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Preview: Latest news from the public and voluntary sectors, including health, children, local government and social care, plus SocietyGua

Society | The Guardian

Latest Society news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Published: Wed, 24 May 2017 14:02:32 GMT2017-05-24T14:02:32Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017

NHS faces staggering increase in cost of elderly care, academics warn

Wed, 24 May 2017 05:30:28 GMT2017-05-24T05:30:28Z

2.8 million people over 65 will need nursing and social care by 2025 – largely because of a significant rise in dementia-related disability, research finds

The NHS and social care system in the UK is facing a staggering increase in the cost of looking after elderly people within the next few years, according to major new research which shows a 25% increase in those who will need care between 2015 and 2025.

Within eight years, there will be 2.8 million people over 65 needing nursing and social care, unable to cope alone, says the research – largely because of the toll of dementia in a growing elderly population. The research, published by the respected Lancet Public Health medical journal, says cases of disability related to dementia will rise by 40% among people aged 65 to 84, with other forms of disability increasing by about 31%.

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Number of university dropouts due to mental health problems trebles

Tue, 23 May 2017 11:06:22 GMT2017-05-23T11:06:22Z

Data shows record 1,180 students who experienced mental ill health left courses early in 2014-15, up 210% from 2009-10

The number of students to drop out of university with mental health problems has more than trebled in recent years, official figures show.

Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa) revealed that a record 1,180 students who experienced mental health problems left university early in 2014-15, the most recent year in which data was available. It represents a 210% increase from 380 in 2009-10.

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'Absolute heroes': praise for medics treating Manchester victims

Tue, 23 May 2017 15:40:53 GMT2017-05-23T15:40:53Z

Hospital staff tell of ‘superb’ response of medics who worked through the night to help those injured in Manchester attack

Manchester Arena attack - latest developments

Hospital staff have told how many of their colleagues rushed into work late on Monday night to help treat the injured, as the NHS’s “superb” response to the bombing won widespread praise.

Dr David McCarthy, a consultant anaesthetist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, told how dozens of colleagues turned up to help casualties once they heard about the bombing. Nine of the 59 injured were treated there.

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Why are so few disabled candidates standing for parliament? | Frances Ryan

Wed, 24 May 2017 06:30:30 GMT2017-05-24T06:30:30Z

Less than one percent of MPs are disabled. Taking away vital financial support is only set to make this under-representation worse

Parked up in a field, Mary Griffiths Clarke – the Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Arfon, in north Wales – is spending the general election campaign living in a caravan. Griffiths Clarke, 36, grew up 30 miles from here in Snowdonia and now lives in London.

Arfon is a Labour marginal target (Plaid Cymru currently holds the seat with a majority of 3,668) and Griffiths Clarke is clearly passionate about helping the area. “Whenever I go home, I see the high streets have become a ghost town. People are having to quit work because there’s no bus services now to get them there,” she says.

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Theresa May’s U-turn is a chance to rethink social care | David Brindle

Tue, 23 May 2017 11:00:01 GMT2017-05-23T11:00:01Z

The swiftly introduced cap on care liability underlines the need for a green paper that deals with the quality of care, not just the cost

Were it not so serious, the Conservatives’ remarkably ham-fisted approach to deciding how we should pay for care and support in our old age would win high marks for entertainment value. How did they miss the signs warning: “Danger – quicksand”?

Related: Theresa May ditches manifesto plan with 'dementia tax' U-turn

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London economy subsidises rest of UK, ONS figures show

Tue, 23 May 2017 15:45:39 GMT2017-05-23T15:45:39Z

Breakdown of public finances shows how taxes and public spending are used to narrow north-south divide

London’s thriving economy generates a £26.5bn surplus that is recycled by the government to provide financial help to Britain’s less well-off regions, according to an official breakdown of the public finances.

The first attempt by the Office for National Statistics to break down the UK’s budget deficit by region has demonstrated the importance of the capital and highlighted how taxes and public spending are used to narrow the north-south divide.

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NHS trusts overspend by £770m despite bailout funding

Mon, 22 May 2017 19:11:49 GMT2017-05-22T19:11:49Z

Trusts fail to limit overspending to £580m but make inroads into previous year’s £2.45bn figure

NHS trusts overspent by £770m last year in the latest sign that hospitals are finding it impossible to meet fast-rising demand for care while their finances are facing an unprecedented squeeze.

That total is £190m more than the £580m maximum that health service bosses had sought from England’s 236 NHS trusts in 2016-17.

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We have to address the faultline between social care and the NHS | Richard Humphries

Mon, 22 May 2017 18:11:47 GMT2017-05-22T18:11:47Z

One is heavily rationed and means-tested, the other free at the point of use and tax-funded. And when assets are involved, the issue becomes politically toxic

In his first speech to the Labour party conference as prime minister in 1997, Tony Blair declared that he did not want his children to be brought up in a country “where the only way pensioners can get long-term care is by selling their home”. Twenty years later this remains a politically toxic issue – even though many people with care needs might wish they had a home to sell. The events of the past few days illustrate why the bold promises of successive governments to reform the way social care is funded have come to so little.

The Dilnot commission’s proposed cap on the lifetime costs of care was accepted by the coalition government in 2011 – albeit with the cap set at £72,000 rather than the £35,000 to £50,000 range proposed by Dilnot. It even made it on to the statute book as part of the Care Act 2014, and was generally welcomed as providing protection from the “catastrophic” costs faced by the one in 10 who need care costing at least £100,000. Implementing the cap was a Conservative manifesto pledge in the 2015 election but, barely 10 weeks later, the government announced this would be postponed until 2020 as the circumstances were “too difficult”.

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Living in cities 'puts teens at greater risk of psychotic experiences'

Tue, 23 May 2017 06:01:44 GMT2017-05-23T06:01:44Z

Findings suggest early interventions for adolescents brought up in urban areas could be valuable, researchers say

Teenagers who live in large cities could be at greater risk of having psychotic experiences, according to research examining the impact of urban life on mental health.

The finding ties in with previous studies and suggests that early interventions for young people in deprived urban neighbourhoods could be valuable.

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Study finds mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

Wed, 24 May 2017 10:18:26 GMT2017-05-24T10:18:26Z

People taking mushrooms in 2016 needed medical treatment less than for MDMA, LSD and cocaine, while one of the riskiest drugs was synthetic cannabis

Mushrooms are the safest of all the drugs people take recreationally, according to this year’s Global Drug Survey.

