Thursday 6 November 2003

By Lauren Revans, David Callaghan and Alex

Fear of guns made me choose private school says

Labour MP Diane Abbott claimed yesterday that she had decided to
send her son to a private school because she was worried about
black male under-achievement and gun crime.
Abbott has been accused of hypocrisy for sending her 12-year-old
son James to the £10,000-a-year City of London School for
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 6 November page 2
Spider-Man comes down to earth
A man, who spent six days up a crane dressed as Spider-Man to
highlight the plight of fathers who do not have access to their
children, ended his protest in London yesterday.
David Chick was arrested after his descent as onlookers shouted
their support for his cause.
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 6 November page 19
Alzheimer’s balm
An extract of lemon balm could boost the memory and mood of people
suffering from Alzheimer’s, researchers have found.
Dr Andrew Wake of Newcastle University said one of the main
advantages of using the balm was the lack of serious
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 6 November page 21
Scandal of the doctors suspended for years
Hundreds of suspended doctors are off work for months at a time
because of NHS incompetence at settling disputes, according to a
damning report from the National Audit Office.
The report, which claims suspended doctors are costing the NHS
£40 million a year, calls for the Department of Health to
overhaul the system and tighten up management procedures.
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 6 November page 33
Foundation hospitals bill faces defeat in the

Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers are expecting to achieve a
“resounding” defeat in the House of Lords today of the
Government’s controversial plans to set up foundation
hospitals, in a move that would see the Health and Social Care Bill
returned back to the House of Commons for further debate.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 6 November page 2
Children blamed for suicide
A disabled man who was taunted by youths for years killed himself
after leaving a note saying: ‘The kids have beaten
Martin James had many confrontations with youths who often gathered
outside his home in Gloucester. On one occasion he fired an airgun
above their heads, and four days after police told him he had to
attend an official interview he hanged himself in his shed.
Gloucester coroner Alan Crickmore recorded a verdict of suicide and
said “This is a tragic case.”
James’ wife Angela said the police did not respond to his 999
calls very often, and “in the end it was too much for
Source:- The Times Thursday 6 November page 3
25% of GPs turn away new patients
More than a quarter of GP surgeries are turning away new patients a
survey by ‘Which?’ magazine has found. Researchers
called 119 surgeries across the country posing as potential new
patients, with 32 refusing new patients.
Of 74 in England, just over a third said they were not taking new
patients. In Scotland it was four out of 21, Northern Ireland two
out of 12 and Wales one in 12.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 6 November page 8
Scottish newspapers
Social work changes in wake of baby death

Plans to speed up improvements to Scotland’s child protection
services were unveiled by ministers yesterday. The cabinet has now
agreed to accelerate measures to change the way social work
departments are inspected.
The measures include an independent inspection service and
monitoring of police, health boards and council services. The move
follows the death of 11-week-old Caleb Ness who was killed by his
father, Alexander Ness, while the baby was on the child protection
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 6 November
Reid criticised for secure unit sites
The health secretary has been criticised for failing to react to
his constituents’ fears about proposals for a secure unit for
offenders with mental health problems in Lanarkshire. John Reid,
the MP for Hamilton North and Bellshill, has failed to offer an
opinion as to whether the villages of Uddington and Bothwell are
suitable sites for the proposed unit. Last night, campaigners said
Reid was hiding behind the excuse that the issue is devolved to
Holyrood in a bid to avoid criticising a policy he is championing
across the UK.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 6 November
Young offenders in need of help
Young offenders will not automatically receive long
custodial sentences, one of the country’s most senior judges has
declared. Lord Gill, the Lord Justice-Clerk, said retribution and
deterrence were important, but not decisive for young people who
need help to avoid being trapped in a cycle of crime.
Lord Gill made his comments as the court of criminal appeal
replaced a three-year prison sentence with probation for Michael
Kane, who robbed a paperboy at knifepoint.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 6 November
Lack of help for offenders condemned
Social workers, the police and the Scottish executive, are
criticised in a report today which claims that hundreds of
persistent young offenders who are referred for supervision are
left to their own devices.
Between 300 and 500 young offenders referred to social work are
given no supervision, and more than half the children who should be
under regular supervision receive less than one visit a month,
according to the Audit Scotland report.
Source:- The Herald Thursday 6 November
Social work managers could go ‘back on the

Glasgow Council is to be radically restructured in a bid to resolve
an unprecedented recruitment crisis. Some vulnerable children have
been left unsupervised because of the 40 per cent vacancy rates in
some departments. The proposals include the deletion of the senior
social work post which would return experienced staff to case work
instead of managing. The council said this change would create a 30
per cent rise in capacity to deal with cases.
Source:- The Herald Thursday 6 November
Welsh newspapers
Patients’ long trolley waits

The numbers of patients in Wales waiting on trolleys for emergency
treatment has trebled. A total of 4,802 patients were left for more
than 12 hours in accident and emergency departments between October
2002 and this September, compared with 1,517 for the same period
the year before.
The findings come at a time when there are warnings from MPs that
waiting lists in Wales will be three times longer than those of
England within the space of a year, and coincide with the Welsh
assembly’s response to the Wanless review of health and
social care.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 6 November page 1
Socially-deprived area in battle to keep job

Community leaders are fighting plans to close a job centre in an
area of high unemployment.
Job-centre Plus, the government’s one-stop shop for benefits
and employment advice, is planning to close its centre in Brymawr,
Blaenau Gwent, but community representatives said the area badly
needs the service.
Gareth Jones, chief regeneration officer at Blaenau Gwent council,
said that there was concern at the plan because of the high levels
of deprivation in the area.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 6 November page 2
Blair accused of ignoring care problem
A campaigner who wants a bill of rights to protect older people in
care homes, has accused prime minister Tony Blair of ignoring their
Wrexham resident Ken Mack said that a response from the prime
minister during question time in Parliament yesterday on the issue
of care homes closures, showed that Blair was aware of the
situation but was ignoring it.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 6 November page 8

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