Published: Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:10:53 GMT2016-10-23T12:10:53ZCopyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2016
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:53:48 GMT2016-10-20T12:53:48Z
Health secretary pledges to improve diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric conditions and put specialists in schools
NHS care of children and young people is the service’s biggest weakness and so inadequate that it is causing too many tragedies, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said.
Hunt has pledged to improve the diagnosis and treatment of troubled children by NHS children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Problems need to be identified earlier so that young people no longer struggle with debilitating conditions for years before receiving help, he said.Continue reading...
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 18:36:32 GMT2016-10-20T18:36:32Z
Chair of the parole board warns prisons in England and Wales are feeling the effects of losing thousands of extra staff in past few years
Violence inside prisons in England and Wales is at its most serious level ever and is getting worse, the new chair of the parole board has warned.
Prof Nick Hardwick said that the stabbing inside Pentonville prison on Monday was “the most extreme example of the decline in safety” that he and others have warned about for years.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:30:23 GMT2016-10-21T06:30:23Z
After 30 years as a standup, the comedian landed the lead in Ken Loach’s excoriating new film. Now he’s being talked of as an Oscar-winner, but it’s the movie’s potential to make a difference that really excites him
It was the first day of shooting last October when Ken Loach handed Dave Johns a fat form. “Fill that in,” the veteran film director told his leading man. It was an application for income support, and it was 52 pages long, not including the introductory notes.
Johns, who had not signed on since the late 1970s, looked at the paperwork in horror. “I said: ‘I cannot do this, this is insane’,” the 60-year-old recalls, a year on. “When I got that form I thought: ‘Wow, they’re going to give a sick person that and, if the sick person doesn’t fill this in properly, they’re going to lose their benefits.’ I mean, the stress that must put you under.”Continue reading...
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:29:27 GMT2016-10-20T14:29:27Z
Gesture made amid row over migrants’ ages and criticism that Home Office not doing enough to protect their anonymity
Some of the latest unaccompanied refugee children to travel from Calais to London covered their faces as they arrived, following a row about the ages of the first teenagers to be rescued.
Their attempt to conceal their faces on Thursday came amid frustration from campaigners that the Home Office has not done enough to protect the anonymity of those being helped.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:01:20 GMT2016-10-19T23:01:20Z
Self-funders are unfairly asked to subsidise lower rates paid by councils for older people who cannot pay, says charity
Growing numbers of older people face increasingly high care home fees to subsidise the lower fees paid by councils for those who cannot afford to pay, a leading charity has warned.
Last year about 167,000 care home residents across the UK were meeting the cost of their own care, up by 29% on the 130,000 who did so in 2005. Now, 41% of all those receiving residential care are self-funders.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 19:08:19 GMT2016-10-19T19:08:19Z
Public accounts committee members accuse ministers of ‘overselling and under-delivering’ the controversial programme
Ministers made “grandiose” and exaggerated claims in favour of the £1.2bn troubled families programme despite a lack of statistical evidence showing the policy had achieved a significant impact, MPs have heard.
Members of the Commons public accounts committee accused ministers of “overselling and under-delivering” the controversial programme, which was introduced in 2011 following the August riots in an attempt to tackle antisocial behaviour in supposedly “problem” families.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 22:00:19 GMT2016-10-19T22:00:19Z
Letter from medics and dieticians calls for improvement in training to reduce lifestyle-related deaths
Most doctors are ill-equipped to tackle Britain’s increasing frequency of lifestyle-related diseases because they know worryingly little about how nutrition and exercise can improve health, a group of prominent medics has claimed.
“There is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the basic evidence for the impact of nutrition and physical activity on health among the overwhelming majority of doctors. This has its roots in the lack of early formal training,” they state in a letter to the Medical Schools Council (MSC) and General Medical Council (GMC).Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 21:30:18 GMT2016-10-19T21:30:18Z
Two in five midwives surveyed said there were too few of them to cope with demands on the service
More than a third of maternity units have been forced to shut their doors to women in labour because they could not cope with demand, leading midwives have warned. Figures from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) show that 38.6% of maternity units had to temporarily shut during the last year.
A poll conducted among senior midwives revealed that units closed their doors on 281 separate occasions. The RCM said the average unit temporarily closed eight times, but one unit was at full capacity 50 times. Eight units had to close their doors on 10 or more occasions.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:38:00 GMT2016-10-18T15:38:00ZGovernment plans to allow councils to opt out of child protection laws bitterly divides the profession and fuels privatisation fears
There is a ferocious battle going on among individuals who have dedicated their professional lives to protecting children. On one side are well-performing children’s services departments, which believe the law can be an impediment to more effective and efficient ways of working. On the other are children’s rights campaigners, some social workers, family lawyers and senior social work academics, who view with horror the prospect of hard-fought-for laws upholding children’s rights being being made to disappear by the secretary of state.
At the centre of this struggle is the government’s children and social work bill, which proposes allowing councils to request specific exemptions from legislation and statutory guidance so that they can “innovate” to improve children’s experience of being looked after or, and with perhaps somewhat less lofty ambition, achieve “the same outcomes more efficiently”. Opponents fear the bill is a way of skirting difficult problems caused by funding cuts and social worker recruitment and could even lead to children’s social care being outsourced and privatised.Continue reading...
