Tragedy of GP who watched wife die after begging NHS hospital to do cancer test for SEVEN MONTHS
Interesting that even a doctor can’t get an NHS hospital to budge
As an experienced GP, Uday Pathak had good reason to trust his instincts and knowledge when his wife became ill. The 62-year-old suspected she had cancer and urged medics to carry out an immediate full body scan. Tragically, they delayed for seven months and 54-year-old Pradnya later died of the disease.
Today, after an inquest heard the grandmother may have recovered if diagnosed sooner, Dr Pathak accused doctors of ‘incompetence’. Dr Uday Pathak claimed his wife could have survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma if doctors had listened to his pleas for a full body scan seven months before she died
The GP of 27 years said they should have listened to him and found the Hodgkin’s lymphoma earlier. ‘The hospital totally mismanaged her care and were totally negligent,’ he said. ‘If something like this can happen to me, what is happening for everyone else? I believe we lost eight months through clinical incompetence.’
When the scan was finally carried out at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, it showed Dr Pathak was correct all along.
Despite six months of chemotherapy, Mrs Pathak, a mother-of-two from Seabridge, Staffordshire, died in December 2008. She had been referred to the respiratory unit in May 2007 with a persistent dry cough.
Four months later, Dr Pathak said he raised the possibility his wife had cancer of the lymphatic system. But it was only in April 2008 that a body scan was carried out by the hospital’s haematology team.
Consultant haematologist Richard Chasty, who saw Mrs Pathak three days before her death, said she may have survived if diagnosed sooner.
At the hearing in Stoke, coroner Ian Smith ruled that Mrs Pathak died of natural causes. A hospital spokesman said she received ‘appropriate’ care based on her clinical condition. [Pity she died, though]
Useless, jobless men – the social blight of our age
The British benefits system has produced an emasculated generation who can find neither work nor a wife
Of all the government adverts that have swamped our radio stations these past few years (must be a quick saving there for the Treasury), one of the most irritating was the jolly woman asking us in a sing-song voice if we had remembered to report changes in our circumstances. Like hell. Every time I heard the ad it conjured up a vision of a lonely official waiting in vain at her desk for people to come in and sign away entitlements to which they feel, well, entitled.
This pathetic advert seemed to me to epitomise the politicians’ total loss of control over the monster that is our benefits system. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) presides over a system so complex that it has to issue 8,690 pages of guidance to help its staff to apply its 51 different benefits — the product of the ever more precise targeting of benefits to particular groups.
In the years of plenty, it was easier to placate and complicate than to simplify. Every new benefit and its separate computer system was just bolted on to the mainframe. But the result is that Britain has more than twice the number of sick people as France. The potential for playing the system, defrauding the system and falling foul of the system is enormous.
So in declaring war yesterday on both poverty and the benefits system, Iain Duncan Smith had it right. If the Government is going to make real inroads into the deficit it will have to tackle the nearly £200 billion welfare budget, which is a third of government spending. This week’s £6 billion of cuts was only Round 1: £6 billion is only 1 per cent of government expenditure, so this was a warm-up. Round 2 will need to take on the DWP leviathan.
But the argument for welfare reform is not just one of affordability. In too many cases, welfare has entrenched poverty. Mr Duncan Smith is one of the few politicians who really understand the poverty trap. Gordon Brown made life more bearable for many people on benefits, but he also made it harder to escape from them. Get a job tomorrow earning between £10,000 and £30,000 a year and you’ll take home only 30p out of every extra pound you earn after the first £10,000. Twenty pence will go in income tax, 11p in national insurance, and 39p in lost tax credits. Add in the loss of other allowances (housing benefit, council tax benefit) and you may find it simply doesn’t pay to work harder. Our poverty trap is deeper than that of most other European countries. That is a strange legacy for a government that wanted to make work pay.
The fear of losing benefits — of not being able to scramble back on to the lifeboat if you fall off — is a huge disincentive to change your circumstances, let alone report them. One in seven working-age households is dependent on benefits for more than half its income. More than half of all lone parents depend on the State for at least half their income. William Beveridge would be horrified to discover that the safety net he designed has become a trap, creating generations of worklessness and dwindling self-esteem. It is also creating a glut of unemployed, unwanted, unmarriageable men.
