My husband died from swine flu after medics repeatedly turned him away, says pregnant widow
A father has died from swine flu after repeatedly being turned away by medical staff, his pregnant wife claimed today. Tharmjit Singh Josen who had previously been fighting fit, fell ill in December and died just four weeks later in hospital.
Today Tharmjit Singh Josen’s widow Kash said he was not prioritised by NHS staff because he was not in an ‘at risk’ category. His wife said she battled to get him effective treatment to no avail.
Mrs Josen said: ‘I still haven’t come to terms with what has happened yet, the whole family is in shock including our two-year-old daughter Iena.’
Mr Josen started to complain of a sore throat, shivers and a temperature at his home in Bedford on December 17. He went to the GP who prescribed over the counter medicines and antibiotics which were not effective.
Mrs Josen said: ‘After a few days Tharmjit was getting even worse, I called NHS Direct but my call was put in a queue for so long that I couldn’t get through. ‘We decided to go to Bedford Hospital, he was struggling to walk but forced himself and couldn’t speak for coughing.
‘When we arrived he wanted to wait outside because he was coughing, I went in and was told that because he was not in a high risk category and could walk we should go to the NHS walk-in centre in Putnoe.’ When the couple arrived at the walk-in centre Mr Josen was diagnosed with a severe chest infection and he was prescribed double the dosage of his previous antibiotics.
Mrs Josen said: ‘When he started taking the new dose of antibiotics Tharmjit started to suffer severe diarrhoea. This could be a sympton of swine flu and it went on for days. He wasn’t sleeping and was very weak and confused. ‘I rang my GP again and told them the whole story but nobody said swine flu even though it was getting really bad. ‘He was so fit and healthy. All that pushing himself to eat well and go to the gym, it just seems like such a waste of time now.’
The next day Mrs Josen took Tharmjit to Bedford Hospital again. This time he was refered to an acute assessment unit (AAU) with suspected pneumonia. She added: ‘At that point I felt a bit better that he was being looked after but I didn’t understand why it had taken so long. ‘Me and my family were also vaccinated against swine flu straight away. ‘I am pregnant, I don’t understand why nobody helped us before it got to this stage.’
She added: ‘At one point I was suffering from morning sickness, had a two-year-old crying and her father lying on the sofa seriously ill wearing his outside coat because he was so cold. ‘I didn’t know who to hug first and it was very traumatic. Our family didn’t deserve this.’
Mr Josen was treated at Bedford Hospital for five days before being transferred to St Thomas Hopsital, in London, to use a specialist ECMO machine which oxygenates the blood and prevents it from becoming poisoned.
Mrs Josen said: ‘We were told that there are only 12 of these machines in the country. It was unsure whether Tharmjit would make the trip but he managed it. ‘When we arrived and I saw the other people using the machines they were all fit and healthy people with dependants. None were in the high risk categories and they were all seriously ill.
‘The virus is so aggressive and I really think that everyone should be able to be vaccinated against swine flu because it is killing fit and healthy people.
‘They put Tharmjit to sleep so that his body could better fight the infection. He said he was afraid of going to sleep because he feared he wouldn’t wake up. He didn’t wake up again after that.’
She added: ‘A doctor later said to us at St Thomas that the most effective treatments are those given within the first 48 hours, why would nobody take us seriously when we tried to get help?’
Dr Jason Reddy, deputy medical director for NHS Bedfordshire, claimed that the H1N1 virus is unique in the sense that it targets the immune systems of people who are young, fit and well. He said: ‘The key is to ask for help if you don’t get better, or get considerably worse within three days.
‘This year seasonal flu is predominantly swine flu and that is what in this year’s vaccines which we are giving to high risk groups such as pregnant women, diabetics and those with chronic diseases. ‘If the symptoms are very severe you need to seek advice, primarily from a GP or walk-in centre.
