New director of social care at Department of Health
The Department of Health is to appoint a director of social care to strengthen its standing, as part of a shake-up of the DH’s top ranks.
Permanent secretary Sir Nigel Crisp announced he would also appoint a financial controller for social care, to help manage costs.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 21 January 2006, page 10

Children’s champions demand a total ban on smacking
The UK’s four children’s commissioners have called on education secretary Ruth Kelly to institute a total ban on smacking. In a statement they said that smacking “confuses parents, inhibits child protection and undermines the promotion of positive discipline”.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 21 January 2006, page 4

Babies face year in care because of court delays
Babies are remaining in care for more than a year before it is decided whether they should be returned to their parents. Solicitors’ leaders called for more judges and clerks to be allocated to family courts.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 22 January 2006, page 8

Rethink on Child Support Agency
The whole remit of the CSA could be rewritten as part of a radical reform programme, work and pensions secretary John Hutton said yesterday.
Source:- The Times, Monday 23 January 2006, page 4

Benefit call centres may move abroad to save money
Unemployed people and pensionsers seeking benefit advice may have to ring overseas unde plans being discussed in Whitehall, a leaked Department of Work and Pensions document says.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 23 January 2006, page 12

Sex crime watchdog is child porn suspect
A probation officer who was put in charge of a Home Office database of sex offenders has been charged with distributing child pornography.
Vincent Barron, the assistant chief probabion officer for Northumbria, who had been seconded to manage the Violent and Sex Offenders Register, is now on police bail.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 21 January 2006, page 14

Alzheimer’s drug restrictions cruel and unethical, say experts
Drugs should be funded for patients with moderate Alzheimer’s, but not for those with mild or severe forms of the disease, according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Experts take issue with this.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 23 January 2006, page 12

Hurt the aged
Half a million old people are regularly beaten, insulted and abused, a shock new report from Help the Aged reveals.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Monday 23 January 2006, page 19

GPs paid to send sick back to work
Family doctors will be financially rewarded for encouraging sick patients back to work under highly controversial plans to reform the welfare state.
Source:- Observer, Sunday 22 January 2006, page 18

Sex offender doctors
The government does not know how many sex offenders are working in the NHS it has emerged. A Mail on Sunday investigation has found that at least seven doctors convicted of child sex offences since 2002 are still free to carry on working.
Source:- Mail on Sunday, Sunday 22 January 2006

Legal blow for jailed baby-death parents
Dozens of parents jailed for killing their children will not be given the chance to challenge their convictions due to a forthcoming ruling.
A review of 88 cases involving shaken baby syndrome by Lord Goldsmith the attorney general is expected to rule that only four of the case should be reinvestigated.
Source:- The Sunday Times, Sunday 22 January 2006

Doctor couple struck off for neglecting elderly in their care
Two doctors have been struck off for failing to properly care for the residents of the nursing home they ran together.
Residents at the home run by Jamalapuram Hari Gopal and his wife Pratury Samrajya Lakshmi were neglected and left in squalid conditions, a General Medical Council panel was told.
The home closed in 2003.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 21 January 2006, page 6

Kelly says critics don’t understand reforms
Education secretary Ruth Kelly has accused her critics of not understanding the government’s schools reforms in remarks attacked as patronising by unions and backbenchers. Her comments came ahead of a tough week for the government, in which the education select committee is expected to produce a highly critical report on the white paper proposals.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 21 January 2006, page 14

Police to file all offences for life
The police have won the right to keep records of all criminal convictions, including the most minor, on file for 100 years.
Chief constables won an appeal against the information commissioner, who had claimed retention of certain information breached data protection rules.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 21 January 2006, page 1

Private landlords to lose control of tenants’ deposits
Private landlords will lose the right to keep tenant deposits from October, under government plans. They will have to hand them over to a government-appointed firm, after research showed one in five tenants felt landlords retained part or all of their deposit unfairly.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 21 January 2006, page 14

Brothel plan will create a paradise for pimps, says Met man
A former head of the Metropolitan Police’s vice squad has labelled the government’s plans to reform prostitution as a “pimps’ charter”.
Chief Superintendent Simon Humphre, chair of the Metropolitan Police branch of the Police Superintendents Association, said plans to allow two prostitutes to work together on premises would increase trafficking and the exploitation of women.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 21 January 2006, page 45

