Sunday Times: Health and safety snoops to enter family homes

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“We run your life, so you don’t have to” courtesy Gordon’s Good Idea

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It was reported, earlier this year, that some local authorities were planning to instruct tradesmen working in the homes of council and housing association tenants to identify and report potential cases of neglect or child abuse.

* NICE Consultation

http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/index.jsp?action=folder&o=46007

http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/PUICHomeDraftGuidanceConsultation.pdf

or open here: PUIC Home Draft Guidance Consultation

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND CLINICAL EXCELLENCE PUBLIC HEALTH DRAFT GUIDANCE
Issue date: April 2010

Preventing unintentional injuries in the home among children and young people aged under 15: providing safety equipment and home-risk assessments

From today’s Sunday Times:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6917328.ece

Health and safety snoops to enter family homes

Robert Watts  |  15 November 2009

Health and safety inspectors are to be given unprecedented access to family homes to ensure that parents are protecting their children from household accidents.

New guidance drawn up at the request of the Department of Health urges councils and other public sector bodies to “collect data” on properties where children are thought to be at “greatest risk of unintentional injury”.

Council staff will then be tasked with overseeing the installation of safety devices in homes, including smoke alarms, stair gates, hot water temperature restrictors, oven guards and window and door locks.

The draft guidance by a committee at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice)* has been criticised as intrusive and further evidence of the “creeping nanny state”.

Until now, councils have made only a limited number of home inspections to check on building work and in extreme cases where the state of a house is thought to pose a serious risk to public health.

Nice also recommends the creation of a new government database to allow GPs, midwives and other officials who visit homes to log health and safety concerns they spot.

The guidance aims to “encourage all practitioners who visit families and carers with children and young people aged under 15 to provide home safety advice and, where necessary, conduct a home risk assessment”. It continues: “If possible, they should supply and install home safety equipment.”

The proposals have been put out to consultation and, if approved, will be implemented next year.

Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is a huge intervention into family life which will be counter-productive.

“Good parents will feel the intrusion of the state in their homes and bad parents will now have someone else to blame if they don’t bring up their children in a sensible, safe environment.”

About 100,000 children are admitted to hospital each year for home injuries at a cost of £146m.

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See also Daily Mail  |  10 November 2009

Police report pregnant woman to social services over half-decorated home

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See also, in today’s Sunday Times:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6917160.ece

Think tank: freeing us from the ring of suspicion

Jenni Russsell  |  15 November 2009

“…In his Scott Trust speech, Cameron picked up on the themes that this newspaper has been highlighting: the hidden damage being caused by the government’s vetting and barring regimes. He was unequivocal about the malign effect that the new Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), with its plans to monitor at least a quarter of the adult population, would have on our lives.”

“Many responsible adults would, the Tory leader said, rather abandon volunteering than go through the rigmarole of a vetting procedure. That mass withdrawal would actually reduce the amount of care and love in children’s lives. This is already happening, although no one in government appears willing to recognise it. Ministers are so busy mouthing platitudes, both in public and in private, about “safeguarding children being our most important priority”, that they don’t want to hear or think about what it means for children when grown-ups decide it’s too risky to spend time with them. Ask them about sports or drama groups closing down for fear of breaking regulations, or of teachers deciding it’s too hazardous to organise school trips, and they say blandly that protection must come first.”

“…They don’t want to know about all the quiet and disastrous ways in which society is being reshaped by the constant message that adults can’t be trusted. Evidence has poured into this paper since the issue was raised here two weeks ago. Some came from professionals who cannot afford any misinterpretation of their interaction with children because of what it means for their jobs.”

Read full article here

Image and video hosting by TinyPic“They run your life, so you don’t have to” courtesy Gordon’s Good Idea

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