Blog Archive

October 2013

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    A six-month bedroom tax ‘holiday'

    Rhonnda Cynon Taff Homes have said that they will waive the bedroom tax element of 125 of their tenants' rent, if they take part in "back to work" training, reports Inside Housing. The landlord, who has 10,000 homes, has committed £160,000 to fund the scheme and help its tenants downsize.RCT Homes has 2,056 tenants affected by bedroom tax and 983 of these are in arrears. Of that number 504 were...

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    Hospitals are criticised for ‘avoidable' admissions

    According to the National Audit Office, there were 5.3m emergency admissions in the last financial year which is a 47% rise in 15 years, and many of these patients stayed in hospital for longer than necessary. It says that it is "critical" for the NHS to do better in dealing with issues to cope with rising winter pressures.NHS England has said that "big decisions" are needed to develop...

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    Pensioners concerned about keeping warm over winter

    Charity, Age UK, have conducted research from more than three million people aged 65 and over and have found that many are concerned about how they will keep warm during the winter months and six million are worried about the increasing cost of energy bills. Age UK has warned that winter can be extremely difficult for thousands of older people with the ever-increasing cost of energy bills adding...

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    Hope for lung cancer treatments

    Findings reported in Science Translational Medicine found that a study of 5,000 discovered that genetic profiling of lung tumours boosted survival rates through better targeting of chemotherapy drugs. This could lead the way for personalised medicine. Cancer Research UK has said that matching patients to a personalised treatment is still in its infancy, reports the BBC.The standard way to...

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    Housing provider awarded for hate crime awareness

    Mosscare Housing provides 4,500 homes and has received the Corporate Contribution of the year award in the Nubian Times Media Business & Community Awards at the Hilton Hotel on Saturday. Over the past year Mosscare has run a series of events to campaign against hate crime with an awareness week which included keynote speaker Sylvia Lancaster, whose daughter was murdered because she dressed...

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    Visa checks could see landlords facing physical danger

    Government plans require private landlords to inquire whether prospective tenants are living in the UK legally. The National Landlords Association said that the property owners confronting tenants could be accused of harassment. However the government have said that the system would be "effective and light-touch".Ministers say that voluntary checks the some landlords currently carry out have...

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    £ 300m available for affordable housing

    Each council in Scotland will be given a share of the £300m made available for affordable housing supply programme for the 2015/16 financial year.  Announced by the finance secretary, John Swinney, the government will share out £30m to help first time buyers as well as £10m for owners struggling with mortgage repayments and for homes built to a greener standard. The rest of the money will be...

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    Adding human touch to prostheses

    When hugging or touching a fellow person we find it quite easy to judge how much force and power is needed to stop us from causing them injury or pain, however for someone fitted with prostheses this becomes more difficult as they are without the sense of touch. However, an experiment carried out by a group at the University of Chicago is soon to be making this possible.Prosthetic limbs have...

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    Social media helping aid workers in Syria

    Over 20 volunteers from the Syrian Red Crescent have been killed since March 2011 with seventeen of those deaths occurring in the twelve months to August this year.BBC Newsbeat conducted an interview with a volunteer in Syria and informed them that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter were being used to highlight the work being done by the organisation.Hayyan Zou'bi, one of the workers...

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    Less than 10% of affordable homes are suitable for families

    The research found that some areas have problems even greater with less than ten affordable homes for sale in an entire local authority area. The charity said that less than 5% of homes were affordable in places such as West Somereset, York and Warwick. They also mentioned ‘black spots' in places such as Brent and Cambridge where not one of the homes available were affordable for a typical...

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    A dramatic rise in rent arrears due to bedroom tax

    A joint investigation by the National Federation of ALMOs, the Association of Retained Council Housing and the Councils with ALMOs Group also found that the total monetary value of arrears rose by 16% in the same period.These three organisations, which represent over 1.3 million council households across the country, have calculated that nationally local authority rent arrears rose by £17.5...