‘For the majority of cases this is appropriate but the safety net is to advise patients to represent to their GP or A&E if symptoms persist and keep going back until you get better.’
Bedford Hospital declined to comment stating they had adhered to the guidance issued by NHS Bedfordshire.
Disgusting NHS bureaucracy
But publicity generates a rethink, as usual
A dedicated nurse who gave the NHS 40 years’ service was refused a free cancer scan because she spent three months working abroad as a volunteer. Cancer nurse Ann Read, 66, was shocked to be charged £900 for the scan at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where she had spent many years caring for patients.
The crackdown came because, even after retiring last year, she wanted to go on helping others and travelled to the Amazon rainforest to nurse terminally ill patients. The mother-of-four came home in December with suspected bowel cancer, but was told that since she planned to return to help patients and train nurses in Guyana, she was branded a health tourist.
She said: “I could not believe I was being asked to pay. It feels completely unfair. “I worked for many years at Addenbrooke’s too, so it felt like a real kick in the teeth. I think this is grossly unfair and asked for immediate cancellation of this charge, but have been told these are the rules.”
Ms Read, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, was tested for free in Guyana before coming home for the scan. She was given the all-clear by British doctors, but was told to pay for her care because of her plan to return to South America.
She said: “It was there in black and white. “If I left the country for volunteer work, came home and then intended to go back, I’d have to pay.
“I was appalled and in disbelief. Obviously, as I have been a nurse for 40 years, it feels a bit personal and it is ludicrous. “I have no great faith in this Government and the rule is lunacy. It’s a crazy situation.”
She added: “The reaction I got was I should have kept my mouth shut about where I was going, but I shouldn’t have to lie. “It was a horrible experience. I feel they believe I am trying to cheat the system. It’s a crazy rule and I hope they change it.”
Apart from a 10-year break to raise her children and a year spent helping Aids victims in South Africa, Ann has worked for the NHS and lived in the UK since she was 18. The former Macmillan cancer nurse said: “I have paid full National Insurance contributions and never needed to claim state benefits.”
A spokesman for Addenbrooke’s Hospital said: “We sympathise with Mrs Read’s situation, but followed national rules with regard to eligibility for NHS care.” The hospital said it was now waiting for further guidance from the Department of Health, which is considering the case, before requesting payment.
Britons most opposed to further immigration
Their steadily falling standards of living leave little credibility in the do-gooder claim that immigration is good for the economy. It might be true if the immigrants were all highly skilled or hard-working but many are simply third-world parasites on Britain’s welfare State
Politicians were yesterday urged to step up immigration control after a survey showed Britons were more fearful about the issue than people in other countries.
Nearly a quarter – 23 per cent – of British people questioned called immigration the most important issue facing the country.
This compares with levels of between three and nine per cent in America, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Holland and Spain.
Nearly half – 47 per cent – believed immigrants were a burden on schools and hospitals and a third felt that they increased crime.
The Transatlantic Trends survey, commissioned by the US German Marshall Fund and other organisations, quizzed at least 1,000 people in each country last year. Fund president Craig Kennedy said: “This report is a wake-up call for the governments.”
Multiculturalism policies in Britain a failure, says British PM
David Cameron says a country needs to believe in certain values and to promote them, not just tolerate its citizens’ differences
PRIME Minister David Cameron has condemned Britain’s long-standing policy of multiculturalism as a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism.
In a speech to the Munich Security Conference, Mr Cameron signalled a marked change in policy towards Britain’s ethnic and religious minorities, saying the “hands-off tolerance” of those who reject Western values has failed.
He urged a “more active, muscular liberalism” where equal rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy are actively promoted to create a stronger national identity. “If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it’s time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past,” he said.
It was Mr Cameron’s first major speech on Islamist extremism, an issue of major concern for British governments ever since four home-grown suicide bombers attacked the London transport system in 2005, killing 52 people.
The Prime Minister, who took power last May, argued that “under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream”.
