Blog Archive

September 2013

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    Help to buy scheme start date brought forward

    At the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, the prime minister announced that the Help to Buy scheme, originally scheduled to begin in January 2014, will be brought forward by three months to begin within days.The decision to accelerate the launch of the mortgage guarantee element of the scheme comes in the face of multiple concerns about its potential to cause a house price bubble...

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    NHS could supply drugs to addicts says UK police chief

    Mike Barton, one of England's most senior police officers, has called for class-A drugs to be decriminalised and for the policy of outright prohibition to be radically revised, reports the Guardian.Barton believes that the NHS could supply drugs to addicts and break the monopoly and income stream of criminal gangs.Comparing drugs prohibition to the ban on alcohol in 1920s America that gave rise...

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    MS researchers have found a breakthrough gene discovery which could lead to a cure

    A group of international scientists have discovered 48 previously unknown genes that influence the risk of developing the disease.This discovery is a big step in the right direction to finding a cure and further treatment for the debilitating condition, says Professor David Booth of the University of Sydney who has led the Australian and New Zealand component of the study, reports the...

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    Benefit conditions for those without a job is about to change

    From April next year people without a job after being on the work programme will face three options; these include community work, daily visits to a job centre or taking part in compulsory training.  If people do not comply with these they will face losing their benefits.Labour has said that these new plans are proof that the coalition's main welfare-to-work scheme had failed.It is believed that...

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    Diagnosis is falling but the number of people living with MS is growing

    Scientists at the University of Dundee have found that between 1990 and 2010 there has been a 2.4% annual rise in MS patients despite a fall in new patients, reports the BBC.This increase has been put down to improved mortality rates which have fallen to 3% a year.Researchers believe the findings could have a major impact on the allocation of future resources for patients. The study estimated...

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    Government bedroom guidance labelled ‘bizarre'

    The government have issued guidance to local authorities this week on how to classify a bedroom for the purposed of the bedroom tax, however it has been labelled as ‘bizarre' and ‘wrong' by experts.The Department for Work and Pensions was forced to rush out guidance that would end the confusion of what constitutes a bedroom after numerous successful first-tier tribunal bedroom tax appeals by...

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    Failure to take mental illness seriously leads to unnecessary deaths

    The charity, Rethink Mental Illness, have said that smoking, drinking and obesity were leading to 33,000 deaths per year and the Royal College of Psychiatrists have said that it is "one of the biggest health scandals of our time".Ministers have said that they expect mental health to be treated with as much importance as that of physical health.One in six people in the UK are considered to be...

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    Westminster council loses bedroom tax case

    Surinder Lall has won his appeal against the imposition of the bedroom tax and his case is thought to be one of the first victories against the bedroom tax in England. Mr Lall, who is blind, successfully argued to a tribunal that a room in his flat which had been classified as a second bedroom had never been used as one and was where he kept his equipment that helped him lead a normal life.In...

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    New spoon to help people with Parkinson's

    People that suffer with Parkinson's disease can often find themselves struggling with controlling their body movements, resulting in shaking. Lift Labs have develop a new spoon which will help people that suffer with hand tremors have more control over their eating.Starting with a spoon, hopefully developing knife and fork attachments soon, the device is aimed to counteract movements of a...

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    Mental health patients feel bullied and degraded

    The CQC have issues Partnerships in Care with three warning notices after a highly-critical report failed the private firm's Annesley House hospital against all five standards of care it was inspected against earlier in June this year. The provider has said that "all of the issues" identified by the CQC have now been addressed, reports Community Care.Whilst some patients sad that numerous members...

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    200,000 homes to be built a year

    Labour leader, Ed Miliband, in a conference speech focused heavily on the cost of living and pledged that a Labour government would hit the 200,000 annual target by 2020. In his speech Mr Miliband said: "There are nine million people in this country who are renting a home, many of whom would want to buy. We don't just have a cost of living crisis - we have a housing crisis too" reports Inside...

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    New briefing recommends authorities provide accommodation for those with TB

    The briefing highlights how steps to address TB will improve the health of local communities whilst also covering a range of areas working with vulnerable local people and partnership organisations, reports Inside Housing.The transmission rate of TB is highest amongst vulnerable groups such as people who are homeless or in poor or temporary housing, people who have spent time in prison and those...