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    New Alzheimer's insight

    Researchers are becoming closer to understanding the causes of Alzheimer's disease with the largest study into the genetics of the disorder. Findings suggest that at least 20 genes play a role in the common late-onset form of Alzheimer's, which is more than double the number of scientists had previously discovered.This work gives researchers an extraordinary insight into the biological pathways...

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    Universal Credit's next phase begins

    Hammersmith and Fulham are the latest UK councils to start trials of Universal Credit. Eventually there will be 8 million households on the new scheme, however a larger roll-out was meant to be have started this month but the process suffered management and computer issues which has hindered its progress.Six councils were supposed to sign up from October however only Hammersmith and Fulham are...

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    Changes to disability benefits are delayed

    The new personal independence payment (PIP) was scheduled to begin this month however it is now said to be introduced at the discretion of the department. Claimants from the disability living allowance will be transferred to the new PIP when circumstances change. The change is an important part of the government's shift to universal credit.New claimants were placed on the system in April and the...

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    NHS Direct to close in 2014

    The organisation is believed to have gotten into financial troubles after winning a number of the contracts for the 111 telephone line. Whilst it had already said that it was pulling out of those, a new decision mean that its other services will also be closed or transferred to other NHS bodies, reports the BBC. The NHS Direct service began fifteen years ago and ran the national telephone advice...

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    Female prisoners to be kept close to home

    The justice minister Lord McNally has planned an overhaul of the rehabilitation system which will see twelve women's prisons in England being turned into resettlement prisons so that the women will be able to maintain relationships in their family so that reoffending rates will be reduced. McNally said: "When a female offender walks out of the prison gates, I want to make sure she never returns....

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    Changes to the Blue Badge scheme

    Changes to Blue Badges began on the 8th of October and affects numerous aspects.1)  The inspection and seizure of badges by local authorities. Until the changes constables or enforcement officers were able to inspect badges however only police could seize badges. However the new changes will enable enforcement officers to inspect and retain a badge without police presence.2) The cancellation...

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    Healthwatch Communications Officer at Colebrook

    Healthwatch Communications Officer (Full Time) £16,500 pro rataTo lead on all communications for Healthwatch Plymouth, ensuring an accessible for all, City wide approach.  Proactively communicate the work of Healthwatch Plymouth through press releases, social media, internet and general presence across the city.  Maintenance and development of essential data systems.  Closing Date: 4.30 pm...

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    1 in 4 hospitals are a cause for concern

    In one of the most comprehensive analysis's the CQC have ever carried out, 161 acute hospital trusts were looked at and of that number 44 have caused concern for the CQC.Performance in some areas is so poor that it could pose a risk or an elevated risk to patients.The CQC examined 150 national NHS-wide measures of quality and safety of care in a new assessment system it calls "intelligent...

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    Housing homeless in shipping containers?

    Brighton Housing Trust will begin work with QED over the next four weeks to begin work on turning shipping containers into accommodation for homeless people. Brighton Housing Trust's chief executive, Andy Winter said that when the idea was first presented to him he thought it was ‘either April Fool's Day or we had lost all concept of decency.' However this time of work has already been used in...

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    Benefit cap showing little signs of improvement

    The benefit cap which affects the amount of benefits that non-working people aged between 16-64 can receive has been piloted in four areas in the UK, and will begin to roll out across the rest of the country soon. The cap also sees that couples and lone parents will receive a maximum of £500 a week and single people will be limited to £350.The Chartered Institute of Housing have looked at one...

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    Derby Women's Centre are recruiting

    Derby Women's Centre is a registered charity aiming to empower women to be more independent. They have evolved from humble beginnings to become a leading provider of support services for women in and around Derby.New job vacancies have opened up at Derby Women's Centre thanks to a funding opportunity and they are currently accepting applications for the 2 following roles:This is a new and...

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    Government's response to the Personal Independence Payment assessment

    The Government's response to the consultation on the PIP assessment Moving around activity was published on Monday.Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has been introduced to support disabled people to lead independent lives, as it reflects the needs of the individual rather than the overall condition. PIP provides a contribution to the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if...

