A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Shock rise in ecstasy deaths to thwart drug law

A second report out this week warns ecstasy users of the risk
they are taking while indulging in the drug.

A survey earlier this week warned of the much higher rate of
mental illness among drug users. But yesterday figures from the
coroner’s office showed an increase of two thirds in ecstasy
related deaths.

The figures in the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths
for 2000 showed a rise in deaths from recreational drugs such as
heroin, but ecstasy related deaths were far more pronounced.

Source:- The Independent Friday 18 January
page 3

Housing benefit overhaul scrapped

The government’s promise to overhaul the housing benefit
system has been shelved until after the next election.

The government has abandoned plans to reform the £12
billion benefit because they believe it could prove costly and

Housing benefit covers accommodation costs of four million low
income households. But the decision to abandon the promise will
disappoint critics who want to cut the annual cost of administering
the benefit, estimated at £330 million.

Source:- The Independent Friday 18 January
page 8

Charity alleges care home abuse

Older people in care homes are being restrained by drugs and
electronic tags, a report in today’s Nursing Times

Patients are also imprisoned at night by bed rails and have
their walking frames taken away, according to the study by Counsel
and Care.

Source:- The Independent Friday 18 January
page 10

Mother who abandoned baby could be jailed in

The woman who allegedly abandoned her baby in Portugal could
face imprisonment there should she return to the Algarve,
Portuguese police said yesterday.

The public prosecutor’s office in Faro, the town where
three-month-old Charlie was abandoned began legal proceedings
against Katherine Penny for the crime of child abandonment, and is
considering whether to ask Britain to extradite her.

Charlie has been declared a ward of court and is being cared for
at an orphanage in Faro, where arrangements are being made for
surgery on his cleft lip and palate.

Source:- The Independent Friday 18 January
page 11

NHS is left trailing by the Americans

An independent study will challenge the government’s
belief that the NHS is more efficient than most other health care
systems in the world.

A comparison with a similar non-profit organisation in
California found NHS patients received inferior care, including
longer waiting lists and fewer specialists than Americans waiting
for similar treatments.

The study published today in the British Medical Journal said
that findings challenged the view that Britain’s poor medical
record was due to under funding, as health costs were similar.

But American patients at Kaiser Permanente received more for
their money than NHS patients including longer consultations and
better access to expensive treatments.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 18 January page 4

Roy Whiting’s first victim

The murder of Sarah Payne horrified us all…but it was not
the first time that her killer had abducted a little girl. Here,
the family of his first victim, now a deeply disturbed teenager,
tells their harrowing story

Source:- Daily Mail Friday 18 January page 36,37 and

Scottish newspapers

Sorry but you’re still fired

A page-length feature on a sacked social work manager who won
his case for unfair dismissal at an industrial tribunal, but whose
former employer refuses to reinstate him.

Matthew Monnahan was sacked by South Lanarkshire council in 1999
following allegations that they he was bullying staff into
participating in direct-selling organisation Amway Corporation.

After two years an industrial tribunal decided that he was
unfairly dismissed.

Where does this leave someone who has worked for 27 years in
social work? What are the lessons for other staff and

Source:- The Herald Friday 18 January page 18

Welsh newspapers

A health tsar is to be appointed in Wales to oversee the care of
children in the Principality. The post will be in addition to the
Children’s Commissioner, who was appointed in the wake of the
Waterhouse inquiry into abuse of children in care in North
Source:- Western Mail Friday January 18 page 1
Error over children’s centre plan
Plans for a unique one-stop centre for disabled children serving
the Newport, South Monmouthshire and South Torfaen areas were
wrongly left off a development plan, a public inquiry has been

Gwent Healthcare Trust is appealing against Newport
council’s refusal of planning permission for the centre which
was to have replaced a number of rundown facilities and meant that
all professionals would be in one place.
Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday January 17 page 4
Welsh Language Board calls for nurseries to be

All nurseries should be bilingual says the Welsh Language Board,
which warns that the future of the Welsh language remains fragile.
But critics say that getting three-years-olds to learn Welsh to
help the language rather than the children amounts to social
Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday January 17 page 5





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