Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Buck-Passing for Political Reasons?

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Buck-Passing for Political Reasons?

Article excerpt

Your balanced reporting of measures aimed at reducing "bed-blocking" in hospitals through penalising local authorities in the event of their failure to provide social care for their discharged patients within 48 hours may be interpreted as buck-passing for political reasons.

In the end fines will have to be paid out of funding either provided by the Government or the local authority revenue.

The question this draconian legislation begs is whether the patients' welfare will be regarded as being paramount.

Only time will tell.

Despite never-ending financial difficulties faced by Newcastle City Council, its social services director deserves acclaim for lifting the standard of its performance, meriting an award of "excellent" status from a state of shambles which prevailed in 1998. For this the beneficiaries have been the elderly and the sick of Newcastle.

OM MIDHA,

Gosforth, Newcastle.

Annihilation of specialist provision

WHEN is the annihilation of specialist provision for those members of our society who require specialist services going to stop, I ask myself?

I read with disbelief and sadness, your article reporting the possible closure of Northern Counties School. (The Journal, January 13)

What will it take for LEAs, parents and policy makers to realise that specialist education, for those young people with complex difficulties, is vital for them, if they are to effectively progress in their personal development, future potential and everyday well being?

All children and young people are special, but there are some youngsters who need the continued support, specialist teaching and specialist establishment provision, that are continually being eroded and taken out of our education system.

Mainstream provision is already heavily saturated and weighed down with the continual testing of our young people - how are the already over-worked teachers to cope with these additional specialist requirements? Parents of special needs children need to think long and hard before making the decision to opt for mainstream education - in my view they need to look at the overall picture of their child - in the long term as opposed to the short term.

In a theoretical framework, and in an ideal world, integration may work, but I'm sorry to say that in my view we live in a far from ideal world, and to be honest I shall remain cynical of the moves for total integration until proven otherwise.

SUSAN SANDISON,

Allendale, Northumberland.

Inspiring moment at the road race

HOW much pleasure I received watching the Morpeth-Newcastle road race in its centenary year, having spent almost two hours in freezing, windy conditions watching sport at its best.

Athletes from far and wide, mainly club runners, proudly wearing their vests, running in extreme conditions. …

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