A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Community Care reporters and
Reg McKay.

Climbie: ministers ignored foster warnings

ignored an official report for four years that could have saved eight-year-old
Victoria Climbie’s life.

in Sir William Utting’s report into the abuse of thousands of children in
residential care and foster homes in 1997 called for children who were
privately fostered to have "the full protection of statutory
regulation". This has never happened.

British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering will present a report to the
government later this year demanding a change in the law.

up to 10,000 children are in the care of unregistered foster parents and as
many as 6,000 come from West Africa.

great aunt Marie Therese Kouao and her boyfriend Carl Manning were jailed for
life in January for her torturing and starving her to death.

Independent on Sunday September 30 page 15

Deal cools row on public services

leaders agreed the wording of a motion on minimising the freedoms of the
private sector with union leaders late last night. The issue will now be
discussed and voted on by delegates at the Labour Party conference in Brighton.

of the motion reads: "Conference does not believe that high quality or
value for money can be achieved by privatisation of public services."

The Guardian October 1 page 14

£1.4bn care deal for the old is unfair, say

than 40,000 elderly people living in care homes stand to benefit from savings
worth up to £5,000 a year under the government’s controversial system of
providing free nursing care, which starts today.

42,000 older people in England will have their nursing care paid by the state
as part of the £1.4bn package. However, charities attacked the long-term care
plans, calling the system "unworkable, complicated and unfair".

the system only nursing care, which will be tightly defined, will be free. The
charities were disappointed that the government failed to meet a key
recommendation of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care to fund personal care

Harding, head of policy for Help the Aged, said: "Personal care is about
sustaining life. Drawing a line between nursing and personal care is a false
distinction, not related to the realities of the help older people need."

Democrat spokesperson for older people Paul Burstow said the scheme was a
"cruel hoax".

health minister Jacqui Smith dismissed suggestions that the subsidies were too
low to cover the costs of nursing care.

Source: Daily Telegraph October 1 page 12

Murderess Rosemary West drops appeal

West has abandoned attempts to appeal against her convictions for 10 murders,
including those of her daughter and step-daughter.

said she has decided to discontinue her bid to win a review of her case by the
Appeal Court which has already rejected one attempt.

know that if I was released life would never be normal. I would have to run and
hide and be removed from my children. At least in my present situation I can
see them from time to time and have regular contact by correspondence,"
she said.

murdered her daughter Heather with her husband Frederick, who later committed
suicide in prison in 1995. She killed her step-daughter Charmaine on her own.
She was convicted at Winchester Crown Court in 1995 where the judge said she
should never be released.

Daily Telegraph October 1 page 13

Public service reform to go ahead

Minister Tony Blair insisted the government’s “huge programme” of public sector
reform would be driven through, despite the threat of bitter opposition from
public sector union Unison.

will press ahead with public service reform because the public services need
it,” he said yesterday on BBC 1’s Breakfast
with Frost
on the first day of the Labour Party Conference.

Unison said it was determined to press ahead with a debate on the issue today
and would put the matter to a vote, adding that its strong criticism of the government’s
perceived policy of “creeping privatisation” would not be watered down.

want reform of public services. We want modernisation more than anybody, but
allowing private companies to run our public services won’t do that,” said
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.

Source: The Independent October 1 page 13

Seeking asylum is ‘bad for health’

to the UK as an asylum seeker is bad for your health, according to a senior
member of the British Medical Association who works with immigrants in east

Adams said she and her colleagues at Homerton Hospital were unable to explain
the reasons behind an 18-month-old Kosovan boy’s inability to crawl.

then discovered the child and his parents lived in one room in
bed-and-breakfast accommodation virtually filled by a double bed. “We found he
had no space to crawl,” said Adams.

member of the BMA’s international committee, Adams added the government’s
refugee dispersal policies meant children were never in one place long enough
to be immunised. The BMA “deplored” the detention, dispersal and voucher
polices, she said, and called for an immediate restoration of cash benefits for
asylum seekers.

government is due to publish the findings of a review of the asylum seekers’
voucher system this week.

Source: The Independent October 1 page 13

Refugees ‘close to suffocating’

van-load of asylum seekers close to suffocating were found by customers
inspectors at Dover docks yesterday.

26 Sri Lankans, including three women, were suffering from dehydration and the
effects of breathing in fumes.

said the group were lucky to avoid the same fate as 58 Chinese asylum seekers
found suffocated in a lorry at the port last year.

October 1 page 19


housing consultation to go ahead

in Glasgow are set to press ahead with the consultation of the city’s public
tenants on the transfer of housing stock without a firm financial package being
in place. 

renewed concerns expressed by city council officials about the funding of the
proposal to transfer the 82,000 houses to Glasgow Housing Association, members
of the city’s Labour group executive have voted unanimously to proceed with the
first stage of statutory consultation. 

process is likely to take a minimum of 28 days and Charles Gordon, leader of
the Labour group, said that this would allow plenty of time for the financial
package to be firmed up.

The Herald September 29 page 8

Former care worker jailed

McBrearty has been jailed at Glasgow High Court for 12 years after being found
guilty of rape and indecent assault against three girls in his care in the
1960s.  The offences were committed
while McBrearty worked as a residential worker in a children’s home run by Quarriers
in Renfrewshire. The girls were aged eight, 10 and 11 at the time of the

The Scotsman September 29 page 4

Prisons to be privatised

prisons look set to face a major upheaval as three leading governors leave the

governors of Barlinnie, Peterhead and Low Moss prisons were seen as senior
figures in the prison service. Their departure is taken by insiders to predict
a radical shake up of the prison service in Scotland. Barlinnie looks set to be
scaled down and Low Moss will close with a new prison being built to the east
of Glasgow. Peterhead looks set to close, and with it, its world renowned work
carried out with sex offenders. 
Peterhead is likely to be replaced with a new prison in the central belt
but prison staff are concerned that the work with sex offenders may be hard to

new developments are likely to involve private companies as with Kilmarnock,
Scotland’s only private jail. Clive Fairweather, chief inspector of prisons,
raised concerns about Kilmarnock earlier this year, particularly the incidence
of violence, low wages and inexperienced staff.

The Scotsman October 1 page 2        

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