Of the more than 12,000 people who reported taking psilocybin hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2016, just 0.2% of them said they needed emergency medical treatment – a rate at least five times lower than that for MDMA, LSD and cocaine.

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‘My mum has been driver, cook and canvasser. The state leaves a gaping hole’ | Marie Tidball

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:00:30 GMT2017-05-24T07:00:30Z

The Labour candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon on the barriers facing disabled people who aim to stand for election – and how to remove them

As a disability rights activist and someone with a disability, I’m proud to be the Labour party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon: the constituency where Kathy Mohan took Theresa May to task last week for her government’s treatment of disabled people. May was wrongfooted while the nation watched.

Related: Why are so few disabled candidates standing for parliament? | Frances Ryan

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Why your waist measurement can predict cancer risk

Wed, 24 May 2017 05:01:28 GMT2017-05-24T05:01:28Z

Study finds men with over 40in waist and women with over 35in waist are more at risk of cancer as waist size is as good at predicting cancer risk as BMI

An expanding waistline could be a warning sign that a man or woman is running an increased risk of certain cancers, according to international experts.

Scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is an arm of the World Health Organisation, have shown that waist measurement is as good at predicting cancer risk as body mass index (BMI), which is a ratio of weight to height.

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Families of men who killed themselves at Woodhill jail lose high court case

Tue, 23 May 2017 13:07:54 GMT2017-05-23T13:07:54Z

Relatives of Ian Brown and Daniel Dunkley sought judicial review over their deaths at prison with the most self-inflicted deaths

The relatives of two inmates who killed themselves at a prison with the highest rate of self-inflicted deaths in England and Wales have lost a high court case calling for action to protect prisoners.

The families of Ian Brown and Daniel Dunkley, who died at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes in 2015 and 2016 respectively, sought a judicial review to force the prison’s governor and the justice secretary, Liz Truss, to comply with the requirements under common law, public law and human rights law “to protect prisoners from suicide”. In the past four years, 18 men have killed themselves at Woodhill, a rate that the families’ lawyer called exceptionally high.

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Old habits are leading us astray on homelessness | Beth Watts

Tue, 23 May 2017 10:42:39 GMT2017-05-23T10:42:39Z

Old ways of working and the appeal of new and ‘exciting’ responses to homelessness are no replacement for solid evidence

Street homelessness has increased dramatically since 2010. More than 8,000 people slept on the streets of London last year, more than double the number in 2009–10.

Local council counts and estimates indicate an even bigger increase (132%) across England. News of horrifyingly frequent deaths on the streets in London, Glasgow, Belfast and other UK cities is the starkest evidence possible that reversing these trends is essential to safeguard the lives of an extremely vulnerable group of people.

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As a GP I feel powerless to help elderly people struggling to survive

Mon, 22 May 2017 07:40:14 GMT2017-05-22T07:40:14Z

I can refer people to mental health services and social care but they are overloaded and don’t provide much help

Recently a patient brought home to me how inadequate the help I can provide my elderly patients as a GP can be. Among more than 50 phone calls I fielded one day as one of the GPs dealing with urgent requests, there were two from a patient in her 80s who is the main carer for her husband who has dementia. She also has health issues and he is unaware of the problems they face. The receptionist learned far more about the difficulties they were having from the woman’s phone calls to the surgery and from observing them in the waiting room, than I did from my snatched telephone conversations and the scrawled note left for me. I found out later that the only way she could get to the surgery to bring the sample I requested was by locking her husband in the car outside. I knew that things were difficult, but this was a new low.

Over the last year I have been increasingly involved in the care of a man who is in his 80s and moved into my practice area to be nearer to his family. He enjoys telling me about his past when he gets the opportunity and I recall how his eyes sparkled as he told me that adopting his daughter was the best decision he and his late wife ever made. He knows his dementia is worsening and was the one who recognised the initial symptoms, well before these signs were noticed by others around him. He looks crestfallen as he recounts to me how he sees the frustration and sorrow in his daughter’s eyes when he asks the same question another time. He is annoyed by his failing health and memory and feels he is a burden to those around him. At times he is too proud to ask for help.

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Glad to be gay: leading figures on 50 years of liberation

Sun, 21 May 2017 08:00:49 GMT2017-05-21T08:00:49Z

How has life changed for gay men in the UK since homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967? From actor Antony Sher to novelist Alan Hollinghurst, men of different generations from across arts and politics share their stories

Between 1885 and 1967, a man could go to prison for loving another man. This was a love that dare not speak its name – for fear of prosecution. 75,000 men were arrested during this period for what was referred to as – in words of euphemistic damnation – “gross indecency”. It was not until the 1960s that the MP Leo Abse and Lord Arran proposed a bill to liberalise male homosexuality, drawing on the recommendations of the 1957 Wolfenden report. At 5.30am on 5 July 1967, the Sexual Offences Act was passed, decriminalising private homosexual acts between men over 21 in England and Wales (Scotland eventually caught up in 1980, Northern Ireland in 1982). It was a landmark moment and the beginning of a long haul to freedom.

As this anniversary arrives, what progress still needs to be made? How much homophobia is still lurking?

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'The police service is living hand to mouth' | Anonymous police officer

Sat, 20 May 2017 09:13:21 GMT2017-05-20T09:13:21Z

My town had 18 officers on the beat 10 years ago. Now there are four. The service we provide is woefully inadequate - but not for the want of trying

I’ve already been at work for 10 hours and should have been home by now, but I am only five miles away from an emergency call; the next available police officer is 30 miles away. It’s a dilemma that has long since taught my family that I’ll be home “when I’m home”.

If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have said then that there were not enough police officers to deal with all the demands placed upon the service: the emergency calls, routine crime investigation, missing or suicidal people. Today, there are fewer officers in my force than at any time during my 20 years in the police. Since 2010, the number of police officers in England and Wales has fallen by 19,668. Frankly, there weren’t enough of us in 2010 and you cannot cut almost 20,000 officers and 5,875 police community support officers and expect the same level of service.

