NHS dentists causing infection and blood poisoning in ‘supervised neglect’ of children, expert claims
Dentists are causing children pain, infection and blood poisoning because they allow problems in milk teeth to go untreated in a system of ‘supervised neglect’, an expert claimed. Professor Monty Duggal, the head of paediatric dentistry at the Leeds Dental Institute, said too many dentists thought damage to a child’s first set of teeth was not worth repairing.
He said the consequences could include facial infections and unnecessary pain, and could even get so bad that dental hospitals had to extract every tooth from the child’s head to avoid further complications.
Prof Duggal, writing in the Faculty Dental Journal, said both dentists and parents should not leave damaged milk teeth to fall out on their own. He said: “How can we condone the non-treatment of a disease that carries such a high morbidity and knowingly put the child at risk of pain and suffering?
“Specialists in hospitals treat children on a daily basis with severe oro-facial infections caused by poor restorations, placed with a disregard for good restorative principles or a non-interventionist ‘keep under observation’ approach. “Hospital paediatric dental services across the UK are replete with children referred by general dental practitioners for pain due to untreated or inadequately treated caries [decay].”
Prof Duggal added that the system of NHS dental funding too often precluded or discouraged extensive work on children, which led to a system of “supervised neglect”. He said non-intervention in children which required more dental work was “wrong and unjustifiable”.
Research shows that poor children are more affected by dental problems dut to their inferior diet and lack of education, including among their parents. Around four fifths of child tooth disease occurs among the poorest in society.
A spokesman for the British Dental Association, which represents 23,000 dentists, said the health gap was “clear and unacceptable”.
Stop and rethink British police powers
It seems that senior police officers have told ministers that they need new counter-terrorism powers to stop and search people without having to suspect them of any involvement in crime. Police, including the Met, believe they need these powers to guard against attempted attacks on big events such as the 2012 Olympics.
Hmm. As we know from bitter experience, if we give the police these powers, they will be used – and not necessarily for the purposes for which they were intended. Witness the detention, under anti-terrorism powers, of Walther Wolfgang, who dared heckle the Foreign Secretary at a Labour Party conference, or Sally Cameron who audaciously walked on a path marked as a cycle path in Dundee docks.
I actually think that it’s perfectly reasonable for the police to stop us and ask what we are up to, provided they don’t make a big bureaucratic deal out of it. A Canadian TV crew I was doing an interview for some months ago asked if they could do some set-up shots of me walking in the street and going into the office. Within one minute of them humping their enormous camera out onto the pavement, a squad car drew up (Westminster is the CCTV capital of the globe) and we were all asked to explain ourselves – and fill out a yellow form giving our name, address, height, sex, eye colour and probably religion.
Talk about rotten public relations. I would have had no problem with this if they had stopped us, asked us what we were doing and requested some ID, and parted with a cheery ‘that’s perfectly fine, thank you sir, carry on’. I would have been glad to help, and pleased that our friends in blue were so on the ball. But as it is, the bureaucracy of the exercise – though designed to prove that the police are being even handed in whom they stop – actually drives a wedge between the public and the police. It becomes an us and them situation, instead of a situation where we are all on the same side against a real threat.
We all know the police can haul us in and keep us locked up for 28 days without trial. We just don’t want them to act like they can. If I believed that the police would use the powers they seek responsibly, I would have little problem over the issue. As it is, I’m not so sure.
Northern English colleges popular
Usually, the North is much looked down on by people in the Home Counties (S.E. England)
Some of the country’s top universities – including Oxford and Cambridge – could be failing to attract the brightest students because of the higher cost of living in the south of the country.
Figures released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show that, while there has been an overall slight increase in the number of students applying for a university place this September compared to last year, there are wide variations between colleges.
And although universities in the Midlands and the north have seen interest in courses skyrocket by as much as 50 per cent, some highly-ranked colleges in the more expensive south have seen a dip in applications – fuelling speculation that cash-strapped students are applying for university places with one eye on their wallets.
