Community Provisional information  

Waltham Forest Community

When men and women fail to form stable marriages, the result is a vast expansion of government attempts to cope with the terrible social needs that result. - Maggie Gallagher

The UK has one of the highest rates of family breakdown in the Western world with just two thirds of children living with both parents, according to research by a global development organisation.

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wfcw transparency WMAG WFCW
wfcwCouncil's pledge for older people
wfcwCouncil’s 'Old people's charter' introduced for borough's elderly
8 December 2014
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Cllr Angie Bean launched the Council’s Older People’s Charter – a series of pledges outlining what older residents can expect from the local authority and its services.
The charter has been developed in conjunction with local older people, carers and service providers, to ensure it reflects the diverse needs of Waltham Forest’s older population.
Housing pledge for older people

Waltham Forest News
2 November 2015
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Council pledges housing help for older residents
Strategy aims to support independent living

Efforts to create more new homes and improve existing housing for people aged 50 and over are being stepped up as part of Waltham Forest’s newly-unveiled Older People’s Housing Strategy.  
Threat to yet more services
wfcwThreat to yet more services as councils face losing millions in funding cuts
19 December 2014
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Yesterday’s local government finance settlement announcement saw a 1.8 per cent average drop in funding for local authorities in the next financial year. Waltham Forest council will see funding fall by 4.2 per cent.
This follows significant cuts in previous years as the government aims to reduce the budget deficit, which currently stands at 90bn.
The cuts were announced yesterday by Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins, who advised councils to make “sensible savings” while protecting frontline services.
Councils have warned some services, many of which are already under strain, cannot be maintained with the current funding levels.
wfcwCare homes in the community
wfcwDisability day centre set to close - 'It feels like they are throwing us on the streets'
15 December 2015
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A range of indoor and outdoor activities for 34 members living in and around Waltham Forest are currently on offer at Scope's Russell Road Day Opportunities Service in Leyton.  But just last week the people who use the service were informed that it will be closed by February 29 next year.
Members of a day centre which give opportunities to disabled people have spoken out against its imminent closure.
Isaac Elias, 68-years-old and classified blind, has been going to Scope's day service since 1987.  He said: “It feels like they are throwing us on the streets, even though Scope was established to help disabled people and fight for their rights.  “My friends, many of whom have been here for as long as I have, all have various mental and physical disabilities varying from Autism and Down's Syndrome to needing a wheelchair or a frame to get through life.  “The centre has been important for them in terms of being able to grow independently and to make good friends.
wfcwWave of home closures leaves elderly stuck in 'care warehouses'
26 May 2015
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 Rising numbers of elderly people are being forced to live in large “factory-style” care homes amid a wave of closures of smaller institutions, a damning report reveals.
Major research finds two care homes are being closed for every one that opens, as 'factory-style' institutions replace smaller residential settings New figures show that in the last three years, two care homes have closed for each one that opened in England.
Charities raised concerns that vulnerable residents are being left live in increasingly impersonal surroundings, with a growth in “care warehouses” twice the size of the institutions they have replaced.
wfcwThe indignity and terrible suffering inside Britain's home care system
31 January 2015
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To them you're just a commodity, not a human being. Paul Burstow, former Care Minister, Indignity, a dearth of compassion, terrible suffering and utter chaos:
In an investigation that'll terrify every family, we lay bare the agonising death of Britain's home care system
wfcwSocial care: why are we 'beyond the crisis point'?
12 December 2016
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There is not a crisis in adult social care, says Nadra Ahmed, chair of the National Care Association. “We are now beyond the crisis point. We really are at the edge of the cliff now.”
Residential care homes are closing at an unprecedented rate, hospitals are logjammed with elderly patients with nowhere to go; in the community, local authority cuts are leaving more than a million people desperately in need of more assistance in their homes.
wfcwHomeless and rough sleepers
wfcwScores of homeless youngsters sleeping rough on London's night bus network, charity reveals
24 September 2015
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Scores of homeless young people are being given tickets on London night buses because hostels are no longer able to take all of them in..
Shelagh O’Connor, New Horizon’s director, said the King’s Cross charity only dished out bus tickets when all other options had been exhausted.  “They generally would take night buses and go back and forward on selected routes. We would encourage them to take longer routes.”  
wfcwWaltham Forest homeless people face barriers in accessing health care
Download report
- [Turning Point, PL84U]
10 August 2015
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The homeless population in Waltham Forest face several barriers when accessing health care, according to a recent report published by Healthwatch Waltham Forest in July 2015.
The report, ‘Talking with the homeless community in Waltham Forest’, raises awareness about the inequalities homeless people encounter when accessing GP, A&E and other healthcare services.
Focus group studies, carried out in partnership with Turning Point and PL84U-Al Suffa, and taking place in April 2015 with local homeless people found barriers exist around identification or proof of address requested by practices when registering new patients.
wfcwTwo-thirds of homeless placed outside borough
8 September 2015
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Waltham Forest council among the worst for moving families out of area
More than two-thirds of homeless families are being housed outside of Waltham Forest, making the Labour-run council and Westminster, the worst in London.
Due to a "chronic" shortage of housing, Waltham Forest council started moving tenants to Luton around five years ago, and was done in preparation ahead of a housing benefit cap that was expected to exasperate (sic) the crisis further, former cabinet member for housing councillor Marie Pye said.
wfcwOld people auctioned off to care homes on the internet: Anger over 'cattle markets for grannies' as councils accept lowest bids to save cash
8 February 2015
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The elderly and disabled are being ‘put up for auction’ by local councils on ‘eBay-style’ websites, with care firms then bidding to offer them a bed.  
At least a dozen local authorities are listing vulnerable people’s details – including their age and what care and medication they need – before inviting bids from care homes in the area.
Critics last night said the system was akin to ‘auctioning your granny’ and a ‘cattle market’, saying sensitive decisions about an elderly resident’s final years are being made by a computer programme that is only interested in costs.
One council has boasted of reducing care costs by almost a fifth using the system.
cutsSocial care in England is facing a bleak future
BBC New, by Nick Triggle

8 May 2013
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Social care in England is facing a bleak future despite planned changes as services have been forced into budget cuts, council chiefs say.
Research by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services showed £800m was likely to be taken from the £16bn budget this year.
The group warned it meant "the bleak outlook becomes even bleaker".
It comes as the government looks set to signal later in the Queen's Speech its determination to reform the system.
The draft social care and support bill, which is expected to be included in the speech, will be used to clarify the law on social care and pave the way for the introduction of a cap on the costs people face for elderly care.
Currently anyone with assets of more than £23,250 faces unlimited costs, but ministers have said they want to see lifetime costs capped at £72,000 from 2016.
The result of the move would be that many more people would be brought into the state system. Estimates have suggested an extra 450,000.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the changes to the social care system needed to be made quickly, as the UK faced a "very big challenge" because of its ageing society.
Resorting to rationing
But the ADASS figures, compiled from a survey of directors at 145 of the 152 councils, illustrate the problem councils are facing trying to provide services to the elderly and disabled.
The projected £800m reduction in spending comes after nearly £2bn has been trimmed from budgets in the past two years.
While social care directors said they were trying to make savings through measures such as more efficient working and better procurement, nearly a fifth thought the quality of life that could be provided would worsen in the coming years.
Half said the numbers able to access services would reduce too as councils resorted to rationing.
ADASS president Sandie Keene said: "Gazing into the next two years, without additional investment from that already planned, an already bleak outlook becomes even bleaker."
Michelle Mitchell, of Age UK, said: "This is very worrying news.
"The care of the most vulnerable in our society is one of the most important issues facing the country."
Zoe Patrick, of the Local Government Association, said taking £800m out of the system "threatens to severely impact on the vital support many older and disabled people rely on in their day-to-day lives, such as basic help with washing, getting out of bed and the provision of meals on wheels".
'Huge waste'
She added: "The stark reality is that if such vast sums of money continue to be taken out of the care system it could be in very real danger of collapse."
She urged the government to recognise the growing problem in the next spending round.
Mr Hunt said one of the measures that will be announced in the Queen's Speech will help "join up the health and social care system".
"There is a huge amount of waste. Apart from the terrible treatment of people being pushed from pillar to post, it is actually very, very wasteful," he told ITV's Daybreak.
"You have lots of people in hospital who don't need to be in hospital, lots of people who actually shouldn't be going to hospital in the first place, and so we do absolutely need to tackle that big structural thing."
wfcwCare for the disabled
wfcwDisabled protest outside town hall after cuts to care
2 September 2015
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Disability campaigners held a demonstration against the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) outside Waltham Forest town hall yesterday.
Gabriel Pepper, 44, a Walthamstow resident and a member of the Disabled People Against Cuts group, had been a recipient of the fund for 16 years before it closed on June 30.  He expects to have his care hours cut by 48 per cent.
Before the closure of the ILF Cabinet member for adult services, councillor Angie Bean said the council was "committed" to ensuring vulnerable residents live independent lives.
She said: "While no local authority has been directed by government to ring-fence ILF funding, everyone who received the ILF in Waltham Forest is being assessed to make sure they have an appropriate, council-funded care plan to meet their assessed needs in place when the scheme stops.”
wfcw'Cuts to disabled care hours allow others access to ILF money'- claims councillor
3 September 2015
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The £320 million ILF fund was paying out up to £900 a week to residents in Waltham Forest so they can choose to live in the communities, rather than in residential care.  However on June 30 just £260m of the budget was transferred to the budgets of local councils, with no law saying they had to set it aside for ILF recipients.
Cllr Angie Bean cabinet member for adult services refused to say why the funds were not ring-fenced by the council with the money going into a general social care budget.  
She said: “When the government scrapped its scheme on June 30, it transferred a reduced funding pot to local authorities to pay for adult social care support services.  “The scheme had been closed to new applicants since 2010 and so many residents in Waltham Forest were denied access to this government-funded support since then."
wfcwMental health care
wfcwNHS campaign highlights mental health hotline for people living in Waltham Forest
8 December 2014
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A health trust has launched a direct phone service for people suffering from mental health to receive advice and be referred to services.   It is calling on people to contact its psychological therapies (IAPT) service, without having to go to their GP, if they are experiencing any form of mental health problem. These include depression, panic attacks, anxiety, excessive worry, post traumatic stress disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Psychological therapies service can be contacted on 0300 555 1271 or email
Princes Trust The Prince's Trust - Mental health warning for jobless young.
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The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index has found that more than three quarters of a million young people believe they have nothing to live for, with jobless youngsters facing “devastating” symptoms of mental illness.
Long-term unemployed young people are also more than twice as likely as their peers to believe they have nothing to live for.
wfcwDementia care
wfcwWaltham Forest Council launches review on dementia care services amid rising demand
28th December 2017
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Waltham Forest Council is set to launch a review of its dementia care services in a bid to cope with increasing demand.
Cllr Angie Bean, cabinet member for adult services, said: “We want to provide the most comprehensive support for all residents, their families and carers through each phase of the condition.
"We invite all carers and residents to share their views on what they need, so we can improve our services for all those touched by dementia.”
The six week consultation will begin at 9am on January 2, and will close at 23.59pm on February 13.
Residents, families and carers can take part online by visiting, or by completing a paper form available by calling: 0208 4963000.
wfcwDementia care betrayal: 9 in 10 care homes and hospitals fail patients
13 October 2014 
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CQC report finds widespread neglect, lack of care and poor training and says: 'This unacceptable situation cannot continue'.   Most of the 400,000 elderly in Britain's care homes have dementia.
Inspectors visited 129 care homes and 20 hospitals across England, they found that 90% had some aspect of poor or inconsistent care

wfcwDementia patients face 'Russian roulette' in hospital
18 January 2016
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Dementia patients admitted to hospital in England play "Russian roulette" with their health, a charity is warning.
The Alzheimer's Society said it had found "shocking" evidence of poor and variable care during its review.
The report, based on Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, found problems with falls, night-time discharges and readmissions, and said standards needed to improve urgently.
wfcwService and Social Models for Care
Service and Social Models for Care

by asubscriber
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I believe that for many people the final years of their lives are miserable, and that this is a fate which is to a large extent avoidable.
Care for the elderly is a topic of national debate, but this debate is focussed not on the type of care received but on how it will be financed. The model of care based on a clear provider and a clear
recipient is not in question. I believe, however, that all care based on this "service model" is going to lead to the needs of the elderly being largely unmet.
An alternative - the "social model" is based on people caring for each other. This does not preclude buying in some element of service – but the service is to the group, not the individual.
WheelchairCare for the elderly is a topic of national debate, but this debate is focussed not on the type of care received but on how it will be financed.  The model of care based on a clear provider and a clear recipient is not in question.  I believe, however, that all care based on this "service model" is going to lead to the needs of the elderly being largely unmet.
Nutshell Service and Social Models for care
wfcwIntroduction - Service and Social Models for care
by Dr Hunt E-mail :
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I believe that for many people the final years of their lives are miserable, and that this is a fate which is to a large extent avoidable.