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A Tory victory will see the housing crisis continue | Dawn Foster

Fri, 19 May 2017 06:18:48 GMT2017-05-19T06:18:48Z

Labour wants to end rough sleeping, while the Tories pledge to halve it – a promise that does nothing more than undo the harm already caused

This week is the war of the manifestos. Labour has laid out its vision for Britain under Jeremy Corbyn while Theresa May has unveiled her first real policy pronouncements since her sudden coronation last summer.

Housing features prominently in both, with clear differences in promises, scope and detail, showing the ideological contrasts between May’s Conservatives and Labour under Corbyn.

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Tory manifesto praise for public servants will fade | David Walker

Thu, 18 May 2017 14:29:17 GMT2017-05-18T14:29:17Z

Conservatives saying the state is super? Public managers should remember this moment when the real cuts bite

After years of drought, the words fall like precious drops of water. No mention of public servants putting “scars on his back”, as Tony Blair put it, or “enemies of enterprise” (David Cameron). Instead this Tory manifesto talks about the “good government can do” and celebrates the millions who serve the public in a “noble vocation”.

Here’s ammunition aplenty for the likes of the cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, FDA union general secretary Dave Penman, council chief executives and public sector leaders high and low. During the next five years, whenever they encounter a stone wall, over pay, pensions, staff numbers – and they certainly will, they can dig out this manifesto and at once will have a chisel.

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GP Louise Irvine: ‘Jeremy Hunt has not been a good steward of the NHS’ | Hélène Mulholland

Wed, 17 May 2017 13:00:09 GMT2017-05-17T13:00:09Z

GP and activist Louise Irvine explains how the crisis in the NHS has pushed her to stand against the health secretary in the forthcoming election

She has beaten Jeremy Hunt in the courts but Dr Louise Irvine is now determined to unseat the health secretary at the ballot box. Irvine, who is standing for the National Health Action party , is giving it her best shot. “All change is possible,” she insists. “You owe it to people to fight to win.”

The 59-year-old GP first clashed with Hunt in 2013 as chair of the successful campaign to stop casualty and maternity unit service closures at Lewisham Hospital in south-east London. She then stood against him at the 2015 general election but garnered just 8.5% of votes, coming fourth in the constituency of South West Surrey, behind Labour and ahead of the Liberal Democrats.

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How poverty makes people less likely to vote | Ruth Patrick

Tue, 16 May 2017 12:00:13 GMT2017-05-16T12:00:13Z

It is not surprising that so many of the poorest people choose not to vote. Theirs is not an act of apathy – for they are often intensely political – but of disgust

When the polling stations open next month, it is likely that many of the poorest people will stay away. Britain’s democracy is a divided one. At the 2010 general election, there was a gaping 23 percentage points gap between the turnout of the richest and poorest income groups. Why? Because those living in poverty who choose not to vote often feel completely excluded and disconnected from the political process.

Over the past six years, I have done academic research with a small group of individuals in Leeds directly affected by welfare reform. Most of those I spoke to did not vote. Sam, a young jobseeker when we first met, explained why: “Whoever I vote for, the country’s going to the dogs anyway so I don’t bother”, she said.

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Our ambulances are wrecks and we're scrimping on life-saving kit

Sat, 13 May 2017 09:21:43 GMT2017-05-13T09:21:43Z

This government may say NHS spending has increased – but as a paramedic I know that on the frontline things are getting drastically worse

I’m the one to restart your heart in the back of an ambulance, and I’m exhausted. I wrote those words for this series back in 2015 about paramedics like me who are underpaid and working to the point of exhaustion.

Related: I'm the one to restart your heart in the back of an ambulance – and I'm exhausted

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Guardian Public Service Awards 2017: coming soon

Wed, 24 May 2017 09:32:14 GMT2017-05-24T09:32:14Z

Work in public service? Get ready now: entries open on 14 June for your chance to be included in this year’s outstanding teams and projects

No-one yet knows what lies ahead for the country’s public services on the other side of the general election on 8 June.

We do know some of the things that public service workers want, because we asked them. Staff working on the frontline in housing, local and central government, healthcare, social care, and the voluntary sector told us they want to see urgent action from politicians on the causes and effects of public services policy. Whichever government is in power on 9 June, it is clear from the whole campaign that public services have never been more of an issue.

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Sevenoaks council on winning the 2016 Guardian Public Service Awards

Wed, 24 May 2017 09:36:34 GMT2017-05-24T09:36:34Z

With the 2017 Guardian Public Service Awards launch just weeks away, the leader of Sevenoaks council tells us what it meant to gain last year’s accolade

For staff at Sevenoaks district council, one of the best things about winning the top award at last year’s Guardian Public Service Awards was being able to share – and explain – their achievements with family and friends.

Related: Guardian Public Service Awards 2017: coming soon

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Nurse job interview tips: top nine questions and answers

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:58:49 GMT2017-05-24T08:58:49Z

Recruiters reveal what they ask when hiring new staff – and the answers they hope to hear

Compassion and communication, respect and resilience, accountability and adaptability – a good nurse possesses a daunting set of qualities. If you’re newly qualified, how can you convince employers you have what it takes?

We asked those responsible for hiring band five nurses to tell us how they identify the right candidates. Here, they reveal some of the most common interview questions, as well as tips on how to answer them.

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'Nothing has changed!': May as she announces social care U-turn – video

Mon, 22 May 2017 12:24:05 GMT2017-05-22T12:24:05Z

The prime minister claims nothing has changed after giving a speech that rowed back on the Conservative manifesto plan for social care, introducing the idea of a cap on costs

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Osmund Reynolds obituary

Sun, 21 May 2017 14:52:35 GMT2017-05-21T14:52:35Z

A founding father of neonatal medicine, he dramatically improved the survival rates of very premature babies

Osmund Reynolds, who has died aged 83, was a pivotal figure in medicine, helping to establish care of the sick newborn baby as a speciality in its own right. He advanced the techniques of mechanical ventilation for very premature babies, improving their chances of survival dramatically, and later undertook research that led to a reduction in newborn brain injury. He was central to making the case for the introduction of specialised neonatal care and training to the UK. And at a time when medicine was dominated by an aloof male hierarchy, Os engaged with parents, recognised the expertise of nurses, and encouraged even the most junior doctors to call him by his first name.

