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My 99-year-old grandmother’s home and wellbeing gone in just five days | Clare Brown - Wed, 29 Jul 2015
A care home goes bust. For the trustees it’s just a financial problem, but for residents forced to move it is devastating

My grandmother, Alice Platt, was a matchmaker in actor Ian McKellen’s life. She went to a Quaker school in Lancashire. Every year, old pupils would gather and reminisce. They called themselves The Old Scholars, an incongruous title as my grandmother remembers much sport but less learning. Walking together in the Lake District, an Old Scholar confided in her friend, my grandmother, that she’d had two marriage proposals. One from a widower. One from a bachelor, 40 years old. Should she marry the widower or the bachelor? The widower, my grandmother advised. She imagined that the bachelor would be set in his ways. The widower was McKellen’s dad.

My grandmother is 99 years old now and I think she might be the last of the Old Scholars alive. “I never lost a race,” she tells me of her school days. “No-one would believe me now!” she says, indicating her legs, both bandaged, fragile skin aflame, recovering from an infection. “Don’t get old,” she has told me many times.

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End-of-life judgments shouldn't be made by one doctor, says new guidance - Tue, 28 Jul 2015

Health officials suggest new approach to treatment of the dying using teams of experts and closely involving families after failings of Liverpool Care Pathway

Judgments on when patients are reaching the end of their lives should be taken by a number of health experts rather than relying on the medical opinion of just one doctor, according to new guidance from health officials.

The draft guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) follow the abolition of the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway – a regime that recommended the withdrawal of treatment, food and water from some sedated patients in their final hours or days – which was phased out last year after a government-commissioned review found serious failings in how it was being implemented.

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Obese people and drug users who refuse treatment could have benefits cut - Tue, 28 Jul 2015

David Cameron launches review by Dame Carol Black of welfare for those with drug, alcohol or obesity problems

A full-scale review is to be launched into whether tens of thousands of obese people and those with drug and alcohol problems should be deprived of benefits unless they accept treatment.

A consultation paper launched on Wednesday for a review to be completed before the end of the year by Dame Carol Black admits strong ethical issues are at stake. But it also questions whether such people should continue to receive benefits if they refuse government-provided treatment.

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GPs so overworked they risk causing harm, says head of profession - Tue, 28 Jul 2015

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of Royal College of GPs, recommends measures to relieve strain on NHS family doctors, whom she compares to overtired pilots

Britain’s GPs are so tired and overloaded that they are at risk of harming patients’ health by misdiagnosing illness or giving them the wrong drugs, the head of the profession has warned.

In a stark description of the potential consequences to patients’ safety of “GP fatigue”, Dr Maureen Baker says that “persistent and excessive workload” faced by family doctors puts them at the same risk of inadvertently causing harm or even death as overtired pilots or lorry drivers.

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Child hunger offends common decency | Letters - Tue, 28 Jul 2015

Aditya Chakrabortty (Britain’s rich are thrust into the future. The poor get kicked back into the past, 28 July) quotes Iain Duncan Smith: “I welcome food banks. I welcome decent people in society trying to help others who have fallen into difficulty.” In my naivety I thought that taxation was the means by which we as a good society can “help others who have fallen into difficulty”. But this government clearly does not believe in this, and wants us to believe that somehow taxation is something evil, not the force for good that it shouldbe by allowing us all to contribute to the common good. Do we have to conclude that the government is not made up of “decent people”?
Ian Arnott

• As a professor in an aspiring university, as well as a recipient of free school meals and friends whose parents knew enough to let me eat with them during holidays, I feel sickened and ashamed at the hunger of children at large today, as described by Aditya Chakrabortty. Our middle class often cannot fully imagine persistent and dependable hunger, and there are no defensible reasons for allowing any child not to reach and exceed their potential. All parties agree this. Let’s mobilise, and if you received free meals then talk about it. There is no shame.
Professor Craig Richardson
Charlbury, Oxfordshire

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Meet the Guardian Public Leaders Network team - Tue, 28 Jul 2015

Who’s who on the Guardian Public Leaders Network, our online section of the Guardian for people who work in public services

Public Leaders is the Guardian’s online network for professionals who plan, design, lead and work in public services. It’s one of our five Society Professionals networks.

There are 27,000 members of the network, from central and local government, criminal justice, charities and the private sector, who contribute to our coverage of public services policy and leadership. Once a year, in November, we invite nominations from our community to our editorial advisory board.

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Ex-prisoner barred from helping young offenders change their lives - Tue, 28 Jul 2015

Trevor Hercules, who advised former justice secretary Chris Grayling, criticises decision to revoke access to prisons after he failed MoJ checks

A former armed robber who helps direct youngsters away from a life of crime is being refused access to prisons.

Trevor Hercules, who spent more than a decade behind bars, has been blocked by the Ministry of Justice from delivering talks to young offenders.

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Holy smoke: cannabis churches extol 'sacrament' of marijuana - Tue, 28 Jul 2015

As decriminalization of the drug spreads across the US, a congress in Colorado is promoting cannabis-friendly ministries: ‘Our magic comes from marijuana’

“Magic is a sense of enchantment,” said Steven Hager, organizer of the first ever Congress of Marijuana Ministries, sitting in front of a flag of a marijuana-leaf-tailed phoenix. “It comes through Santa Claus or it comes through the Catholic church. It’s the same thing, running on the same rules. It’s how you enchant people.