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    From Next Year, There Could Be Tougher Care Quality Commission Checks On Home Care Providers

    There has been worries over the fact that home care visits limited to 15-minute slots are often too short and places huge pressures on both care workers and their clients. Housing news reported Lamb's speech to the National Children and Adult Services conference last week:"Fifteen minutes is not enough time to help people who are older or who have a disability to do everyday things like wash,...

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    Recovery Of NHS Costs From Overseas Visitors And Migrants

    He is a former Chair of NHS East of England and the NHS Confederation and has more than 30 years' experience in both the public and private healthcare sectors in England and abroad.Sir Keith will work with senior NHS leaders to achieve a more effective NHS in terms of raising awareness of eligibility rules, identifying patients who are not eligible for free NHS care (‘chargeable patients'),...

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    Letting Agents Are Fleecing Tenants Out Of Up To 600 Pounds In Non-Refundable Fees

     24 dash.com also reported that nearly 25% of the London letting agents surveyed by Rentify charge over £300 in administration fees, with the most expensive agent charging £600 in East Ham.Rentify CEO George Spencer said:"As if it wasn't bad enough that letting agents charge these unnecessary administration fees to tenants, some of these charges are also passed onto the landlord so the agent...

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    A Convicted Killer Who Murdered A Housing Association Vice Chair Has Been Jailed For Life

    Inside Housing reported that Ian John McLoughlin, 55, committed the offence on day-release from prison after 21 years in jail for another murder.Mr McLoughlin admitted to murdering Mr Buck and was told he must serve at least 40 years in prison.Justice Sweeney said this at the sentencing of Mr McLoughlin at the Old Bailey:‘The offence was committed on the day of your first day-release from...

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    £20m will be made available for Scottish tenants hit by the bedroom tax

    It was announced last month in the Scottish budget that £20m would be given to top up discretionary housing payments to help those struggling after cuts to housing benefit, and on Friday Ms Sturgeon announce that an additional £20m will be made available next year."I promise that we will continue to do all we can to help. But only an independent Scottish Parliament will give us the powers we...

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    No confidence vote from council for Atos

    Atos is a French multinational IT services corporation that carries out assessment of people's eligibility for a range of disability benefits. These include employment support allowance and the new personal independence payment which has replaced disability living allowance.The vote of no confidence from Islington Council comes after an investigation raised significant concerns about the...

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    Neglect is a main contribution to care home deaths

    The coroner, Penelope Schofield, has said that there was "institutionalised abuse" at Orchid View care home in Copthorne. She has said that those involved in the neglect should be "ashamed" and it has been announced that a serious case review has been set up.Ms Schofield said that  "There was institutionalised abuse throughout the home and it started, in my view, at a very early stage, and...

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    Housing association to create almost 200 affordable new homes

    The group has recently signed contracts with Persimmon Homes for a large development in Taunton; half of these homes will be for social rent and the other half for shared ownership. The development, named Heathfield Gardens, also plans to build a new school, community centre, play area and an open space to be constructed alongside the new homes, reports 24dash.Yarlington's executive director of...

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    UK autism diagnosis has levelled off

    The study said that there had been a surge in reported cases of autism in the 1990s but the rise had not continued. This is believed to be due to increased awareness and diagnosis of the condition.The National Autistic Society said that the evidence proved that the condition had been around for a long time, reports the BBC.Researchers at the Institute of Child Health at University College London...

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    Bedroom tax is hitting Welsh tenants the hardest

    The Committee found that 40,000 tenants will be affected and that the government should keep a ‘careful eye' on the development of the policy in Wales. This number represents 46% of all working age housing benefit claimants in the social rented sector. This means that Wales tops the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside as the most severely affected region in Great Britain.It was also found...

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    One in three people have been affected by homelessness

    Findings by umbrella body Homeless Link show that the number of homeless households has risen by 33% since 2010 and eight out of ten people believe that councils should be doing more to help people.Whilst homelessness is growing, the amount of support available to these people is decreasing. Since 2010, 133 homeless projects have been closed, over 4,000 bed spaces have been lost and the number of...

