Wednesday 23 February 2005

    By Clare Jerrom, Lauren Revans, Derren Hayes and Amy

    Billions ‘wasted’ on public services

    England’s education, health and transport systems are falling
    behind those of other countries, despite the extra billions of tax
    payers’ money being thrown at them, according to an
    independent report by the non-political organisation Reform.

    The analysis undermines Labour’s attempts in the run up to a
    general election to highlight improved public services as its key
    achievement in the past eight years.

    Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 23 February page

    Kelly ‘betrays students’ with unambitious exam

    Education secretary Ruth Kelly was expected to ignore calls to
    subsume GCSEs and A-levels within an English baccalaureate-style
    diploma today as she published the long-awaited white paper on
    education for 14- to 19-year-olds.

    But the former chief inspector of schools, Mike Tomlinson, who
    chaired the group that recommended an over-arching diploma, said it
    would be a “bureaucratic waste of time” if the
    government simply opted for a solution that worked around existing

    Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 23 February page

    Tory pledge to pensioners

    Conservative leader Michael Howard stepped up his campaign
    for the “grey vote” yesterday by promising to increase
    the basic state pension in line with earnings and to offer a 50 per
    cent cut in council tax for over-65s.

    Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 23 February page

    Are GPs in thrall top the drugs companies?

    Campaigners fear the pharmaceutical industry, through its
    hard-nosed sales techniques, has too much influence over the drugs
    doctors give to their patients.

    Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 23 February page

    Happy Birthday. We are throwing you out of Britain

    His mother was shot dead for her political beliefs. So was his
    father. He was looked after by foster parents in London until he
    turned 18. Then he was locked up so that he can be
    ‘dumped’ abroad. Soon we’ll be doing this to 16
    year olds…

    Source:- The Independent Wednesday 23 February page

    Public sector basic pay to rise by up to 3% following

    The government will increase the basic pay of a wide range of
    people working in the public sector by between 2.5 and three per
    cent following a number of reports from the pay review body

    Source:- Financial Times  Wednesday 23 February page

    Asylum seekers’ numbers drop

    The number of asylum seekers arriving in the UK fell by two per
    cent in the last quarter of 2004, according to Home Office

    Source:- Financial Times  Wednesday 23 February page

    Teenage talent wasted by ageism at work

    Teenagers suffer worse age discrimination than 50-year-olds,
    according to a study by the Employers Forum on Age.

    The study also warned that companies were wasting the talents of
    employees by judging their progress on their age rather than their
    contribution to the business.

    Source:- Financial Times  Wednesday 23 February page

    Anti-anger drive

    An NSPCC campaign is targeting parents under stress who hit out at
    their children in frustration.

    Source:- The Times  Wednesday 23 February page 4

    31-stone man will sue over mental health custody

    A man who weighs 31 stones who was taken to a mental health
    hospital against his will because he could not stop eating is
    planning to sue the local authorities.

    Social services used powers normally used to detain people with
    mental health problems who may be a danger to themselves or others
    to detain Chris Leppard against his will.

    Leppard suffers from Prada Willi Syndrome which means he cannot
    tell when his stomach is full.

    Source:- The Times  Wednesday 23 February page 5

    Illegal migrant jailed for sex slave ring

    A man who made money from trafficking Eastern European sex slaves
    was jailed for 11 years yesterday.

    Vullnet Ismailaj ran a prostitution empire which stretched from
    Birmingham to London. He employed around 10 girls at any one time
    and sold them for £4,000 each.

    Source:- The Times  Wednesday 23 February page 21

    Sex clinic records in skip

    An investigation into how patient records from the Whittall Street
    sex clinic on Birmingham were found discarded in a skip was
    launched by health officials yesterday.

    Source:- The Guardian  Wednesday 23 February page 7

    Restraint time limit rejected

    The government has refused to accept a three minute time limit for
    face down restraint of mental health patients despite
    recommendations from an NHS-commissioned inquiry.

    The inquiry into David Bennett’s death recommended that
    patients should only be detained after Bennett died having been
    held face down on the floor for 25 minutes.

    Instead, Nice guidance says the level of force must be justifiable,
    appropriate, reasonable and proportionate.

    Source:- The Guardian  Wednesday 23 February page 10

    Doubts over drug tests on pupils

    A study published today by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation warns
    that introducing drug tests in schools could lead to pupils moving
    away from taking relatively harmless drugs such as cannabis to
    drugs such as ecstasy and heroin to avoid detection.

    Source:- The Guardian  Wednesday 23 February page 10

    Babysitter ‘beat toddler to death against

    A babysitter battered a toddler to death against a staircase
    banister then bullied the child’s teenage mother into
    covering up for her, a court heard yesterday.