The University of Derby has seen applications increase by 50 per cent, while Liverpool Hope and Edge Hill, near Preston, have witnessed application increases of 37 and 35 per cent respectively. Conversely, applications for Cambridge and University College, London, are down by about one per cent and Oxford has seen a five per cent fall in British applicants. Bournemouth University applications are down nine per cent on last year.
Ian Roberts, admissions director for Manchester Metropolitan University, which has seen applications increase by 20 per cent, suggested that students could be attracted to northern universities because of cheaper living costs.
‘There seems to be an emerging north-south divide,’ he told The Sunday Times. ‘The northwest is well served by local universities and clearly the recession is having an effect. The northwest has lower living costs and represents good value for money.’
Kelvin Everest – pro-vice chancellor at Liverpool University where applications are up 21 per cent, added: ‘There’s an emerging trend of more students studying at home and for recruits coming from around the country, as they are going to find Liverpool cheaper. ‘It’s also on the back of a general rush for places ahead of 2012.’
According to the British Council, a student living in London is likely to spend almost 60 per cent more than if they were studying in Liverpool – £9,500 compared to £6,000.
British schools inspectorate warns of ‘dull’ school science experiments
Thousands of children are being let down in school science lessons by boring experiments, according to Ofsted. Inspectors warned that practical work was too prescriptive in up to a third of secondary schools as pupils were left “merely following instructions”.
Despite improvements in recent years, these schools were more concerned with preparing pupils to pass exams than carrying out their own scientific investigations.
The study – based on inspections of 221 state schools and colleges in England – praised a rise in the number of teenagers taking separate GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics.
But inspectors suggested some secondaries also pushed pupils into taking less academic vocational science courses between 14 and 16 – “restricting” their chances of studying the subject at A-level. Just one in 100 of these students go on to take advanced science qualifications in the sixth-form.
At primary level, children’s grasp of science was often undermined by a lack of expertise among teachers, which “limited the challenge for some more able pupils”, it was disclosed.
Since 2007, the performance of the brightest pupils aged seven to 11 has declined, Ofsted said.
The conclusions come just weeks after a major report found UK schools had fallen in an international league table ranking standards of school science.
Christine Gilbert, the chief inspector, insisted it was vital that teachers who “still lack confidence in scientific enquiry” are given more help and on-the-job training. “This report highlights what the best schools are doing to ensure science courses prepare pupils for continuing education, training and living in a technological society,” she said. “This should be a stimulus to better practice and improvement.”
Ofsted investigated standards of science in schools and colleges in England between 2007 and 2010. It found pupils’ progress in the subject was good or outstanding in 70 per cent of primary schools and around two-thirds of secondaries. Lessons were worse in colleges where science was often regarded as the worst-taught subject.
The report – Successful Science – said a decision by the last Government to axe science Sats tests for 11 and 14-year-olds led to widespread improvements in schools. It helped schools “avoid an undue concentration on revision” at the end of primary school and half-way through secondary education, Ofsted said, freeing teachers to provide more stimulating lessons.
The report said more secondary schools were also offering an “increased range of courses” for 14- to 16-year-olds, including the option to take three separate sciences.
But it suggested at least a third of secondaries – where pupil progress is no better than satisfactory – gave students “limited” opportunities to “design and carry out experiments”. “Too much of the practical work was prescriptive, with students merely following instructions,” said the report.
“These schools were often influenced too much by the specific ways in which practical work and scientific enquiry skills were assessed for GCSE sciences and, as a result, were less concerned with providing opportunities for wider-ranging investigations.”
The report added that in primary schools a “lack of specialist expertise limited the challenge for some more able pupils”.
The Warmists were still getting it wrong just one year ago
The report below is from Jan. 2010
Severe winter freezes, like the one gripping parts of Europe over the last few weeks, will become increasingly rare because of the warming effect of climate change, the UK’s official forecaster said on Tuesday.
Europe’s deep winter freeze, partly due to the El Nino weather phenomenon, has shocked parts of northwest Europe that usually escape the coldest winter temperatures, driving heating gas demand to records in Britain and disrupting supplies of the fuel when it was most needed.