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    Social Media And Mobile Phones Ease Disaster Impact

    The importance of social media and mobile phone in disaster management can be seen in the widespread use of Twitter and text messaging in disaster relief efforts in the Philippines when Typhoon Bopha slammed into the south of the country in December last year, leaving more than 1,800 dead and missing.Thousands of lives were saved because 99% of the population have access to a mobile phone and...

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    Review Over 15 Minute Home Visit Ordered By Care Minister

    Figures obtained by Leonard Cheshire, the largest voluntary sector provider of disabled care, found that in the past five years the proportion of visits lasting a quarter of an hour or shorter had risen by 15%. Almost two-thirds of local councils are now commissioning 15-minute visits.Experts say the reason for such tiny slices of care time is that cuts to council funding have led to a £2.6bn...

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    A family Home Could Be Heated For Almost A Week With The Cost Of Bedroom Tax

    24 Dash also gave a report of a North West-based housing association which warned that the average financial loss faced by social housing tenants as a result of the government's controversial bedroom tax could heat a family home for almost a week.Stephanie Harrison, executive director of customer services at the 13,000-home provider, said:"This figure clearly shows the impact the bedroom tax...

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    A Call For Councils To Be Given More Powers To Deal with Bad Landlords

    Mr Jones, who is a representative of the Hyndburn constituency in Lancashire, according to Inside Housing, urged Mr Hopkins ‘to bear in mind the continued problems of low demand and the housing conditions outside the booming areas in the south.'He also called on Mr Hopkins to allow councils to apply licensing conditions on the basis of poor standards and said that councils should be able to...

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    Food vouchers available for residents in 28 London boroughs

    Peabody is working with 45 different food banks to issue vouchers to residents struggling to pay for food. The vouchers will also be issued alongside financial advice and support whilst paying for three days' worth of food in 28 London boroughs where the housing association operates, reports Inside Housing.Peabody's director of resident service, Joe Joseph said:  "With thousands of families...

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    Complaints against councils for homeless accommodation

    An LGO report highlights a "worrying trend" of councils placing a growing number of homeless families into bed and breakfast accommodation. Complaints to the ombudsman have risen by 14% in two years.The local government association have said that councils are doing a good job "in difficult circumstances" reports the BBC. The ombudsman has said that there had been an increase in the number of...

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    NHS mental health services ‘in crisis'

    Dr Martin Baggaley, medical director of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, has spoken out as part of an investigation by BBC News and Community Care magazine which reveals that more than 1,500 mental health beds have closed in recent years. Care Minister, Norman Lamb, has said that the current situation was "unacceptable" and provision must improve. Even though there is a drive for people...

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    Provisions for homeless people is falling

    Homelessness projects are finding that they are having to close down, reduce staffing levels and cut bed spaces due to housing budgets being squeezed.The number of full-time staff in the sector has fallen by 16% while almost half of homeless services last year reported a fall in investment, reports Inside Housing.Rick Henderson, chief executive of Homeless Link, said: ‘Whilst we understand the...

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    Bedroom tax savings likely to be less than expected

    Research into the first five months of the bedroom tax scheme suggests that ministers could have significantly overestimated the savings it is likely to generate. An analysis using real data collected by four housing associations since April through a model used in 2012 by the DWP to assess the impact the policy is likely to have, found that savings were likely to be £160m less than the official...

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    Hidden cameras in care homes

    Proposals unveiled by the Care Quality Commission have said that they will hold discussions over "the potential use of hidden surveillance".  Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC's new chief inspector of adult social care, has outlined her priorities in a document entitled ‘A Fresh Start for the Regulation and Inspection of Adult Social Care', ahead of a public consultation next spring.The document...