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    People at risk due to council cutting support for hostel residents

    Bristol council have made severe cuts to support for residents in nine hostels across the city. Up to 150 tenants are affected, many of whom are victims of domestic violence, recovering drug addicts and adults with mental health issues.The residents claim that Bristol's mayor George Ferguson has not met them to discuss the issues, and many are taking legal advice in attempt to get hold of the...

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    Rises in rent arrears and one in ten people being conned by lodgers

    Research by 192.com has discovered that one in ten people have been conned by a lodger, and one in five renters have admitted to concealing their true identity when applying for a property.192 have now launched the first background reports service of UK residents which offers landlords instant profiles of renters. The service will offer negative financial indicators, residential history, property...

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    A cap on social security spending

    The shadow chancellor has said that: "The next government will have to make cuts too, because while jobs and growth are vital to getting the deficit down - something this government has never understood - they cannot magic the whole deficit away at a strike" reports Inside Housing."We will have a cap on structural social security spending" says Mr Balls. The coalition government in the summer...

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    Labour says "fitness-for-work" test on disabled benefits are a "disgrace"

    The French IT firms, Atos, are paid by the government to carry out "work capability assessments" for people who are applying for sickness benefit employment and support allowance, also including people who were previously on incapacity benefit.In July the firm was told to improve its services by MPs due to an "unacceptable reduction" in the quality of its written reports.Speaking to Labour...

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    Older people with autism becoming ‘invisible'

    The NAS Scotland has said that people are still tending to only associate autism with children. However one in five people with autism is thought to be over the age of 60, reports the BBC.The charity is now calling for action to ensure the needs of elderly people who are autistic are fully understood and met. They have urged the Scottish government to act on its concerns whilst it implements an...

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    The RLA Slams The NHF Chief Executive's Call For Rental Controls

    He said this at the NHF's conference in Birmingham last week according to reports by 24 dash.Nevertheless, the RLA has claimed that costs rose by just 1.3% between May 2013 and May 2013, well below inflation.Research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggested that rent controls lead to "greatly reduced quality and quantity of new homes".Alan Ward, chairman of...

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    1 In 3 People On Job Seekers Allowance Faced Penalties

    Inside Housing reported that a study published this week suggests nearly one in three which amounts to 31 per cent of homeless people on job seekers allowance have faced penalties, compared to just 3 per cent of typical claimants.Under this difficult rule, benefit claimants who do not meet certain conditions have their benefits reduced or stopped for a month or over.The survey of umbrella...

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    The Number Of People Needing Mental Health Treatment May Increase By More Than 2 Million By 2030.

    According to calculations by the Mental Health Foundation, mental disorders cost the economy more than £100bn a year.Professor Dinesh Bhugra, the former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, warned that:"Mental health services have been under an inordinate pressure over the past few weeks, with no inpatient beds in the public or private sector available in the whole of England...

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    Council Can Gauge Opinions Through Twitter Hashtags And Facebook Likes

    Social media may be used to allow people, particularly hard-to-reach groups which include young people between the ages of 16 and 25, older people, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities. This will be beneficial to the Rushmoor Borough Council as it collates its Delivering Development document, which will help shape its planning process in the future.Hashtags and ‘likes' on Facebook and...

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    Liam Byrne says Labour should remove bedroom tax

    Speaking at the National Housing Federation annual conference at the ICC on Thursday, Liam Byrne says that "we have got to have this bedroom tax dropped now".Mr Byrne also said that Labour would work well with housing associations after winning the next election, reports 24dash."In government we want to pioneer new ways of working with you (housing associations) and with local authorities" to...

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    Bristol housing charity facing closure

    Bristol Foundation housing has 149 residents in nine hostels and is responsible for 40% of all exempt accommodation claims in the city reports Inside Housing.A review carried out at the end of March found Bristol Council not believing BFH to be providing the support it claimed in some cases and consequently reduced its annual enhance housing benefit funding to BFH from £916,656 to £173,836.The...

