Tuesday 30 March 2004

By Natasha Salari, David Callaghan and Alex

Prozac Nation, UK
Doctors are using antidepressants as a “quick fix”
solution to mild anxiety problems, according to a new report.
The shortage of NHS counsellors and therapists is making GPs feel
that they have no option but to hand out anti-depressants to people
who may only need an outlet for discussing their problems.
Eighty per cent of GPs in the survey by Norwich Union Healthcare
admitted that they are prescribing drugs such as Prozac and Seroxat
when patients may simply need someone to talk to.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 30 March page 1
Diplomat is suspended for ‘exposing fast-track asylum

The immigration minister Beverley Hughes has been accused of
another cover-up after a consular official was suspended for
alleging that the government was allowing Eastern Europeans to
enter Britain with forged documents.
James Cameron, consul at the British Embassy in Bucharest, Romania,
faces disciplinary action after sending an e-mail to David Davis,
the Conservative shadow home secretary. He said that the fast-track
procedure for people in eight former iron curtain countries that
join the EU in May, was only “the tip of the iceberg”.
He said that the system applied to Romania and Bulgaria, which are
due to join the EU in 2007.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 30 March page 1
Expelled schoolboy wins damages in landmark human rights

A teenager excluded from school despite being cleared of
involvement in a classroom fire, has won thousands of pounds in
damages after a judge ruled that teachers had infringed his human
Abdul Hakim Ali, aged 16, won a landmark ruling in the court of
appeal that the removal of his name from the student roll at a
Buckinghamshire secondary school was “incontestably
unlawful”, and he should be compensated for loss of schooling
and damage to his reputation.
The eventual settlement could be as high as £10,000.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 30 March page 5
Cleared GPs may still face judges
Judges could have the power to ban doctors, dentists, nurses and
pharmacists from working even when they have been cleared by their
own professional bodies.
A judge ruled yesterday that the new Council for the Regulation of
Healthcare Professionals had the right to refer cases to court even
after an acquittal by a professional body.
As a result, a GP cleared of misconduct by the General Medical
Council could face being charged with the same offence again in a
different forum. The same would apply to any healthcare
Source:- The Times Tuesday 30 March page 2
Doctors to sue BMA over racism claims
The British Medical Association (BMA) is facing claims that it
racially discriminated against five doctors who asked for legal
The doctors claim that the BMA failed to back them in conflicts
with their hospitals, and they are now suing the organisation for
racial discrimination. If they are successful the organisation
could face claims of several million pounds.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 30 March page 11
Stephen Hawking ‘not assaulted’
Police investigating allegations that the cosmologist Stephen
Hawking had been the victim of a series of assaults have said that
their inquiry is over because they can find no evidence to
substantiate the claims.
Cambridgeshire police questioned him and his second wife, Elaine,
about stories that he had been subjected to repeated abuse since
The 62-year-old professor receives round-the-clock care from a team
of nurses, and he uses a wheelchair because of motor neurone
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 30 March page 5
Jowell rejects legislation to combat obesity
Culture and sport secretary Tessa Jowell said she is optimistic
that Britain’s obesity epidemic can be fought without
government legislation.
Giving evidence at a House of Commons select committee hearing on
obesity, she argued that food manufacturers and advertisers should
send out responsible messages about healthy eating.
She said that this would be more effective than any action by any
ministers or MPs.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 30 March page 10
Scottish newspapers
Scots couple conned by fake surrogate

A woman who conned two couples into giving her money to act as a
surrogate mother has pleaded guilty to three charges of obtaining
money by deception and three offences under the Adoption Act, at
Bingley magistrates court in Yorkshire.
Moira Greenslade, from Keighley, west Yorkshire, targeted a
Scottish couple who had suffered 13 miscarriages and eight failed
attempts at fertility treatment.
They gave her £1,500 and another couple paid £1,000,
which she spent on her son and family holidays. The case was
adjourned for sentencing.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 30 March 2004
Pregnant teenager jailed for stabbing youth in the

A 17-year-old girl was detained for two years at Edinburgh high
court after stabbing a youth.
Lauren O’Hare, of Fishcross, Clackmannanshire, was 16 and had
been drinking heavily when she stabbed a boy in the chest after an
argument in a chip shop.
Her family have pledged to appeal against the sentence.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 30 March
Welsh newspapers
Care staff cleared of allegation

Two care workers have been cleared of ill-treating patients in
their care.
John Bolderson and Jonathan Evans, both of Pontypridd, had been
accused of taunting and teasing and manhandling people with
learning disabilities at a care in the community project
The families of the accused men said after the trial, that the
experience had been a nightmare.
Source:- South Wales Echo Monday March 29 page 6
Mother jailed in move to deter truancy
A mother was jailed yesterday for 28 days for failing to send her
children to school.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is the second
person in Carmarthenshire to be jailed under tough new measures
designed to stamp out truancy.
A court in Ammanford jailed her after hearing that her 15-year-old
son had failed to attend any lessons since October.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 30 March page 3
Carers bill champion calls on public to lobby

A Welsh MP is calling on the public to give support to his private
member’s bill that aims to champion the cause of
The bill highlights the need for carers to be given support and
gives them new rights for work, education and lifelong
But Dr Hywel Francis, MP for Aberavaon, is appealing to the public
to lobby MPs to help ensure the bill’s success.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 30 March page 3

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