He said this had resulted in a lack of national identity in Britain which had made some young Muslims turn to extremist ideology. “Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,” Mr Cameron said. “A passively tolerant society says to its citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It stands neutral between different values. “A genuinely liberal country does much more. It believes in certain values and actively promotes them…. It says to its citizens: this is what defines us as a society.”
Mr Cameron clearly distinguished between Islam the religion and the political ideology of Islamist extremism, saying they “are not the same thing”. But he argued that non-violent organisations which present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community but are ambiguous on Western values should no longer receive state funding, and should be banned from university campuses.
His speech echoed controversial remarks made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year, when she also called multiculturalism a failure, saying Germany had not devoted enough attention to the integration of immigrants. “What I mean to say is that for years, for decades, the approach was that integration was not something that needed to be addressed, that people would live side-by-side and that it would sort itself out,” Ms Merkel said in November. “This turned out to be false.”
British Leftist leader shows true Leftist character
Ed Miliband has dishonestly tried to portray himself as a man of the people, coming from a struggling background. But his father was for most of his life a prominent Marxist academic of Jewish origin
A man who was at school with Ed Miliband has revealed how he hit the now Labour Leader in the playground for allegedly calling him a ‘Turkish b*****d’.
Kevin Mustafa decided to speak out after Mr Miliband described his schooldays at his ‘tough’ comprehensive in an interview last week. The politician said he had been on the receiving end of blows at Haverstock School in Chalk Farm, North London, yet refused to name his tormentors.
But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Mr Mustafa was one of them and he recalls he struck out after the alleged racist abuse. He said: ‘We had a bit of a ruck in 1984 in the playground. I just lost my rag that day. He was a very opinionated person back then. I am not proud.’
Mr Mustafa, 40, who is now a gardener, was one of Mr Miliband’s classmates from 1981 to 1986. He said: ‘We did not agree on something and I belittled him and dismissed him as if what he said was a stupid comment. In retaliation, he lashed out with verbal abuse. ‘He called me a Turkish b*****d so I hit him. I gave my reasons as to why I did it but was dismissed and I was suspended for three days.’
Recalling their school days, Mr Mustafa, from Barnet, North London, claimed the young Ed Miliband ‘was a very stuck-up person looking down his nose at everybody’. He added: ‘He was not a friend of mine but we sat in the same class. Although he was no better than us he had quite a high opinion of himself. He tried to come across as if he was more intelligent. Most of the time we let it pass but I lost my rag that day.’
In his interview with Piers Morgan for GQ magazine, Mr Miliband, who described himself as a ‘square’ who had loved playing with his Rubik’s Cube, was keen to draw a distinction between his state school upbringing and that of Old Etonian David Cameron. Asked whether he considers himself posh, he replied: ‘I was brought up in a middle-class home but my parents were refugees and I went to a comprehensive school, so not that posh, no.’
His family home in Primrose Hill was one of the foremost Left-wing salons of the Seventies and Eighties, where politicians and academics attended dinner parties given by his father Ralph, a leading intellectual and professor of politics.
More charming behaviour from “sensitive” British Leftists
Labour party MPs who mocked disabled Tory were like ‘hyenas going for the kill’
Cruel Labour MPs have been accused of behaving like ‘hyenas going for the kill’ when they mocked a disabled Tory MP speaking in a Commons debate. They pulled faces, made gestures and laughed in an attempt to humiliate Conservative MP Paul Maynard, who has cerebral palsy.
Last night, Labour’s Tom Blenkinsop said he was among a group of Labour MPs told to ‘calm down’ by the party’s whip David Hamilton during Blackpool MP Mr Maynard’s speech. Middlesbrough MP Mr Blenkinsop, 30, a former trade union official, insisted he was not one of those who taunted Mr Maynard.
