Rise in children’s use of cocaine
More than one in 10 secondary school children say they have taken illegal drugs in the past month, including a rise in those who admit experimenting with cocaine, research for the Home Office has revealed.
Source:- The Independent, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 6

Pioneering heroin treatment doctor may be struck off
A world expert on the treatment of heroin addiction may be struck off the medical register after the General Medical Council decided yesterday that Colin Brewer, founder of the private Stapleford Centre, had been irresponsible in the way he prescribed opiates and other drugs to some of his patients. The findings will dismay those who think he and his colleagues were saving heroin addicts from crime and destitution by maintaining them on opiates over long periods.
Source:- Guardian, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 12

Hunt receives Asbo warning
Members of the first hunt in Britain to be investigated under the Antsocial Behaviour Act were issued with warning notices yesterday.
Source:- Guardian, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 12

Life for killer wife
An ex-prostitute who killed her elderly husband after he lied about being a millionaire was jailed for life by Southwark crown court in London.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 4

Detained under Mental Health Act
Paranoid schizophrenic Ismail Dogan who fatally stabbed one man and knifed five others was sent to Broadmoor indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 4

Older people spend only £20 a week on food
Elderly people living on the state pension have less to spend on their food for a whole week than the average person spends eating out, according to a survey by Virgin Money.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 20

Autism rises
Record numbers of children are being treated for autism, figures in a parliamentary answer reveal.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 28

Teacher admits porn charge
A housemaster at Marlborough College was caught with child pornography, a court heard yesterday.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 29

Web craze ‘puts young in danger’
Paedophiles are feared to be using a new teen craze for sharing personal details on the internet to identify victims. Concern over the fast-growing trend is prompting schools to ban “addictive”  social networking sites.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 37

You can’t be foster parents because you’re vegetarian, says council
Paul and Dolly Saunders were astonished when their offer to be foster parents was rejected – because they are vegetarians. West Sussex council social worker Maria Parslow wrote to the family last month saying, “You have confirmed you would not allow any foster child to eat meat in your home. In the circumstances your application will not be taken forward.”
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 25 March 2006, page 45

Cost of caring for the elderly set to double
Spending on care for elderly people will have to double over the next 20 years to cope with a surge in the number of sick and disabled old people, a report by Sir Derek Wanless is expected to warn this week.
Source:- The Sunday Times, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 9

Teenagers’ epidemic of self-harm
One adolescent in 12 deliberately injures themselves on a regular basis, according to the first ever national inquiry into self-harm among young people. The inquiry discovered children as young as five were deliberately hurting themselves.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 13

Outrage as hospital admits: We allow patients to self harm
St George’s psychiatric hospital in Stafford has admitted it allows self-harming patients to cut themselves with knives, watched by nurses who patch up the wounds – in a scheme to help them find “better ways of dealing with their problems”.
Source:- The Mail on Sunday, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 48

Madness: Britain’s mental health time bomb
Health authorities are secretly cutting millions of pounds in funding for psychiatric services, despite alarming new evidence of a crisis affecting an estimated one in five people in Britain. Trusts are planning to cut more than £20 million from psychiatric budgets to bail out other parts of the NHS.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 1

Cameron challenges Tories on housing
David Cameron will abandon the Conservatives’ opposition to the building of three million new homes in the south-east of England over the next 20 years.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 8

Premature babies are bed blockers
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has labelled premature babies requiring expensive neonatal care as “bedblockers” because efforts to save them are hampering the treatment of other infants.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 13                       

NHS to cut down early admissions
Hospitals are to be told to admit patients only on the day of their operations in an attempt to save up to £78 million a year.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 6

Standing-only classrooms could prevent child obesity
Chair-free classrooms where pupils stand for hours a day are being introduced to Britain after a study found they could lead to substantial weight loss.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 13

Extra 1.5 million homes needed in UK to cope with immigration
More than 1.5 million extra homes will be needed to cope with immigration into Britain, according to a study by Migrationwatch UK.
Source:- The Sunday Times, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 10

Exams cut by third as stress on pupils soars
Britain’s most senior exams official admitted pupils face a huge and excessive exam load that had distorted the balance of what was taught in schools.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 26 March 2006, page 1

Review of social care funding launched
A fundamental review of social care that could lead to radical changes in the way the £10 billionn-a-year care business is funded is being launched by ministers. An advisory group that brings together the Association of British Insurers, local government more generally, and voluntary organisations will support options Sir Derek Wanless will call for this week in a report for the King’s Fund think-tank.
Source:- The Financial Times, Monday 27 March 2006, page 4