The first time I heard of Os came in 1980, when I was a junior doctor in Edinburgh. I had just attached a very premature baby with severe breathing difficulties to an ancient portable ventilator meant for adult patients, but was at a loss as to what to do next. Standing behind me were three paediatric consultants, who were as perplexed as I was. One of them leaned forward and said: “There’s a chap in London who says it’s all about the ‘I’ time”.

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Why I donated one of my kidneys to a stranger

Sat, 20 May 2017 23:05:38 GMT2017-05-20T23:05:38Z

It wasn’t a difficult choice

Non-directed altruistic kidney donation. An unlovely term that means giving one of your kidneys to a stranger. I’d always known this was a thing but I’d thought it was a bit weird, a bit excessive, like donating an arm. Why not just stick to blood donation?

I’d last come across the idea in Larissa MacFarquhar’s 2015 book Strangers Drowning which had the alarming subtitle “Voyages to the Brink of Moral Extremity”. It’s about ultra do-gooders who make normal people feel uncomfortable or worse. Which may be part of why they do it.

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Politicians have listened; now they must act on mental health | letters

Sat, 20 May 2017 23:05:38 GMT2017-05-20T23:05:38Z

The government must exploit the increased awareness surrounding this crucial issue

As chief executive of the charity that hosts Mental Health Awareness Week, I agree with the central thrust of Eva Wiseman’s argument that the increased profile of mental health must lead to change (“It’s good to talk about mental health. But is it enough?” Magazine).

This change must be personal as well as political. The central message of the week is that we all have mental health and there are steps we can all take to understand and protect it. Undoubtedly, this message is now having greater resonance than ever. On the political front, we have in the past fortnight seen all the major parties talk about mental health. The fact that more of us are talking about our mental health has played an important part in this.

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Dental crisis in Cornwall sees 14,000 people stuck on waiting list

Sat, 20 May 2017 23:04:38 GMT2017-05-20T23:04:38Z

Pressure on NHS practices blamed on underfunding and Brexit fears among overseas dentists

People in Cornwall face a wait of up to 18 months to register with an NHS dentist amid growing concerns that health services in England’s poorest county are at breaking point.

Cornwall has a backlog of more than 14,000 people who want to register with an NHS dentist. Some residents must travel more than 70 miles to find one of the few practices in neighbouring Devon that are still taking on patients.

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NHS chief tells ministers: face up to the pay crisis

Sat, 20 May 2017 20:23:00 GMT2017-05-20T20:23:00Z

Chief executive of hospital trusts group issues warning that nursing morale and recruitment will be hit

Ministers should address mounting disquiet among NHS staff about pay and recruitment if the health service is to avoid a full-blown staffing crisis, the head of the official body that represents hospital trusts and mental health services says today.

The stark warning from Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, comes as GP leaders predict that 2,000 European-born doctors could leave the country because of uncertainty about their status caused by Brexit, with disastrous consequences for patient care.

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Want to lose weight? Eat off a crinkly plate

Sat, 20 May 2017 06:01:17 GMT2017-05-20T06:01:17Z

Dinner plates with ridges to trick the mind into seeing a small portion as big could help cut obesity

A crinkly plate, designed with ridges that cunningly reduce the amount of food it holds, may be heading for the market to help people concerned about their weight to eat less.

The plate is the brainchild of a Latvian graphic designer, Nauris Cinovics, from the Art Academy of Latvia, who is working with a Latvian government agency to develop the idea and hopes to trial it soon. It may look like just another arty designer plate, but it is intended to play tricks with the mind.

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First hay fever map of Britain offers some relief to sufferers

Sat, 20 May 2017 05:01:16 GMT2017-05-20T05:01:16Z

Scientists have produced detailed maps showing where plants known to trigger allergies grow

Sufferers could have relief from runny noses, sneezing and itchy eyes as scientists have developed the first ever hay fever map of Britain.

The new, highly-detailed maps of the UK contain the location of key plants and trees known to produce pollen that triggers allergies and asthma.

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Police investigate deaths at Essex mental health unit

Fri, 19 May 2017 18:18:42 GMT2017-05-19T18:18:42Z

The Linden Centre in Chelmsford has been the site of seven suicides by hanging since 2000 despite receiving repeated criticism for safety failures

Police have launched an inquiry into a series of deaths among patients at an NHS mental health hospital which has been regularly criticised for safety failings.

Essex and Kent police are jointly investigating an unspecified number of deaths at the Linden Centre mental health unit, which is based at Broomfield acute general hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.

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NHS cyber-attack causing disruption one week after breach

Fri, 19 May 2017 15:12:52 GMT2017-05-19T15:12:52Z

Hospitals slowly returning to normal after ransomware attack led to cancelled operations and diverted ambulances

NHS trusts are experiencing disruption one week after a cyber-attack caused havoc in more than 150 countries.

The unprecedented ransomware breach froze computers across the health service last Friday, with hackers threatening to delete files unless a ransom was paid.

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What do the party manifestos mean for the NHS? | Richard Vize

Fri, 19 May 2017 10:19:08 GMT2017-05-19T10:19:08Z

So far the election campaign has been helpful to the NHS, but the three main parties’ plans would all leave a significant funding gap

Labour’s election manifesto offers confused plans for the NHS, while the Conservatives have admitted there are serious problems with existing legislation.

The Tory manifesto says that if the “current legislative landscape” – dominated by the government’s own health reforms – is hampering the Five Year Forward View or undermining local or national accountability they will fix it, as well as do what they can in the meantime to remove barriers to care integration.

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Facebook and Twitter 'harm young people's mental health'

Fri, 19 May 2017 07:08:34 GMT2017-05-19T07:08:34Z

Poll of 14- to 24-year-olds shows Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter increased feelings of inadequacy and anxiety

Four of the five most popular forms of social media harm young people’s mental health, with Instagram the most damaging, according to research by two health organisations.

Instagram has the most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing, a survey of almost 1,500 14- to 24-year-olds found, and the health groups accused it of deepening young people’s feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

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Mindful eating can help weight loss, study shows

Fri, 19 May 2017 06:01:48 GMT2017-05-19T06:01:48Z

Eating without the distraction of work, computers or TV can help people lose weight and maintain the loss, researchers say

Eating mindfully, choosing and savouring food away from the distractions of computers and televisions, can help people lose weight, a study has shown.

A programme in the US tells people they can eat what they want, including their favourite high-calorie, fattening foods. But they must eat it mindfully, thinking about nothing but the enjoyment of eating their food – although not necessarily eating all of it.