These men were overlooked during a decade of prosperity that did nothing to change their lives. At the beginning of that decade, 5.4 million working-age adults were claiming out-of-work benefits. The same number were still claiming just before the recession struck. Almost a fifth of 16 to 24-year-olds were not in education, employment or training in 1997. The number was identical in 2006. These people stayed put in the Welsh valleys, in Liverpool, in Glasgow, while Eastern Europeans travelled a thousand miles to pick up work on construction sites in London. Immigration reduced the opportunities available to white British men whose poor education made them less attractive candidates, while the benefits system undermined their motivation.
The problem affects the whole of society because of the striking correlation between male joblessness and single motherhood, particularly in the old industrial cities. In Liverpool, male unemployment rose from 12 per cent in 1971 to 30 per cent in 2001. In 1971 11 per cent of families were headed by a single parent; by 2001, 45 per cent were. Similar patterns can be seen in Birmingham, Strathclyde and Newcastle. The epidemic of male joblessness after the collapse of manufacturing industries coincided with an increase in female employment and welfare support to mothers who found that they could manage alone.
Overlooked by society, irrelevant to employers, unwanted by women who can raise families on benefits without their help, the man who has no work or a series of short-term jobs is a problem. Without steady work, he will struggle to acquire a family: unemployed men are less likely to marry or cohabit than employed ones. Without a stable relationship, he is less likely to grow into a good family man and raise good sons. The taxpayer has become the father: one in four mothers is single and more than half live on welfare. A lot of these women describe the real fathers of their children as “useless” or worse. The men have no role.
In the worst cases, the State has helped to create a class of jobless serial boyfriends who prey on single mothers on benefits. When two of these men moved into the flat that Haringey Council had generously provided for Tracey Connelly, Baby P’s mother, the little boy’s fate was sealed. They killed him. Other such men appear in bit parts in tragedies such as that of Shannon Matthews, abducted and drugged by her own “family”. The welfare system has helped to deprive these children of the most effective check on abuse — the family.
Robert Rowthorn, Professor of Economics at Cambridge, has shown that female and male worklessness have been going in opposite directions for 30 years, well before this latest “mancession”. His research suggests that half the rise in lone parenthood in the past 30 years may be due to male unemployment. He believes that governments must start to focus on these men, and question the feminisation of education and the workplace. It is no solution, he says, to say that women don’t need men or that men should become more female. Nor is it any good waiting for economic growth to dig them out of poverty. Those men need a chance, not a benefits system that undermines them.
British university graduates ‘preparing to take low-paid jobs’
Only a quarter of arts and humanities final-year students expect to start graduate jobs this summer, research has found
The majority of students leaving university in coming months do not expect to land decent jobs, it was revealed, as the recession continues to have a “profound effect” on the employment market.
Thousands of final-year degree students are preparing to accept low-paid work in bars, supermarkets and call centres, according to figures. As thousands of undergraduates take end-of-course exams this month, it emerged that only a quarter of those on arts and humanities courses were preparing to secure work in graduate professions.
The disclosure came in a survey of more than 16,000 final year students – a fifth of those nationally – by analysts High Fliers Research. It comes despite fears that graduates are facing record levels of debt this summer, with the average student being forced to repay £18,100 for a three year course. Debts rise to £25,700 in parts of London.
The jobs shortage was blamed on a “substantial backlog” in the number of jobless graduates from previous years – creating additional pressure on the employment market in 2010. Researchers said 8,000 extra job applications had been made to leading companies by the end of October as students attempted to steal a march on competitors.
It was also disclosed that thousands of students are preparing to take a postgraduate course as an alternative to finding a job. Some 26 per cent of students will remain in higher education after completing degrees this year, figures show.
Martin Birchall, High Fliers Research managing director, said students takings courses such as arts and humanities courses, such as fine art, drama, dance, music, history and geography, were likely to be hardest hit.
“The recession may be officially over, but with a record number of students due to complete degrees in the coming weeks and tens of thousands of last year’s graduates still looking for work, there is widespread concern on campus that competition for graduate jobs has never been fiercer,” he said. “The research highlights that students from arts and humanities courses and those who’ve had little or no work experience during their time at university are the least confident about the future.”
According to the study, 36 per cent of students believe they will start a graduate job – or start looking for one – when they leave university this summer. Numbers slump to 25 per cent among arts and humanities students.
Some 26 per cent of all students are preparing to move on to postgraduate courses, while a third will take “any job they are offered”, the study said.
This suggests large numbers of students will embark on low-paid jobs in shops, cafes, call centres and building sites – failing to use their degree for many years.
The disclosure comes despite mounting concerns over graduate debt. In 2010, the average debt being faced by students on a three-year degree was £18,100. Students preparing to leave Imperial College London were expecting to pay back as much as £25,700.
