A ground-breaking outsourcing project to provide low-cost health and care services for the elderly and mental health patients collapsed within months, leaving taxpayers with a £16m bill, auditors have reported. The failure of the £800m scheme run by UnitingCare Partnership for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough clinical commissioning group is highlighted in a critical report today by the National Audit Office. Sources told Exaro that without proper oversight, similar projects elsewhere in England could suffer a similar fate.
UK / CHILD ABUSE
A child sexual abuse survivor has launched a withering attack on the Church of England and its insurers, claiming their handling of his case was “monstrous”.
The survivor, known publicly as “Joe”, was paid £35,000 in compensation after he successfully exposed abuse by a senior church official in the 1970s.
The National Police Chiefs Council’s lead officer on child sexual abuse has told Exaro that the number of cases of alleged abuse by prominent people could increase further. Simon Bailey, the chief constable of Norfolk, this week outlined why he believes police forces are handling heavier caseloads of CSA claims than ever before – including the number of allegations made against prominent individuals.
Police are now investigating 2,777 alleged child sexual abuse offenders under Operation Hydrant - an increase of 449 since February, according to new figures. Officers working on Operation Hydrant, the over-arching police investigation into alleged child sex abuse by prominent people and at key institutions, today released their quarterly update.
British troops destroyed chemical weapons bought from a warlord suspected of arming anti-coalition militia in Iraq. On the eve of Sir John Chilcot’s report into the 2003 Iraq war, Exaro has seen documents revealing UK-US reluctance to publish fresh details of operations to obtain and destroy more than 35 tonnes of chemical weapons following the removal of Saddam Hussein.
Shadow education secretary Lucy Powell is calling for greater safeguards on who can work as private tutors for children. The Labour MP made the call after Exaro established that teachers who are banned from the profession or even have convictions for child abuse are free to work as private tutors. Parents have no way of carrying out their own background checks for most private tutors.
Police today submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service on allegations against a former MP of raping an under-age girl. The CPS will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge the former MP, along with several other alleged perpetrators of repeated sexual abuse against the girl. Detectives interviewed the ex-MP under caution over the allegations last October, but have not arrested him.
England’s health watchdog has given up on meeting its target of inspecting all care homes for elderly people under a new rating regime by September. Exaro has established that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has again fallen far behind in its programme to inspect social-care services for adults under a new rating system introduced in response to Robert Francis’s inquiry into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.
Children’s charity NSPCC is to stop providing the helpline service for the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse. The helpline service attracted strong criticism from some abuse survivors when it started. A month after the helpline launched, the inquiry announced that it would tender the contract to run the service. The £1m contract is for three years, with an option to extend it to 2020.
Local councils are to be slammed for wasting “tens of millions of pounds” because of the poor quality of spending data published by them. Transparency International UK, the anti-corruption organisation, is set to publish a damning report that will highlight the failings by local authorities in how they publish spending data. It will say: “Local government in England is increasingly becoming a significant corruption risk.”
Detectives have combined a series of investigations into alleged cover-ups of child sex abuse by VIPs into one umbrella operation. Exaro can reveal that allegations about how Scotland Yard “corruptly” dropped old cases on claims against celebrities, politicians and other prominent people are being investigated under ‘Operation Winter Key’. It covers allegations about shelved investigations up to 2012.