Healthy baby boy dies of pneumonia after ‘being placed in broken incubator with Do Not Use sticker’
A ‘perfect’ baby boy died after he was placed in a broken incubator, his grieving parents claimed yesterday. The 15-day-old infant was allegedly put in a faulty device which had a ‘Do Not Use’ sticker on it on a busy ward.
Health watchdogs revealed the boy was born ‘perfect in every way’ in Swansea’s Singleton Hospital before being sent home. A week after the birth the mother and baby were re-admitted because she was suffering from a chest infection.
She was being treated by doctors while the baby was put in the incubator. He died a week later. The baby’s mother yesterday said she was taking legal action against the hospital, as she believes a ‘long list of errors’ led to his death.
The mother-of-three has received an apology, but believes that not enough has been done to ensure the same mistakes are not repeated.
She said: ‘There were more than 20 failings on the part of the hospital but, in a nutshell, he simply didn’t receive the care he should have. ‘The incubator was one of these failings. It had a sticker on that said do not use after a certain date, and my baby was placed in it a month after this date.’ The hospital insists that the incubator was in full working order and the sticker was a maintenance reminder.
The mother added: ‘It has been a long and painful process and we have received an apology, but I want to make sure another family does not go through the same pain and heartbreak that we have.’
The patient watchdog, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Community Health Council, in Swansea, confirmed a complaint had been received. A report from the health council said: ‘The post mortem revealed the baby was perfect in every way but died from massive bilateral bronchopneumonia.’
The boy’s mother also had ‘several instances of concern’ – including that ‘sick on the floor took days to be cleaned’. Health bosses at the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board said the claims would be investigated.
Director of nursing Victoria Franklin said: ‘ABM takes all complaints very seriously and we have stringent procedures in place to investigate complaints. If problems are identified, we make improvements to the way care is provided.
‘Patient safety and high-quality care are top priorities for us. Our staff care for thousands of patients every day and the vast majority are happy with the care that they receive. ‘Sadly, with these significant numbers, there will be times when care falls short of what we would wish. ‘It would be inappropriate, however, to comment on the detail due to patient confidentiality.’ The hospital also insists that the incubator did not play a part in the baby’s death.
Miss Franklin added: ‘The investigation concluded that while there were areas where care could have been improved, these would not have made a difference to the very sad outcome. ‘An action plan has now been developed as a result of the investigation.’
Coroner’s fury at paramedics who took break as mother died
A coroner yesterday expressed ‘grave concerns’ after a dying mother was forced to wait for an ambulance crew to finish their break before being treated.
Melissa Procter-Blain, 32, collapsed in a pub two days after she was diagnosed with a blood clot following leg surgery. A paramedic was immediately despatched and arrived at the pub but was ordered to wait by controllers. Bosses feared the pub was too volatile for a lone paramedic to enter without back-up, an inquest heard.
Although colleagues were close by they were on a break and guidelines issued by the ambulance service insist that breaks must be uninterrupted unless there is a ‘major incident’. The crew had two minutes of their break left. Refusing to wait any longer, the first paramedic entered the pub three minutes and 55 seconds after she arrived. Miss Procter-Blain later died.
Yesterday coroner Robert Hunter said: ‘I am astonished beyond belief that an emergency service can despatch a highly-skilled and experienced paramedic to a life-threatening emergency with blue lights and sirens, only to tell that person not to enter and wait for back-up. ‘Paramedics are frontline staff. Their job does not overstate the fact that every second counts. ‘I have grave concerns that when there are no appropriate resources available an ambulance crew on their break cannot be interrupted to attend a life-threatening emergency.
‘Their job is not working in a factory, nor filling out forms in an office where time is not of the essence. It is literally a matter of life and death.’
Miss Procter-Blain, a mother-of-three, had fallen over and dislocated her knee in May 2009. She underwent surgery for ligament damage but developed a blood clot. Two days after this was diagnosed, in July 2009, she collapsed at The Crown pub in Derby.
Drinkers called an ambulance, and a paramedic, referred to as Miss X in court, was despatched by East Midlands Ambulance Service to the Category A life-threatening emergency. When she arrived, however, she was told to park nearby and wait for the nearest ambulance crew to arrive as back-up. The crew was on a 45-minute break. After learning that Miss Procter-Blain’s condition was worsening Miss X went into the pub alone, contrary to policy.
She said she was greeted by a ‘terrific noise’, with people ‘effing and blinding’ at her to hurry up. She started setting up her equipment while one of Miss Procter-Blain’s friends continued giving her CPR. Minutes later the ambulance crew arrived. Miss X said she was sent to incidents and told to wait for back-up two or three times a week.
The coroner said: ‘EMAS need to consider reviewing their policy to despatch the nearest appropriate vehicle.’ He added that it was unlikely that Miss Procter-Blain would have survived, despite the delay. But he plans to write to the Health Secretary and the ambulance service to raise his concerns.
In a statement EMAS said: ‘The solo paramedic was greeted with a hostile and intimidating atmosphere. ‘The solo paramedic and the back-up crew provided all possible treatment, but sadly, despite their efforts to save Melissa, her medical condition was such that her death was inevitable.’
