A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

UK jailing torture victims pending asylum

Asylum seekers fleeing torture are being locked in prisons under
the same roof as convicted murderers and rapists, breaching
international guidelines.

Britain is the only state in the European Union jailing torture
victims seeking safety who have not committed any crime, according
to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Eleven cases of people being tortured, beaten, whipped, sexually
assaulted, burned and semi suffocated, had been identified by the
Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.

The home office retorted yesterday and said those sent to jail
were in “exceptional circumstances” and would be kept separately
from other prisoners.

The medical foundation said the government made a mockery of a
pledge in a 1998 white paper that a history of torture would “weigh
strongly” in an asylum seeker’s favour in deciding whether to
detain them.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 12 July page 4

New hospital with too few beds “grossly

An NHS hospital is 54 beds short of the number it needs, just 14
weeks after it opened, it emerged yesterday.

North Durham Healthcare Trust said the bed shortage at the
University of North Durham hospital was caused by the difficulties
in transferring older patients into residential care. In Durham,
the problem is the same as elsewhere in the country where there are
not enough care home places for the older people needing them.

The hospital cost £76 million of private finance to

The trust’s chairman Kevin Earley said: “What we have now
is a blockage with placing people in care – that was probably
a mistake.”

“We should put more money into residential nursing care, I would
argue,” he added.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 12 July page 6

Darling to speed rules change on disabled

The government’s plans to tighten the rules on incapacity
benefits will be pressed ahead faster than expected, Alistair
Darling revealed yesterday.

The work and pensions secretary announced that from October, all
claimants of incapacity benefit will be interviewed to discuss work
options and will have their case reviewed every three years, in 50
trial areas.

Darling insisted the scheme would help the disabled people
discover the details of opportunities open to them.

Disability groups remained wary of the plans, saying the
proposed changes did not appear to alter the regime of interviews
and medical tests, but were alarming disabled people.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 12 July page 9

Tagged convict accused of rape

Labour’s early release scheme received fresh criticism
yesterday as it emerged another inmate let out under the programme
had been accused of rape.

The scheme, which allows criminals out of jail two months early
wearing electronic tags, has been heavily criticised as more than
1,000 prisoners released on the programme went on to commit further

Now the Daily Mail has discovered that a third prisoner has been
charged with rape, although no details of the alleged attack have
been released.

The new home secretary David Blunkett is considering whether to
end prisoner tagging as part of a shake-up of sentencing.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 12 July page 24

Duncan Smith plans crackdown on benefits for single

Plans for a shake up of the welfare state include proposals to
deny single mothers state benefits if they refuse work or training,
Iain Duncan Smith has unveiled.

Duncan Smith said the Conservatives should tone down their
attack on lone parents, but oblige them to work in return for

Conservative MPs vote tonight, and Duncan Smith, who came second
on Tuesday, is now the most feared rival of supporters of Michael
Portillo for the Tory leadership.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 12 July page

Scottish newspapers

Children who have lost all hope

Attempted suicide is becoming an increasing reaction among
teenagers to problems of bullying, abuse and neglect according to a
new study, Saving Young Lives, by Childline. The report studies in
depth 701 calls Childline has received from suicidal young

Each year in Scotland, Childline receives 500 calls from young
people who want to kill themselves or have already tried. One
third, try to kill themselves while on the phone to the
organisation. Val Purcell, Childline Scotland’s counselling
manager, said that the problem in Scotland is in line with the rest
of the UK. A Scottish executive spokesperson said that a framework
was already in place to improve mental health services to young
people. Childline Scotland’s anti-bullying helpline number is
0800 441111 open Monday to Friday between 3.30pm to 9.30pm.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 12 July page 4

Girl claims she was abused by 16 men

An 11-year-old girl has claimed in the high court in Edinburgh
that she was sexually abused by 16 men over a period of six years.
The girl was giving evidence at the trial of six men accused of
sexually abusing her and her younger brother between 1992 and 1998.
All the men deny the charges which include rape and sodomy. The
trial continues.

Source The Herald 12/7/01 page 10

Third flesh eating case

A Glasgow drug addict has died of the flesh eating disease,
necrotising fasciitis, bringing the total to three cases diagnosed
in the west of Scotland in the last week. The diagnosis was only
ascertained after a post mortem had been carried out on behalf of
the procurator fiscal. Greater Glasgow Health Board and Argyll and
Clyde Health Board have appealed to heroin addicts to refrain from
injecting the drug.

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 12 July page 1






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