Public bodies fail on disability equality

Public bodies fail on disability equality
The Disability Rights Commission today publishes a list of 66 public authorities who it claims have so far failed to produce a disability equality scheme, despite a requirement to do so dating to last December.
The list includes councils and health bodies, and follows a government report in January which found that only half of schemes contained evidence that disabled people had been involved in drawing it up.
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 4 April 2007, page 7

Social services tighten criteria, leading to increased NHS spending
The head of the NHS Confederation’s new primary care trust network, David Stout, has hit back at local government claims of cost-shunting from PCTs to councils, saying the phenomenon is working in the other direction.
In a survey of 59 PCTs today, the network found over half of neighbouring social services departments had tightened eligibility criteria leading to increased PCT spending on emergencies and hospital admissions.
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 4 April 2007, page 5

Malawi boy faces being sent home to see his parents slowly die of Aids
Barnardo’s chief executive Martin Narey has condemned the Home Office for deciding to deport an HIV-positive couple and their seven-year-old son, who may also have the virus, back to Malawi, where they will be denied life-saving treatment.
Dumisani Lungu and his parents were living in Stockport and antiretroviral treatment was due to have started on his father last Friday, when the family were removed to Yarl’s Wood detention centre.
Narey said he had received a sympathetic response from prime minister Tony Blair after raising the issue of 20 HIV-positive children facing removal in January but had heard nothing since from the Home Office.
Source:- The Independent, Wednesday 4 April 2007, page 13

Doctor raises alert on pregnancy blues
Depression in pregnancy is more common than after giving birth and is a cause of premature birth, infant death and severe childhood illness, a conference organised by the Institute of Psychiatry in London was told yesterday. Veronica O’Keane, specialist in prenatal psychiatry at the institute, attacked the “myth” that pregnant women were protected from depression and said a natural increase in stress hormones could trigger antenatal depression.
Source:- Financial Times, Wednesday 4 April 2007, page 4

Probation failings
Offenders are escaping punishment for breaking their community penalties because probation staff are not following Home Office guidelines, according to a watchdog report.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 4 April 2007, page 2

Ex-nanny told she is too heavy to adopt
A former nanny claims she has been refused permission to adopt by Blackburn with Darwen Council because she is overweight.
Gillian Vose said her application had initially been approved but the council later changed its mind after noticing that she had trouble getting out of a chair, and then sent her a letter saying that her wieght compromised her ability to look after the child.
The council’s deputy director of children’s services, Ian Kendrick, said Vose’s weight was irrelevant, but her mobility was an important factor.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 4 April 2007, page 7

Teachers to sue over online humiliation at hands of pupils
Teachers are threatening to sue websites that allow pupils to post abuse and humiliating videoclips and photographs taken on mobile phones on the internet. One of the worst cases involved a woman teacher who discovered that her face had been superimposed on a naked body and circulated.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 4 April 2007, page 31

Keep disruptive children ‘in unit’
Every school should have a pupil referral unit, or “sin bin” for disruptive pupils to ensure they are given the support they need if they stay within the school and return in due course to class, teachers said.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 4 April 2007, page 31

Making sense of the ‘hybrid’ prisons hype
The reference to creating “hybrid prisons” for offenders with mental health problems in criminal justice proposals from the government last week has flumoxed experts who had not heard of the term.Enver Soloman, deputy director of the centre for crime and justice studies at King’s College London, said: “This sounds to me like make-it-up-as-you-go-along policy.”
A Home Office spokesperson said it referred to a regime targeted at people with personality disorders, combining a secure prison regime with a “significant therapeutic programme”.
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 4 April 2007, page 2

Scottish news
‘Right to jobs for asylum seekers’ plan scrapped
Plans to give asylum seekers the legal right to work have been suspended by the Scottish executive.
Present UK laws ban asylum seekers from taking paid jobs but allow the executive hoped to create a separate policy in Scotland to allow the nation’s 5000 asylum seekers to take paid employment while their legal status is being settled.
But the plan expected to have been drawn up by the end of last year has failed to materialise in the wake of concern that it would lead to Scotland being flooded by bogus asylum seekers. The Home Office, which would need to ratify any such plan, confirmed there were no proposals to relax regulations.
Source:- The Herald, Wednesday 4 April 2007

Welsh news

Doctors accuse government of ‘asset-stripping’ local health care
Doctors accused the government of asset-stripping local health services last night. The assembly government took away £6.2m meant to pay for enhanced GP services last week. The services include a trailblazing scheme under which people with learning difficulties are given an annual health check.
Source:- Western Mail, Wednesday 4 April  2007


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