NHS Hospitals told to come clean about their infection rates
Hospitals with high levels of infection from E.Coli and other deadly bugs are to be named and shamed by the Government.
NHS trusts will be forced to publish figures showing the number of cases suffering from a wide range of bugs, as part of efforts to help the public make an “informed choice” about where to go for treatment.
On Tuesday, Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, will tell the Conservative party conference that patients need to know more about the quality of services at different hospitals before they make decisions about their health.
He will say that from January all trusts must record and publish the rates of an infection called MSSA, a sister infection to the superbug MRSA, and that in future, rates of E.coli will also be included.
Currently hospital trusts are obliged to publish their rates of MRSA, and the bug Clostridium difficile, which is a particular risk for the elderly, but recording of other infections is only done on a voluntary basis.
Those figures which are held show a 37 per cent rise in cases of E.coli since 2005, with 25,532 cases in 2009. However, experts fear the voluntary nature of the scheme, means those hospitals with the worst records are least likely to provide data.
While the number of cases of MRSA is now falling, the rates of its sister infection MSSA have steadily risen since 2000, with more than 7,000 cases last year.
While MRSA is resistant to the powerful antibiotic drug methicillin, MSSA can be more easily treated, if it is detected.
However, the infections are equally deadly if allowed to go unchecked.
Last year a report by MPs found that eight in ten hospital infections were going unreported, with patients dying unnecessarily because hospitals had focused so much on MRSA and C. difficile.
The failure to monitor the other bugs – which account for 80 per cent of all infections – means it is impossible to know how many people are dying from infections they pick up in hospital, MPs warned.
In 2008, the actress Leslie Ash received a compensation payment of £5 million after being infected with MSSA, when it entered her spine during hospital treatment.
At the time, the NHS Litigation Authority said that the payout set a new record for compensation in a case of hospital-acquired infection.
Patient groups described it as a “wake-up call” for hospitals to improve their infection control.
Midwives have no time to care for new mothers, report warns
New mothers are left frightened and alone after childbirth, because midwives do not have time to care for them, a major study has warned.
The report by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) says staff shortages have left increasing numbers of mothers feeling isolated at a time when they are desperate for reassurance.
The charity’s poll of more than 1,200 first time mothers found 59 per cent did not get the “emotional support” they felt they needed after giving birth – compared with 51 per cent in a similar survey a decade ago. The NCT said the picture painted by new mothers was “shocking”. Women who had undergone a caesarean section were the least happy about their experience.
Asked about the 24 hours following birth, 66 per cent said they had not received enough support, compared to 57 per cent of those who had a natural labour in hospital, and 24 per cent of those who gave birth at home.
Mothers who had gone through traumatic labours said they had been left to cry themselves to sleep, while others said overstretched midwives had no time to offer a kind word of reassurance.
In total, 42 per cent said there were not enough midwives to care for them, compared with 33 per cent, when the question was posed in 2000. Those who gave birth at home, or in a midwife-led birth centre, were less likely to describe shortages of midwives.
The NCT findings show that despite a large investment in maternity services, and pledges from the last Government to make care “woman-centred” with a choice of where to give birth, many women are being denied even basic care.
Among the poll of 1260 first time mothers, 44 per cent said they did not even get the physical help they needed, while 55 per cent said they did not get enough information or advice in the weeks after having their first child.
Anne Fox, the head of campaigns and public policy for the NCT, said; “It’s clear postnatal care urgently needs improvement – our report paints a dreadful, shocking picture of care in the UK – we’re letting women and their babies down. “Many of the problems these women highlight seem to be due to staff shortages or lack of visits once they had left hospital – and this issue needs to be addressed if the quality of postnatal care is to be improved, particularly for vulnerable women.
In the report, new mothers describe being “absolutely terrified” and alone during their first night in hospital, frightened to ask for help from staff who responded to them rudely. One mother said: “As soon as the baby was born, I felt I was on my own. I spent the first night after the birth of my son in floods of tears and unable to sleep as every time I closed my eyes the nightmare of my birth experience came flooding back. “Nobody came to check on me to see if I was OK, even though I know I was sobbing loudly and uncontrollably.”
Louise Silverton, Deputy General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, described the report’s findings as “disappointing,” but said the study sent a compelling message to those in charge of NHS budgets, about the need to keep investing in maternity services.
British government scraps the ‘no touching’ rule for teachers in bid to let them assert more authority
‘No touch’ rules that discourage teachers from restraining or comforting children are to be scrapped, the Education Secretary said last night. Michael Gove also signalled the coalition was pushing ahead with controversial plans to give teachers a right to anonymity when faced by allegations from pupils.
