A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

    (see below for headlines from the weekend, Monday and
    Tuesday)

    By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

    Patient, 74, died ‘after nine hours on
    trolley’

    An inquiry has been launched into the death of an older man who
    was left waiting on a trolley for nine hours in a hospital.

    Thomas Rogers, 74, was taken to Whipps Cross University Hospital
    in east London after he fell unconscious against a hot radiator in
    his home. His condition was assessed as medium priority by a nurse
    on his arrival at the accident and emergency department.

    Rogers’ family alleges the man was left on a trolley
    untreated and in agony. The true nature of the condition was
    realised eight hours and 40 minutes later when a nurse went to move
    the trolley and found the man dead.

    A hospital official has agreed that the man was not seen ” as
    quickly as he should have been”.

    A spokesperson said: “At no stage was there any indication that
    his condition was life threatening, or that sudden deterioration
    should be expected. The trust has opened an internal inquiry into
    these events.”

    Source:- The Times Wednesday 22 August page 2

    Eurotunnel fights asylum camp

    A refugee camp in Calais could face closure after Eurotunnel
    launched a legal attempt to have the centre shut down.

    The Channel Tunnel operator claims the Red Cross centre at
    Sangatte was a transit camp for asylum seekers attempting to use
    their services to reach Britain. It claims the camp houses migrants
    “whose sole intention is to reach the UK and who trespass onto the
    Eurotunnel terminal in ever increasing numbers”.

    The camp houses around 800 asylum seekers in a Eurotunnel
    warehouse requisitioned by French authorities in September 1999.
    Eurotunnel issued a writ in the Lille administrative court to
    overturn the requisition and to regain control of the building.

    French sources said last night the legal move is unlikely to
    succeed. However it will increase pressure for the centre to be
    moved further from the coast to reduce pressure at Calais.

    Source:- The Times Wednesday 22 August page 6

    Children kept waiting for new family courts

    Pay and funding disputes in the new children’s court
    service is leaving hundreds of children from broken homes waiting
    for decisions on their future.

    In some cases in England and Wales, it could be months before
    decisions can be made pending a legal challenge next month by the
    guardians ad litem, who advise courts on what is best for
    children.

    Family welfare officers claim current working conditions are
    jeopardising the service to children.

    The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service was
    set up in April this year to improve the handling of
    children’s cases. The aim was to place under one roof all
    agencies involved in disputes over access, residence or with local
    authority care proceedings.

    The service merged 1,400 staff from family court welfare
    officers, guardian ad litems and from the official
    solicitor’s department and has been plagued by disputes over
    staffing, pay and conditions.

    The National Association of Probation Officers accused the
    service of being an “unmitigated disaster” yesterday. Despite a 12
    month planning period, Napo said that Cafcass was underfunded and
    between £7 and £8 million over budget.

    Source:- The Times Wednesday 22 August page 8

    Youth on sex charge

    A teenager was remanded in care yesterday after he appeared in
    court in connection with an indecent assault on a six-year-old.

    The 15-year-old youth appeared in court in Scarborough, north
    Yorkshire.

    Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 22 August page 8

    Bullies less likely to skip school, study
    reveals

    School bullies are often healthier and less anxious than their
    peers, rarely skipping school where they can persecute other pupils
    who make up illness or cry off from school.

    A study of more than 1,600 children aged six to nine found that
    half those questioned were victimised by other children. The team
    at Hertfordshire University also found one in five also bullied
    others.

    According to the report in the Archives of Diseases in
    Childhood, only one in 25 were pure bullies – never at the
    receiving end of attacks.

    David Wolke, who led the study, said: “Pure bullies seem less
    likely to miss school. They have a good understanding of how groups
    work.”

    Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 22 August page 9

    Disabled group in abortion law attack

    A key section of the Abortion Act 1967 is offensive and
    discriminatory, according to a government appointed disability
    group.

    The Disability Rights Commission challenged the act, and said
    that the section was incompatible with valuing disability and
    non-disability equally.

    The DRC will now take the issue further with health secretary
    Alan Milburn, doctors and health organisations.

    The Abortion Act allows for a termination at any time if there
    is significant risk of a baby being born with a disability. In
    other circumstances abortion is not permitted after 24 weeks.

    In a statement issued yesterday, the commission said: “The
    section is offensive to many people; it reinforces negative
    stereotypes of disability.”

    Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 22 August page 4

    Suddenly I had 10 brothers and sisters –and it
    felt great

    Adopted children often grow up feeling incomplete – but
    when cartoonist Martin Rowson looked into his origins he found out
    more than he had bargained for

    Source:- G2 Wednesday 22 August page 8 and 9

    Guardian Society

    Hitting the bottle

    Kath Grant on how plying alcohol to under-age customers is being
    tackled in Bolton

    Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 22 August page
    5

    At-odds couples

    A conspiracy of silence exists around violence in same-sex
    relationships. Sarah lee on reaching the victims of abuse

    Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 22 August page
    8

    Lost for words

    Children with problems in language development are failing to
    get adequate therapy

    Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 22 August page 60
    – 59

    When duty is kin deep

    Move to keep troubled children within the family

    Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 22 August page
    59

    Scottish newspapers

    Call for change as 64-year-old man lies dead for a
    year

    Welfare agencies called for change as the body of a 64-year-old
    man was discovered at least eight months after he died.

    Yuk Kueng Ling (64) was last seen late last year and is believed
    to have died around that time. Police discovered his decomposed
    body when responding to complaints from neighbours about the smell
    coming from Ling’s flat in the Garnethill area of
    Glasgow.

    No agencies noticed anything wrong since Ling’s rent was
    paid automatically by the department of social security. Jess
    Barrow, policy manager with Age Concern Scotland, said: “There is
    fine line between caring for people and intruding on their privacy,
    and his shows that society has got to take a look at itself.”

    Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 22 August page 1

    Patients turned away in £2 million cash
    crisis

    The Grampian University Hospital Trust, one of the largest in
    Scotland, has announced plans to cut admissions and freeze
    recruitment in a bid to avert a £2 million overspend crisis.
    The trust was already facing a £6 million overspend which is
    now predicted to increase to £8 million by April 2002.

    Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 22 August page 8

    Doctors are new drug dealers

    Some drug addicts on methadone programmes now consider their GPs
    to be their new dealers according to new research by Glasgow
    University.

    The study, carried out jointly by the Centre for Drug Misuse and
    the faculty of Social Work, interviewed 70 addicts. Many reported
    that methadone was “the government’s poison”, more addictive
    than heroin, was prescribed for years and was dangerous. The latest
    statistics show that methadone (often taken with other substances)
    was responsible for 62 out of 340 drug deaths in the city.

    Professor Neil McKeganey, professor of drug misuse research,
    said the survey proved that one approach did not work for all
    addicts. McKeganey called for drug users to be involved in
    formulating addiction policies and to be included in Drug Action
    Teams.

    Source:- The Herald Wednesday 22 August page 1

    ———————————————————————————————

    Monday 20 August 20 (including Saturday and
    Sunday)

    Migrants ‘need to learn
    English’

    Immigrants may be forced to learn English under measures from a
    home office minister.

    Lord Rooker criticised those who discourage immigrants from
    learning the language, and said people coming to Britain should be
    helped to participate in the Labour market.

    The immigration minister also backed Labour MP Ann Cryer who
    said last month that immigrants unable to speak English were
    contributing to poverty.

    Rooker said: “We are looking at the issue of citizenship. People
    must maintain their culture and maintain their religion and live in
    peace and tranquillity, but they must not be denied the opportunity
    to participate properly, particularly in the employment
    market.”

    A home office spokesperson confirmed there was no plan to make
    learning English compulsory for immigrants.

    Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 18 August page 6

    Survey shows 1 in 75 children under 10 try to harm
    themselves

    The debate over whether Britain’s youngsters are being
    pushed too far was re-ignited this week, as figures show that one
    in 75 children aged five to 10 try to hurt or kill themselves.

    Those at higher risk of self-harm include boys aged between
    eight and 10 and children who have experienced family separation,
    tragedies or dysfunctional home lives.

    The figures published by the Office for National Statistics
    suggest that young people with mental or behavioural problems are
    more likely to endanger themselves.

    Peter Wilson, director of the charity Youngminds, said: “We
    often think children are resilient, but they don’t have much
    choice other than to keep going. What these children are saying is
    that it is very hard to keep going.”

    Source:- The Guardian Saturday 18 August page 9

    Ethiopia arrests deported British
    paedophile

    A British paedophile exposed for abusing orphans of the
    Ethiopian famine is under arrest after he allegedly tried to open
    another children’s centre in Zambia.

