The government has announced a fresh review into p

first_imgThe government has announced a fresh review into prolonged seclusion and long-term segregation of people with learning difficulties and autistic people in hospitals, more than 70 years after concerns were first raised by civil rights campaigners.Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock announced this week that he had asked the care regulator to launch an immediate review into “the inappropriate use of prolonged seclusion and segregation” and said that some disabled people had been “treated like criminals”.His call came following a series of media investigations into conditions in privately-run assessment and treatment units (ATU), facilities that are supposed to be used for short-term care if someone with autism or learning difficulties is in crisis and community-based services cannot cope.The media reports have included allegations of widespread abuse, cruelty, physical restraint, poorly-trained staff and wrongful use of medication, as well as the frequent use of lengthy periods of solitary confinement.In a letter to the chief executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Ian Trenholm, Hancock pointed to one teenager, Beth – whose case was exposed by BBC Radio Four’s File on Four – who has been kept in solitary confinement and fed through a hatch in the door in a privately-run ATU for nearly two years.Hancock said he had asked NHS England to carry out a serious incident review into Beth’s care.But he said he also wanted CQC to carry out a review into “prolonged seclusion and long-term segregation for children and adults with a mental illness, learning disability or autism in secondary care and social care settings”.The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is also set to act. It is considering which of its enforcement powers – such as launching an investigation or an inquiry – it can use “to fix the current system”.David Isaac, EHRC’s chair, said the current inpatient care system for people with learning difficulties had led to “some horrific situations at a number of assessment and treatment units where people’s fundamental human rights are being disregarded”.The children’s commissioner for England has also written to NHS England to raise concerns about Beth’s treatment, and to raise a series of questions about how many ATUs are used by NHS England, how many children they have as inpatients and their use of restraint and segregation.Anne Longfield, the commissioner, has asked for an update on the government’s Transforming Care programme, which was launched in the wake of the 2011 Winterbourne View scandal.She said: “The NHS must work with councils to be more transparent about what is going on in these units and be proactive about making sure every child receives the support and treatment they deserve.”Transforming Care aimed to “transform services so that people no longer live inappropriately in hospitals but are cared for in line with best practice, based on their individual needs, and that their wishes and those of their families are listened to and are at the heart of planning and delivering their care”.But successive governments appear to have achieved little to fulfil those aims.In 2012, a year after Winterbourne View, there were an estimated 3,400 people in NHS-funded learning disability inpatient beds.The latest figures, published last month, show 2,315 people with learning difficulties and/or autism in England are still being detained in mental health hospitals.Calls to address the scandal of people with learning difficulties living “inappropriately” in long-stay institutions date back at least as far as the 1940s – more than 70 years – to when the National Council for Civil Liberties launched a campaign against eugenicist laws that led at their peak to the institutionalisation of more than 50,000 people in long-stay hospitals.A series of scandals through the late 1960s and 1970s highlighted concerns similar to those raised by File on Four, with inquiries reporting cruel ill-treatment, inhumane and threatening behaviour towards patients (at Ely Hospital), the “harmful over-use of drugs” (Farleigh Hospital) and the use of tranquilisers and “side-rooms” – or solitary confinement facilities – at South Ockendon Hospital.Disabled activist Simone Aspis (pictured), director of the consultancy Changing Perspectives, who campaigns to free disabled people from ATUs and other institutions, welcomed the CQC review but said there needed to be a “proper root and branch review of legislation”, and that it needed to lead to “action”.She said: “It is the legislation that allows ATUs to exist and oppress and treat disabled people as inhuman and treat them like animals.“Feeding people through a hatch. What is that if not treating someone like an animal?“It is the existence of ATUs, the power entrusted within them by the state.”She said that whether the review had an impact would depend on “how much are they really going to listen to the voices of people with autism”.She pointed out that poor practice and the institutionalisation of disabled people had persisted, seven years after Winterbourne View, allowing “easy detainment of people with learning difficulties and autism”.Aspis, who is a member of EHRC’s disability advisory committee, but was speaking in a personal capacity, said she hoped EHRC would do something at a “much more fundamental level, with much more robustness” than she believed CQC would be able to.She pointed to EHRC’s draft strategic plan for 2019-22, which has as one of its “priority aims” improving the rules on “entry into detention and conditions in institutions”.Aspis said: “You can welcome [the CQC review] but is it going to say anything more than we know already?“What we need is some serious action around closing these places down.“As long as there are alternatives there, there is always an alternative to providing homes for people in the community.“So the government has to say that these places need to be shut down and that the intensive care and support needs to be provided in people’s homes.”She added: “Often people with learning difficulties end up being institutionalised because of the inadequacy of the support provided for people with learning difficulties and autism within the community.”Aspis is currently working with two disabled people who are trying to secure their release from ATUs.She said: “A lot of patients feel scared of speaking out and seeking support because they are concerned about the implications. There are a lot of disempowered people.”Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and its lead for mental health, said: “There is understandable public concern about the use of prolonged seclusion and long-term segregation on people with mental health problems, learning disabilities or autism. “It is vital that services minimise the use of all forms of restrictive practice and that providers and commissioners work together to find alternative, and less restrictive, care arrangements for people who are subject to seclusion or segregation. “Failure to do this has the potential to amount to inhuman and degrading treatment of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.“The secretary of state for health and social care has requested that the Care Quality Commission undertake a thematic review of this issue and we are now considering how we will take forward this important work.” A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Candidates Say Uber Lyft Drivers Deserve More Rights