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What do the election manifestos say about social care? | Melanie Henwood

Wed, 24 May 2017 11:30:18 GMT2017-05-24T11:30:18Z

From a dementia tax to a National Care Service, the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat election promises about social care examined

While the snap election appears to be about getting a mandate for Brexit, the controversy over social care proposals in the Conservative manifesto has ignited the issue. The three major political parties all have something to say about social care, which has been unfinished business through successive governments for at least the past 20 years.

Both the Liberal Democrat and Labour manifestos describe social care as being in a state of crisis, and the funding shortfall is well known (estimated at £2bn this year alone). The Lib Dems would introduce an immediate 1p rise in all rates of income tax and ringfence the additional revenue (which they calculate at £6bn) for NHS and social care services. In the longer term this would be replaced with a hypothecated health and care tax. The manifesto also pledges to “finish the job of implementing a cap on the cost of social care, which the Conservatives have effectively abandoned”.

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How to care for child refugees: lessons from Nordic countries

Wed, 24 May 2017 10:30:16 GMT2017-05-24T10:30:16Z

A disproportionate number of unaccompanied young refugees have been taken in by Nordic countries. How are their systems coping and what can the UK learn?

The Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway accepted 45,765 unaccompanied minors [pdf] in the peak year of the refugee crisis, 2015, compared with the EU’s total of 88,250. This has set their migration and social care agencies an unprecedented test.

“We didn’t have the systems in place for so many, and then there were quick changes in the legislation,” says Anna Gärdegård, project leader at the Nordic Welfare Centre and the author of a new report comparing the Nordic countries’ reception of minors. However, it is also forcing them to develop strategies from which UK authorities can learn.

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Social workers have to tread a fine line when making decisions

Wed, 24 May 2017 09:30:15 GMT2017-05-24T09:30:15Z

Social workers are criticised when their intervention is either too extreme or too timid. But it isn’t always easy to get the necessary perspective

Social workers in the UK work within a statutory framework. Where they are not invited in by the individual or the family, they do so as part of the state’s responsibility to protect vulnerable people. Any state intervention in European family life is undertaken in the context of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights [pdf] – the right to privacy in family life. When social workers are criticised, their intervention has either been too extreme or too minimal.

They have to be clear that their actions will be endorsed by law. However, it’s a fine balance between an individual’s human rights and the powers social workers have to protect people from harm.

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Should human rights top the social work agenda?

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:30:32 GMT2017-05-24T08:30:32Z

Populist sentiment sweeping Europe and beyond gives the profession an opportunity to find its voice

What have Britain’s exit from the EU and the election of Donald Trump as US president got to do with social work? A great deal, according to Ruth Allen, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers, who believes the rise of populism, nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment is a golden opportunity for social work to find its voice.

“We are a politically aware profession and need to understand how disadvantage, inequality or a sense of threat can lead to some people wanting to put up barriers,” Allen says.

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How can services meet the needs of older refugees?

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:30:41 GMT2017-05-24T07:30:41Z

Older asylum seekers’ needs are frequently forgotten amid the broader concerns of the refugee crisis

Whenever social care is discussed, the impact of an ageing population is near the top of the list. But when it comes to older asylum seekers and how services respond to their circumstances, there has been far less debate.

This may be partially explained by the small proportion of older asylum seekers. EU statistics reveal that of the 1.2 million-plus asylum seekers [pdf] who arrived in Europe last year, just 7,690 (0.61%) were over 65. In the UK that figure was 1.01%.

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Social work in Europe adapts to challenges of migration and exclusion

Tue, 23 May 2017 14:23:45 GMT2017-05-23T14:23:45Z

European society is changing and, with it, the nature of social work. Can new procedures be set up to meet the needs of refugees and displaced communities?

When an international team of academics wrote up their research to help shape reform of the child protection system in Switzerland in 2014, they said: “Child protection has become, arguably, the public issue of our time.” So much has changed in the subsequent three years that social workers today might seek to qualify that claim.

Delegates attending next week’s European conference of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) in Reykjavík, Iceland, will debate child protection in the context of new challenges involving social and digital exclusion, and the movement of vast numbers of people to northern Europe in search of asylum, peace and a better life.

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Theresa May faces 'chaos and confusion' claims after social care U-turn

Mon, 22 May 2017 19:44:05 GMT2017-05-22T19:44:05Z

Prime minister spends day battling against accusations of indecision after change to policy outlined in manifesto

Theresa May has been accused of “chaos, confusion and indecision” after announcing a U-turn on her plans to make people pay more for social care just days after they were first announced.

The prime minister battled throughout Monday to defend her decision to put in place an “absolute limit” on the amount that people would have to pay despite no mention of the idea in her party’s manifesto, published on Thursday.

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Strong, stable, achieving children: a slogan to stand behind | Letters

Mon, 22 May 2017 18:55:15 GMT2017-05-22T18:55:15Z

Readers’ thoughts on increasing child poverty and housing problems, the Tory threat to free school lunches, and other issues on which young people are being let down by politicians

Under the last Labour government, there were impressive reductions in child poverty, which are being reversed, with a marked increase in the number of children living in poverty in working households. Health clinicians, teachers, local government and voluntary sector practitioners are trying valiantly to address this against a background of the most profound budgetary challenges resulting from government-imposed austerity.

Some leaders working with children are wondering why we can’t arrive at an agreed percentage of GDP to be spent on children in the way that it is on defence and foreign aid. Civil service, NHS, local government, voluntary and education leaders could work with bodies like the Institute of Fiscal Studies to quantify what is needed and the impact could be evaluated by thinktanks, the National Audit Office and parliament. Improved wellbeing and educational attainment and employment prospects for children – our future adults and workforce – would in time also reduce demand on adult health and social care budgets. To paraphrase a slogan from the Lynton Crosby playbook: strong, stable, achieving children: in the national interest.
Steve Flatley

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Record 60% of Britons in poverty are in working families – study

Mon, 22 May 2017 16:11:53 GMT2017-05-22T16:11:53Z

In-work poverty disproportionately concentrated in households in private rented housing as rising living costs bite

A record 60% of British people in poverty live in a household where someone is in work, according to researchers, with the risk of falling into financial hardship especially high for families in private rented housing.