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 23:05:29 GMT2016-10-22T23:05:29ZOnly a thorough national conversation can avert a crisis that will effect millions
Your view on social care (Editorial) rightly highlights a vital public service on its knees following years of funding cuts. This neglect of our social-care system is having a dire effect on the lives of thousands, if not millions, of disabled and older people who deserve decent, dignified and compassionate support to live fulfilling and independent lives.
We know that funding cuts mean at least 400,000 fewer people are now receiving social care compared to 2009. In addition to the devastating impact on individuals, this is placing the NHS under further unsustainable pressure.Continue reading...
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 23:05:29 GMT2016-10-22T23:05:29ZFunding for drug enforcement in Pakistan leads to vulnerable drug-smuggling mules facing death penalty, says Reprieve
Britain is supporting an overseas battle against drugs that critics say is leading to the arrest and potential execution of people either duped or coerced into becoming “mules”.
The issue is a sensitive one for the prime minister. Theresa May has made combating people trafficking a priority for her government. But human rights groups say the UK is failing to recognise the consequences of its support for a number of operations abroad that target people being trafficked to smuggle drugs.Continue reading...
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 23:02:47 GMT2016-10-22T23:02:47Z
Westminster councillor Nickie Aiken says nearly a quarter of the London borough’s street homeless were using the drug when asked earlier this year
“I call it the suicide drug: it will send you on a long, long buzz – four to five hits and you can’t move.” In a hostel in central London, James Alexander, 40, recalls trying “spice” for the first time when he was in prison.
“You get an instant buzz, you go from one to 100 straight away,” he said, shaking his head. “You get a different buzz from weed – but I don’t like it; it’s not a drug you want to be messing with. I had some the other night and the moment the buzz started I said to my mate, ‘Tear it up, put it in the bin.’”Continue reading...
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 19:29:23 GMT2016-10-22T19:29:23ZWhen comparing workers in similar occupations, average hourly earnings for bisexual men were also 20% less than for heterosexual men
It is, to put it mildly, a complex picture. Bisexual men are paid on average a third less than their heterosexual counterparts, a groundbreaking new study has revealed. But to complicate the issue, the study also shows that gay men and lesbians earn about the same as heterosexuals, as do bisexual women.Continue reading...
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 19:12:23 GMT2016-10-22T19:12:23ZNumber of disabled people receiving specialist help to fall by 50% after 80% funding cut to new work programme
The number of unemployed disabled people given specialist help to find work will be halved under plans to be revealed this week, according to firms running the government’s work programme.Continue reading...
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 09:00:12 GMT2016-10-22T09:00:12Z
It might be home to your home, but who cares whether you live on Wisteria Court or Primezone Mews? Lots of people, actually
Five Links housing estate on the outskirts of Basildon, Essex, could never be called lovely. Built in the late 60s, it is made up of a series of interlocking courtyards crisscrossed with alleyways and blind corners. Walking from one side to the other is like tackling a red-brick maze. “You can see why we call it Alcatraz,” says Frank Ferguson, a local councillor, as he shows me round.
Basildon council wants to rid the estate (home to 1,300 residents) of its Alcatraz reputation. It started a decade ago, by pulling down a block of flats whose underground car park had become a venue for drug dealing. Now it wants to change all the street names. Out will go those of the original “five links”, all named after English villages or farms (Somercotes, Mellow Purgess, Brendon, Handley Green or Newberry Side) and after which all the estate’s roads are named.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 23:10:00 GMT2016-10-21T23:10:00Z
Spy who worked for Soviet Union while at MI6 climbed the wall at Wormwood Scrubs in 1966 with help of three former inmates
Exactly 50 years ago, on 22 October 1966, one of Britain’s most notorious double agents escaped from prison. With ministers, the police special branch and MI5 all assuming it was the work of the KGB, a huge manhunt failed to find him. While the country’s ports were watched and his photograph was displayed on television and the front pages, he was lying low in a nearby bedsit.
The extraordinary circumstances surrounding the breakout did not emerge for 25 years. Security and intelligence chiefs were as anxious to keep it under wraps as those responsible for the escape – two anti-nuclear campaigners and a petty criminal. Official documents on the affair remain secret on the grounds that their release would cause distress to individuals still living. But now, in advance of today’s 50th anniversary, one of those involved in the escape has told the Guardian that he has no regrets.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:08:13 GMT2016-10-21T21:08:13Z
As a retired brewer I can confirm that all alcoholic beverages are to a degree fattening (Letters, 18 and 19 October). Alcohol is produced during fermentation by yeast breaking down short chain carbohydrates (primarily glucose) to produce ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. At the end of fermentation there is always a residue of carbohydrate carried forward to the final product. This together with the complex degradation of alcohol by the liver to produce further carbohydrate gives the beverage its high calorific content.
I am undergoing alcohol-free October and can provide evidence of the above. In three weeks of no alcohol and eating the same amount as before I have lost 10lbs in weight. It is not, as my wife believes, an indication that I normally consume far more than 21 units of alcohol a week. Roll on 1 November.
