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Society | The Guardian

  • Further Covid restrictions in England not needed ‘for now’

    Business secretary denies government is being complacent as infections and deaths rise

    The return of some Covid restrictions in England is not needed “for now”, the business secretary has insisted, as he denied the government was being complacent in the face of daily infections and deaths rising.

    Kwasi Kwarteng also ruled out any further lockdowns, after calls from scientists and health experts for ministers to activate their “plan B” winter measures given the UK now has one of the highest weekly rates of new reported cases in the world.

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  • Surgeons successfully test pig kidney transplant in human patient

    Researchers in US say trial on dead person is a ‘significant step’ toward animal-to-human organ transplants

    Surgeons have attached a pig’s kidney to a human and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.

    Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but a sugar in their cells, which is foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

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  • ‘Smoking kills’ could be printed on every cigarette under new proposals

    MPs propose raft of tough new measures aimed at getting more people to stop smoking

    Individual cigarettes could have “smoking kills” printed on them under a raft of tough measures proposed by MPs to encourage more people to quit the deadly habit.

    MPs have submitted an amendment to the health and care bill going through parliament which would allow the health secretary to make graphic health warnings mandatory.

    Raise the legal age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21.

    Stop e-cigarette makers using tactics that might entice children to try them, such as sweet flavourings and cartoon characters.

    Make it illegal to give e-cigarettes away free as sampler products, as some manufacturers have done.

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  • AI projects to tackle racial inequality in UK healthcare, says Javid

    Exclusive: health secretary signs up to hi-tech schemes countering health disparities and reflecting minority ethnic groups’ data

    Artificial intelligence is to be used to tackle racial inequalities in the NHS under government plans to “level up” healthcare.

    It is hoped that millions of black, Asian and minority ethnic Britons will benefit from revolutionary computer techniques designed to transform care and speed up diagnoses of potentially deadly conditions.

    Sajid Javid, the health secretary, has given the green light to a series of hi-tech initiatives aimed at tackling health disparities in the UK. It comes amid mounting concern over the issue among senior ministers.

    New projects include drawing up fresh standards for health data inclusivity amid fears that the datasets at the moment fail to adequately represent people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

    Another project will use computer algorithms to investigate factors behind adverse maternity incidents involving BAME mothers. The results could lead to recommended changes, which could include new training for midwives and nurses. Black women are five times more likely to die in the UK due to complications during pregnancy compared with white women.

    Javid said he was committed to “removing barriers” in the NHS so that “every one of us, no matter our background, can live healthier, longer lives”.

    Experts have warned for years that some people from BAME communities have poorer health than the overall population. More recently, the pandemic took a disproportionate toll on these groups.

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  • Deaths among the double vaccinated: what is behind the Australian statistics?

    A small number of people become severely unwell with Covid even if they are fully vaccinated, but the data suggests they mostly suffer from other conditions as well

    On Tuesday, there were 356 Covid-19 patients being treated in intensive care wards throughout Australia. Of those, 25 were fully vaccinated.

    While the data points to the extraordinary efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines in preventing people from becoming severely unwell, being hospitalised and dying, it does raise the question: why do a small number of people become seriously ill and, in rare cases, die, despite being fully vaccinated?

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Community Care

Blogs

Social Care Network | The Guardian

  • 'Don’t expect a survivor to tell you her experience of undergoing FGM'

    Specialist social workers explain how they support women and girls affected by the practice

    When social worker Sam Khalid [not her real name] first began working with women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM), she found there wasn’t much awareness of the brutal practice in the UK.

    She was in her first year at university, in 2011, on a placement with a Women’s Aid team. “The service I was placed in was just starting its FGM unit, and I learned about the practice and met and spoke to many survivors,” she says.

    This article was amended on 12 December 2018. An earlier version referenced statistics from a recent Guardian article which was taken down after the Guardian was notified of a fundamental error in the official data on which it was based.

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  • We want to attract the right people with the right values to social care | Caroline Dinenage

    New government recruitment campaign will raise the image and profile of the sector

    This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of our amazing NHS, but we must not forget that adult social care is also marking 70 years. The National Assistance Act 1948 that created many of the core elements of the modern social care system came into effect on the same day as the NHS act.

    In the NHS’s birthday month we have heard many stories of the dedicated nurses, doctors and support staff who have been saving and transforming lives across its seven decades. While these staff are rightly seen as the backbone of the NHS, hardworking care workers, nurses, social workers, managers and occupational therapists are, likewise, the foundation of the adult social care sector – and they have been on the same 70-year journey as colleagues in health. They are two sides of the same coin – inseparable and essential to each other.

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  • The UK project giving refugees another chance at childhood

    Young refugees face unspeakable trauma to get here. But a cross-charity initiative is helping them to rebuild their lives

    It is hard to be an adult when you feel like you haven’t had the chance to be a child.

    This simple statement has stayed with me over the last 12 months of working with young refugees and asylum seekers. Among them, a 17-year-old boy forced to sleep in a railway station for months; and another who witnessed the killing of his brother and father and escaped from his home country in fear of his life.

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  • UN: spend an extra £5tn by 2030 to tackle global 'care crisis'

    Report highlights risk of rising inequality against women worldwide

    The world economy faces a looming “care crisis” risking further division between men and women across the planet, according to a UN report calling for governments and companies worldwide to spend at least an extra $7tn (£5.3tn) on care by 2030.

    Making the case for spending on support for children, old people and the neediest in society to double by the end of the next decade, the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned demographic changes alone mean the current path for care funding falls far short of requirements.