Related: The housing poverty trap means work doesn't pay

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Postwar prefabs were huge progress for many residents | Letter

Thu, 18 May 2017 18:30:36 GMT2017-05-18T18:30:36Z

Reader Norman Bone in praise of postwar prefabricated housing

Your caption to a photo of postwar prefabs (Build your grand design for a humble price, 13 May) refers to “the bad old days of prefab housing”, which is about as far from the truth as it would be possible to get. These imaginative and wonderful dwellings provided an urgently needed solution to the UK’s massive postwar housing shortage and presented a huge improvement in living standards for most of their early residents, many of whom would have lost their homes during the London blitz of 1940/41.

These prefabs were undoubtedly very small, but their kitchens and bathrooms would have been a revelation to people whose previous dwellings would have had shared outside toilets and no running hot water.

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Tory manifesto: more elderly people will have to pay for own social care

Wed, 17 May 2017 21:14:37 GMT2017-05-17T21:14:37Z

Theresa May unveils ‘difficult but necessary’ measure to pay for elderly care and is expected to retain promise of limiting immigration to ‘tens of thousands’

More elderly people will have to pay for their own social care in the home and lose universal benefits under a new Conservative policy which, Theresa May will say on Thursday, is difficult but necessary to tackle the crisis in funding.

Introducing the party’s election manifesto, the prime minister will say it is the “responsibility of leaders to be straight with people about the challenges ahead” as she unveils a controversial policy that would reduce the value of estates that many people hope to pass on to their children.

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Government migrant crackdown punishes children | Abi Brunswick

Mon, 15 May 2017 06:23:37 GMT2017-05-15T06:23:37Z

Our charity works with migrant families facing destitution and the prospect of their children having to sleep on night buses or in police stations

When the government first introduced its plans to create a “hostile environment” for migrants, the rhetoric was about immigration control, rather than making people homeless. But recent provisions, including making it illegal for landlords to rent properties to undocumented migrants, banning them from opening bank accounts and cracking down on working without the right documentation, have led to just that.

There is a direct conflict between the government’s approach to immigration control and its commitments to safeguarding children’s rights. Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 gives local authorities powers to provide support to families to prevent their children from being taken into care.

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From Kubrick’s dystopia to creative hub – London’s new town is reborn

Sat, 13 May 2017 23:04:00 GMT2017-05-13T23:04:00Z

A Clockwork Orange was set among Thamesmead’s brutalist buildings

When Stanley Kubrick wanted to conjure up an urban dystopia for his film A Clockwork Orange, the concrete tower blocks, artificial lakes and elevated walkways of Thamesmead provided the futuristic backdrop. Forty-six years after the arthouse classic put Thamesmead on the map, an ambitious regeneration programme is promising to reinvent this neglected corner of south-east London as a new creative hub for the capital.

Built by the Greater London council in the late 1960s, Thamesmead was promoted as London’s new town – a utopia of affordable housing, green spaces and artificial lakes, which would provide a solution to the city’s postwar housing shortage. But the so-called “city in the sky” never really got off the ground.

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If people in work struggle with rent, what hope for people out of work?

Fri, 12 May 2017 06:13:10 GMT2017-05-12T06:13:10Z

Millions of hard-working people can’t afford to move. They are trapped by a housing system that has sold off social housing.

That the Labour manifesto was leaked before the official launch next Tuesday comes as little surprise to anyone following the internal machinations of the party. Most proposals have been met with approval, disregarding the histrionics of the Daily Mail which considers nationalisation a “return to the 1970s” even though Theresa May’s claim that there are “boys’ jobs” and “girls’ jobs” at home is apparently utterly modern.

Meanwhile, in the Mirror, one anonymous figure on the right of the Labour party was worried that the manifesto was “all concern for the ‘feckless poor’ and nothing for the hard-working majority”. Even leaving aside the spite of the comment and disregard for the portion of the electorate in poverty, the poor and the hard-working are not separate categories. More people in poverty are in work than out of it.

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Public service professionals' hopes for the next government

Thu, 11 May 2017 06:07:41 GMT2017-05-11T06:07:41Z

Police officers, housing advisers, health staff, care workers and charity professionals tell us the election pledges they want from politicians

In the run up to the general election on June 8, we asked professionals working across public services what they think are the biggest problems in their sector at the moment, and what they want to see from the UK’s major political parties.

Here’s what those working on the frontline in housing, local and central government, healthcare, social care, and the voluntary sector had to say.

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Many of Britain's richest people are property moguls | Alice Martin

Wed, 10 May 2017 07:39:08 GMT2017-05-10T07:39:08Z

A dysfunctional British housing market, propped up by housing benefit and public investment, is making a few people very, very rich.

It is a strange kind of economy where land and property routinely earn more than people do. But that is what we have – and the amount of wealth tied up in these areas has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Today the value of property in the UK stands at over £5tn – nearly 60% of the UK’s entire net wealth – up from just a little over £1tn in 1995.

Those who own land and property have benefited directly from public investment in infrastructure and services: so we are all paying into the gigantic fortunes of Britain’s wealthiest property moguls.

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Nine in 10 charities expect to deliver more public services | Dan Corry

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:25:05 GMT2017-05-24T08:25:05Z

Changing role of the state is seriously affecting charities, while governance and digital skills remain areas of concern, finds a report by New Philanthropy Capital

The charity sector is full of skilled and passionate people and organisations doing valuable work. But it is no good pretending that charities are always well run or that we could not do better. We must be ambitious so that we do the best for the people and causes that inspire us.

That’s why we at New Philanthropy Capital have undertaken research involving some 400 charity leaders to help determine how we are rising to the challenges of today and tomorrow. Our findings, published on Wednesday, show some areas of concern.

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Charities may face criminal sanctions as 'gagging law' backdated before election

Sun, 21 May 2017 09:00:01 GMT2017-05-21T09:00:01Z

Electoral Commission says charities must declare all campaign spending since June last year, despite them not knowing a snap election would be called

UK charities face a permanent “chilling effect” on their campaigns after the Electoral Commission said they must declare any work that could be deemed political over the past 12 months to ensure they are not in breach of the Lobbying Act.

At least one charity has been warned that if it does not, it may face “civil or criminal sanctions”.

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Our charity is planning a quiz night – how do we make it a success?

