£200m bill for ‘bed blocking’ pensioners left stuck in hospital

£200m bill for ‘bed blocking’ pensioners left stuck in hospital
Thousands of elderly patients are still being kept in hospital despite being ready to leave because of a shortage of care home places.
Some are stuck on wards for as long as four years even though they do not need hospital care.
The cost of providing care to the so-called bed blockers hit £200million last year, according to latest statistics from health trusts.
The disturbing figures emerged – in response to Freedom of Information requests – despite government pledges to stamp out the scandal.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 2

‘Don’t jail paedophiles’ call prompts charities’ anger
One of the UK’s leading child protection officers came under fire from children’s charities yesterday after saying that some paedophiles should receive treatment rather than face prison.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 13

‘What gives them the right to hit a child in the nose?’
At 14, Adam Rickwood became the youngest person to die in UK custody. This week, an inquest left more questions than answers.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 15

State supernanny lays down the law
Interview with Respect tsar Louise Casey.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 14

Family forced to flee just for being ginger
A family of six have fled two homes after enduring a vicious hate campaign, apparently prompted by the colour of their hair.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 5

US health companies may win the chance to buy NHS care
Two big US health care companies and Bupa are among those that have won a contract that could herald fundamental changes in the way the NHS operates. Bupa, and the US-owned United Health and Humana are among those who may now be given the role of buying some health services on behalf of the NHS.
The so-called “framework” deal allows primary care trusts, who buy care on behalf of patients, to call on the analytic and commissioning skills of the private sector companies, without having to go through a full tender process.
Source:- FT, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 2

Savings advice
A Save Christmas campaign fronted by Charlie Dimmock, the gardener, has been launched after the collapse of the Farepak club. The Office of Fair Trading is publicising ways of saving through Citizens Advice Bureaux and community groups.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 37

Boy, 15, lay down in front of train after gay taunts
A boy of 15 lay down in front of a train to commit suicide after being teased at school about his sexuality, an inquest was told yesterday.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 12

Row over ‘intrusive’ Ofsted survey of pupils
Pupils as young as 10 are being asked if they smoke and whether their mothers are in paid work as part of a government-backed survey branded “Orwellian” by parents’ groups.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 4

Ministers target employer abuse of workers
Some of London’s “vulnerable workers” are to be targeted by a government pilot scheme that aims to uncover abuses by employers and to offer protection.
Source:- FT, Saturday 2 June 2007, page 4

Remploy: Brown told to rethink ‘betrayal’ of disabled
Gordon Brown is under growing pressure to rethink a decision to ‘sack’ 2,270 people from specialist jobs for disabled people. He will be attending the GMB union’s annual meeting this week in Brighton, where he will be urged to halt the Remploy closures. Source:- Mail on Sunday, 3 June 2007, page 48

Persistent binge drinkers could be fast-tracked into detox
Persistent binge drinkers who turn up at police stations and casualty departments would be fast-tracked into detox, under new government plans.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 3 June 2007, page 20
Four-year-olds face quiz on their mental health
Children as young as four will be expected to get in touch with their feelings by filling in questionnaires which ask if they are “optimistic about the future” and “dealing with problems well”. Under guidance being drawn up by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, primary schools in England will have a duty to improve children’s emotional and psychological well-being.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 3 June 2007, page 5

Public sector union chiefs call for joint strike action
Unison is consulting its branches on the likelihood of support for strike action over local government pay, following an offer of 2% for 2007-8.
Source:- Financial Times, Monday 4 June 2007, page 2

Victims of stress off work for 21 days a year
Mental health issues are the second largest cause of workers taking time off on sickness grounds, a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has revealed. A study of 30,000 workers revealed that people suffering from depression took an average of 30 days off, while stress sufferers were away for 21 days a year; both groups combined were only outnumbered by those with muscle-related problems, such as bad backs.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 4 June 2007, page 11

Council to name drug buyers
Drug users face being named to their employers under hardline proposals aimed at curbing the sale of illegal substances. The move is part of a package of measures by one council targeting “drug tourists” who travel to districts which have a reputation for the easy availability of cannabis, cocaine and heroin. Steve Reed, Labour leader of Lambeth council in South London, said that for too long the focus had been on tackling the supply of drugs and it was now time to target the demand side.
Source:- The Times, Monday 4 June 2007, page 2

Scottish news
MacAskill prefers carrot rather than stick approach to youth disorder
The Scottish executive wants to spend as much time on promoting good behaviour among young people as it does on getting tough with those who break the law, the new justice secretary has announced.
The previous administration made cracking down on antisocial behaviour one of its key priorities and introduced a range of sanctions for youngsters who stepped out of line.
But Kenny MacAskill said while the new SNP executive was keen to tackle bad behaviour, it also wanted to go further in encouraging young people to avoid breaking the law.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 4 June 2007

Second Catholic bishop steps into abortion debate
Another Catholic bishop has written to every Scottish MP urging them to vote for a bill which would make women seeking an abortion undergo mandatory counselling.
Joseph Devine, the Bishop of Motherwell, has written to the MPs ahead of a House of Commons vote on a private member’s bill which would also impose a seven day cooling-off period to allow women time to make up their minds after receiving advice.
Catholic parliamentarians in particular will be under intense scrutiny as it will be the first vote on abortion since Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholic, warned Catholic politicians should not take holy communion if they support the legislation in its current form.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 4 June 2007

Free school meals for all in areas of deprivation
The government is to unveil plans to provide free school meals for pupils living in Scotland’s most-deprived areas.
Fiona Hyslop, the education secretary, will outline a £5 million pilot scheme to provide free, nutritious meals for primary one to three pupils in trials which will run from October until next March. Ministers will consider extending the pilot later this year.
There are 71,000 pupils entitled to free meals, and the announcement comes ahead of the publication of statistics showing how many pupils are eating them.
Source:- The Scotsman, Monday 4 June 2007

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