A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Including headlines from Saturday and

(see below for newspapers in Scotland and

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Million council workers set to strike over

Social workers and teaching assistants will be part of a million
strong army of council workers taking strike action later this
month, protesting at a 3 per cent pay offer.

Three of Britain’s largest unions voted in favour of a
24-hour national walk out on July 17, which threatens to bring
services to a standstill.

Unison, the Transport and General Workers Union and the GMB have
demanded a 6 per cent pay increase or a rise of £1,750 for
their workers, some of whom only earn £4.80 an hour.

Services most likely to be affected are social services,
residential homes, schools and refuse collection, according to
public sector union Unison.

Source:- The Times Saturday 6 July page 2

Hospital waiting list up again

The number of patients awaiting admission to National Health
Service hospitals in England rose to 1,055,500 in May – an
increase of 9,200.

The rise of 0.9 per cent was the second in successive months.
But the department of health insisted the number of people waiting
for more than 12 and 15 months for treatment had fallen.

The number waiting more than a year dropped by 400.

Source:- The Times Saturday 6 July page 2

Bully claim lost

Two ex-pupils who were bullied at school lost a claim for
£25,000 damages each from Shotton Hall Comprehensive in
Peterlee, Co Durham.

Recorder at Teeside county court Julian Goose QC said that he
could not conclude the council or school governors had been

Source:- The Times Saturday 6 July page 2

UN offers help in Sangatte impasse

Britain and France have been offered help by the United Nations
to break the deadlock over the Red Cross refugee camp at Sangatte,
near Calais.

The offer, by United Nations high commissioner for refugees,
Ruud Lubbers, was welcomed by the home office yesterday.

The UNHCR has offered to screen the 1,200 people at the camp,
who are mostly Afghan, but also include Iraqi Kurds, Iranians and
Turks, to determine who are refugees and who are not.

Under the arrangement, those who qualify as refugees would be
split between Britain and France. Those who do not qualify would
receive help from the UN to return home.

Source:- The Times Saturday 6 July page 3

U-turn on exams for care home matrons

The government was forced to do a u-turn yesterday over
regulations requiring experienced nursing home matrons to sit

The National Care Standards Commission, which regulates care
services in England, said it had ordered an immediate review of the
new exam system, despite insisting as late as yesterday morning
that the arrangements would not change.

The review decision follows fears that hundreds of matrons with
decades of experience would leave their jobs if forced to take
exams many consider “insulting and unnecessary”.

Source:- The Times Saturday 6 July page 4

Police given new powers to evict gypsies from

Police are to be given new powers to evict gypsies and
travellers if they refuse to move on to local authority designated

Every local council would not be expected to set up official
sites for travellers either, according to ministers.

At present, police can only evict if there is evidence of
abusive behaviour, criminal damage, or if there are more than six
vehicles on site.

Andrew Ryder, secretary of the Labour campaign for travellers
rights, said the measures did not go far enough to help travellers:
“It is essential there is a good system of sites available, or else
eviction leads to travellers being pushed on from one site to

“Many of the problems are caused by social exclusion from
services, and the refusal of councils to give planning permission
for gypsies to live on their own land,” he added.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 6 July page 9

Prince’s new aide was in care

A survivor of the local authority care system has been appointed
as a new assistant private secretary to the Prince of Wales.

Paul Kefford, who went into care in 1988 when his mother died,
later became a critic of the system.

He later called for a shake up and joined the civil service,
working for the social exclusion office in the cabinet office.

In 1998, he gave evidence to a parliamentary committee and said
young people were being betrayed by the system designed to protect

Kefford will have responsibility for looking after the
prince’s interests in education, health and older people.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Saturday 6 July page 6

Mother faces jail for depressed teenager’s

A mother could face jail for her depressed son’s
persistent truanting.

Deborah Leigh claims her son Joel, 14, was “clinically
depressed”, but had received no help from Aston School in
Rotherham, south Yorkshire, or the local education authority which
issued the warning.