    David Christie has been detained over charges of trafficking in
    Ethiopian children and their sexual abuse. He will appear in court
    on Monday after he was arrested in the Zambian capital Lusaka and
    flown to London.

    Christie was the subject of an investigation by The
    Guardian
    in July 1999. He targeted an agency helping orphans
    in Ethiopia, but was sacked after he admitted an “improper sexual
    relationship” with one of 300 children in his care.

    He returned to England and changed his name to David Allen and
    obtained a new passport. He could not be prosecuted because the
    offences pre-dated the 1997 Sex Offenders’ Act enabling
    British courts to try UK nationals for such crimes.

    Source:- The Guardian Saturday 18 August page 9

    Teenagers’ deny they are guilty of murdering
    Damilola

    Two teenage boys have denied they murdered 10-year-old Damilola
    Taylor on a housing estate in Peckham, south London.

    Another two youths aged 14 and 16 who are also accused of
    murdering the schoolboy last November, had their cases adjourned on
    Friday to a later date.

    Appearing at the Old Bailey for the first time, the four youths
    were each accompanied by a family member and social worker. After
    the brief hearing they were remanded in local authority care.

    Damilola was stabbed in the leg as he walked home after school,
    and he crawled to a stairwell in a block of flats and died.

    The court was told the estate where the killing took pace will
    be demolished under a regeneration programme.

    Source:- The Independent Saturday 18 August
    page 5

    Blunkett reignites asylum row

    Home secretary David Blunkett rose to defend Lord Rooker’s
    controversial calls for all refugees to take compulsory English
    lessons, putting the asylum policy under fresh disarray.

    Rooker’s plans were criticised by refugee groups who
    dubbed it ‘linguistic colonialism’. Officials described
    it as ‘unfortunate’ as the requirement could contravene
    the human rights act.

    But yesterday the home office issued a statement proclaiming
    Blunkett’s support for the immigration minister’s
    comments. It insisted it did not mean compulsory English lessons
    but encouraging language learning.

    Source:- The Observer Sunday 19 August page 2

    Asylum seekers paddle across Channel

    Fishermen have found two suspected asylum seekers paddling
    across the Channel in a dingy in thick fog.

    Irina Tazlovskaya-Mikhaylova and Vladimir Mikhaylova from
    Ukraine said they bought the 8ft inflatable in Paris.

    Home secretary David Blunkett has announced he may consider
    making immigrants learn English as a condition of gaining asylum in
    Britain.

    Source:- The Sunday Times 19 August page 26

    Arrest over death of Kurd

    A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a
    Kurdish refugee in Glasgow, police said last night.

    Firsat Dag was stabbed near the Sighthill estate earlier this
    month in what is thought to have been a racially-motivated
    attack.

    Source:- The Observer Sunday 19 August page 4

    Arson, abuse, stone-throwing: Ireland’s welcome
    for refugees

    It is known as the land of a thousand welcomes. But
    immigrants’ dreams of a bright future in booming Ireland are
    souring amid rising levels of racist violence and intimidation.

    Source:- The Observer Sunday 19 August page 9

    Junkie parents are raising 200,000 children in
    UK

    At least 200,000 children are being raised by drug-addicted
    parents in Britain, according to new research.

    There are growing fears that children will be seriously damaged
    emotionally and physically because of the drug habits of adults,
    according to a report by the Centre for Drug Misuse Research based
    at Glasgow University.

    “Paying the Price for Their Parents’ Addiction” concludes
    that the current preferred policy of trying to support children
    within addict families “carries considerable risks that the
    children’s own lives will be ruined, and in some cases lost
    as a result of their parents’ drug use”.

    It goes on to urge the creation of safe havens where children,
    who it concedes cannot all be placed in social services care, can
    at least find some respite “from the chaos of their parents’
    drug use”.

    Source:- The Independent Sunday 19 August page
    8

    Foster parents of 10,000 children are not vetted by the
    authorities

    Private fosters parents caring for up to 10,000 children, many
    under the age of five, are unknown or unchecked by social services,
    the department of health has warned.

    The unsupervised arrangements have sparked fears that there
    could be a repeat of the tragic case of Victoria (also known as
    Anna), who was murdered by her carers. Victoria was eight-years-old
    when she died of malnutrition and neglect after months of appalling
    abuse at the hands of her aunt and her aunt’s boyfriend.

