By David Callaghan, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.
Mencap’s housing alert
There are thousands of people with severe learning difficulties
who will have nowhere to live once their elderly parents die, a new
report from Mencap says.
The charity estimates 29,000 adults are presently living with
parents aged over 70, and about 6,000 every year require
alternative accommodation. But there are only 227 places set aside
Most people are placed in local authority nursing or residential
accommodation where there is inadequate support for them.
Mencap’s survey of 92 councils found that half did not know how
many adults with severe learning difficulties in their area were
living with their parents, and only a quarter made any planned
provision for them.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 18 June page 2
Couple face life for abducting adopted son
An American couple who went on the run with their adopted son 20
years ago when they were ordered to hand him back to his natural
parents, could be jailed for life in New York.
They fled the city in 1980 and settled in Albuquerque, Mexico,
with false names. Barry and Judith Smiley said they were worried
that if they handed their ‘son’ Matthew, who had a serious heart
condition, back to his natural parents he would not receive the
same level of care they could offer him.
Matthew’s parents were not living together, and his natural
father was unaware of the adoption.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 18 June page 2
Study finds 1 million mistakes each year
A new survey showing that there are likely to be a million
mistakes, accidents and near-misses in the NHS each year, has been
banned from publication by health secretary Alan Milburn.
Milburn said the study due to be published by the National
Patient Safety Agency today gave a misleading picture. The survey
found 20,000 ‘adverse incidents’ in 28 NHS trusts in six months,
equivalent to more than one million errors for all 450 trusts.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 18 June page 1
Cabinet rift over asylum crackdown
Tony Blair’s plans for a crackdown on asylum seekers across
Europe have met with opposition in the cabinet and from other EU
Clare Short, the international development secretary, is
fighting plans to link aid to poor countries’ performance on
preventing people leaving to apply for asylum in Europe.
The issue is due to be debated at an EU summit in Seville on
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 18 June page 1
Free personal care a lottery, warns charity
Older people could face a continued postcode lottery in paying
for their care despite the introduction of nationwide free personal
care, according to Age Concern Scotland.
The charity fears that aspects of the new deal being introduced
on 1 July are not clear enough, and different interpretations may
be applied by different local authorities. A spokesperson for
Malcolm Chisholm, minister for health and community care, said that
the executive would work with councils to ensure “fair and
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 18 June page 4
Call for less health service managers
The Scottish National Party has called for a severe reduction in
senior managers in the health service after producing figures
indicating that Scotland has twice as many posts per capita than
The SNP claims there are 17.2 senior managers per 100,000 in the
health service in England compared with 35.4 in Scotland. The
Scottish executive rejected the claim saying that the posts were
defined more broadly defined in Scotland than in England and
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 18 June page 9
Parents to receive fingerprint kits to avoid child
Parents in Scotland who fear their children may be abducted are
to receive police-style finger print kits to combat the growing
trend of kidnapping across international borders.
The packs will be issued by Reunite, an agency which combats
child abduction, and have received the approval of the police. The
packs also instruct parents to keep a few strands of their
children’s hair so to aid their DNA identification. Reunite
say that child abduction in Scotland is a growing problem and is
set to become worse.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 18 June page 4
Doctors under attack
Doctors in Gwent, south Wales, face violence, intimidation and
vandalism as they try to go about their work.
Some GPs and their staff are forced to barricade themselves
inside surgeries. The problem has become so serious that Gwent
health authority, police and doctors are looking at measures to
protect patients, with one possible solution being a special
surgery for people with a history of violence.
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 17 June page 1 and
feature pages 4 and 5
Minister calls on parents and communities to help fight
Government minister Peter Hain is calling on parents and
communities to help tackle the growing menace of drug abuse.
Hain, who is MP for Neath and Europe minister at Westminster,
said it was “absolutely essential” to give full support to the
campaign against drugs recently launched by south Wales police.
Chief constable Sir Anthony Burgess has warned that drug cartels
are looking to south Wales as a new and lucrative outlet for their
trade in illegal drugs, and has pledged to do all he can to stem
the flow of heroin and cocaine that are flooding the area.
Hain said it was important that the drug problem was talked
about openly, and that communities needed to accept the reality of
drug abuse and work with agencies to tackle it.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 18 June page 9