Up to 600 GP surgeries could close over course of next year as doctors retire - Wed, 01 Oct 2014
Number of young medics choosing general practice falls short of those leaving as patient numbers increase, says GPs leader
Up to 600 GP surgeries in Britain could close over the next year because family doctors are due to retire and a recruitment crisis may mean there is no one to replace them, according to the leader of Britains GPs.
The practices include 543 in England, says Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP). Continue reading...
Society briefing: Cameron pledges to protect NHS budget - Wed, 01 Oct 2014
Prime minister attempts to remove health service from becoming Labours potential election-winning weapon
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Scottish referendum: young Scots reflect on independence vote - video - Wed, 01 Oct 2014
Sixteen and 17-year-olds were given the chance to vote for the first time in the UK in the Scottish referendum in September. Here, Scottish teenagers who voted in the referendum discuss how the process has affected their engagement with politics. They offer their thoughts on Alex Salmond and their hopes for the future of Scotland and the UK Continue reading...
Press irresponsibility and political bullying damage child protection | Ray Jones - Wed, 01 Oct 2014
The treatment of Joyce Thacker echoes that of Sharon Shoesmith in the Baby P case. Why havent we learned that this just makes it more difficult to protect children from abuse?
Rotherhams director of childrens services, Joyce Thacker, was hounded out of her post last month following the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal. The independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 by Prof Alexis Jay found failings by South Yorkshire police and the local council in protecting children and pursuing perpetrators. Understandably, there has been public outrage. And where there have been organisational or professional failings these should be appropriately responded to and tackled. But there has also been political bullying and intimidation, which will make it more difficult to protect children in the future and shows an irresponsible disregard of lessons from the past.
Should Thacker have been sacked? We will never know. With no acknowledgement of proper or due process Keith Vaz, the chairman of the House of Commons home affairs select committee, demanded within the full glare of the media that she should leave her job. It did not have to be like this. Instead Vaz and his committee could have noted their serious concerns and asked that these be considered and addressed through the proper legal and legitimate employment procedures by Rotherham council. Continue reading...
Doncaster launches independent child protection company | Patrick Butler - Wed, 01 Oct 2014
The council is one of the first to take childrens services out of direct control in a bid to achieve improvements. Where is next and how long before the private sector gets a look-in?
How do you solve a problem like Doncaster social services? Both Whitehall ministers and local councillors hope fervently it is by launching a new childrens trust, a specially created independent, not-for-profit company that they believe will transform social work in the borough and mark a significant break with the councils notorious recent history of child protection failure.
The trusts principal innovation is that it takes the day-to-day running of local safeguarding services out of the direct control of the council. Continue reading...
Eric Holder raises concerns over privacy advances by tech companies - Wed, 01 Oct 2014
US attorney general suggests an increase in privacy protections may thwart attempts to crack down on child exploitation
US attorney general Eric Holder said on Tuesday he was worried that attempts by technology companies to increase privacy protections were thwarting attempts to crack down on child exploitation.
Speaking at the biannual Global Alliance Conference Against Child Sexual Abuse Online in Washington, Holder warned that encryption and other privacy technologies are being used by sexual predators to create more opportunities to entice trusting minors to share explicit images of themselves. Continue reading...
David Cameron pledges to protect the English NHS budget in real terms - Tue, 30 Sep 2014
Prime minister attempts to remove the public health service from becoming Labours potential election-winning weapon
David Cameron will on Wednesday try to prevent the health service becoming Labours election-winning weapon when he guarantees that a majority Conservative government will protect the English NHS budget in real terms from 2015 to 2020.
It is the first time the prime minister has pledged to ringfence the health service from spending cuts for the next parliament, but his promise will still leave the NHS under massive cost pressures due to soaring demand for NHS services largely caused by an ageing society. Continue reading...
David Cameron tests Labours resolve by upping ante on NHS spending - Tue, 30 Sep 2014
The party leaders are engaged in a bidding war over how much money the NHS needs, given its likely election significance
With David Camerons pledge today to ringfence the health budget for the five years of a second successive parliament, he is effectively saying to Ed Miliband: I heard your conference pledge last week of £2.5bn a year extra for the NHS. I can do better than that.
The party leaders are engaged in a bidding war over how much money the NHS needs, given its likely significance in the looming election campaign. The Liberal Democrats will offer their own solution to the NHS funding dilemma it is due to be £30bn short by 2021 at their own conference in Glasgow. Continue reading...