    Her parents from the Ivory Coast had sent their daughter to
    England to give her a better education and standard of living. She
    was found with 128 separate injuries after her death.

    Social workers, teachers and doctors are being urged to check
    that children, who live with private foster carers, are properly
    vetted by local authorities.

    It is expected that 10,000 children under the age of 16 live
    with private foster parents, who are less rigorously regulated than
    childminders or conventional foster parents.

    At least 60 per cent of the children originate from Nigeria or
    other West African countries. Others are Chinese, foreign language
    students or the children of British families who have moved
    abroad.

    Private carers are supposed to be approved by social services,
    but the department of health has warned that more than 50 per cent
    fail to notify the authorities.

    Denise Platt, chief inspector of social services, said:
    “Research points to little or no knowledge or apparent concern
    about the attachment or development needs of the children they care
    for. There is also a lack of awareness about child protection, in
    the carer’s family and around visitors, which has resulted in
    examples of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.”

    The department of health has so far declined to tighten existing
    regulations, but is now starting a campaign to increase the rate of
    notifications.

    Source:- The Independent Monday 20 August page 9

    Ministers’ plea to foreign doctors

    Thousands of foreign doctors will be targeted through a
    worldwide government recruitment campaign, in a bid to meet the
    election promises on health.

    Realising they will be unable to train enough medical students
    to meet their pledge, ministers have been forced to recruit from
    overseas to meet their promise of providing 10,000 new doctors by
    2005. Advertisements will be placed in medical magazines in all
    industrialised countries to attract GPs and hospital
    consultants.

    The campaign indicates Tony Blair’s dedication to
    improving public services. The government promised last summer to
    employ 7,500 more consultants and 2,000 GPs by the end of 2004.

    British Medical Association figures showed however that the
    number of new doctors who registered in this country this year was
    the lowest in eight years.

    Health minister Alan Milburn is keen to emphasise however, that
    Britain is not poaching from countries where medical professionals
    are desperately needed, and developing countries would not be
    targeted.

    Source:- The Times Monday 20 August page 1

    Scottish newspapers

    Suspect held over asylum seeker murder

    A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the
    murder of asylum seeker, Firsat Dag (who also used the name Firsat
    Yaldiz) in the Sighthill area of Glasgow two weeks ago.

    Following the murder of Dag civil demonstrations erupted into
    violence, Glasgow Council changed its policy towards the dispersal
    and support of asylum seekers. The 26-year-old suspect and a
    25-year-old man have already been charged with assaulting and
    robbing a German tourist on 5 August, the same night Dag was
    murdered.

    Source:- Scotland on Sunday 19 August page 1

    Monk on child abuse charges

    A Roman Catholic monk has been charged with the physical and
    sexual abuse of boys while in his care at St Ninian’s List D
    School in Gartmore, Stirlingshire. Michael Murphy, known as Brother
    Benedict, faced 13 charges at Stirling Sheriff Court.

    He is alleged to have abused a number of boys aged between eight
    and 15 years at the school between 1960 and 1982.

    St Ninian’s, a residential school for boys with personal
    and family problems or who had committed offences, closed in 1982.
    Run by the De La Salle order of monks, several other former care
    staff have faced similar charges over the last six months.

    Source:- Sunday Mail 19 August page 2

    Leadership struggle in Glasgow City Council

    Backbench councillor, John Flanagan, has announced he is to
    force a showdown over key issues such as racial tension, the
    dispersal of asylum seekers and the council’s resignation
    from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

    Flanagan, who represents the city’s Govan ward and is a
    member of the ruling Labour group, describes himself as a stalking
    horse candidate who represents a growing disaffection with the
    direction of the council.

    Source:- The Scotsman Monday 20 August page 1

    ——————————————————————————————-

    Tuesday 21 August

    By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

    Refugees turn down renovated council homes

    Asylum seekers are rejecting council homes, leaving the
    renovated buildings empty, it emerged yesterday.

    Refugees are reluctant to move from London as they feel the
    capital can offer them a better job, house and social life.

    Although local authorities in Birmingham and the West Midlands
    signed a deal with the home office to provide 1,760 homes under the
    dispersal scheme, only half this number have been sent to the area.
    Birmingham offered to house 463 families, but has received fewer
    than 100.

    There are now more than 100 refurbished council homes sitting
    vacant because they were put aside for asylum seekers.

    Information packs promoting the Midlands are to be distributed
    in London, in a bid to solve the problem.

