Grandparents Apart UK

Grandparents Apart UK
"Bringing Families Together"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Letter fron Nicola Sturgeon.

Deputy First Minister & Cabinet Secretary forHealth and WelibeingNicola Sturgeon MSP
T: 0845 774 1741E:

Mr Jimmy DeucharsGrandparents Apart UK22 AIness CrescentGLASGOW
G52 1PJ

Our ref; 2009/0021232. 18th July

Dear Mr Deuchars

Thank you for your e-mail of 26 May describing the potential of Grandparents Apart toprovide a support and counseling service for use in NHS mental health services. I am sorryfor the delay in responding.

The Scottish Government recognises the valuable contribution that psychological therapiescan make to improve the quality of life for people with a mental health problem, as part of thetreatment opti2"s available. That is why we have a specific commitment to increasing theavailability of evidence based psychological therapies for all ages in a range of settings,
and through a range of providers.

To achieve this objective, we are working closely with NHS Education for Scotland, NHSBoards, and their partners, to improve and increase the service capacity needed to deliverthis commitment and meet patients' needs better and sooner. A key focus of ourcommitment is the available evidence for psychological therapies in relation to differentconditions and patient groups and we have developed a tool for the NHS Boards to use inreviewing available evidence and in considering which psychological interventions might bestbe used to meet local need and demand,

We are also committed to working with our partners to providing appropriate care andtreatment to those who suffer from depression. This is supported by an ambitiousprogramme to put in place integrated care pathways for depression that meet the standardsestablished by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland; the commitment to increase access topsychological therapies; access to online and telephone-based cognitive behavior therapyand self-help for depression; promotion of physical activity as both a treatment for, and toreduce, the risk of developing depression; and our target of increasing the range of non-pharmacological responses to depression to reduce reliance on anti-depressant medication.

In terms of your own organisation developing a new service, you should contact your localHealth Board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, who will be able to advise you of theoptions and also the potential to apply for funding.

St Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG "---" Wv/ Q


Dear Mr Deuchars,

Thank you for your email of 22 July to the Department of Health about matters relating to childcare. I have been asked to reply.

As you will be aware, the provision of NHS and social services in Scotland are matters for the Scottish Parliament. As such, we have forwarded your correspondence to colleagues in the Scottish Parliament where the staff are better able to answer your concerns.
If you wish to write to them, the contact details are:
Scottish ParliamentThe Office of the First MinisterSt Andrew's HouseRegent RoadEdinburghEH1 3DG
Tel: 0131 556 8400

I hope this information is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Joanne MilesCustomer Service CentreDepartment of Health

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Grandparents are best for early detection of child abuse.

Guidance aims to spot child abuse

A watchdog has issued guidance to help healthcare workers spot early signs of child abuse to avoid another Baby P.

Experts say the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence advice could mean more referrals of children who may not be at risk.
But it will ensure more of the right children are referred early for protection from abuse and neglect.

Last year's 538,000 child referrals to social services is an underestimate of the numbers maltreated, they say.
Up to one in 10 children will suffer some form of maltreatment during their childhood, which includes neglect and emotional abuse as well as physical and sexual abuse.

But it can be difficult to spot when a child is at risk and what constitutes abuse.
The guidelines were in development long before the case of Baby Peter, who died in 2007 aged 17 months after suffering more than 50 separate injuries.

They give a summary of some of the signs to look for that should alert a healthcare worker that abuse might be occurring.

Warning signs
Unusual injuries without a suitable explanation, or a child who is consistently dressed in clothes or shoes that are inappropriate, tells the GP or other health worker to consider maltreatment and to keep a close eye, for example.


Some signs, such as bruising in the shape of a hand or a child who is persistently smelly and dirty or There are unexplained bruises on non-bony parts of the face or body, including buttocks
One or more unexplained fractures with no medical cause for fragile bones
Unusual sexualised behaviors in a child before puberty

A child is persistently smelly or dirty suffering persistent infestations such as scabies or head lice, are more suspect and should prompt referral to
A child who repeatedly scavenges, steals, hoards or hides food social care, says the guidance.

This guidance is also about identifying the parents who need more help to look after their children

Dr Danya Glaser, chair of the guideline development group

The authors say the advice is to protect children and not to punish parents.
Dr Danya Glaser, chair of the guideline development group and a consultant and child and adolescent psychiatrist at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: "Parenting is difficult, parents often do not intend to harm their children and this guidance is also about identifying the parents who need more help to look after their children."