Care for the elderly is a topic of national debate, but this debate is focussed not on the type of care received but on how it will be financed.  The model of care based on a clear provider and a clear
recipient is not in question.  I believe, however, that all care based on this "service model" is going to lead to the needs of the elderly being largely unmet.

An alternative - the "social model" is based on people caring for each other.  This does not preclude buying in some element of service – but the service is to the group, not the individual.

Demographic and other time bombs

One of the vulnerabilities of the Service Model is that it is based on planning for the future on the basis that it will be like the past (@1).  Society is changing rapidly and there is likely to be growing
demand for care at a time that the financial resources are diminishing.
  • Ageing population: People are living longer.  This means that more and more people will experience a period of physical or mental incapacity at the end of their lives, with consequent increase in demand for service provision.
  • More people living alone: Single person households are becoming increasing the norm rather than the exception.  People living on their own are more likely to experience some forms of illness (@2).  Also due to lack of home support they will be more likely to turn to social services for help.
  • Increasing public and personal debt: In recent years it has been very easy to borrow money and there has been a culture of encouraging people to get into debt (@3). Governments are also borrowing record amounts of money. This means less resources for caring for people in their old age.
  • Diminishing funding: Governments are planning on the basis of spending less and less money in the future.  Increasingly fiscal policy will be shaped by the demands of foreign creditors.

The lucky generation - making the most of the opportunities

Although there are clear threats, there are also opportunities.  In some respects we are a very lucky generation.  We not only live longer than our parents, but we are also wealthier than they are.  Many of us enjoyed secure, pensionable employment leading to security of revenue
in old age.  Many of us have also had careers which leave us highly skilled.

Our financial independence gives us a chance to shape our own environment - but only if we can use our wealth to make genuine choices.  While we are healthy we can "vote with our feet" to select
goods and services.  This power is largely lost if we cease to be mobile.

The skills we have learnt can still be put to use to teach others and to benefit others directly - but this is lost when we become uniquely service users.

Generational apartheid

In the UK generations are increasingly living apart and I believe that both young and old may be suffering as a result.

The two generations tend to have complementary strengths and difficulties.  Young people are often obliged to pay high rents for poor accommodation; old people tend to have unused space in their
houses.  Young people need to learn new skills; old people may be able to help them learn.  Old people may encounter difficulty doing routine tasks which are trivial pieces of work for someone who is physically fit.  Young people may have problems with childcare; old people may be
able to babysit.

Where the Free Market fails

Much current Government thinking is based on "commissioning" services from private providers on the belief that a free market will provide the best services at the lowest prices.  This assumes a large number of providers, perfect knowledge of the standards of care and the ability to switch between providers.  None of these assumptions are fully met.

Older people are usually locked into to choices which have been made by their local authority or which they themselves may have made in earlier times.  Local authorities may make choices based on the cheapest way of discharging their legal duties.  Individuals, if they are lucky, may be able to choose between agencies, but all are likely to provide hurried service at a high price.  The introduction of agencies means managing services to provide the biggest gap between cost and the prices charged to clients.

Older people in residential care will face the trauma of moving, change of environment, being surrounded by new people - a leap in the dark.  They are also unlikely to be able to get independent advice about conditions in other institutions.  They are vulnerable to slow but massive and systematic financial exploitation (@4).

Older people may find that their medical treatment is geared to the needs of their provider rather than their own.  Questions have been raised in Parliament about the heavy use of tranquilizers in
residential homes - a means of achieving an easy-to-manage environment.  I believe that patients are often catheterised as a way of managing urinary continence - but at the risk of exposing them to
the risk of infection and bladder disorders (@5).

Avoiding Fraud

Dementia: Isn't prevention is better than care?

The UK Government has recently announced a doubling of financial  support for research into Alzheimer's.  This is in response to concern about rapidly growing number of persons affected by the disease.  I believe that the main thrust of research is to find a chemical which can be ingested in tablet form, but, on the other hand, there exists relevant research which is simply not being applied.

Research indicates that dementia is not just about damage to brain tissue, but that mental stimulation can also be a factor in delaying the onset of dementia.  Yet there reigns a deadly boredom hospitals and care homes I have visited.  I have seen people staring into space
who were perfectly rational when I talked to them.  Almost everywhere there is a television playing - never a program which is factual or stimulating - and no one watching it.  Don't staff ever try to find
out from patients what there interests are?

Some institutions boast of activities for dementia patients?  But what about the needs of patients before they get dementia (@6)?

One particularly interesting line of research is being carried out at York University, Toronto, Canada (@7).  It concerns bilingualism and dementia.  Generally the onset of dementia is about five years later for bilingual individuals who continue to use both languages on a regular basis. There are obvious implications for a bilingual country such as Wales, but my attempts to draw attention to this research, both amongst health workers and Welsh language professionals, has
drawn a blank.

Isolation or Institutionalisation - which hell to you prefer?

Helping people to continue to live at home is increasingly being seen as an alternative to residential care.  Most people prefer to remain in surroundings which are familiar to them.

But once mobility has been lost, home can become a prison.  Most social contacts are made outside the home.  For most people on their own at home there is a loss of old friends and a lack of possibility to make new ones.

Bureaucratic limitations

The roles that service providers will take on will depend on matters such as the law and professional agreements.  Service providers are not friends and the development of too close a relationship is often seen as a bad thing.  Individuals who provide services are expected to be loyal to their employers first and their clients second.

People who use services often report gaps in provision – particularly between the health service and social services.    In the absence of family or other informal carers these gaps may be small, but
nevertheless extremely damaging (@8).

Absence of Presence

"Presence" is a term which nurses use to describe the moral support they are able to give patients simply by being with them.  Of course "presence" does not fit well with management systems which quantify every task then seek to see it is taken care of with a minimum outlay in paid staff time.  Of course, people who live on their own suffer from a complete absence of "presence"?

who is best placed to provide "presence".  Is it a professional person - who may be young and healthy - at a time when you are old and sick?  Or is it someone who is in a similar position to yourself?

I believe that people living together in a community are best placed to provide "presence" for each other.

The need for Free Communication

Growing old often means a loss of ability to communicate with others. Apart from medical causes, residential care usually means being able to communicate with friends and family only in the public setting of a residential care home lounge.  My own main means of communication are via email and a telephone line whose charges have been optimised to keep down the cost of national and international calls.  How many people in residential care homes enjoy such privileges?

Being able to communicate in confidence with people whom you trust is an essential aspect to being autonomous.  Lose that privilege and you cease to be autonomous.  You become vulnerable to exploitation..

Safety in Numbers

As we grow older and less healthy we become more vulnerable to exploitation by the unscrupulous and we become less capable of recovering from being victims of crime (@9) The  presence of a number of people reduces the likelihood of wrong-doing going undetected and acts as a deterrent.  They can also exchange observations when deciding whom from the outside is worthy of trust.

Investment-led decision-making

There already exist "off-the-shelf" models for shared living. Unfotunately all of them have drawbacks.

Local authorities offer "sheltered accommodation" in the form of rented flats within a shared building.  Previously a warden would keep an eye on the residents and could be contacted at all times in the case of emergency.  Now some local authorities have withdrawn their wardens.  Residents say that they entered the scheme on the understanding that there would always be a warden service, but in practice there is not much they can do if the service is taken away.

There are an increasing number of schemes which allow people to buy houses or flats in a "retirement village", but in practice these schemes can be difficult to get out of.  You are stuck with people with whom you may have nothing in common and, of course, your own circumstances may change.  There are fees to pay and these may rise at rates above inflation.  Usually there are restrictions on whom you may sell to and you are unlikely to get anywhere near the open market value.  From the developers point of view, they are dealing with a captive market, and no doubt it is seen as an opportunity to make a lot of money.

How could this work?

The social model is a vague principle and could find expression in a variety of ways.  I present here three ideas.  They are not meant to be exclusive.

  • Mutual assistance in the community
    Here people would not live together, but to be much use they would need to live in close proximity.  It can be simply a case of being a good neighbour, but services could be formalised in the form of "Time Banks" or "Lets Schemes", which keep an account of the time worked in the expectation of a service in return at some other time.  One obvious limitation is that as we grow older our ability to offer services is likely to decline while our needs are likely to increase.
    Nevertheless it could help people to stay in their homes and reduce social isolation.
  • Community of Older People
    This could be a group of people who live together and support each other as much as possible, It could have an element of "bought in" services, possibly in the form of having a younger person or persons living in the same accommodation(@10).  This could also help younger people with two of their main problem areas: finding work and finding an appropriate place to live.
    Of course this time of shared living would imply common decision-making and would need to have constitutional arrangements for resolving differences of opinion and conflicts of interest.  I think that voting systems could be devised which on the one hand protect the interests of minorities while preventing individuals from becoming obstructive.
    There remains the question of location and type of building, and the issue of ownership.  Common ownership removes having a landlord whose interests are very likely to be different to the residents and over time would certainly be more beneficial financially.
    I personally believe that those wishing to leave the system should be able to do so, and receive an amount less than the full market value of their share, but still more than that offered by private schemes.
  • Multi-generational Community
    In previous generations it was the norm for different generations of a family to live together or at least to support each other.  Now families have become scattered, career interests have become dominant and family links are to a large extent broken.
    Previously older people would be cared for within the family.  Now residential care is seen as the solution.  How this should be financed has become a matter of controversy.  People generally look to the State for solutions but tend to support politicians who promise lower taxes.
    I believe that the fracture between generations harms both the old and young, and more and more members of both generations come to be seen as a nuisance.  Older people cannot impart their skills and experience, while younger people cannot help out practically – unless some entrepreneur sees the opportunity to organise the activity at a profit.
    The term "community" could range from vague, informal arrangements (@11) to groups of people who live together and share each others lives.  One type of arrangment could be a LETS (@12) scheme.
    One idea I would be interested in is to establish an internation, intergenerational village somewhere.  This would have the advantages: (1) property is cheap, (2) opportunities to reduce costs through self sufficiency, (3) opportunities to experiment with alternative technology (@13), (4) the regeneration of dying villages (@14).