    Susan Holdsworth repeatedly smashed Kyle Fisher’s head into
    the rails on both sides of the stairs, it was claimed. The toddler
    died in hospital two days later, Teesside Crown Court was

    It was also claimed that Holdsworth then intimidated the
    child’s mother Clare Fisher into lying for her.

    Source:- Daily Mail  Wednesday 23 February page 29

    The people’s game

    Despite the extraordinary wealth of the top professional football
    clubs, their investment in local community programmes is pitiful.
    As new research suggests that clubs can be a force for social good,
    David Conn says it is time for soccer to get back to its

    Source:- Society Guardian  Wednesday 23 February page 2,
    3, 4 and 5

    In-the-blood money

    Many of the Milltown Boys, forty-something from a rough Welsh
    council estate are experts at working the system – not for
    vast sums of cash, they claim, but to help feed and clothe their

    Source:- SocietyGuardian  Wednesday 23 February page 8 and

    Too much, too young

    Are disabled children better off in mainstream childcare?

    Source:- SocietyGuardian  Wednesday 23 February page

    What else can I do?

    After working as a senior manager in children’s services,
    47-year-old Sue wonders what options are open to her in other

    Source:- SocietyGuardian  Wednesday 23 February page

    Scottish news

    Sharp rise in homeless families

    New figures from the Scottish Executive show a sharp rise in the
    number of homeless people. The figures revealed a 12% jump between
    September 2003 and September 2004 in households with children
    living in temporary accommodation, such as hostels and shared
    council flats.

    From March 31, 2002 until December 2004 the number rose by 64%. In
    addition, the number of families with children forced to stay in
    B&Bs rose 20% in the year ending December 31, 2004.

    Source:- The Herald Wednesday 23 February

    Helpline keeps 12,000 patients waiting

    Around 12,000 patients are being left waiting for health advice
    each week by the NHS 24 helpline as it struggles to cope with staff
    sickness and recruitment problems.

    Targets for clinical safety and responsiveness are among nine
    out of 15 key indicators missed last year, a report to the body’s
    chief executive has revealed. The document also shows a rise in
    days lost to staff illness and an increase in the number of
    employees leaving the service in the last three months of 2004, as
    NHS 24 was rolled out across Scotland.

    Source:- The Herald Wednesday 23 February

     Rise in school exclusions is evidence of tough

    The number of pupils excluded from Scottish schools has risen
    sharply over the past year. Figures show that in 2003-04 there were
    38,919 exclusions, a rise of 7% on the previous year, but the
    number of pupils permanently removed from the school register fell
    by 40%.

    A quarter were due to disobedience, 22% involved verbal abuse of
    staff and 14% involved physical abuse of fellow pupils.

    Source:- The Herald Wednesday 23 February

    Smokers face total ban inside

    Some long stay and psychiatric hospitals are the only NHS
    facilities in Glasgow that will be able to be exempt from a smoking
    ban if proposals put forward by the Greater Glasgow NHS Board are
    given the go-ahead. The plans, which would even ban smoking in the
    grounds of NHS buildings, are out to consultation until 30 May.

    Source:- The Herald Wednesday 23 February

    Borders first for new social work checks

    The Borders social work department is to be the first in
    Scotland to undergo a tougher national inspection regime aimed at
    preventing failures in services for adults and children with
    learning disabilities. It will undergo the monitoring process
    during a week-long inspection in May. It followed investigations by
    the Executive’s Social Work Services Inspectorate (SWSI) and
    the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (MWC) last year that
    pointed to failings at many levels in social work and health-care
    over a 30-year period.

    Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 23 February

    Car park scandal

    A new survey has found able-bodied drivers in Glasgow were
    prepared to take every bay allocated to the disabled at
    supermarkets, health centres and railway stations. At one Focus DIY
    store in Glasgow, researchers discovered that none of the 10 cars
    parked in 12 reserved spaces had disabled badges, while at a health
    centre none of the five cars parked in the disabled area should
    have been there.

    Source:- Daily Record 23 February

    Welsh newspapers

    Matron choked man, 94, carer tells jury

    A carer told a court that she had seen a nursing homes matron stuff
    food down a man’s throat until he choked and died

    Kelly Fitzgerald told the jury at Caernarfon Crown Court that Avola
    Humphreys wasn’t giving 94-year-old William Pettener any time
    to swallow.

    Pettener died at Bodawen Nursing Home in Tremadog, Porthmadog, in
    April last year.

    Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 23 February

    ‘Appeals don’t work’

    Independent appeals panels who parents can appeal to against a
    school’s decision to exclude their child are putting children
    back into school who have misbehaved, it has been alleged.

    Chris Howard, of NAHT Cymru, said, that it was right and proper
    that appeals could be made but that there was evidence that
    children who were rightfully permanently excluded were being

    Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 23 February



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