Monday 7 June 2004

By Amy Taylor, Shirley Kumar, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Attacks on paediatricians ‘put children at

Some paediatricians are afraid to suggest that a child has
been abused due to a fear of harassment by some groups representing
parents, child protection campaigners have claimed.

Leading figures in child protection are concerned children would be
put at risk if paediatricians are discouraged from reporting abuse.
They made the comments as paediatrician David Southall appears
before the General Medical Council today charged with serious
professional misconduct.

The allegation relates to a statement he made about Stephen Clarke,
the husband of Sally Clarke, who had her conviction for killing her
babies quashed. He is alleged to have phoned police telling them
that Stephen Clarke had harmed his children after seeing him on a

Source: The Guardian, Monday, June 7, page 10

Mentor scheme helps troubled children

A new pilot scheme aimed at providing mentors for potential
troublemakers is to be rolled out nationwide.

Mentors and Peers (MAP), run by Community Service Volunteers,
relies on volunteers to visit vulnerable children every week. The
volunteers will talk through the children’s problems and
schoolwork and encourage talents.

Source: The Independent, Monday, June 7, page 2

NHS prepares for heat wave

NHS hospitals are preparing emergency plans to cope with the
summer heat wave.

In August last year, mortality rates leapt 17 per cent per cent as
thousands of mainly elderly people died from heat related
conditions. Hospitals and family doctors are to be placed on alert
by the Met office as soon as temperatures are forecast to hit 32C
for two or more days.

Source: The Independent, Sunday, June 6, Page 12

Prison launches investigation into seventh suicide

The Prison Service is launching an urgent investigation
into the death of a female prisoner at HMP Buckley Hall, Rochdale,
Greater Manchester.

Mother of two Rebecca Smith was not put on suicide watch despite a
history of mental illness.
This is the seventh death in similar circumstances in two months to
hit Britain’s jails.

Source: The Independent, Sunday, June 6, Page 12 

Council workers offered 8.9 per cent rise

Council workers unions are due to consult their members
over whether to accept a pay deal worth 8.9 per cent over three

Unison, the Transport and General Workers and the GMB will be
contacting about 1.3 million council workers.

Source: The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday, June 6, page 11

BT puts block on child porn sites

British Telecom has blocked access to all illegal child
pornography websites in a move will lead to the first mass
censorship of the web in Western democracy.

BT has taken the decision after pressure from children’s
charities. The project has been developed in consultation with the
Home Office.

Source: The Observer, Sunday, June 6, page 8

Domestic Violence victim commits suicide

A mother jumped to her death with her child in her arms believing
her abusive former boyfriend was going to kidnap her three-year old
daughter, an inquest heard.

The girl suffered broken bones in the fall from the seventh balcony
and is recovering with her grandmother, Janet Howard.

Coroner Roger Sykes recorded a verdict of suicide and said it was
related to the mother’s continuing fear for her physical

The mother shared the same name as Maxine Carr, the former
girlfriend of Soham murderer Ian Huntley.

Source: The Telegraph, Saturday, June 5, page 10

Scottish newspapers

Alcohol kills record number in Scotland

A record number of Scots are drinking themselves to death,
according to new statistics.

Despite government campaigns to target binge drinkers, 1,957 people
died from excessive drinking in 2002 representing a 40 per cent
rise in five years.

The figures show that children as young as seven years old are
being hospitalised after drinking alcohol. Record numbers of women
are also drinking the selves to an early grave.

Source: Evening News, Saturday 5 June

Social workers set for award ahead of split

Edinburgh Council’s social work department is set to be
awarded the Investors in People status just months before it is to
be dismantled.

Union chiefs said the news was “ironic” in light of the
imminent restructuring under which the department will be split
into two.

The decision to restructure the service followed two damning
reports into the its handling of the Caleb Ness case.

Source: Evening News, Saturday 5 June

Childcare workers tell of attacks by

Verbal threats, malicious complaints and assaults are just some
of the problems encountered by child protection specialists
investigating allegations of abuse.

Research by the British Association for the Study and Prevention of
Child Abuse and Neglect has revealed a catalogue of violence and
threats against health and social workers. Some staff have had guns
pulled on them, while others have been victims of stalkers.

The threats are hindering proper investigation of abuse claims and
causing many staff to leave the profession.
Ruth Stark of BASW Scotland will give evidence to the Scottish
parliament’s justice committee this week about the violence
social workers face in their job.

Source: Sunday Herald,  Sunday 6 June 2004

Revealed: 10 per cent of children in care homes are
asylum seekers

More than one in 10 children in care homes in Glasgow are asylum
seekers, council officials will reveal this week.

Thousands of unaccompanied minors arrive in Britain each year and
are automatically taken into care. In the past two years, 16 young
people claiming asylum have arrived in Glasgow putting pressure on
accommodation for looked after children which is already

All but one has been granted leave to remain in the country until
they are 18 leaving Glasgow responsible for their welfare.
But officials will admit at a conference in Dunblane this week that
the council was “completely unprepared” for the

Source: Sunday Herald, Sunday 6 June 2004

Fury as executive misses slopping-out appeal

Scotland’s justice minister has been urged to
explain why the Scottish Executive has failed to meet the deadline
to appeal against the slopping out case.

Papers should have been lodged by the Executive with 21 days of the
original decision by the court but the executive admitted at the
weekend that it had not been done.

Politicians urged Cathy Jamieson to make a full ministerial
statement on the issue.

Lord Bonomy ruled last month that Robert Napier’s human
rights were breached when he was forced to slop-out of his cell at
Barlinnie prison. Around 1,200 prisoners are forced to slop out in
five Scottish jails.

Source: The Scotsman, Monday 7 June

Welsh newspapers

Row erupts over go-private abortion letter

A row has erupted after an NHS official suggested women
seeking abortions should go private because of pressure on the
health service.

Plaid Cymru accused the Welsh assembly of promoting private health
care. It said the advice was unprecedented, disgraceful and
confirmation of major problems in the NHS. The advice was contained
in a letter to GPs from team leader, Ceri Bryant of the Bodywise
Clinic at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in south Wales.

Source: Western Mail, Monday 7 June, page 2

Hospital defends stand on non-resuscitation

A Welsh hospital has defended its position following claims that
it had not discussed ‘do not resuscitate’ orders with

Will Bee, director of the Disability Rights Commission for Wales
says research at the Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest shows that
out of 54 patients who were subject to DNR notices, only one knew
of the notice, and he describes the findings as alarming.

But consultant geriatrician, Dr K Mohanaruban who carried out the
research said that DNR was a highly sensitive and that it was
sometimes inappropriate to discuss the issue with patients.

Source: Western Mail, Monday 7 June, page 3

Estate gets aid to tackle its troubles

A troubled housing estate in west Wales has become the
first in the principality to benefit from a new initiative to
tackle anti-social behaviour.

The Mount Estate in Milford Haven has been given £122,000 from
the Welsh Assembly for a pioneering three-year scheme to attack the
underlying causes of bad behaviour.

Source: Western Mail, Monday 7 June, page 3

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