Leigh claims her son’s depression began when his father received
an eight-year prison sentence last year for drug smuggling, a
crime, she claims, he did not commit.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 6 July page

Paedophiles to face jail for ‘grooming’
victims on internet

Proposed legislation will make it an offence for paedophiles to
pose as teenagers on the internet to pick up minors for sex.

The new law, being prepared for the Queen’s speech, would
include emails, text messages and chat rooms and would make it an
imprisonable offence to use such technology to deliberately stalk

The new offence of “grooming”, which is expected to be
incorporated in a wider bill reviewing sexual offences law, has
been proposed by a taskforce set up by the government to tackle
internet paedophile crime.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 6 July page

The girl thug aged 16 who destroyed an entire

The uncontrollable teenage girl, who led a gang of young thugs
to wreck an entire street of 30 houses.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 6 July page 11

Move to build cheaper homes

More affordable homes for teachers, nurses, police and other
public sector workers are to be built under ministers’ plans to be
announced this month.

The plans will focus on Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Ashford,
Kent, Stansted, Essex and Thames gateway, east London.

The government will double the £1 billion it gives to the
Housing Corporation, which allocates money to housing

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 7 July page 26

Quickest jailing

The conviction and imprisonment of a teenage shoplifter was
thought to be the quickest ever.

Kevin Garbutt, 19, in Salford, Manchester was jailed for six
months just 18 hours after being arrested.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 7 July page 26

One in seven children risk measles as MMR is

One in seven children aged under 10 is at risk of catching
measles in Britain as a result in lack of confidence in the
combined MMR jab.

An unpublished briefing paper, prepared by government scientists
says that around 800,000 children are now at risk of contracting
measles because so many parents have failed to get their children

Twenty local authorities in London have been asked to prepare
emergency vaccination programmes.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 7 July page 7

Suicide fear for teen victims of Blunkett’s
get-tough rules

As increasing number of children are sent to prison, Martin
Bright and the Children’s Society launch an Observer campaign
for reform

Source:- The Observer Sunday 7 July page 12

Every parent’s worst nightmare

This 13-year-old was brutally murdered by a man she met on the
net. Yet a growing number of British teenagers are posting pictures
of themselves on the web in return for gifts from strangers. David
Rowan reports on the ‘camgirls’.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 7 July page 15

New Bill is ‘draconian and

The Independent on Sunday’s mental health campaign

Source:- Independent on Sunday 7 July page 8-9

Cost cutting accusation on abortion pills

The government has been accused by anti-abortion campaigners of
cost-cutting after it emerged that women will be offered faster and
easier terminations.

The Pro-Life Alliance said a scheme to offer medical abortions
in the form of a pill rather than an operation was potentially

The pills are to be issued at clinics based in National Health
Service hospitals.

A department of health spokesperson said the scheme was aimed at
making the system faster in order to meet government targets.

Source:- The Times Monday 8 July page 6

Probation reports hit by cash cut

The number of reports that the London Probation Service compiles
on offenders has been cut as a result of a cash crisis, leaving
more offenders to be remanded in prison longer.

Under emergency measures designed to deal with the £8
million shortfall in the £89 million annual budget,
pre-sentence reports will no longer be automatic for offenders
being fined, given a curfew order, given community punishments or
being dealt with under the Mental Health Act.

Source:- The Times Monday 8 July page 6

Council grants set to favour north

Councils and schools in the south east could be angered today as
the government will announce plans to distribute £36 billion
each year to English councils.

The changes, expected to be announced by local government
minister Nick Raynsford, will favour the north of England and some
rural areas.

The Association of London government warned some councils could
lose as much as £40 million of their central government grant
under the new formula.

The reforms will affect every school, police, fire and council
budget including resources for residential care homes and foster

Source:- The Guardian Monday 8 July page 8

The high cost of dead end living

Number of homeless in B&Bs reaches record level

Source:- The Guardian Monday 8 July page 8

Mixed message on cannabis reform

The home secretary will announce the reclassification of
cannabis this week, along with tough new laws for cannabis

Dealing sentences will be doubled from five to 10 years.