The incident occurred in October during a debate on the abolition of the Child Trust Fund, a scheme set up by Gordon Brown and widely considered to have failed. The Coalition was attacked by Labour, and in particular by women Labour MPs, for abandoning it.
The jeering of Mr Maynard, who said the scheme had not worked, went unnoticed at the time, but surfaced yesterday in an interview with the Blackpool MP.
He refused to identify any of the Labour culprits. However, using eyewitness accounts, the official Parliamentary report Hansard and televised footage of the Commons, The Mail on Sunday has identified the MPs who took part in the debate.
Mr Maynard said: ‘They were constantly intervening, trying to put me off my stride, which may be normal parliamentary tactics. ‘But some were pulling faces at me, really exaggerated gesticulations and faces. ‘Only they know for certain whether they were taking the mick out of my disability. But it certainly felt like it. That is why politics is held in such low esteem.’
A senior Labour MP told The Mail on Sunday: ‘What they did was disgusting. It was obvious that Paul was upset but they sensed a weakness and went for the kill like a pack of hyenas.’
Outraged Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle, the Deputy Speaker, tried to protect Mr Maynard from the jibes and told Mr Hamilton to order Labour MPs to stop tormenting him.
Mr Maynard, 35, who entered the Commons at the last Election, had barely started his speech when Labour’s Kate Green, MP for Stretford, tried to intervene. When Mr Maynard carried on speaking, Scottish Labour MP Gregg McClymont shouted: ‘Give way!’ Mr Maynard told him: ‘If you calm down and let me finish I will happily give way. Learn some manners.’ Mr Maynard subsequently gave way to Labour MP Catherine McKinnell.
But it was when he refused to do so for Stella Creasy, another Labour MP, that some male Opposition MPs started mocking Mr Maynard openly by pulling faces and imitating his speech and mannerisms.
Evangelical church based around creationism plans to open free school in Britain
An evangelical church which places creationism at the heart of its belief system is applying to open a free school. e Everyday Champions Church, based in Newark, Nottinghamshire, has said it will teach evolution as a “theory”.
Free schools can be set up by charities, universities, businesses, educational groups, teachers and groups of parents.
The church wants to open the new school in September next year and says there are currently not enough secondary places available in the area. Pastor Gareth Morgan, the church’s leader, told the Independent: “Creationism will be embodied as a belief at the Everyday Champions Academy but will not be taught in the sciences. Similarly, evolution will be taught as a theory.”
Evolution is a recognised part of the science curriculum. But free schools will have freedom from following the national curriculum.
The church’s website says the new school, with space for 625 pupils, will be “multicultural in philosophy and will welcome children from all faiths or none”. However, it adds that the “values of the Christian faith will be the foundation of the school philosophy”.
The website states: “We believe that the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our every day lives.”
The Government has approved 35 free school applications to move to the business case and plan stage, and eight of these have been given the go ahead to move into the pre-opening stage.
Low energy lightbulbs ‘could harm 40,000’
Low energy light bulbs could exacerbate the health conditions of up to 40,000 people across Britain, a minister has said. Anne Milton, the public health minister, made the admission after Labour MP Mark Tami asked if the Department of Health had made an assessment of their effects on people with sensitive eye conditions.
Mrs Milton referred to a report by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), which found up to 250,000 people across the EU with certain eye, photosensitive and neurological conditions could be at risk. She said: “Firm figures for the United Kingdom are not available, but the SCENIHR statistics would equate to around 30,000 to 40,000 people that might be affected in the UK.”
A 2008 review by the Health Protection Agency warned of the ultra-violet rays emitted by compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and the flickering nature of the light they gave off. The former can trigger rashes in a small number of people as well as lupus, an autoimmune disease whose symptoms include fatigue and joint pain. The latter can induce eye pain and could even increase the incidence of repetitive behaviour in autistic people.
Mrs Milton added: “The Department is continuing to work with the HPA, patient groups, clinicians and the lighting industry to keep the health issues under review.” [Good of them!]