News round up: Parky; Bridgend suicides; Cold deaths probe

Michael Parkinson says care of elderly downright unacceptable

Older people in hospitals and care homes are being left without enough food and drink in incidents that are “absolutely barmy and cruel beyond belief”, Sir Michael Parkinson says today in a report on his work as the government’s “dignity ambassador”.

The former talk show host, who also speaks out about his mother’s care in her final years suffering from dementia, described some homes he had seen as “little more than waiting rooms for death” and said he had been appalled by letters members of the public had sent him.
Read more on this story in The Guardian

Pensioners found dead in their own home at peak of UK’s Big Freeze spark inquiry

Old, frail and struggling with the bitter weather, it was obvious that Jean and Derek Randall’s lives were at risk.
As Mr Randall’s health failed and he accepted he could no longer look after his wheelchair-bound wife, a neighbour and the couple’s MP contacted social services, the NHS and even Age Concern in the search for a care home place. But, despite weeks of phone calls, no help was provided.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Extra £70 on every gas bill as cold snap bites

Every household faces an extra £70 on its January gas bill after the cost of heating a home rocketed 52% in the cold snap.
Fears are rising that winter deaths could multiply with thousands unable to pay inflated heating charges, after an elderly couple were found frozen to death in their Northamptonshire home at the weekend.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Record £250m paid to pensioners because of the weather

The Government has paid out a record amount in cold weather payments to vulnerable families and pensioners because of the prolonged freezing conditions, The Times can reveal.

Nearly a quarter of a billion pounds has been debited to more than 4 million recipients since November, figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)show.

Unlike the one-off winter fuel allowance, cold weather payments are allocated whenever the local average temperature is 0C or below for seven consecutive days.
Read more on this story in The Times

Children benefit from warmth of upbringing not wealth, says Cameron

Children benefit more from the warmth of their relationship with their parents than the wealth of the family into which they are born, David Cameron said yesterday.

The Tory leader said that “active intervention” was needed to help struggling families, as he hinted that Sure Start might be restricted to the less wealthy.

Read more on this story in The Times

Bridgend: Double hanging in town rocked by young suicides

Two young people have been found hanged in New Year tragedies in Bridgend — the South Wales town hit by a spate of young suicides.
Young mum Lana Williams, 22, was found dead at home by her fiance who she only got engaged to on Christmas Day.

Read more on this story in The Sun

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