Ambulance crew ‘leaves dying cancer woman waiting in pain for 12 HOURS’
Marian Spence, 76, was left in agony after paramedics failed to arrive to take her from her sheltered accommodation to a nearby nursing home, which had the powerful painkillers she needed. The mother, who was suffering from terminal cancer, died three days later.
Today her devastated son Duncan said he was appalled the ambulance crews had left her stranded for so long. He said: ‘ I rang the out-of-hours GP service. They said they would put in an urgent request for an ambulance to take my mother to the nursing home we had arranged. ‘We were told it might be as long as four hours before the ambulance got to us.
Because of the agony she was in she couldn’t be transported by taxi or car, and I do think a GP should have come and seen her when I first called. ‘It was very distressing to see my mother in so much pain. No one should have to go through something like this.’
Marian dialled 999 at 10.15am on January 15 and was told an ambulance would take her from her sheltered accommodation home in Leicester to a nursing home three miles away where she would receive round-the-clock care. She also needed stronger painkillers which were only available at the nursing home which was in Leicester Forest East. Marian was told an ambulance would arrive by 2pm – within the ambulance service’s four hour response time – but it did not turn up until 10pm – 12 hours later.
When Duncan rang East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to complain about the delay he was told by an operator ‘it is one crazy day’.
The ambulance service apologised for the blunder today. A spokesman said: ‘The delay of 12 hours in transferring Mrs Spence was excessive and we regret any distress caused to her and her family by this delay.’
A spokesman for Leicestershire County and Rutland Community Health Services, which runs the out of hours GP service, added: ‘We are sorry to hear of this case and any distress felt by the family. ‘While we are unable to give details about an individual patient, we would always be happy to speak to the family directly about any concerns they might have.’ [Big of him/her]
Whoopee! Britain’s leather lady to get the boot
A nasty Leftist hater who has pushed up the cost of private schooling
‘Quango queen’ Dame Suzi Leather has been warned her reign at the Charity Commission will be cut short unless she ends ‘politically motivated’ attacks on Coalition policy. The controversial Labour sympathiser has until the end of the year to drop her vendetta against independent schools and end her public opposition to spending cuts.
Dame Suzi has held 30 public sector posts over the last 15 years and has become one of the most notorious passengers on the quango gravy train. But she has been warned she will be replaced her in the £104,999-a-year three-day a week chair post early unless she falls into line, according to Cabinet Office sources.
The Charity Commission quango, which regulates the affairs of UK charities, is supposed to be politically impartial. But Dame Suzi, 54, has repeatedy angered ministers, using her position at as a platform to attack the £5billion of spending cuts planned for the voluntary sector. She said: ‘If you cut the charities, you are cutting our ability to help each other, you are cutting what structures our neighbourliness. That is what the Big Society is all about.’
Dame Suzi, who has run the commission since 2006, was handed a new three-year contract by the previous government last year. But senior sources say Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude is set to fire her with a notice period if she does not change her attitude by the end of the year. A senior government source said: ‘The appointment is in the gift of the Secretary of State. He can terminate it. We want to see an end to the politically motivated statements.’
The move would delight many Tories for whom Dame Suzi is a byword for quango cronyism.
Her role is also in question because of the way she has used the quango’s powers over rules governing charities to attack independent schools. Dame Suzi, herself publicly educated, has used the rules to threaten independent schools with the loss of their charitable status unless they show they exist for the ‘wider public benefit’. This includes offering free places for children from poorer backgrounds.
The rules are blamed for driving up fees beyond the reach of already struggling parents and critics say they will lead to the closure of some of the best schools in the country. Two small prep schools – one in Derbyshire, the other in Lancashire – failed the ‘public benefit’ test in 2009.
Cabinet Office ministers believe the Charity Commission should allow independent schools to open up their sports pitches to local state schools or provide music lessons for local children. ‘There are many ways to show public benefit and the Charity Commission needs to take a broader view. That’s the second test,’ the source said.
The Independent Schools Council has been granted a judicial review hearing in May to challenge the commission’s implementation of the rules. A spokesman said: ‘We think the way they are interpreting the law is wrong.’ Attorney-General Dominic Grieve has also referred the quango to the Charity Tribunal over its rulings.
Last night a Charity Commission spokesman said: ‘We have always said we expect the majority of independent charitable schools will have no problem demonstrating the public benefit they provide.’
What does it take? British criminal gets 578th conviction but has never been sent to prison
A man with a 50-year record of crime has been spared jail despite being found guilty of his 578th offence. The case led an MP yesterday to describe the criminal justice system as a ‘joke’.
