The number of inspections by the social care regul

first_imgThe number of inspections by the social care regulator that are cancelled or rescheduled every month has risen by more than 360 per cent in just one year, the watchdog’s own figures have revealed.The figures – revealed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a freedom of information request by Disability News Service (DNS) – show that 25 inspections of adult social care services were cancelled in April 2015, but that this shot up to 103 in April 2016.The figures also show the number of inspections that had to be rescheduled rose from 25 in April 2015 to 130 in April 2016.The freedom of information request was originally submitted by DNS in an attempt to discover the impact of changes to CQC’s troubled Experts by Experience (EbE) programme, in which people with experience of using services accompany CQC inspectors on their inspection visits of health and care services.The EbE programme was hit by criticism after three of four new contracts to run the programme were awarded to Remploy, the formerly government-owned disability employment business which is now mostly owned by the scandal-hit US company Maximus.In February, DNS reported that the decision to hand the three contracts to Remploy/Maximus had led to confusion, chaos and a stream of resignations, with some Experts even being told to print their own ID badges.Experts had previously been paid more than £17 an hour to take part in CQC inspections, but many were furious when they discovered Remploy planned to cut their pay to just £8.25 per hour (or £9.40 in London), although CQC later agreed to subsidise these wages for existing Experts for the first six months of the Remploy contracts.The new figures released to DNS show that inspections that were cancelled or rescheduled as a result of “insufficient non-CQC resources” (which includes those where there problems with securing Experts to take part in inspections) rose from six in July 2015 (when CQC began to collect the figures) to 26 in April 2016, an increase of more than 330 per cent.One Expert said the figures were “embarrassing”, but he said they did not surprise him because he was currently having more inspections cancelled by Remploy than those that went ahead.He said: “The inspectors [I speak to] are all saying the same thing: there are not any Experts available. That is what they are being told by Remploy.“Quite a lot of this I suspect is because of Remploy’s chaotic handling of the contract.”He said he had real concerns about the impact of so many cancelled inspections on CQC’s ability to root out abuse and other poor practice in care homes, community-based social care services and home care agencies.He said he believed that the inspection programme was “woefully and dangerously underfunded”, while inspectors were “dropping like flies because they are way too over-worked”.A CQC spokesman refused to say whether the increase in cancellations and rescheduled inspections due to “insufficient non-CQC resources” was connected with the decision to hand the contracts to Remploy/Maximus and the subsequent reported chaos within the EbE programme.And he refused to say whether the overall cancellation and rescheduling figures were due to funding problems within the regulator.But he said it was “clear that the majority of our inspections are able to go ahead, as planned”.He said: “When we do have to make arrangements to reschedule planned inspections of adult social care services, there are many possible reasons behind this. “For example, in adult social care these include urgent inspections or enforcement activity being required elsewhere; changes to the provider’s service, such as closure or relocation; and changes needed due to sickness, annual leave and other personal circumstances.“When making these decisions, we always prioritise our activities according to where we have the greatest concerns as this is in the best interests of people who are receiving care.”But he refused to explain why the number of cancellations and rescheduled inspections had risen by more than 360 per cent in just one year.He added: “The Care Quality Commission continues to have formal meetings with suppliers of the new Experts by Experience services which began in February 2016 on a monthly basis and we will continue to closely monitor their progress in helping us deliver our programme, which will significantly expand the number of Experts by Experience that we involve on inspections.“Our commitment to inspect every adult social care service that was registered on or before 1 October 2014 at least once using our current regulatory approach by the end of March 2017 remains and we are on track to do so.”last_img read more

