted in January in the high court
    to protect the two youths from revenge attacks.

    Source:- The Guardian Thursday 5 July page 3

    NHS in chaos from top down, says consultant

    The National Health Service received blistering criticism from
    an eminent consultant yesterday, who accused politicians of making
    doctors “the fall guys” for a lack of planning and resources.

    Michael Gross, a neurologist, said the NHS was in chaos from the
    top down, and claimed politicians had lied to cover up
    under-funding.

    In a letter to the Financial Times, he said: “Politicians have
    been dishonest for years about the true extent of under-funding. If
    doctor’s were to tell even a fraction of the lies I read from
    our elected representatives, they would be rapidly struck off.”

    Source:- The Guardian Thursday 5 July page 5

    ‘Drug driving’ deaths increasing, say
    doctors

    Doctors warned yesterday that deaths from drug driving are
    increasing as fatal drink driving accidents are falling.

    Delegates at the British Medical Association conference in
    Bournemouth called for a campaign highlighting the dangers.

    Dr Dorothy Ward, member of BMA Board of Science and research,
    said that according to research, one in 10 young motorists had
    taken drugs, usually cannabis or cocaine.

    Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 5 July page 7

    Blair demands major race inquiry

    The prime minister yesterday ordered the largest inquiry into
    discrimination against Britain’s ethnic minorities in health,
    education and the workplace.

    Tony Blair’s personal policy unit had been asked to
    examine the problem after research suggested the gap between
    blacks, Asians and whites was widening.

    The project will be unveiled next week and assess the role of
    both public services and private employers.

    The project will be broad in its remit and ministers are
    concerned about the emerging black “underclass” of jobless
    youngsters who turn to a life of crime.

    Measures will be drawn up to tackle the high rates of
    unemployment, ill health and poor academic achievements among the
    poorest groups such as Pakistanis and Afro-Caribbeans.

    Source:- Independent Thursday 5 July page 1

    Scottish newspapers

    Children being held in adult prisons

    Children in Scotland are still being held in police cells and
    adult prisons because local authority social work departments are
    failing to provide sufficient residential secure unit places, human
    rights campaigners have claimed. Lothian and Borders Police are
    also continuing to lock children in police cells in spite of being
    told by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary to end the
    practice two years ago.

    The Scottish Centre for Human Rights claimed the misuse of
    unruly certificates allowing young people to be detained elsewhere
    when no proper place was available was “letting local authorities
    off the hook”. Amnesty International said it was contrary to
    international law to detain children in adult prisons.

    The Scottish executive and the Convention of Scottish Local
    Authorities acknowledged the problem and admitted that no figures
    were available since there was no centrally held database on
    children detained in police cells. Lothian and Borders Police alone
    issue an average of 4.5 unruly certificates every month. The latest
    figures show that in 1999, 14 children were also held in adult
    prisons since all of Scotland’s 95 secure places were
    occupied.

    Source:- The Herald Thursday 5 July page 1

    Six men on trail for sex abuse

    Six men are appearing at Edinburgh high court charged with
    sexually abusing a young brother and sister in Ayrshire between
    1992 and 1998. The charges include raping and sodomising both
    children from the age of three years. The trail continues.

    Source:- The Herald Thursday 5 July page 5

     

     

     

     

     

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