Nurse caught on CCTV turning off paralysed patient’s life support machine

Despite warnings, nobody did anything to prevent this

A paralysed patient has been left severely brain damaged after a nurse switched off his life support machine in an incident captured on CCTV. Violeta Aylward, an agency nurse working for the NHS, was caught on camera turning off the ventilator keeping quadriplegic Jamie Merrett alive.

The 37-year-old, left paralysed from the neck down following a car accident in 2002, had a bedside camera set up at his home after becoming concerned about the standard of care he was receiving.

Footage recorded only a few days after it was installed shows Miss Aylward fiddling with the ventilator before a high-pitched warning tone sounds, indicating it is switched off. Mr Merrett is then left fighting for life as the nurse panics about what to do next, unable to restart the ventilator or properly operate resuscitation equipment.

It was not until 21 minutes later that paramedics who rushed to the scene managed to turn the life support machine back on. But by that time, Mr Merrett had suffered serious brain damage, which has left him with the mental capacity of a young child. Before the incident, he was able to talk, use a wheelchair and operate a computer using voice-activated technology. His family claims that the brain damage has severely diminished his quality of life, and he is now mounting legal action.

Miss Aylward, who was caring for Mr Merrett at his home in Devizes, Wilts, has been suspended while the incident is investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Ambition 24hours, the agency which supplied her, said it could not comment as an internal investigation was ongoing. The NHS Wiltshire Primary Care Trust, which was responsible for providing care for Mr Merrett, said it was unable to comment due to pending legal action.

Karren Reynolds, Mr Merrett’s sister, told the BBC’s Inside Out programme: “His life is completely changed. He doesn’t have a life now. “He has an existence but it’s nowhere near what it was before. He is very brain damaged compared to what he was before. “He was a highly intelligent man and you could have long in-depth conversations with him and now it tends to be more simplistic.”

She added that her brother has become increasingly worried about alleged errors involving nurses operating his ventilator in the weeks before the incident. Mr Merrett had written to the trust by email, warning of his concerns but that nothing was done, she claimed.

A confidential report by Wiltshire social services into the incident – leaked to Inside Out – concluded that the agency was fully aware it was required to supply a nurse with training in the use of a ventilator. The report says the company did not have adequate systems in place to check what training their staff had received.

Mr Merrett’s solicitor, Seamus Edney, said: “In my experience, this is the worst case of negligence. “No one has come forward to make any admission, so now almost two years after the event we are trying to get someone to admit liability for what has happened.”

In a statement, NHS Wiltshire Primary Care Trust said: “The PCT has investigated the incident in January 2009 when the patient’s ventilator care was compromised. “We have apologised to the patient and his family for this, and have put in place a series of actions to ensure that such an event will not occur again either for this patient or others. “The incident is the subject of likely litigation so the PCT is restricted in what further it may say in public.”

Miss Aylward, 55, from Reading, Berks, has not commented on the case.


One third of ‘brain surgeon’ immigrants to Britain in unskilled jobs

Labour laws designed to bring highly-qualified foreign workers such as brain surgeons into the UK were used by immigrants to get jobs as shop assistants and security guards, the Coalition claimed last night.

Immigration Minister Damian Green unveiled research showing that nearly one in three immigrants in the Labour Government’s ‘tier one’ category for top-level app­licants last year ended up doing ordinary unskilled jobs.

Tier one immigrants are categ­orised as doctors, scientists and entrepreneurs so skilled they could enter the UK without a job offer, said Mr Green. ‘These are meant to be absolutely the brightest and the best,’ he said in a BBC interview.

But the anomalies had been revealed after a sample was analysed. ‘We have discovered that of the visas we issued last year 29 per cent are doing unskilled jobs,’ he said. ‘ They’re shop assistants, security guards, supermarket cashiers – all absolutely essential jobs we need for our economy.

‘But at a time when we have a couple of million unemployed people in this country and we have 300,000 unemployed graduates, it seems to me pretty perverse if we say we’ve got to keep bringing in unlimited people because we think they are very highly skilled.’

The full research, based on a sample of 1,184 tier one immigrants out of more than 18,000 given visas in 2009 is to be published this week by the UK Border Agency. It was the first detailed look at how Labour’s policies had operated, Mr Green added.

