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15 Oct

Dance lessons for the lonely – on the NHS

GPs in England are being given permission to prescribe patients “social” activities, such as dance classes, to tackle loneliness.

The strategy, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, will also see postal delivery workers checking in on isolated people during their rounds.

The government says about 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in over a month.

And many GPs see between one and five people a day suffering with loneliness.

15 Oct

Foreign Office left disoriented and demoralised by Brexit, say diplomats

The UK’s closest diplomatic allies have “checked the UK into the Priory” recovery clinic, according to a scathing assessment of the declining influence of the UK Foreign Office.

In a damning assessment in Prospect magazine, diplomats speaking on and off the record said the Foreign Office had been left disoriented and demoralised by Brexit and the successive establishment of rival departments including the Department for International Development, the trade department and the Brexit department.

15 Oct

Combat loneliness with ‘social prescribing’, says Theresa May

GPs in England will be able to refer people to take part in social activities such as cookery classes, walking clubs and art groups to combat loneliness, the prime minister has said.

Instead of offering medication, doctors will be encouraged to use “social prescribing” to refer lonely patients to activities that could help tackle feelings of isolation.

15 Oct

Thousands fleeing domestic violence face squalid housing

Thousands of vulnerable survivors of domestic violence in England are being housed in dirty and unsuitable accommodation, including dwellings overrun with mice and mould, holes in the floor and no electricity.

Housing lawyers and charities said a lack of social housing and poor council decisions meant women were increasingly being put in temporary accommodation that was not fit for purpose, putting them at risk of returning to the perpetrators of abuse.

15 Oct

Happy Living Wage Anniversary!

A year has passed since you last confirmed your commitment to the Living Wage movement.

We are the organisation at the heart of the independent movement of businesses and people that campaign for the idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We celebrate and recognise the leadership of responsible employers who choose to go further and pay a real Living Wage based on the cost of living, not just the government minimum.

Thank you for being part of the Living Wage movement, who together have secured pay rises for over 150,000 people.
2 Oct

Physical restraint used on 50% more NHS patients with learning disabilities

Growing numbers of patients with learning disabilities are being physically restrained in mental health units, despite ministers telling NHS trusts to use such techniques less often.

Staff in NHS mental health hospitals deployed restraint on such patients 22,000 times last year, almost 50% more than the 15,000 occasions in 2016, BBC research has found.

1 Oct

Care workers cut short visits to elderly as workload soars

Social care workers are cutting short visits to frail elderly people, or working unpaid overtime to keep up with huge workloads, a new report finds.

Some are paid as little as £5 an hour for helping Britain’s growing number of older people to live at home – assisting with eating, taking medication and getting out of bed. One in three earns less than the national minimum wage or national living wage because they are not paid for time spent travelling between clients.

1 Oct

Police super-database prompts Liberty warning on privacy

A new super-database being built for the police represents a “grave” risk to privacy, a leading human rights group has said.

Liberty claims the government is glossing over concerns that the database, the largest built for British law enforcement, threatens civil liberties. The group fears it gives massive power to the state at the expense of millions of Britons.

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