The serial offender is one of thousands given community sentences every year for crimes including violence and sex attacks, despite having been convicted or cautioned more than 50 times before. The number in this category has increased by a quarter in a year.
The appalling statistics are seen as proof that the justice system is failing to tackle career criminals who repeatedly avoid being locked away.
Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt revealed the case of the man with 578 offences in response to a parliamentary question by Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley. He refused to give any details about the offender or his crimes.
Mr Davies said: ‘This shows that the criminal justice system has become a joke. ‘Even Crispin Blunt has said that prison should be there not just for serious offenders, but for persistent offenders as well. ‘Surely when someone has committed so many crimes, somebody somewhere should say this man is a serious offender? ‘Whatever he has done, this man is surely a menace to the community and it beggars belief that he can commit 578 crimes and still not be sent to prison.
‘And of course, these are only crimes that are detected. ‘We are probably talking of thousands of crimes here. It shows that, despite what (Justice Secretary) Ken Clarke would have us believe, we have too few people in prison, not too many.’
David Green, of the think-tank Civitas, said: ‘I have long argued that career criminals should be jailed for a long period, because they have no respect for the rights and obligations of normal life. ‘We all accept that prison should not be something we resort to too quickly. ‘We would all like to be given a second chance if we do something stupid – it’s the 578th chance I have a problem with.’
Muslims charged over ‘gay excution leaflet’ in first British ‘sexual hatred’ case
Two men are due to appear in court charged with stirring up hatred due to sexual orientation in the first such case in Britain. Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27, are to appear before magistrates in Derby accused of handing out leaflets calling for homosexuals to be executed. It is the first prosecution since laws outlawing homophobia came into force last March.
The pair were yesterday charged with distributing the leaflet, titled “The Death Penalty?”, outside the Jamia Mosque in Derby in July last year. They are also accused of placing the leaflets through local letterboxes during the same month, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
The pair, who were arrested after a tip-off from the public, have been charged with distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.
They face a maximum sentence of seven years’ jail and and/or an unlimited fine if convicted at a crown court. No other details of the offences were released.
“We have… authorised Derbyshire Police to charge Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27, with one count each of distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation,” said CPS lawyer Sue Hemming. “The charges relate to the distribution of a leaflet, ‘The Death Penalty?’, outside the Jamia Mosque in Derby in July 2010 and through letterboxes during the same month.
“This is the first ever prosecution for this offence and it is the result of close working between the Crown Prosecution Service and Derbyshire Police.” “Following complaints from the public, Derbyshire Police mounted a thorough investigation.”
She added: “We have carefully reviewed the evidence provided by the police and are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge these men.”
The Public Order Act 1986 was amended by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.
Britons going cold on global warming: Number of climate change sceptics doubles in four years
The number of climate change sceptics has almost doubled in four years, official research showed yesterday. A quarter of Britons are unconvinced that the world is warming following successive freezing winters and a series of scandals over the credibility of climate science.
The figures suggest that a growing proportion of the public do not share the belief of all three major political parties and Whitehall – that climate change is a major and urgent challenge requiring radical and expensive policies.
The survey, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, has plotted levels of acceptance of the theory of man-made global warming since 2006. In that year it found that 87 per cent of people were at least ‘fairly convinced’ that climate change was happening. Last year that share had dropped to 75 per cent. Numbers who say they are unconvinced went up from 12 to 23 per cent.
The erosion of the public consensus behind global warming coincided with the ‘Climategate’ fiasco which came after damaging e-mails from the University of East Anglia were leaked in November 2009, and the arrival of another cold winter.
There were also setbacks for climate change advocates over flaws in UN reports on global warming and evidence that temperatures across the world have been falling.
The proportion of those who said they were ‘not very concerned’ about global warming now includes more than one in five.
The latest polling, carried out in August last year, came before the arrival of another big freeze.
There is also an increasing reluctance to take personal steps to tackle climate change. Fewer than half those polled – 46 per cent – are ready to use their cars less, and only 47 per cent are prepared to take public transport more often. Fewer than a quarter – 23 per cent – are willing to fly less.
Marriage is good for men’s bodies and women’s minds
This is an old, old story with the usual speculative inferences. Do the findings show that marriage makes you healthier or do they show that healthy people are more likely to be married? There is no way of telling but I would be inclined to think that the latter generalization accounts for at least part of the findings.
That older ladies are more sane if married rather fits what I have seen. Single ladies over 50 are in my observation often “spiritual”, in a way suggesting low-grade mental illness. They feel forces that are not there etc. That such females have relationship difficulties is rather to be expected. Lack of reality contact is generally destructive
Marriage keeps men fit but boosts women’s mental health, according to an academic article. A study published in the Student BMJ says that committed couples live longer than singletons, with the health benefits of companionship increasing over time.
