A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

(see below for Saturday, Sunday and Monday’s

By David Callaghan and Reg McKay.

Girl of six ‘kicked so hard her system

Six-year-old Lauren Wright was kicked so hard by her stepmother
that her digestive system collapsed, Norwich crown court was

The girl died three to five days later from the injuries
inflicted by Tracey Wright at the family’s home in Welney,

Wright has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and Lauren’s
father Craig Wright has denied manslaughter and wilful neglect.

A pathologist who examined Lauren’s body found at least 60
bruises on Lauren’s body, and described the injuries as “disgusting
and terrible”. Many of the injuries had been caused by blows from
an object or kicks.

The trial continues.

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 4 September page 7

Ministers soften line over public sector

Two of the most senior member of the cabinet have admitted the
government should soften its line over the role of the private
sector in the running of public services.

Alan Milburn, health secretary, and Stephen Byers, secretary of
state for transport and local government, both say there should be
a more conciliatory approach with trade unions. The revelation came
from confidential minutes of meetings between the Trades Union
Council and the ministers.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 4 September page 5

UK childcare ‘still lagging’

A new report from the Daycare Trust claims ore-school children
in Britain are among the worst served for childcare.

The government has made only ‘minimal progress towards European
standards in early years support for children.

Mothers in Britain have a statutory right to 29 weeks’ post
natal maternity leave compared with 36 months in France, Germany,
Spain and Finland.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 4 September page 9

Scottish newspapers

Hospital bugs kill more than roads

More people in Scotland die each year as result of infections
acquired in hospitals than traffic accidents according to new

The report, by Andrew Walker of Glasgow University’s
Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, points out that each year 457
people die of hospital acquired infection (HAI) compared with 316
from road accidents and 441 due to bronchitis, emphysema and

Unison has hit out at the figures saying they are as a direct
result of the five-fold reduction of domestic staff working in
Scottish hospitals since privatisation of cleaning contracts from
the 1980s.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 4 September page 3

Wrong kind of adults given methadone

Health services are prescribing methadone to the wrong kind of
addicts according to a study by a Scottish based drugs group.

David Grieve, founder of Dumfries-based Over-Count, claimed that
methadone is being prescribed to those seeking help for addiction
to over the counter (OTC) drugs and end up with multiple

Grieve claims that health services do not understand OTC
addiction, and as a result it is reaching epidemic proportions
throughout the country, but particularly in London and the west of

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 4 September page 8


Free loans for key public staff

Teachers, nurses and police officers are to be given
£10,000 interest-free loans by the government to help towards
the cost of housing in the south east.

The new scheme will be unveiled next week as part of a campaign
to ensure public servants do not leave and go to the private

Young professionals in their 20s will be eligible to the loan
for a deposit on a property. It is expected that they will be given
five years grace before they will have to pay the loan back.

The scheme will be available to 2,000 public sector workers
under a £20 million pilot project in the south east.

Stephen Byers, the transport and local government secretary,
said: “There can be little doubt that if we are to recruit and
retain key public sector workers, like teachers and nurses, greater
assistance will need to be provided to meet the increase in housing

“At a time of record levels of employment there is a battle for
talented individuals taking place between the public and private
sectors. If we are to be successful in providing high quality
public services, this is a battle we simply cannot afford to lose,”
he said.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday September 1 page 1

Court frees mother who kicked abused

A mother who assaulted a former family friend who had sexually
abused her two daughters received a 12-month suspended sentence
when she appeared at Teeside crown court.

Jackie Wilson admitted kicking and punching Cameron McIvor, 65,
while he was on bail awaiting sentence for raping the women when
they were children.

The judge said that McIvor’s case had taken three years to come
to court and there were “exceptional” circumstances surrounding the
incident. McIvor was later jailed for seven years.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 1 September page

Fury over ‘slave pay’ to refugees

A company which will run a new detention centre for up to 500
asylum seekers has been given permission to pay refugees just 34p
an hour for cleaning and cooking work.

The legal obligation to pay the minimum wage has been waived by
the Home Office for UK Detention Services, which will run the
Harmondsworth centre in West London when it opens next month.

Sally Price, a spokesperson for Refugee Action, said the move
was “nothing short of slave labour”.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 2 September page 1

The men making millions from refugees’

Dozens of “asylum bosses” are making fortunes from Britain’s
refugee policy by providing services for the government.