first_img 0% What steps would you take to protect the rights of low-income and immigrant workers in the context of the “gig economy”? Should Uber, Lyft, and other companies that make use of temporary workers classify them as employees, and if so why?Respuestas en español aquí.Joshua Arce, Civil Rights AttorneyAs a longtime member of labor and someone who worked to pass our local hiring policy for construction, I believe it is in everyone’s interest to provide our workforce with the best-paying jobs possible to combat the rising inequality we see in our city. The gig economy provides flexibility and additional work options, but I would like to see workers receive adequate wage, benefit, and working condition protections through collective bargaining. Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img At the very least, we should be having immediate discussions with gig economy employers and leaders in the labor movement about how to provide portable benefits to gig economy workers. Portable benefits would give workers more of a safety net than what they currently have.Iswari España, Training Officer with the Human Services AgencyLow-income and immigrant workers have always been the least protected sector of the workforce in San Francisco. As supervisor, I vow to protect and create adequate funding to expand protective employment laws. I will push to expand the powers of the Office of Labor and Standard. As a longtime advocate of employer and employment rights, I am a firm believer that all workers need to be protected. It’s the government’s role to regulate legal business practices. Thus, Lyft and Uber and other businesses with the same practices should not be the exception to the rule. They need to share liability costs like every business in the city and assume the responsibility to protect their workers. Reclassified temporary workers may not receive unemployment or over-time benefits; they don’t have a safety net if they are laid off, they would not be able to contribute to their communities and support their families. If we want to help our city grow, we need to invest in paths of self-sufficiency and economic growth.Hillary Ronen, Chief of Staff for Supervisor David CamposCompanies operating in the “gig economy” must follow the same rules that conventional businesses follow in San Francisco. They should not be getting special treatment and frankly don’t need it since companies like Lyft and Uber are profiting to the tune of billions. As a former worker’s rights attorney, it is clear to me that Lyft and Uber drivers are employees and deserve basic rights like minimum wage, overtime, and protection from workplace injury.Thankfully, last month a Federal Judge tossed out a Chamber of Commerce lawsuit against the City of Seattle paving the way for the enactment of a local law giving Lyft and Uber drivers the right to organize a union.I will pass a similar law in San Francisco. The only way workers in the “gig economy” will earn living wages – enough to survive in the most expensive city in the United States – is through a union.Melissa San Miguel, Education AdvocateAs a daughter of immigrants, I understand the need to protect the rights of low-income and immigrant workers. Many of my friends are drivers for companies like Lyft, so I am deeply interested in ensuring the rights of these workers. Many of these workers work part-time to full-time for these companies and they should be classified as employees given the hours they put into the work and company. Many who are working in the “gig economy” use that employment as their main job or one of their main jobs to provide for their families. Our city should be proactive about protecting the rights of these workers in any context. All workers deserve a right to healthcare, a pension and other benefits that accompany the designation of being an employee.43 Questions is a weekly series — started 43 weeks before Election Day — to question the candidates running for District 9 supervisor. Send us questions to and let us know in comments or in an email if you think candidates have answered as asked. last_img read more