Meanwhile having lots of sexual partners can shorten lifespan and divorce can have a devastating impact, the editorial claims.
But spouses benefit from marriage in different ways. Married men are kept physically fit because their wives ensure they lead a healthy lifestyle, while women’s emotional health benefits because they value being in a relationship.
David Gallacher, a trainee at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, and John Gallacher, a reader at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, write: “Love is a voyage of discovery from dopamine drenched romance to oxytocin induced attachment. Making this journey can be fraught with hazards and lead many to question the value of romance and commitment.
“Nevertheless, the impact of stable long term exclusive relationships on longevity is well established. In a study of one billion person years across seven European countries the married persons had age adjusted mortality rates that were 10-15 per cent lower than the population as a whole. So, on balance, it probably is worth making the effort.”
They cite evidence that romances among teenagers are linked to “increased depressive symptoms”, while relationships among young adults do not improve physical health. “So it seems that a degree of maturity is required before Cupid is likely to bring a net health benefit.”
The optimal time for women to establish a committed relationship in terms of health is said to be between 19 and 25, whereas for men it is after 25.
The students believe that being in a committed relationship leads to better social support – from one’s partner, their friends and family – which improves mental health and lifestyle choices. Marriage is thought to provide the largest benefits, because it involves “deeper commitment” than merely living together. Longer relationships are also said to lead to greater benefits to mental health and lower mortality rates.
On the different benefits received by brides and grooms, the authors write: “In terms of physical health, men benefit more from being in a relationship than women, but in terms of mental health women benefit more than men. “The physical health premium for men is likely to be caused by their partner’s positive influence on lifestyle. The mental health bonus for women may be due to a greater emphasis on the importance of the relationship in women.”
However they concede that “not all relationships are beneficial”, and it is better to be single than in a strained relationship.
Splitting up is distressing but less so for women, “because they have more supportive social networks”. However the authors conclude: “Although failure of a relationship can harm health, that is an argument for avoiding a bad relationship rather than not getting into a relationship at all.”
The £1-a-day red wine wonder pill to combat heart disease and cancer
This farce is getting a bit old now. There is evidence (see sidebar) that antioxidants SHORTEN your life. So if that doesn’t put people off them, I don’t know what would
A £1-a-day red wine wonder pill that claims to ward off heart disease, cancer and diabetes is to go on sale in Britain for the first time. Makers Biotivia claim the resveratrol supplement – derived from an antioxidant found in grape skins and naturally present in red wine – is as beneficial as exercise.
They say the drug can also protect against Alzheimer’s as well as delaying the ageing process and tackling obesity-related health problems.
But other experts warn that the benefits are unproven in humans and that it should not be used as a replacement for regular exercise and a healthy diet. Wine lovers, meanwhile, might argue that there is more enjoyment in cracking open a bottle of the real thing
Some studies have indicated that resveratrol could work by preventing the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries caused by high cholesterol. The pill goes on sale at Nutri Centre health stores next month. On Biotivia’s website it costs just over £30 for a month’s supply. It is already one of the most popular supplements in the U.S. but until now had been available in Britain only over the internet.
However, although some positive results have been found in animal studies, there has been no published research to show it works in humans. Even the animal studies used doses equivalent to 2,000mg a day, while doctors advise that humans should take a daily dose of no more than 50mg. And they warn that it can cause unpleasant side effects such as insomnia, joint pain, diarrhoea and acne.
Biotivia claims the pill can help prevent cancer by triggering the death of malignant cells. They say it effectively protects against a high-fat, high-calorie diet and even though people would still be overweight they would be less likely to suffer from related health risks.
Some studies have shown it can help reduce inflammation inside the arteries and prevent blood cells sticking together and forming a clot. Dr Alex Barber, a GP in Hampshire said: ‘The benefits are widespread and it effectively protects against a high-fat, high-calorie diet. It protects against cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol and reducing blood pressure. ‘If you can afford it, it’s got to be a good gamble.’
Other claims made by Biotivia are that it enables the body to function on less sleep and that animal studies have shown that it improves stamina. Studies on mice which were fed the pill have also shown that they didn’t gain weight despite eating fatty foods.
Scientists stumbled on the drug 20 years ago when trying to establish why France has low rates of heart disease. Some theories suggested that by drinking comparatively high quantities of red wine, the French were protected from the build-up of fatty deposits.
Research in 2009 showed the benefits of resveratrol, which is also found in raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and peanuts, extended to helping people to think clearer. Northumbria University researchers found adults given the supplement performed better in mental arithmetic tests.