The winter so far has been one of the coldest for nearly 30 years in Britain, but such icy weather was more common in centuries past and should become even rarer going forward.
“Winters like this are likely to become less of a feature as we head through the 21st century,” John Hammond, a meteorologist at the UK Met Office said on Tuesday. “Colder winters become less likely because overall the background warming will reduce the severity of them, certainly for our part of the world.”
The Met Office expects Britain’s already relatively mild and damp, on average, winters to become increasingly warm and wet as a result of climate change, with the effect particularly pronounced in the latter part of the century.
British electricity customers face huge bill for wind farms that don’t work in the cold
The failure of Britain’s wind farms to produce electricity in the extreme cold will cost billions of pounds, create an economic crisis and lead to blackouts, leading industrialists have warned.
To cover up the ineffectiveness of wind farms the Government will be forced to build emergency back-up power plants, the cost of which will be paid by industry and consumers.
Jeremy Nicholson, director of the Energy Intensive Users Group, which represents major companies employing hundreds of thousands of workers in the steel, glass, pottery, paper and chemical industries, said the failure of wind power had profound implications. He was speaking after new figures showed that during the latest cold snap wind turbines produced less than two per cent of the nation’s electricity.
Now Mr Nicholson predicts that the Government will encourage power companies to build billions of pounds worth of standby power stations in case of further prolonged wind failures. And the cost of the standby generation will be paid for by industry and households through higher bills – which could double by 2020.
Industry regulator Ofgem has already calculated that the cost of achieving sustainable energy targets – set by Brussels but backed by the British Government – will amount to £200 billion, which will mean that annual household fuel bills will double to about £2,400 on average within the next ten years.
In the last quarter ending December 23, wind turbines produced on average 8.6 per cent of our electricity, but the moment the latest bad weather arrived with snow and freezing temperatures, this figure fell to as low as 1.8 per cent. The slack was immediately taken up by efficient, but dirty, coal-fired power stations and oil-fired plants.
‘What is so worrying is that these sort of figures are not a one off,’ said Mr Nicholson. ‘It was exactly the same last January and February when high pressure brought freezing cold temperatures, snow and no wind.’ In fact last year, the failure of wind power to produce electricity was even more profound. Then, over a few days, the lack of wind meant that only 0.2 per cent of a possible five per cent of the UK’s energy was generated by wind turbines.
So little energy was generated then that the National Grid, which is responsible for balancing supply and demand of energy in the UK, was forced to ask its biggest users – industry – to ration supplies.
What really concerns industrial users is that it is Government policy to put wind power at the centre of its efforts to ensure that 30 per cent of electricity is generated by renewable resources by 2020. This means that the number of turbines now running – 3,140 – will have to be massively increased to well over 6,000 in ten years time.
But this huge surge in wind farm activity will come at the same time as an EU Directive will insist that we close down our coal-fired and oil-fired power stations.
Mr Nicholson said: ‘We can cope at the moment because there is still not that much power generated from wind. But all this will change. What happens when we are dependent on wind turbines for 30 per cent of our power and there is suddenly a period when the wind does not blow and there is high demand? ‘We will be forced to switch off the gas and it could even lead to power cuts.’
The Government is aware of the dangers of relying on intermittent power sources and is working on plans to encourage energy companies through financial inducements to have stand-by generation. Mr Nicholson said: ‘At least the Government is aware of the problem, but it will cost billions to put these measures in place and we will have to pick up the tab.
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: ‘Wind power provides a home-grown source of electricity that doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. ‘The electricity system always has more generating capacity available than the expected demand. By having a diverse energy mix, we can manage the fact that some technologies are intermittent.’
The National Grid is also aware of the problem and has set up a team to look at solving the problem of erratic energy supplies. One of the solutions being considered is changing demand at times of crisis. For example, setting up systems to stop electricity supplies to millions of fridges for an hour or so. This would be possible by having ‘smart’ meters and would save massive amounts of energy.