Developments in Development Afloat

first_imgFormer mayor Art Agnos has a game changer for homelessness: Put ‘em on a boat! Create a new Navigation Center on a retired Navy ship, to be specific. The idea apparently comes from a post-earthquake emergency effort to house the recently homeless in 1989. But it’s drawn more than its fair share of criticism on social media, ranging from people pointing out that plenty of homeless individuals are veterans and being corralled into cramped quarters on a warship might be particularly unpleasant for them, to people pointing out that a “temporary” fix can only be temporary if there’s real progress happening on the housing front. Plus, others say, shlepping a giant freakin’ war boat all the way from Hawaii just to have it rust in the Bay seems like maybe not the most environmentally sound plan ever. I’ll say this for the idea though: It is nice to hear something really different suggested for a change.Apparently there is some sort of plan to make the tent encampments disappear. City staff plan to go tent-to-tent to figure out how to get homeless individuals off the street and into some kind of shelter. Watch to the end of that video, though, and see what transpires when the newscasters broach the topic of timeline: That’s not for the public to know, apparently. It does seem that at least the tent dwellers themselves will be given notice before they are, er, “resolved.” It’s been well established, of course, that homelessness is the top concern for San Franciscans at the moment. It comes up repeatedly at community meetings, city government bodies, and it features prominently in two controversial measures on this upcoming ballot. One of those measures, Prop Q, makes encampments on city sidewalks illegal and requires shelter options (which can include a bus ticket out of town if there’s someone on the other end willing to take the person in) to be offered to those in the encampment before it is cleared. The Navigation Centers like the one 16th and Mission streets are a major piece of this puzzle, being the “golden ticket” placement that most consider the only non-dead-end option for the chronically homeless. 16th and Mission, however, will not remain a Navigation Center for long, as it is itself transitioning into housing. The nonprofits building that housing have officially submitted plans to the Planning Department to raze the structures in place currently and construct an 85-foot-tall, 157-unit building. Meanwhile, the city is scrambling to put up new navigation centers. What else is afloat? Bacteria-killing enzymes, apparently, in the form of a lavender-scented mist BART is testing at Civic Center station to eliminate the stench of urine and other malodorous mystery sludge inside elevators. And speaking of elevators, SFist introduces us this week to Sunday Parker, a wheelchair user who is using social media to press BART on making improvements (like the mist but, you know, better) to accessibility infrastructure in the system.  By the way, if you like interactive graphics and public transit wonkery, you might have fun exploring this Commute-o-meter – see how far you can get from any point in half an hour, 45 minutes, two hours, etc. on public transit. Finally, the state controller’s office is bringing back a tax protection for seniors: A statewide program begun in 1978 and suspended in 2009 due to lack of funding allows low income seniors and people with disabilities to defer their property tax payments until they move, sell, refinance, die or default on a loan. New applications are being accepted this year. Tags: development • Developments in Development • homeless • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more