In good Warmist fashion, the BBC assumes what they have to prove
From the latest Radio Times, concerning a Radio 4 programme entitled “In Denial: Climate on the Couch”, to be aired at 9pm this evening. I will listen, and I will set my radio recorder.
Radio Times blurb:
Jolyon Jenkins investigates the psychology of climate change efforts, asking why some people seem unconcerned even though scientists are forecasting terrible changes to the planet. He questions whether environmentalists and the Government have been putting out messages that are counterproductive, and whether trying to scare people into action might actually be causing them to consume more.
My suspicion is that what I and all others who listen to this programme will hear will be an explanation of the failure of the Greenists to convince that omits the crucial matter of the mere truth, and what is now sincerely believed to be the truth by more and more of the mere people. The phrase “In Denial” does strongly suggest this. And “On the Couch” suggests that they think that some people, presumably all who deny, are mad.
You know the kind of thing: People don’t think there’s anything they can do! – No wonder they’re being crazy! – We have not communicated successfully! – We have not got our message across properly!
It probably was rather a bad idea to make it look like they want to blow up children who disagree with them. But what if, despite such communicational ineptness, they have got their message across, but people just think it’s a pack of lies? If that is what people now think, then no amount of improved communicational expertise that doesn’t deal with the mere truth of things will make much difference.
But, my suspicions may prove to be unjustified. As of now, I live in hope that the truth, both what it is and what it is now believed to be, will at least get a semi-respectful mention, in among all the psychologising.
This programme isn’t about climate science so it’s going to assume that the scientific consensus is true. And a moment later, someone described (it may have been Jolyon Jenkins) this consensus as “undeniable”. Which was an odd word to use, given the title.
Well, at least it has just been admitted that people sometimes say that it’s all being exaggerated, even if it is assumed that this is mistaken and evasive. That it might be an honest opinion is not up for discussion, because that would mean discussing climate science.
So, the early and pessimistic commenters here are right. It looks like being a long discussion of what a bunch of true-believers can do to save the world, given that a huge tranche of people has decided that the world doesn’t need saving, but will have to be convinced in the true-believer stuff is to even make sense let alone accomplish anything.
The elephant in their room is that they have lost this argument, in the sense that they need unanimity in this, but are drifting further and further away from unanimity. They are ignoring this elephant. They are behaving like that economist, stuck on a desert island with various other sorts of experts, who is wondering how to contrive a tin-opener. “Let’s assume we have a tin-opener.” This won’t work.
LATER: Thinking about this some more, I should perhaps stress that the people who sincerely disagree that CAGW is happening were not called mad, as I feared they might be. They were simply ignored. All were assumed to really believe in CAGW, but to be using some kind of psychological doublethink to evade what they knew they ought to be doing really. Like I say: let’s assume we’ve won.
Only 20% of immigration offenders actually kicked out of UK
Thousands of immigration offenders are being allowed to escape deportation every year, Government figures reveal.
The asylum system is supposed to take a strict stance against those who are caught living in the UK illegally. But fewer than one in five of those who claimed asylum only after they were caught living here without permission have been kicked out. Incredibly, more are being given permission to stay than are being removed.
Critics said the figures showed how the previous Labour government had turned Britain into a ‘soft touch’ for illegal immigrants. In the past three years alone, only 7,294 of the 40,000 who claimed asylum after being caught breaking immigration rules were kicked out. This compared with 9,869 – one in four – who were told they could stay. The remainder have either yet to have their cases decided or have dropped out of the system.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said: ‘These are astonishing figures. ‘These people entered illegally in the first place without bothering to claim asylum, so they can hardly be prime candidates. ‘Despite that, a quarter of them were granted some sort of protection. ‘Worse still, of all those detected, less than one in five have actually been removed. No wonder Britain is considered a soft touch and people are queuing in Calais to get here.’
The Home Office figures, obtained by Tory MP Priti Patel, detail what happens to people who are caught living in Britain illegally. They can be caught trying to enter the country in the back of lorries, or using other clandestine methods. Alternatively, they may have entered legally then overstayed their visas. Both categories are entitled to claim asylum when they are picked up by the authorities. However, the UK Border Agency is instructed to take a dim view of anybody caught in these circumstances.
Normally, there is a suspicion that anybody who does not claim asylum within a short time of entering the country may not be a genuine refugee.
One of the difficulties faced by the UK Border Agency is having enough staff to track down failed asylum seekers once they have been ordered to leave. Staff are told to prioritise those who pose the greatest danger to the public. That means foreign criminals are at the front of the queue.
The UKBA is preparing to axe 5,000 jobs over the next four years. This has led to concerns there will be even fewer staff dedicated to asylum removals.
In a blistering report published last February, the Parliamentary ombudsman laid the blame at the door of the last government. Ann Abraham said Labour was a ‘very long way’ from running a fast and fair immigration system that deports foreigners with no right to live here.
