WAGWill we end up with 3 different systems for England, Wales and Scotland? - Legislation to provide fairness & consistency in charging by local authorities for social care provided in the community has been approved.  Royal Assent has been granted for the Social Care Charges (Wales) Measure, which will allow the Welsh Assembly Government to exercise greater control over the financial assessments councils make to calculate charges for services (such as home care, day care and support for carers).

Research undertaken for WAG has shown that there is wide variation in the charges made by local authorities for these services and disparity in the rules used by them in assessing a person’s financial means to pay. 

One of the major components of this First Steps Package is the introduction of a maximum weekly charge of £50 for all of the services a person receives irrespective of where they live in Wales.  Work will now commence in consultation with stakeholders to draw up the regulations & guidance required to introduce the First Steps Package from April 2011.
Press release ~ WAG: Social Services and Social Care ~ WAG: Charging for Social Services ~ Social Care Charges (Wales) Measure ~ Paying for Care in Wales: Green Paper consultation on options for reform ~ Building a Society for All Ages ~ NHS – Over 60s ~ British Geriatrics Society (BGS) ~ Royal Commission on Long Term Care for the Elderly ~ DH – Older People’s Services ~ Financial care models in Scotland and the UK ~ Future demand for long-term care in the UK: A summary of projections of long-term care finance for older people to 2051 ~ DH – Integrated Care Pilots  ~ BBC: Social care thresholds - council breakdown ~ Future Demand for Social Care, 2005 To 2041: Projections of Demand for Social Care for Older People in England ~ JRF: Promoting social well-being in extra care housing ~ Extra care Housing ~  Elderly Accommodation Counsel ~ The needs and resources of older people ~ Latest Labour proposal for England

ScotGovAffordable care in one’s home - Plans to use technology to help increasing numbers of older people to live at home for longer are being advanced with a £4m investment in telecare across Scotland. Telecare is delivered by electronic devices in people's homes that support them to live independently when previously they may have needed hospital or residential care.

Public Health Minister, Shona Robison, said:  "We expect our older population to rise by 62% over the next 2 decades…………….. More than 25,000 older Scots have already benefited from telecare as part of £16 million invested since 2006.  This extra £4 million investment means we - and our NHS and council partners - can help a further 13,000 people to receive telecare.  As well as helping older people retain their independence at home, that will also help avoid an estimated 21,000 more hospital admission days.

Telecare can include:
* Motion sensors to detect when someone has not moved for some time & may have fallen
* Home safety devices such as fire, flood & intruder alarms linked to a staffed 24-hour response service
* Emergency pendants to summon help in a crisis
* Electronic reminder alerts to take medication, with carousel dispensers
* Vibrating 'rumble' pillows for people who are hard of hearing
Press release ~ ScotGov: Reshaping care for older people ~ ScotGov eHealth programme ~ Telecare in Scotland ~ ICT & Ageing – European Study on Users, Markets and Technologies ~ ScotGov - NHSScotland ~ All Our Futures: Planning for a Scotland with an Ageing Population – Summary and Action Plan ~ All Our Futures – Volume Two ~ Closed consultation document ~ Sharing Experience - Scotland's Ageing Population ~ Scottish Executive – Older people ~ Future Forum: 'Growing Older and Wiser Together: A Futures View on Positive Ageing' ~ Telecare – JIT (Joint Improvement Team) ~ Telecare-related links

DCSF:  Technology lets e-bullies do it 24/7 - Schools Minister, Vernon Coaker, has announced that DCSF will continue its investment in Beatbullying's CyberMentors programme, with a further £1m.  The service has engaged over 400,000 young people who were looking for support & advice from people their own age to cope with bullying.

CyberMentors.org.uk is a safe, social networking site providing information & support for young people being bullied or cyber bullied.  Young people (aged 11-25) are trained as CyberMentors, in schools & online, so that they can offer support to their peers.

