A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Thousands of serious offenders allowed to live in

Police and probation services monitor 47,000 offenders convicted
of dangerous, violent or sexual offences in the community, it
emerged yesterday.

The home office published figures showing that 18,500 of those
are registered sex offenders and 27,477 are offenders who are
violent, dangerous or some other form of sex offender, including

The statistics are drawn up by nationwide specialist panels that
were established in every one of the 42 police force areas in
England and Wales.

The majority of the people being monitored by the 42
multi-agency public protection panels are former prisoners who have
been released after serving their sentences, but are still being
monitored by the probation service.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 23 July page 4

Asylum work ban

The home office is to ban asylum seekers from working in a bid
to make Britain less attractive to migrants.

The home office will scrap the concession by the last
Conservative government that allows asylum seekers whose
application is not dealt with in six months, to ask permission to

Source:- The Times Tuesday 23 July page 4

Security lapse in suicide trio case

One of three voluntary mental health patients, who jumped 150
feet to their deaths in a suicide pact, should not have been able
to leave hospital without permission from a member of staff, an
inquiry has disclosed.

Anne Harris, Jamie Hague, and Shaun Sheppard, committed suicide
last month after signing themselves out of the Cedars Unit at
Wonford House Hospital in Exeter.

Harris had been talked out of a suicide attempt a week before at
Sidmouth, Devon. The same police officer found the three patients
on the same cliff, and tried to persuade them not to jump. But
Hague leapt to his death, and the other two linked arms and
followed him.

The Devon Partnership NHS Trust, which runs the Cedars Unit,
made 19 recommendations including higher staffing levels and
tighter security.

Following an internal investigation, a report will be completed
within three months.

The interim report shows two of the three patients were low risk
category, meaning they could leave at any time.

But the third patient was in the next risk category, which meant
he should leave only after seeking permission from staff, and he
should have been accompanied by a responsible adult.

The trust refused to identify the patients.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 23 July page 7

MPs call Milburn to account over evading

Health secretary Alan Milburn will become the first cabinet
member to be summoned before parliament to explain the failure of
his ministry to answer questions from MPs, a Commons committee is
to announce today.

After a damning report singles out his ministry as one of the
worst in replying to MPs, the hearing will be held by the Commons
public administration committee.

The ministry admits it was involved in the “systematic
falsification in recording the handling of parliamentary
questions”, and ran a system that was open to abuse, which led to
the suspension of a member of staff.

It also took 10 months to respond to inquiries from the
committee, and it had a backlog of over 400 unanswered questions to
MPs at one stage.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 23 July page 9

Scottish newspapers

New chief inspector attacks private prisons

The newly appointed chief inspector of prisons for Scotland, the
Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan, has made an outspoken attack on
private prisons on the day his appointment was announced.

McLellan, a former moderator of the Church of Scotland, takes
over from Clive Fairweather, who had been critical of prison
conditions and wrote a damning report on Scotland’s only
private gaol.

Yesterday, Dr McLellan announced that he “remained to be
convinced” by the argument of private prisons. He also opposed the
proposed closure of Peterhead Prison with its renowned treatment
facility for sex offenders.

Dr McLellan said: “I want to be involved in controversial and
difficult matters. All credit to Clive Fairweather for the way he
has prepared to be fearless, and I will be glad to follow in his

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 23 July page 1

Welsh newspapers

The NHS: blind to our needs

Advocacy project wins cash

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, has given more than
£200,000 to a Welsh advocacy project.

The grant has been given to the West Glamorgan Forum, based in
Swansea, to help extend and develop their services for young people
with learning disabilities.

Adele Gilmour, director of the Forum said that the money could
be used for the new Voices and Choices Project in the Swansea,
Neath and Port Talbot areas for 16-25 year olds.

Gilmour said that the project would help teenagers with learning
difficulties to move away from the care of children’s services to
adult services or move away from education into training and
employment. She added that the young people would receive training
in self- advocacy and this would enable them to be assertive and
speak up for themselves.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 23 July page 9

Nurse claims unfair dismissal

A nurse who lost her job after alleging that a special school
operated a ‘do-not resuscitate policy’ has begun an employment
tribunal hearing.

Bernice Pinnington claimed at the start of the hearing yesterday
that she was dismissed from the school, Ysgol Crug Glas in Swansea,
for whistleblowing.

Richard Parry of the Swansea education committee said she lost
her job because she was off work for 18 months with stress, and the
operation of a ‘do not resuscitate policy’ was also denied.

The hearing is expected to last for several weeks.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 23 July page 9

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