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    Brain scan to detect Alzheimer's

    These images could lead to a new way of diagnosing the condition and testing the effectiveness of drugs.  They can identify inside a living brain clumps of a protein called tau that is closely linked to the disease. This protein is thought to be one way in which brain cells are killed. Another protein, beta amyloid, which is linked to Alzheimer's can also be detected in similar tests.Alzheimer's...

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    Older people needing care set to treble globally by 2050

    Alzheimer's is one of the most common causes of dementia and symptoms can include loss of memory, changes in mood, as well as problems with communicating and reasoning. There are more than 35 million people living with dementia worldwide and more than half living in low and middle income countries reports the BBC.The report by Alzheimer's Disease say that many in need of care have dementia whilst...

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    The 2013 Social Charity Index shows a large increase in social-media following

    In the Guardian's 2012 index the top 100 charities had an average of one supporter on Facebook and Twitter for every £2,707 of their income, now, in 2013, there is one supporter for every £714.In these tough economic times charities have seen a benefit in being able to develop relationships with people using social media. Not only is the cost of promotional marketing reduced, a more dynamic...

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    Specialist centre has opened to help ex-offenders break cycle of crime and prison

    The Elise Centre in Dalston Lane will offer practical advice and support to people looking for work and improving their skills and qualifications.It officially launched last Wednesday and guest at its launch heard first-hand accounts from people who had overcome many barriers to rebuild their lives, reports Hackney Gazette.One of these people included Frank Harris who spent decades in a trapped...

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    Councils should collect data on the size of bedrooms

    Whilst the four successful appeals against bedroom tax in Scotland have set no legal precedent one tribunal ruled that it is ‘relevant to have regard to statutory space standards' when decided what is a bedroom so that others could follow suit.Standards state that one person can occupy a room of no less than 70 square feet, reports Inside Housing.The DWP have not yet defined a bedroom and have...

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    Many families hit by bedroom tax are suffering

    Since the beginning of the bedroom tax three months ago more than half of families it affected now find themselves in debt. There are now calls from the country's housing groups for a retreat from the scheme.The National Housing Federation said that a survey showed that more than half of their 51 biggest members found their residents affected by the bedroom tax. 32,432 could not pay their rent...

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    Mediation sessions by housing associations resolve anti-social behaviour

    Tentants of the Cromwell Road estate have reported that children on the estate were jumping into gardens, damaging property, kicking footballs at cars and windows whilst also shouting abuse.Even though Sovereign, the police and community agencies tried to approach the problems, the situation grew worse, reports 24dash.The housing provider then formed a partnership with West Berkshire Council...

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    Should GPs offer online consultations?

    Many people find it difficult to get time off work, travel and get in more harm when trying to get to the doctor's office for a consultation that lasts just ten minutes. Patients that have disabilities that can cause them pain when travelling for a long distance, or could catch different infections when sitting in waiting rooms could benefit from online consultations. Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli,...

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    Welsh Government's new care plan to cut sight loss

    In Wales nearly 100,000 people have sight loss problems and it is expected that that number could double by 2050, reports the BBC. Due to this the Welsh government have created an eye care delivery plan, which they say is pioneering. The Royal National Institute of Blind People has said that they hope it will mean fewer people suffered with preventable problems.Figures show that around 75% of...

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    Iran's Access To Social Media Briefly Restored

     Western journalists working in Iran reported that they had suddenly gained direct access to Twitter and Facebook.However, this morning, Reuters reported that official policy had not changed and "technical faults" had mistakenly led to the restrictions being lifted.Thomas Erdbrink, Tehran bureau chief for the New York Times, sent several tweets via his mobile phone without the need to go via a...

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    Dementia carers found to have been give no information on key support issues

    It was also revealed that 52% of carers had faced difficulties obtaining a diagnosis for the person for whom they cared, and only 51% had been given the chance to talk separately about how much care they felt able to provide, reports Community Care. In addition to this, 68% of the 325 carers questioned had not had training or advice on dealing with the agitated behaviours that develop in the...

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    Pressures on adult safeguarding is rising

    The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) have reported that professionals investigated 112,000 referrals in 2012-13 which is up from 108,000 the previous year. There was also a more significant rise in the number of alerts of suspected abuse of adults, reports Community Care. Councils must now examine alerts to see if they meet safeguarding thresholds and thereby become referrals...

