Children at risk of abuse ‘because too few doctors’ Royal College warns
Children are being left at risk of abuse because doctors are spread too thinly with some supposed to cover more than 200,000 youngsters, it has been warned.
Doctors in charge of child protection in their areas do not have adequate training or time to do the job properly and there is a risk that children will fall through the gaps, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said.
Urgent action is needed to make sure that child protection is not an ‘afterthought’ in the reforms of the NHS and proper guidelines are drawn up, a report said.
The College warned that doctors who have responsibility for coordinating child protection said current resources were ‘spread too thinly’.
A survey of 59 designated paediatricians with responsibility for child protection, known as named professionals, revealed that one doctor was expected to cover a population of 200,000 children with no allotted time for the role.
The doctors have responsibility for providing advice on child abuse, neglect and maltreatment to all the health organisations in their areas.
The report said: “It is clear that doctors do not feel adequately trained or resourced to effectively safeguard children, potentially putting children’s lives at risk.”
The survey found that three quarters of named professionals did not have enough time to do their role and just over one in ten thought the NHS reforms would improve child protection.
The report said: “Professionals were concerned that a lack of clarity about the nature and structure of the health reforms may allow vulnerable services and patients to slip through gaps and that the provision of continuity of care is vital.
“There is ‘extreme doubt as to who is responsible for what’ and the health reforms are ‘yet another challenge in an already busy job’.”
Dr Amanda Thomas, Child Protection Officer at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “There are clearly serious concerns amongst doctors about the future of safeguarding – in particular about their ability to fulfil their duties due to lack of time, training and resources.
“In order to protect children, it is crucial that safeguarding is not seen as an afterthought, but instead a central part of our health service.
“That’s why we want to see the Government’s forthcoming statutory guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children, make it absolutely clear what the responsibilities and accountabilities of agencies and professionals involved in the system are and that the new safeguarding arrangements in the NHS are communicated clearly and quickly.
“We also want to see the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence develop a quality standard for safeguarding to drive up standards.”
In defence of Samantha Brick
Basically, Mrs Brick says that it can sometimes be a handicap to be good looking. Now she doesn’t look remarkably attractive to me but these are matters of taste and it appears that in her experience her looks have caused jealousy among other women and unwanted attention from men. I am sure there are many attractive women who would report similarly and I have myself known one very attractive woman who had exactly that problem. And it was as disturbing to her equilibrium as it apparently is to Mrs Brick.
So what Mrs Brick said seemed perfectly reasonable and even commonplace to me.
So why the furore? I guess that you are not supposed to say such things. It crosses a politically correct boundary. Not only are all men equal but all women are equal in looks too, apparently. Feminists certainly bridle at displays of feminine pulchritude at times.
I certainly think that people were entitled to say that Mrs Brick is not in fact pretty. From what I can see, I think her looks are middling myself. But to condemn and abuse her for raising the subject is egregious and — I can find no other word for it — bitchy.
Mrs Brick comes out of the affair looking (in the sense of character) far better than any of her detractors.
British police investigate local newspaper over claims billboard poster about gypsy site ‘incited racial hatred’
Gypsies are very prone to petty crime so disquiet about their proximity is entirely reasonable
A local newspaper is being investigated by police for allegedly ‘inciting racial hatred’ over a billboard headline about a proposed gypsy camp.
Officers have handed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) about the Western Mercury’s billboard poster – reading ‘Gypsies could be on your doorstep’ – which had been placed outside newsagents across its circulation area. The Somerset newspaper has since apologised and removed the ‘inappropriate’ billboards.
However, the CPS is now deciding whether to press charges after being handed a file compiled by police after they interviewed ‘witnesses’ following the complaint.
The offending poster was reported to police by local Green Party councillor Tom Leimdorfer after he spotted it outside his local shop in Congresbury, north Somerset. He said: ‘I was horrified when I saw it. It was clearly inflammatory.
‘If the headline had been about black people or Muslims it would quite clearly not have been acceptable. So why should this be any different? ‘In my ward we have a community of about 200 Romany gypsy residents – some of whom have been here for generations.