‘At the moment if you want to become au fait with what this department thinks on how to keep order in class you have to read the equivalent of War and Peace,’ he said. ‘There are about 500 pages of guidance on discipline and another 500 pages on bullying. We will clarify and shrink that.
‘Teachers worry that if they assert a degree of discipline, one determined maverick pupil will say “I know my rights” and so teachers become reticent about asserting themselves.
‘There are a number of schools that have “no touch” policies and we are going to make clear this rule does not apply. I don’t believe you should be able to hit children. ‘But I do believe that teachers need to know they can physically restrain children, they can interpose themselves between two children that may be causing trouble, and they can remove them from the classroom.
‘The important thing is that teachers know they are in control, and this department and the justice system will back them.’
Insisting that teachers should be able to console victims of bullying, he made light-hearted reference to the David Cameron hug-a-hoodie story, joking: ‘Teachers should not have to think youths have to wear hoodies before they can comfort them.’
Mr Gove promised to give teachers a general right to search children for any items that are banned under a school’s rules.
At present, the list was too restrictive and a legal minefield, he added. He also vowed to speed up the timetable by which allegations against teachers have to be investigated, or dropped.
Just before the general election, the Labour government clarified guidance to say that teachers were allowed to use ‘reasonable force’ when dealing with troublesome pupils.
However, Ed Balls, who was Children’s Secretary under Gordon Brown, insisted it was a ‘myth’ that some schools employed no-contact policies.
Mr Gove said he wanted voluntary groups and city academies to take over units for excluded children, which are currently run by councils. He said the units were the ‘weak link in the chain’ and also promised that the pupil premium for schools taking poor children would survive the cutbacks.
Little repentance from hate-filled Warmist videographers
Mentioned yesterday on GREENIE WATCH was a Green/Left video that justified the murder of skeptics. It was justified as funny and warmly embraced by Britain’s leading Leftist rag, The Guardian. Leftists never have been bothered by the killing of those who oppose them.
The idea that people should be violently killed because of their opinions was however greeted with widespread revulsion so the authors of the video have now stopped its circulation and apologized. Below is their apology:
Sorry. Today we put up a mini-movie about 10:10 and climate change called ‘No Pressure’.
With climate change becoming increasingly threatening, and decreasingly talked about in the media, we wanted to find a way to bring this critical issue back into the headlines whilst making people laugh. We were therefore delighted when Britain’s leading comedy writer, Richard Curtis – writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings, Notting Hill and many others – agreed to write a short film for the 10:10 campaign. Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn’t and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended.
As a result of these concerns we’ve taken it off our website.
We’d like to thank the 50+ film professionals and 40+ actors and extras and who gave their time and equipment to the film for free. We greatly value your contributions and the tremendous enthusiasm and professionalism you brought to the project.
At 10:10 we’re all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn.
Onwards and upwards,
Eugenie, Franny, Daniel, Lizzie and the whole 10:10 team
Climate folly of all the Scottish political parties
Comment below from Neil Craig in Scotland — now up on the ChangeScotland site. Holyrood is the location of the Scottish parliament
LAST YEAR Holyrood, unanimously, passed the most restrictive “Climate Change” law in the world. Together with the closure of our nuclear plants this means that over the next 10 years we have to close down half, far and away the least expensive half, of our electricity production.
This unanimity was largely reflected in the Scots media with BBC Newsnight Scotland breaching its nominal commitment to impartiality by describing the passage of the Act as the “good news” of the day – the bad news being the not unrelated fact that the recession is deeper and worse in Scotland.
There is a close relationship between electricity usage & GNP. and Britain already has the highest ratio of GNP to electricity consumption of any large developed country so we might be quite lucky to get off with only halving Scotland’s GNP as a result of halving our electricity production. Thus the Scots MSPs are unanimously saying that warming is so catastrophic that destroying half of Scotland’s economy, even though the world CO2 reduction will be microscopic, is necessary.
Such unanimity in politics was common in the USSR. It is not expected in a democracy. If Scotland is a healthy democracy with parties who are genuinely free thinking then the evidence that we are experiencing catastrophic global warming must be so overwhelming and unarguable that it is worth destroying our economy simply to make what is, in terms of world CO2 production, only a token gesture.
There is, however, no evidence for catastrophic warming. None. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. There is a theory, described in computer models, but a theory is not evidence and computer models themselves are only an extension of theory. None of the models predicted in advance that we would have the cooling there has been since 1998, indeed they did not show the medieval warming period though it was already known. The scientific method consists of making observations, producing a theory that explains them and then testing the theory against future observations. The warming hypothesis fails the test of explaining all previous observations and thus cannot even be called scientific.