London Breeds evolving position on Tasers

first_imgBillOng Hing is shocked. Yes, pun intended. But he’s not surprised. The veteran immigration and social justice attorney has turned out to be one of the Police Commission’s most skeptical members when it comes to arming San Francisco’s finest with Tasers. But, on the night of his confirmation by the Board of Supervisors in 2016, that was apparently in doubt. To London Breed at least. She was against them. Now she’s for them. But a police union-backed ballot initiative may render her measured stance meaningless. The board president chided him for seemingly not being anti-Taser enough. “The conversation around Tasers and [your] expressed interest in seeing the possibility of Tasers — you know, again, that surprised me,” a disappointed Breed told Hing before going on to support his affirmed anti-Taser challenger for the position. Hing was confused. “I don’t think I endorsed Tasers,” he responded to Breed, explaining that, in prior testimony, he’d outlined acceptable hypothetical situations for Taser use, even while opposing their adoption — a position Breed forced him to  state unambiguously (“Do you support them or oppose them?” “I am opposed to them.”). That’s the position Breed asked Hing to define. That’s the position she expressed, in print, in subsequent months. (“We’re going to put another tool in our officers’ hands? It’s not a good thing to do.”) But when Hing and others opened up the newspaper on Monday, they discovered it’s not the position that defines Breed now. In a shift distinguishing her from so-called progressive opponents for mayor — and her own recent positions — Breed expressed support for arming our police with Tasers, via an essay on Medium. “If tasers — with thorough training and oversight — can stop one shooting, then I support tasers,” she wrote, adhering to the Police Commission’s current position of a gradual rolling out of the less-lethal electronic weapons. “I will fund their implementation. And NO ONE will be more vigilant than me in making sure they are implemented and used appropriately.” (Bold is Breed’s, not ours)Breed’s campaign spokeswoman, Tara Moriarty, tells us that the candidate’s position has “evolved.”   “The DOJ came back with 272 recommendations, one of which was for the SFPD to implement Tasers,” Breed e-mailed Mission Local. (The actual language in the report calls for the SFPD to make an “informed decision” and “strongly consider” using Tasers). “After extensive conversations with the San Francisco Police Commission, Chief [Bill] Scott and others in the Police Department, and community advocates, I support the DOJ’s recommendation.” Hing, who was forced by Breed to put his position on Tasers succinctly, now puts his position on Breed succinctly: “I am disappointed.” But, again, not surprised. Over the past several years, the public has grown more and more disgusted by police shootings and cavalier use of force — but, at the same time, Tasers as a panacea has become a more and more untenable storyline. Tasers are costly, dangerous and failure-prone. They do not work between one-third and one-half of the time when the trigger is pulled — period — and, even when they do work, are not necessarily conducive to chillier climates like San Francisco’s, where people dress in layers (numerous authorities have cast doubt on the notion that a Taser would have subdued Mario Woods, due to his light “puffy jacket” — which was hardly a Michelin Man-like getup). Tasers’ correct deployment also does not necessarily jibe with the SFPD’s adopted mantra of taking time and keeping one’s distance from an agitated suspect. To effectively use a Taser, an officer must place him or herself within a few meters of a potentially dangerous person, often out in the open, then fire a weapon with an extremely decent chance of not working. Retired Oakland cop Michael Leonesio, an expert in Taser policy, told us in August that the SFPD — which finds itself in a quagmire because of its longstanding inability to follow its extant rules and regulations — would be subject to many, many more of them if it adopts Tasers.  Regardless, they poll through the roof. A January Chamber of Commerce analysis found some 76 percent of San Franciscans favor putting Tasers in the hands of our police. Yet the denizens of the Fillmore and Western Addition, where Breed was raised and which she now represents, have not come out in droves to support Tasers. Quite the opposite. The same goes for folks in the Mission, Bayview and other remaining minority enclaves where residents figure to be the San Franciscans most likely to find themselves on the business end of this city’s future Taser policy. But people on the Westside are going to be pleased. Voters in the Sunset, the Richmond, the Marina — they’re going to be pumped. These are all the places a so-called moderate mayoral candidate like Breed needs to poll well. And yet, Tasers are far more popular than any mayoral candidate. And, come June, they’re on the ballot, too. PuttingTasers in the holsters of San Francisco police officers has long been a white whale and raison d’être for this city’s bellicose police union. Unhappy with the gradual rollout agreed to by the Police Commission, the Police Officers Association (POA) went the signature-gathering route and will, this June, let the voters decide whether to arm the SFPD by year’s end. If the Chamber poll is to be believed — along with every other poll undertaken in this city, ever — it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen. “I think the POA measure will pass,” says former supervisor David Campos, who is also a former police commissioner. “That’s why London can do this.” In other words, she can offer support for the Police Commission’s methodical, logical, split-the-baby approach, which will appeal to this city’s more moderate voters (most voters, actually, and certainly most of the ones inclined to vote for Breed) — despite the fact the Police Officers Association proposition is positioned for an easy victory, relegating that nuanced approach on Tasers to the dustbin. The POA ballot measure figures to supplant not only the civilian authority of the Police Commission but department head reviews from the chief of police. It would not appear to subject officers firing off Tasers to the department’s established use-of-force protocols, and has loose language determining exactly when an officer can use a Taser. What’s more, the measure would lock in funding for Tasers — millions of dollars a year — as a guaranteed set-aside. “The DOJ says we need more oversight, not less. But that’s not what the ballot measure says,” notes Petra DeJesus, one of the Police Commission’s most pronounced Taser skeptics. The POA measure, continues Hing, “leaves a lot of discretion to the officer,” when determining acceptable situations in which to use a Taser. “That’s a bad idea. This ballot initiative is dangerous. It sets up use of Tasers improperly — even beyond what the manufacturer suggests.” But, again, don’t expect that to matter much to the voters. “If I become mayor,” Breed wrote us, “I will be ready to work with the POA, the Police Commission, officers and the community to ensure that tasters are implemented with robust oversight and training.” This ballot measure, however, would reframe the parameters of that negotiation to ones dictated by the POA, a longtime, zealous advocate for Tasers, and an equally zealous opponent of the department’s revamping of its antiquated use-of-force policies. “I have not taken a position on the POA-backed taser measure,” Breed confirmed.  Hmm. Shocking. Tags: Elections • Mayor Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%last_img read more

