Charities vow to challenge new mental health bill

Charities vow to challenge new mental health bill
Charities and groups representing care professionals warned yesterday that the government faces a bitter fight over its mental health bill. The legislation aims to introduce powers of compulsory community treatment and enable preventive detention of people deemed to have dangerous and severe personality disorders.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 18 November 2006, page 16

Councils issue plea over bill for equal pay
Councils, which face an equal-pay time-bomb, have appealed to government to allow them to raise borrowing or use receipts from asset sales to pay for back-dated claims expected to total at least £3 billion. They warn that the alternative could be cuts to local -services.
The Local Government Employers organisation wants ministers to introduce legal reforms that would allow employers and unions to reach agreement through binding arbitration and remove the threat of subsequent legal challenges.
Under the pay reforms, councils have until the end of March to complete pay reviews designed to bring the pay of women into line with equivalent male -earnings.
Source:- Financial Times, Saturday 18 November 2006, page 3

‘Payment by results’ challenge on welfare and work
The Conservatives have challenged the government to let the private and voluntary sector bear the whole risk of helping thousands of people on incapacity benefit come off welfare and into work.
John Hutton, the work and pensions secretary, is introducing compulsory work-focused interviews for new incapacity benefit claimants in a two-stage programme that will cover the whole country by October 2008.
As in most of the government’s welfare-to-work projects, independent sector employers will be paid an up-front fee for taking people on, and a larger sum – about 70 per cent of the total payment – once they have been in work for 13 weeks.
Philip Hammond, Conservative work and pensions spokesman said the answer was to introduce a pure payment-by-results system, in which operators would receive no initial payment, but would get a larger payment once people were in sustained work.
Source:- Financial Times, Saturday 18 November 2006, page 4

Vigilante action warning as website names paedophiles
The public is being warned against taking vigilante action against some of Britain’s most wanted paedophiles after they were identified publicly yesterday on a new website dedicated to tracking them down.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 18 November 2006, page 9

Junk food ad ban attacked from both sides
New proposals to combat childhood obesity and “pester power”, including a total ban on junk food advertising during children’s TV programmes, were immediately attacked yesterday for placing profits ahead of children’s health.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 18 November 2006, page 6

Tories join homeless to show they really care
David Cameron, most of the shadow cabinet and the majority of backbench Conservative MPs are to improve their understanding of social exclusion by spending a week with homeless people, drug addicts, alcoholics, HIV sufferers and victims of sexual abuse. The mass embedding of Tory MPs in inner-city charity groups around the country has been arranged by former leader Iain Duncan Smith, who is head of the party’s social justice policy group.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 18  November 2006, page 35

Doctors to face prison for denying right to die
Doctors could be charged with assault if they keep alive patients who have made living wills for treatment to be stopped. Lord chancellor Lord Falconer has warned that new laws will effectively require them to end lives rather than save them. The warning was issued in advance of the Mental Capacity Act coming into operation next spring.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 18 November 2006, page 1

Alzheimer’s cover-up
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has refused to reveal secret papers that show why it decided to stop thousands of Alzheimer’s patients getting drugs on the NHS.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 18 November 2006, page 4

Grants for poor could help 5 million children
Ministers are studying proposals to give Britain’s poorest families grants of £100 for each of their children in both the summer and winter to help them buy clothes, attend leisure activities and pay heating bills.
Work and pensions secretary John Hutton is considering including the plan, drawn up by Save The Children, in his forthcoming strategy intended to help the government honour its ambitious pledge to abolish child poverty in the UK by 2020.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 19 November 2006, page 11

‘Nanny state’ clash on parent classes
The government will face fresh accusations this week that it is expanding the ‘nanny state’ when it unveils radical new plans to greatly increase the use of compulsory parenting classes.
The announcement, a key plank in the government’s Respect agenda, is likely to face a barrage of criticism from children’s charities and think-tanks, which will warn that the measures could backfire.