The claim of any warming at all depends on doubtful measurements, many taken at sites which, a century ago, were in countryside but which have now been urbanised, with a consequent significant increase in temperature. The warming claim also depends on the year chosen. If the start year is 1975, 1850 or 1600 we have had warming & alarmists usually start their graphs then. If the start year chosen is 1998, 1934 (in the US), 1000 or 6,000 BC, which would be equally legitimate, the globe is cooling. What we actually see is no clear upward or downward trend and a remarkably close correlation between temperature and the sunspot cycle.
CO2 levels are essentially irrelevant and any recent change is well within historic parameters. The Medieval warm period was about 1.5 degrees warmer than today and the well named Climate Optimum of 9-5,000 BC was as much as 4 degrees warmer – this was an era of hippopotamus filled lakes in the middle of the Sahara, the folk memory of which may be reflected in the Garden of Eden story. Obviously that was not “catastrophic” nor did any “tipping point” to runaway warming occur then.
There are many other reasons to doubt the alarmists – the repeated frauds and lies they have come up with; that some of them such as James Hansen, were involved in the previous global cooling story; that CO2 increase means crops and other plants grow faster, absorbing more CO2 and thus making the phenomenon self limiting; that only 3% of all the CO2 produced worldwide is by Man so we simply cannot be causing the disaster being claimed; that “environmentalists”, have threatened us with dozens of catastrophe stories over the last 30 years, including global cooling, none of which have come close to being true; that despite the hype (“Netherlands under water by 2007”) sea level refuses to show any significant rise (what we can see are some land masses rising and falling while the sea level barely changes); that we now know the Greenland ice cap has been there for at least 450,000 years and isn’t that fragile; that we know of geoengineering methods of cutting global temperature at a small fraction of the trillions this scare has already cost.
The fact that this year, before the end of September, Scotland has experienced sub-zero temperatures, may also persuade some that the oft repeated official warnings of “mild winters” and “barbecue summers” have not proven entirely factual.
Life is too short to mention all the holes in the theory but suffice it to say that anybody who honestly believed CO2 was causing extinction level catastrophe would have to be demanding massive subsidies for nuclear power as the practical system that can provide large scale reliable power with far less CO2 than, for example, windmills (remembering that windmills need massive conventional back-up). Almost nobody pushing this scare does so and if those pushing it know it is a lie we should have no doubts.
Yet if all this is true (and I urge anybody to check) it is legitimate to ask why almost all our politicians and mainstream media warn us of catastrophic warming? Why do they say there is a “scientific consensus” on it?
The nature of this lie points to its creators. I have personally asked many hundreds of politicians, newspapers, broadcasters and alarmist websites worldwide to name 2 scientists who are part of this “consensus” and who are not funded by the state. The editor of the Independent and somebody on a South African website were able to give the same name (Professor James Lovelock who, seeing the climategate emails has largely reversed his position). Nobody else has managed even that.
Patrick Harvie MSP, asked on air, merely asserted that everybody knew it so he was not required to name anybody. It is a strange “scientific consensus” from which the large majority of scientists are excluded. In fact the largest single expression of scientist’s opinions is from the Oregon Petition where 31,000 scientists have said the scare is false, but you won’t see news reports on the state broadcasting service reporting that.
An example of the quality of government-supported alarmist science was given recently in a lecture by Scotland’s Chief Science Advisor. Among a long list of counter factual statements was the howler that “global warming will extend day length.” Day length is determined by the planet’s axial tilt as any well informed schoolboy knows.
Per capita Scots get more scientific papers cited than any nation other than Switzerland. We have some of the world’s best scientists yet the Lab/Libs chose the advisor and the SNP confirmed her appointment. This is not purely a dig at Holyrood – she is also on a quango called NERC with a £400 million budget essentially for promoting “environmental” scare stories.
In 2003 the OECD showed that government funding of science had negative value. The way the state has been funding only “science” and “scientists” who support alarmism while preventing sceptical research, when science is nothing but methodical scepticism, supports this disgraceful conclusion.
The explanation, or at least the only one that fits the facts, says much about the nature of modern politics. The great American writer H.L. Mencken once said “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” I do not easily come to believe that our entire political structure, including our nominally free media, whose standard of impartiality is set by the state owned BBC, is so completely corrupt that they would destroy our country simply to maintain power.
Unfortunately, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Since we have eliminated the possibility that we really are experiencing catastrophic warming as claimed and even eliminated the possibility that most proponents actually believe it, the truth that remains must be that virtually all our politicians and state controlled institutions are deliberately promoting this false “hobgoblin” for personal power and profit. I am forced to agree with Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who knows what censorship of debate and unanimous votes mean and says, “I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism”
The world economy is now back to growing at 5% annually. China and India are growing at 10%. There is no question that we could at least match their growth rate if those in charge were not preventing it. That they are deliberately preventing it, despite almost identical promises from all the main parties, is thus also undeniable. There is really nothing one could say about those in power which would be overly critical.