SF Landlord Orders Removal of Bobs Burgers Mural

first_img 0% The owner of the 20th Street sandwich shop Rhea’s Cafe has forced the removal of a Sirron Norris mural that depicted characters from Bob’s Burgers, a popular animated Fox TV sitcom.Fearing copyright infringement, the building’s owner enlisted Rhea’s executive chef and owner, James Choi, to paint over the four-month-old mural that had decorated its front roll-up doors.  The mural of a couple embracing lovingly, depicted the show’s main characters, husband and wife duo Bob and Linda Belcher. Norris, a local street artist who was once a tenant in the building that houses Rhea’s Cafe, is also the lead illustrator of the Bob’s Burgers sitcom. “The producer [Loren Bouchard], who Sirron met, lived on 20th Street, a couple of blocks from here,” said Choi. “So that show was conceived right on this street.” Tags: 20th Street • Bryant Street • murals • sirron norris • street art Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Moreover, Bob, the show’s lead character is a passionate restaurateur who is always under threat of going out of business.“I kind of felt like Bob portrayed me – me and him had a thing going,” said Choi. The new mural, he said, was an inspiration. “We are still trying to make it but it’s pretty tough. I looked at [Bob] in the mornings and thought, we gotta do it buddy.”But the building’s owner did not share the same affection for the animated restaurateur. When the owner returned from a trip a couple of weeks ago, he demanded the mural be removed, Choi said.  The management company told Choi he would be in violation of his lease agreement if he did not take the mural down. On Thursday, he finished that task. Choi declined to share the name of the management company or the owner. The owner, he added, “didn’t want any liability for it being a TV show owned by a TV station.” Norris disagreed. “They want to be able to sell that property without any controversy or anything,” said Norris.Sometime last year Norris noticed that an old mural of his on the roll up doors needed to be refreshed or replaced.  He decided to replace it with the Bob’s Burger theme and finished it in late fall. Choi, a fan of Norris’ work, said he had no second thoughts when the artist replaced the existing mural that Norris had painted on the cafe some 15 years ago. The owner, however, was unhappy with the change.  “I think he didn’t like that we just went in and changed the mural, which changes the value and look of a building,” said Choi.“There was a blue bear [on the door] that Sirron did about 15 years ago,” said Choi. Norris has several murals in the Mission and is known for his political cartoons distinguished by his signature blue bears. The new mural was well-received by the local community, said Choi, and seemed to be a perfect fit, as the sitcom was birthed in that very neighborhood.Norris added that he chose the theme of Bob’s Burgers because of that history.  “I felt that it was an opportunity to do something unique to celebrate the show at this cool spot that was the apex of where the show was created,’ he said, adding that those behind its removal “aren’t connected to the community. If they were, they would know that people want public art here.” Screenshot from Sirron Norris’ Instagram of Bob and Linda Belcher from the Fox TV sitcom, Bob’s Burgers. last_img read more

ENGLAND will hone their preparations for Rugby Lea

first_imgENGLAND will hone their preparations for Rugby League World Cup 2013 with an International Origin Game against the Exiles at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, on Friday June 14.The showdown against the cream of Super League’s southern hemisphere talent will be England’s only competitive fixture this year before they face Australia in the opening fixture of RLWC2013 on October 26.The International Origin matches have grown in stature and intensity since their inception in 2011 and England coach Steve McNamara believes this year’s fixture will be the biggest yet.“It’s a massive game for England and every English player who aspires to being involved in our plans for the World Cup,” said McNamara.“International Origin offers us a great opportunity to continue the progress we have experienced as a group over the last few years and take an important step towards the World Cup.“However, it’s not just about the World Cup: this is very much a fixture we will be looking to win.“There is always a lot of needle between the England and Exiles players ahead of the Origin game and I’m sure that between now and then we will see a massive hunger to be involved in this fixture from every player in Super League.“We are delighted by the choice of venue: there’s always a terrific atmosphere at The Halliwell Jones Stadium and the players all like playing there.“It’s going to be a big night for everybody and we’re really looking forward to it.”The process of appointing a coach for the Exiles in 2013 is currently ongoing and details will be confirmed over the coming months.Tickets for the 2013 International Origin Game at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, will go on general sale from Monday February 25.last_img read more

Puppys death sparks call for tougher animal cruelty laws

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It has been more than a month since a puppy was allegedly beaten to death in Wilmington. Now, thousands of people are coming together on Facebook in hopes of getting justice for the pup named Axel.“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through in my life. The hardest thing,” Axel’s owner, Tammy Croom said.- Advertisement – On Christmas day Axel was killed. He was an early Christmas present for Croom but was taken from her far too soon.“I have in my possession right now his collar and his tags,” Croom said.All Croom has left are tags and memories.Related Article: Wilmington man accused of abandoning pet fish after evictionCroom’s daughter’s boyfriend, Christopher Simpson, is accused of beating the puppy to death.“To beat a dog to death is pretty serious and I don’t see it any different, that’s just my opinion, than harming a child. It’s innocent they don’t have a voice,” said Rosey Milazzo, who created the Facebook group.In just three days more than 2,300 people have joined the Facebook group “Justice for Axel.”Milazzo is an animal advocate and created the group to raise awareness of animal cruelty cases like this.“My ideal would be, you know, five years or more but I know that’s not realistic,” Milazzo said.Although New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David could not comment on this specific case he said the maximum punishment would be up to 39 months incarceration. However, that is if the defendant has a serious record.It’s a sentence Croom, Milazzo, and David would like to see changed.“I’ve always said that crimes of violence are the top priority and that includes not only against humans but against animals too,” David said. “So I would advocate for punishing animal abuse, particularly with malicious intent, more harshly than it currently is.”Croom wants a database created where animal abusers are registered and for their rights to take care of animals be stripped away.“Pets have feelings too and they have no way to defend themselves so I would like to see punishment come out of this and higher animal laws,” Croom said.As for Simpson, Croom once saw him as a son but that is not the case anymore.“I will never be able to forgive him for this,” Croom said.WWAY reached out to Simpson for an interview but he declined the request.Simpson’s next court date is scheduled for February 8. The “Justice for Axel” group plans to protest his appearance.last_img read more