Elderly still neglected
Millions of elderly people are getting a raw deal from the health and transport systems despite billions of pounds of investment under Labour, a joint report by the Healthcare Commission, the Audit Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection says.
Source:- The Times, Monday 27 March 2006, page 28

Spread of granny vouchers
Some of the largest employers are backing a “granny voucher” scheme to help employees to pay for the care of older relatives while they go to work.
Source:- The Times, Monday 27 March 2006, page 16

Suicidal young men are told: don’t bottle it up
A campaign to combat suicide among young men begins today.
Source:- The Times, Monday 27 March 2006, page 18

Average council tax rise is 4.5 per cent
Council tax bills are to rise by an average of 4.5 per cent next month, more than twice the level of inflation, John Prescott is expected to announce today.
Source:- The Times, Monday 27 March 2006, page 20

Parents in battles over contact need help in reducing harm to children
Estranged parents battling over child contact should be sent to US-style management classes to minimise harm to their children, two government-commissioned studies indicate.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 March 2006, page 13

Scottish news

Freed sex offenders may be tracked by hi-tech ‘spy in the sky’ system
A satellite tracking system to monitor Scotland’s most dangerous sex offenders is being considered by government officials. The system is seen as a potentially valuable tool for improving the surveillance of sex offenders and other dangerous criminals once freed from prison. The technology is being piloted in England and justice department officials have held talks with senior police officers over the possibility of introducing it in Scotland.
Source: The Scotsman, Saturday 25 March

Call to tackle ‘hidden epidemic’ of self-harm
A two-year national inquiry into self-harm in 11 to 25-year-olds has revealed that teenagers are cutting and injuring themselves in response to problems and emotional distress in their lives.
But they are turning to friends of their own age for support rather than approaching a relative, doctor or teacher – because they are afraid of how they will react.
The inquiry, which was carried out jointly by the Camelot Foundation – a charity which focuses on young people – and the Mental Health Foundation, recommended that Scotland should develop guidelines for the health service on treating people who self-harm, similar to those which were issued in England and Wales in 2004.
Source:- The Herald on Sunday, 26 March 2006

Health board reneged on hospice, says charity
A charity that has raised £1.4 million to build a new hospice in Scotland claims a health board has backed out of the project.
The Kilbryde hospice appeal has spent nearly five years collecting funds to set up a unit to care for the terminally ill around-the-clock at Hairmyres hospital in Lanarkshire.
However, NHS Lanarkshire has announced its immediate priority is to invest in services to look after patients at the end of their lives in their own homes.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 27 March 2006

Minister acts to end wait for hotline in fight against child abuse
A national 24-hour hotline is to be set up by the Scottish executive for people to blow the whistle on parents they fear are abusing or neglecting their children. Peter Peacock, Scotland’s minister for education and young people, has given the go-ahead for the creation of a single, country-wide hotline for people to report concerns about a child’s safety.
The number will be supported by a dedicated call centre which will be manned round the clock. Serious cases identified by the call centre staff will be directed straight to social services and the police.
Source: The Scotsman, Monday 27 March 2006

New director of immigration role announced
Scotland is to get its own regional director for immigration in a bid to improve treatment of immigrants and refugees. The role will deal specifically with asylum and immigration issues. A separate inspection and complaints service will also be set up.
The move follows pressure from the Scottish executive and direct lobbying from Jack McConnell, the first minister. who stressed the need to protect children during notorious dawn raids on asylum seekers. Source: The Scotsman, Monday 27 March

Welsh news

‘Give me justice for our little girl’
A woman whose mentally ill husband killed himself in jail is planning to sue the prison involved it has emerged.
Karen Crabtree was devastated when she learnt that her husband Lee had killed himself at Altcourse prison in Liverpool.
Lee was jailed after escaping from Bangor hospital’s mental health department. He had been sectioned for 28 days after threatening to kill his wife. Crabtree said that she wanted justice for the couple’s four-year-old daughter.
Source:- Wales on Sunday, Sunday 26 March 2006

Council strikes to close schools
Practically all schools in Wales at expected to close tomorrow due to strikes by local government workers over pensions.
Around 80,000 council workers are set to strike. Schools will be unable to open due to being left without caretakers, cleaners and dinner ladies.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday, 27 March 2006

Jury to visit beach where Ben was murdered
The jury in the trial of three teenagers accused of murdering a schoolboy will visit a beach in Swansea this morning where his body was found.
The body of Olchfa comprenhensive school A-level student Ben Bellamy was found in September last year.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 27 March 2006





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