(@1) I resigned from the "Citizen's Panel" of my local authority because I could not possibly comment on the details of a plan which took into account none of the concerns mentioned in this section.
(@2) A study from Finland showed that people living on their own are 80% more likely to take antidepressants.
(@3) Key figures in the current UK government have justified major increases in tuition fees by saying that the money does not have to be paid until you earn.
(@4) One of my informants worked in a nursing home run by a doctor who was also the GP for the patients.  He was also my informant's landlord.  The picture that my informant painted was of someone eager to squeeze as much money as possible out of every situation.
(@5) This was the source of a complaint I made regarding NHS treatment in Wales.  It was met obfuscation and in the end lying on the part of the Ombudsman.  I presented the general concern about over-use of catheterisation to the National Patient Safety Agency.  I listed ten independent sources of evidence - some of them tenuous – but nevertheless leading to a consistent picture.  I was told in no uncertain terms not to bother them.
(@6) One care worker reported to me that in a nursing home filled with dementia patients she found one patient, on his own, who was very clear headed and who had pursued a professional career. The staff were unaware of his background.
(@7) The principal researcher is Ellen Bialystok.  A Google search will point to numerous documents.
(@8) For a period I was the informal carer to a family member.  She received regular visits from social services, but they were not allowed to give her medicines.  But the health service would not provide a nurse.  As an informal carer I was able to do this - otherwise she would have had to go into care.
(@9) Recently an elderly couple in my street have become victims of a burglary committed by their neighbours.  They are distraught.  They are afraid to go out in case they are burgled again.  They feel uneasy at home knowing that the people who did this to them are just on the other side of a partition wall.
(@10) I came across one example which struck me as the sort of opportunity which could present itself.  The Swedish newspaper "Dagens Nyheter" published a higher education supplement which featured a young woman with a child who was studying nursing by correspondence.
Presumably she would be developing the sort of skills which would be useful and in turn (appropriately educated) residents could help her with some of the scientific aspects of the course.
(@11) One common arrangement is for older people to get someone young (often members of their family) to do practical jobs for them in return for cash payment.  If the younger person is on benefits, then they could face criminal prosecution.
(@12) LETS=Local Exchange Trading System.  A system where services are "paid for" (usually at a fixed rate per hour) using a local currency.
(@13) I would be interested in building a house, mainly from waste material, which would heat itself mainly from passive solar energy capture.   I see the advantages as numerous: meaningful educational activity, reduce waste stream, avoid energy costs, reduce atmospheric carbon, and save local forests from being used as firewood.
(@14) In one village I visited in France, the older people left behind after the departure of their children were complaining about fruit rotting on trees because there was no one to pick it.  In a nearby city young people were begging on the street.

Elderly careCare home companies face tougher financial checks
4 May 2013
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Large providers of care homes in England are to have their financial records regularly scrutinised in future to spot potential business problems.
Under the government's plans, the Care Quality Commission and local authorities will also ensure care continues if a company does go bust.
It comes after provider Southern Cross collapsed, causing distress and anxiety to its residents and their families.
Care minister Norman Lamb said the move would give reassurance to people.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will start to make checks on between 50 and 60 of the largest care companies in England, including those that provide care in a person's home.
CQC chief executive David Behan said the measures - to be set out in new legislation - would provide early warning of potential company failures in the care industry.
The CQC will have the power to:
  • Require regular financial and relevant performance information
  • Make the provider submits a "sustainability plan" to manage any risk to the organisation's operation
  • Commission an independent business review to help the provider to return to financial stability
  • Get information from the provider to help manage a company collapse

The Department of Health said the powers would bring care in to line with other services such as hospitals and holiday operators, which have procedures to check on the "financial health" of organisations.
Continue reading the main story

The fear and upset that the Southern Cross collapse caused to care home residents and families was unacceptable”- Norman Lamb Care and Support Minister

In the case of the collapse of a national provider the effects would be felt in many parts of the country, so it would be unfair for local councils to have to deal with the problem, the department said.
Mr Lamb said: "Everyone who receives care and support wants to know they will be protected if the company in charge of their care goes bust.
"The fear and upset that the Southern Cross collapse caused to care home residents and families was unacceptable.
"This early warning system will bring reassurance to people in care and will allow action to be taken to ensure care continues if a provider fails."
Southern Cross, the country's biggest care provider, had thousands of elderly residents at more than 750 care homes across the UK when it collapsed in 2011.
The firm was brought down by having to pay a £250m rent bill as local authorities made cuts.
After its collapse, other operators had to step in to take over the care of more than 30,000 people.
BBC social affairs correspondent Michael Buchanan said in that case nobody had to leave their care home because other companies took them over, but the government has been keen to ensure such a collapse is not repeated.
A report earlier this week said the number of care homes going bust had almost doubled in the past two years, with the level of fees that local authorities were willing to pay being blamed.

wfcwHousing groups
OWCHThe OWCH group
The stark reality is that if such vast sums of money continue to be taken out of the care system it could be in very real danger of collapse” Zoe Patrick Local Government Association
OWCH is a group of women aged from 50 to 80+ who have got together to plan the first cohousing community of older people in the UK. Their decision to be for women only is based on the fact that it tends to be women who live alone most in old age - but they have always seen themselves as pioneering a model for all older people.
ukcohousing UK Cohousing Network
Cohousing communities are intentional communities. They are created and run by their residents. Each household has a self-contained, personal and private home but residents come together to manage their community, share activites, eat together. Cohousing is a way of combating the alienation and isolation many experience today, recreating the neighbourly support of a village or city quarter in the past.
wfcwAbuse and Adult exploitation
wfcwAdult social care 'under stress and strain', chief inspector warns
9 August 2015
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Cuts are putting care under "stress and strain" and carers' efforts are being undermined, the chief inspector of adult social care in England has said.
Andrea Sutcliffe told the Observer many carers ended up being "the sort of care worker you wouldn't want them to be".
There were 30,000 allegations of abuse of people using social care services in the first six months of this year, according to the newspaper.
The Department of Health said it was determined to "stamp out" abuse.
wfcwWhy it's your duty to spy on your parents' carers
9 July 2015
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Adult social care budgets facing a £1.1bn shortfall this year. Ms Sutcliffe, a chief inspector at health and social care watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said funding cuts had led to carers feeling overworked and under-valued, undermining the work they do.
She told The Observer: "That potentially means that they may leave, and we do see turnover, but it also may mean that they end up being the sort of care worker that you wouldn't want them to be because the system around them isn't supportive.  "The social care sector is certainly under stress and strain. And that is a combination of all sorts of factors - the increased numbers of people who need care and support, the increased complexity of their needs."
wfcwIt seems a lot easier to reward poor performance than to face the awkwardness of having difficult conversations
3 June 2015
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Too many managers are flouting the principles of good performance management, as despite being rated as poor performers, they are still being rewarded by their employers
Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR
wfcwStaff training
wfcw Relatives raised serious concerns and staff were not properly trained at home where manager was absent for 10 months in one year.
16 April 2015
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Church Lane in Walthamstow is one of Outward's four registered care homes in the borough and looks after people with learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and complex needs.
Vulnerable disabled residents suffered injuries at a care home where people walked around naked due to poor care and basic safety standards were not met, a report has foound.
The home has been rated as inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by failing to meet standards in three of five categories: safety, effectiveness and management of services. Inspectors discovered the manager Michael Heinrich Dieter Vandrey had not been at the home in 10 months as he was on secondment, but the CQC were only informed about a three-month absence.
wfcwExposed: The home carers who just couldn't care less...investigation reveals a third of home-care providers fail to meet even basic standards
8 November 2015
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More than 500,000 Britons, including those who are council-funded or pay privately, rely on help at home with activities ranging from washing to getting into bed.
However, cash-strapped councils are pressuring agencies to cut the duration of visits, services are grossly underfunded, some care staff are employed on less than the minimum wage, and the support provided in care packages has been cut back.   In some cases, proper background checks on staff are not being carried out.
wfcwCare worker who raised concerns over the treatment of an elderly woman is banned from working in Waltham Forest
3 June 2015
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Carer Donna Archer barred from working in Waltham Forest after raising concerns over elderly woman 'living like a dog,' says: “I believe Waltham Forest council have lost their concept of humanity.”
Ms Archer added: “I want to start a campaign where carers are recognised for the good work they do.  "I am worried there are other carers out there afraid to speak the truth of their conditions.  “There needs to be better training, like they have for nurses so carers can move upwards and become fully qualified."
wfcw Relatives raised serious concerns and staff were not properly trained at home where manager was absent for 10 months in one year.
16 April 2015
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Church Lane in Walthamstow is one of Outward's four registered care homes in the borough and looks after people with learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and complex needs.
Vulnerable disabled residents suffered injuries at a care home where people walked around naked due to poor care and basic safety standards were not met, a report has foound.
The home has been rated as inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by failing to meet standards in three of five categories: safety, effectiveness and management of services.
wfcw Services for the elderly put frail residents at risk because their staff were not up to the job.
13 Dec 2014
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The revelations follow a succession of damning reports exposing failures in the social care system, including extreme cases of physical abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults in residential homes.
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, all care homes and nursing agencies providing home help must ensure their workers are of good character, have the skills, experience and qualifications necessary to do their jobs, and are physically and mentally fit for work.
Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC, said: “It is the responsibility of providers to ensure at all times that there are sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff.
wfcwLife expectancy
wfcw Male suicide rate in UK discovered to be 3½ times that of women
18 February 2014
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Samaritans says men at greatest risk in 40-44 age bracket as Office for National Statistics reports 4,590 male suicides in 2012Clare Wyllie, head of policy and research at Samaritans, said the figures showed that the highest suicide rate was among men aged 40 to 44, at 25.9 deaths per 100,000. This bore out the charity's own studies, which have found middle-aged men of low socioeconomic status to be most at risk. "They will grow up expecting by the time they reach mid-life they'll have a wife who will look after them and a job for life in a male industry," she said. "In reality they may find that they reach middle age in a very different position. Society has this masculine ideal that people are expecting to live up to. Lots of that has to do with being a breadwinner. When men don't live up to that it can be quite devastating for them."
wfcwRetirement for British women is one of the shortest in the West
Life expectancy and longer at work mean we get FIVE YEARS less after finishing work than French

19 March 2014
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Study shows that British women can expect a 22.1-year retirement. The below-average figure is less than Greece, Poland and Slovenia. French women top the rankings, with an average of 27.4 years after stopping work
wfcwLife expectancy falls for older UK women
 7 April 2015
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Campaigners point finger at austerity as Public Health England report shows first decline across all age groups in nearly two decades
Caroline Abrahams of Age UK said the decline of state-funded social care was a possible cause of the fall in life expectancy.
Age campaigners warned the unexpected decrease in life expectancies was a “canary in the coal mine”, showing how five years of austerity was beginning to take its toll on elderly people.
wfcwNHS and Whipps Cross
nhsHow NHS dehumanises patients
7 June 2014
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A young doctor who is dying of cancer has described how patients are ‘dehumanised’ by NHS hospitals. 
Dr Kate Grainger, aged 29, was diagnosed with bone and muscle cancer sarcoma. 
The junior doctor who told her it had spread did not even look her in the eye. He then could not leave the room quick enough and I was left in deep psychological distress. I never saw him again.
AmbulanceMore homes in the Whipps Cross catchment area are on the Location Alert Register than anywhere else in the city
Hundreds of homes across London will not be visited by paramedics without a police escort, it has emerged.
Whipps Cross: no-go area for ambulances
wfcw31st July 2013
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Hundreds of homes across London will not be visited by paramedics without a police escort, it has emerged. Following physical and verbal attacks on staff, a blacklist of dangerous households has been created by the London Ambulance Service, many of which are in the area covered by staff based at Whipps Cross Ambulance Station. A Freedom of Information request by the BBC showed that 390 London homes are on the Alert Register. The largest number of homes on the list are in the Whipps Cross catchment area, which covers most of Waltham Forest and parts of Redbridge, It has 13 homes classified as category one, where staff have suffered physical abuse, and 19 as category two, which can include threats with a weapon and intimidation.
All homes on the register are notified.
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lasLondon Ambulance Service
Procedure for the Maintenance of the Location Alert Register
Specifies the actions to be taken by ambulance personnel who have been physically assaulted, intimidated or verbally
wfcwInadequate Whipps Cross Hospital had 'culture of bullying'
Many areas of treatment at Whipps Cross were heavily criticised