However, the revelations come amid concerns that the Coalition’s interim cap on non-EU immmigration, introduced in July, is hurting British businesses and scientific research capability.

Yesterday, Chris Mawtus, chief operating officer of oil service company Expro which employs 1,000 people in the UK, warned: ‘We may have to start thinking of reloc­ating some of our operations overseas.’

Former Tory Minister Lord Ryder, chairman of the Institute of Cancer Research, warned a House of Lords debate last week that the cap jeopardised its work and ability to ‘bring in the right people at the right time’.

Mr Green insisted yesterday that the Government was being flexible and responding to concerns over the cap. He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It’s a new system and there will be difficulties along the way but serious cases can be resolved.’

The current cap level would be reviewed and set at a permanent level next April after consultations, Mr Green added. But he stressed that the country could not go on with Labour’s old ‘unlimited immigration policy’.


British Spending Review: 75,000 extra apprenticeships

Up to 75,000 people will be given on-the-job training under Government plans for a huge expansion of apprenticeships. George Osborne said spending on adult training would rise by £250m a year to boost workforce skills during the economic recovery. It represented an increase of 50 per cent on the amount of money set aside by Labour for apprenticeships.

But the announcement failed to mask sharp cuts elsewhere in the further education budget. Cash for colleges and adult training will be slashed by a quarter – or £1.1bn – to £3.2 billion by 2015. Train to Gain, which provides courses for over-25s already in employment, will be scrapped.

The Coalition also announced that English language courses for economic migrants and those not intending to take up UK residency would be cut.

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said: “I am not going to say that any of these cuts are going to be easy and many people are going to feel the consequences, but without action all of us, for years to come, would pay the price. “These decisions have been hard but they are necessary”

Julian Gravatt, assistant chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “There is no escaping the fact that the next few years will be extremely difficult and there are some real challenges ahead, but colleges are resilient and will find ways of making the best possible use of the funding available.”


More nonsense from the Marmot

Or is he onto something this time? He says some sensible things below. I have reddened the most sensible bit. I like the last sentence too

A hormone naturally created in the body could be the elixir of life, scientists believe. According to a study of thousands of over-50s, the substance known as DHEAS makes you live longer – and is more plentiful the wealthier you are. Research suggests that in future tablets, patches or injections could boost the DHEAS level.

In the meantime, leading a more fulfilling life could have a similar effect, says Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who led the research.

Higher levels are associated with both greater amounts of exercise and an active life with lots of pastimes, interests, friends and family – all of which tend to come with wealth.

The hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys. Production is greatest in childhood and teenage years, before gradually declining through adult life. By the age of 80 it could be just 10 per cent of the peak teen level.

Having more DHEAS in the body is linked to a better memory and ability to cope with mental tasks, particularly in men.

The research also found higher levels of a second hormone, the insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), in those who are better off. The two hormones help control reactions to stress and regulate various body processes including digestion, the immune system, mood and energy usage.

Researchers said it is too soon to say whether the higher level of DHEAS is a result of being rich. However, Sir Michael believes the benefits of wealth, which include a better diet, greater control over life, less stress, more travel and involvement in the wider world through hobbies, sport or other interests will encourage the body to create DHEAS.

He stressed that improving the level of the hormone is not a simple matter of popping a pill. ‘In my view, it is a much bigger issue and involves the package of choices that wealth opens up,’ he added. The study was carried out by University College London for the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Hormone levels were measured by taking blood samples from more than 10,000 people aged over 50, who have been monitored since 2004.

Sir Michael said: ‘We found a clear social gradient in several health indicators with less wealthy people having higher levels of obesity, lower levels of physical exercise, higher levels of smoking, lower fruit and vegetable intake and being more likely to suffer from hypertension and diabetes.

‘A striking new finding is that the hormone DHEAS which predicts life expectancy also follows a social gradient – less wealth, lower levels of DHEAS. ‘I believe this is the first time this has been identified. ‘My own interpretation is that it is a counter to stress. Having higher levels of DHEAS protects you.’

The same study confirmed previous research showing a correlation between poverty and increased levels of obesity, larger waist size and other measures of ill-health.