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    Social housing groups in Nottingham help those struggling due to bedroom tax

    Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA) and asra Housing Group have signed up to an ‘Eviction Prevention Protocol', which will offer people affected by the bedroom tax every option to prevent evictions, reports 24dash. This includes requesting Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) for every tenant suffering finically that engages with...

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    New hospital inspection regime is underway in England

    Mike Richards, the new chief inspector of hospitals, is leading the overhaul of inspections into hospitals to ensure care is being given correctly. This will be done through a larger and more specialised team, reports the BBC.The inspectors will begin the first of eighteen inspections in Croydon before visiting other hospitals by the end of the year. After the inspection a public meeting will be...

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    81 Year Old Woman Left To Starve, Dies - Council Staff Suspended

    Foster died in Epsom hospital 11 days after being admitted.The serious case review into the death of Gloria Foster, published on Monday by Surrey Safeguarding Adults, says:"Council officials neglected to call her to make alternative care arrangements when the care company looking after her was raided and closed down by immigration officials."An official subsequently attempted to cover up the...

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    Domestic Violence: Behind Closed Doors

    She has counted 199 dead women since she started. Her aim is to make people understand the things that are happening behind closed doors and collectively act.25% of women experiene domestic violence in their lives and she wants the government to take over and officially collate the names and release them annually in order to use these cases to identify patterns in the crimes.Smith stated...

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    NHS Now Controls Lister Surgicentre In Stevenage

    The Department of Health bought it for £53m and it will be called the Treatment Center.Services there have been transferred to East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.It used to provide routine surgery in areas such as ear, nose and throat, trauma, orthopaedics, gynaecology and ophthalmology for NHS patients referred there.In April last year, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors failed...

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    Lib Dems Set To Hear Demand To Abolish Bedroom Tax

    Rolnik said this policy is "shocking" and a breach of human rights."Delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow will hear the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations' (SFHA) request for a repeal of the bedroom tax, today.According to 24dash, the SFHA believes that the government's controversial under-occupancy policy is "deeply flawed" and that it is causing widespread disruption...

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    Is online volunteering the beginning of something new?

    Non-profit organisation Nabuur has been created to help the development of impoverished communities by enabling people from other countries to help community members through their website.  Based in Giethoorn, Netherlands, Nabuur has 41254 neighbours, 92 villages, 10 groups and 1600 ways people can help.In Dutch Nabuur contains the meaning "neighbour" and the system works around the concept of a...

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    Future of healthcare already here?

    The Guardian has reported that one lady, Marjorie Grey, is able to stay in her home in Killington and avoids going into hospital for treatment of her acute back pain as instead she receives regular visits from health professionals in her own home.This way of care has been set up by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in 2011 and has reduced unnecessary stays in hospital. Ms Grey is now...

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    DWP considering issuing new guidance to councils and tribunals about bedroom tax

    Inside Housing has reported that the DWP will consider whether Fife Council or the first-tier tribunal misunderstood the process of bedroom tax. Housing experts are split over the significance over these rulings.Even though the rulings haven't set a legal precedent, campaigners are arguing the rulings will provide fresh hope for tenants that believe they're being unfairly affected by the tax.As...

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    Limits must be put in place to stop housing price boom

    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said that a 5% annual rise should trigger caps on how much people can borrow relative to their incomes or property value. However it is not suggesting that the sellers should face a limit on how much they should charge for their homes.After a few years of inactivity during the financial crisis the UK housing market has begun to pick up.  Some...

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    More trouble for universal credit

    It has emerged that the Department of Work and Pensions could write off up to £161m spent on IT systems for the welfare changes more than four times what the minister said would be wasted, says the Guardian.The welfare minister is facing further embarrassing disclosures from PwC accountants who found that the universal credit system has had only a small ministerial oversight. It has been found...

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    Bedroom tax victims in Scotland to receive £20 million

    The large sum of money will become available to local authorities to aid them in the increase of discretionary housing payments.The finance minister John Swinney announced that the Scottish Welfare Fund will be maintained over the next two years with £33m each year. Mr Swinney said: ‘Westminster's programme of welfare cuts is taking money out of the Scottish economy, adding to the burden on...