17 March 2015
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Whipps Cross University Hospital has been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with inspectors finding patients were put at risk and staff bullied.
Areas of concern centred on urgent and emergency care, general medical care, surgery, end-of-life care, outpatients and services for children and young people.   Critical care, maternity and gynaecology services were also found to require improvement in a report published today.
Inspectors also found a culture of bullying and harassment of staff by management.  
Concerns were raised by the CQC with Barts Health NHS Trust immediately after the inspection of the Leytonstone hospital in November.   The whole trust, the largest in England, has now been placed in special measures and ordered to take urgent action to protect patient safety and improve services. 
A total of four warning notices were issued relating to care and welfare of patients, assessment and monitoring of services, staffing levels and handling of complaints.
Inspectors are due to return to the hospital shortly to check on progress.
wfcwPatients 'at risk' in Whipps Cross end-of-life care unit
28 May 2015
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Patients receiving end-of-life care at Whipps Cross University Hospital are being put at serious risk, a report by the health watchdog has said. 
A team of six inspectors from the Care Quality Commission carried out an unannounced inspection at the Margaret Centre on February 12. They found that the building was in such a bad state of repair that patients were put at risk of "serious harm".  
Barts Health Trust, which runs the Leytonstone hospital was placed in special measures earlier this year after serious failings in care at the hospital were identified. 
The latest report said: “The Margaret Centre was in need of refurbishment There were no suitable washing facilities for patients. “All patients used commodes due to the lack of toilet facilities rather than because of levels of independence or support needs.
“Record keeping and storage was not always safe. Clinical note files had a considerable volume of loose and ad hoc documents.”
Inspectors also found staff morale was low. The report added: “Staff told us they had no clear leadership for the service, high sickness levels, inappropriate acute admissions, and not enough investment in training needs for staff.
wfcwWaltham Forest unions unite ahead of three-day strike action
6 October 2014
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A motorcade calling for better pay for workers made its way through Waltham Forest on Saturday.
Protest over MP pay rise. Teachers, firefighters and even bakers shouted out for fairer treatment, just one month after the council’s chief executive was awarded a £15k pay rise for overseeing cuts.
Waltham Forest Trades Council will organise support for strikes over pay on October 13, 14 and 15, as well as arranging for a contingent to join the TUC demonstration.
wfcwWhipps Cross workers union stages first NHS workers walk over payout for over 30 years
13 October 2014
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Following what unions describe as "five years of pay cuts and caps", picket lines are expected to be manned by thousands at hospitals, including Whipps Cross in Leytonstone, today.
Emergency cover will be provided during the strike action, but clinics will be cancelled and hospital transport may be affected.
wfcwBarts Health NHS Trust in top ten healthcare employers and providers for gay and bisexual people, says Stonewall
28th March 2013
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Barts NHS health trust has been named as one of the top ten healthcare employers and providers for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.
The trust, which looks after Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, was listed at number seven by gay rights charity Stonewall in its first ever nationwide Healthcare Quality Index.
The index assessed 32 healthcare organisations on how well they addressed LGB people’s health needs and tackled stigma and discrimination in the workplace.
wfcwFour in five new NHS workers are foreign
18 December 2014
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Up to 80,000 British students each year cannot find places on nursing courses even though the NHS is hiring thousands from abroad, it was revealed yesterday.
And nurses in their 40s who left to start families say they are unable to find jobs to come back to, apparently because they are going to younger European candidates.
It also emerged it costs the NHS £70,000 to train a nurse for three years – but for the same amount it could hire three qualified foreigners on an average salary of £23,000.
There are fears that severe staffing shortages are leading managers to lower the bar for recruits’ English skills.
Dr Carter told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it was ‘totally unacceptable’ for hospitals not to give proper English tests.
wfcwThe reason so many young Britons can't get jobs as nurses
20 December 2014
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Howard Catton, head of policy at the Royal College of Nursing, says: ‘The reliance on foreign nurses is absolutely symptomatic of the failure to properly secure the supply of nurses that we as a country need — it is a boom-and-bust policy. ‘   It is also incredibly risky to rely on nurses coming from overseas as a permanent solution because you don’t know how long people will stay. They may decide to settle, but an awful lot of folk may come for a short period of time and then go back. So there are significant risks if you are planning your workforce on the basis of people coming from abroad.’
The problem at the moment for many young British people who want to be nurses is there simply isn’t a place for them to be trained, which means they have to go and find other work.
That fact means that forward-planning and investment in training in Britain — rather than recruitment jollies to Spain — should become the priority in the coming years.
wfcwWaltham Forest GP surgeries
wfcwThird of GP surgeries failing patients in Waltham Forest
20 November 2014
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Nearly a third of GP surgeries in Waltham Forest are putting patients at risk due to poor treatment, it has been revealed.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued warnings about standards at 12 of the 45 surgeries in the borough, which have all been given the lowest possible grade (Band 1) for standards.
wfcwIntelligent monitoring of GP practices
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National datasets for NHS GP practices relating to important areas of care.
The profiles bring together information that helps us make decisions about GP inspections.
wfcwPoor care
Cllr BeanNew campaign urges people to report suspected abuse in Waltham Forest
5 March 2013
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"Anyone can be guilty of abuse, whether they are relatives, friends, neighbours, carers or voluntary staff."

Cllr Angie Bean, cabinet member for adult services, said: “Any kind of violence or abuse is unforgivable, but when it’s perpetrated against society’s most vulnerable people it’s particularly deplorable.
“Our Adult Social Care teams do a great job, and while they follow up on concerns and reports from service users they also rely on information from concerned friends, neighbours and relatives."
A council spokeswoman said the campaign had not been prompted by any particular incidents, but had been launched as part of the authority's priority of 'helping you and your family’.

wfcwCare worker who raised concerns over the treatment of an elderly woman is banned from working in Waltham Forest
3 June 2015
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Carer Donna Archer barred from working in Waltham Forest after raising concerns over elderly woman 'living like a dog,' says: “I believe Waltham Forest council have lost their concept of humanity.”
Ms Archer added: “I want to start a campaign where carers are recognised for the good work they do.  "I am worried there are other carers out there afraid to speak the truth of their conditions.  “There needs to be better training, like they have for nurses so carers can move upwards and become fully qualified."
Whipps X12th November 2013
Whipps Cross bosses have apologised to a couple after shocking examples of poor care
. “We discussed at length the choice of maternity unit for having our child and, despite some negative reports from friends, decided that Whipps Cross Hospital should be our choice as it was our local hospital and we were big believers in support our local NHS service,” Mr McGuinness said. Operating trust Barts Health have apologised to the couple
Jeremy Hunt16 November 2013
Doctors, nurses and NHS managers will face up to five years in jail
if they are found to have wilfully neglected or mistreated patients under a new law aimed at stopping a repeat of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal.
NutshellShocking examples of poor care at WhippsX - Medics to face five years jail for neglect
12th November 2013
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A new father is furious after his wife’s shocking treatment at Whipps Cross Hospital while giving birth.
Scott McGuinness, 41, and Jane McGuinness, 38, who live in Sunset Avenue, Chingford, welcomed their first daughter in August but the experience was marred by a series of appalling shortcomings.
Anaesthetics were administered to Mrs McGuinness after being taken from a dirty waste bin Mr McGuinness believes had not been cleared in over 24 hours.
He was also told it was normal that he was asked to change in a public washroom before entering the theatre where his wife was undergoing an emergency caesarean.
While changing his trousers were soiled by urine which had not been cleaned from the floor.
Operating trust Barts Health have apologised to the couple.
“We discussed at length the choice of maternity unit for having our child and, despite some negative reports from friends, decided that Whipps Cross Hospital should be our choice as it was our local hospital and we were big believers in support our local NHS service,” Mr McGuinness said.
The vice principal of Drapers’ Academy in Romford added: “We could not feel more let down. The treatment we received was appalling. The lack of care, shortage of staffing and filthy conditions resulted in a routine operation becoming a life-threatening situation. “
Related links He said he and his wife have lost faith in the NHS.
After watchdog inspections in May and June the hospital was found to have a “systematic catalogue of failings” in care and hygiene standards with specific references made to the maternity ward.
Barts Health recently placed itself in voluntary financial ‘turnaround’ in order to address debts of nearly £80m.
A Barts health spokeswoman said in a statement to the Guardian that the trust is extremely sorry for the circumstances surrounding the birth.
The incidents are being reviewed.
16 November 2013
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Health secretary Jeremy Hunt to announce new offence of wilful mistreatment in wake of Mid Staffs scandal
Doctors, nurses and NHS managers will face up to five years in jail if they are found to have wilfully neglected or mistreated patients under a new law aimed at stopping a repeat of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal.
The threat of criminal sanctions for NHS staff will be announced next week by Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, following a series of reviews into patient safety.
In a move likely to alarm medical groups, the government will create a new offence of "wilful neglect or mistreatment" for hospital workers whose standards of care have fallen short in the most extreme cases.
Hunt, who has been very critical of the NHS, is expected to set out a range of measures to improve standards of care on Tuesday, which could include moves to boost transparency and the complaints processes.
However, he is likely to come under most pressure from Labour to say how the coalition will increase staffing, amid concerns about falling nursing levels and an impending crisis in A&E this winter.
Speaking from Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth summit, David Cameron said the new law was not about punishing those who have made mistakes but "specific cases where a patient has been neglected or ill-treated".
The new law was recommended earlier this summer by Professor Don Berwick, a former adviser to Barack Obama. His report also stressed that there are very few examples of wilful neglect in the NHS and called for an end to the "blame game" towards medical staff.
Medical defence organisations have said there are already enough sanctions to use against staff.
Berwick recommended new criminal penalties for "leaders who have acted wilfully, recklessly, or with a 'couldn't care less' attitude and whose behaviour causes avoidable death or serious harm".
The academic was commissioned to look into patient safety after the Francis inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS scandal, where patients were left thirsty and in dirty conditions causing "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people".
In that report, Robert Francis suggested wilfully causing death or harm to a patient should be a criminal offence but made it clear no one at Mid Staffordshire should be scapegoated. Since then, police successfully prosecuted the trust over health and safety laws relating to the death of 66-year-old Gillian Astbury, a diabetic patient who was not given insulin.
The trust pleaded guilty last month to failing to ensure the safety of Astbury, who lapsed into a fatal coma while being treated at Stafford hospital in April 2007.
It is understood exact details of the new sanctions are yet to be worked out and will be put out to consultation. However, they are expected to be similar to those under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to wilful neglect or ill-treatment of adults who lack capacity, which carries a fine, or imprisonment for a maximum of five years.
Downing Street sources said prosecutions under the current laws to protect vulnerable groups were rare but ministers believe the new crime will act as a deterrent to mistreatment.
Lawyers have said that the 2005 act had seen prosecutions of individuals working on the front line but said senior managers and organisations had been largely untouched by the law.
A number of social care organisations had been prosecuted, said lawyers, but most had been acquitted.
Cameron, who also warned that there is growing evidence climate change is causing more extreme weather disasters like the Philippines typhoon, said: "The NHS is full of brilliant doctors, nurses and other health workers who dedicate their lives to caring for our loved ones but Mid Staffordshire hospital showed that sometimes the standard of care is not good enough.
"That is why we have taken a number of different steps that will improve patient care and improve how we spot bad practice. Never again will we allow sub-standard care, cruelty or neglect to go unnoticed and unpunished.
"This is not about a hospital worker who makes a mistake, but specific cases where a patient has been neglected or ill-treated. This offence will make clear that neglect is unacceptable and those who do so will feel the full force of the law."
Shortly after Berwick's report, Dr Mark Porter, chair of council at the British Medical Association, told a fringe event at the Lib Dem party conference in September that he was worried about criminalising medics.
"That is no way to encourage openness, as was so powerfully shown by Professor Berwick in his recent report, with reference to the rich body of research into organisational psychology," he said.
"There is an answer to this, and that is to act against the bully, not the bullied. It is to build on the professional duty to speak out by placing a duty on healthcare organisations to listen. Active listening, as often happens, not hands over the ears, as sometimes, appallingly, happens."
There has also been unease about the possibility of criminal sanctions from Dr Christine Tomkins of the Medical Defence Union, who has said there were already sufficient penalties against doctors.
"Doctors who are accused of wilfully neglecting patients can already be reported to the General Medical Council and face having their licence revoked if found guilty," she said after the Berwick review.
"We believe this is adequate for the protection of the public and doubt the additional threat of potential police investigation is necessary or likely to lead to successful prosecutions. If the government decides to take this forward, we will need to look carefully at what it proposes."
The criminal offence comes after Hunt negotiated a new contract with GPs forcing them to reveal their pay and making sure everyone over 75 has a specific family doctor who knows their medical history.
Speaking from Sri Lanka, Cameron said he had no problem with GPs earning more than him but wanted their salaries to be more transparent. "Some GPs are very well paid. Some of them are running very large practices, are working extremely hard. You should be able to get to the top of your profession and I don't believe in artificial limits in these things," he said.

wfcwSexism in Walthamstow
What can I do? I have previously noted the sexism, if not the outright casual androphobia and misandry of some organised groups of women in Walthamstow. Some of this has been promoted by small groups or even just unchallenged individual women who have sought to justify their wish to exclude men from the use of public resources on religious grounds.
We do not accept notices saying 'No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish'. We do not accept people telling women to get back in the kitchen. We do not accept homophobia. Or mysogeny. Why accept the hogwash of female bigots? [
Nutshell Sexism in Walthamstow, by technomist @ 2013-02-21
technomist @ 2013-02-21

I have previously noted the sexism, if not the outright casual androphobia and misandry of some organised groups of women in Walthamstow. Some of this has been promoted by small groups or even just unchallenged individual women who have sought to justify their wish to exclude men from the use of public resources on religious grounds. Other examples have seemingly been motivated by a wish to build a business networking freemasonry of a type which when practiced by men is usually identified as an irrational and unacceptable anti-competitive business activity of preserving business opportunities within a small self-selecting business oligarchy. (In other words, the mosque, masonic hall or golf club).

