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Heather Hunter obituary
My friend Heather Hunter, who has died aged 64 of oesophageal cancer, was an occupational therapist specialising in the mental health of children and families.Although OTs have long been associated with helping adults in the workplace, Heather was one of those who worked alongside other professionals to support traumatised children’s emotional, sensory and environmental needs through the use of play-based therapy.Heather worked for the best part of two decades at leading hospitals in the central belt of Scotland. Later she moved into the academic field, lecturing at her alma mater, Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, for 25 years and becoming a champion of applying psychoanalytic thinking to occupational therapy.In 2005 she was appointed a member of the Mental health tribunal for Scotland, which hears applications for, and appeals against, compulsory treatment orders
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Labour must beware the pitfalls of its new towns policy | Letters

As a former town planning policy adviser to both Tony Blair and David Cameron, I have only one question about Labour’s proposed new towns: who will benefit from the significant increase in land value arising from granting planning permission for them (Labour will aim to reveal new town sites within first year in power, 20 May)?Postwar new town legislation forced landowners to sell land to the state at the existing use value. The surplus from the later resale of the land at market prices paid for infrastructure and affordable housing. Angela Rayner gave no suggestion that Labour would deploy such heavy artillery. But if it does, it would be well advised not to announce new town locations until it has control of the land, “grey belt” or otherwise.Alternatively, existing tools such as planning obligations and community infrastructure levies could be used to tax this value out of the hands of the landowner beneficiaries, with the proceeds spent locally

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Tone-deaf response to patients’ needs | Brief letters

Your report on deaf people struggling to access healthcare in the NHS (26 May) reminded me of an incident that my profoundly deaf uncle said occurred when he turned up for an 11am appointment at an NHS audiology clinic. He still hadn’t been seen by midday, and when he asked what was going on, a nurse said: “Oh, we called out your name several times.”Karl SabbaghDefford, Worcestershire Re phones in concerts (Letters, 27 May), why don’t more venues do what Bob Dylan does? He has tried continually for years to stop recordings and photographs. Now, when you enter the concert you must place your mobile in a wallet, which is then locked. You keep the wallet with you, and as you leave it is unlocked

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Lawrence Whalley obituary

Few in our 70s and 80s would submit willingly to detailed intelligence testing. However, my friend Lawrence Whalley, who has died aged 78 after a heart attack, persuaded hundreds of such older Aberdonians to do so, some even under simulation of their childhood examination conditions, invigilated by a gowned dominie. The results of this research were to prove groundbreaking in the field of age-related mental decline.In the late 1980s, when Lawrence was made professor in mental health at Aberdeen University, his first wife, Patricia (nee McCarthy), a teacher, told him about a forgotten archive of about 150,000 IQ tests that had been performed in 1932 and 1947 on all Scottish 11-year-old schoolchildren.Lawrence obtained permission to access these for medical research

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Giving young children peanut products cuts allergy risk, study finds

Feeding children peanut products from infancy until the age of five cuts their risk of developing a peanut allergy into early adolescence, researchers say.Children who ate peanut pastes or puffed peanut snacks regularly from four to six months onwards were 71% less likely to have a peanut allergy at age 13 than those who avoided peanuts, pointing to a long-lasting effect of early peanut consumption.The simple dietary intervention could prevent about 10,000 cases of potentially life-threatening peanut allergies each year in the UK alone, doctors said, and cut global cases by 100,000 annually.Gideon Lack, professor of paediatric allergy at King’s College London, said decades of advice to avoid peanuts had made parents wary of giving them to their children from such an early age. But he said the evidence was now clear that early exposure to peanuts provided long-term protection against the allergy

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Charity Commission drops inquiry into Campaign Against Antisemitism

The Charity Commission has dropped its investigation into the Campaign Against Antisemitism – four years after the regulator was asked to look into allegations of political partisanship against the organisation.The leftwing Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), which has faced criticism from the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), including being called a “sham Jewish representative organisation”, made a complaint against the CAA to the commission in 2020.JVL, which has had dozens of members investigated by Labour for alleged antisemitism, was previously told by the commission that it was investigating the CAA, and the regulator gave a statement to the Guardian last year saying it had opened a regulatory compliance case into the charity.However, earlier this month, the commission wrote to JVL saying that its application to remove CAA from the register of charities had had been refused because it was not “a person that is or may be affected by the registration of CAA”, leading to consternation at JVL, given the length of time taken and the regulator’s previous statements.The veteran human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman KC said: “There can be no dispute that political campaigning requires investigation