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    Help for older people wishing to downsize their homes is needed

    By downsizing their homes older people could be "freeing up" billions of pounds of housing stock according to Demos. A report funded by the Home Builders Federation says that people over the age of 60 own £1.28 trillion in housing stock. It believes that more retirement homes are needed and if built will help others move up the housing ladder. A survey of 1,500 people aged over 60 for Demos...

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    Revamp to patient care structure

    The Future Hospital Commission says the structure to bring care to patients needs to be revamped. This is largely to help frail people who have complex needs as they often face multiple moves once they've been admitted to hospital.  They propose that closer working with teams in the community is the way forward. Closer working with the community could involve doctors and nurses running clinics...

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    Acceptance for homeless households increase by 5%

    13,460 households were accepted as owed a main homelessness duty between April and June this year.The figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government also revealed that 56,210 households were in temporary accommodation on 30 June this year which is 9% higher than the same date last year.A total of 28,240 household were presented as homeless to local authorities in Q2. Of these...

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    Cameron casts doubt on universal credit timetable

    David Cameron has put the introduction of the government's welfare changes into doubt by saying he was not "religious" about plans to have universal credit rolled out across the country by 2017, reports the Guardian. Whilst Mr Duncan Smith insisted last week that the change will be in place by its 2017 deadline, the prime minister has said the Department of Work and Pensions was simply...

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    Watchdog overseeing housing associations has been criticised

    Clive Betts, the select committee chairman, has said that the Homes Communities Agency's reluctance to downgrade associations' financial viability meant "nobody would have a clue" if they were in trouble reports the BBC.Only one of England's housing associations were not downgraded by the ratings agency Moody's in May. Moody's claim that the move was prompted by a "reassessment of the likelihood"...

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    UN official says we should get rid of bedroom tax

    Raquel Rolnik, the UN special rapporteur on housing told the Guardian that Britain's record on housing was worsening from a human rights perspective as it was failing to provide sufficient quantities of affordable social housing, and by the impact of welfare reform. She came to this conclusion after travelling to Belfast, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.Ms Rolnik found that after...

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    £ 10 Million awarded to fifty two projects to help the homeless

    It has been estimated that homeless people are six times more likely to attend A&E that people with a home. Alongside this it is also estimated that 70% of homeless people are discharged back to the street, without housing or on-going care needs for after hospital support being properly addressed. The project receiving a share are run by voluntary sector organisations who will work with the NHS...

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    Help for those suffering with Dementia

    Dudley Metropolitan borough council have developed a new Dementia Gateway Service which has been in operation since November 2011 and aims to integrate early diagnosis and medical intervention for people with dementia and provide social care to enable the person to keep their independence. The Gateway Service is based on a multidisciplinary team approach which involves initial assessments by...

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    8-Year-Old Yemeni Childbride Dies Of Internal Injuries After Sex With 40 Year Old Husband

    Mail Online reported that:"Activists are now calling for the groom, who is believed to be around 40 years old, and her family to be arrested so they can face justice in the courts." "They say arrests would help put a stop to the practice of marrying very young girls to older men in the impoverished region."The practice of marrying young girls is common in Yemen and other parts of the world.It...

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    A call for GPs to improve care for elderly people

    This is believed to be due to the previous Labour government's system where it is now "easier to go to A&E and harder to go and see a GP," Mr Hunt wrote in the Daily Telegraph.Mr Hunt says that GPs need to do more to help and supervise elderly people's care and treatment in other parts of the NHS. "We need a much better way for vulnerable old people to journey through the NHS," he wrote."They...

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    Support for blind people is falling

    As well as figures falling from 55,875 people to 31,740 since 2005, the charity fears that in ten years' time, not a single blind or partially sighted person will receive any support from their council if things carry on the way they are. As well as a drop in care, the RNIB research also found that a growing number of local authorities have restricted access to rehabilitation or only offer six...

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    Should people have early screenings to see if they have dementia?

    Specialist in dementia, geriatric medicine and public health are claiming that the growing trend towards older people having their risk of dementia evaluated could lead to a high number of over-diagnosis. "The current prevalence of dementia is thought to be 10-30% in people over the age of 80, but the adoption of new diagnostic criteria will result in up to 65% of this age group...

