NHS boss disciplined for telling the truth about NHS staff

A director of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service has been disciplined after making a withering attack on ‘lazy’ NHS staff through Facebook.

In an online discussion, David Forster said the NHS employed ‘too many who are lazy, unproductive, obstinate, militant, aggressive at every turn and who couldn’t secure a job anywhere outside the bloated public sector where mediocrity is too often shielded by weak and unprincipled HR policies’.

The NHS trust said the matter had been dealt with internally, adding: ‘these are the personal opinions of an individual and in no way reflect the sentiment of the organisation. We hold our dedicated and professional staff in high regard. ‘Yorkshire Ambulance Service has dealt with this matter under normal trust procedures.’

Mr Forster, a policy and strategy director, declined to comment.

Graham Stuart, Tory MP for Beverley and Holderness, said: ‘People must be allowed their own private opinions.

If those who work in tough public sector assignments can’t let off steam even with friends, I think we are going too far in invading people’s private rights.’


Famous British NHS hospital says sorry for fatal delay to teenager’s ’30-minute surgery’

They killed him by negligence and indifference

Children’s hospital Great Ormond Street has apologised after a teenager died while waiting for a simple operation that could have saved his life.

The hospital was repeatedly warned that Arvind Jain, 13, needed urgent surgery to help him swallow because he suffered from a muscle-wasting disease.

But surgeons at the hospital failed to arrange the operation or turn up for vital meetings about his condition and after six months of waiting Arvind died from complications.

Arvind’s parents, Ashok, 63, a retired engineer, and Mridula, 49, a civil servant, have been too upset to discuss their son’s death. But his older sister Shushma, 28, a support teacher, said: ‘We sat and watched for two months as my gorgeous and brave brother deteriorated as he could not be fed or have medications. He became skin and bones and died due to malnutrition.

‘The truth is, he needed a minor operation – lasting just half an hour – to allow him to carry on living but they wouldn’t give it to him.’

She said her brother had other problems related to his condition but they were managed and he had led a fruitful life until he lost the ability to eat in late 2008.

‘Although he was in a wheelchair, he was out every day with various members of the family doing different things such as swimming,’ she said.

‘He had a meaningful life and his intellect was not greatly impaired apart from being slightly behind with reading. He had never, ever been in hospital so that shows that despite his condition, he was leading a relatively normal life.

‘He had a meaningful life and his intellect was not greatly impaired apart from being slightly behind with reading. He had never, ever been in hospital so that shows that despite his condition, he was leading a relatively normal life.

‘We cannot work out why Great Ormond Street surgeons didn’t offer him this operation. ‘It is almost as if they had decided to write him off. It is a disgrace if that’s how they felt.’

The family, from Cricklewood, North London, say the surgical team at the children’s hospital failed to respond to urgent requests for their son to have the operation to insert a feeding tube into his stomach. They also say they failed to turn up to two meetings to discuss the procedure and no explanation was given.

In a complaint to the hospital, they say doctors assessing Arvind at Great Ormond Street told them the operation meant he ‘would be OK and would be able to go to school in September’, and it would give him ‘quality of life’. Instead, they were forced to watch as his condition deteriorated because he was not receiving adequate nutrition and had to resort to placing ice cubes in his mouth to help him drink.

Arvind was diagnosed at the age of three with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which causes muscles to gradually weaken. Sufferers are usually confined to a wheelchair by their teens but they can survive to around 40 with good care.

In December 2008, he was admitted to his local hospital, the Royal Free, with feeding problems. Despite recommendations Great Ormond Street’s own neuromuscular doctors sent to its surgical team that it should carry out what is a standard procedure, there was no response and subsequent letters sent within Great Ormond Street went unanswered.

The family say Arvind was no longer able to use a temporary feeding tube and an intravenous drip, set up to give him essential fluids, could not be inserted into his veins as they had collapsed. He died on August 9.

After an internal review, Great Ormond Street offered its ‘sincere apologies’ and said it accepted that management was poor and letters should have been answered. However, it added that while the feeding tube would have ‘been effective in treating Arvind’s specific problem with feeding’, other problems contributed to his deterioration.