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 18:11:04 GMT2016-10-21T18:11:04Z
My colleague and friend Jim Wilson, who has died aged 82, was a former county planning officer for County Durham. Over the 30 years from 1956, he helped guide Durham’s environmental and economic transformation. Jim worked on plans for the renewal of the old county, which then stretched between the Tyne and the Tees. Under his stewardship, derelict land from the closure of coalmines, coke works, heavy industry and railways was transformed into industrial estates, country parks, picnic areas, farmland and wildlife sites.
In all, 44 square miles of land, including some of the country’s largest pit heaps, were levelled, covered with topsoil and planted with more than 2.5m trees. This is one of the most beneficial landscape improvements in Europe of modern times, as was recognised later by the accolade of a Europa Nostra award.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:39:12 GMT2016-10-21T17:39:12Z
Bookies could lose licences over claims they use ‘misleading promotions’ and ‘unfair terms’ to deceive customers
Online betting companies who overturn gamblers’ winning bets using loopholes buried in the small print of their websites face losing their licences, after the competition regulator launched a probe into the industry.
The Competition and Markets Authority said it had begun a review asking betting websites to explain allegations that they use “misleading promotions” and “unfair terms” to deceive customers.Continue reading...
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:04:25 GMT2016-10-20T11:04:25ZCultural attitudes and criminal justice procedures elsewhere dealing with sexual violence may be imperfect, but we could learn a lot from them
After yet another chapter in one of Britain’s most high-profile rape cases, Chesterfield football club’s chief executive gave his own verdict: “We can now all move forward and focus on football.”
Can we?Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:00:01 GMT2016-10-19T07:00:01ZThe government should give up its obsession with seven-day working, which hasn’t led to a drop in A&E admissions, and instead support GPs to provide more standard daytime appointments
My practice started offering Saturday morning GP appointments as well as weekday slots from 8am. Previously, our surgery opened Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6.30pm with some evening appointments until 7.30pm. The Saturday slots are now offered as part of a group of local practices (on a rota basis) to all patients across the practices for routine pre-bookable appointments. There are many such pilots across the country – which started in 2013 as part of the then prime minister’s £50m challenge fund. Some, such as those in Greater Manchester, offered Saturday and Sunday urgent and routine appointments in addition to extended weekday access. Others, like ours, offer additional weekday and Saturday morning access for routine appointments only. The government has committed to another year of extended access despite dubious benefits of the first wave.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:30:00 GMT2016-10-19T06:30:00ZThe leader of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain warns that undermining cleaners’ and bike couriers’ rights is a dangerous trend
Bicycle couriers begin their legal fight for employment rights next month, with four riders in London taking separate tribunal cases against Citysprint, Addison Lee, Ecourier and Excel. Supported by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), the couriers claim they are “workers” and not self-employed “independent contractors” as their companies classify them. The bike couriers work around 50 hours a week for a single firm and earn £2-£3 per item delivered. They say they cannot deliver parcels for other firms or turn down work and are therefore not self-employed. If they win their tribunals, it would make a huge difference, says Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the IWGB. “They would be entitled to earn the minimum wage, paid holidays, trade union representation and protection against less favourable treatment for part-time workers.”Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:36:58 GMT2016-10-18T13:36:58Z
Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah says race and nationality are social inventions being used to cause deadly divisions
Two weeks ago Theresa May made a statement that, for many, trampled on 200 years of enlightenment and cosmopolitan thinking: “If you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere”.
It was a proclamation blasted by figures from all sides, but for Kwame Anthony Appiah, the philosopher who on Tuesday gave the first of this year’s prestigious BBC Reith lectures, the sentiment stung. His life – he is the son of a British aristocratic mother and Ghanian anti-colonial activist father, raised as a strict Christian in Kumasi, then sent to British boarding school, followed by a move to the US in the 1970s; he is gay, married to a Jewish man and explores identity for a living – meant May’s comments were both “insulting and nonsense in every conceivable way”.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:00:03 GMT2016-10-18T13:00:03ZOur tireless volunteering and caring roles holds together the social fabric; targeting our benefits would jeopardise this
Elizabeth has become a fan of the new prime minister and was extolling her virtues after bingo. “A more equal society, I like the sound of that.”
“Really?” Charlie was in there in a flash, “And where do you think she’s going to find the savings to pay for it?”Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:03:30 GMT2016-10-18T12:03:30Z
Allowing the accused to go unnamed wouldn’t ‘level the playing field’, but would further misconceptions of sexual violence and stop victims coming forward
A group of high-profile men, including singer Sir Cliff Richard and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, have launched a campaign to change the law so that people accused of sex crimes would not be named unless they are charged. It is impossible to discuss such a campaign without setting it in the wider context of misconceptions about sexual violence and those who report it; misconceptions that have been particularly widely aired in the aftermath of the recent Ched Evans not-guilty verdict, which saw many make similar calls for anonymity on social media.