Related: Denver activists campaign to allow cannabis consumption in bars

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Exclusive: Hospitals fail to hit staffing targets despite recruitment drive - Wed, 29 Jul 2015
The ability of NHS acute trusts to employ sufficient numbers of nurses on hospital wards has worsened this year compared with 2014 despite record levels of recruitment, HSJ can reveal.

Long serving teaching hospital boss to step down - Mon, 27 Jul 2015
WORKFORCE: The chief executive of Guy’s And St Thomas’ Foundation Trust is stepping down after eight years in post.

Interactive: How your trust is performing on staffing levels - Wed, 29 Jul 2015
HSJ’s analysis of the proportion of nursing shifts filled according to acute hospitals’ own staffing plans, as reported in the ‘safe staffing’ data collected by NHS England.

Trust calls for success regime to take over ‘shambolic’ procurement - Tue, 28 Jul 2015
COMMERCIAL: Northern Devon Healthcare Trust has called for a controversial community services procurement to be taken over by NHS England or the county’s ‘success regime’.

Breaking: High Court rules against regulator in pharma transparency case - Tue, 28 Jul 2015
A High Court judge has concluded that the Health Research Authority acted unlawfully in applying new transparency rules on pharmaceutical companies carrying out clinical trials.

Trust that took over Stafford Hospital ‘requires improvement’ - Tue, 28 Jul 2015
PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission has rated University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust ‘requires improvement’.

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Do we talk too much in social work? - Thu, 23 Jul 2015

Academic Rhian Taylor ponders the importance of silence

Better outcomes for less cost but under threat: street triage services for vulnerable adults - Wed, 22 Jul 2015

Street triage is a proven alternative to detention for people found in distress by the police but its success is at risk from the lack of a national strategy, writes social worker Matt Bee

Sending acutely ill mental health patients out of area ‘increases post-discharge suicide risk’ - Wed, 22 Jul 2015

National inquiry on suicide calls for end to out of area placements for acute admissions and urges commissioners to review safety of acute services

‘I feel lucky to have the chance to do creative social work – many others don’t’ - Mon, 20 Jul 2015

Mental Health Social Worker of the Year, Wendy Whitaker, talks to Community Care about her 36 year career in the profession

Mental health patients sent hundreds of miles for beds as out of area placements rise 23 per cent - Wed, 15 Jul 2015

Patients faced journeys of up to 370 miles for beds in 2014-15 as local services struggled to meet demand, Community Care research finds

Mental health beds crisis ‘driven by discharge delays’, finds report - Tue, 14 Jul 2015

Pressure on beds is "very significantly a problem of discharges and alternatives to admission", concludes commission

Deprivation of liberty: First thoughts on the Law Commission’s reform proposals - Tue, 14 Jul 2015

The Law Commission consultation is a once in a generation opportunity to address a deeply flawed system, argues Ben Troke of law firm Browne Jacobson

Deprivation of liberty: A summary of the Law Commission’s reform proposals - Wed, 08 Jul 2015

Tim Spencer-Lane gives a summary of the key themes included in a 200 page consultation paper published this week

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R Fundraising to close with the loss of 99 jobs - Tue, 28 Jul 2015
The telephone fundraising agency cites problems with charities cancelling campaigns and reviewing their strategies in the difficult fundraising climate

Appeal court rules that woman's daughter should get money left to three animal charities - Tue, 28 Jul 2015
Heather Ilott was granted the sum even though her mother, Melita Jackson, had specified in her will that the executors should defend any claim made by her daughter

UK adults likely to donate £4.8bn to charity this year, study finds - Tue, 28 Jul 2015
According to research carried out for the Cambridge & Counties Bank, this is an average of £110 per person

Survey says more charity staff are getting news from mobile devices and social media - Tue, 28 Jul 2015
You can take part in the Third Sector survey until next Monday

Total grants from trusts and foundations now greater than government grants, says NCVO - Mon, 27 Jul 2015
The umbrella body's UK Civil Society Almanac 2015 says foundation grants to the sector were £2.5bn in 2012/13 and government grants were £2.2bn

Asthma UK might close its offices in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales - Mon, 27 Jul 2015
The charity says the move, which it is considering because it needs to cut its overheads, would lead to the loss of 5.25 full-time roles

One in six of over-60s have included charitable donations in their wills, poll finds - Mon, 27 Jul 2015
According to research published by the legacy consortium Remember A Charity, 35 per cent of those who said they had not included donations would consider doing so

Glasgow community interest company launches bond to raise £2m - Mon, 27 Jul 2015
The Together Group will use the money to build up to 40 new affordable houses and refurbish up to 15 other properties

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Other News

Under-pressure GP practice issues letter asking patients to 'bear with us' - Mon, 27 Jul 2015

Trouble coping with recruitment crisis

DH 'told workforce review to ignore GP numbers' - Mon, 27 Jul 2015

Government has claimed it was not needed

LMC funds legal action against NHS England over Christmas opening breach notices - Fri, 24 Jul 2015

Londonwide LMCs takes exceptional move

Hunt's tweeting of patient names under consideration by information commissioner - Fri, 24 Jul 2015

DH says health secretary made ‘entirely unintentional mistake’

Almost 2% of patients have opted out of care.data before awareness campaign begins - Fri, 24 Jul 2015

Some practices already seeing 2.5% of patients opting ou

GPs to work in A&Es and mobile care units as NHS England announces eight new 'vanguards' - Fri, 24 Jul 2015

Urgent and emergency care ‘vanguards’ will try to reduce A&E pressures

learning and development to support and showcase wellbeing and creativity

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