‘There is a difference between saying gypsy camp planned – which would be factual – and gypsies could be on your doorstep which is connecting with people’s fears.’
However a spokesman for the Campaign Against Political Correctness said: ‘I think most people would be horrified to think that something like this could result in criminal charges.
‘They have apologised and people should be grown up enough to recognise that. It is concerning that they could be prosecuted for a headline in a newspaper.
‘A lot of people might think that resources in the police could be better spent at this time too, rather than investigating this.’
The row erupted over billboards which were placed outside shops in the area on March 22. The headline related to the front-page story on the Weston Mercury on March 22 relating to proposed gypsy sites on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare. A different headline – reading ‘Gypsy camps right next door to new homes’ – was used in the newspaper, which has not prompted any complaints.
The story concerned proposals by North Somerset Council to persuade developers to build travellers’ camps alongside housing developments on the Weston Villages development.
Cllr Leimdorfer, 69, a district councillor for Congresbury, ripped down the poster outside his local shop before calling Avon and Somerset Police to complain under the Race Relations Act – and also reporting himself for theft.
The Weston Mercury, a weekly paper with a circulation of 16,000, apologised and removed they billboard as soon as editors were made aware of the complaint. They also published a letter from Cllr Leimdorfer in the following week’s edition and printed an apology on page 3 titled ‘Promotional poster’. It conceded that the wording on the poster was ‘inappropriate’ and may have ’caused offence’.
Cllr Leimdorfer, who was interviewed by the police, has since said he does not wish the newspaper to be prosecuted. But despite this, officers have now handed a file over to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will now decide whether to press formal charges.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: ‘On March 22 police recieved a number of complaints about a poster being used to advertise the Weston Mercury. ‘Police officers made contact with the newspaper, which had also been contacted by a complainant. ‘The newspaper had taken the decision to withdraw its posters with immediate effect.
‘They subsequently issued an apology in next week’s edition as well as a letter from the original complainant. ‘The matter has been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.’
The Weston Mercury, which is owned by the Archant newspaper group, declined to comment on the matter.
British universities to get control of High School courses
A-levels will be designed by universities under reforms aimed at ending years of political meddling in the exam system. The biggest shake-up for 30 years will see leading academics deciding the content and format of A-level courses as Whitehall’s influence is stripped away.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has written to the exams watchdog, detailing the reforms to courses starting in 2014. It is hoped that the overhaul will restore rigour to exams, following years of tinkering that have dented public faith in A-levels.
His intervention comes as a study by Cambridge Assessment, which runs the OCR exam board, found that 72 per cent of 633 lecturers questioned – mainly from the Russell and 1994 university groups – have had to adapt their teaching because first-year students are not suitably prepared.
Under the plans, elite universities will publicly endorse A- levels they have been involved in developing and lead post-exam reviews to ensure that standards are maintained. Exam boards will be required to demonstrate that they have consulted academics extensively about subject content, syllabus and the style of questions.
The Department for Education would have no role in deciding the structure and content of A-levels under Mr Gove’s plans, which could also see the end of bite-size modules and the AS-level, introduced by Labour as a stepping stone to full A-level.
In addition, GCSEs may get tougher to prepare students for the revamped exams that follow them.
In his letter to Ofqual, seen by the Daily Mail, Mr Gove said: ‘Leading university academics tell me that A-levels do not prepare students well enough for the demands of an undergraduate degree….. I would therefore like to see universities having far greater involvement in the design and development of A-level qualifications than they do at present.’
He said there should be a ‘particular emphasis on our best, research-intensive universities such as those represented by the Russell Group’, adding: ‘This means that government must take a step back in order to allow universities to take a leading role.
‘In future, I do not envisage the Department for Education having a role in the development of A-level qualifications. ‘It is more important that universities are satisfied that A-levels enable young people to start their undergraduate degrees having gained the right knowledge and skills, than that ministers are able to influence content or methods of assessment.’
The changes will affect A-levels in key subjects including English, maths, the sciences and history from September 2014, with final exams taken in the summer of 2016.
Confidence in A-levels has been damaged with repeated reforms, such as the scrapping of final exams in favour of modular courses and multiple resits.
