Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FOI Disclosure Stories 21 - 27 September 2009

150 teachers rapped for sexual misconduct - ITN 26/09/09
“Almost 150 teachers in England have been sacked or disciplined for sexual misconduct in the last two years, new figures show.
 Some 49 of the 56 teachers who lost their jobs were reported to the police, while a further 92 faced disciplinary action, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.


'NHS Cashing In On Hospital Car Parking' - Sky News 26/09/09
“NHS hospitals raked in more than £110m in car parking charges last year, figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show. The figures, disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, show visitors were hit with £84m in parking fees while NHS staff forked out £28m. Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge made the most out of any hospital in England - £2.8m in all.”

PCTs launching propaganda drive to promote swine flu jab - Healthcare Republic 25/09/09
“Two-thirds of PCTs are launching communication plans to persuade GPs and other health workers to take up the swine flu jab. However, almost half have yet to decide which groups of health workers will receive the jabs, information obtained by GP under the Freedom of Information Act shows. Of 33 PCTs that responded, 22 said they would be undertaking work to encourage health professionals and those in at-risk groups to take up the vaccine… PCTs will also need to make decisions about which health workers should be included in local plans. But just 16 PCTs said they had decided which staff would be vaccinated.”

NHS hospital equipment 'under-used' - Health Service Journal 25/09/09
“Hospitals are failing to make use of sophisticated and expensive treatment technology, the Taxpayers’ Alliance has claimed. The group analysed figures obtained under a freedom of information request from 187 English NHS trusts. They claim the research shows that use of linear accelerators, devices used to treat cancer, fell well below expected standards. The National Radiotherapy Advisory Group recommends 8,000 doses per machine per year, but the research revealed an average number of 7,191."

What is a student worth? - SecEd Magazine 24/09/09
“Headteachers have this week blasted the ‘staggering discrepancies’ in the way schools are funded, and have called for an overhaul of the system. The call has been sparked after a Freedom of Information request by David Laws, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, revealed that as many as 2,000 schools could face a deficit this year because the government’s Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) fails to cater for their needs. In England, the national average funding per-pupil across local authorities is £4,218 a year. However, this varies from £3,728 per pupil in Leicestershire to £7,603 in the City of London.”

Britain goes soft on kid sex perverts - The Sun 23/09/09
“...more than a quarter of child abusers are let off with a caution by cops. The shock figures emerged in responses by 33 police forces to Freedom of Information demands by The Sun. In total, 8,043 people who committed sexual and physical abuse offences against kids were charged in the year to April, while 2,764 were given a caution."
(Read the Police's reaction at: Police Hit Back At 'Leniency' Accusations - Police Oracle 23/09/09)

Labour ministers accused of being 'soft' on alcohol warnings - Daily Mail 22/09/09
“Ministers have been accused of colluding with the alcohol lobby to water down new warning labels on drinks. Plans to warn mothers-to-be that alcohol 'can harm your baby' were rejected in favour of telling women to 'avoid alcohol when pregnant'… Department of Health papers, which officials fought to keep secret, show how it opted for the milder warning. The document said one of the 'pros' was this message had been 'provisionally accepted by the alcohol industry'.”

Third of rape claims 'unrecorded' - BBC 21/09/09
“Hundreds of rape claims reported to police across the UK don't end up in official crime records, figures obtained by Newsbeat show. Answers to questions placed to every police force in the UK under freedom of information laws revealed variations in numbers of rape crimes removed from formal databases in a process known as ‘no-criming.’ Between April 2007 and March 2008 there were 2701 claims of rape in London but only 1847 were recorded as crimes. Four-hundred-and-sixty were no crimed and deleted from the records, 396 were never put on the books in the first place. In Northumbria there were 382 reports of rape, but 172 of those never made it into official Home Office figures."


Wrexham council made £83,000 from sunbeds, BMA calls for ban
- Daily Post 27/09/09
“Doctors’ leaders demanding curbs on the sunbed industry revealed Wrexham council made more than £83,000 in five years from tanning machines in its leisure centres... Now the BMA is calling for the immediate removal of all sunbeds from local authority owned premises and for tighter regulation of the sunbed industry… Wrexham council runs three leisure centres and has one sunbed at Waterworld, two at Queensway and two at Plas Madoc. It reduced the overall number from seven to five and announced that all would be removed by April next year.”


Big rise in kids clothing bill - Dundee Evening Telegraph 25/09/09
“Dundee City Council has paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds to cash-strapped families to clothe their children this year... Figures released under Freedom of Information legislation show that while there are still seven months left in the current financial year, a total of £283,800 has already been spent on back-to-school grants. A total of £303,375 was awarded to struggling families for the whole of 2007-08, while £316,285 was awarded during the preceding financial year.”

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