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  • Theresa May got it wrong with her cash boost for the NHS. Here's why

    Assessing what the health service needs is essential before giving it more money to meet demand

    Four key things were missing from Theresa May’s announcement of extra money for the NHS.

    There was no admission that there is an NHS crisis that needs tackling. Or that money is needed now for both the the health service and social care. Without this emergency cash injection, there will be insufficient time and resource to make the necessary preparations to avoid a repeat – or indeed worsening – of last year’s winter crisis in the NHS and social care with the trail of waits, delays, suffering and extra deaths that accompanied it.

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Opinion | The Guardian

  • The populist right is regretting its encouragement of Covid conspiracists | Paulo Gerbaudo

    Extremists are being pitted against moderate centre-right voters in the next chapter of the culture wars

    At the 1992 US Republican convention, the paleoconservative pundit and presidential candidate Pat Buchanan introduced the world to the idea that politics had become a “culture war” between progressives and conservatives. Campaigns for environmentalism, abortion and LGBT rights weren’t just about policy, he claimed, but were in fact intended to destroy wider American traditions and identity. “This war is for the soul of America, ” Buchanan said, and called on fellow citizens to “take back our culture, and take back our country”.

    In the ensuing decades, the right closely adopted the strategy proposed by Buchanan. It claimed that, by dint of their alleged control of the media and academia, unpatriotic and elitist progressives were imposing radical changes – like openness to immigration and the demolition of the traditional family – against majority will. The plan worked: culture war tactics were instrumental in the right gaining support among disgruntled workers increasingly suspicious of a centre-left that had little to offer in terms of socio-economic policies.

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  • Steel will be vital to the green revolution, but our industry needs help to change | Jacqueline Thomas

    Government investment in new technology would protect jobs and drive low-carbon production of turbines and electric cars

    • Jacqueline Thomas has been a member of the steel industry since 2005

    When I say to people that steel is a vital part of the solution to the climate crisis, I get a lot of confused looks. The global steel market is currently worth an estimated $2.5tn (£1.8tn) and produces 9% of global emissions. Decarbonisation is coming to us all, that’s simply a reality. What is in question is how we as an industry choose to adapt. Do we want to see wholesale disruption and the subsequent loss of thousands of good, union jobs, or a just transition where jobs are retained, and workers are supported to retrain for the new green economy? As a steelworker, it’s my job on the line if we don’t get this right.

    Past experience illustrates the value of a just transition. Take, for example, the way that unions reacted to plant closures in the early 2000s, providing training to literally thousands of steelworkers to help them move into other industries, in everything from horse dentistry to self-employed roles. Mass retraining was the correct response to a declining industry, but this time round UK steel will need to grow to support decarbonisation since steel is a key part of the green economy. Wind turbines, electric cars and all other products of a green future will require steel. To get it imported from overseas is simply shifting the carbon burden on to others; steel transported within the UK produces 50% less CO2. .

    Jacqueline Thomas has been a full-time member of the steel industry since 2005. She lives just outside Ebbw Vale, whose steelworks closed in 2002.

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  • Think big on climate: the transformation of society in months has been done before | George Monbiot

    The astonishing story of how the US entered the second world war should be on everyone’s minds as Cop26 approaches

    Fatalism creeps across our movements like rust. In conversations with scientists and activists, I hear the same words, over and again: “We’re screwed.” Government plans are too little, too late. They are unlikely to prevent the Earth’s systems from flipping into new states hostile to humans and many other species.

    What we need, to stand a high chance of stabilising our life support systems, is not slow and incremental change but sudden and drastic action. And this is widely considered impossible. There’s no money; governments are powerless; people won’t tolerate anything more ambitious than the tepid measures they have proposed. Or so we are told. It’s a stark illustration of a general rule: political failure is, at heart, a failure of imagination.

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  • Ben Jennings on the UK’s rising daily deaths from Covid — cartoon
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  • The Guardian view on the net zero strategy: not tough enough | Editorial

    The plan to decarbonise Britain must be welcomed. But in key areas it falls short

    In a number of ways the net zero strategy published by the UK government on Tuesday falls short of what was hoped for, and perhaps even expected by more optimistic observers. The public investment that ministers have committed to is insufficient, their faith in private-sector solutions overblown.

    The combination is concerning. As the host of the upcoming Cop26 summit, and the first major industrialised country to put a net zero target into law, the UK is in a unique position. By significantly upping their ambitions with regard to emissions cuts, ministers had the chance to send a powerful message. Instead, they have hedged many of the new commitments in ways which risk undermining them.

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Learning in the Modern Workplace

  • Online Workshop: Learning from the daily work
    Next public workshop: 25  October – 26 November 2021 Although L&D departments have traditionally focused on training people to do their jobs, research tells us that most of what employees learn at work happens as they do their job – it’s just that they are not aware of it or make the most of it.  So, […]
  • Top Tools for Learning 2021
    The Top Tools for Learning lists have now been published. 2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of […]
  • Online Workshop: Modern Training Practices
    Next public workshop: 6 September – 8 October 2021 Modern training is not just about digitising current training events but thinking differently about what is appropriate for today’s workforce. In this 5-week online workshop we will first look at how to address the issues with current training and then consider some of the modern training […]
  • Online workshop: Empowering self-development at work
    Runs 5 July – 6 August 2021. Continuous learning and development in the workplace is much more than continuous training. Whilst it is up to everyone to become a lifelong learner and keep up to date with what’s happening in their industry or profession to remain employable, it’s also up to L&D departments to help […]
  • MWL Daily has a new look
    Join our new MWL Daily Telegram channel for daily curated posts and articles about learning in the modern workplace