NHS gastric bypass goes wrong
Gastric bypass father who lost 12 stone sues NHS after eating becomes agony
At 24 stone, Tim Daily was so overweight he was battling mini-strokes, diabetes and a heart condition. The 47-year-old’s obesity problem was serious enough that he was offered a gastric bypass operation on the NHS.
But although the surgery helped him lose half his body weight over the next four months, he says the results have left him in a ‘living hell’. He experiences agonising pain whenever he swallows solid food, has been treated in hospital for malnutrition and is now fed through a tube linked directly to his stomach.
Mr Daily, a financial adviser, said: ‘I would rather be 24 stone again than live like this. ‘It is a living hell. I’m not the happy-chappy guy I used to be. I feel down all the time. I’m ill and desperate.
‘I crave food every day. ‘On a good day I can eat a biscuit washed down with plenty of morphine. Otherwise I don’t eat. ‘I was always a very social person. Going out for meals was a huge part of my life. I can’t even pop out for a meal – it’s ruined my life.’ If I do eat a meal I’m having to down loads of morphine then my wife has to cart me off because I’ve passed out. ‘Christmas dinner, Easter, family occasions – they are all ruined for me.
‘I was promised when I had the operation I would still be able to eat afterwards. ‘How would you like it if you could never eat food again?’ He is suing the NHS for a six-figure sum, claiming that he was not warned about possible complications from the £12,000 surgery.
He says he has been left with the choice of never eating solids again or a one in four chance of death if he has experimental corrective surgery. ‘I could die if I have the corrective operation. I’m only 47 and I can’t put myself at risk because I have a wife, two daughters and two grandchildren,’ he added. Mr Daily, who is 5ft 11in, had the gastric bypass operation in October 2008 when his body mass index stood at nearly 47 – morbidly obese. Anything above 30 is considered obese.
The operation realigned his digestive tract and reduced the size of his stomach with staples to prevent him eating too much or too often.
But last July, a tube was fitted into his stomach after his weight halved and he was diagnosed with malnutrition because he was not eating enough. Now nutrients are pumped straight into his stomach from a backpack worn during the day and a machine beside his bed at night.
He weighs 11st 7lb and has a BMI of 22.5 but is still losing weight and is too tired to work. Before the operation he worked a 45-hour week, earning £100,000 a year. Now he averages less than three hours’ work a day and his wife Jenny, 46, is his full-time carer. Doctors believe that the pain he suffers from eating solid food is a result of nerve damage caused by complications following the operation.
On the rare occasions he does have solid food he needs to take oral morphine. In a typical month Mr Daily, of Newport Pagnell, in Buckinghamshire, drinks nearly a gallon of the painkiller.
He has instructed solicitors Kester Cunningham John to sue for loss of quality of life, loss of earnings and the pain he is suffering. A spokesman said: ‘We are currently assessing the case and waiting for further medical evidence from the hospital trust.’
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Charing Cross Hospital in West London, yesterday said it had not received any legal paperwork but insisted possible side-effects were explained to Mr Daily. ‘With every gastric bypass operation there is a five per cent risk of health complications. ‘Before undergoing any form of surgery we explain the risks and potential complications to every patient, and ask for their consent.’
Weight-loss surgery on the NHS has increased ten-fold since 2000. In the 12 months to June last year, 4,619 people had operations.
Nurse refused dying man glass of water then took his mobile phone when he tried to call for help
The bitch NHS nurse above. How would you like to fall into HER hands?
A nurse seized a dying man’s mobile phone after he called a hospital switchboard for help when she ignored his plea for a glass of water. Staff nurse Caroline Lowe took the phone and asked Derek Sauter, 60, ‘what lies have you been telling?’, a tribunal heard yesterday.
The 53-year-old was facing being struck off the nursing register over Mr Sauter’s ordeal in his final hours suffering from a terminal lung disease at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, Kent.
Mr Sauter, a retired administrator with NHS watchdog the Healthcare Commission, died the day after the nurse refused him water.
His widow, Susan, told the Nursing and Midwifery Council how her husband made the call from his bed as he gasped for air. She said: ‘At 21.00 I called and heard him asking for water and being told he would have to wait for the [nursing] handover. It showed an uncaring attitude. ‘At 23.04 he called me. He said he was being ignored. At 23.39 he called again and said he himself had called the doctor.