We have also seen a few examples of anti-male sexism in the world of politics, though to be fair to most of the political parties, it has tended only to be the local Labour Party which does not believe in equality (though it does have members who are willing to talk about equality a fair bit, including our local MP). Thus, probably due to the poisonous influence of Harriet Harman, we saw men excluded from what was arguably a public election meeting on public property during the last general election campaign.

The latest example of sex discrimination comes, ironically enough, courtesy of the organisers of an International Womens' Day event at Waltham Forest College on Saturday March 9 2013. Between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, a group calling itself the Waltham Forest Women's Network will be purporting to have the right to ban men from a public building in order to promote equality for women.

The advertised activities and entertainment in celebration of International Women's Day include belly dancing, Zumba exercise and Bollywood dancing, with a range of stalls, a henna artist and a raffle, and dinner thrown in. Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for under 12s and free for those aged under five.

I am presuming that the irony of excluding all men from an event featuring fitness routines invented by a man, Beto Perez, (invented and intended by him for everyone's wellbeing, regardless of their gender), is lost on the organisers. Or that the first Bollywood dancers were actually men. Irony failures are common among bigots.

So I will merely ask how excluding all men from their presence promotes women's equality in any way shape or form. Women's equality without men to be equal with is not equality. It is segregation, apartheid. It is inequality. It is bigotry. It is bad politics. It is also, on public property, quite possibly illegal unless there is a lawful justification for it, of which none has been put forward in this instance. (It is also unnecesssary. They could have simply held a ticket-only event like they have in previous years to reserve the right to keep out any undesirables. We all know that they discriminated previously, but now the organisers are being blatant about it).

Now, I am well aware that there will be some men and women who might think that this post is just someone who wants to spoil the organisers' fun by joining in something to which he is not invited. Not at all. I couldn't attend on the 9th March in any event.

I just happen to believe that it is stupid of the organisers to undermine the symbolic and social importance of celebrating International Womens' Day by creating divisions between people where none need exist. Excluding all men means that married women or women with male partners are also being discriminated against as they will be excluded from bringing their male partners with them. Mothers can't bring sons, daughters can't bring fathers, sisters can't bring brothers. Sons can't bring mothers. What a sad state of affairs.

There are enough worthy causes worth pursuing without creating unworthy ones. We do not accept notices saying 'No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish'. We do not accept people telling women to get back in the kitchen. We do not accept homophobia. Or mysogeny. Why accept the hogwash of female bigots?

wfcw It is surprising indeed to find associations for women only in a country where we should have no discrimination! However, androphobia and misandry feature in the life of most UK political parties. Discrimination against anyone encourages intolerance and exclusion of whole communities within our increasingly diverse and very complex society.
Feelings of being unsafe appear valid if one is anxious about one’s own position in society. South Africans had an expression for it, ‘soort soek sort,’ (like seeks like) to justify the policy of apartheid, euphemistically referred to as ‘separate development.’
Stonewall expresses it as: ‘people perform better when they can be themselves.’ During the apartheid era in South Africa, school children were taught: ‘people feel happier when surrounded by their own kind.’ Either way, this policy leads to social fragmentation, walls around communities and all the problems that go with it.
This well traversed road does not bear following - just watch the Syrian tragedy unfold.
Top wfcw
wfcwThe Hungarian Connection
wfcwStella Creasy, Labour MP: Breed for Britain! Without immigrants women will need 'a lot of children' to save economy.
3 June 2014
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The unmarried Labour MP said without immigration women already in the UK will have to breed for Britain to support the growing number of pensioners. Miss Creasy, who does not have children, said without a baby boom 'our ability to sustain our economy' will collapse - leaving the NHS in crisis. The Labour MP's controversial remarks are likely to spark controversy and come just days after the former Tory Chancellor Lord Lamont dismissed the claim that immigration was needed to cope with an ageing society
Victor OrbanHungarian PM says Europe ‘cannot build its future on immigration instead of families’ and says leaders must make it easier for parents to have children 'for the survival of our civilization'
5 November 2015
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Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has spoken out against the influx of migrants into Europe, saying it will not solve the continent's problems. 
Viktor Orban said that governments need to create incentives for its existing citizens to have more children, warning that 'the survival of our civilization and our culture is at stake.'
Hungary's population has declined every year since 1980, and in 2011 fell below 10 million for the first time since 1960.
wfcwHungarian billionaire George Soros, tells Europe to take in 'at least a MILLION' refugees every year
3 November 2015
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Hungarian, George Soros, has claimed Europe should take "at least a million" refugees every year and let them choose where they want to live.
The human rights activist, who is a notable backer of the European Union, called on the EU to accept more refugees and cover the cost of housing health care and education for each refugee for the first two years.
The billionaire businessman was last week accused by Hungary's prime minister of deliberately encouraging the migration crisis.
wfcwPope Francis says gender theory is part of a 'global war' on marriage and family
2 October 2016
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Pope Francis visited the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia, 1 October, 2016
He warned gender theory is part of a "global war" against traditional marriage and the family and continued:  "not with weapons but with ideas... we have to defend ourselves from ideological colonisation."
Gender theory is broadly the concept that while a person may be biologically male or female, they have the right to identify as male, female, both or neither.
The Pontiff has used the phrase "ideological colonisation" in the past to denounce what he says are attempts by rich countries to link development aid to the acceptance of social policies, such as allowing gay marriage and contraception.
In 2013 the Pope called for gay people to be integrated into society, rather than marginalised
wfcwWhat does it say about our values when a judge is rebuked for speaking up for marriage?
18 December 2013
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Sir Paul Coleridge has been reprimanded by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice, and found guilty of 'judicial misconduct'
wfcwChristian concerns
wfcwTwo-thirds of Christians in new survey say they have been spiritually abused
8 January 2018
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TWO-thirds of Christian respondents to an online survey say that they have been spiritually abused, a study has revealed.
Academics from Bournemouth University, who carried out the survey on behalf of the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS), a safeguarding charity, received 1591 responses from Christians, 1002 of whom said that they had personally experienced spiritual abuse.
The study acknowledged that definitions of spiritual abuse are not clear cut, and suggests this lack of clarity may be a significant barrier to responding appropriately to its victims within the Church.
wfcwChurch of England finds vicar guilty of spiritual abuse of 15-year-old boy
8 January 2018
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The Church of England has found a vicar guilty of spiritually abusing a teenage boy, after putting him under “unacceptable pressure” during intensive prayer and Bible-study sessions in the boy’s bedroom.
In the first judgment of its kind, a C of E tribunal found that the Revd Timothy Davis, the vicar of Christ Church, Abingdon, in Oxfordshire, was guilty of misconduct under clergy disciplinary measures.
The ruling was published on Monday as an online survey found that two-thirds of 1,591 respondents said they had personally experienced spiritual abuse.
wfcwDean delivers harsh rebuke to C of E's ‘blandness’ in final sermon
08 October 2016
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THE Dean of Peterborough, the Very Revd Charles Taylor, has bowed out of office with a stinging attack on envious people at the centre of the Church of England who resent “uppity” cathedrals and who wish to impose a “monochrome blandness” on the Church.
The recent death of Bishop David Jenkins had led him to wonder where, today, were the Anglican leaders who excite the public imagination? “Where among the leaders of today are the colourful clerics and turbulent priests, the prickly prophets, the rebels and reformers?” All he saw was “monochrome blandness”.
”It is surely of salutary significance that newly appointed deans and bishops these days are sent on an induction course — not as you might think, to hone their skills in theology, or liturgy, community outreach, or pastoral care, but to take a mini-MBA.
“The pattern of the Good Shepherd has been hijacked by the model of the Chief Executive Officer.”
wfcwAnglican hardliners plan new churches
September 24 2016
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A new network of Anglican churches is to be launched to rival the Church of England as a home for worshippers with conservative views on issues such as homosexuality.
The project, launched by a group called the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), aims to plant hundreds of Anglican churches outside the control of the Church of England and has the backing of a group of hardline Anglican archbishops from around the world.
wfcwC of E crisis as it loses 1.7m followers - and Islam gains 900,000
31 May 2015
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Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey warned the Church of England has suffered a dramatic slump in its followers and is just 'one generation from extinction'
Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Britons identifying themselves as C of E or Anglican dropped from 21 per cent to 17 per cent – a fall of about 1.7 million people.  
Over the same period, the number of Muslims in Britain grew by nearly one million, according to a survey by the respected NatCen Social Research Institute.
Alarmingly for Church leaders, the worst losses have come over the past decade, with about 4.5 million fewer people affiliating themselves to the C of E or Anglicanism between 2004 and 2014.
In contrast, those who describe themselves as Muslim have jumped from 3.2 per cent of the population – equivalent to 1.5 million

wfcwThe real gay marriage bigots are its intolerant supporters
29 March 2014
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The saddest legacy of the gay marriage debate is how it has brought about the most appalling bigotry — from politicians cynically trampling over the beliefs of many Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and others opposed to gay marriage.  That’s not social progress, it’s a form of intolerance every bit as ugly as homophobia
wfcwMCC North London invites you to come as you are - you don't have to pretend to be more or less than yourself here.
wfcwThe Metropolitan Church - The Church For Everyone
The Metropolitan Church has, for many years, provided a spiritual home for those who were rejected due to gender identification or sexual orientation.  We include, and celebrate, Trans people in every aspect of our life and ministry.
wfcwMetropolitan Tabernacle
Pathway to Power - Biblical prerequisites for spiritual instrumentality