Free the police and save billions

David Copperfield, a former British cop now serving in Canada, explains why his new force is so much better – and cheaper – for the public — a telling commentary on what 13 years of Labour party rule has done to British policing. Massive bureaucracy thwarts crime control. Leftists have faith in regulations, not people. No prizes for guessing which works best

The prophets of doom say Home Office cuts will hand Britain’s streets to criminals: 60,000 police jobs could go, says the BBC; the Association of Chief Police Officers thinks 20,000 bobbies could be sacked. I read these reports from across the Atlantic – having left the British police to join a force in Canada two years ago – with bemusement. My experience tells me that you could easily slash billions from budgets and actually improve policing, which is now a job creation scheme for bureaucrats.

Over here in the wheat-and-oil province of Alberta, Edmonton is home to one million people and is a relatively high-crime city by Canadian standards. Compare us with Greater Manchester Police. They cover about 2.5 million people, but the problems – drugs, sex offences, violent crime, domestic abuse, burglary and public order – are the same.

I now carry a gun, and I’m probably a bit slimmer than the average Manchester bobby (as a result of a compulsory annual fitness test and a well-equipped gym at work), but my responsibilities are similar: I investigate everything from murders to school bullying; I enforce traffic laws; I give out parking tickets; and I patrol the streets. People still ask me for the time, directions to the nearest bus station, and what the drink-drive limit is.

So how do both forces stack up? Well, there are 10 violent crimes per 1,000 people in Edmonton; in Greater Manchester, Home Office statistics show 16 offences of violence per 1,000 people (in Manchester itself, the figure is nearly 24/1,000, and in Britain as a whole, 15/1,000).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our 2009 Citizen Survey shows that 89 per cent of residents “have a lot of confidence in the Edmonton Police Service”, with 66 per cent saying they feel safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark. In the GMP area, only 50 per cent of people think the police are doing an “excellent or good” job, which leaves an awful lot of unhappy taxpayers.

But do we spend more money? No. The EPS budget for 2010 is £150 million – or £150 for every citizen. The GMP budget is £690 million – or £276 for every citizen. They could lose 40 per cent of their budget and still have more cash per capita than we do.

Of course, how you spend money is important. GMP employs 8,232 police officers in a total staff of 13,082, or one person for every 181 members of the public. My force employs about 1,400 officers and 500 civilians – one person for every 526 members of the public.

So with less money and far fewer cops, we do a better job, and there are lessons that can be learnt by British officers and their political masters.

First, bureaucracy. When I worked in Britain, if I arrested a man over a fight in a pub, it could easily take six hours to deal with – even if he admitted the offence. Central custody can be 20 miles away or more. When you get there you have to wait to book him in, wait for his lawyer, interview him on tape, fill in endless forms in longhand, usually duplicating the same information, fax it all to the CPS and wait some more while they tell you whether you can charge him.

In Edmonton, I decide whether to charge, after quickly running through the facts with my sergeant on the phone. I don’t usually interview the guy – he can save his story for the court. I also decide whether to bail him. If I want to remand him, I’ll have another short discussion and take him to jail, with a few pieces of paper and a copy of my brief report.

We do all this while having regard for the proper rights of suspects: they get to talk to lawyers (over the phone, not in person), they get to make complaints, and it’s all done on video. A Charter of Human Rights is written into Canadian law. I’m back on the street a short while after the arrest.

I’m not alone, either – and the second key is that we actually police. The Chief Inspector of Constabulary reported last week that in larger forces like GMP, as few as six per cent of warranted officers were available at any one time to deal with crime. The rest were either tied up with paperwork or were part of the huge cadre of cops who never leave the station.

Over here, everyone is hands-on, almost all the time – even senior officers. Yesterday, my superintendent questioned us closely about a series of burglaries on our patch. To those serving in the penal battalions of the British police, the idea that a superintendent might care about burglaries, or know which officer to speak to about them, and might even turn up regularly on a morning parade, is fanciful.

Which brings me to my third point. When I got back to my car, I turned on my wireless laptop and brought up the real-time crime map, detailing incidents, methods and likely suspects. Then I went to try to catch them.