Mr Gove said he was concerned that A-level courses split into several modules – which students can keep resitting to bump up their final grade – were hampering children’s ‘deep understanding’. He also questioned the division of A-levels into AS- and A2-levels.
The reforms were disclosed as Cambridge Assessment revealed the results of an 18-month study. It found that 60 per cent of universities run remedial classes for first-year students to fill glaring gaps in their subject knowledge and boost essay-writing skills, including basic grammar.
Mark Dawe, OCR’s chief executive, said: ‘The design and content of qualifications has increasingly become the domain of government-funded bodies. One effect of this has been to disenfranchise university lecturers, tutors, and admissions staff.’
The lecturers questioned by Cambridge Assessment called for school exams to contain more advanced material and open-ended essay-style questions to stretch the brightest students.
Sir Bernard Ingham attacks ‘mad’ wind farms and ‘steady descent into hysteria over global warming’
Some good Yorkshire common sense
The Government’s energy policy will cripple the economy, a leading industry veteran warned last night. Sir Bernard Ingham, former press secretary to Margaret Thatcher, lambasted ‘mad’ wind farms, ‘delusional’ energy ministers and ‘totalitarian’ climate change zealots.
And he warned plans to build wind farms large enough to power half of the country would cost £45billion more than providing the same power through a combination of gas and nuclear.
In a speech, Sir Bernard – who worked in the Department of Energy in the Seventies and is a passionate advocate of nuclear power – said: ‘Our politicians are besotted with every form of power generation that does not work in a modern economy.’
His comment came on the day Britain’s energy needs became so dire the Government was forced to launch a competition to develop technology that will help the UK meet emissions targets set by Brussels.
It is offering £1billion to anyone who can work out how to burn fossil fuels such as coal without emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.
Sir Bernard said the Government’s energy policy was ‘failing on all counts’, adding: ‘We are going backwards, not forwards. The Government needs to change its tune on nuclear power.’
Speculation has already mounted that the Government, which previously pledged not to offer subsidies for the construction of new nuclear plants, may be forced to back down in order to secure new projects.
Sir Bernard also derided the state-backed Carbon Capture competition. He said: ‘They are trying to give away £1billion to prove that up to 200 million tonnes a year of CO2 can be buried under the North Sea, even though we can be pretty sure it will double the price of electricity generated by fossil fuels.’
Sir Bernard dismissed the move as the latest in a long line of examples where the Government has backed the wrong type of energy generation.
He added: ‘None of this suggests that our coalition has a firm grasp of essentials in an economy in need of growth. ‘Producing energy by the most expensive routes is a sure way, at best, to handicap growth and at worst to bring economic and industrial decline.’
His virulent attack drew on research from Edinburgh University that showed that the Government’s wind programme would cost £120billion – almost ten times as much as the same power from gas stations. The same amount of gas power would cost only £13billion and would only see a ‘marginal reduction in CO2 emissions’, Ingham said.
‘In the last 14 years we have witnessed a progressive loss of reason among politicians, in Whitehall and among scientists and engineers,’ he added.
He also used the speech to deride the ‘steady descent into hysteria over global warming’.
The change had led to ‘the manifest delusions of successive energy secretaries – Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and now Ed Davey,’ he said.
‘I would like some proof that the world is going to fry and that my native Yorkshire will acquire the climate of Provence,’ he added.
Global Weirding: the New Big Lie
They’re calling it Global Weirding now, as I suppose, inevitably they were bound to do in the end. Well “global warming” stopped working in 1989 when the globe stopped warming. “Climate change” was always a bit of a non-starter because climate does change regardless of whether or not we all drive 4 x 4s, or buy carbon offsets or listen to Stephen Fry and Ron Weasley’s injunction to take our holidays in England this year. And “Global Climate Disruption”, as some pillock tried to christen it, was never going to catch on because, well, it’s just too blatantly contrived and desperate isn’t it?
So Global Weirding it is. The concept was popularised last week in a characteristically dire and parti pris BBC Horizon documentary which purported to have lots of new evidence (or “hearsay” as it would more likely have been termed in a court of law) showing that our weather is getting more extreme – weirder. It seems to have been broadcast to coincide with a new IPCC report which has been excitedly written up in newspapers like the Guardian and the Detroit Free Press as evidence that we are heading towards climate disaster.
