GPs should prescribe social care, says Hewitt

By Mithran Samuel, Simeon Brody, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

GPs should prescribe social care, says Hewitt

GPs will be encouraged to prescribe social care services and home aids or adaptations under a commissioning framework unveiled by the Department of Health today, designed to promote well-being.

The plans are designed to relax rules on under what circumstances health bodies can commission social care, amid evidence that every £1 spent on social care saves the NHS 30p.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 6 March 2007 page 4

Hearing tests waiting time to be slashed

The government has pledged to cut the maximum waiting time for NHS hearing tests from more than two years to less than two months by April next year, and to slash the time it takes for patients to receive hearing aids thereafter.

The NHS assesses about 600,000 people for hearing aids each year and would need to increase capacity by about one-third to meet the new targets and clear existing backlogs.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 6 March 2007 page 6

Report finds shortfall in nursery language and literacy standards

Nursery school provision for children who do not have English as a first language is inadequate, especially for refugees and asylum seekers, an Ofsted report into the sector finds today.

However the report, into provision for three- to five-year-olds, found children’s physical, personal, social and emotional development was better than expected.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 6 March 2007 page 6

Toddlers do best if fathers took paternity leave, study finds

Young children do better if their fathers take time off work to care for them, however low-income parents have far less opportunities to do so than more affluent fathers, an Equal Opportunities Commission report has found.

It found that emotional and behavioural problems were more common by the time toddlers were three if their fathers had not taken paternity leave or taken advantage of flexible working, but access to the latter was available to only 46 per cent of fathers in low-skilled jobs, compared to 81 per cent of professionals

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 6 March 2007 page 7

Foster carers going unpaid, says report

A Fostering Network report has found that most carers are either not paid any fees above allowances to cover children’s direct expenses, or paid below the minimum wage.

The charity warns that the situation is pushing many foster families into poverty and will reverse government efforts to tackle the estimated shortage of 10,000 foster carers in the UK.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 6 March 2007 page 14

Perv hunt bill soars

A computer system designed to vet offenders and prevent  another tragedy such as Soham could be shelved due to rising costs it has emerged.

The Impact system is set to cost £2 billion, twelve times above its original estimate of £163m.

Source:- The Sun Tuesday 6 March 2007 page 25

Give heads greater powers to expel pupils, says Tories

Headmasters would be given greater powers to expel badly behaved pupils under the Conservatives, the Tory leader David Cameron pledged yesterday.

Cameron said that there were severe difficulties in recruiting heads as they felt unable to have control over school discipline.

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 6 March 2007 page 13

Council tax to rise as parasitic lawyers chase equal pay claims

Town halls will be forced to raise council tax and cut services next year to fund crippling equal pay claims fought by “ruthless and parasitic” lawyers, it was claimed yesterday.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 6 March 2007, page 22

Scottish news

Scheme to tackle online child abuse

A virtual police service has been launched aimed at protecting hundreds of thousands of young people in Scotland against online sex abuse.

The programme allows children to forward instantly any concerning material to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, the UK’s dedicated organisation tackling child sex abuse. The police will then investigate.

An estimated 300,000 youngsters aged between 11 and 16 will be given the opportunity to attend interactive safety sessions.

Source:- The Herald  Tuesday 6 March

1600 crimes committed by 10 young offenders

More than 1,600 crimes in Edinburgh were committed by just 10 teenagers over the past three years, according to figures.

Children as young as 14 have carried out hundreds of crimes including robbery, serious assault, housebreaking, fire-raising and extortion in the city.

One 14-year-old from the east of the city has committed 233 offences to become the worst teenage criminal in the capital in the past three years.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 6 March

Health chiefs in Lothian battle with bed-blocking

Health chiefs are still struggling to tackle the high rate of bed blocking in the Lothians, according to new figures.

In October last year, bed blocking hit a two-year high with 119 people stuck in hospital. In January this year, that figure had only dropped by one.

NHS Lothian and the city council are now investing £1.1 million to allow 50 people who would normally go into care to stay at home. Each person will be allocated a carer who will be employed for 36 hours a week.

Source:- The Scotsman, Tuesday 6 March

Nursing home manager cheated dying pensioner out of savings

It has emerged that Kerry Smith, the deputy manager of Glenhelenbank Residential Home, had been abusing her position to steal money from a 79-year-old woman who was battling cancer.

When Jessie Richardson eventually died in June last year, she had just £54 left in her bank account – not even enough to pay for her funeral.

Smith, who was originally charged with stealing £12,000 from Richardson, pleaded guilty to obtaining the lesser sum of £1,670.

Source:- The Scotsman, Tuesday 6 March

Welsh news

Lottery millionaire guilty of raping young girls

A lottery millionaire has been found guilty of rape and indecent assault involving two young girls.

David Dyas, 52, of Newbridge South Wales, was found guilty of one count of rape and five counts of indecent assault.

The attacks happened on two girls aged 8-12 before Dyas won millions on the National Lottery in 1998.

Source:- icWales Tuesday 6 March 2007

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