This technology gives us a great advantage over the British bobby – I can check vehicles and people, access intelligence reports, update incidents, write reports and charge people without having to return to the station. I can see which calls are still waiting for police attention and how many minutes they’ve been waiting. (British officers note: minutes, not hours, and certainly not days.)

The fourth crucial difference in policing is that we are financed by local taxpayers. We do what they want, not some central government police minister based in Ottawa (I think it’s Ottawa; Canada’s a big place). There are no standing armies of crime auditors, policing pledge compliance teams (yes, still) and crime management units. It’s just cops, policing.

Rank-and-file British police are among the finest in the world, which is why Canada has been keen to recruit them. It’s just the system that lets them – and the public – down. So my message to the Home Office is simple: cut the paperwork, sack bureaucrats, free up your police – and see what happens.


Antisemitic British judge gets vandals freed

A senior judge was under investigation yesterday after being accused of making anti-Semitic remarks in court that may have swayed his jury into acquitting a group of protesters.

Judge George Bathurst-Norman was said by critics to have persuaded a jury to clear a group of campaigners who smashed up a factory making parts for Israeli warplanes. Summing up in the criminal damage trial, he compared Israel to the Nazi regime and accused the country of ignoring international law. The judge added that ‘there may be much to be admired’ about the chief protester, and that ‘in the last war he would probably have received a George Medal’.

The Office for Judicial Complaints, which deals with objections over the conduct of judges and magistrates, confirmed that an inquiry into how Judge Bathurst-Norman handled the trial of five political activists at Hove Crown Court in June is under way.

Its findings will be considered by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and Lord Chancellor Kenneth Clarke, who have the final say on any disciplinary action. A number of complaints are said to have accused the judge not just of anti-Israel rhetoric but specifically of anti-Semitism.

The case involved a group of activists who broke into and vandalised a Brighton factory run by engineering firm EDO MBM. The company was making parts for use in the bomb-aiming equipment on Israeli F16 warplanes. The invasion shut the factory for a week and caused £187,000 worth of damage. But five men and women who appeared in court claimed they had done nothing wrong under criminal damage law.

The law says someone is not guilty of causing damage if they believed it was necessary for the immediate protection of someone else’s property. It is framed to protect, for example, someone who smashes a neighbour’s door down if they believe their house is on fire.

However, in the Brighton case, the activists claimed they believed their invasion was necessary for the protection of property in Gaza. Several similar defences by protesters have been successful in recent years. In 2008, six Greenpeace protesters were acquitted after causing £30,000 worth of damage at a coal-fired power station. The jury in that case accepted they had acted to prevent climate change causing greater damage.

Describing evidence shown in court, Judge Bathurst-Norman told the jury that he could only describe the ‘horrific’ events shown as ‘scenes which one would rather have hoped to have disappeared with the Nazi regimes of the last war’. In his summing up, he gave his backing to the evidence of one defendant, Ornella Saibene, a former Greenham Common activist.

The judge said: ‘She took us through the horrors, and there really is no other word for it than horrors, that emerged in the press and on the news and the footage as to what the Israelis were doing in Gaza. ‘You may think that perhaps “Hell on Earth” would be an understatement of what the Gazans endured.’

Among groups complaining was the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Its president, Vivian Wineman, said: ‘The judge’s comments give rise to profound concerns about the appropriateness of his directions to the jury.’

Jonathan Hoffman, of the Zionist Federation, said: ‘This opens the door to any group which thinks the British presence in Afghanistan is wrong to go and smash up plants supplying British forces.’


Cutting British education quangos ‘could save £500m’

Cutting funding to education quangos could save the government more than £500 million a year, a report has claimed. Many quangos – quasi non-governmental organisations – waste taxpayers’ money because their services are widely available in the private sector while others spend millions on programmes of questionable value, the study said.

Savings of £520 million could be made by cutting funding for the government-funded bodies, which are designed to support the education system, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The report comes after 700 schools were told that building projects promised to them by the previous government would have to be scrapped due to a lack of funding.

Among the potential savings identified by the CIPD was the £146 million annual budget for the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), a body offering free consultancy to course providers such as colleges.