Entwined with such demands is the public perception that false rape allegations are common. While there are some allegations which prove false, there are misconceptions about the extent of them. There are widespread stereotypes: of “promiscuous” women who regret sexual activity and “cry rape”, or vindictive women who set out to ruin men’s lives with false accusations, either for money or revenge. Whether intentionally or not, any conversation about anonymity in the judicial process raises the spectre of these figures. In the wake of the Evans verdict, they could clearly be seen in tweets such as: “This confirms that 80% of rape ‘victims’ are just drunk sluts who regret being a whore on a night out,” as well as in the complainant repeatedly being branded a “money-grabbing whore” online.Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 15:41:28 GMT2016-10-17T15:41:28Z
The head of the city’s new authority needs to ditch the plans of the Cameron era – and embrace participatory democracy
From its highest point, the Georgian-era observatory at Heaton Park, you can see the limits of the megacity that will be created by “Devo Manc”. Do a quick 180-degree panorama with your smartphone and you’ll find that a metropolis of 2.8 million people does not even fill the photograph.
By 21st-century standards, the new Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) created by David Cameron’s government in 2014 is too small. Yet compared with the city’s political traditions, it is way too big. Even after two centuries of consolidation, it takes 10 local councils to run the place – two of them already titled “city”.Continue reading...
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 15:02:18 GMT2016-10-14T15:02:18Z
Woman was subjected to a grilling about her morality and sexual behaviour that was a throwback to the 1980s
Ever wondered what it was like to report a sexual assault in the latter half of the last century? There is no need to source a rare copy of Roger Graef’s searing documentary A Complaint of Rape, or to bother sifting through social history books, because the events in Cardiff crown court this month have been an unedifying window into the past.
The young female complainant was subjected to the kind of grilling about her sexual behaviour that was a throwback to 30 years ago.Continue reading...
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:24:34 GMT2016-10-14T14:24:34Z
The new chair must move beyond the latest embarrassment to expose the failure to protect children that went on for so long
The allegations of racism levelled at Lowell Goddard – which she has denied – represent the latest dispiriting episode in the soap opera known as the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
The investigation has certainly, and in some instances rightly, become a piñata for critics who say it is too big, too unwieldy and too shambolic. As it has lost three chairs, its senior legal team and any dignity it once had, they have a point.Continue reading...
Wed, 12 Oct 2016 07:00:05 GMT2016-10-12T07:00:05ZTo truly achieve a ‘country that works for everyone’, the new prime minister must first undo David Cameron’s legacy of deprivation
Theresa May wants a country that works for everyone, where those who can “just about manage” get the support they need. Whether the prime minister succeeds will depend on if she acts to unwind the poverty-producing policies of her predecessor, whose legacy is set to be the largest increase in child poverty in a generation.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:12:20 GMT2016-10-21T17:12:20Z
Procedure goes out of fashion on fears about sex life, but NHS funding is also a factor, says contraception NGO
Vasectomies appear to have gone dramatically out of fashion, with a decline of 64% in the number of men undergoing the procedure within the last 10 years, leaving women once more shouldering the responsibility for contraception.
But the reasons for the apparent shift are complex, say experts. Part of it is bad publicity, with many men seemingly put off by scare stories about pain and unfounded worries about the implications for their sex lives, but there are also concerns that NHS funding for the procedure may be slipping away.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:22:56 GMT2016-10-21T15:22:56Z
Swedish researchers surprised to find daily soft drink habit also increased likelihood of less common autoimmune diabetes
Drinking more than two sugary or artificially sweetened soft drinks a day greatly increases the risk of diabetes, research has shown.
The Swedish study found that consuming more than two 200ml drinks more than doubled the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. A serious soft drink habit consisting of at least five drinks daily boosted the likelihood of having the disease more than 10 times.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:32:59 GMT2016-10-21T12:32:59Z
M in the Middle draws on ups and downs of Limpsfield Grange schoolgirls’ lives and how autism is different for girls
A novel told from the point of view of a teenage girl with autism, written by schoolgirls with autism, has been published after the students – frustrated by their experience of a world that rejects and ignores them – decided to take matters into their own hands.
The pupils at Limpsfield Grange school, the country’s only state-funded residential school for girls with special needs, mined their own most painful – and uplifting – experiences to write M in the Middle, a young adult novel created with the help of their creative writing teacher, Vicky Martin.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:34:19 GMT2016-10-21T10:34:19Z
Country’s top judge rules that Holyrood government’s plans for 50p per unit minimum price do not violate EU law
The Holyrood government’s plan to introduce a blanket minimum price for alcohol has been backed by the Scottish courts in a ruling hailed by health campaigners as marking “a great day for Scotland’s health”.
The court of session in Edinburgh rejected a challenge by Scotland’s drinks industry, which claimed the plan to set a minimum price at 50p per unit of alcohol – a measure that would see a 70cl bottle of whisky priced at a minimum of £14 – was in breach of European law.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 22:53:56 GMT2016-10-19T22:53:56Z
A government panel on Wednesday recommended kids aged under 15 get two shots instead of three and the CDC immediately made the change
It’s now easier for preteens to get the cervical cancer vaccine.
A government panel on Wednesday recommended that preteens get two shots instead of three and space them further apart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immediately made the change.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 23:01:15 GMT2016-10-18T23:01:15Z
Brighton Pier and Natural History Museum get lowest scores in parents’ survey of food offered on popular family outings
Many of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions are failing to serve up healthy meals and snacks for young visitors, instead largely selling pre-prepared children’s lunchboxes loaded with sugar along with chips and “unimaginative, ultra-processed” foods, according to new research by a charity.