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    Victim Of Domestic Violence Starts Campaign

    Eve Thomas was verbally and physically abused for years prior to leaving her ex-husband in 2010.She is using social media to promote her campaign, One Voice Never Silenced.Her petition to change the law currently has more than 1,200 signatures.Manchester Evening News reported that: "Eve Thomas, who was appearing at Bolton County Court , was told she would be held in contempt, and could be...

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    Mental health services to be delivered by homelessness charity

    The Primary Care Community Link Worker Service, has been commissioned by Kent Clinical Commissioning Groups and Kent County Council and will work alongside GP Practises across the county to support people who find themselves experiencing social isolation and exclusion, reports 24dash. Trained professionals from the charity will help people become involved in sports, education, visual and...

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    Cancer carers are not given enough training

    Research by Macmillan Cancer Support asked more than 2,000 carers, both past and present, about the support they gave. 22% said that they had dealt with specific healthcare tasks, such as administering medicine and pain relief whilst other had to give injections.The charity wants the NHS to do more in supporting carers of people with cancer.Fewer than half the people asked said that they had...

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    28% of people in London are living in poverty

    A study has shown that nearly a third of Londoners are living in poverty and a rising number of those household have someone in work. With 28% of people in London in poverty it is seven % point higher than the rest of England. The majority of working-age adults and children in poverty - 57% - in the capital are in families that work.The findings from the report by the London Poverty Profile are...

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    Birmingham to ‘End Youth Homelessness'

    Announced by St Basils, one of seven charities nationwide who have joined forces with businesses and health professional, the campaign is aimed to ‘End Youth Homelessness'.Private and public sectors in Birmingham are now pledging their support for the campaign which aims to give people better access to housing options, healthcare, education, training and jobs, reports 24 Dash.Councillor Steve...

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    Social homes sales have risen by 128% in five years

    In 2012-13, 16,659 social homes were sold, however in 2008-09 only 7,309 were sold. The number of sales for this year to April had increased by 72% from the previous year.More than half of the social homes sold last year were brought with through the right to buy scheme. The 8,398 figure of was more than double the amount bought the previous year and the new junior housing minister said that he...

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    450,000 in court due to council tax arrears

    Carers, widows and war veterans are just some of the vulnerable people who are facing court due to being unable to pay their council tax after having their benefits cut. Local government secretary, Hillary Benn, has said that the figures show that David Cameron has imposed a new poll tax that has disastrous consequences on the poor, so that many are now facing the threat of prison. "Disabled...

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    A new network to give homeless people hospital aftercare

    Funded by the Department of Health, the initiative will begin to provide 24 beds across London for homeless people who are leaving hospital with the need for nursing aftercare, six to eight weeks after their discharge. The beds will be located in projects run by homelessness charity St Mungo's in Camden, Westminster, Hackney and Lewisham, reports Inside Housing.Close to 50 projects nationwide...

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    A turning point in the fight against Alzheimer's

    Researchers at the University of Leicester have conducted tests on mice that have showed all brain cell death from prion disease could be prevented. However scientists say that whilst more work will be needed to develop a drug that could be taken by patients the resulting medicine could treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases.The researches at the university's Medical...

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    Children's mental health could be affected if a woman suffers depression in pregnancy

    Research taken at Bristol University has found that children of women who suffer from depression whilst pregnant have an increased chance of becoming depressed themselves by the age of 18. This is due to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is heightened during depression, can affect the development of the foetus when in the womb.Experts are now calling for more women who find...

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    NHS patients have been told to fight for their rights

    Healthwatch England has urged the public to become "savvy consumers" rather than "grateful patients". They have set out eight core rights for patients.To help achieve that, the organisation has set out its list of rights:•         the right to essential services•         the right to access•         the right to a safe, dignified and quality...

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    The Welsh Government has announced protection for supporting people's budgets

    The three main political parties have agreed to grand funds to ease heavy cuts to the supporting people programme in a draft budget announcement yesterday, reports Inside Housing. The parties, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru have jointly agreed to a £5.5m mitigation to ensure continued investment of £134.4m in supported people budgets for 2014/15.This represents a 1.5% reduction...

