A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By David Callaghan, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Health crisis looms as life expectancy

Scientists are predicting life expectancy for both men and women
to increase at a much faster rate then previously thought.

The two scientists from Cambridge and Rostock in Germany say
that western governments have seriously underestimated the age
people will reach by the end of this century, and that to get to
100 will become common.

There are no forecasts for Britain, but in research published in
magazine Science Today, they say that a baby girl born in France or
Japan now has a 50-50 chance of making it to 100.

The prediction could have major implications for social services
and health because there is no guarantee that people will be
healthy older than they are now, so they will be reliant on state
services for much longer.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 10 May page 1

Health workers given pay rises of up to 6.5 per

Clerical, ancillary and ambulance staff working in the NHS will
receive pay rises of up to 6.6 per cent, it was announced
yesterday. The minimum increase will be 3.5 per cent or £400
per year.

The deal covers staff in England, Scotland and Wales, who will
receive a rise of 5.2 per cent, while hospital cleaners will get
6.5 per cent rise. Most staff will receive 3.6 per cent.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 10 May page 1

Fiasco of adoption ‘scarred for life’

A man who was given up for adoption as a baby in 1968 by his
teenage mother is suing Hammersmith and Fulham council for
£400,000 for the distress caused to him by a series of foster
placements and stays in children’s homes.

Paul James, now 34, said he is unable to sustain any
relationships or hold down a job because of the mental anguish
caused by his unstable upbringing.

He was placed with three foster parents before he was
three-years-old. He was then placed with a couple in their 50s who
looked after him until he was 11, and then said they could not care
for him any longer.

He was then placed in a series of children’s homes before he was

The hearing at the high court in London continues.

Source:- Daily Mail Friday 10 May page 45

Caring mothers can keep teenagers from

Teenagers’ relationships with their mothers are the single most
important factor in whether they become drug misusers, a new
international study has found.

Researchers found that a strong maternal bond was the single
most important barrier to abuse. Living with both parents was a
lesser factor in the causes of abuse, Paul McArdle, of Newcastle
University, who led the study, said.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 10 May page 9

Scottish newspapers

War of words over education cash

A public war of words has broken out following East Lothian
council’s announcement that it is to spend some of the funds
allocated for education services on social work this year.

The cash, allocated by the executive under the McCrone
Committee, was destined to improve teachers’ pay and conditions.
East Lothian is to implement the requirements of the McCrone plan
from the £512,000 it received, and still have £306,000 to
spend on social work services.

Other councils such as Argyll & Bute and Highland claim they
have received insufficient funds to implement McCrone at all. Some
councils have claimed that the distribution methods used by the
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities penalised rural councils
while others have claimed that the overall distribution is uneven
and quote East Lothian’s position to support their

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 10 May page 10

Scotland to go its own way on youth crime

The Scottish executive is set to reject the prime
minister’s recently announced law and order initiatives and
concentrate on rehabilitation, according to Jim Wallace, minister
for justice. Proposals such as docking the benefits of the parents
of juvenile offenders, and marching offending young people to cash
machines to exact instant fines have no place in the
executive’s plans.

Instead, Wallace said they would concentrate on what works,
court disposal with the aim of rehabilitation and tackling
Scotland’s heavy drinking culture.

Source- The Herald Friday 10 May page 1

Welsh newspapers

Council’s housing stock mystery

Serious flaws in the computer records of a local authority in
south Wales mean that it cannot be sure how many council houses it

Problems with the computer database of Rhondda Cynon Taff
council, the largest local authority in Wales, were identified by a
district auditor. There have also been concerns about the accuracy
of information presented to the Welsh assembly when the council
submitted claims for the housing revenue account subsidy.

Councils are required to maintain accurate and up-to-date lists
of housing stock and under a government scheme local authorities
can be reimbursed for any deficit in providing affordable housing
for local people. But because the council does not know exactly how
many properties are in its ownership, it may be claiming a
disproportionate amount of subsidy for properties that have either
been sold or demolished.

Copies of property listings have now been sent to individual
neighbourhood managers in an attempt to keep property records
accurate and a number of revised procedures have been put in

Source:- Western Mail Friday 10 May page 3

Ex-children’s home head bailed on 36 sex

A man who ran a multi-million pound network of children’s
homes was yesterday granted bail after being charged for alleged
sexual offences against young people in care.

John Allen, formerly of Wrexham, but now living in
Gloucestershire, appeared before Flintshire magistrates court at
Mold in north Wales.

He was head of the Bryn Alyn community, a limited company that
operated a total of 11 residential homes in north east Wales,
Cheshire and Shropshire, providing specialist care for adolescents.
The 20 charges relate to alleged incidents that occurred over a
19-year period.

Allen will appear at Mold crown court for an administrative
preliminary hearing on June 7.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 10 May page 3









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