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    Council Warns That "Giving Money To Beggars Can Kill Them."

    According to a campaign runned by the Exeter Community Safety Partnership and Devon and Cornwall Police:"Money handed over to beggars is often spent on drugs or alcohol or to fund a comfortable lifestyle away from the streets."Council Leader Pete Edwards said:"Evidence that the overwhelming majority of people begging on the streets of Exeter spend their begging money on crack cocaine and heroin...

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    A new disability code to be launched this week

    Alicia Wood, chief executive of the Housing and Support Alliance, says she has spent the best part of a year working on a code for providers of learning disability services to sign up to as part of the government's programmes to transform support in the wake of Winterbourne View. The Driving Up Quality Code which was will be launched on Wednesday by care minister Norman Lamb commits providers to...

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    A new scheme to help those hit by bedroom tax

    SLH are going to pay for tenants benefit losses, which have occurred due to bedroom tax, whilst they train for work.  Through working with a local training provider, the 3,600-home landlord is offering residents that have been affected by the under-occupancy policy a chance to take part in an intensive employability training programme to help them into work. SLH believe that whilst the scheme...

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    A bedroom tax appeal has been won

    Annie Harrower-Gray has had her appeal against Fife Council's decision to cut her benefits upheld by a first-tier tribunal in Scotland, reports Inside Housing.Fife Council cut Ms Harrower-Gray's benefit, claiming she is living alone in a three bedroom property; however the tribunal found that the property only had one bedroom.  When looking at the rooms in the property, which dates from 1660,...

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    Police cells are not the place for mentally ill people

    Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis says A&E would be a "better place" for mentally ill patients when mental health units are unable to take them, rather than police cells. The BBC has reported that dealing with mentally ill people takes up a fifth of police time, according to the Association of Chief Police Officers. During 2011-12 9,000 people were detained in police custody under section 136.Ms...

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    A new approach to help people find care

    A peer-support model is a way of working that allows the sector to save money whilst also giving reliable support and care to those needing it.  Peer brokers will help other care-users manage their own services, meaning people managing long-term conditions are being trained to support others find care. Chief executive of social enterprise MySupportBroker, Sinéad Brophy, has seen councils across...

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    Flaws highlighted in shared ownership properties

    Shared ownership allows aspiring homeowners to buy a part of a new home (between 25% and 75%) then rent the remainder from a housing association, with the option to increase their ownership of the property at a later date.Giles Peaker, editor of the Nearly Legal housing law blog, wrote for the Guardian that there is no such thing as shared ownership. Instead he believes that shared ownership is...

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    Are police doing enough to help victims of online abuse?

    Caroline Crido-Perez was subjected to a high number of abuse after campaigning for banknotes to feature notable female historical figures, not just men. When dealing with police she claims that they lost evidence she sent to them and had to go back through the abuse to re-send it. Ms Crida-Perez found it "appalling" that police required her to go back through the abusive messages "because of...

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    Manchester housing providers highlight "escalating human cost"

    A meeting at the council's economy scrutiny committee had providers warning that rent collection had dropped and only 7% of bedroom tax hit tenants could pay their rent.Northwards Housing estimated £500,000 in rent arrears and housing associations reported that reduced revenue would see them having to push more resources towards rent collection and away from other areas of their work. Statistics...

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    A third of women say there are varying degrees of rape

    The research also revealed that the same proportion of women believe that if a woman doesn't fight back, then she cannot have experienced rape. Rape Crisis support victims as they go through the justice system and want more funding for ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors).A quarter of the women surveyed believed that if the person was drunk, it couldn't be classed as rape, and 60% thought...

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    Families living in B&Bs for more than six weeks has risen by 10%

    The Communities and Local Government department showed that of 2,090 households with children staying in B&Bs by the end of June this year, 760 of these have been in B&Bs for more than six weeks. Last year the number was 690.It is illegal for councils to house people in accommodation for longer than six weeks.The number of applicants accepted as homeless by councils saw a 5% rise in the past year...