    David Barnes of the West Midlands Local Government Association
    said: “People do not want to move out of London where there are
    established refugee groups, job networks, and they can go to
    ground.”

    “We will get this issue right and make sure the dispersal system
    is effective, although it is clear some changes need to be made,”
    he added.

    Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 21 August page 34

    NHS has lost 50,000 places for the elderly

    A winter crisis is already predicted in Britain’s NHS
    hospitals this year, as a result of the unprecedented number of old
    people’s homes that are closing in unprecedented numbers.

    Almost 50,000 places have been lost in homes for older people
    and physically disabled in five years, according to figures
    released yesterday. This is one in 10 of the total number.

    Homes have been driven out of business as a result of rising
    costs and the refusal of local authorities to increase fees for
    state funded residents.

    As a result, older people are staying in hospital beds, unable
    to be discharged with nowhere to go.

    Healthcare consultants Laing and Buisson collected the figures
    and chief executive William Laing said fees for state funded
    residents would have to rise to match more closely the payments by
    privately funded residents, but this would have to be decided by
    each local authority.

    Source:- The Independent Tuesday 21 August
    page 2

    Pupils are caught dealing drugs ‘at one school in
    seven’

    Students are drug dealing at one school in seven in England and
    Wales, according to a survey for the National Union of
    Teachers.

    A pupil is caught with illegal substances in one in five
    schools, the research from Warwick University’s Institute of
    Education says.

    Dr Simon Neill’s survey of 2,575 teachers in nearly 2,000
    schools found drug related incidents evenly spread throughout
    urban, suburban and rural areas. Although drug offences were more
    likely in secondary schools, primary school teachers feared that
    drug use was on the increase.

    A spokesperson for the department of education and skills said:
    “The £7.5 million programme to help schools develop drug
    education policies is paying off.”

    “Ofsted report that 93 per cent of secondary schools and 75 per
    cent of primaries now have a drug education policy compared with 86
    per cent secondary and 61 per cent primary in 1997.”

    Source:- The Independent Tuesday 21 August
    page 7

    Kosovan refugee dies in Channel

    A Kosovan man jumped from a Channel ferry and died as he was
    being taken to France from England.

    The man had been on his way to Calais, hours after being caught
    aboard a ferry heading for Dover from Ostend with a friend. The
    pair were not allowed to leave the ferry when it docked to claim
    asylum in Britain and were told they would be taken to France.

    The move ensured Hoverspeed would not be fined £4,000 for
    bringing illegal immigrants into Britain.

    The man jumped overboard two miles outside Dover. The ferry
    stopped and a lifeboat searched for the man who was found
    unconscious within 20 minutes. He was dead on arrival at Dover
    lifeboat station.

    Source:- The Times Tuesday 21 August page 2

    Scottish newspapers

    Affluent areas to house asylum seekers

    Affluent areas of East Renfrewshire, including Eaglesham and
    Newton Mearns, are to be among those considered for the housing of
    asylum seekers.

    East Renfrewshire made the offer at a meeting with the Scottish
    Asylum Seekers’ Consortium yesterday. The council have only a
    small proportion of publicly funded houses which are rarely vacant
    for long, but these, along with housing association property in
    areas such as Newton Mearns, Busby and Thornliebank, are to be
    considered.

    The council’s offer comes only a week after Charles
    Gordon, leader of Glasgow Council, urged the middle classes to
    “stop pontificating” on asylum seekers and challenged them to
    engage in practical help.

    Source:- The Herald Tuesday 21 August page 3

    Man charged with asylum seeker’s
    murder

    A man appeared in Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday to be charged
    with the murder of asylum seeker, Firsat Dag, on the 5 August in
    the Sighthill area of Glasgow.

    Scot Burrell from Balornock, Glasgow, was also charged with
    another man of the attempted murder of a German tourist in the city
    that same night. Burrell made no plea or declaration.

    Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 21 August page 1

    Former care worker on rape charges

    A former house parent at Quarrier’s children’s home
    was accused yesterday in the high court, Glasgow, of sexually and
    physically assaulting four young girls in his care and raping two
    of them.

    The charges against Samuel McBrearty date back more than 40
    years. McBrearty denies 19 offences alleged to have taken place at
    the home in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, between 1961 and 1968.
    The trial, before Lord Reed, continues today.

    Source:-The Herald Tuesday 21 August page7

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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