Why I keep banging on and on about Global bloody Warming
By James Delingpole
“Can’t you find something else to talk about?” someone (a nice, sympathetic person, not one of my house herd of festering libtard trolls) commented below one of my previous blogs.
So let me explain, briefly, why I rarely can – with reference to the ludicrous story which was given the front page of today’s Times (formerly a newspaper of some note).
The story, enthusiastically headlined EU SETS TOUGHEST TARGETS TO FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING goes like this:
Europe will introduce a surprise new plan today to combat global warming, committing Britain and the rest of the EU to the most ambitious targets in the world. The plan proposes a massive increase in the target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in this decade.
The European Commission is determined to press ahead with the cuts despite the financial turmoil gripping the bloc, even though it would require Britain and other EU member states to impose far tougher financial penalties on their industries than are being considered by other large economies.
The plan, to cut emissions by 30 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020, would cost the EU an extra £33 billion a year by 2020, according to a draft of the Commission’s communication leaked to The Times.
The existing target of a 20 per cent cut is already due to cost £48 billion. The Commission will argue that the lower target has become much easier to meet because of the recession, which resulted in the EU’s emissions falling more than 10 per cent last year as thousands of factories closed or cut production. Emissions last year were already 14 per cent below 1990 levels.
Can you see what’s wrong with this story? Clearly the Environment Correspondent author couldn’t, nor his news editors. If they had they would have reported it in an entirely different way – not, as a largely sensible proposal to deal with a real and serious problem which might nonetheless likely to run into various local difficulties. But as one of the most scandalous outbreaks of hysteria, credulousness and stupidity in the entire history of the human race.
Here’s the problem: the global economy has gone tits up. We are doomed. And nowhere is more doomed than Europe whose Monopoly-money currency is going the way of the Zimbabwe dollar and the Reichsmark, and whose constituent economies are so overburdened by sclerotic regulation and so mired in corruption, waste and the kind of institutionalised socialism which might work just about when the going’s good but definitely not now sir now sirree.
And what, pray, is the European Union’s solution to this REAL problem which has already led to riots and death in one country and which could well lead to many more in the horror years to come? Why, to impose on its already hamstrung, over-regulated, over-taxed businesses yet further arbitrary CO2 emissions reductions targets, which will make not the blindest difference to the health of the planet, but which will most certainly slow down economic recovery and make life harder and more miserable for everybody.
In Britain, David Cameron is wedded to the same suicidal policy – on the one hand brandishing £6.5 billion cuts in government spending as though this were a sign of his maturity and his commitment to reducing Britain’s deficit, while on the other remaining committed to a “low carbon” economy set to destroy what’s left of our industry and cost the taxpayer at least £18 billion (yep – almost THREE times as much as the pathetic cuts announced so far by his pathetic chancellor) a year.
Around the world, in the greatest financial crisis we have faced since the 1930s, our leaders are behaving like imbeciles. And nowhere is this imbecility more painfully manifest than in their approach to the non-existent problem they now call Climate Change.
That’s why I keep banging on about Climate Change. It is, unfortunately, the Key to all Mythologies.
Royal Society ‘to re-examine climate message’
Britain’s national academy of science is to review its messages on climate change after complaints from its Fellows that the publicised views were oversimplified, according to reports
The Royal Society is to create a panel to put together a consensus statement after the assertion by 43 Fellows that its messages failed to draw a line between fact and conjecture, the BBC claimed.
The panel, chaired by John Pethica, vice-president of the Society, will publish the document in September after reviews by two subgroups, who are said to have questions about the popular view of the threat posed by increasing quantities of C02 in the atmosphere.
A panel member told BBC News: “The timetable is very tough – one draft has already been rejected as completely inadequate. “This is a very serious challenge to the way the society operates. In the past we have been able to give advice to governments as a society without having to seek consensus of all the members.”
The member reportedly said it may not even be possible for the panel to agree upon a consensus view and added they thought some of the society’s public messages had been badly thought out.
Criticism is principally centred on Climate Change Controversies, a document which defends mainstream science from accusations thought by the Society to be improper. It says: “This is not intended to provide exhaustive answers to every contentious argument that has been put forward by those who seek to distort and undermine the science of climate change …”
One Fellow reportedly said: “This appears to suggest that anyone who questions climate science is malicious. But in science everything is there to be questioned – that should be the very essence of the Royal Society. Some of us were very upset about that.”
A spokesman from the Royal Society declined to respond, saying: “We will be issuing a release about this later on. It will be based on fact rather than speculation.” [Now THAT'S a departure!]