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    NHS wards that are understaffed should be shut says lawyer

    Mr Francis believes that wards and units of hospitals which have too few nurses and doctors able to look after patients safely should be shut down. Mr Francis had an interview with the Guardian and explained that wards should be shut until hospital bosses are certain that they have enough experienced staff, and in the meantime patients should be sent elsewhere."If you haven't got the right number...

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    HMP Oakwood inmates find it easier to get drugs than soap

    The prison, run by G4S, opened in April 2012 and houses around 1,600 inmates. A report into the prison has produced findings that Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick says are "unquestionably concerning".G4S have said that opening a new prison is a challenging operation and they have already taken steps to tackle problems, reports the BBC.HMP Oakwood also came under fire in July this year...

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    Help to buy II launches today

    Banks have now begun to offer mortgages that will work alongside the government's Help to Buy scheme, which aims to help people secure mortgages.RBS, NatWest and Halifax will now start taking applications for those wanting to secure a mortgage that can only afford a small portion of the deposit.The second part of the scheme has been launched amid concerns of a housing price bubble, however...

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    Older people put at risk due to care budget cuts

    Equalities' regulators are warning that the human rights of older people are being put at risk due to local authorities scaling back budgets so far that they cannot afford the cost of adequate care. The Equality and Human Rights Commission report into home care follows a two year investigation finding evidence that there had been a "systematic failure" across the country, including cases of...

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    Disabled people are being failed by the Work Programme

    Liz Sayce believes that ministers should rethink the expensive support given to disabled people to find paid work due to flagship employment schemes failing vulnerable people in society.The Work Programmes scheme cost hundreds of millions of pounds each year and Sayce believes it is failing disabled people. She argues that they should be replaced by more bespoke approaches "shaped by disabled...

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    The 2013 Social Media Revolution

     The Guardian also reports as follows:...

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    Mental health patients to be treated equally with patients with physical problems

    Beat says that people with mental health problems are being left on waiting lists for treatment for too long, making conditions worse and in some cases can prove fatal.The government are instance that they want mental health patients, including people with eating disorders, to be treated equally to patients with physical problems.One woman with an eating disorder said that once she had asked her...

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    Re-housed victims of domestic violence face eviction due to bedroom tax

    The introduction of bedroom tax is having a dangerous impact on women who have experienced domestic violence and there are calls for the council to take actions.Charity, Women's Aid, have been made aware of cases where women's housing benefit have been reduced or they have had to leave the only place where they can be safe as a safe room was regarded as a spare one.Women's Aid are working with a...

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    Metropolitan police not to respond to call from mental health units

    The Metropolitan police have ordered officers not to respond to calls from mental health units and emergency departments to help control and restrain patients unless there is a "significant threat to life or limb" reports the Guardian.The decision by police has caused much confusion, anger and concern within psychiatric hospitals that fear that both staff and patients are being put at risk.A...

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    15 minutes is not enough time to give vulnerable people dedicated care

     Despite concerns of how short care visits can deprive people with disabilities of essential care two-thirds of local councils are commissioning 15-minute visits.Leonard Cheshire, the largest voluntary sector provider of disabled care, created a survey which is the largest and most detailed of its kind by using freedom of information requests, receiving responses from 120 of the 152 county...

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    8,400 households have been affected by benefit caps

    The gap was introduced by the government in April this year and means that no household can receive more than £500 a week in benefits. The Department for Work and Pensions says that 77% of people affected have lost up to £100 a week and over half of the households had between one and four children.The figures are only representative of those first affected by the cap and do not cover the whole...

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    Not enough people are making end-of-life care plans

    Charity, Compassion in Dying, have commissioned a poll that shows only 4% of people have signed an advance decision of how they would like their end of life care carried out. Many wrongly believe that their families would be able to ensure that hospitals follow their wishes; however, without a directive a hospital will decide what treatment a person at the end of their life will receive if they...