wfcw Gay-friendly ‘Queen James’ Bible
A San Francisco Episcopal minister has launched the “Gay Friendly' Queen James Bible.
wfcwThe Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement is a UK-based international Charity which challenges homophobia and transphobia, especially within the Church and faith based organisations,
wfcwChristian Kitchen evicted from Mission Grove
7th April 2014
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A High Court judge has ruled Waltham Forest Council acted unlawfully and failed “to accord with reality” in trying to evict a soup kitchen for vulnerable homeless people.
zarifSectarian strife is worst threat in world
11 November 2013
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Sectarian tension between Shia and Sunni Muslims is probably the most serious threat to world security, according to Mohamed Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister.  ''Sectarian divide in the Islamic world is a threat to all of us'' Mr Zarif said all sides should forget their differences over Syria to oppose sectarianism.
Top transparency
wfcw“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” (Frederick Douglass, 1817-1895)
wcmt“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” (Frederick Douglass, 1817-1895)
Dr Andrew Rowland: Churchill Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
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Frederick Douglass was an African-American statesman who, having escaped from slavery, became a leader of the abolitionist movement and campaigned throughout his life for equality of all people regardless of background, saying, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong”.
In 1855 Frederick Douglass had a series of dialogues with white slave-owners who could not, or would not, comprehend that slavery was morally wrong and it was during these communications that he wrote, “it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men“.
This statement still holds true today and it is inextricably linked to issues surrounding early childhood experiences, child abuse and the development of individuals’ roles, and functioning, within society.
Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
wcmtSpeech on the adverse effects of child abuse delivered at the British Medical Association Annual Representative Meeting, June 2015.
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Right now, today, in regions all across the UK and worldwide, children are being abused, neglected and exploited by the very families and communities that ought to be looking after them, caring for them and helping them to grow up in the way that they, the children and young people, would wish to.
Each year in the UK, of those children who are physically abused, over a quarter of a million are injured and around 75000 require medical attention.
20% of 11-17 year olds have been severely maltreated by a parent or guardian and 1 in 20 children have experienced contact sexual abuse.
In the six years leading up to the end of 2014, there were thirteen thousand reported cases of nine major sexual offences against under 16 year olds, no, not in the UK, but in Greater Manchester alone.
There is no doubt that communities need to do more to support and protect children.
wfcwChild sexual abuse inquiry 'could last until 2020'
9 July 2015
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Justice Goddard, a New Zealand High Court judge, said in her opening remarks that the sexual abuse of children "has left permanent scars not only on successive generations, has left permanent scars not only on victims themselves, but on society as a whole".   "This inquiry provides a unique opportunity to expose past failures of institutions to protect children, to confront those responsible, to uncover systemic failures, to provide support to victims and survivors, in sharing their experiences, and to make recommendations that will help prevent the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the future."
She said it was important to emphasise that this is the largest and most ambitious public inquiry ever established in England and Wales.
wfcwCounsel to child sexual abuse inquiry sacked over 'concerns over leadership'
28 September 2016
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Secrecy over announcement that senior lawyer Ben Emmerson QC is to be suspended raises concerns among victims’ groups
The most senior lawyer on the public inquiry into institutional child abuse in England and Wales was suddenly suspended on Wednesday over what the inquiry said were concerns over aspects of his leadership.
Ben Emmerson QC had been expected to resign in the coming days, apparently over disagreements over the remit of the inquiry under its fourth chair, Alexis Jay. But in a move that surprised those close to the discussions, the inquiry announced late on Wednesday that Emmerson, a respected human rights lawyer, was to be suspended and put under investigation.
wfcwLondon becomes the birth-rate capital of Europe
7 October 2014
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Soaring immigration sparks British baby boom as London becomes the birth-rate capital of Europe
The UK, Germany and Austria were the only countries in Europe to report an increase in their birth rates from 2009 to 2012. Almost every other country in Europe saw the number of babies fall.
The figures were buried in the EU Commission’s annual statistics release.
More babies are being born per thousand of the population in London than anywhere else in Europe
EU report said fertility rates were higher in countries where there is a ‘low proportion of people being married and a high proportion of births outside marriage’.  It added that ‘couple instability’ and high divorce rates also contributed.
Across the EU, there were 10.4 babies born per 1,000 people. But in London, the birth rate has hit 17.7.
wfcwUK  has the highest rate of teen pregnancies in Western Europe
15 October 2014
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Britain has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Western Europe, new figures showed today. Only Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia have a bigger problem with girls aged 15-19 giving birth, the Office for National Statistics said.
wfcwGovernment 'gave money to child sex ring in 70s'
8 December 2013
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Home Office has ordered an investigation into shocking allegations
Government allegedly gave tens of thousands of pounds to Paedophile Information Exchange, which openly campaigned to legalise child sex
Extraordinary move triggered by Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill
Labour MP Tom Watson says retired Home Office employee told him he had raised concerns in 70s about funding, but was warned to drop matter
wfcwPoor being cast aside - consequences for society
wfcwThere is a lack of political leadership in relation to maltreated children and vulnerable children in this country
3 July 2015
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Camila Batmanghelidjh, Kids Company said: ‘Our political leaders can’t bear to face the truth’
One of Britain’s most high-profile children’s campaigners, Camila Batmanghelidjh, has launched a blistering attack on politicians and austerity, as she announced she is to step down after nearly 20 years at the head of the Kids Company charity.She says: ‘I am being silenced’ over cuts in government funding for her charity that would leave traumatised children ‘largely unprotected’
wfcwKids Company: Camila Batmanghelidjh's charity to close amid financial concerns
5 August 2015
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Kids Company, the London youth work charity, is said to have told ministers it will be shutting its services on Wednesday evening in the light of new concerns about its financial management.
The charity, set up in 1996 by Camila Batmanghelidjh, recently received a £3m rescue package from the government.

wfcwFury as bishops say cuts mean poor are cast aside
16 January 2015
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The Archbishops of Canterbury and York said Britain is caught in a 'cycle of decline'
Archbishops of Canterbury and York said that the Government was 'casting aside' the poor.  As a result, they said, Britain had become dominated by 'rampant' individualism, is 'ill at ease with itself' and was in many places 'trapped in apparently inevitable decline'.
wfcwProtect us from violent pupils, demand teachers as union officials urge schools to display posters asking for staff to be respected
4 April 2015
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The ‘hospital waiting-room-style’ signs are needed as rising numbers of staff are subjected to swearing and physical attacks from pupils and their families.
Research from the NASUWT union shows that the majority of teachers today are verbally abused by pupils.
Union officials from NASUWT say the ‘hospital waiting-room-style’ signs are needed as rising numbers of staff are subjected to swearing and physical attacks from pupils and their families
The behaviour of some youngsters – who hurl chairs, bring fireworks to school and threaten to slit other pupils’ throats – is so horrendous that staff have refused to teach them.
Some 82 per cent of 3,500 NASUWT members polled were verbally abused by pupils in the last 12 months, up from 52 per cent in the union’s survey last year.
Some 23 per cent had received threats of physical assault from a pupil, up ten percentage points, and 16 per cent had actually been attacked. This was a rise of seven percentage points on last year.
Some 82 per cent of 3,500 NASUWT members polled were verbally abused by pupils in the last 12 months, up from 52 per cent in the union’s survey last year
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates blamed factors including a narrow curriculum, rising class sizes and a lack of parental support for the growing tide of indiscipline.
wfcwThe 12 and 13-year-olds making their own porn: One in ten say they have made or been part of sexually explicit videos
31 March 2015
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More than one in ten children aged 12 to 13 have made or been part of a sexually explicit video, according to shocking new research. Nearly one in ten in the same age group are worried that they are addicted to porn, a survey of nearly 700 children for the NSPCC's ChildLine service found. And nearly a fifth said they had seen porn images that had shocked or upset them.
Dame Esther Rantzen, the founder of ChildLine, said children as young as 11 had contacted the service with concerns about pornography.   She said: 'Young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships.  'We know they are frequently stumbling across porn, often unintentionally, and they are telling us very clearly that this is having a damaging and upsetting effect on them.  'Girls in particular have said they feel like they have to look and behave like porn stars to be liked by boys.
She said:  'We absolutely have to talk to young people about sex, love, respect and consent as soon as we feel they are ready, to ensure that they gain a proper perspective between real life relationships and the fantasy world of porn.'Peter Liver, director of ChildLine, said children reported that watching porn made them feel depressed, gave them body image issues and put pressure on them to engage in sex acts they are not ready for.
wfcwThose from noteworthy families often feel entitled to abuse young people according to Robert Montagu, the son of the 10th Earl of Sandwich.
28 March 2015
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He made the comments at the Oxford Literary Festival while discussing his book, A Humour Of Love, in which he reveals years of abuse, including a single rape, carried out by father Victor.
In a report for The Times, he said: 'People from noteworthy families do feel a sense of entitlement.  'It is true that people from an entitled background have more opportunities, maybe circumstances have made it more likely that they will abuse.
wfcwTitchmarsh, a gay lecturer and a row over teenage sex
26 January 2015
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Alan Titchmarsh slammed Professor Eric Anderson over views on gay sex. Prof Anderson boasted that he has had sex with 1,000 teenagers and men.  TV gardener said he was worried about 'pressure' 16-year-old boys face.  Prof Anderson lectures at University of Winchester - where Titchmarsh is soon to become Chancellor. 
wfcwIPCC to investigate allegations of historic corruption relating to child sexual abuse in the Metropolitan Police
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16 March 2015
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to investigate 14 referrals detailing allegations of corruption in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in relation to child sex offences dating from the 1970s to the 2000s. The allegations, referred by the MPS, include:
  • Suppressing evidence;
  • Hindering or halting investigations;
  • Covering up the offences because of the involvement of members of parliament and police officers.
Parallel investigations being conducted by the MPS into the original allegations of child abuse and the new criminal investigations looking at alleged police corruption are closely linked and well underway. Therefore, after careful assessment, the IPCC will manage the investigations being conducted by the MPS’s Directorate of Professional Standards.
The IPCC Deputy Chair Sarah Green said:
“These allegations are of historic, high level corruption of the most serious nature.
“We will oversee the investigations and ensure that they meet the terms of reference that we will set. Allegations of this nature are of grave concern and I would like to reassure people of our absolute commitment to ensuring that the investigations are thorough and robust.”
wfcwMum was right. I wish I'd stayed at home with my children
4 March 2015 
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What’s the point of having a baby,’ my mother said to me shortly after the birth of my first child, ‘if you’re going to let a stranger look after it? You might as well get a cat.’
Now my mother doesn’t generally pass comment on my affairs. But on this occasion, as I was discussing my plans to return to work, she couldn’t help herself.   After all, she gave up a chance to go to university to take care of me.
The idea that I would entrust the most precious thing in my life to someone I had barely met just seemed utterly bonkers to her.
wfcwSchools 'struggling to cope' with rising numbers of students self-harming
7 January 2015
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NHS figures obtained by BBC Newsbeat show a 20% rise in the number of 10 to 19-years-olds admitted to hospital because of self-harm injuries across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The NHS figures show the number of hospital admissions rose from 22,978 in 2012-13 to 28,730 in the following year.
Dr Max Davie, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said: "These figures are very worrying.  "We have to remember that people self-harm because they're in psychological distress that's so severe that they prefer physical harm or physical pain to their psychological state.   "So the real question is why are more young people experiencing unbearable psychological distress?
wfcwAlmost half (49%) of sibling groups in local authority care had been split up.
26 January 2015
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Charity.Family Rights Group (FRG):  More than a third (37%) of children in care in England who have siblings are having to live apart from any of them, 
The charity said that separating siblings could have "lifelong consequences."
Children living in residential homes or with unrelated foster carers fared worst in terms of being placed with brothers and sisters. Almost three quarters of them were separated from their siblings.
In contrast only 8% of children fostered by relatives were split from their siblings - and only 5% of children put up for adoption.
The report authors say the law places a duty on local authorities to place siblings together, so far as is reasonably practicable, and is based on "a clear presumption that this is generally the best option for children going into public care".
wfcwAnn Maguire murder: 'Worrying' amount of school violence
3 November 2014
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Figures released by the government showed there were 17,680 physical assaults by pupils against teaching staff between 2012 and 2013. In December, a Freedom of Information request by the Sun on Sunday found that there were 10,000 attacks in 2011/12 and 10,750 in 2012/13 in the 70 local authorities which replied. This research revealed that children as young as four were involved in violence and teachers reported assaults including being headbutted, stabbed in the arm with a pencil and punched.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), said in reaction to the Sun on Sunday figures: "The increase in the number of incidents of violence is extremely worrying."
wfcwChild poverty set to rise, says social mobility commission
20 October 2014
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The government will fail to meet its child poverty reduction targets by 2020, according to a new report. Alan Milburn, chairman of the social mobility and child poverty commission, said it was "inconceivable" that the targets would be met. He said young people were increasingly missing out on things their parents took for granted - like home ownership and job opportunities.
wfcwThe worst behaved pupils in the world? You'd better believe it: As a study says schools are even more anarchic than we thought
24 April 2014
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Idealistic young teacher Robert Peal says his experience with children at a Birmingham comprehensive led to him losing faith in Britain's schools system
unhappy girlBritish children facing 'toxic' stress
UK youngsters among the unhappiest in the world
Bullying, being attractive and depression add to young people's stress
Quarter of young people said porn harmed their relationships with peers

nutshellUK youngsters among the unhappiest in the world
20 January 2014
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British children facing 'toxic' stress: UK youngsters among the unhappiest in the world due to bullying, depression and online porn, says charity

Fear of failure, bullying, the burden of trying to be thin and attractive, and depression were among the multiple threats facing young people, the study found (library image)

Children in Britain are suffering from growing up in a 'toxic climate' of stress and pressure at school and online, a damning new study has found.
Fear of failure, bullying, the burden of trying to be thin and attractive, and depression were among the multiple threats facing young people.
And almost a quarter of youngsters questioned said their relationships with their peers had been harmed after viewing online porn, according to the poll.
The alarming results, published today, raise the bleak prospect of the country's young people sitting on a 'mental health timebomb', said campaigners.
The survey, commissioned by national charity YoungMinds, adds to a growing body of evidence that UK youngsters are among the unhappiest in the world.
The study, which questioned 2,000 children and young people aged 11 to 25, found:

  • More than half of school pupils believe they will be a failure if they don't achieve good exam grades
  • A staggering 50 per cent of 11-14 year olds have viewed online porn - with four out of ten of these admitting it affected their relationships with their friends
  • Half of youngsters have been bullied
  • 40 per cent 11-14 year olds skip meals to stay thin
  • And one-third don't know where to turn to get help when they feel depressed or anxious.