John Reid defends his plans in an article.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 19 November 2006, page 21

Labour faces defeat over mental health
Ministers are facing the prospect of an embarrassing defeat over plans to introduce tough new mental health laws, as the leading charities and opposition MPs this weekend threatened to use full scrutiny powers to de-rail the plans.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 19 November 2006, page 24

Police chief sparks row over stigma of sex with children
The police’s leading child protection officer has said that men who have sex with children should not be classed as “paedophiles” if the victim is between the ages of 13 and 15 years old.
Terry Grange, the Association of Chief Police Officers’(Acpo)spokesman on child protection and managing sex offenders, said only those who targeted prepubescent children deserved to be labelled and treated as “paedophiles”.
Source:- Sunday Times, 19 November 2006, page 1

‘Bullying police’ to tame schools
Anti-bullying advisers should be employed by local councils to help to combat bullying in schools, according to recommendations from the office of the children’s commissioner. The new report, Bullying in Schools, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills and to be published this week, states that parents often find that head teachers dismiss allegations that a child is being bullied. The new anti-bullying advisers would be selected and employed by local authorities.
Source:- Sunday Times, 19 November 2006, page 10

My son has schizophrenia. Why can’t the system cope?
Author and father Tim Salmon reveals the frustrations and confusion that have blighted his son’s treatment as inadequate care services struggle to manage.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 19 November 2006, page 26

Police give teenage tearaways lessons in handling the media
Teenage criminals are receiving media training – costing up to £40 an hour – in a police campaign to improve the public’s perception of young people.
The force claims that the involvement of young offenders gives officers an insight into their views and can help to steer them away from crime.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 19 November 2006, page 1

Pushy parents ‘to blame for anorexia in sporty teenagers’
The pressure from parents for their children to do well at sport is causing some to develop eating disorders, a psychologist has warned.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 19 November 2006, page 10

Cocaine use up
A shocking picture of cocaine addiction in Britain will be revealed this week in a new international report on drug abuse. Evidence from UK officials, which has been given to European Union experts compiling the report, shows that use of cocaine has risen more than any other drug.
The findings from the annual report by the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drugs Addiction, which monitors drug use, is based on evidence from health and drug authorities across mainland Europe.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 19 November 2006, page 1

Cases of HIV infection rise by 8,000
HIV infections have risen to a new high, amid fears that young people are not taking the disease seriously because it is no longer seen as a fatal illness.
New figures, released this week, are expected to show that almost 8,000 people were diagnosed with HIV last year, increasing the number of people living with the virus to around 70,000 in the UK.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 19 November 2006, page 14

Why teenage girls resort to self-harm
A new survey of people who deliberately harm themselves reveals that more than two-thirds say they have been upset by the negative reactions when family and friends find out.
The findings of the latest survey, conducted by the LifeSIGNS charity and to be published next year, provide an insight into why young people resort to self-mutilation.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 19 November 2006, page 29

NHS must pay for fat children to get surgery
The government’s health watchdog is set to recommend that severely overweight children at risk of developing life-threatening diseases should be offered radical weight-loss surgery.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 19 November 2006, page 1

Parents forced to take lessons on best way to raise children
John Reid will present new measures tomorrow to help parents to raise problem children after saying that councils should not recoil from using court orders to force people to attend parenting classes.
Source:- The Times, Monday 20 November 2006, page 18
Circles watching over high-risk paedophiles
A group that uses volunteers to monitor and rehabilitate high-risk paedophiles and sex offenders is about to be expanded with new public money.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Monday 20 November 2006, page 8
Banks told to give the poor a better deal
Poorer customers are often treated like “second-class citizens” by banks when they apply to open or attempt to use bank accounts, MPs have said.
In a report yesterday, the Treasury select committee called for a better deal for poorer people from banks, though not through legislation.
Source:- The Financial Times Monday 20 November 2006 page 2

Shire joints fight against watchdog’s Alzheimer rulingA third pharmaceutical company, Shire, has joined Eisai and Pfizer in mounting a judicial review against a health regulator’s decision to prevent three drugs being prescribed on the NHS to people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
The companies are challenging the methods used by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in coming to its decision.
Source:- The Financial Times Monday 20 November 2006 page 2

