A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Reverse by Milburn on care home rules

Health secretary Alan Milburn was accused of performing a U-turn
yesterday following his announcement that regulations blamed for
the closure of care homes would cease to be mandatory.

Milburn was jeered by MPs after admitting that “the number of
lifts and baths are important, but they should not mean good local
care homes having to close”.

Many closures of care homes has been blamed on the introduction
of the Care Standards Act, which came into force in April.

Shadow health secretary Liam Fox said: “Throughout the time
ministers were ramming the Care Standards Act through Parliament,
the Conservatives told Alan Milburn that their senseless obsession
with minimum room sizes would cause the closure of many homes and a
huge loss of capacity in the system.”

“Only now…has Alan Milburn recognised the error of his
ways,” he added.

Milburn also announced a scheme to offer up to 400,000 older
people cash to pay for care in their own home and more respite
breaks for carers.

The direct payments scheme would enable older people to pay a
friend or relative to care for them, provided that the local
council agrees that they are receiving the levels of care they were
assessed as needing.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 24 July page 2

NHS ‘must drop targets

The former chief medical officer warned the government last
night that attempts to reform the NHS would fail unless ministers
abandoned an obsession for target setting and centralised

Sir Kenneth Calman said the government’s claim to be
devolving power to local managers was “fanciful”.

Health secretary Alan Milburn is stifling effective practice and
creativity, he said, by imposing detailed targets governing what
services are delivered and how.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 24 July page 9

Specialist stroke units could save 6,000 lives every

More than 6,000 lives could be saved each year if men and women
who had a stroke were admitted to a specialist unit and treated by
appropriately trained staff, according to a report.

The national audit of strokes paints an alarming picture of
under-investment in NHS services to treat the 130,000 people a year
who suffer a stroke.

“People are dying unnecessarily and living with long term
disability, some of which could have been avoided, because of the
failure to deliver specialist stroke care,” said Tony Rudd,
chairperson of the intercollegiate working party for stroke, which
compiled the Royal College of Physicians biannual report.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 24 July page 9

Asylum seekers’ summer fun with your

Tax payers are to fund ‘a summer of fun’ for asylum seekers
across the country.

Under the plans, scores of activities including adventure
holidays, camping expeditions and swimming galas are to be
available to asylum seekers.

The proposals have been criticised by those claiming it fails to
undermine efforts to stamp out Britain’s image as a soft

Home office minister Beverley Hughes said the aim was to help
asylum seekers to ‘use their time constructively’, and
get involve in community activities.

Source:- Daily Mail Wednesday 24 July page 1 and 6

Guardian Society

Area vacancy

South west losing social care staff

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 July page 4

Identity crisis

Leicester council in row over future of Somali families

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 July page 4

Private arrangement

NHS trust forced to open pay beds to keep consultants

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 July page 4

Right moves

Lynne Wallis on a project to ensure difficult youngsters
continue learning even after exclusion from school

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 July page 14

Healing touch

A new therapy that helps children who cannot make emotional and
physical attachments

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 July page

Energy into action

A utility firm is forging grassroots links to combat poverty

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 July page

Degrees of separation

Parental break-ups do not always traumatise children

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 24 July page

Scottish newspapers

Scotland’s obese children at risk

Inactivity and obesity is a growing health problem among
Scotland’s children according to Dr John Reilly, a senior
lecturer in the department of human nutrition at Glasgow’s
Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Addressing a two-day conference on obesity, Dr Reilly stated
that Scotland’s three and four-year-old children have become
as inactive as sedentary teenagers in the USA. Dr Reilly warned
that the next generation was facing serious health problems such as
diabetes and heart disease.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 24 July page 1

Male nurse cleared of sex attack

A male nurse who patted elderly nursing home patients on the
bottom, has been cleared of charges of indecent assault after a
sheriff ruled that allowances must be made for staff dealing with
adults suffering from dementia.

In a written decision issued at Perth, Sheriff Michael Fletcher
sated he was satisfied that James McConville had not acted with
criminal intent at the nursing home in Blairgowrie in incidents
relating back to February 1998.

The sheriff said that those caring for people with dementia “had
to ascertain what was the best way of communicating with them”.

Very often, according to the sheriff, dementia sufferers
approached “with a desire to cuddle them, hold hands, touch them or
even kiss them in much the same way children might do”.

The sheriff also ruled out two allegations that McConville had
indecently assaulted two female members of staff saying the delay
between the prosecution and defence evidence made any judgement

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 24 July page 10

Welsh newspapers

Net twins adoption lawyer struck off

The north Wales man who sparked controversy by paying
£8,200 to adopt American twin girls through the internet has
been struck off as a solicitor for breaching financial rules.

Alan Kilshaw was found to have improperly used £17,000 of
his clients’ money to prop up his own overdraft. Kilshaw and his
wife Judith lost their legal battle to keep the children who were
eventually returned to their foster parents in America after first
being taken into care.

The case highlighted concerns about international adoptions over
the internet.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 24 July page 1 and

Asylum worry for hospital

A former hospital for people with mental health problems could
be used for asylum seekers.

Sully Hospital near Cardiff has been earmarked as one of eight
possible sites for refugees entering the UK. Home office officials
who have inspected the building say it would be possible to convert
the building.

A Home office spokesperson confirmed the former hospital was on
a list of possible sites. The possibility will anger mental health
campaigners who fought to keep the hospital open, and local
residents who are opposed to its use for asylum seekers.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 24 July page 2

Second strike looks likely

Council workers are on course for a second strike. Talks are
planned for Friday, but union officials say they are not hopeful.
Union officials say that they do not believe that the employers are
serious about reaching a settlement over the claim for a six per
cent pay rise.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 24 July page 3










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