Lucie Russell, YoungMinds campaigns director, said: 'Every day we hear about the unprecedented toxic climate children and young people face in a 24/7 online culture where they can never switch off.
'Young people tell us they experience a continuous onslaught of stress at school, bullying, sexual pressures and bleak employment prospects.
'When this becomes too much for them they don’t know where to turn for help and when they do often the support just isn’t there for them. We are sitting on a mental health timebomb.'

The charity has now launched a new campaign - YoungMinds Vs - which will fight for improvements in the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
It will focus on the key concerns identified in the survey: bullying, sexual pressures, school stress, unemployment and lack of access to help.
Frankie Sandford, of the pop group The Saturdays and who is backing the campaign, said: 'I get to talk to a lot of young people and I know there are so many who are really suffering and struggling with life.
'This is raising awareness of the importance of young people having good mental health, and everything that can be done to make that happen, including getting access to help when they need it.'

A quarter of young people said online porn damaged their relationships with peers

The campaign launch, at the House of Lords, comes at a time of growing concern that young people are being placed under massive strain at school and online.
They are bombarded with sexualised images and the scourge of online porn. A survey in October last year found 60 per cent had been asked to take an explicit self-portrait - a 'sext' - on their mobile phones.
In 2012 a group called the Save Childhood Movement, established by leading academics, found increasing numbers of children were failing to develop properly at a young age because of the pressures of modern life.
The powerful lobby of childcare experts said that many under-16s spent too much time sat unsupervised in front of televisions, games consoles and the internet.
Children were also among the most tested in the Western world and more likely to be exposed to junk food and poor diets.

LSELondon School of Economics: EACEA 2010/03:
Youth Participation in Democratic Life
LSE Final Report, February 2013
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Young people feel that the political ‘offer’ does not match their concerns, ideas, and ideal of democratic politics.  There is also a clear lack of opportunity and political inclusion amongst some young people who are systemically excluded (through poverty, unemployment, linguistic, ethnic or social integration, etc.).
Young people do not believe that politicians sufficiently address their concerns.  This could be improved either by political parties making an effort to take youth concerns more seriously, or through the direct elections of young people representatives which would force a campaign on youth-relevant issues.
wfcw Six childcare gurus who have changed parenting
Jo FrostSix childcare gurus who have changed parenting
It's been 70 years since the idea of the "good enough mother" was popularised by psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott. Since then, there's been a plethora of parenting advice, with everything from the naughty step to a time limit on cuddling catching on. History has provided no shortage of "supernanny" figures with big ideas about how best to raise children.
Alison SaundersChildren who beat up their own mums & dads
Over 800 children between 14 and 17 prosecuted for domestic violence
Alison Saunders, who will soon become Director of Public Prosecutions, warns the violence epidemic has spread beyond deprived families
Blames rise in attacks on a lack of respect among young people
Nutshell Six childcare gurus - Children who beat up their own mums & dads
Baby cryingBBCNews,
4 May 2013

By Alex Campbell
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It's been 70 years since the idea of the "good enough mother" was popularised by psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott. Since then, there's been a plethora of parenting advice, with everything from the naughty step to a time limit on cuddling catching on.
Childcare advice is a multi-billion pound industry with an avalanche of books, magazines, and television shows competing for credibility.
Here are six of the people who have had the biggest impact on parenting over the past 100 years.

Sir Frederick Truby King
Child welfare reformer Sir Frederick Truby King is credited with drastically reducing infant mortality in his native New Zealand. His research also led to a radical improvement in childhood nutrition and he was knighted in 1925 for his contribution to society.
But for all of his laudable achievements, Truby King is undoubtedly best known as an early champion of enforcement parenting - with its emphasis on discipline and detachment.
The key to the Truby King method was to feed babies by the clock every four hours and preferably never at night - stoically ignoring demands for sustenance in between.
He recommended placing babies in their own rooms immediately and leaving them in the garden for long periods to toughen them up. He also imposed a 10-minute daily cap on cuddles.
Parenting was about routine and discipline. The formative months were for eating, sleeping and growing - not bonding.
The philosophy might seem brutal to modern day doters, but childcare historian and author Hugh Cunningham says mothers were inclined to trust the experts of the era.
"Not every parent at the time did it this way but they will have been aware of it.
"A significant number of people simply thought science was telling them and therefore it was the right thing to do," he says.

Dr Benjamin Spock
Dr Benjamin Spock's Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold some 50 million since it was first published in 1946.
Challenging the child-rearing orthodoxy of the early 20th Century, Dr Spock encouraged a more gentle approach to bringing up children, and told parents to trust their own instincts and common sense.
The Spock guide to parenting - which encouraged affection and recognised that every baby is different - went mainstream in the 1960s.
It was probably a convenient time for a new style of parenting, according to psychologist Dr Aric Sigman. Mothers were increasingly getting used to household appliances and disposable nappies, which left far more time for cuddling, doting and pampering than most Trudy King parents were likely to have enjoyed.
"Changes in parenting trends reflect changes in politics, the economy and the parents' needs, even though children's needs really haven't changed," says Sigman.

Donald Winnicott
About the same time as Spock's parenting guide began shifting millions, Winnicott was beginning a stint of almost 20 years of influential broadcasts for the BBC, the first of which was in 1943.
His broadcasts were aimed directly at mothers, with his "good enough mother" philosophy promoting the idea that they weren't perfect. Occasional failure was not just inevitable in parenting - it was part of the child's learning curve.
Like Spock, Winnicott believed in parents' intuition. "It is when a mother trusts her judgement that she is at her best," he said.
The paediatrician and psychoanalyst didn't believe in setting regimes or even giving instructions. He believed in understanding, not admonishing.
Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts says some parents adopt a similar style today.
"I like the principle of trusting your instincts - don't sweat the small stuff too much," she says.

Penelope Leach
Continuing a growing trend for a liberal antidote to the routines and rituals of the previous generation, psychologist Penelope Leach rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s.
Leach's book, Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five, has sold more than two million copies since its original publication in 1977, and her work remains popular with some parents.
Her style is "child-centred" parenting. You had the baby, now come the sacrifices.
"Whatever you are doing, however you are coping, if you listen to your child and to your own feelings, there will be something you can actually do to put things right or make the best of those that are wrong," she notes in the book's introduction.
An expert in child development, Leach has more recently spoken out against "crying-it-out" techniques - advocated by some as a method of helping to establish routine.
Some have described her as "legendary for making parents feel guilty".

Gina Ford
The so-called Queen of Routine's parenting plans are loved and loathed but never ignored.
Gina Ford's methods have been branded "absolute nonsense" by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and led to a legal settlement with Mumsnet after some of its members posted explicitly hostile reviews
Gina Ford recommends leaving a child to cry in some circumstances
But at one point three of her books accounted for 25% of the sprawling childcare books market, and she boasts celebrity supporters such as Kate Winslet.
The former maternity nurse has sold more than half a million copies of her original 1999 publication The Contented Little Baby Book.
Her bestselling guide advocates a strict regime for both parent and child, broken into five-minute slots, which is built around set feeding times to establish a routine as early as possible.
It recommends ignoring a crying child to help restore sleeping patterns in certain circumstances, as well as not making eye contact before bedtime to avoid excitement.

Jo Frost
Reality TV show Supernanny has reached tens of millions of viewers across 47 countries and spawned its own US spin-off - billing star professional nanny Jo Frost as a modern day Mary Poppins.
Jo Frost (centre) has spawned a global TV franchise: here she poses with the French and German 'Supernannies'
For many parents, Frost is the inspiration for the widely used "naughty step" technique.
Children who are misbehaving get a warning, but if they carry on they have to sit on a step - waiting one minute for every year of age. Afterwards, they have to apologise.
Other staples, which include a regular dose of finger-wagging and face-to-face ultimatums, have also infiltrated homes across the world.
But while Jo Frost's no-nonsense approach appeals to many parents, it's also been criticised for being part of a culture which invades children's privacy.
Tracey Jensen, lecturer in media and cultural studies at Newcastle University, told the Guardian newspaper Supernanny offers up the spectacle of the "bad enough mother", usually working-class, who is shamed before she is transformed.

4 October 2013
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Crisis: Prosecutor Alison Saunders has warned of a rise in children committing domestic violence
Britain's incoming chief prosecutor today warned of an epidemic of children attacking their parents, as it emerged that more than 100 children aged 13 or younger were prosecuted for domestic violence last year. Alison Saunders stressed that domestic violence does not just involve partners fighting each other, but can see teenagers lashing out against their mothers and fathers.
In 2012-13, more than 2,100 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 were prosecuted for domestic abuse, underlining the scale of the largely hidden problem.
An 11-year-old boy in London was this year convicted of assault by beating after a court heard that he had punched his mother and thrown a drawer at her while fighting about a phone bill. A boy of 13 was convicted when his mother refused to give him money to spend on drugs and he threatened her with a knife.
Over the past three years, a total of 8,395 children have been prosecuted for domestic abuse, which includes violence against parents, siblings and girlfriends or boyfriends, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Ms Saunders, who is currently London's chief crown prosecutor but will start work as the new Director of Public Prosecutions next month, blamed the extraordinary amount of abuse carried out by young people on their lack of respect for authority. She also said that despite the impression of such incidents as being hallmarks of deprivation, they are in fact prevalent in all classes of society.
'One thing about domestic violence is that it is not just in dysfunctional families or just the ones on benefits, it goes across everyone,' she told the Evening Standard.
'Some of those we see are from really badly dysfunctional families, but you also have middle-class and upper-class people involved.
'There is a lack of respect and a lack of regard for authority. When I was growing up the thought of striking a parent was beyond the pale. 'Is that peers, is that TV, is that the general environment in the house? You are not born to commit domestic violence. It's really about nurturing.'
Ms Saunders added that children who are violent towards their family could be encouraged to commit domestic abuse as adults.
'If you are starting off hitting your mum then there is not a lot between that and hitting your girlfriend, wife, partner when you are older,' she said.
This year the Home Office ruled that cases involving 16- and 17-year-olds could be included in domestic violence statistics amidst fears that such cases had previously been wrongly ignored.

wfcwHollowed out and fragmented families
Sir Michael WilshawOfsted’s chief inspector has said: Parents who fail to teach their children right from wrong are at the root of Britain’s biggest problems,.   ‘If we believe that the family is the great educator – and I certainly do believe that – and the community the great support system, then we as a society should worry deeply about the hollowing out and fragmentation of both.’ He said many children were ‘alienated’ from their natural father and that this lay at the root of the wider problems.
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NutshellSir Michael Wilshaw attacks 'hollowed out and fragmented families'
Bad parents are to blame for society’s ills, says Ofsted chief: Sir Michael Wilshaw attacks 'hollowed out and fragmented families'
16 October 2013
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  • Oftsed chief inspector said child abuse and neglect were the product of social breakdown
  • Sir Michael described 'national obsession with pussyfooting around'
  • The former school principal named Birmingham as one of the worst places to grow up in the developed world

Sir Michael Wilshaw said bad parenting is at the root of Britain's problems
Parents who fail to teach their children right from wrong are at the root of Britain’s biggest problems, Ofsted’s chief inspector has said.
Sir Michael Wilshaw attacked ‘hollowed out and fragmented families’ where parents suffer a ‘poverty of accountability’.
He said child abuse and neglect were not the fault of councils alone. Such issues were the product of social breakdown.
Sir Michael warned that the problems exposed in child abuse scandals were being deepened by an apparent national obsession with ‘pussyfooting around’ and ‘making excuses’ for bad parents.
He said many children were ‘alienated’ from their natural father and that this lay at the root of the wider problems.
‘Some people will tell you that social breakdown is the result of material poverty – it’s more than this,’ he said.
‘These children lack more than money: They lack parents who take responsibility for seeing them raised well. It is this poverty of accountability which costs them.
‘These children suffer because they are not given clear rules or boundaries, have few secure or safe attachments at home, and little understanding of the difference between right and wrong behaviour.
‘If we believe that the family is the great educator – and I certainly do believe that – and the community the great support system, then we as a society should worry deeply about the hollowing out and fragmentation of both.’