The Soil Association’s annual Out to Lunch survey found that 75% of lunchboxes sold at popular attractions did not routinely include a portion of vegetables or salad, while half included muffins, cakes and sweet treats but no fresh fruit.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 22:15:49 GMT2016-10-18T22:15:49Z
The NHS is getting £2bn less than the government promised, chief executive of the health service Simon Stevens tells MPs
The head of the NHS in England has rejected Theresa May’s claim that the health service has been given more funding than it requested to meet rising demand for care.
Simon Stevens told MPs that the NHS would receive an additional £8bn between now and 2020-21, not the “£10bn extra” the prime minister said. Moreover, it would get less money than it needed between 2017 and 2020, meaning it would be “more challenging” than expected to keep services running.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 21:30:13 GMT2016-10-18T21:30:13Z
RCM survey reports inadequate staffing levels, bullying, poor working conditions and fears of making ‘tragic mistakes’
Inadequate staffing levels are driving midwives to leave the NHS, with some looking after as many as 15 mothers and babies at a time, a report has found.
The study of more than 2,700 midwives uncovered fears about making mistakes because they were working 12-hour shifts with no break.Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 23:06:41 GMT2016-10-17T23:06:41Z
Trusts in England will have £5.4bn made available to them until 2019 to help wipe out deficits, threatening plans to overhaul delivery of care, says thinktank
The NHS expects hospitals to go on racking up such large deficits in the next few years that it will have to divert £5.4bn earmarked for improving patient care to prop them up, experts claim.
NHS trusts in England, which recorded a collective deficit of £2.45bn last year, are meant to reduce their overspending this year to only £580m to help tackle the service’s acute financial problems.Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 23:02:22 GMT2016-10-17T23:02:22Z
Independent review into homicides that occurred between 2010 and 2015 criticised Sussex Partnership NHS foundation trust for misjudging danger
An inquiry has criticised an NHS mental health trust for underestimating the risk of violence posed by patients who went on to carry out killings, two of which could have been prevented. Sussex Partnership NHS foundation trust has been criticised for not taking more seriously the families of disturbed patients who pleaded for help because they feared that their relative would commit violence.
The review of 10 homicides that occurred between 2010 and 2015 included the death of 79-year-old Donald Lock on the A24 near Worthing in Sussex in July 2015 after his car collided with that of Matthew Daley, who stabbed him 39 times.Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 18:43:04 GMT2016-10-17T18:43:04Z
Your editorial (14 October) rightly points out that adult social care is underfunded but concludes that integration of the two services is the key to the problem. When I was a director of social services we never left people in hospital to save money if we had suitable provision, but we didn’t always have either enough staff or residential spaces available because, unlike the NHS, we were not allowed to overspend our budget. In the eight years since I retired, hundreds of millions of pounds have been taken out of those services at a time when our elderly population has increased by hundreds of thousands. It takes some delusion to conclude that this is a management problem. At my charity we hear every day about the harm caused by this underfunding: people dying in hospital from hypothermia and dehydration; people dying in care homes from pressure sores or being physically and mentally abused; people left alone and uncared for at home because they can no longer get home care.Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 07:10:06 GMT2016-10-17T07:10:06Z
The US health department has stopped recommending it, but the NHS is still in favour. So, should you bother?
“I don’t need to floss” is a sentence my dentist never used to hear – not until recently, when the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans stopped recommending it. Now, lots of his patients are telling him they’ve stopped. Despite the NHS advising daily flossing – and almost all dentists being fans of interdental cleaning – an investigation by Associated Press found “little proof that flossing works”.
But how can it not be good for you? Between our teeth are interdental sites coated in dental plaque. Plaque is a layer of bacteria mixed with organic matter that coats teeth and causes gum inflammation (gingivitis) and tooth decay. Early warning signs include bleeding gums. Toothbrushes get rid of plaque from other surfaces, but are not so good between teeth. Surely floss can reach the parts that brushes can’t?Continue reading...
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:19:11 GMT2016-10-17T06:19:11Z
Jeremy Hunt announces measures to reduce medical errors, alongside faster NHS compensation for injured babies
The government is to release new ratings for maternity wards across England to allow prospective parents to compare and contrast services in NHS hospitals, as part of a drive to reduce instances of stillbirth and brain injuries during labour.
Maternity data detailing the frequency of accidents within clinical commissioning groups and the health prospects of expectant mothers – including the percentage of smokers, for example – will be collated to form England-wide ratings.Continue reading...
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 23:01:47 GMT2016-10-16T23:01:47Z
Data suggests tackling Britain’s drink problem could be more important for health than targeting sugar consumption
People in the UK and many other countries get more of their calories from alcohol than from sugary drinks like cola and lemonade, according to new data which suggests that tackling Britain’s drink problem may be more important for health than cracking down on sugar consumption.
Of 24 countries tracked by the data analysts Euromonitor International, all but one have higher daily calorie consumption from alcoholic drinks than sugary beverages. In the UK, adults are consuming more than 106 calories per head every day from alcoholic drinks, compared with 98 from sugar-sweetened drinks.Continue reading...