Standard warmist Meteorology has nowhere to go

Report of BBC Weather Project meeting at Royal Society Oct 12th., where Piers Corbyn insists on fair assessment of long range forecasts. BBC and Met Office make concessions

The Scene: An impressive room in Britain’s Royal Society off The Mall. Roger Harrabin, BBC’s chief environment correspondent in the chair surrounded by representatives of “All the Royals”, as he put it, either on the presentation line up or ‘at hand’ – the Royal Meteorological Society, The Royal Statistical Society and the Royal Astronomical Society; along with experts (statistics) from Leeds University, Philip Eden of BBC5 weather, Tim Palmer of European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (& RMS), the Met Office (seasonal forecasting division) and a range of other BBC professionals, weather people and public and Michael Fish! – numbering 50 or so in all.

The Purpose: to discuss the BBC’s ‘Weather (Test) Project.

The discussion led by Roget Harrabin proceeded as if the purpose was to compare short-range forecasts of Met office and competitors and raised many ‘difficulties’. A number of people said that BBC forecasts were confused in presentation and that although ‘forecast skill’ might be something to measure, forecast usefulness is what the public and business really need.

Piers says “It’s time to Get Real”.

Tim Palmer said the main problem of weather forecasting was that weather is a ‘chaotic system’ and very small changes at the start of a computer forward projection programme can make very different outcomes (forecasts) later; and said this could ONLY be overcome in a very general way by looking at slow changes like El Nino and Ocean currents which could have a bearing on circulation a month or so ahead and enable ‘seasonal’ forecasting.

Piers Corbyn (a member of two of ‘The Royals’ RMS & RAS) said that Tim Palmer’s point about “what he calls chaos” also must mean that small external drivers such as SOLAR ACTIVITY can fundamentally change the development of weather systems and makes (with our understanding of what the sun does) long range forecasting possible NOW, many months ahead down to detail of a few days and is especially skilled at extreme events.

We, scientists, must do better!

Piers pointed out that his own WeatherAction forecast for the winter 2009/10 had been presented last October 28th in summary form in Imperial College in front of Roger Harrabin and others of the BBC who had said they would publicise it; but the BBC had not done this and instead promoted the Met offices ‘Global-Warmist’ ‘seasonal’ forecast for a mild winter which had failed absolutely as had the Met Office seasonal forecasts for the 3 previous summers & winter 08/09.

The consequence, said Piers, was that his warning that the UK would run out of road salt was ignored by Govt, Local Authorities and Emergency services and as a result there were unnecessary road accidents and deaths. “We have to do better than this” he said to the audience – who listened carefully.

“Measure skill by ‘notional’ weather bets – & assess short and long detailed forecasts including regions & extreme events”

He pointed out that his forecasts already had independently proven significant skill especially for extreme events (See Forecast accuracy button) and it was unacceptable that his forecasts which went much further ahead and gave much more regional detail than anything long range the Met Office attempts should be excluded from a fair measure of skill.

He said the fairest way was to put the forecasts into the form of notional weather bets to include regions, dates and extremes – eg the first week of Jan will be in the ten coldest in the last 100 years for Central England Temps – Fair odds 9/1 against {NB THIS is NOT a forecast!! Just an example}.

Philip Eden asked If the Met Office would enter such a form of competition (which they had seemed reluctant to do) would Piers also enter a more general less detailed set of questions? Piers agreed and said the Test committee should consider his Solar-factors improvements to short range Met forecasts as well as detailed month ahead and many months ahead forecasts including regional detail and extreme events down to a few days time resolution.

Skill and usefulness

Piers said it was simple to resolve the conflict between skill & usefulness. The test committee should test skill of any forecasts by, eg, notional Weather bets & the public separately can say what they find useful. Roger Harrabin mentioned how useful he had found a long range holiday forecast from Piers!

“It was clear from the meeting that Standard Global-Warmist Meteorology hasn’t made any advances in 5 years – indeed it has failed – and has nowhere to go”, said Piers. “Their hope to overcome ‘chaos’ by slow changing things like ocean currents and CO2 assumptions fails just as badly as their medium range forecasts beyond 10 days because the predictable solar/lunar signal is much stronger than the noise in their ‘chaos’, and of course assumptions about CO2 are proven nonsense.

The meeting was something of a watershed and the way could open to the proper advance of science. However, first the religiosity of CO2-theory and the related obsession with models which the users absurdly believe are better than nature itself at predicting nature, must end!”.


There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up — on his usual vastly “incorrect” themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


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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