LUKE Walsh says last seasons heavy loss in Catala

first_imgLUKE Walsh says last season’s heavy loss in Catalan will be in the players’ minds when they face the Dragons on Saturday – but only to sharpen their minds on the task in hand.The scrum half is set to play his fifth game since returning from injury and knows Saints will have to play well to get the win.“It’s always difficult playing them over there – I remember last year we went over and got touched up,” he said. “We have to play really well to beat them.“I’ve played a fair bit of footy against the likes of Scott Dureau, Todd Carney and Willie Tonga and we will have to be on our game.“Willie was outstanding last week and Scottie is a smart player. Todd has the whole lot and if he plays our defence has to be spot on.”Saints’ record in Perpignan is pretty good.Before last season’s loss they’d won five straight in France – and they head into the clash on the back of three wins in their last four Super League matches.Luke continued: “We didn’t play our best against Widnes but got a good win. The performance against Wakefield was much better and we can take a fair bit of confidence from that.“We scored some great tries and it was good to have Mark Percival back in the side. Hopefully this week we can put another performance in.”Luke won the man of the match award for his display in the 44-4 win over Wakefield.He bagged a brace and had a hand in the majority of Saints’ other seven tries.“It’s great to be back; it’s been a long time and I’m enjoying it. I thought it would be hard for me to pick it back up but the boys have made it quite easy for me.“Keiron has helped too with easing me back into the side and starting against Widnes and then Wakefield really stepped up my game.“I know there is still more work to do.”last_img read more

West Nile Virus found in New Hanover County

first_img00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not found spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Recent testing of the local mosquito pools confirmed one positive sample of West Nile Virus (WNV) in New Hanover County. The county said public should not be alarmed, but should be vigilant in protecting themselves from mosquito bites.New Hanover County Health Department’s Vector Control monitors sites throughout the county, including coastal areas, for mosquito production and helps to control the mosquito population in the county through active surveillance, community education, and mosquito spraying.- Advertisement – “Human incidence of West Nile Virus is rare, but remains a dangerous disease. There is no cure and no vaccine available for people, so citizens should protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites,” says New Hanover County Health Director Phillip Tarte. “Minimize unprotected outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, the times during the day when mosquito activity peaks. Additional protective measures include applying insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. New Hanover County Health Department will continue proactive surveillance and control activities to identify mosquito-borne illnesses in an effort to protect our citizens and visitors of the county.”The young, elderly, and immunocompromised populations are at greatest risk, and WNV can result in death. There are usually no symptoms in most people who become infected with WNV. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.Most people with this type of WNV disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.Related Article: Burgaw to resume mosquito spraying in coming weeksBelow are tips to help eliminate mosquito breeding and reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease:Remove any containers that can hold water, even a small amount, including saucers under flower pots. Check tarps, buckets, toys, trash cans, under decks, wheel barrels, kayaks/canoes, boats, pools, pipes, etc. for standing water and eliminate the potential for these items to hold water.Store out-of-service or un-mounted tires under cover to prevent the collection of any water.Change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least twice a week.Keep gutters clean and in good repair, and repair leaky outdoor faucets.When possible, drain any standing water on your property such as puddles and ditches that hold water for more than a four days after rain.Make sure rain barrels have tight-fitting screens or lids.Use screened windows and doors, and make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn.last_img read more