‘I overheard someone say: ‘What lies have you been telling?’ and the line went dead. I called and got no answer on the mobile or the ward. I felt it had been confiscated.’
Mr Sauter had been admitted with a chest infection on June 27, 2008. Mrs Sauter was given assurances ‘that my husband should be home in two or three days after having received a course of antibiotics’, the NMC’s conduct and competence committee heard.
Lowe, in charge on the night shift, failed to notify Mrs Sauter when he deteriorated and only called her after he had died from pneumonia, shortly after 7am, she said. ‘At 06.36 he sounded breathless and distressed. I told him to immediately buzz the nurses and I would make my way there. ‘I missed a call at 07.29 from the hospital. One of the nurses said he had taken a turn for the worst.’
Once at hospital Mrs Sauter learned her husband of 41 years had died. Lowe showed ‘no sympathy at all’ and said her husband’s distressed call to the doctor ‘could be seen as harassment’, Mrs Sauter said. ‘I was very upset and hurt by this – I had just been told my husband had died unexpectedly.’
Earlier the panel heard how Mr Sauter had apologised to the nursing staff, as he lay dying, about his unruly behaviour the night before.
It was also told how he was taken off monitoring equipment and moved to a side room because he was ‘disturbing other patients’. Lowe failed to carry out basic checks or call a doctor after being alerted his oxygen levels had plummeted.
Adrianna McDonnell, for the NMC, said: ‘This was a gentle, kind and caring man who found it necessary in the last hours of his life to say sorry, something we have heard Miss Lowe was never able to do.’
Yesterday the panel ruled that Lowe, of Theydon Bois, Essex, ‘failed to respect the dignity’ of Mr Sauter, left him to die alone and responded inappropriately to his distress. But her actions did not contribute to his death, it added. It will decide today whether to strike her off.
Lowe, who did not appear, stated in a letter she had resigned and did not intend to return to nursing.
Apple correctness in British prisons
The guy is nuts
Prisoners must be served perfectly-sized and shaped apples to prevent ‘fruit riots’ in Britain’s jails, prisons minister Crispin Blunt has warned.
‘It is worth remembering that discontent about the quality of food, changes to menus and failure to deliver what was previously promised have been known to be the catalyst for serious disturbances,’ he said. ‘An undersize apple handed out at the servery will create issues of order and control, so we use suppliers that are sensitive to that need and that use their sourcing ability to maintain consistency from their supply base.’
The Tory minister’s bizarre warning in a Commons debate on prisons prompted ridicule from Labour and will trigger speculation about his future.
It will also anger farmers who have argued for years that undersized or misshapen fruit and vegetables are just as tasty and nutritious as those that are perfectly formed.
For generations-Britons enjoyed all shapes of fruit and vegetables. But they disappeared from the shelves once EU bureaucrats brought in minimum standards. Restrictions covering most fruit and vegetables have now been scrapped.
Labour MP Michael Dugher said: ‘The government is preparing cuts to vital local services and jobs. You would think the minister would have more important things to worry about than the size of fruit for lags.’
Mr Blunt caused a storm in July when he revoked an order banning prisoners from having parties in jail. Last month he said he had left his wife of 20 years to ‘come to terms with his homosexuality’.
Last night a senior Tory source said: ‘Mr Blunt’s career seems to be going pear-shaped.’
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘The minister was not suggesting oddly-shaped fruit causes riots in prisons. He was simply making the point incidents of disorder can sometimes be triggered by arguments about the quality and quantity of food provided. ‘
Riddled with the bone idle: Fire chief’s devastating verdict on British public sector
The public services are riddled with ‘bone idle people’ who have damaged the productivity of the state sector, a leading fire chief has claimed. In a withering attack on the malaise gripping the public sector, Tony McGuirk has warned that unless bosses are prepared to sack lazy workers, they will never make the kind of savings necessary to put the economy back on course.
Mr McGuirk, chief fire officer of Merseyside, sparked outrage at the TUC conference yesterday by saying that he has been able to slash staff numbers by 40 per cent and actually provide a better service. He advised other public sector bosses to show ‘muscle, sack some people’. ‘We’ve got some bone idle people in the public sector. There, I said it – bone idle people.’