Teacher agencies ignore checks scheme, investigation finds
Only a quarter of Britain’s supply teaching agencies have signed up to a government backed scheme, the quality mark initiative, designed to keep sex offenders out of school.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 22 January 2006, page 10

Row over name for euthanasia group
The Voluntary Euthanasia Society is to change its name today to Dignity in Dying to cover all end-of-life issues and not just assisted dying. But a large group of people opposed to euthanasia including the British Council of Disabled People, have written to Alan Johnson, the trade and industry secretary, expressing their fear that the name change would give “dignity in dying” a different meaning.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 23 January 2006, page 2

Why my father deserves to have his lost voice back
On the eve of a crucial decision about funding new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s, Yvonne Roberts recalls her father’s descent into illness and urges a radical new approach to help fellow sufferers.
Source:- Observer, Sunday 22 January 2006, page 21

Police keep innocent children’s DNA
A police database with DNA profiles of 24,000 innocent children has provoked a row over privacy.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 22 January 2006, page 2

Quarter of council tax goes on state pensions
Families are paying £250 a year on their council tax bills to meet the generous pensions of public sector workers, said a government pensions adviser.
Source:- Daily Mail, Monday 23 January 2006, page 12

Nine in ten credit cards fail to check on income, survey finds
Credit card companies are contributing to a national debt crisis by failing to check on the income and finances of new customers, a website survey reports.
Source:- Daily Mail, Monday 23 January 2006, page 19

Scottish news

More female reoffenders jailed
The proportion of young women sent back to detention for reoffending has overtaken young men.
New research from the Scottish prison service reveals that a higher proportion of women aged 21 and under were returned to detention within two years of being liberated compared to young men.
Of the young women leaving prison in 2001, more than 64% were back in custody within two years compared to 60% of the young men.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 23 January 2006
Children lose out on specialist support
Hundreds of children with communication problems have lost specialist support as their therapists have been withdrawn to help clear a huge waiting list.
Young people struggling with speech and language have had to wait up to two years to see an expert about their problems in Greater Glasgow.
Now the health board has taken the drastic step of removing some speech and language therapists from schools and health centres to get through the backlog waiting for assessment.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 23 January 2006
Executive to put focus on older people
Ministers are to spearhead a drive to recognise the contribution older people can make to Scotland, Malcolm Chisholm, the communities minister, has promised.
Writing in The Scotsman, he reveals that the executive is drawing up a strategy for the ageing population of Scotland.
Mr Chisholm says the strategy will show how the country can benefit from demographic change and what needs to be done in response to it.
Source:- The Scotsman, Monday 23 January 2006
Growth of Scottish public sector costing jobs
The private sector has declined in the face of the relentless expansion of the public sector, according to official data.
Businesses have shed 17,000 jobs over a period when the government and its various agencies have hired 24,000 more staff.
An unpublished survey of Scotland’s labour market by the Office for National Statistics has found 707,000 people are now employed by the government – almost one in three jobs in Scotland.
Source:- The Scotsman, Monday 23 January 2006
Council war on sickness benefit
Scottish councils will be given the power to cut sickness benefits if claimants refuse to go back to work.
Glasgow, with the third highest incapacity benefit claims rates in the UK, with one in six people of working age on the sick, will be the first authority to crack down under the welfare shake-up.
If officials manage to cut claimant numbers, the council will be rewarded with extra cash for public services.
Source:- The Record, Monday 23 January 2006

Welsh news

Suicide fears for the bullied
Victims of bullying could turn to suicide due to the “no-blame” approach to tackling the problems in some Welsh schools, a charity warned today.
Anti-bullying charity Kidscape said that the policy, which can involve victims having to sit with those who have bullied them and go through their concerns, could be used as a way for schools to think they have dealt with the issue when it reality it had not gone away.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 23 January 2006

Programme to tackle children’s bad behaviour
An innovative parenting skills scheme is to be rolled out across Wales in an attempt to prevent antisocial behaviour.
The Incredible Years programme, which was first put on at the University of Wales, Bangor, helps parents and carers to deal with bad behaviour in young children.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 23 January 2006

Husband bailed after wife’s death
A man who was arrested by police after his wife was found dead at their home has been released on bail.
Janice Glover, 73, of Lon-y-Wern, Alltwen, Pontardawe, was found dead at the bottom of the stairs.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 23 January 2006




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