At last! An end to Britain’s “elf ‘n’ safety” madness as meddling officials face fines if they ban events
Meddling officials who attempt to ban events or activities on the grounds that they breach red tape will themselves be threatened with huge fines under Government plans.
And emergency workers, teachers and office workers are to be freed from the compensation culture where someone must be held to account for everyday mishaps and accidents.
Margaret Thatcher’s former trade secretary Lord Young, who has drawn up a string of proposals accepted by David Cameron, says a decade of Labour laws and regulations will now be torn up.
The assault on the excesses of the health and safety culture will form a key part of the Tory Party conference which begins tomorrow in Birmingham, and is seen as a potential vote winner.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Lord Young unveiled plans which include:
* Local authorities who wrongly try to block events on health and safety grounds will be forced to pay large-scale compensation;
* No-win, no-fee advertising encouraging personal injury claims will face a major crackdown;
* Red tape that means many children never go on school outings is to be scrapped
* People performing first aid or Good Samaritan acts are to be exempted from being sued.
Lord Young, 78, said ‘petty tyrants’ had been allowed to flourish under Labour.
He said he had uncovered extraordinary examples, including a restaurant that would not give out toothpicks for fear of injury, a headteacher who told pupils not to walk under a conker tree without helmets and a council that banned a pancake race because it was raining.
‘It makes you wonder what sort of world we have come to,’ Lord Young said. ‘It has gone to such extremes. What I have seen everywhere is a complete lack of common sense. People have been living in an alternative universe.’
Lord Young said he was particularly concerned about council officials who often claimed powers to stop village fetes, sporting events or other events when they have none. In one example, organisers of the annual Whitsun cheese-rolling down a steep hill in the Cotswolds cancelled it this year after pressure from police and local authorities.
In future those affected by wrong decisions may go to the local government ombudsman who will be able to insist that a council pays compensation.
Asked how much local authorities would be forced to pay, Lord Young said: ‘Whatever the loss is. I want officials to think twice and make sure they have the authority. ‘This sort of nonsense has come from the last government trying to create a nanny state and trying to keep everybody in cotton wool.
‘Frankly if I want to do something stupid and break my leg or neck, that’s up to me. I don’t need a council to tell me not to be an idiot. I can be an idiot all by myself.’
He said the Government, which has approved his report, due to be published later this month, would also implement a crackdown on ‘ambulance-chasing’ personal injury firms. There will be restrictions on the way they advertise their services and a limit to speculative law suits.
‘The last government allowed no-win, no-fee advertising and we have seen an enormous rush of it, on afternoon TV particularly,’ Lord Young said. ‘A lot of them aren’t lawyers – they’re claims management companies. ‘People are being paid for making a claim. Legal expenses are now two or three times the claim. The biggest cost to the health service is legal fees. That’s going to stop.’
Schools are to be freed from burdensome regulations. Lord Young said: ‘Schools are not allowing pupils to go on days out because they are scared they will be liable if an accident happens. ‘That’s nonsense, and that’s not going to continue, unless a teacher is really negligent. In the ordinary course of events, accidents happen.’
The Health and Safety Executive enforces 202 primary regulations, a third of which were passed since Labour came to power in 1997.
Lord Young, who has an office in Downing Street, revealed that the Prime Minister has asked him to stay on to advise on turning public services into locally-owned co-operatives. Baroness Thatcher once said of him: ‘Other people brought me problems. He brought me solutions.’
Anti-Semitic Imagery Used in musician’s Tour
For once I think I agree with Foxy: The guy is a contemptible Leftist bigot but he is entitled to express his opinion
“The Anti-Defamation League is criticizing what it says is the dark side of Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters, claiming imagery the British rock icon used in his latest tour is anti-Semitic.
Waters, a longtime vocal critic of Israel, takes aim at the Jewish nation’s West Bank security fence during a segment of his 2010-2011 “The Wall Live” tour by using imagery associated with stereotypes about Jews and money, ADL officials say.
During Waters’ recent performances of “Goodbye Blue Sky,” an animated scene has projected images of planes dropping bombs in the shape of Jewish stars of David, followed by dollar signs — an “outrageous” juxtaposition, according to Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director.
“While he insists that his intent was to criticize Israel’s West Bank security fence, the use of such imagery in a concert setting seems to leave the message open to interpretation, and the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money,” Foxman said in a statement.
“Of course Waters has every right to express his political views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through his music and stagecraft,” Foxman’s statement continued. “However, the images he has chosen, when put together in the same sequence, cross a line into anti-Semitism.”