Monday 17 May 2004

Campaigners call for review into child care

Campaigners are calling for an independent review into cases
where children have been taken into care on the advice of expert

Lawyer Sarah Harman, the sister of Solicitor General Harriet,
demanded the review into parents diagnosed with Munchausen’s
Syndrome by proxy following a Court of Appeal ruling on Friday.

The court ruled that the verdict did not change the
responsibilities of local authorities who take youngsters into

Children’s Minister Margaret Hodge had ordered the review of
family as well as criminal cases where expert testimony is

Source: The Observer, May 16 2004, page 2

Mothers fail in child-abuse appeals

The first two mothers taking legal action to be reunited with
their children after Sir Roy Meadow’s evidence was discredited have
lost their civil court challenges. They wanted to have their
rulings overturned after they had their children taken into care
after receiving a diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

Source: Times page 4, 15 May 2004

Romania to ban adoption by British couples

British people will be banned from adopting Romanian children
under a new law. The law, which is expected to come into effect to
be approved next week, will ban all foreign nationals from

Source: The Daily Telegraph, page 14, 15 May 2004

Midwives defy orders to shop asylum seekers

Midwives are opposing plans to make them shop asylum seekers who
claim free childbirth on the NHS.

A consultation paper, released last week by the Department of
Health, wants midwives and nurses to make it compulsory to alert
managers if they discover someone is receiving NHS care to which
they are not entitled.

A Department of Work and Pensions report proposes using health
professionals to gather evidence as part of a medical assessment of
people claiming incapacity and disability benefits.

Source The Observer, May 16 2004, page 16

Local Authorities reluctant to support people with

Local authorities are reluctant to support people with Autistic
Spectrum Disorders (ASD), reveals a report by the National Autistic

The report, A Place in Society, said 70 per cent of parents felt
their son or daughter would be unable to live independently and 65
per cent of ASD adults had not had a community care assessment and
did not know of the agencies that could help them.

There are an estimated 500,000 people with ASD in Britain of who
320,000 are adults.

Source: The Daily Telegraph, Monday May 17 2004, page

Independent Healthcare Forum launch

Lord Warner is to launch an Independent Healthcare Forum, a
trade association for private sector health providers today

The forum will replace the Independent Healthcare

By 2008 private providers both from overseas and the UK are set
to be treating a minimum of 600,000 NHS patients a year. That
figure is likely to represent about 10 per cent of all waiting list

Source: Financial Times, May 17 2004, page 4

No mention of probation service in NOMS

Senior probation and prison staff are alarmed the Home Office’s
preferred organisational structure for the new National Offender
Management Service (NOMS) makes no mention of the probation

Instead its role is to be taken over by public sector
intervention staff, complete with its own director, whose job will
be to manage community penalties and programmes such as probation
and electronic tagging.

NOMS is the result of a merger between the prison and probation

Source The Guardian May 17 2004, page 6

DIY drug kits from chemists

Parents will be able to buy a DIY drug testing kit from chemists
to check whether their children are taking illicit drugs.

Anti drug campaigners warn parents home testing could destroy
trust with their child.

The £12 kits are available from tomorrow (Tuesday).

Source: Daily Mail, May 17 2004, page 8

Scottish newspapers

Scottish communities to receive asylum seekers

Scottish communities are set to receive thousands of asylum
seekers next year under plans to end Glasgow’s monopoly of housing

A total of six councils are believed to be in talks with the
Home Office about taking asylum seekers when Glasgow’s £105m
contract ends.

Councils include Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Fife, West Dunbartonshire
and South Lanarkshire. Around 6,000 asylum seekers are currently
living in Glasgow.

Source: Scotland on Sunday, May 16 2004, page 1

Major in cadet sex probe

An army cadet leader has been suspended over claims he sexually
assaulted recruits on camping trips. Alexander Bisset is under
investigation by the Ministry of Defence police. He has been banned
from the Glasgow and Lanarkshire battalion. Bisset denies the

Source: Daily Record, Monday 17 May 2004, news page

Childcare tax break for more families

Childcare tax breaks will be available to more families,
children’s minister Margaret Hodge has announced. The child tax
credit is limited to parents using childminders and nurseries but
will in future parents will be able to use it to pay for nannies
and holiday club schemes. The change will come into force after

Source: Daily Record, Monday May 17 2004, page 11

Call for child trafficking crackdown

Police and social workers were today expected to call for number
of measures to tackle child trafficking. It follows a study of
unaccompanied children entering the UK. A report released today,
based on a three-month analysis of unaccompanied children entering
Heathrow Airport, will recommend safeguards, including safeguarding
teams at ports.

Source: The Scotsman, Monday 17 May 2004

‘Cover-up’ fear over child abuse review

The Scottish executive has been accused of a “whitewash” over
concerns that a review into child protection cases may never be
published. Lawyers are demanding that ministers publish its
findings, after dozens of parents in Scotland claim to have been
wrongly diagnosed with Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy. Eric Scott,
an Edinburgh-based solicitor representing two women, said the
review by the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration was
little more than a paper-chasing exercise.

Source: The Scotsman, Monday 17 May 2004

Homeless research points to a solution

Homeless people need wide-ranging support to ensure they do not
become homeless again, according to a study published by the
Glasgow Simon Community. The study by the charity is following the
progress of 75 homeless people over a year.

Source: The Herald, Monday 17 May 2004

Extend anti-social laws into class, say

The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association is urging the
government to extend anti-social behaviour orders to schools. It is
arguing that some behaviour outside schools should be covered by
the legislation.

Source: The Herald, Monday 17 May 2004

Welsh newspapers

Doubt cast on free bus passes

The effectiveness of a flagship scheme providing free bus passes
for pensioners in Wales may be in doubt following the publication
of new UK figures.

Tables showing the fastest growing bus routes and bus networks
in Wales do not include any actually in Wales, in spite of the
Welsh assembly putting £33m into unlimited free travel for all

The new figures appear to support the views of government
ministers in England who argue that there are more effective ways
to spend public money to boost bus services.

Source Western Mail Monday 17 May page 3

Fewer children recognise dangers of

Children are becoming less well informed about the risks of
catching HIV/Aids and are putting themselves in increasing danger
according to a new report.

 New research by the Schools Education Health Unit that surveyed
more than 140,000 young people across the UK found a decline in the
knowledge of 12 to 15-year-olds about the disease.

Source Western Mail Monday 17 May page 4

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