Among those making a profit are the French-owned catering
company Sodexho which runs the asylum voucher scheme and the
Wackenhut Corporation, which won the transport contract for the
dispersal scheme.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 2 September page 6

Samaritans send out a cry for help

The Samaritans is to launch an appeal this week for more
volunteers after their numbers dropped to the lowest since

Each of the group’s 203 officers has been instructed to aim to
recruit 10 new people.

The shortage of staff comes at the same time as an increasing
number of people call its helpline. The charity received 4.7million
calls last year.

The growth in other charity helplines with specialised interests
such as children’s problems or Alzheimer’s disease means many
volunteers are choosing to help causes more specific to their own

Source:- The Observer Sunday 2 September page 8

Therapists face abuse clampdown

A crackdown is to be launched against counsellors and therapists
after cases of abuse, including sexual abuse, were uncovered among
hundreds of thousands of unregulated practitioners.

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy will
bring in new rules this week. Members will be struck off its list
in an attempt to introduce regulation as tight as that in nursing
and medicine.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 2 September page 11

Child abuse files found on computer sold to the

Police files naming 11 alleged child abusers and their victims
made available to a Bristol University research project, ended up
on a computer sold to a member of the public.

Details including transcripts of police interviews were given to
researchers looking into the way evidence was gathered in cases of
child abuse.

Bristol University said its policy on checking computers to be
sold off for any sensitive information had not been adhered to.

Source:- The Independent Monday 1 September page 5

France to put asylum camp at Dunkirk

France is planning to open a second detention centre close to
the Channel ports at Dunkirk. It is an attempt to ease overcrowding
at the troubled Sangatte camp near the Channel Tunnel.

The move appears to be a response by the French to pressure from
the UK government following several incidents where asylum seekers
were found in the tunnel trying to enter the UK.

Source: The Times Monday 3 September page 1

Scottish newspapers

Council leaders could get massive hike in

Chief executives of Scotland’s local authorities look set
to receive up to a 18 per cent increase in salary following an
independent review.

The review on behalf of the Convention of Scottish Local
Authorities by Sir Neil McIntosh, the former chief executive of
Strathclyde Regional Council, highlighted the current prospect of
some head teachers of large secondary schools being paid more than
their directors or even chief executives.

The suggested increase would result in Glasgow Council’s
chief executive being paid £135,000 per annum. A spokesperson
for Unison said “it seems grossly unfair” compared with other
workers’ pay rises.

Source:- The Herald Saturday 1 September page 1

Methadone or madness?

A page length feature exploring the current debate of whether or
not the prescription of methadone is a safe strategy in combating
heroin addiction.

Source:- The Herald Saturday 1 September page 4

Sex education pack dropped by third council

A third Scottish local authority has dropped a controversial sex
education pack from its list of approved reading for teachers.

North Lanarkshire Council took the step of dropping the book,
Taking Sex Seriously, after complaints from parents. The pack,
written to advise teachers how to cope when difficult issues are
raised, contains mock lessons dealing with sado-masochism and gay
sex. East Renfrewshire and Western Isles Councils have already
dropped the pack.

Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 1 September page 3

Freedom of information opposed by Cosla

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and a number of
Scottish councils want the proposed freedom of information bill to
be watered down according to their official responses to a Scottish
executive consultation process.

Among the councils seeking less public access than is proposed
are Edinburgh Council, Aberdeen Council, Renfrewshire Council,
North Ayrshire Council and Angus Council. Some organisations are so
wary about freedom of information that their responses to the
consultation process have been marked as strictly confidential.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 2 September page 8

Prison service “dishonest” according to director of
social work

Les McEwan, Edinburgh Council’s director of social work,
has accused the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) of dishonesty and
“perplexing” behaviour after talks on the social work service to
prisons collapsed in acrimony.

McEwan said that the SPS had made remarks to the press which
were “untrue and unfounded” following an 18-month tendering process
on the contracting out of prison social work services. The local
authority managed social workers were removed from prisons in
Edinburgh two weeks ago.

Since then the service is provided by a social worker contracted
from an independent agency. The move, targeting four areas of
Scotland, has concerned the Convention of Scottish Local
Authorities and the Chief Inspector of Prisons.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 2 September page 8

Wealth is health – or is it?

Glasgow is the unhealthiest city of Europe as well as one of the
poorest. Would the health of residents improve if the wealth of the
city were increased? A page length feature explores the debate.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 2 September page 11














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