Carolina Beach offers site for residents to dump yard debris

first_imgCAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — In preparation for the approaching storm, the town of Carolina Beach is opening up a site for residents to drop off their yard debris.Property owners will be able to dump vegetable and yard debris starting at 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.- Advertisement – It can be taken behind the Old Town Garage at 304 Dow Road.Debris should only be dumped at the far southwest corner of the fenced in area as indicated on the map.It will be open Monday from 1 p.m. until 5, then Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.last_img

Mom Cops need better mental health training after sons fight with officers

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington mother says law enforcement needs more training to understand how to better deal with mentally ill people.She is speaking out after officers got into a fight with her son Tuesday night and it was all caught on camera. This is a story that’s first on WWAY.- Advertisement – Barbara Farmer filed paperwork Tuesday to have her son committed for a mental evaluation.When police arrived tried to take him in to custody, she says he started to run, so officers took him down.“I told them, ‘Go ahead. Get him.’ I was right there. But I didn’t know that they were going to run behind him and throw him on the ground real hard like he did,” said Barbara Farmer.Related Article: Man accused of trying to kill uncle with macheteWilmington Police and New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputies are seen holding 35-year-old Hiram Farmer down on the ground.In the video, you can see a deputy apparently punching farmer several times.His mother and investigators say Wilmington Police officer tased Farmer, who they say bit an officer on the arm.“They’re scared that everybody’s out to get them. And they’re going to retaliate. They’re going to try to defend themselves because they don’t know what’s going on in their head,” said Farmer.Farmer says her son is bipolar and schizophrenic, and was off his medication during a two-year stay in jail that ended in September. Farmer’s mother says she is upset with how officers handled the situation because she says police know her son struggles with mental illness.“They know how to talk to him,” Farmer said. “They would’ve talked to Hiram. All he would’ve done as got in the car with them and go to the hospital with them because they know him. They know that he has mental issues. They know how to talk with him. They know how to relate with him, but these two officers, they’re very aggressive.”Farmer wants better training on handling people with mental illness.“De-escalation is our ultimate goal. And compliance is our goal. We would much rather someone go voluntarily with us or to the hospital, or to seek help. And there are times where that’s just not possible,” said Wilmington Police Captain Rodney Dawson.Dawson says nearly 100 Wilmington Police officers have gone through a 40-hour crisis intervention team training.“And I think any time that you can empathize with whom you’re negotiating with or whom you’re dealing with, it’s going to work out better that you can understand, slightly, what they may be going through,” New Hanover County Sheriff’s Spokesman Lieutenant Jerry Brewer.All patrol and jail deputies in New Hanover County also go through the training.Brewer says many of them know Hiram Farmer, who has been arrested 48 times since 2000.Farmer says her son can be violent during his arrests.“They don’t know how to approach him and say, ‘Calm down. We’re going to take you to the hospital to be evaluated,’” said Farmer.Farmer says she wants to work with law enforcement to get her son the help he needs.WPD and the sheriff’s office say they will do internal reviews to see if officers violated any policies.The sheriff’s office says the deputy who was bitten is okay.last_img read more

Victims identified in double murder and stabbing

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office has released the identity of the victims stabbed at a home in Shallotte on Wednesday.Theresa Lee Rowell, 55, Dennis Edmund Rowell, 66, and Irene Rowell, 19 were stabbed at their home on Iveystone Court. Theresa Rowell was found dead inside the home, Dennis and Irene Rowell were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.- Advertisement – Dennis Rowell died at the hospital.According to 911 records, Irene Rowell called for help and told dispatchers she woke up to her parents being stabbed.She also told 911 she was stabbed ‘everywhere.’Related Article: All cars welcome at show to raise money for Special OlympicsShe identified the attacker at Torrence Helms, a man she called a family friend.Brunswick County deputies spotted the car matching the suspect’s description and began a chase. After the sheriff’s office performed a pit maneuver, the suspect crashed.Helms was taken to the hospital and later arrested.He made his first appearance in court Thursday morning, and is being held without bond.Helms’ next court appearance is February 1.Helms faces two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, as well as other charges.last_img read more