Encapsulated by cutting edge technology, it is a safe website where young people can turn to other young people for help & advice. CyberMentors are also supported by trained counsellors, available online if needed. 
Press release ~ CyberMentors ~ Beatbullying ~ Guidance for schools on preventing and responding to sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying - Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools ~ Teachernet: Tackling school bullying ~ Bullying - Don’t Suffer in Silence ~ The characteristics of Bullying Victims in Schools ~ Anti-Bullying Alliance – AB Week ~ Online leaflet for parents ‘Keep an eye on it’ ~ Parentline Plus – Be Someone to Tell ~ Directgov: Dealing with bullying ~ Let's fight it together - What we can all do to prevent cyberbullying ~ Cyberbullying: Supporting School Staff ~ Guidance for local authorities ~ Training resources ~ In play and leisure ~ In youth activities ~ In children’s homes ~ In extended services ~ In further education colleges ~ On journeys ~ Childnet's Digizen website ~ Steer report on behaviour and DCSF responseTeachers’ guidance on their powers and rights ~ Child internet safety information ~ Safer Internet Programme: Empowering and Protecting Children Online ~ UK Council for Child Internet Safety's (UKCCIS) ~ Behaviour and Attendance Partnership Guidance

DCSFA change from the days of ‘Spare the Rod, spoil the Child! - The Government has announced its intention to ban physical punishment of children in any form of tuition or care outside of the family following recommendations from the Chief Adviser on Child Safety, Sir Roger Singleton.

Current legislation means that teachers in schools are banned from using any form of physical punishment, but those who tutor outside of school, including in part-time educational & learning settings and evening & weekend faith schools, are not covered by the ban.

In 2009, the Government worked with a range of charities & voluntary organisations to produce a guide entitled – Being a Parent in the Real World - which aims to help parents avoid smacking as a form of discipline.
Press release ~ Physical punishment: improving consistency and protection ~ General public views of in loco parentis smacking: Singleton review of the reasonable punishment defence ~ Being a Parent in the Real World ~ DCSF: Safeguarding Children ~ NSPCC - Physical punishment of children ~ Spare the Rod, spoil the Child!

WAG:  Keeping Wales moving - The Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, has launched the final version of the National Transport Plan, which sets out how he will deliver the One Wales vision of a modern & sustainable transport system for Wales.

The aim of the plan is to ensure a system of transport fit for the 21st century based on 3 key principles, to:
* meet the demand for enhanced mobility which will enable economic growth & improve the quality of life they seek for the people of Wales
* put transport onto a more sustainable & less carbon-intensive path
* use transport funding more effectively in light of increased pressures on public finances
Press release ~ National Transport Plan ~ WAG: Transport ~ Traveline Cymru ~ Wales Transport Research Centre (WTRC) ~ WAG: Concessionary Bus Travel ~ WAG: Air services across Wales ~ North south air link to continue for four more years ~ WAG: Roads ~ Major investment in Regional Transport Plans ~ Regional Transport Plan guidance ~ Welsh Transport Planning and Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG) ~ The Wales Freight Strategy ~ WAG: Integrated Transport

DefraProtect in the present or lose our ‘future’ - Defra has published the Government strategy to deliver a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) across the UK, which will be vital to protect many species of sea life, from the rare & threatened to the more common, as well as helping ensure our seas & oceans remain healthy and clean.

The strategy sets out that all UK Governments, agencies and those with an interest in protecting our seas are committed to delivering a coherent network of MPAs to meet international, EU and national commitments contained in the Marine and Coastal Access Act.
Press release ~ Defra: Marine protected areas ~ Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 ~ UK Marine Science Strategy (VLF 3Mb) ~ Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC) ~ House of Commons Select Committee Report: Investigating the Oceans ~ 50 key facts about seas and oceans ~ NE – Marine Protected areas ~ Google Earth (free) ~ Ocean in Google Earth ~ Protect Planet Ocean ~ The Management of Natural Coastal Carbon Sinks ~ Making the most of Scotland's seas: turning our marine vision into reality

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