‘Cruel’ decision on drugs may leave 20, 000 blind
Campaigners have branded the government’s new medicines watchdog as “cruel” after it decided not to fully roll out two drugs to treat blindness.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has said that the drug Macugen should not be used on the NHS and that Lucentis should only be given to one in five patients.
Source:- The Independent, Thursday, 14 June 2007, page 9
Council tax hikes ‘to pay for English lessons for migrants’
Local authority officials fear council tax rates could increase to pay for English lessons for immigrants it has emerged.
Communities secretary Ruth Kelly is expected to back the idea today under which migrants who speak no English will be required to learn the language.
Source:- Daily Mail, Thursday, 14 June 2007, page 2
Hewitt to signal revamp of NHS
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt is expected to float the idea of elected members for primary care trusts and even transferring PCT’s commissioning function to well-run councils, in order to boost local accountability in the NHS, in a speech today.
The ideas are understood to be in keeping with those of prime minister in waiting Gordon Brown.
Source:- Financial Times Thursday 14 June 2007 page 2
Hutton goes back to basics over reforms
Work and pensions secretary John Hutton has said that the thrust of the welfare reforms he has presided over are likely to continue under Gordon Brown.
He intimated ideas around outsourcing employment support for the long-term unemployed and increasing the focus on getting lone parents into work would be pursued under Brown.
Source:- Financial Times Thursday 14 June 2007 page 3
Racial strife more likely in country villages than big towns
A government-commissioned report today will warn that racial and community tensions are now more likely to become problematic in more rural areas which are not used to dealing with diversity, rather than inner cities.
The Commission on Integration and Cohesion, set up in the wake of the 7 July bombings, will focus on the impact of east European integration on previously less diverse areas and say councils there will have to develop different approaches to cities on improving cohesion.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 14 June 2007 page 6
Reid unveils new checks for sex offenders but rules out public naming and shaming
The government has accepted arguments that the introduction of a “Megan’s law” in UK – allowing the public naming of convicted child sex offenders – would drive paedophiles underground.
Instead, proposals out yesterday will allow the disclosure of information to parents whose children have unsupervised contact with the paedophile in question, though they also promised prosecutions against parents who misused the information to harass offenders.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 14 June 2007 page 11
Victims may get attackers’ release dates
The government has offered a number of amendments to try and end the ongoing conflict over its plans to reform the law on the detention of mental health patients.
Health minister Rosie Winterton said she was “looking seriously” at concerns over the government’s plans to remove the requirement that compulsory treatment benefit the patient, while also offering amendments on the treatment of children in adult wards and to limit the use of new compulsory community treatment measures.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 14 June 2007 page 11
Shift workers want childcare at night and weekend
A Department for Education and Skills study has found that parents remain deeply frustrated at the lack of affordable, flexible childcare that fits in with their working hours.
Barriers cited in the research, conducted for the DfES by charity the Daycare Trust, included long waiting lists and poor quality.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 14 June 2007 page 16
Mother arrested after teenage girls are found stabbed in bed at home
A mother was being questioned by police on suspicion of murdering her two teenage daughters, who were found dead at her home yesterday.
Rehka Kumari-Baker was arrested after sisters Jasmine, 13, and Davina, 16, were found dead at the house in Streatham, Cambridgeshire.
Source:- The Times Thursday 14 June 2007 page 3
How tax credits ‘cheat’ working families
Former social security minister Frank Field has launched a scathing attack on the government’s child poverty strategy today, saying it discriminated against two-parent families and discourages parents from forming stable relationships.
In a report, Field said that a single mother working 16 hours a week would receive £487 in weekly income, after tax credits, while a two-parent family on the minimum wage would have to work 116 hours to gain the same.
However, his comments were criticised by the Child Poverty Action Group, who said that the report ignored the fact that children in lone parent families were twice as likely to live in poverty than those from two-parent households.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 14 June 2007 page 1
Thousands of elderly ‘suffering abuse in their own homes’
Ministers may announce an overhaul of the adult protection system in the wake of a report laying out the scale of elder abuse in the UK, which will be published today.
The study, funded by Comic Relief and supported by the Department of Health, will say that hundreds of thousands of older people are subjected to abuse.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 14 June 2007 page 2
Stigma surrounds career breaks for women
More than half of women who leave work to look after their children find it difficult to enter back into full time employment, according to a Welsh mother and expert in economics.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett, who is from Bridgend and has carried out studies involving 2, 400 women, said that woman were appalled by how difficult it could be for them to return to work after leaving to care for a child or an elderly relative.
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday, 14 June 2007
Scandal of Kerelaw: 40 staff abused youngsters
Forty care workers preyed either sexually or physically on Scottish children in what is one of Britain’s biggest abuse scandals, a report reveals.
A three-year investigation has found “a significant core of staff” at Kerelaw residential unit in Ayrshire were directly involved. They abused some of the most vulnerable young people in the country, sometimes in the full knowledge of colleagues and superiors amid “a culture of fear and collusion”.
Glasgow Council, which ran Kerelaw, will publish its first full report on what happened at the school. It will also issue a warning that some of the workers it believes were involved are still working in Scotland’s care sector.
Source: The Herald, Thursday 14 June
Battle won to abolish ‘illness tax’ that piled on agony for thousands
Thousands of chronically-ill patients are to have their prescription charges scrapped by the Scottish Executive.
Shona Robison, Scotland’s public health minister, said patients with chronic conditions, such as cancer or asthma, would no longer be “penalised”. She said she hoped the charges could be removed by next April.
Ms Robison told a conference of NHS staff in Glasgow that the Executive would help improve the well-being of Scots “by abolishing prescription charges for those with a chronic illness”.
Source: The Scotsman, Thursday 14 June