Watch Trumps Yemen veto tragically missed opportunity – Schembri

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint The Norwegian Refugee Council’s Middle East Media Adviser, has described the US President’s decision to veto an end to military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, ‘a tragically missed opportunity.’Karl Schembri told that this would have been a chance for the US President to set an example, holding their ally in the region accountable for their attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.U.S. President Donald Trump walks from Marine One as he returns from Kansas City, Missouri, to the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts‘They are not doing that. What President Trump has done is condemn more Yemeni civilians to more death and suffering.’Schembri’s comments come after shortlived efforts by the US Congress to try and invoke what is known as the 1973 War Powers Resolution or ‘War Powers Act’. The resolution actively limits the President’s executive powers to use US military forces in a foreign conflict or intervention without the approval of Congress.The Act says that the President must formally notify Congress that within 48 hours, US forces will be deployed to engage in military hostilities on foreign soil. The President would have up to 60 days, roughly two months to carry out the objectives. If Congress do not authorize the action, the President has to repatriate US forces within another 30 days, 90 days in total if the operation isn’t sanctioned.Attacks on civiliansSchembri says that had the President agreed, it wouldn’t mean an end to the conflict but it would be an important step in coming to terms with the suffering which the civilian population has been enduring for the past 5 years of the conflict and the further threat of civilian attacks and casualties.Although both sides of the conflict, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) and the Saudi-led coalition are accused of attacking civilians, there is evidence of schools and hospitals, even displacement camps, being attacked using US made munitions heavily supplied to the Saudi-led coalition.Credit: Norwegian Refugee Council‘This is US taxapers money being used here. It means there has to be an account of how it’s being used. These are being used to attack schools and hospitals. These are war crimes. Instead the Saudi-led coalition is getting away with murder.  I even know of there being attacks on funerals and wedding halls. This cannot go on. President Trump had an opportunity to move towards accountability and towards protection of civilians. Instead, he squandered this by vetoing the resolution,’ Schembri said.Dying silentlyWhen asked about the current situation on the ground, Schembri explains that Yemen is host to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in which 24 million people are in need of aid.The country is understood to be crippled both politically and economically linked in part to a blockade of Yemen’s air and sea ports, preventing commercial items and aid distribution to reach its people. Instead, they are reliant on what is allowed to enter via the Saudi-led coalition.Schembri explains that the fluctuation of the fighting also means that a number of those who have fled their homes, have actually been internally displaced multiple times from what were initially safe displacement camps or more peaceful parts of the country.Credit: Norwegian Refugee CouncilThen there are the millions who have hit the poverty line. Schembri says that as the crisis worsens, so to the number of people impacted increases.‘There are public servants; nurses, doctors, teachers, people working with the government, who have not been paid their salaries. They continue to report to work because they feel its important to continue to keep doing their work. But it means they cannot aford to buy meals for their famiies … Millions of people are starving. There are children that are so malnourished you can’t tell if they will survive, many die silent and cruel deaths,’ Schembri adds.What have I done to deserve this?Majed Al WahidiCredit: Norwegian Refugee CouncilConcluding our interview, Schembri talks about the father of one of the families affected by the fighting, Majed Al Wahidi.One night in November 2018 his house was hit by a tank shell. The explosion killed four of his six daughters and serious injured the other two who are understood to still be recovering in hospital.Schembri explains that when he spoke with the school teacher, Majed asked him ‘What have I done to deserve this? I try to teach these children how to co-exist.’‘These are people who have no say in what is happening politically or militarily. They are losing their families in the middle of the night and they end up baring the brunt of this brutal horrific war.’center_img WhatsApplast_img read more

Berlusconi says ready for EU vote after big fright of emergency surgery

first_imgFormer Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi leaves the San Raffaele hospital after undergoing bowel treatment, in Milan, Italy May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Daniele MascoloFormer Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi leaves the San Raffaele hospital after undergoing bowel treatment, in Milan, Italy May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo Four-time Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, 82, said on Monday he was ready to resume all electoral engagements after undergoing emergency surgery last week for a bowel obstruction that made him fear for his life.“I’m fine, I got a big fright. A number of things that happened made me worry I was at the end of my ride, but then I had a formidable recovery,” Berlusconi told reporters as he was discharged from Milan’s San Raffaele hospital.The media tycoon and leader of the conservative Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party was taken to hospital on April 30 and operated on the same day.Berlusconi, who was forced to step down as prime minister in 2011 at the height of the euro zone crisis, is running in this month’s European parliament election after the lifting of a ban that prevented him from holding office due to a tax fraud conviction. WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img SharePrintlast_img read more