David Blunkett will announce his plans on Wednesday, 48 hours
before he will publish figures showing a sharp increase in recorded

Source:- The Guardian Monday 8 July page 9

Protesters rally at asylum centre site

Up to 600 people protested yesterday at the proposed asylum
seekers’ centre at a disused former RAF airfield in
Throckmorton, Worcestershire.

Ministers plan to build a centre holding 750 asylum seekers, but
locals fear it will change their area’s character and deny

The government plans two other centres in rural areas and up to
15 may be built in total.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 8 July page 10

Dementia signs ‘ignored’

More than 50 per cent of people caring for someone with dementia
waited three years before consulting a doctor, an Alzheimer’s
Society study reveals today.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 8 July page 10

Now care homes face the ‘gay rights’

Care homes are facing a further wave of red tape, it emerged
yesterday, and may now be asked to deal with issues such as gay
rights and race equality.

Over regulation has already been blamed for the closure of 1,500
homes in the past few years.

But government inspectors have told owners to prepare written
codes covering racial harassment and gay sexual rights alongside 40
other policies.

The codes of practice have been demanded by the National Care
Standards Commission, the body set up to implement the Care
Standards Act 2000.

Source:- Daily Mail Monday 8 July page 37

Scottish newspapers

Parents’ outrage as autism research is

Parents of autistic children have reacted angrily as a research
project into the connection between the condition, bowel disorders
and the MMR vaccination was abandoned.

Edinburgh University, Edinburgh Sick Children’s Hospital
and the Moredun Research Institute were due to start the research
by examining 1,000 children giving parents some hope of a possible
breakthrough in the long-term health of their children.

But this week doctors and academics were told by the
government-funded Medical Research Council (MRC) that their
application for funding had been turned down. The MRC defended its
decision saying that they “weren’t happy with the

Source:- Sunday Herald 7 July page 9

Five too young to start school, claims Church of

Five-years-old is too young for children to start school,
according to the Church of Scotland’s committee on education
in its submission to the Scottish executive’s debate on the
future of education.

According to the church starting too early can confuse some
children. The church recommends that the school starting age be
higher as it is in many European countries.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 7 July page 7

Alcohol biggest cause of date rape

Experts have warned that women are more at risk of date rape as
a result of excessive drinking than having their drinks spiked with

Research has indicated that as few as one in 20 of women who
allege date rape has had a drug added to their drinks, but almost
half were incapacitated by drink alone.

Forensic medical examiners Dr Deborah Rogers and Dr Jason Payne
have expressed their concerns in the Journal of the Royal Society
of Medicine that an obsession with date rape drugs, Rohypnol and
Ketamine, has resulted in many women being blinded to the dangers
associated with heavy binge drinking.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 7 July page 7

Abortion pill ruled out for Scotland

Controversial plans to offer women easier abortions including
the so-called abortion pill are not expected to be implemented in

The Scottish executive confirmed yesterday that it does not
intend to follow the lead of the department of health in England
and Wales. Anti-abortion groups hailed the decision as a victory
for their campaign.

The controversy raged over the use of drugs which induce
abortion. However, figures from the National Abortion Campaign
indicate that women in Scotland already have easier access to
abortions with 90 per cent having access to NHS terminations
compared with only 50 per cent of women in England and Wales.

Source:- The Herald Monday 8 July page 2

Welsh newspapers

Wales 2002, land of children on benefits

One in three children in Wales is growing up below the poverty
line and facing a lifetime of deprivation.

Statistics released by the Welsh assembly show that Wales lags
behind the rest of the UK despite huge cash injections from the
European Union and government initiatives.

A fifth of Welsh youngsters are entitled to free school meals
and in some parts of the country almost half of all children are
living in households dependent on benefits.

Yesterday youth workers repeated their calls for child poverty
in the principality to be made a priority to end the ‘Cinderella’
funding of children’s services.

Wales has been awarded ‘objective one’ status and is in line to
receive an additional £32 million in the next two years as
part of the Sure Start initiative to improve the health and
well-being of children.

Health and social services minister Jane Hutt said she was
committed to partnership working to ensure that “all the
assembly’s energy and resources tackle child poverty”.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 8 July page 1 and comment
page 10








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