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 08:30:29 GMT2016-10-16T08:30:29Z
With Britain’s dedicated foreign medical staff under threat, an already beleaguered national health service faces possibly the biggest crisis in its history
All human life is in Homerton hospital’s car park. Or at least, passing through Homerton hospital car park on the way to A&E or outpatients or maternity. A Bangladeshi woman in a wheelchair. A Hasidic Jewish schoolboy with ringlets and a limp. A bearded hipster with a newborn baby in a plastic carrycot. Inside there are nurses from the Philippines, from Spain, from Italy, from Gambia, from the Caribbean. There are doctors from India, and radiographers from Germany, and anaesthetists from Pakistan, and cleaners from Ghana, and midwives from Nigeria. To cut to the chase: there is everyone from everywhere. And of course they’re not alone in this. With more than half of all doctors coming from abroad – as they have since at least the late 60s – Homerton hospital in the East End of London is like every NHS hospital in every city in Britain.
On the morning of Friday, 24 June, this was a fact that struck Junaid Masood, a Pakistani-born, British consultant urologist when he came to work at Homerton – and it struck him in particular as he looked around the theatre where he was about to operate. “It was the morning after Brexit,” he says. “Everyone was shocked and depressed and I just had this moment of clarity because I looked around and thought, ‘Oh my God, every single person in this operating room today is from the European Union. So, at the end of surgery, I got everyone to hold up a placard saying where they were from and put it up on Facebook. And then it just went nuts.”Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:33:10 GMT2016-10-21T15:33:10Z
Of all the scandals covered by the child abuse inquiry, the story of Shirley Oaks care home is among the most shocking. Now one former resident is helping others to tell their stories
The people who live there now call it Shirley Oaks Village; it’s an unusually large estate, with lots of new homes, woodland and flat, open fields.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:16:12 GMT2016-10-19T12:16:12Z
Review to examine if signs of deviant behaviour were missed in boy and girl, now 15, who killed Elizabeth and Katie Edwards
Two teenage killers’ interactions with social workers, teachers and other mental health services will be examined in a serious case review as both face life sentences for the “cold, calculated and callous” murders of a mother and her 13-year-old daughter.
Authorities will look into whether signs of deviant behaviour by the boy and girl, both 14 at the time of the murders, were missed in the months and years leading up to the killings of Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and her daughter Katie, who were stabbed to death as they slept at home in Spalding.Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:54:59 GMT2016-10-18T17:54:59Z
Charities and researchers urge ministers to retain positive elements as former head prepares to answer MPs’ questions
Practitioners involved in the government’s troubled families programme have defended key aspects of the scheme despite being hampered by centrally imposed targets and government spending cuts.
The practitioners argue that it enabled them to make a positive difference to the lives of many families.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 14:00:04 GMT2016-10-18T14:00:04Z
The plan backfiresContinue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 10:52:33 GMT2016-10-18T10:52:33Z
Michael Wilshaw says issue must be given priority to avoid ‘repeat of catastrophic failings seen in Rotherham and Oxford’
The chief inspector of schools has warned that some police forces are failing to “take their child protection responsibilities seriously”.
In a letter to the chief inspector of police on Tuesday, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the outgoing head of the schools inspectorate, said more than half of Ofsted’s 42 inspections of local authority children’s services in the past year had identified serious weaknesses in the police’s contribution to safeguarding children.Continue reading...
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:01:01 GMT2016-10-19T07:01:01Z
Candid admission appears in documentary on housing officials and people they are trying to help in deprived London borough
People in a deprived east London borough now face a 50-year wait for a council house, a senior councillor from the area says in BBC documentary.
Maureen Worby, the councillor in charge of social care for Barking and Dagenham, tells a meeting of local people they have to wait a decade for a council home, before adding: “Do you know what – it’s not a 10-year wait, it’s a 50-year wait.”Continue reading...
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:05:38 GMT2016-10-18T13:05:38Z
A clip from the BBC2 documentary No Place to Call Home, which looks at the scale of the homelessness problem in Barking and Dagenham, east London. The crew follows the work of the council’s housing team. One staff member says: ‘We are a housing options service, without any options’Continue reading...
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 21:58:31 GMT2016-10-16T21:58:31Z
The housing charity’s ‘living home standard’ aims to be a kind of living wage for housing, as survey finds 73% of inadequate dwellings are in London
A new standard for housing designed to be the equivalent of the living wage has been launched by the charity Shelter – and it said four out of 10 homes in Britain were failing to meet it.
The “living home standard” gives 39 criteria that flats and houses have to meet in order to provide an acceptable home that secures the occupants’ wellbeing. It was drawn up during nine months of consultation with the public, who came up with the criteria in five areas: affordability, decent conditions, space, stability and neighbourhood.Continue reading...
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 19:39:26 GMT2016-10-10T19:39:26Z
Ian Jack (Snobbery, ignorance and the traducing of tenement life, 8 October) is right to suggest that, as with most housing, it’s not the construction that’s at fault but the management – and the lack of family planning. If the 19th-century Scottish tenements hadn’t been overcrowded they would have been good, solid homes; inconvenient by our standards – lugging coal upstairs, shared privies – but better than much of what people had had in the countryside before moving into the new industrial cities. John Cleese and anyone who doubts this should visit the Glasgow tenement house belonging to the National Trust, which shows the dignity that was possible on a low income.Continue reading...