Mr McGuirk said he had slashed the number of firefighters from 1,550 to 850 during the past decade. ‘There is no need to close a fire station, we haven’t touched a single fire station. ‘Frontline is fire engines and fire stations, not firefighters. We provide a far better service with those 850 – more with less.’
He claimed that lazy workers had led to an ‘epidemic of sickness leave’ which had damaged productivity. ‘Here’s one of the things we did, get a grip on sickness. It is deficit reduction plans need not hurt public services epidemic in the public sector.’
Mr McGuirk spoke out at a seminar organised by the centre-right think tank Reform – a transcript of which was circulated at the TUC yesterday.
His claim that it is possible to maintain frontline services with fewer staff will boost the Government’s case that its Mr McGuirk said bosses should ‘manage performance, reward good performance, develop people with poor performance or ultimately sack them. ‘If they are not doing their job you have got to get rid of some people.’
The fire chief said that his cuts had led to personal abuse. ‘There were 2,000 people walking through Liverpool wearing shirts saying on the back “I hate McGuirk”,’ he said.
The Fire Brigades Union last night condemned his view. General Secretary Matt Wrack said: ‘It’s very easy for people who do not risk their lives fighting fires to sneer at people who do. ‘Mr McGuirk is among the highest paid fire chiefs in the country, getting more than £200,000 a year. He is massively overpaid. ‘For that money we could get six fully trained firefighters, which would be a much better use of scarce resources.’
Oh god, not another Greenpeace guilt-trip
Green advertising campaigns are aimed at scaring adults witless and turning kids into Mao-style mum-policing spies
‘Got oil? Is your pension invested in risky drilling?’ asks a newspaper advert currently running in Britain. The ad, featuring a smart-but-casual man with thick black tar on his hands, is promoting Go Beyond Oil, a Greenpeace campaign inspired by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. What the advert illustrates is the way environmental campaigning will happily alight on any passing fear in order to make us change our wicked ways.
The Go Beyond Oil website tells us: ‘Shell and BP are two of the key companies that our pension providers typically invest in heavily. In the past this has meant big returns for our pension funds. Before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, £1 in every £7 paid in dividends to UK pension funds by FTSE 100 companies came from BP. With about 18million people across the UK holding shares in the company or paying into pension funds that have BP shares and many more with links to other oil companies, we’ve all got a lot invested in keeping the oil industry going. But this also carries a big risk for our future.’
It continues: ‘Since the oil spill, BP has been forced to cancel dividend payments to shareholders, which will affect pension investments.’ So even if you don’t care about the planet, the oil-lacquered birds or the Louisiana fishing industry, you should pull your money out of oil anyway because things will only get worse and you’ll lose loads of money.
Clearly, we Brits are getting a bit bored of being told about all the droughts, floods, hurricanes and so on that global warming will apparently cause. So getting us to fret about an impecunious old age will just have to do instead. As investment advice, withdrawing your money from BP and Shell – the UK’s golden geese, it would seem – is pretty dumb. In a world where demand for oil is only likely to increase in the short-to-medium term, as all those Chinese, Indians and Brazilians get richer and start buying cars, putting your savings into oil shares seems like a fairly smart move. Deepwater Horizon is likely to be a four million-barrel blip.
Yet the wider justifications for this pension-shrinking policy seem even dumber. Since renewable energy sources are simply not ready to take up the job currently done very successfully by oil, the campaign should surely be renamed from ‘Go Beyond Oil’ to ‘Do Without Energy’.
If the idea of self-impoverishment doesn’t appeal, greens have in recent years simply recycled an even more cynical argument: wot about the kids, man? Like anti-tobacco campaigners, environmentalists have taken to foisting the faces of children upon us and assuring us that, even if we don’t care about our own futures, we’re leaving a ticking timebomb of tragedy for our offspring (assuming that we’ve been so utterly selfish as to procreate in the first place).
This video from three years ago – again, a Greenpeace production – manages to sum up this line of argument in less than two minutes, and all with an underlying edge that brings to mind the antics of the Red Guards in Mao’s Cultural Revolution. A young man wearing a hoodie – clearly chosen for having the most punchable face and grating vocal delivery at his stage school – hectors ‘adults’ about what they’ve done to the planet.