Global warming is leading to such severe storms, droughts and heat waves that nations should prepare for an unprecedented onslaught of deadly and costly weather disasters, an international panel of scientists has said.
The greatest danger is in highly populated, poorer regions, but no corner of the globe is immune. The document, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, forecasts stronger tropical cyclones and more frequent heat waves, deluges and droughts, and blames man-made climate change, population shifts and poverty.
But this is pretty much the exact opposite of what the IPCC report actually says. As Roger Pielke Jr has noted, the report is a far cry from the IPCC’s usual slipshod, scaremongering standards:
Kudos to the IPCC — they have gotten the issue just about right, where “right” means that the report accurately reflects the academic literature on this topic. Over time good science will win out over the rest — sometimes it just takes a little while.
A few quotable quotes from the report (from Chapter 4):
* “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change”
* “The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados”
* “The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses”
The report even takes care of tying up a loose end that has allowed some commentators to avoid the scientific literature:
“Some authors suggest that a (natural or anthropogenic) climate change signal can be found in the records of disaster losses (e.g., Mills, 2005; Höppe and Grimm, 2009), but their work is in the nature of reviews and commentary rather than empirical research.”
So what this IPCC report is saying is that WE DO NOT KNOW if there’s an anthropogenic signal in extreme weather patterns, and that there does not seem to be a trend towards increased extreme weather events such as tornados and tropical storms. Yet the liberal MSM is reporting the opposite. How come?
Well here’s the weird part. The misinformation comes from the IPCC’s summary of its own report (available here) which has been regurgitated, in classic churnalism style, by all the usual lazy MSM suspects. It begins:
“Evidence suggests that climate change has led to changes in climate extremes such as heat waves, record high temperatures and, in many regions, heavy precipitation in the past half century, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said today.”
The IPCC, of course, has form in this regard. With its four Assessment Reports, its Summaries for Policymakers have been notably more extreme and confident in CAGW than the reports themselves warrant. So yet again what we have here is the work of serious-minded, neutral scientists (yes, they do still exist) being twisted for political purposes by activists.
As we know, the great global warming alarmism Ponzi scheme is looking extremely vulnerable at the moment. Global warming has stopped. There’s a growing public backlash against eco-taxes, ugly flickery lightbulbs, higher energy bills, bat chomping eco-crucifixes and all the other paraphernalia of the environmental religion. And unfortunately, as we saw in ’44 and ’45, what these kind of people do when they get backed into a corner is not surrender but get nastier and more devious.
We’ve seen this recently in the Fakegate affair. And in Leo Hickman of the Guardian’s contemptible “expose” of one of the hitherto anonymous donors of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
And in the Planet Under Pressure comedy conference staged last week by comedy organisations including the Royal Society, mainly in order to try to breathe new life into the stagnant, green-tinged corpse of climate alarmism.
One of the speakers at Planet Under Pressure claimed – in apparent seriousness – that climate scepticism was an illness that needed to be treated.
Scepticism regarding the need for immediate and massive action against carbon emissions is a sickness of societies and individuals which needs to be “treated”, according to an Oregon-based professor of “sociology and environmental studies”. Professor Kari Norgaard compares the struggle against climate scepticism to that against racism and slavery in the US South.
Prof Norgaard holds a B.S. in biology and a master’s and PhD in sociology.
“Over the past ten years I have published and taught in the areas of environmental sociology, gender and environment, race and environment, climate change, sociology of culture, social movements and sociology of emotions,” she says.
As Paul Joseph Watson notes at Prison Planet:
“The effort to re-brand legitimate scientific dissent as a mental disorder that requires pharmacological or psychological treatment is a frightening glimpse into the Brave New World society climate change alarmists see themselves as ruling over.
Due to the fact that skepticism towards man-made global warming is running at an all time high, and with good reason, rather than admit they have lost the debate, climate change alarmists are instead advocating that their ideological opponents simply be drugged or brainwashed into compliance.