Monday 7 June 2004

    By Amy Taylor, Shirley Kumar, Clare Jerrom and Alex
    Dobson

    Attacks on paediatricians ‘put children at
    risk’

    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
    documentary.

    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
    years.

    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
    safety.

    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
    parents

    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
    stretched.

    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
    challenge.

    Source: Sunday Herald, Sunday 6 June 2004

    Fury as executive misses slopping-out appeal
    deadline

    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
    orders

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

    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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