Hospital ward sex mix won’t end

Hospital ward sex mix won’t end

Health minister Lord Darzi sparked fury yesterday when he admitted mixed-sex hospital wards will never be completely eliminated. New Labour promised before the 1997 election to stop men and women being treated together.

But Lord Darzi said in a Lords’ debate the Government was concerned with getting “single sex accommodation – not single sex wards”.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mirror today

Staff suffer shocking working conditions

An investigation into the “dark corners” of the British economy has found workers suffering shocking conditions. The study for the government found some not getting the minimum wage, being dismissed by text message and denied basic rights.

Nearly all the breaches of employment rights came in small workplaces where there was no union recognition. Most complaints were from cleaners, drivers, carers and shop assistants.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mirror today

Call for school sex clinics

All schools should have sex clinics and hand out free condoms to pupils, a report said yesterday. The study by Labour MP Chris Bryant, found that teenage pregnancies were still a huge problem.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mirror today

Inquiry launched into ‘postcode lottery’ as one in 20 homes is condemned as unsafe

The government today launched an inquiry into a “postcode lottery” of care for the vulnerable elderly after it admitted “inconsistencies” in such services across the country.

There will be a “fundamental review” of the system for determining which frail and infirm people qualify for help in England, care services minister Ivan Lewis told BBC Breakfast this morning.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Liver disease: rising toll of deaths blamed on binge drinking and cheap alcohol

Britain is the only developed nation where deaths from liver disease are rising, secret Health Service documents reveal.

They paint an alarming picture of soaring deaths over the next 20 years due mainly to binge drinking, cheap alcohol and longer licensing hours.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Asylum seekers awaiting EU court ruling on detention

Thousands of asylum-seekers who are routinely detained in fast-track removal centres while their claims are being considered by the Home Office could win the right to freedom when judges in Europe deliver a landmark ruling tomorrow.

If the European Court of Human Rights rules in favour of Dr Shayan Baram Saadi, an Iraqi Kurd who has since won the right to asylum in the UK, the government would have to release refugees who have arrived lawfully and pose no risk of absconding.

Read more on this story in The Independent

Learn more skills or face losing benefit, jobless told

There should be no “free-riding” on the welfare state, the new work and pensions secretary said yesterday as the government outlined a “carrot and stick” approach to reform.

James Purnell, the most Blairite minister in the Cabinet, set out, with Gordon Brown, proposals to require people to obtain the skills they need or face sanctions. Every unemployed person would have a “skills check” to help Britain to raise its skills game to world class, Mr Brown said.

Read more on this story in The Times

Trafficked child thieves to be returned to parents

The parents of five children rescued from people traffickers by police last week have flown from Romania to be reunited with their offspring.

Trafficking gangs are believed to have smuggled in more than 1,000 children from Romania, often buying them from their poor parents for a few hundred pounds. Once in England, the children are forced to work as pickpockets and shoplifters in major towns all over the country. It is estimated that they are making more than £100 million a year for the gangs.

Read more on this story in The Times

Full-time nursery costs soar to £8,000 a year

Parents are having to pay more than £8,000 a year for full-time nursery education after above-inflation rises in the cost of child care.

A survey for the Daycare Trust found that families are spending a tenth of their income on child care to enable a parent to keep working.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Education gap has widened under Labour

The educational gulf between rich and poor has widened over the last 20 years as more middle-class teenagers go to university, according to a report published today.

They benefited significantly from an expansion in higher education places under the Conservatives and Labour, the Institute of Education claimed.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Liverpool Council bottom of the league

Liverpool – the council which John Healey, the local government minister, said could save its council tax payers more than £100 a year each – was named as the worst financially managed local authority in England by an independent watchdog yesterday. The Liberal Democrat-controlled authority comes out alongside Southend and the Isles of Scilly as the worst in the country in an analysis by the Audit Commission.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

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