Hunt: health tourists cost NHS £2bn

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Today's top SocietyGuardian stories

• Temporary migrants cost NHS up to £2bn a year, says study
• Health tourists: are they really costing the NHS £2bn?
• Public borrowing figures show George Osborne on track to meet target
• Unsocial housing? Gates within gates divide the 'haves' and 'have-nots'
• Teachers to be trained to deal with health emergencies
• Labour reviews race relations as party alleges Tories 'turning clock back'
• Polly Toynbee: Rachel Reeves needs the thickest skin in the shadow cabinet
• Aditya Chakrabortty: Loneliness is an inevitable result of Britain's economic model
• Are teenagers really careless about online privacy?
• Is Help to Buy inflating a UK property bubble? - five-minute video debate
All today's SocietyGuardian stories

In tomorrow's SocietyGuardian section

• Ben Ferguson describes how out on call with police in north London, he witnessed the numbers of mentally ill people in crisis who have nowhere else to go
• Doctors are crossing their fingers that a bed is available when a patient with a mental illness arrives at A&E
• CQC chiefs talk tough, but the Orchid View inquest and the lack of registered managers at 3,500 homes show they have a huge task to rehabilitate the inspection and regulation of care services, writes David Brindle
• The benefit cap fails to address the real problems of a lack of jobs, training and affordable housing and childcare, says the leader of Haringey council
• A new government report on child poverty stresses the need to increase opportunities outside of the home, yet youth services are nowhere to be found, says Carlene Firmin
• Monitoring parental background is a step towards greater diversity in the civil service, writes Riazat Butt
• Samaritans are offering counselling to jobcentre clients to help them cope with suicidal feelings
• Sarah Billiald, the ex-probation chief bidding to run community rehabilitation, says creating a joint venture with a company owned by offenders as well as staff is key to cutting crime

Jobs of the week

• Head of policy, programmes and projects, City of London corporation: "Known for your strong public service ethos, you will bring a proven track record in a management role within social care, housing or education with some experience in project/programme management. This will have given you a detailed knowledge of the sector, statutory and national policy frameworks and local authority functions."
• Strategic director (children & families), Manchester city council
• Chief executive, Children 1st
• UK director, life after stroke services, the Stroke Association
The Guardian's public and voluntary sector careers page
Hundreds of public and voluntary sector jobs

On the Guardian Professional Networks

• We need to think again about how to protect children, write Kate Morris, Brid Featherstone and Sue White
• Council tax is regressive and it is about time we scrapped it, says Julian Huppert
• How to get ahead ... as a charity chief executive
• Why the NHS needs a blend of private and public sector managers
• How to be a family-friendly employer
• Five simple ways to spread a social message around the globe
• Publishing all Barnet's contracts with Capita will regain public trust and placate the sceptics, says chief operating officer

On my radar ...

• The PIP 20-metre rule. Campaigner Jane Young blogs that despite hundreds of consultation responses explaining the potential impact of using 20 metres as the benchmark distance for eligibility for the enhanced mobility component of the new personal independence payment and the Motability scheme, the government has decided to keep the assessment criteria the same. More than 80% of respondents objected to the government proposal to change the distance from 50 metres. Young notes that many respondents:

... expressed serious concern that the loss of a Motability vehicle or money to run a private car will cause many disabled people to be more isolated, and/or find it harder to attend medical appointments, to the detriment of their physical and mental health.

And she adds:

The Government appears to use two main justifications for failing to capitulate in face of the vast majority of responses saying that the 20-metre distance should be replaced by a distance of at least 50 metres, although both justifications are based on the standard political mantra that "there is no money". The first justification is clearly in keeping with previous pronouncements in relation to DLA reform, that limited resources need to be spent on those with the greatest difficulties or barriers to participation. But are they really saying that as the seventh richest country in the world, Britain is unable to ensure dignity and participation for disabled people with such significant mobility difficulties that they are unable to walk more than 50 metres?
The Government's other main justification for refusing to increase the 20-metre benchmark to a more practical distance is to argue that PIP as a whole is designed to be more equitable for people who have difficulties planning and following a journey, who were disadvantaged under DLA compared with those with physical difficulty moving around.

• An interesting post on the Community Links blog, in which David Robinson compares the Welsh government's budget setting with the US situation. The Senedd, he writes, built its budget around early intervention, arguing that certain interventions made now can avoid pressures on other public services in the future. Robinson writes

On a day when the TV monitors were reporting continuously on the budget brinkmanship and last ditch deal making in Washington it was refreshing to hear that the Welsh budget had been agreed ahead of schedule because, in the words of opposition leader Leanne Wood, there is "no point in having a row for a row's sake….. agreeing at this stage means there's some security and surety among organisations out there who are facing a lot of uncertainty."
In our conversations over the last 18 months the Early Action Task Force has found remarkably little difference between the Westminster parties on either the scale or the substance of the challenges or the shape and magnitude of the changes that are needed but long term planning, spanning administrations, is still the exception.
Welsh Assembly members are showing that it is possible for the major parties in a parliamentary democracy to collaborate on the kind of agenda that cries out for sustained commitment to long term goals and strategies. It is perfectly practical but it does demand a different kind of politics, one that values sustainable solutions above short term goals, and a different kind of leadership, one that builds on common sense, in opposition and in government.

(link via Dave Briggs)

• A new post on the Institute for Government blog on how government copes with innovation. Jill Rutter writes that the story of the EU's tobacco products directive - which saw the estimated 1m plus former smokers who have switched wholly or partly to using e-cigarettes pitted against the 'health' lobby - shows how difficult policy makers find it to cope with new things. She writes:

... government not only needs to take the chance to have another look at its stance towards e-cigarettes – but to look at how it copes with innovations. Open policy making could be the key:
• Being open about how to frame an issue – rather than box it from the start in a way that almost predetermines the outcome
• Involving innovators and not just incumbents
• Consulting self-identified potential beneficiaries – as well as self-appointed 'experts'
• Giving as much weight to potential dynamic benefits as to possibly hypothetical risks
The alternative is to stick not just with closed but 'closed mind' policy making.

• An eight-year-old's plea for an MP's help in tackling crumbling living standards. The girl wrote to the shadow employment minister, Stephen Timms, asking for him to intervene on her family's behalf because "my parents keep telling me we don't have enough money". The Independent reports that the girl's letter describes how her family all sleeping in one room so they can rent out their spare bedroom and pay the rent and says that "we now even find it difficult to feed". She enclosed her school report and told Timms:

I am a hard working girl that wants to learn more and more but due to the financial situation of my parents I am unable to attend teaching lessons and swimming lessons on Saturdays because my parents say they don't have enough money.

Other news

• BBC: Email error revealed inmate details
• CivilSociety.co.uk: Debt charities sceptical about Labour plans to tax payday lenders
• Community Care: Debate not over on whether council adult services should be inspected, says CQC chief
• Inside Housing: Chair of housing association resigns
• Public Finance: 40 projects in line for UK Guarantees
• Telegraph: Civil servants to abandon 'time thief' email
• Third Sector: Big Lottery Fund awards almost £6m to 20 community projects in England

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Clare Horton

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