The Department of Health has been heavily criticis

first_imgThe Department of Health has been heavily criticised for downgrading the seniority of the minister in charge of adult social care.The last four ministers responsible for social care – Labour’s Phil Hope, Liberal Democrats Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb, and Tory Alistair Burt – were all ministers of state, senior ministers one level below the secretary of state.But David Mowat, appointed in the ministerial reshuffle that followed the replacement of prime minister David Cameron by Theresa May, will only be a junior minister.His brief as minister for community health and care includes adult social care, carers, community services, cancer, dementia, learning difficulties and primary care.Mowat, MP for Warrington South since 2010, is a former global managing partner with the consulting firm Accenture, and describes his parliamentary interests as “energy policy, economic growth and job creation, occupational pensions and banking”.Other appointments under health secretary Jeremy Hunt include Philip Dunne as minister of state for health, and Nicola Blackwood as junior minister for public health and innovation, while Lord Prior remains as a junior minister covering all aspects of health in the House of Lords.Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said that downgrading the role of social care minister “has to be a serious backward step”.He said: “Symbolically it is important; it communicates lowered priority for social care, when many experts and service-users thought it couldn’t get much worse.“We need committed, skilled ministers for social care. Truth is this should be a cabinet post, not a further downgraded one.”Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “I share the concerns that others have expressed about what would appear to be the political downgrading of social care, both in the ministerial responsibility being more junior and the restructuring of the Department of Health itself, which means there is no longer a specific senior social care responsibility. “Those of us involved in social care need to have a serious think about how we get over to the public the terrible experiences many disabled people and people with long-term health conditions are having as a result of funding cuts – being virtually institutionalised at home – given that the message is clearly not getting through to government.”Lamb said on Twitter that the decision to downgrade the ministerial role seemed “quite extraordinary” because “confronting [the] massive challenge in social care will be critical in sustaining [the] NHS”.A Department of Heath spokesman said the decision to make Mowat a junior minister “doesn’t mean social care is of any less importance to this government”.He said: “It doesn’t mean there has been a downgrading of social care just because that minister has been given a different job title.“The government is committed to social care. The commitments in place before the reshuffle are still there. The commitment to social care remains as strong as ever.”He added: “When it comes down to it, it is probably because Philip Dunne [who was previously a minister of state in the Ministry of Defence] has had more experience across government during the time he has been elected as an MP.”Picture: The Department of Health offices in Whitehalllast_img read more

Photos The Annual Guides and Scouts parade

first_img SharePrint The Malta Girl Guides and the Scout Association of Malta have once again joined forces on Sunday to produce the Annual Guides and Scouts Parade in Valletta.The President and Mrs Vella attend the Scouts and Girl Guides ParadeFollowing mass at the Phoenicia Hotel, thousands of young members together with their adult leaders marched through Valletta.Upon arrival in St. George’s Square they saluted the President of Malta, George Vella who was on the podium awaiting their arrival to take the salute as the patron of both associations.The President and Mrs Vella attend the Scouts and Girl Guides ParadeThe parade then continued towards Archbishop Street and up Merchants Street to end near the Auberge de Castille. Many people await this annual parade which is synonymous to colour, and tradition.WhatsApp <a href=’” alt=”last_img” /> read more

Climate change Biggest challenge is to get people to take policies on

first_imgEuropean Parliament VallettaEuropean Parliament Valletta BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana said that the getting the public to take policies on board which are aimed at mitigating climate change, poses the biggest challenge to politicians.Sultana was speaking at a public discussion on the EU’s Roadmap to fighting climate change on Thursday. The discussion organized in Gozo is part of the European Parliament’s this Time I’m Voting campaign. Acting Head of the European Parliament Office in Malta Anna Zammit Vella, European Parliament Environmental Policies Specialist Baptiste Chatain, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Environment Kathiana Ghio, Malta’s Climate Change Simone Borg, and Mark Sultana participated in the public discussion.Sultana remarked that ‘the biggest challenge to politicians is to get people to take policies on board’, using the plastic bag loophole to explain better. The eNGO CEO underlined the need to highlight the risks associated with climate change as well as the dire need for people to start voicing their concern as well as more active participation. Sultana observed that despite the closing-down of the Marsa power station, Malta has some six or seven cruise liners recurrently docked in port, which use sulphur fuel that is dirtier than that used in the North Sea. Sultana remarked that the European Union is inviting civil organisations where the government is not, and that he explained, is the reason why civil organisations need the EU as it empowers them.Professor Simone Borg outlined the three main pillars of climate action: mitigation (reducing emissions), adaption to climate change and the governance of climate change issues. Borg reminded that the EU has required that all of its Member States to have a plan of how to achieve a low-carbon economy.During his keynote intervention Chatain observed how the European Union is only a fraction of the global scenario and stressed on the importance of achieving more through climate diplomacy.European Parliament VallettaZammit Vella highlighted how three quarters of Europeans want the EU to do more to protect the environment. During her introductory remarks she outlined the Parliament’s action and also spoke of the opportunity that Swedish green activist Greta Thunberg was given at the EP to voice her concerns.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’” alt=”last_img” /> read more