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    Shelter Scotland want to 'Banish the Bedroom Tax Monster'

    ‘Banish the Bedroom Tax Monster' campaign calls on Scotland's politicians in Westminster, Holyrood and in local authorities to do more to support households affected by bedroom tax. A survey by Shelter found that nearly half of those in Scotland think the Scottish government should help household that have been hit by the task. 47% of people asked said the Scottish government should provide...

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    Charities fear for homelessness strategy

    Director of homelessness and support at the Communities and Local Government department, Jon Bright, is retiring this year and his role is being made redundant to save money, report Inside Housing.  The director of housing growth and affordable housing at the CLG, Terrie Alafat, is due to take over Bright's responsibility for homelessness and supported housing during a restructure aimed to be...

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    Scientists believe Alzheimer's could be linked to better hygiene

    Researchers have studied the prevalence of the neurodegenerative disease Alzheimer's across 192 countries and compared it with the diversity of microbes in those places to come to the conclusion that hygiene improvement could be the cause of the increase in the disease. Taking into account differences in birth rate, life expectancy and age structure, scientists found that levels of sanitation,...

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    Can video games help reverse cognitive decline in old age?

    Scientists have found that 60-year-olds that played a custom-designed video game for 12 hours over a month ended up improving their multitasking abilities to levels that better those achieved by 20-year-olds who played the game for the first time. The subjects that took part also retained those improvements six months later.Adam Gazzaley from the University of California said that "through...

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    NAO find multiple problems with the governments Universal Credit scheme

    Universal credit merges six different benefits with the person claiming receiving a single monthly household payment. It requires different payments to landlords, more online claims, whilst merging in-work and out-of-work benefits, requiring new definitions of benefit conditions for those in work. It also requires close co-operation between the Department for Work and Pensions systems and tax...

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    Nurse is placed on six month ban due to poor social media conduct

    Allison Marie Hopton posted messages such as "big b******ing s**ting b*****d work tomorrow" and claiming how a student would have to become her "b***h" accompanied by a picture of a colleague sitting on a bed pan.Initially arguing that Facebook was a place "where people vent" Hopton has finally accepted her comments had been irresponsible. The NMC tribunal that had considered her case pointed out...

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    People unable to fund their old age

    A rising number of families are being forced to sell their home in order to meet the cost of paying for residential care. Charities and pension experts say that this is due to the Government's overhaul of the English social care system not going far or fast enough to help families.Research commissioned by NFU Mutual has found that three quarters of people that go into residential care in old age...

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    New device to help save those suffering from a heart attack

    German non-profit Definetz and drone-developer Height Tech have developed a drone named Defikopter that parachutes defibrillators to heart attack victims and emergency responders, Mashable reports.Defikopter is controlled by a GPS-enabled smartphone app and lets users request an emergency defibrillator. It can travel within a 6 mile radius with speed up to 43 mph. It is believed that the drone...

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    The NHS needs to do more for those needing end-of-life care

    Sue Ryder is a provider of specialist palliative care who come across many incidents where patients and their families feel unsupported and unclear about what choices they have available to them when looking into end-of-life care. This is believed to be due to the NHS being more geared toward saving lives, but lack proper care for those with untreatable problems needing end-of-life...

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    A fall in domestic violence referrals

    Figures obtained by Labour in a Freedom of Information request show that domestic violence cases  in England and Wales being referred by police to the Crown Prosecution Service, to be considered for charge and prosecution, has fallen from 101,242 in 2010/11 to 88,110 in 2012/13. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said the figures show that after years of improvement, the system is now...

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    Landlord Has Been Ordered To Pay His Tenants Three Times The Value Of Their Deposits

    Sheriff Mackie ordered that landlord Andrew Meehan should compensate Ross Fraser and Alison Pease £3,450 after he did not secure their £1,150 deposit.According to 24 Dash; Mr Fraser and Ms Pease said this in a joint complaint:"We are delighted with the Sheriff's decision in this case. We believe it serves as a warning to other landlords about the necessity of complying with the tenancy...

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    Universal Credit has been rife with problems

    The government are admitting that the introduction of Universal Credit have been undermined by technical and bureaucratic problems and is behind schedule.  It is believed that Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, feels let down by officials and has had had to employ experts from the private sector to get Universal Credit back on track. Over the summer Mr Duncan Smith hired Mr...

