News round-up: Free care; swine flu; youth unemployment

Gordon Brown’s bid to defuse youth unemployment timebomb

Fear of youth unemployment rising above 1 million in the new year yesterday prompted Gordon Brown to use the last Queen’s speech of the parliament to promise more money to ease the impact of the recession on the young.

Some of the money will come from £2bn the Treasury has saved because the overall rate of unemployment is lower than forecast.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Swine flu surge among UK children may lead to intensive care bed shortage

The UK could run out of intensive care beds for children if there is a big surge in swine flu admissions in winter, according to medical researchers.

The stark warning from Cambridge academics comes as the Department of Health today reveals its latest weekly review of critical care provision in the NHS for swine flu cases. Figures provided by the chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, show a reduction in the percentage of children with swine flu occupying paediatric intensive care beds in England.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Social enterprise is big business

Social enterprises are playing a key role in the provision of public services, with over a third deriving at least half of their income through contracts with local councils and Whitehall, according to a survey published today.

Both the Conservatives and Labour are keen for social businesses to provide more public services, to tap into their reputation for innovation, flexibility and success in working with deprived communities.
Read more on this story in The Guardian

Labour peers savage Brown’s free care plan

A key plank of Gordon Brown’s re-election strategy was condemned by members of his own party yesterday as irresponsible, unaffordable and based on a myth.

The Prime Minister’s plan to offer free care at home to the elderly, outlined yesterday in the last Queen’s Speech before the general election, was compared to “an admiral firing an Exocet into his own flagship”.

Read more on this story in The Times


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