Analysts said the spending of £6.5 million on delivering awards for “outstanding providers and practitioners” and £1 million on promoting healthy life styles within further education “bring into doubt how effectively their resources are being used.”

The LSIS was also guilty of “crowding out” private companies which could offer the same service, and was “merely using public funds to boost the performance of colleges”, the report added.

Other annual savings included: £51 million from the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA), which the government has pledged to close down; £19 million from Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK), a representative body for the skills sector; £7 million from the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), which promotes adult learning; and £89 million from Regional Development Agencies, which are to be scrapped and replaced by Local Enterprise Partnerships under government proposals.

The report concluded: “Even though they are responsible for substantial budgets, the quangos have seldom, if ever, been asked to justify their budgets or outline their contribution to the economy and society as a whole.

“This absence of an accountability mechanism appears to have allowed many quangos to continue their work without being expected to justify their existence and performance.”

Tom Richmond, Policy Adviser on Skills, CIPD, said: “With so much money at stake and with imminent spending reductions across many government departments, the role, purpose and operations of each individual quango must therefore be revisited as a matter of urgency.”


Fad diets could lead to osteoporosis


Non-dairy or wheat free fad diets could be putting young women at risk of developing osteoporosis in later life, experts have warned. Research shows that nearly a third of women are so desperate to lose weight that they are cutting out entire food groups.

The warning comes just weeks after Gwyneth Paltrow revealed she is suffering from osteopenia, a thinning of the bones that can be a forerunner to osteoporosis.

The 37-year-old actress follows a strict diet that is low in cheese, milk butter and other dairy foods that are rich sources of bone-strengthening calcium.

A poll of the eating habits of 4,500 British women found that 30 per cent admitted to avoiding entire types of food when trying to slim for summer. Some 28 per cent of these said they give up cheese and, for 11 per cent, all dairy products are taken off the menu. More than four in ten (41 per cent) cut out bread, which, by law, is fortified with calcium.

More than a quarter of those surveyed (26 per cent) by supplement firm ellactiva said they only look at the fat and calorie content of food labels, ignoring all the other information about their nutritional content.

Failure to build strong bones by the age of 35 raises the risk of osteoporosis in later life. The condition affects three million Britons and is blamed for more than 230,000 broken bones a year, with wrists, spines and hips being most fragile.

The Food Standard Agency says adults should be able to get the 700mg of calcium a day they need from a varied or balanced diet. Good sources other than bread and dairy products include broccoli and cabbage, tofu and nuts. Sardines, pilchards, and other fish where we eat the bones are also rich in the mineral.

A spokesman for the National Osteoporosis Society said: “This latest research highlights the worrying implications that body image can have on bone health. Both calcium and fat play a role in building bone so fad diets that cut these out completely can be damaging.”

“There’s a lot of pressure to be slim, but by trying to stay too thin, bone health can be compromised. “Low fat dairy products are available and many actually contain more calcium that the full fat varieties. For example, skimmed milk has more calcium than full fat.”


The wonder of life

A twin girl has become the youngest baby to be born prematurely and survive in Britain, it has been claimed

Amelia Hope Burden was born before the 24-week legal limit for abortion when her mother was just 23 weeks and two days pregnant, the Daily Mail reported. She was born weighing only 1 lb 2oz ten days before her brother Arthur arrived at 1 lb 4oz. He was born in July after Amanda Staplehurst had been pregnant for 24 weeks.

She went to hospital complaining of stomach cramps only to be told that she was in labour. Amelia Hope showed little sign of life but doctors were able to revive her. Under law they are not obliged to do so unless they feel it is in the child’s best interest.

Miss Staplehurst, 30, from Bournemouth, told the Daily Mail: “Doctors said she had just a 10 per cent of chance of survival and we never thought she’d pull through. “Then having delivered Amelia Hope, it was totally bizarre that for ten days I remained pregnant with Arthur. The doctors have told us they’ve never come across a case like it.”

The babies are being kept in incubators but are putting on weight and said to be developing well.

The twins’ survival will give weight to the campaign to have the abortion limit lowered. Some campaigners would like to see it reduced to 20 weeks. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, voted for a cut earlier this year and has said that an upper limit of 20 or 22 weeks would be “sensible”.