Dr Sheila Shribman, the national clinical director of children, young people and maternity services, said: "Spotting the signs of child maltreatment and protecting vulnerable children is an important but often difficult challenge for healthcare professionals."

For example, a GP may be concerned that action may lead to more harm to the child or the relationship with the family.

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said GPs played a crucial role, as they were often the first port of call for children and their families.

Grandparents Apart UK have been saying for years that all the organisation for children only know of the abuse after it has happened “usually too late”

Who does all these guidlines any way.

Who saves more children from abuse and neglect than any other organisation yet are regarded as irrelevant persons by law in children’s lives.

Who does Woman’s Aid say can be well placed for early detection of abuse in the family.

Who does Children 1st say should have rights to information about children’s welfare for spotting abuse?

Who knows a family’s faults and weaknesses better than anyone else in the whole wide world?.

Who picks up the pieces when drugs or alcohol are involved and children are neglected?

Who can be your most valuable asset in child caring. And are available 24/7 when children are in crisis, abused or homeless?

Who are the most carers of children usually free or grossly underpaid?

!!!! Grandparents !!!!

Grandparents Apart UK
22 Alness crescent
Glasgow G52 1PJ
0141 882 5658

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dementia Time Bomb

Scientists warning of dementia timebomb

Earlier detection of Alzheimer’s would stem the growing number of people needing health and social care. Picture: TSPL

Published Date: 21 July 2009

THE UK is facing a "dementia timebomb" and must increase research funding urgently to stem the growing numbers who are developing the condition, experts have warned.

In an open letter, 31 of the country's leading scientists and experts have called on the government to end "years of underfunding" in dementia research.The amount that is devoted to studying conditions such as Alzheimer's disease needs to be tripled or the UK will "pay the price", it said.The letter says that within a generation the number of UK sufferers will double to 1.4 million, costing the economy £50 billion every year.Read Lawrence Whalley's analysis hereBy 2025, the total of those living with dementia is set to hit one million, seriously affecting the capacity of health and social care services to cope with the growing demands.Without increased investment in research, millions more people will die with dementia in the future, researchers have said. The country's top scientists are calling for the Westminster government to increase money for research into the condition to £96 million within five years.They said the
 £32m awarded by the government and Medical Research Council in 2007-8 was eight times less than that spent on cancer studies and amounts to about the same as the cost of building one mile of motorway.The figure is equivalent to just 53p per person on dementia research – compared with £1.52 in the United States.With the number of patients rising every week, the scientists have urged the government to act now, as a ministerial dementia research summit takes place in London today.In Scotland, about 67,000 people currently have dementia – a figure set to rise to 114,000 by 2031. The new campaign has been co-ordinated by the

Alzheimer's Research Trust, with backing from the Alzheimer's Society and the Parkinson's Disease Society.Among the scientists who have signed the letter are Professor Lawrence Whalley, from Aberdeen University, and Dr Karen Horsburgh, of Edinburgh University.The scientists said that for every pound spent on caring for people with dementia, a fraction of a penny was spent on research into the condition."Our key weakness is lack of funding, not lack of talent," they wrote."The government must use this summit to initiate a national dementia research strategy. Most importantly, it must commit to tripling its annual support for dementia research to £96m within five years.

"If the government squanders this opportunity, we will all pay the price."Scientists want to speed up research in areas such as new treatments, as well as ways of diagnosing dementia earlier and preventing it.Prof Whalley said: "I am appalled that research into Alzheimer's and related diseases, which affect 700,000 people in the UK, currently receives less than 3 per cent of government medical research funding. I strongly urge the government to increase funding for dementia research as a matter of urgency."Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said the UK had some of the world's leading dementia scientists and needed to take advantage of this with more money for research."If we don't act now on research, we will face a dementia timebomb," she said.Professor Julie Williams, the letter's lead author and chief scientific adviser to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, added: "Week after week British dementia scientists come a step closer to understanding what causes dementia, and how this might be translated into new treatments.