Magnolia Greens marks 20th anniversary with bald eagle release

first_imgLELAND, NC (WWAY) — Our neighbors at Magnolia Greens in Leland are celebrating their 20th anniversary this weekend. They marked the occasion with a special bald eagle release Saturday morning with the help of the Cape Fear Raptor Center.The eagle, nicknamed “Salty,” came to the Raptor Center from the Outer Banks back in June. He was suffering from lead poisoning and could not fly or lift his head up.- Advertisement – The experts at the Raptor Center rehabilitated the bird. Medical director Joni Shimp says the eagle is expected to return to its home in Currituck County.“The fact that we’ve had him for just a little over a month means that, most likely, no one else has taken up his spot in his territory and he’s got a female waiting for him. Most likely, he’ll go right back to where he came from and reclaim his territory. Hopefully, have more eaglets next year,” Shimp said.Shimp says the Raptor Center conducts six to eight eagle releases each year.last_img read more

Axethrowing bar opens in Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Have you ever wanted to kick back, grab a drink and throw an axe?Now you can at Wilmington’s first venue of its kind.- Advertisement – Axes & Allies officially opens to the public Friday, but WWAY saw a sneak preview Thursday.Here’s how it works: an “axpert” explains the rules and oversees participants to ensure safety.Each lane can accommodate up to eight people at a time.Related Article: WPD: Warrants issued for hit and run suspects who yelled racial slurs at familyAxes & Allies said the throwing axe, originally established in the middle ages, has long been used as a weapon.The venue said recreational axe-throwing has been featured for decades in lumberjack competitions, fairs, festivals and more.“The most fun thing about Axes & Allies is doing something that your mom always told you you shouldn’t do,” Axes & Allies owner Mia Troy said.Axe-throwing sessions are $25 per person, per hour.You’ll need to wear closed-toed shoes and sign a waiver.Axes & Allies is located on 3rd Street in Wilmington at the former Red Barn Studio.For more information about Axes & Allies, click here.last_img read more

Salvation Army shelter to reopen for first time since Florence

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A shelter designed to help people in need is finally done getting help it needed after Hurricane Florence.The Salvation Army says its Red Shield Emergency Shelter at 802 N. 2nd St. in Wilmington will reopen next Monday. The Salvation Army will host an Open House to celebrate the reopening on Thursday, 4-7 p.m.- Advertisement – “The reopening of the Red Shield Shelter reimplements a vital service for the Cape Fear area,” Maj. Mark Craddock, Corps Officer of the Salvation Army of Cape Fear, said in a news release. “The shelter offers a temporary solution as the Salvation Army continues to move forward on the creation of the Center of Hope to be constructed at 1220 N. 30th St. The Center of Hope will provide a permanent home to the Red Shield Shelter, social services and administration while offering enhanced services to individuals and families.”During Hurricane Florence, the roof of the Red Shield Shelter suffered extensive damage and rain water poured into the shelter. The damage caused The Salvation Army to close the shelter until repairs could be completed and the safety of all guests and residents could be assured.According to a news release the Red Shield Shelter operates with 52 beds for men, women and families. All guests receive the option of enrolling in the Salvation Army Life Skills program offering up to six months of residency, nutrition, educational support classes, partnerships with Cape Fear Community College and other local businesses. Upon completion of the Life Skills program, residents graduate with a resume of consistent employment, stable housing, community service, educational success, and a pathway to stability.Related Article: UNC Wilmington to play Clemson for hurricane relief gameWhen the shelter reopens next week, it will once again open its doors to invite in people who need the services offered.The Salvation Army says its Soup Line, a daily community meal offered to everyone, will move from its current location on 3rd St. to the Red Shield Shelter. Between the Soup Line, guests and residents, the Salvation Army says it will provide 60,000 meals from the Red Shield Shelter kitchen.last_img read more