The previous British record for surviving premature twins was 24 weeks, the paper reported.


Dangerous nuclear hatred in Britain’s coalition government

This has the hallmarks of the Liberals getting their way

If ever there was a necessary state intervention, it was the loan agreed by a dying Labour government to Forgemasters to finance the production of components for nuclear power stations – of which there is a worldwide shortage of capacity.

Yet, one of the first things the Clegerons did was cancel the loan – and on grounds that now look very dubious indeed, if The Guardian and the rest of the media have got the details right.

With accusations of sleaze in the air, we are looking at an administration which is on track to be just as vile and disreputable as its predecessor, only in a fraction of the time, especially with that sleazebag Huhne being accused of messing up the loan – possibly deliberately (8 minutes into the video).

The current row follows on from a report by KPMG which tells us that without more direct support from the government, it is still uneconomic for utility companies to invest billions of pounds in nuclear power.

The view is that it is unlikely that the new generation of nuclear plants will actually get built – something which has been evident for some time – simply though noting the lack of news or actual progress. As the timetable slides, and as we see the Forgemaster loan go down the tubes, there is only one conclusion – we are stuffed, stuffed, stuffed.

The Chinese, who recently reported commissioning their first fourth generation plant, and has unveiled plans to increase its 9.1 gigawatts of nuclear power to 40 gigawatts by 2020, must be lost in amazement at the willingness of British politicians to commit economic (and political) suicide.

Our expectations of the previous administration were always low, but there are some who actually expected more of the present incumbents. But it seems to be a general rule of thumb when assessing governments that, just when you think things have got as bad as it is possible for them to be … they get worse.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Global warming’s unscientific attitude

Peddlers of phony scare stories are afraid to release data — A scathing editorial from The Washington Times

What separates a scientific claim from mere opinion is its ability to be tested by experiment. No true scientist objects to having his theories verified; the charlatan is the one with something to hide. Not surprisingly, purveyors of global warming have proved anything but open.

In the current issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Law and Management, Australian researchers evaluated the community of so-called climate scientists and found them to be “antagonistic toward the disclosure of information.” Professor John Abbot of Central Queensland University, a chemist and lawyer, and biologist Jennifer Marohasy studied the response of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU) and the Met Office – Britain’s national weather service – to various information requests.

The most noteworthy of these was United Kingdom resident David Holland’s demand for the raw data underlying the infamous “hockey stick” graph that was published in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports. This chart was the centerpiece of the claim that the 20th century was the hottest in a thousand years. The stir that Mr. Holland’s request triggered among the scientists who worked on the report was captured in the Climategate e-mails.

“If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone,” CRU scientist Phil Jones wrote in a February 2005 e-mail. “We think we’ve found a way around this.” So much for transparency.

Under the British Freedom of Information law, like the similar U.S. statute, information created at the public expense must – with limited exceptions – be made available to the public that paid for it. At first, the Met Office answered Mr. Holland’s request for data regarding a relatively uncontroversial chapter in the IPCC report. When he asked them for similar details regarding the hockey stick, the Met Office got around the law by claiming the data were “personal information” generated in the free time of the scientists involved. When this dodge failed to hold up, the Met Office began claiming that the records had been deleted.

“Of concern is evidence of a predisposition towards uncooperativeness on the part of the Met Office, which also used spurious claims of deleted correspondence and personal information in attempts to block the release of information,” Mr. Abbot and Ms. Marohasy wrote. The attitude isn’t limited to Britain. The Washington Times asked the White House Council on Environmental Quality for its oldest pending FOIA requests. Among the top five was an August 26 letter from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeking documents related to its work on climate-change legislation and the Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called greenhouse gas ruling.

None of these simple requests should have been denied or delayed. Many of those involved in purported climate science seem more preoccupied with advancing a leftist, anti-business legislative agenda than respecting the integrity of the scientific method. It’s obvious why. Their cataclysmic scare stories are unable to withstand scrutiny. By deleting e-mails and using tricks to hide the inconvenient decline in global temperatures, the climate alarmists prove to be not men of science, but ordinary frauds.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

About jonjayray

I am former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party. The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody
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