More support for carers in health white paper
The health white paper includes more support for carers, including a national helpline and improved emergency respite arrangements. Psychological therapy for people of working age with moderate mental health problems will be tested at two demonstration sites.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 31 January 2006, page 6

Asylum scheme drives families underground
At least 32 asylum families have gone underground to avoid having their children taken into care because they have failed to leave Britain, according to a report published today by the Refugee Council and Refugee Action. They say that out of 116 failed asylum-seeking families targeted in a 12-month pilot scheme designed to encourage them to go home, only one family has actually left the country.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 31 January 2006, page 4

Hospital asks for external inquiry into childbirth deaths
The Royal Bolton hospital has commissioned an independent inquiry after three women died in childbirth in its maternity unit between October 2005 and the middle of this month. Internal investigators found no link but because deaths in childbirth are so rare it requested the second inquiry.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 31 January 2006, page 5

Reprieve for 100 cottage hospitals in Hewitt U-turn
A reprieve for up to 100 cottage and community hospitals threatened with closure was in prospect last night, as part of proposals in the health white paper.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 31 January 2006, page 4

Boy aged 14 admits raping four schoolgirls
A 14-year-old boy has admitted raping four primary school girls playing in a public park in Salford. The teenager, who cannot be identified, pleaded guilty yesterday to four counts of rape against the children, all aged between 7 and 10.
Source:- The Times, Tuesday 31 January 2006, page 5

90 child smack addicts in two cities
Ninety heroin addicts under 13 were discovered by researchers in two British cities alone. Professor Neil McKeganey’s report found 60 pre-teen smack addicts in Glasgow and more than 30 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Source:- The Sun, Tuesday 31 January 2006, page 6

Teacher free to abuse for 22 years
A teacher was given free rein to sexually abuse boys after a shocking string of official blunders, a report has revealed. Hampshire Council knew of claims that paedophile Graham Stride, 51, had been molesting boys for 22 years but still let him carry on teaching. Hampshire’s director of social services John Coughlan admitted the system had failed.
Source:- The Sun, Tuesday 31 January 2006, page 19

Scottish news

Social workers escape scrutiny over heroin girl
Social workers will not be investigated over their involvement with an 11-year-old girl who abused heroin, despite the fact she and her family were known to the authorities.
Glasgow Council rejected the possibility of launching an internal inquiry into the case.
However, the executive’s anti-drug strategies came under attack as opposition parties claimed the girl’s admission she had been buying £10 bags of heroin at a shopping centre in Pollok proved children were falling through the system.
Source:- The Herald, Tuesday 31 January 2006

Lawyer launches fight for disabled
Olivia Giles, the Scots lawyer who lost her hands and feet to meningitis, said yesterday that disabled people have more to contribute to society than they are given credit for.
Launching a major campaign to highlight discrimination against Scotland’s one million disabled people, Giles rejected any idea that they were a drain on society.
The Disability Rights Commission says 45% of disabled people in Scotland are not in work – about half the rate for the non-disabled.
Source:- The Herald, Tuesday 31 January 2006

Massive rise in number of pupils excluded from school
The number of pupils permanently excluded from Scotland’s schools is on the increase in the past year, according to figures obtained by the Scotsman. The trend is in stark contrast to last year, when the number of permanent exclusions fell by 40 per cent to the lowest total on record.
Union leaders said the rise in expulsions proved that headteachers were no longer willing to tolerate persistent bad behaviour in their classrooms.
Source: The Scotsman, Tuesday 31 January 2006

Welsh news

Wales goes its own way on health
Welsh ministers have rejected the government’s plans to bring in the private sector to increase the numbers of GPs in England.
A Welsh Assembly government spokesperson said they would wait and see what happened in England but they were already focusing on public health and treating vulnerable people.
Source:- Western Mail, Tuesday 31 January 2006

Sick days cut in the public sector
Public sector workers take far more sick days than professionals in the private sector. Each local government worker takes more than two working weeks a year in sick days on average.
Local councils and NHS trusts in Wales may soon follow companies and enlist specialist agencies to handle sickness. Employees have to ring the agencies’ call centres, which are staffed by nurses, instead of phoning their bosses.
Source:- Western Mail, Tuesday 31 January 2006






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