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    Visually impaired feel ‘trapped at home'

    In a survey of more than 750 blind or visually impaired people, Guide Dogs UK found that almost two thirds of the group had tripped or stumbled whilst walking and two out five feared leaving their home due to damaged surfaces.Councils have said that they are "committed" to ensuring pavements are "safe to use" reports the BBC.Guide Dogs UK said that councils in the UK have spent more than £46m in...

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    Charity: Removing benefits for under-25s will increase homelessness

    Yesterday, in the closing speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester yesterday, David Cameron said that if his party was re-elected at the next election it would propose to remove benefits from those aged 25 and under.Rick Henderson, chief executive of Homeless Link, said that removing housing benefit was likely to increase the amount of homeless people, reports Inside Housing....

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    Proposal for bigger role for housing

    Labour peers and National Housing Federation have made an amendment to legislation that could see town halls subjected to court challenges if they fail to consider housing as part of their care services for older and disabled people.A crossbench peer, Lord Richard Best, has challenged the coalition government's care bill for failing to adequately integrate housing with health and social care and...

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    Northern Ireland are expected be hit by a greater financial impact due to welfare reforms

    Three places in Northern Ireland, Londonderry, Straban and Belfast, are among the four worst-affected local authority areas in the whole of the UK."When you take money out of the economy it has a knock-on effect," said Seamus McAleavey of NICVA, an umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector. Not only would we lose £750m, but where that money gets spent means they will be buying less...

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    Increased number of calls reporting abuse

    Rape Crisis England and Wales have said that its national helpline had received 78,000 calls in the 12 months to October, whereas they only received 55,000 the year before. Local centres had also seen an increase in the use of their services.The rise in the number of those coming forward over abuse reflects similar trends recently reported by the NSPCC and in police statistics that BBC Radio 5...

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    Bedroom tax found to breach human rights of a disabled woman

    A tribunal judge in Glasgow has ruled in favour of a woman with severe disabilities, saying that housing benefit officials have breached the human rights of the woman after cutting her benefits under the bedroom tax rules.The judge said that the woman, who has remained unnamed, who has multiple sclerosis, and her husband were legally entitled to a bedroom each as her condition was so severe that...

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    Millions will struggle with money management under Universal Credit

    Universal credit will see people receiving their benefits once a month rather than the current once a fortnight. The Payments Council have, who oversee bank and card payments in the UK, carried out a survey on claimants in the last months and have said that 2.7m current claimants will struggle with their finances due to this change.The Payments Council found that many claimants were worried about...

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    Sweden is the happiest country to be old in

    The survey looked at welfare and pensions, transport and community spirit, as well as other factors that give people over the age of 60 the greatest quality of life. Sweden's reliable transport and community spirit as well as generous welfare and pensions combined with other factors were found to give the regions older population the greatest quality of life.The UK's ranking suffered due to...

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    Rent arrears is up by £2.2m in six months after bedroom tax introduction

    Twelve Merseyside housing associations have released figures that show £2.2m increase in arrears compared to corresponding period last year. The data also shows that empty properties have increased by 29% to 1,956 and the average time it takes to re-let an empty property has jumped from 28 to 38 days. This results in a loss of rent to landlords of £616,662 per month, reports Inside Housing....

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    Pharmacist ‘physically sick' after carrying out checks at a Sussex care home

    Ms Campbell, who works as a pharmacist for Boots, says that the treatment room was filthy and chaotic and that one patient had gone without medication for four days, reports the BBC. In an inquest into the care home due to the deaths of 19 residents being unexplained, Ms Campbell said that there were gaps in patient charts where medication had not been administered correctly. When she brought...

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    High stress in middle age can increase risk of dementia

    Researchers in Sweden have discovered that stressful events that could occur in mid-life, such as divorce, the loss of a child or if a woman suffers serious ill-health in their late 30s, 40s or 50s have a greater chance of developing dementia in later life.High levels of stress in middle age which may also include widowhood or seeing a close relative battle mental illnesses can raise the risk of...

Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful.  I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9.  In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd

 

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