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    The Spread Of Domestic Violence Online

    The Guardian reported what she said:"He found ways to contact me online, and I still felt like he was watching me, that he had some control over me".Despite the fact that Lucy had moved out of the area where she lived with her abuser and has married someone else, her ex-partner kept sending messages through other people to her new husband and setting up anonymous online accounts to reach...

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    Non-Profit portfolio service has been launched for charities overlooked by asset managers

    It is their view that policymakers will refrain from raising interest rates for some years so that the economy will recover and older investors and institutions seeking income will support the bond market in the long term. Bob Devin, the Portfolio Manage said, "Research indicates there is a lot of spare capacity in the economy and GDP growth could continue to rise significantly before capacity...

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    A new app launches today to help with mental health

    Doc Ready is a digital tool that will allow young people to prepare as well as make the most out of mental health related visits they make to their GP's. This means that young people will know what to expect with the go to the GP for a consultation. This will be achieved through a plan, preparing them with what to say, and also record the outcomes of their appointments.Doc Ready is a development...

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    Many dementia patients feel isolated from their community

    One in three people over the age of 65 develop Alzheimer's however the Alzheimer's Society says that this large group of people is being neglected by society. Obtaining the view of 510 dementia patients and their carers a third of patients said they left their home only once a week, with one in ten saying they only got out once a month.Nearly half of the people questioned said they felt like a...

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    Technology and charities working together has positive results

    Successful partnerships between charitable organisations and technology firms have seen positive results for both parties and more successes could be seen if more partnerships were made. With technology producers designing products that offer solutions to problems and charities providing the inspiration for new projects.An example of a partnership that worked well and presented results for both...

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    Patients left at risk of abuse

    In Feburary an inspection of Blackheat hospital's Cygnet Wing, a psychiatric intensive care unit, found that "aspects of care did not fully protect people". In the inspections report, it was highlighted that care to NHS patients from 38 areas in 2011/12 failed to meet four of six care standards it was assessed against.The Cygnet Wing notified CQC of high number of safeguarding aleart throughout...

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    How To Use Social Media To Find A Job

    When a position is high up on the corporate ladder, it may be filled faster than other positons(not because of the classified ad) due to personal...

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    The National Empty Homes Loan Fund launches today

    A joint initiative between Empty Homes, Ecology Building society, central government and 39 participating local authorities are aiming to bring as many of the 710,000 empty homes in England back into use as possible.Last year's Great British Property Scandal demanded the fund as part of their campaign, led by architect and broadcaster George Clarke.Mr Clarke said: ‘I care passionately about...

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    Re-Unite project to help mothers re-unite with their children after release from prison

    Praise has been given to the Re-Unite project for making a "positive contribution" by Professor Lorraine Gelsthorpe and Jane Dominey who said it would be a "matter of huge regret if the excellent work on Re-Unite could not be continued." The Re-Unite project was founded by the Commonweal Housing and Housing for Women in response to problems women were facing when trying to rebuild a stable family...

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    Age UK report on stereotypes of older workers

    Essex Business School from the University of Essex carried out research on behalf of Age UK to investigate the evidence behind common perceptions of older workers.The review found that while evidence presented a decline in some physical attributes of some workers, there was little sign of a decline in overall productivity due to older workers compensating with skills and experience. The report...

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    Homelessness 'bond' is seeing results

    In November last year the Greater London Assembly gave contracts to two charities to provide a £5 million homelessness service for 830 rough sleepers. Through the bond, the charities, Thames Reach and St Mungo's were meant to reduce the number of rough sleepers in London and help them move into stable accommodation.Inside Housing reported since this scheme has been in place Thames Reach has...

Revenue Optimisation "Coventry Mind has recently worked through a programme of Housing Benefit optimisation with Support Solutions and in particular their specialist Danny Key. Throughout the whole process Danny demonstrated that he has excellent knowledge of the subject and was able to put forward a convincing case for the increase in funding to the Housing Benefit team. Coventry Mind has already and will continue to recommend Support Solutions and in particular this service to other organisations." Steven Hill - Director of Central Services

 

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