He spoke as Ofsted’s first report on England’s 152 children’s services departments found 20 areas where children are poorly protected.
He said Birmingham was one of the worst places to grow up in the developed world.
The city recently published a review of the murder of two-year-old Keanu Williams by his mother in 2011.

His comments come after a review of the death of two-year-old Keanu Williams was published
Sir Michael said: ‘It is an absolute disgrace and government needs to look at this with real urgency.
'Why is it that nearly a third of children in the city live in households on low incomes?
‘Why is it that infant mortality is almost twice the national average, worse than in Cuba and on a par with Latvia and Chile?
‘These are shocking statistics and a national disgrace. They are a testament to failure of corporate governance on a grand scale.
'What is shocking is that this is the city council with responsibility for more children than any other, our second city, the largest unitary local authority in the country.
'This is a city that should be nipping at London’s heels for power, status and influence.’
'Sir Michael said children’s services had been undermined because one in three of the country’s departmental directors have either quit or been sacked in the past year – 50 out of the total of 152.
‘Incompetent and ineffective leadership must be addressed quickly,’ he added. ‘But where those in leadership positions have capacity and potential, this must be recognised and nurtured.’
The report found 86 of the 152 councils had children’s services that were ‘less than good’. The 20 judged inadequate were Barnsley, Bexley, Birmingham, Blackpool, Calderdale, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire East, Cumbria, Devon, Doncaster, Herefordshire, Isle of Wight, Kingston on Thames, Medway, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Rochdale, Sandwell, Slough and Somerset.
A spokesman for Birmingham council said: ‘This is a long-standing problem which we acknowledge.
‘While we can only agree with the seriousness of what Sir Michael has said – indeed we have said it ourselves – we now need improvement rather than further diagnosis.’

wfcwRise of the me first mothers:
21 February 2014
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Changing nappies in restaurants.
Brazenly promoting their little darlings. Catherine Ostler identifies an infuriating new breed of parent
The new breed of parent: The one that uses their child as an excuse for everything from their child's behavior to theirs

wfcwChildren blackmailed by paedophiles

MouseHundreds of British children are being blackmailed into performing sex acts or harming themselves via webcam, by paedophiles who threaten to send images of the victim to their family. Teenagers and children as young as eight have been targeted and some driven to suicide by their abusers, said the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) centre.
nutshell Children blackmailed by paedophiles
20 September 2013
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Hundreds of British children are being blackmailed into performing sex acts or harming themselves via webcam, by paedophiles who threaten to send images of the victim to their family. Teenagers and children as young as eight have been targeted and some driven to suicide by their abusers, said the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) centre.
Paedophiles gain their trust by pretending to be the same age as the children they are targeting, and then lure them into carrying out sex acts online or sending sexual images.
They use the footage or images to blackmail their victims, and force them to perform more sex acts - treating them as their "slaves", Ceop said - by threatening to pass on images shared to the victims' family and friends. Seven young people have committed suicide as a result of being targeted, including 17-year-old Daniel Perry from Dunfermline in Fife. He died on 15 July after being tricked into thinking he was talking to an American girl online. Another seven young people seriously self-harmed, of whom six were from the UK.
In the past two years across 12 investigations, 424 children worldwide have been blackmailed in this way, of whom 184 were from the UK, Ceop said. Experts believe thousands of British children could have been targeted by abusers intending to trap victims.
Ceop Deputy Chief Executive Andy Baker said: "Children as young as eight are being targeted, being blackmailed, being extorted, being forced, being coerced, to perform slave-like acts through the internet, on webcam.
"It is sexual and degrading. Some are being forced to cut themselves and write on their naked bodies. There has been an increase in children self-harming, seriously self-harming, and seven children in the last couple of years have taken their lives."
He said that if a child commits suicide after this type of abuse, it could be treated as homicide.
Investigators believe that the paedophiles have geographically researched the areas where they wish to target victims. They say that British children may be targeted because of the accessibility of the English language and because foreign abusers believe the liberal nature of UK society makes it an easy target.
The NSPCC has set up a 24-hour dedicated helpline for anyone worried about this issue on 0800 328 0904. Calls can be made anonymously. Victims and their friends can also contact ChildLine in confidence on 0800 1111 or use the ClickCEOP button on the website to report any sexual abuse.
Operation K
The biggest case, code-named Operation K, involved 322 children who were blackmailed around the world, including 96 in the UK.
The victims, primarily boys aged 11 to 15, were targeted by a gang from an non-European country that Ceop would not name, and they are due to stand trial in the coming weeks. They used more than 40 fake online profiles and more than 40 different email addresses to lure in their hundreds of victims.

Barnardo'sBarnardo's chief executive Anne Marie Carrie: "What we are talking about is sinister, organised violation of children"
nutshell Domestic violence, childhood and self-defence
napacNational Association for People Abused in Childhood.
We provide support and information for people abused in childhood.
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Kingsley Michaels A young businessman who lost everything after being falsely accused of sexual assault has finally cleared his name.
14th May 2013
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Kingsley Michaels was cleared of assaulting a 22-year-old woman from Walthamstow at Snaresbrook Crown Court last week.
It took the jury just five minutes to reach its decision to reject the claim that he had been a cab driver who had assaulted the woman while driving her home following a night out in September 2012.
The accusation took its toll – the mothers of his three children blocked him from seeing them, while his friends cut all ties from him.  Clients stopped using his business, Sika Academy, which gets young people into sport as a diversion from street crime, and the venture fell to its knees, the 62 staff quitting, forcing Mr Michaels to close the offices in Hackney.
He said: “I want to continue in this line of working, helping young people. It’s my dream."
TwokidsOver-protected children 'more likely to be bullied'
26 April 2013
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Professor Dieter Wolke said everyone looked at schools, but his study says bullying really starts at home.
The University of Warwick-based psychology professor said he was expecting to find that children with the harshest parents were most likely to become prey to bullies.
But he said he was somewhat surprised to discover that children with over-protective parents were also at an increased risk of bullying. Prof Wolke said: "Parenting that includes clear rules about behaviour while being supportive and emotionally warm is most likely to prevent victimisation The study was published in the journal of Child Abuse and Neglect.
ChildSelf-harm: Childline reports calls relating to five-year-olds
Charity ChildLine has taken calls about self-harm relating to children as young as five, its manager in Wales says.
RefugeRefuge's network of safe houses
provides emergency accommodation for women and children when they are most in need.We work hard to get the message across that domestic violence must not be tolerated.
BBC Thousands of children are sexually abused by gangs and groups in England each year, according to a report.
The Office of Children's Commissioner study says there were 2,409 victims in the 14 months to October 2011, but the true number is likely to be far higher. more ..
BBC'There is no real care involved'
-BBC report
18 December 2012
A report on the care system in England and Wales has highlighted failings in support for some of its most vulnerable children, the 3,000 or so supervised by youth offending teams after being in trouble with the law
"The provision of care I received ...was shockingly low." more ...
BBCBarnardo's concern over child sex trafficking rise
13 January 2013
The UK has seen an "alarming" 22% year-on-year rise in children being sexually exploited, the charity Barnardo's says. Also see:
RefugeWarning signs
RefugeWhat shall I do?
RefugeWhat we do
Cyber bullying Not enough done to tackle cyberbullying, warns NSPCC
John Grounds, director at the NSPCC: "The thing about cyberbullying is that it doesn't stop at the school gates. It follows you home, it follows you over the weekend, it doesn't leave you alone." more ...
BBCCare system fails young offenders -BBC report
18 December 2012
Children in care in England and Wales who have been in trouble with the law are being failed by youth offending teams, says an inspection report. The Inspectorate of Probation raised concerns about children placed far from home, and some youth offending team staff who thought little about the emotional impact of being in care. more ...
BBCPlans to build a new super prison with 2,000 places.
10 January 2013
It is set to be around 25% bigger than the existing largest facility. Britain's biggest prison would be in either London, north-west England or north Wales and a feasibility study is to begin. Seven prisons are to close and two more will be partially shut in England. more ...
Domestic violenceMore than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals
5 September 2010
Campaign group Parity claims assaults by wives and girlfriends are often ignored by police and media. more ...
ParityParity - Equal Rights for UK Men and Women
Domestic violence, the male perspective. read ... pdf
WFGuardianAt least 2,000 domestic violence cases in Waltham Forest last year
23rd November 2012
The figures have been released ahead of 'White Ribbon Day' this Sunday (November 25),
The campaign urges men to wear white ribbons as a pledge not to commit, condone or remain silent about domestic violence.
It estimates one in four women will experience it during some point in their lives. read ...
WF GuardianSelf-defence classes for women in Chingford
28th November 2012
Women are invited to learn self-defence techniques used by the police and armed forces.
Participants' first class at St Peter and St Paul Vestry Hall in The Green, Chingford, is free to attend and participants can also learn how to avoid conflict and self-control. more ...
WFGuardianDozens of people in Waltham Forest arrested in domestic violence crackdown
29th November 2012
Waltham Forest police have confirmed 32 people have been taken into custody out of more than 320 arrests across the capital. It comes in the wake of the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women at the weekend.
In support of the awareness-raising event, Waltham Forest Council revealed last week that Victim Support staff in the borough had over 2,000 cases of domestic violence reported to them in 2011.
However the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said it believes the number of incidents in London to be far higher, with many cases going unreported to the authorities.
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The opinion site... where we tell it as it really is
Discover the hidden agenda behind UK criminal laws and government policies .

LawJudges rule CRB checks 'incompatible' with Human Rights Act
Blanket criminal records checks are not "compatible" with a key part of the Human Rights Act, the Court of Appeal has concluded.

  Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (previously CRB checks) - read ..

childChild-on-child abuse shocking, children's commissioner report says
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A victim of abuse told the BBC's Michael Buchanan: "You'll never get those years back"
"Shocking" sexual violence is being carried out by children against other children as young as 11, according to an official report.
storkAlmost two thirds of babies born in Waltham Forest have mothers who were not born in the UK.
30th August 2013
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A total of 63.5 per cent of mothers who gave birth in Waltham Forest in 2011 were born abroad, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.#
The borough has a higher rate than the London average, with 57.4 per cent of mothers in the capital born abroad. The national average is 25.9 per cent.
hiv National AIDS Trust: One in 180 people in Waltham Forest has HIV compared to one in 275 in 2002. The national average is one in 650 people. Waltham Forest has one of highest ratio of infections in UK
24th April 2013
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Waltham Forest Council has been urged to consult local charities and those living with HIV after it was revealed to have one of the highest prevalences of people living with the disease in Britain.
National AIDS Trust (NAT) is calling for the authority to prioritise HIV and AIDS prevention after the government handed more control to councils over public health budgets this month.
The council has been allocated £11.2 million to spend by the government, but the charity claims none of that will be ringfenced to tackle the disease.
A spokeswoman said the council must not only ringfence funding, but work with local charities like Positive East to tackle the problem.
She said: “They should work with people already working within the borough with those living with HIV and find out what their recommendations are, as well as talking to people themselves with HIV.
“They could get a lot of useful advice from them.”
According to NAT figures, one in 180 people in Waltham Forest has HIV compared to one in 275 in 2002.
The national average is one in 650 people.



Misandry is the hatred of men. The word comes from misos (Greek μῖσος, "hatred") + andras (Greek ἄνδρας, "man").
An idea related to misandry is androphobia, the fear of men, but not necessarily the hatred of them. "Man-bashing" can be considered a form of misandry.