UN’s report into the state of poverty in the UK

Iain Wilkinson, Professor of Sociology, says the UK must accept the UN’s poverty report as reality and act now.  He maintains “It is now being made all too clear that we living in the midst of a social and economic calamity. In recent months a series of reports have been published as part of attempts to draw public debate to widespread experiences of social suffering relating to austerity and its human consequences.”

Read his comments in full in the University’s News Centre

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New Health and Social Care Scholarships

We are pleased to be able to offer three 3-year PhD scholarships (full-time or 5 years part-time) to be based in the Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS) and Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU). These scholarships are linked to new NIHR funding to develop applied health and social care research in the region.

The studentships are linked to new opportunities for research training and support across the Kent, Surrey and Sussex area as well as regional programmes of applied health and social care research in social care and social work, primary and community care, child and adolescent mental health and dementia.

We welcome applications, by 21 June 2019, from students who are enthusiastic about applied health and social care research and have completed a health or social care related postgraduate training course at Master’s level equivalent to merit or distinction.

You can find out more about this great opportunity on our Find a Scholarship pages.

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100% BCBA Pass Rate (Tizard)

The BACB has released pass rate data for first time BCBA exam candidates in 2018. We are delighted to announce that the Tizard Centre (University of Kent) had a 100% pass rate, with all 8 first-time candidates passing the exam and becoming Board Certified Behaviour Analysts – https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/BCBA-Pass-Rates-Percent_190509.pdf

We are currently accepting applications for Sept 2019, when we will begin teaching to the 5th edition task list. More details on our website: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/105/applied-behaviour-analysis

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Honorary Degree Award 2019

We are delighted to announce that Mark Brookes  is to be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Kent at its graduation ceremonies in July    Mark, who works for Dimensions as a Campaign Advisor, is an advocate and campaigner for people with learning disabilities who has particularly focused his energy on seeking to counter the hate crime and harassment so often targeted at people with learning disabilities. As a man with learning disabilities himself he is able to speak as an expert by experience. The award of an honorary degree signifies the University’s clear view that the insights, experience and practices of people with learning disabilities, like Mark, are of value and their contribution should be recognised in an academic environment. We couldn’t agree more!

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Panorama: Undercover Hospital Abuse Scandal

Panorama has gone undercover inside a hospital for vulnerable adults and revealed patients being mocked, taunted and intimidated by abusive staff. In shocking footage, reporter Olivia Davies films patients with autism and learning difficulties being deliberately provoked by staff who then physically restrain them. The Panorama investigation comes eight years after the programme exposed the scandal of abuse at Winterbourne View, another specialist hospital. Then, the Government promised to reform care for the most vulnerable. Now they stand accused of failing to keep that promise by families, campaigners and whistleblowers.

Glynis Murphy, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Disability at the Tizard Centre, was asked to comment as an expert in this field stating that much of what Panorama had found “was absolute antithesis” of good care, “it is obviously a very deviant culture“.

The CQC gave Whorlton Hall, where the abuse took place, a good rating after it inspected in 2017.  It said that since then it had warned the hospital about staff training, long hours and the excessive use of agency staff.  Dr Paul Lelliott, Chief Inspector of hospitals at the CQC commented “on this occasion it is quite clear that we did not pick up the abuse that was happening at Whorlton Hall.  All I can do is apologise to the people concerned.”

Assurances we given regarding the mistreatment of patients by the Government in 2012, along with a  commitment to closing specialist hospitals saying that care should be provided in the community.  However Panorama has found that “restrictive practices” have become more common with the use of seclusion and restraint nearly doubling over the past two years (figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Panorama).

Jonathan Beebee, of the Royal College of Nursing, said Panorama had shined a light on a “dark corner” of the sector.

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Housing shortage could hinder government’s domestic abuse proposals

Dr Marian Duggan, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, welcomes government moves to force councils to provide adequate housing to domestic abuse victims, but says a lack of available locations could hinder the initiative.

Read Dr Duggan’s comments in the University’s News Centre.

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Ethnographic study of parliaments in the UK, Myanmar and Ethiopia

Deepening democracy through political scrutiny

The fashionable idea of ‘evidence-based’ law-making implies that expert opinion consists of incontrovertible facts that can be turned into solutions, irrespective of politics. Laws about children are often conceived as if they are especially free from contamination by politics. At a seminar on 22 May, Emma Crewe, Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS, will challenge such assumptions, relying on a contemporary historical and ethnographic study to demonstrate how evidence and politics are entangled when you have conflicts over cultural change.

This event has been organised by Kent Law School and the Welfare State research cluster in SSPSSR and you can book a place online.

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