Sat, 20 May 2017 06:00:17 GMT2017-05-20T06:00:17Z

We need advice on how much to charge and what kind of questions to ask

Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.

This week’s question:

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Two-thirds of charities subsidising public sector contracts to survive

Fri, 19 May 2017 18:59:12 GMT2017-05-19T18:59:12Z

New research warns of increasingly dysfunctional relationship between charities and the state amid budget cuts

Nearly two-thirds of charities say they have used money from public donations to prop up key health and social services they have been hired to provide, according to new research to be published next week.

The study by analysts, New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), will warn that charities believe their relationship with the state is increasingly dysfunctional, with many of those charities most dependent on public service contracts now struggling.

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Charities should give staff unlimited holidays | Molly Whyte

Fri, 19 May 2017 07:03:00 GMT2017-05-19T07:03:00Z

Allowing workers to take time off when they need it can help your team to thrive, rather than survive

In March 2016, I was exhausted and suffering from frequent panic attacks. I’d been in my first job for six months, working as a communications officer for Student Hubs, a charity that supports university students to take part in social action in their communities. After being diagnosed with coeliac disease and recovering from a debilitating eating disorder the previous summer, I was physically drained.

This didn’t stop me from dedicating most of my energy to work. I didn’t want my manager or colleagues to think I wasn’t committed or hardworking enough, so instead of working at a sustainable pace and taking regular breaks, I pressed on. I took two weeks off when the offices shut over Christmas, but I continued to sneakily tidy my inbox.

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Drug and alcohol charity Lifeline Project collapses

Thu, 18 May 2017 18:23:44 GMT2017-05-18T18:23:44Z

Shock failure of charity serving 80,000 people a year and employing 1,300 comes after allegations over financial controls

One of the UK’s leading drug and alcohol treatment charities has collapsed days after the Charity Commission launched an investigation into claims that it had critically weak financial controls.

Frantic efforts are being made to save the jobs of 1,300 employees of the charity, Manchester-based Lifeline Project, and the services it provides for 80,000 people a year, including prisoners in 22 jails and young offender institutions.

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Regulator could strip alternative medicine charities of their status

Thu, 18 May 2017 14:15:08 GMT2017-05-18T14:15:08Z

British Homeopathic Association believes complementary and alternative medicine charities are being unfairly targeted by Charity Commission review

Charities that promote unproven treatments for sick patients could be stripped of their charitable status under proposals being considered by the UK government’s regulator.

The Charity Commission is reviewing how it decides which organisations qualify as charities – a status that brings authority as well as tax breaks – after it received complaints that some organisations make unfounded claims about complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies.

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Less than 1% of surplus food from farms and manufacturers used to feed hungry

Thu, 18 May 2017 05:31:17 GMT2017-05-18T05:31:17Z

A tiny proportion of excess food is being sent to charities and is instead ending up in landfill or left to rot, figures show

Less than 1% of edible surplus food produced by UK manufacturers and farms is being sent to charities to help feed the hungry, according to new figures.

Vegetables that are perfectly edible are being left to rot in the fields, and other foods not sold to retailers are put into anaerobic digestion or sent straight to landfill, the UK’s largest redistribution charity FareShare has warned.

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How to build a successful charity from scratch | Jo Owen

Wed, 17 May 2017 08:00:03 GMT2017-05-17T08:00:03Z

As a serial founder, I know running a charity is harder than business. Here’s my advice, from avoiding fraud to managing finance and hiring on a budget

Whisper it quietly: running a charity is harder than running a for-profit business. Hiring top talent on modest salaries is harder; lack of money makes it harder to move people out with a golden parachute; mergers stumble over egos when the money motive is absent. As a co-founder of eight charities, I have made more mistakes than I care to remember.

Here are the seven key lessons I have learned about building a charity. They may seem obvious, but as George Orwell noted: “to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”.

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'A light went on in my head': the charity helping military veterans beat alcoholism

Tue, 16 May 2017 06:00:08 GMT2017-05-16T06:00:08Z

According to Combat Stress, 13% of military veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have significant alcohol disorders

Just over a year ago, Mike spent New Year’s Eve on his kitchen floor. He was stuck there for 15 hours, with a broken shoulder. A few months earlier, he had broken a hip. Before that, he had ended up in hospital with hypothermia.

Every time, the veteran was blind drunk. He was getting through at least a large bottle of vodka every single day.

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How to measure success in the world of megaprojects | Jane Dudman

Fri, 19 May 2017 06:09:48 GMT2017-05-19T06:09:48Z

Crossrail, HS2, Hinkley Point C and other billion-pound projects may be controversial, but experts say they can be easier to get past politicians

Crossrail, HS2, Hinkley Point C nuclear power station: three massive infrastructure projects, costing billions of taxpayers’ money, and all subject to controversial and time-consuming debate before getting the go-ahead.

But were these megaprojects in fact easier to get politicians to approve than other, smaller investments in UK infrastructure and transport?

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Cyberattack: what can councils do? Robin Tuddenham

Mon, 15 May 2017 11:21:42 GMT2017-05-15T11:21:42Z

At my council, we knew cybersecurity was one of our top risks, so we had a plan in place when the NHS attack happened

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As a female engineer, I aim to design rockets | Temitayo Adedipe

Tue, 16 May 2017 05:23:05 GMT2017-05-16T05:23:05Z

Being the only girl to do an engineering diploma in my school year group has not stood in the way of my ambition to design aeroplanes or work at Nasa

Each time I tell a friend that I’m studying engineering because I want to design aeroplanes, I get more or less the same reaction, along the lines of: “Wow, you must be really smart.”

Many of my female friends appear to think my goals are unreachable for them, and male friends seem to admire it as something extraordinary. I hope to see these views change in the next 10 years or so. Engineering needs to be seen differently, not as a tough subject or one specifically for men. It can be challenging, but it’s all about mindset and vision.

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New computer systems are sending our fire engines to the wrong places

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:37:26 GMT2017-04-29T09:37:26Z

Stress levels are soaring at my fire brigade control room because our systems always crash and are riddled with errors. I worry lives are put at risk

I have worked in a fire brigade control room for two decades – and things have changed drastically for the worst in the past two years. Now, every time I take a call my heart stops.

Related: Emergency services face 'potentially catastrophic' communication gap

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What is HS2 and how much will it cost?

