Inspector condemns treatment of detainees awaiting deportation
Immigration detainees facing deportation at Heathrow airport are being treated as though they are parcels, not people, the chief inspector of prisons has complained.
Too many cases of force were found to be used on reluctant deportees to take them to aircraft.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 5 April 2006, page 10

Warning over NHS hospital closures
The NHS is entering a period of “creative destruction” when hospitals will need to close and services be reconfigured, Chris Ham, the former head of the Department of Health’s strategy unit warned yesterday.
Source:- Financial Times, Wednesday 5 April 2006, page 2

Authorities gamble on more casinos
Sixty eight local authorities are facing an anxious few months while they wait to see whether their applications to develop a new generation of Las Vegas-style casinos are successful. The applications include 41 for eight large and eight small casinos, while 27 authorities have applied for the right to develop Britain’s sole super-casino.
Source:- Financial Times, Wednesday 5 April 2006, page 3                     

NHS putting parents off home births
The demand for home births is increasing but many parents are being put off having one because midwives are too stretched to provide home care, according to figures from the National Childbirth Trust.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 5 April 2006, page 7

Brown retreats on pension to paper over the cracks at the top
Chancellor Gordon Brown has said he agrees with the majority of the Pensions Commission’s recommendations, four months after being reported as dismissing its findings. Brown voiced support for allowing pensions to rise by more than inflation and suggested he may favour a reduction in means-testing, both of which chime with the commission’s recommendations.
Source:- The Times Wednesday 5 April 2006 page 6

Private nursery staff cuts outrage parents
The government has been attacked for allowing voluntary and private-sector nurseries to cut staffing numbers in its Action Plan for Childcare.
Charity 4Children said proposals to allow nurseries to cut staffing ratios from one for every eight children to one to 13 would be detrimental.
Source:- The Times Wednesday 5 April 2006 page 11

Discharge patients sooner and save cash, says Hewitt
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has called on hospitals to become more efficient at discharging patients to save money, as two more trusts announced 500 more job losses in a bid to cut deficits.
She cited evidence that some hospitals took four times as long to discharge paitents after simple operations than others.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 5 April 2006, page 23

Eden Project chief quits over disabled comment
The Eden Project’s director of horticulture has resigned after saying that workers with learning disabilities were “placed behind the scenes” at the Cornish attraction to protect the image of gardening.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 5 April 2006, page 6

Scottish news

Relief for stranded residents as lift repair work begins
Work has started to repair a broken lift which left a dozen older people stranded in a care home for more than three months.
The lift at five-storey Clashfarquhar House in Stonehaven has been out of order since Christmas Day, leaving frail pensioners unable to get down from the upper floors. A new gearbox was needed but had to be imported from Italy.
A spokeswoman for the home, run by Crossreach, said the lift was expected to be fixed within a week.
Source:- The Scotsman, Wednesday 5 April 2006

Junkie hijacked couple’s car
An elderly couple’s Sunday afternoon shopping trip turned into a terrifying ordeal when a drug addict jumped into their car, a court has heard.  William and Eleanor Drysdale were threatened with a large kitchen knife and ordered out of the vehicle and the addict then drove away.
Jorge Duarte of Galashiels admitted assaulting and robbing the couple on 5 March at the Iceland car park in the town’s high street. He will be sentenced later.
Source:- The Scotsman, Wednesday 5 April 2006

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