"The government has a great opportunity to use today's summit to formulate a national dementia research strategy, offering hope to the 700,000 people in the UK who live with dementia."Despite the current squeeze in public finances, upping our investment in dementia research would be prudent."If we can work out how to delay the onset of dementia by five years, we could halve the number of people who die with the condition."In 2007-8, the £32m spent on dementia research by the government and Medical Research Council was dwarfed by £248.5m spent on cancer research.Professor Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said: "Dementia costs the UK more than heart disease, stroke and cancer combined, but the government invests eight times less in dementia research than cancer."Significant breakthroughs are within our grasp, but without further investment millions more people will die.

"There are 700,000 people with dementia in the UK and this will rise to more than a million people in less than 20 years."The cost of dementia will increase from £17bn today to over £27bn by 2026."The campaign has the backing of author Sir Terry Pratchett, himself a dementia patient.Sir Terry, the patron of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: "There's only two ways it can go: researchers, with as much help you can give them, may come up with something that reduces the effects of this dreadful, inhuman disease, or we will have to face the consequences of our failure to prevent the final years of many of us being a long, bad dream."The strain on carers and their support is bad enough now; before very long the effects on the health service and society itself will be unbearable.

"The Scottish Government said it was already investing more in dementia research.A spokeswoman said: "It is vital that we improve support for people with dementia at the earliest possible stage, in areas such as early diagnosis, post-diagnostic support and information for carers, and workforce training – this is driving the development of our national Dementia Strategy for Scotland." In numbers700,000 people with dementia in the UK 1.4m people predicted to have dementia by 2037 £17bn cost of dementia a year to the UK economy 47% Scots know someone close to them with dementia £32.2m spent on dementia research in 2007-8 24.2m worldwide sufferers Funding for medical research Neurological (including dementia)£161mCancer £282mInfection £125m Cardiovascular £86m Mental Health £57m Inflammatory and Immune £76m Metabolic and Endocrine £42m Musculoskeletal £10mStroke £21mApproximate figures on research funded in the UK (government and medical research charities) during financial year 2004-5.What it is and who is affectedDEMENTIA is used to describe the serious deterioration of mental functions, such as memory, language and judgment.Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, but several other diseases can also cause it too.Alzheimer's accounts for about two-thirds of cases of dementia in the elderly.Other diseases that cause dementia are vascular dementia and fronto-temporal dementia, and it is not uncommon for people to have more than one form of dementia. Dementia affects about 700,000 people in the UK, with the number increasing daily.In the UK, an estimated 25 million people, or 42 per cent of the population, are affected by dementia through knowing a close friend or family member with the condition. In Scotland this rises to 47 per cent.

Dementia mainly occurs in people over the age of 65, but can also happen in younger people.At present there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, though some treatments are available that can temporarily help with some of the symptoms.Last year, researchers in Scotland revealed that they were testing a treatment capable of halting Alzheimer's disease in its tracks.The drug – called Rember – slowed down the progression of Alzheimer's by as much as 81 per cent.Experts said they hoped the drug, expected to be widely available within four years, could initially be used in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's to stop the disease progressing.

There is no sure way to prevent dementia. However, research suggests that the risk of developing such diseases can be reduced with a healthy lifestyle and diet

Monday, July 20, 2009

In OZ Grandparents Get new powers as carers

Grandparents get legal powers as carers
Margaret Linley
July 20th, 2009

GRANDPARENTS caring for their grandchildren will have the legal power to enrol them in kindergarten, sign school permission slips and give permission for medical procedures under a new State Government measure announced yesterday.
The Statutory Declaration for Informal Carers, enables carers to present a legal document to verify their status.

Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary said the new measure would make it easier for grandparents to do what they had already been doing. "Look, it's not earth shattering. It's designed to make it easer for care givers," Mr Geary said. "It means the carers can present to services and the statutory declaration says they are who they claim to be.

"The legality of it revolves around it being a statutory declaration. It's to assist in those day-to-day difficulties the carers are saying they are having."

Community Services Minister Lisa Neville said 8000 Victorian grandparents and relatives take on the care of children who are unable to live at home with their parents. "At times these are informal arrangements and we are taking action to ensure care-givers are recognised and can access the services they need for the children," she said. "We are committed to supporting and assisting relative carers in their difficult role of taking on the care of a relative's child."

The statutory declarations can be downloaded from or phone the Office of the Child Safety Commissioner on 1300 78 29 78.