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 06:13:03 GMT2017-04-28T06:13:03Z

Not sure why the government is so keen on a new £55.7bn high-speed rail link? We answer your HS2 questions

What is HS2 and how much will it cost?

High-Speed 2 is the planned rail network between London, the West Midlands and the North. The first phase will link the capital to Birmingham, while the Y-shaped second phase will link Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds. By the time both phases are finished in 2033 there will be 350 miles of new track.

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My family was hit by a bus driver with road rage | Sarah Hope

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:38:01 GMT2017-04-25T10:38:01Z

My safety campaign has uncovered shocking facts. I want to ensure no other family suffers like ours, by keeping drivers calm behind the wheel

My name is Sarah Hope. I am a wife and a mother to three children – Barnaby, 16, Sapphire, 14, and Pollyanna, who is 12.

Ten years ago, on 25 April 2007, my mother Elizabeth came to stay in our house in Mortlake, south London, to visit my twin sister, Victoria, who was in the Chelsea and Westminster hospital a few miles away after giving birth to a healthy baby boy two days earlier.

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Marginal gains: the election machine you won't see until 8 June | Dave Smith

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 09:03:09 GMT2017-04-22T09:03:09Z

Who’ll be first to declare the general election results? In Sunderland, as elsewhere, the race is now on ahead of polling night

With the unexpected announcement of a snap general election in just six weeks’ time, an extensive election machinery needs to be cranked into action three years earlier than planned.

Given that local elections were already taking place in many areas in May, this might not seem such a big deal, but for returning officers all over the country a general election is always something else entirely.

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Theresa May ditches manifesto plan with 'dementia tax' U-turn

Mon, 22 May 2017 12:47:23 GMT2017-05-22T12:47:23Z

Prime minister accused of ‘manifesto meltdown’ but insists nothing has changed after introducing idea of cap on social care costs

General election 2017 - latest updates

Theresa May has announced a U-turn on her party’s social care policy by promising an “absolute limit” on the amount people will have to pay for their care but is not planning to say what level the cap will be set at before the election.

The prime minister’s decision came after Conservative party proposals to make people pay more of the costs of social care were branded a “dementia tax” – but she insisted it was simply a clarification.

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Theresa May defends cut in payments for bereaved families

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 14:07:20 GMT2017-04-03T14:07:20Z

PM says changes, which charities say could leave many grieving families worse off, are fair to taxpayers

Theresa May has defended cuts to bereaved family payments as “fair to taxpayers” in a week where families with a terminally ill parent could see thousands wiped off their benefits if the parent survives beyond new rules introduced later this week.

The rule change will limit payments to widowed parents to a maximum of 18 months. Alan, a terminally ill man from Barnet in north London, called the reforms “callous and brutal” and said they had caused his family extreme anxiety in the last months of his life. The change will cost his young family tens of thousands of pounds.

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'The pill mill of America': where drugs mean there are no good choices, only less awful ones

Wed, 17 May 2017 11:30:07 GMT2017-05-17T11:30:07Z

For six days in Portsmouth, Ohio, I keep trying to fool myself. Eventually, I am unable to just watch and listen

Portsmouth, Ohio, once known for making things (steel, shoes, bricks), is now known for drugs, and labeled by some as the “pill mill of America”. The city peaked at 40,000 people in 1940, and as it emptied of factories and jobs – some made obsolete, some moved away – it also emptied of people and hope.

Now it is a town half the size, filled with despair and filling with drugs.

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'Fake claims' v U-turns: who is telling the truth on social care, May or Corbyn?

Mon, 22 May 2017 13:04:18 GMT2017-05-22T13:04:18Z

The Tory manifesto explicitly rejects a cap on costs, so the PM is wrong to claim that ‘nothing has changed’

The sound of screeching rubber has accompanied Theresa May’s U-turn on her policy on social care costs, fatally dubbed the “dementia tax”. But she insists that “nothing has changed” since her manifesto was published last Thursday and she has simply “clarified” the policy in response to “fake claims” by Jeremy Corbyn. Who’s right?

A Guardian analysis shows the prime minister is wrong to say that Corbyn has been making “fake claims”. Her promise of a Dilnot-style cap on care costs appears to have been ruled out at the launch of the manifesto and did not seem to include a pledge to consult further on the details of the measures. A green paper is promised but on issues which are “not merely a function of money”.

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New laws in UK ‘stifling vaping’s success’ in curbing smoking

Sat, 20 May 2017 13:07:42 GMT2017-05-20T13:07:42Z

Customers put off by rules on nicotine strength could return to cigarettes

Britain’s burgeoning vaping industry is warning of a rise in homemade versions of the liquids used in the devices as new laws governing their strength take effect this weekend.

Vape shops warn that the health of consumers will be put at risk because people will end up buying stronger products from the black market or the internet that do not meet safety standards. There are also concerns that thousands of vapers who use high levels of nicotine will end up reverting to cigarettes now they can no longer buy sufficiently high doses under the new rules.

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How much is the government really privatising the NHS?

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 12:46:25 GMT2016-08-15T12:46:25Z

Figures show privatisation to be less of the explosion that Owen Smith warns about and more a gradual, inexorable rise in the outsourcing of services

The myriad different bodies that make up the NHS in England and their opaqueness, especially in terms of contracts to provide services, makes mapping the true extent of the privatisation of public healthcare difficult.

The available evidence bears out Owen Smith’s claim that NHS privatisation is increasing, but it is less of the “explosion” that the Labour leadership hopeful warns about and more of a gradual but inexorable, rise in the proportion of the NHS budget going to firms such as Virgin Care, Care UK and Bupa. It is also noteworthy that the private sector has been making ever bigger inroads into several key areas of NHS care, notably general practice, community services and mental health care.

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NHS seeks to recover from global cyber-attack as security concerns resurface

Sat, 13 May 2017 08:16:56 GMT2017-05-13T08:16:56Z

Cybersecurity centre says teams ‘working round the clock’ to fix systems rendered inaccessible by international ransomware attack

The NHS is working to bring its systems back online after it became the highest-profile victim of a global ransomware attack and faced renewed concern about the strength of its infrastructure.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said teams were “working round the clock” in response to the attack, which resulted in operations being cancelled, ambulances being diverted and documents such as patient records made unavailable in England and Scotland.

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