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 13:59:21 GMT2016-10-10T13:59:21Z
Downing Street distances itself from Gavin Barwell’s comments, which it describes as representing ‘personal’ views
Downing Street has rejected the housing minister’s suggestion that parents should leave their property and savings to their grandchildren rather than their children to help them get on the housing ladder.
Gavin Barwell made the call for pensioners to skip a generation when writing their wills as he revealed that his 75-year-old mother had chosen to leave her £700,000 house in Croydon to her five grandchildren rather than to himself and his brother.Continue reading...
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 22:31:31 GMT2016-10-09T22:31:31Z
Gavin Barwell suggests parents should leave homes and savings to grandchildren to help them get on the housing ladder
The housing minister, Gavin Barwell, has suggested that parents should leave their houses and savings to their grandchildren rather than their children to help them get on the housing ladder.
Barwell made the call for pensioners to skip a generation when writing their wills as he revealed that his 75-year-old mother had chosen to leave her £700,000 house in Croydon to her five grandchildren rather than himself and his brother.Continue reading...
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 06:00:06 GMT2016-10-07T06:00:06Z
Campaign groups argue prime minister should act to end division between prosperous older generation and struggling younger people
Theresa May has been urged to do more to improve conditions for young people and reduce growing intergenerational inequality in Britain.
Campaign groups have urged the prime minister to do more than the previous government, including rolling back some of its policies, if she was serious in her speech to the Conservative party conference about ending the “division and unfairness” that exists in British society, including that “between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation”.Continue reading...
Wed, 05 Oct 2016 18:33:21 GMT2016-10-05T18:33:21Z
Aditya Chakrabortty reports Philip Hammond’s promise of an extra £3bn towards housebuilding (We’re lumbering off a diving board with no water below, 4 October). This sounds like a huge commitment, but the housbuilding industry, described by Colin Wiles as a “semi-cartel” (‘The private sector will never build enough’, Housing matters, 21 September), is already awash with cash.
If Mr Hammond really wants to provide homes for all in Mrs May’s brave new world, he could start by repealing right to buy as well as VAT on repairs and maintenance, both of which would allow competition to restore some of the 600,000 empty homes and start to replace council houses with the return of some of the 12,000 small builders reduced to 2,500 in 2010.Continue reading...
Wed, 05 Oct 2016 06:30:56 GMT2016-10-05T06:30:56ZFaced with huge bed and breakfast bills to house homeless families, Tory councils are seeking radical alternatives
The announcement at this week’s Tory party conference by the communities secretary Sajid Javid of a £5bn boost to housebuilding can be seen in part as a belated recognition of the explosion of housing insecurity in Tory heartlands – a crisis the prime minister has hinted at with her promise to help those families on low to middle incomes who are “just managing” to get by.
However, if proof were needed that the problem of homelessness is no longer reserved for its metropolitan heartlands but has rippled out into the commuter cities and market towns of middle England, it is the housing crisis that exploded this summer in Peterborough, landing the city’s Tory-controlled council with a potential £1m bill for putting up homeless families in local Travelodge hotels.Continue reading...
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:50:15 GMT2016-10-20T07:50:15Z
I wanted to use my troubled background to help others and a chance encounter with a manager of a charity helped me do just that
I moved to Birmingham to make a fresh start. I had been involved in the drugs scene and spent a year in prison for dealing. But arriving in a city where you have no friends, no family and no home is hard.
The day I walked into a local church in search of a cup of tea and something to eat changed my life. Church has always been important to me: my parents were God-fearing Christians, though I lost my mum when I was 18. I wanted to get involved in the local community and church seemed the best place to start.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:05:39 GMT2016-10-21T11:05:39Z
Chief executive of the King’s Fund believes STP process is helping deliver the Five Year Forward View
Two years after NHS England unveiled the Five Year Forward View (pdf) – its blueprint for community-based, integrated healthcare able to cope with the pressures of a growing and ageing population – the central bodies are still not doing enough to make it happen.
The King’s Fund is about to publish analysis of progress in reforming the way the NHS works to allow the new care models outlined in the Forward View to flourish. Speaking to the Guardian’s Healthcare Professionals Network, chief executive Chris Ham identified four ways in which the system is hampering local reforms – a shortage of cash to kickstart change, too little progress on a payment system which encourages collaboration, the need to sort out the debacle of the contracting rules which emerged from the Lansley reforms, and rushing change.Continue reading...
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:24:02 GMT2016-09-14T13:24:02Z
The shortlisted projects and teams in each of the nine categories in this year’s awards
The judges have met and deliberated and we are now delighted to announce the shortlisted projects and teams in each of the nine categories in this year’s Guardian Public Service Awards.
The winners and runners-up will be announced at our awards ceremony in November 2016 and a special supplement will be published online and in the paper on 30 November 2016.
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 08:10:11 GMT2016-10-22T08:10:11Z
I sometimes question why I chose a career trying to house rough sleepers, especially those like Bob, a convicted arsonist with nowhere to go
When I turn up at work there, waiting for me as he does every morning, is Bob. Every day he is the first at the door for breakfast. I manage a small, independent homeless charity helping rough sleepers to access accommodation – not an easy task.