‘If drastic measures aren’t taken soon’, our hooded young ghoul assures us, ‘by the time I grow up there won’t be any fish left in the sea. Rainforests and clean air will be a thing of the past. The polar ice caps will be gone. Oceans will rise. Entire countries will disappear. Life will change in ways you can’t even imagine. There’ll be famine, worldwide epidemics, life expectancy will be lower. We’re not just talking about the future; we’re talking about my future.’
Admittedly, a reasonable-minded viewer may very well wish such a bleak future on this insufferable brat. But a reality check is required on this litany of eco-horror. While there has been an apparent trend for the relatively thin Arctic ice cap to shrink over the past few years, the vastly bigger Antarctic ice cap – which holds more than half the world’s fresh water – is, if anything, growing. Clean air may be at a premium in the cities of some developing countries, but London’s air is cleaner than it has been for hundreds of years, suggesting you can have wealthier people and healthier air. Oceans might rise, but insignificantly. Countries might disappear – but only tiny island states whose fate may well be more to do with geology and changing sea currents than the planet’s temperatures. And as for life expectancy… well, if it really were in decline, there would be no need to fret about those pensions, would there?
In fact, the teenage eco-terror can expect – if current trends continue – to live in a much richer world, with lots of new technology to help deal with any problems from changing climatic conditions. He’s more likely to get fat than suffer famine, while being a grumpy member of the wealthiest, most comfortable generation in human history. As a stereotypical old Yorkshireman might say, kids these days don’t know they’re born. And greens wish those kids never had been.
The really creepy thing is that it’s not some angry adolescent that wrote the words for this video, but a multinational environmentalist campaign (in tandem with its marketing advisers, no doubt). These are the self-hating words of the generation that is being attacked in the video. And Greenpeace is by no means alone in using this tactic. The cover of a 2007 book, You Can Save the Planet, tells kids: ‘WARNING: Your parent’s generation has messed up the planet, now it’s up to YOU to save it.’ James Russell, author of How to Turn Your Parents Green – who doesn’t exactly look like a teenager to me – suggests children should ‘nag, pester, bug, torment and punish the people who are merrily wrecking [their] world’.
What a fantastic effort all round to create intergenerational conflict! On the one hand, greens guilt-trip adults about the hot and humid climatic nightmare they are going to inflict on their children, and on the other hand these middle-aged eco-warriors propagandise to those same children about what a bunch of selfish, short-sighted scumbags their parents are. Now there is a pint-sized eco-spy in every home, lecturing adults on the need to recycle and turn down the heating, and a library full of green tracts in every school.
This fomenting of division between parents and children is bad enough, but it is also a desperate waste of the idealism of youth. Young people may see the world in black-and-white rather than shades of grey, but that energy and desire just to go out and bulldoze through the conservatism of mum and dad can be an extremely useful way of stirring society up and encouraging change. But green politics takes that idealism and cynically exploits it for the most misanthropic ends. Whether it’s pensions, polar bears or children in peril, green campaigners demand that we should have a conscience about what we’re doing to the planet – but they don’t seem to have much in the way of a conscience when it comes to scaring adults or manipulating children.
British School breaks with tradition and orders pupils to address teachers by their first names
Not a good way to foster respect!
A school has told its pupils to break with tradition and address their teachers by their first name. Children have been told they should now informally address teachers as part of a term-long trial.
The pupils at Boughton-under-Blean and Dunkirk Primary school in Faversham, Kent have been ordered to abandon using teachers’ surnames with the title of either ‘Mr’, ‘Ms’ or ‘Mrs’ in front of it. Now school bosses say they hope the trial will “enhance the relationship” between the kids and their mentors.
Headteacher Hugh Greenwood, who came up with the idea, said: ‘We hope the pupils really take to the concept. ‘We think it makes learning a more personal experience and allows teachers to come down to the pupils level. ‘Obviously we are just trying it out and if it doesn’t work we will refer back to the traditional custom.’
Now parents at the school, which has over 150 children aged five to 11, have welcomed the trial. Sally Palmer, 35, who has a seven-year-old son at the school, said: ‘It’s very strange for the kids to call their teachers by their first names. ‘The kids seem to love the idea.’
Another mother of a six-year-old boy at the school said: ‘It think it’s a fantastic idea. ‘The informality has really helped kids to relax in the classroom and focus on learning. ‘My son has been coming home speaking about his teacher called Tom. ‘He found it quite imposing calling her teacher Mr or Mrs so this is much better.’