Domestic violence affects teenagers, survey finds
More than 40 per cent of young people know girls whose boyfriends have hit them and a similar proportion know girls whose boyfriends have coerced them into sex, a survey has found.
The poll, on behalf of the End Violence Against Women Campaign, also found 60 per cent felt they lacked information to advice those they knew who had been victims of violence.
Source:- The Guardian Monday 20 November 2006 page 8

New initiative to help parents with problems
The government will unveil plans tomorrow to help parents deal with children who exhibit antisocial behaviour.
Source:- The Guardian Monday 20 November 2006 page 8

Schools are ‘unjust’ over bullied pupils
Rules to deal with bullying in school are ‘unjust’ and leave thousands of children at the mercy of their tormentors, children’s commissioner Al Aynsley-Green has said.
Aynsley-Green said schools often rejected the idea that there is bullying and called for independent panels to decide on cases.
Source:- The Daily Mail Monday 20 November 2006 page 8

The capital of cocaine
Britons consume more cocaine than any other European nation and usage has doubled among 16 to 24-year-olds in the past seven years, a report this week will show.
The study by the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drugs Addiction, out on Thursday, found a significant drop in price has fuelled the problem, while surveys indicate the drug has replaced Ecstasy on the club scene.
Source:- The Daily Mail Monday 20 November 2006 page 13

Scottish news

15-year-old arrested over asylum seeker stabbing
A teenage boy has been arrested over the stabbing of two teenage asylum seekers outside a school.
Shamsedine Rebika, from Algeria, and a classmate from Africa, both 17, were injured on Thursday afternoon in Glasgow after leaving Drumchapel High School.
The teenager detained yesterday by Strathclyde Police over the incident in Kinfauns Drive will appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday.
Source: The Scotsman on Sunday, 19 November

They treated her like a rag doll
The victim of an alleged serious sexual assault has been forced to leave her home, give up her friends, and start anew.
Her alleged attacker has not even been put on the sex offenders’ register. Neither victim nor alleged perpetrator has received anything like the support most Scots would demand as a right.
The reason? “It’s because they’re disabled,” said the mother of the victim.
Source: The Herald, Monday 20 November

Call to test drug users’ children
There have been calls for children of drug-using parents to be tested for drugs.
It follows the case of a baby being found unconscious at her home in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh as a result of a suspected drug overdose.
But Duncan McNeil, MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, said the case proved that more needs to be done to safeguard children.
Source: The Herald, Monday 20 November

Care staff took three days to report alleged attack
Staff at a residential centre for disabled adults took three days to phone the police after witnessing an alleged sexual assault, The Herald has learned.
Workers said they did not want to make “a big fuss” over the incident involving a man and a young woman at the Camphill Blair Drummond community in Stirlingshire.
Social workers and the victim’s parents are furious over the delay, which has led to the centre being closed to new residents and a retraining drive for staff.
Source: The Herald, Monday 20 November

Riddle of family that slipped net as heroin scare baby is taken into care
The parents of a one-year-old girl who is suspected of swallowing heroin had no previous dealings with social services, it has emerged.
The revelation has prompted calls for an investigation into how the baby’s family had “slipped through the net”.
The child is currently being treated at Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children after an alleged heroin overdose.
It is understood that the parents could also face charges of drug possession and child neglect if toxicology tests reveal that the child had swallowed heroin.
Source: The Scotsman, Monday 20 November

Welsh news

£1.4m children’s home to go ahead despite worries
A row had erupted over comments made about a Swansea estate earmarked for a £1.4 million children’s home.
The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Candidate for Swansea East, Helen Ceri Clarke has criticised councillors who have condemned the Blaenymaes estate as “notorious”.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday, 18 November 2006

Paedophile OAP jailed
A pensioner has been jailed for abusing a girl for six years.
Raymond Adshead, 66, of Caerwys in Flintshire, received a six year sentence.
Source:- Wales on Sunday, 19 November 2006

Abuse campaign targets schools
Domestic violence is set to go on the school curriculum in one area in Wales.
Swansea Council has decided to teach children about the subject in order to try and tackle it.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday, 20 November 2006

Charity calls for seasonal grants for the poorest
Parents in Wales are having to choose between heating their homes or feeding their children nutritious food, according to new research.
Save the Children commissioned the study into low income families in Wales.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday, 20 November 2006


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