I say good morning, ask him how his night went, and let him in. As I watch him make himself a cup of tea, I feel sad. Sad because it’s now more than a month since he left prison. In that time everyday he has been the first in for breakfast, and every night he has slept rough.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:51:18 GMT2016-10-21T09:51:18Z
Response: we want to offer a wider range of choice in accommodation and support for people with learning disabilities – and rights are fundamental to this
Rob Greig’s recent article for the Social Care Network fails to understand Rochdale borough council’s plans to develop a wider range of care and support options; and fails to acknowledge some of the real issues facing providers and people who live in our group homes.
The article made a number of assumptions, almost all of which we must challenge.Continue reading...
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:10:22 GMT2016-10-21T06:10:22Z
Despite its pitfalls, 86% of women politicians use social media. A new report is taking on the trolls and looking at how to empower women in the digital age.
“The first time I put up a tweet and I got a negative reaction to it, I recoiled into my corner,” says Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness. “We’re all human beings. One negative comment outweighs 1,000 positive ones.”
German MEP Terry Reintke agrees that it’s hard not to let the virtual world impact on her real life. She should know: after she pledged support for Poland’s pro-abortion campaigners, Reintke was subjected to online abuse, including being called “filthy baby killing scorch of the earth”.Continue reading...
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 21:31:57 GMT2016-06-29T21:31:57Z
Activists applaud move away from victim blaming, but ‘shift in the conversation’ has not yet led to tougher convictions
Public perception of sexual assault victims and those accused of attacking them is changing due to high-profile cases such as that of Brock Turner at Stanford University, but that is not yet translating into tough convictions against perpetrators, say victims’ advocates.
The former Indiana University student John Enochs agreed to a plea deal last week of a year’s probation and no jail time after two female students accused him of rape. One rape accusation dated from 2013 and the other from 2015, both while he was a student at IU. Although he pleaded guilty to battery relating to the 2015 incident as a felony – prosecutors were unable to provide enough evidence to satisfy the higher charges – the court ruled that it should be classified as a misdemeanor and he received one year of probation.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 23:01:14 GMT2016-10-20T23:01:14Z
Recommendations include action to prevent violence against women, harassment and hate crime
A long-awaited report investigating sexual violence and harassment in UK universities has been criticised for failing fully to address the problem.
An inquiry was begun last year due to growing alarm about harassment, sexual violence and hate crime on university campuses, and concerns about the way in which some institutions deal with the problem.
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:03:48 GMT2014-08-12T16:03:48ZStephanie Bottrill told doctor she felt she was being pushed into moving house or paying extra, Birmingham inquest is told
A woman who was worried she would have to move out of her house or pay extra to stay because of the bedroom tax killed herself, a coroner has ruled.
Stephanie Bottrill, 53, had raised a son and daughter in her three-bedroom council house in the West Midlands but was living there alone after her children moved out.Continue reading...Stephanie Bottrill died on 4 May 2013; her death made national headlines when it was revealed that she had left a note blaming the government. Photograph: GuardianStephanie Bottrill died on 4 May 2013; her death made national headlines when it was revealed that she had left a note blaming the government. Photograph: Guardian
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:19:43 GMT2015-08-27T20:19:43Z
Campaigners demand welfare overhaul after statistics reveal 2,380 people died between 2011 and 2014 shortly after being declared able to work
Nearly 90 people a month are dying after being declared fit for work, according to new data that has prompted campaigners and Labour leadership contenders to call for an overhaul of the government’s welfare regime.
Statistics released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed that during the period December 2011 and February 2014 2,380 people died after their claim for employment and support allowance (ESA) ended because a work capability assessment (WCA) found they were found fit for work.Continue reading...
Thu, 26 May 2016 12:49:52 GMT2016-05-26T12:49:52Z
A new study demonstrates the reality behind Ken Loach’s prize-winning welfare state-and-food-banks drama I, Daniel Blake
A few days after director Ken Loach won a Cannes Palme d’Or-for his welfare state drama I, Daniel Blake, the Wandsworth food bank published its latest food poverty audit. This measures food bank use, but essentially tracks the unravelling of the local social security safety net.
Using data, surveys and interviews collected over the course of the past year, the south London charity’ study explains what Loach’s film dramatises: how jobcentre culture, welfare cuts and benefit delays help drive people to food banks.Continue reading...
Sun, 31 Jul 2016 19:59:12 GMT2016-07-31T19:59:12Z
Ken Loach’s drama exposed the tragic mental health consequences of homelessness, but half a century on the problems and failures are increasing
Sunday saw the BBC’s 50th anniversary screening of the landmark film Cathy Come Home, written by Jeremy Sandford and directed by Ken Loach. First broadcast in 1966, this drama about a young mother caught in an impossible, inhuman system, which leaves her homeless, destroys her marriage and ultimately robs her of her children, led to public outrage, a surge in donations to the charity Shelter and the founding of the charity Crisis the following year.
The number of people sleeping rough with a mental health problem has more than tripled over the past five yearsContinue reading...