Tuesday 28 February

By Maria Ahmed, Simeon Brody, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

Call for faster action to cut child obesity
The government will miss its target for halting the rise in obesity in children under 11 without clearer leadership from the top, report by the National Audit office warns today.
Plans to tackle the growing numbers of overweight children through diet and exercise have hardly got off the starting blocks.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 28 February 2006 page 6

Don’t risk our future, Blair tells school bill rebels
The prime minister last night made a last ditch plea to rebel backbenchers to support his controversial education bill after claiming the proposals were “the crux” of his government’s reforming agenda.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 28 February 2006 page 13

NHS failing to get better even as the cash pours in
NHS productivity is static or falling, according to the latest estimate by national statisticians, despite the record sums of money being poured into the health service.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 28 February 2006 page 10

Knifeman stabbed six on morning of random violence
A doctor refused a mother’s request to visit her son, a paranoid schizophrenic days before he killed a man with a six inch knife and randomly attacked five other people in north London, a court was told yesterday.
Ismail Dogan’s mother had gone to social services for help after he became violent and claimed to be hearing voices but they referred her to a family doctors, who said that Dogan had to go to his surgery, the Old Bailey was told.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 28 February 2006 page 13

Blair chalks up latest plan for schools
Critics argue that elements of the education bill are unnecessary and socially divisive
Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 28 February 2006 page 4

Scottish news

Taskforce clampdown on antisocial behaviour
Hundreds of people have been arrested and more than 11,000 incidents reported in a clampdown on problem behaviour in some of Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhoods.
However, while Glasgow Council’s antisocial behaviour task force dealt with 11,387 incidents, ranging from vandalism to “yobbish” behaviour, and made 357 arrests, the council issued only around 20 Asbo orders last year.
Jim Coleman, deputy leader, said the council tried hard to be innovative in its approach to antisocial behaviour, and used Asbos only as a last resort.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 28th February

Half of Scots nurses suffer physical or verbal attack
Almost half of all nurses in Scotland have been assaulted or harassed by patients or their relatives in the past year, making it the worst in the UK for abuse.
Some 42 per cent reported being attacked or verbally abused in the Breaking Point survey published by the Royal College of Nursing compared to 40 per cent for the UK.
The report reveals that nurses in Scotland are more likely to be the victim of violence or harassment while on duty than anywhere else in the UK – one in three working on the frontline has been physically attacked during their career, compared with 27 per cent UK-wide.
Source: The Herald Tuesday 28th February

Councils face flood of ‘free care’ legal action over OAP charges
Scottish councils are facing legal challenges over their failure to provide free care for older people.
The charity Alzheimer Scotland has accused 13 local authorities of breaching Executive legislation by not preparing food for free and will back those who decide to take legal action.
Its survey claims that 13 out of the 32 local authorities are charging to prepare food. Age Concern Scotland also believes that about half the councils are charging.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 28th February

Number of alcoholics in psychiatric care up 30%
Leading psychiatrists have blamed Scotland’s binge drinking culture for the worrying increase in the number of people needing psychiatric treatment for alcohol abuse.
Doctors treated more than 400 people at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital last year for alcohol dependency – a one third increase since 2001. Last year alone, almost 1600 people were admitted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for alcohol-related problems and more than 300 of those had become addicted.
The statistics also show that seven children received treatment in Lothian hospitals last year after drinking too much alcohol.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 28th February

I burned a hole in my arm – that’s how my parents found out
Teenagers who self harm face extra pain because others do not understand their problems, campaigners claim.
Up to one in 10 Scots teenagers deliberately injures him or herself. But research shows 41 per cent of adults dismiss it as attention-seeking behaviour.
Medical student Mei Ling Ball said that when she was younger, bullying drove her to burn a hole in her arm with a blow torch, hit herself with a heavy spanner, pour burning syrup over her hand and regularly cut herself.
Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 28th February

Welsh news

Employers’ childcare failure costs parents
Some parents in Wales are missing out on massive savings due to their employers failing to sign up to a government childcare scheme.
Nearly a year after the childcare vouchers scheme began in Wales a number of the biggest employers are not running the scheme.
Out of Wales’ 22 local authorities, typically the largest employer in each area, only a few councils are providing their staff with the vouchers.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 28 February 2006

Changes made at social services after vulnerable children were badly let down
An inspection report has found that there had been “fundamental problems” in services for children at Powys Council’s social services.
The Joint Area Review found that weaknesses in children’s services had “adversely affected” the lives of vulnerable children in the area.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 28 February 2006 

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