She found delays and incompetence at almost every level of the asylum and immigration process – with backlogs running to hundreds of thousands of cases.
The ombudsman warned the situation is such a shambles that illegal immigrants could soon benefit from an obscure rule which says those who avoid removal for 14 years can apply to stay here permanently.
Last night, Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘We have known for some time that the asylum system used to be chaotic and has been recovering slowly, and are committed to ensuring asylum cases are concluded faster, at lower cost, and that we continue to improve the quality of our decision-making. ‘Throughout 2011 we will be introducing extra controls to affect every immigration route.
‘We will exert steady downward pressure on immigration numbers through the course of this Parliament with the aim of reducing net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands.’
Ed problems reside at core
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address illustrated just how much political duplicity has entered the debate about national education standards. While crowing about the success of his Race to the Top in purchasing states’ buy-in to the so-called Common Core math and English standards — and asking Congress for even more bribe money — the president then stood truth on its head by depicting the incipient national curriculum developed by Washington insiders as a grass-roots effort.
Education progressives who delight in this disingenuous exercise of power to push national standards (and soon, federally subsidized tests as well) upon all U.S. public schools ought to take warning from England, a country where statist curricular guidelines are firmly entrenched.
The whimsical words of Roger Miller’s old country tune come to mind: “England swings like a pendulum do.” When a nation with monolithic standards for its schools experiences a shift in political control, the pendulum almost certainly will lurch right or left for education ideology as well.
Witness the changes under way in England led by the Conservative coalition’s minister of education, Michael Gove. The Daily Mail of London reports Gove has severely criticized the previous Labor government for having stripped basic knowledge out of the English, geography, history, and music curricula.
When the leftist Laborites had their turn at mandating what all British children should know and be able to do, they eliminated important leaders such as Sir Winston Churchill from teachers’ suggested lesson plans. The supposed purpose was to give teachers more “flexibility.”
Teachers got loads of leeway, in fact, because “at present, the only historical figures in the entire secondary history curriculum are William Wilberforce, the architect of the abolition of the slave trade, and Olaudah, a freed slave whose autobiography helped persuade MPs (Members of Parliament) to ban slavery,” the Daily Mail reported.
Similarly, “the secondary geography curriculum does not mention a single country apart from the UK or any continents, rivers, oceans, mountains, or cities. It does, however, mention the European Union and global warming.”
In addition, “the secondary music curriculum fails to mention a single composer, musician, or piece of music.”
Gove observes left-wing ideologues believe schools “shouldn’t be doing anything so old-fashioned as passing on knowledge, requiring children to work hard, or immersing them in anything like dates in history or times tables in mathematics.”
Leading the charge for the Tories, the education minister plans to fill in the knowledge gaps. For instance, he will reinstall such authors as John Keats, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy in the English standards. An overhaul of the history curriculum is supposed to ensure that all children thoroughly learn Britain’s “island story” before graduating.
Proponents of knowledge-based learning on both sides of the Atlantic will applaud Gove’s intentions. But what will happen to England’s national education standards when the political pendulum swings back and the Laborites return to power? Out will go the basics and in will come the multiculturalism and political correctness once again. None of this reflects the preferences of parents.
The United States is not yet at the point of no return regarding national standards. There are standards only for English and mathematics, but proponents are talking about adding history and science and maybe more. Forty-four states have voted to accept the national standards, many of them doing so (as the president himself indicated) in a bid to gain favor with the Obama administration in its distribution of Race to the Top cash. However, with only a dozen states winning grants and the Republican-led House unlikely to approve more such loot, some states’ political leaders are talking about revoking their adoption of the Common Core standards.
Now is the time for the nation to decide whether we really want to commit to education standards forever subject to political manipulation by Washington and crazy swings in the national political pendulum. Would we prefer to have a national minister of education decide what our children will study, or be able to choose for ourselves from among schools offering diverse curricula and methods?
Within a marketplace will probably be an approach just right for each child. Parents can’t be sure of that when Washington’s politicians and special interests are writing a common playbook.
Abraham Lincoln ‘tried to deport slaves’ to British colonies
Abraham Lincoln’s reputation as the great champion of America’s slaves has taken a battering amid new evidence that the revered president wanted to send many of them to toil in British colonies in the Caribbean.
Academics Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page claim that documents uncovered in British archives show that Lincoln was rather less enamoured by the prospect of a racially-united America than is often assumed.
The 16th U.S. president is widely lionised in the U.S. for winning the American Civil War for the Union and bringing an end to slavery.
Although earlier historians have conceded that he did propose sending some of the freed slaves to new colonies, they have dismissed it as a ruse designed to placate racist voters. However, according to evidence from the British legation in Washington that has turned up at the National Archives in Kew, the president was deadly serious about black colonisation right up until his assassination in 1865.
Mr Magness and Mr Page say that just after Lincoln announced the freedom of three quarters of America’s four million slaves with his historic 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, he authorised plans to set up freedmen’s settlements in what is now Belize and Guyana.
And even as black soldiers were dying for the Union cause and a mission to send 453 freed slaves to colonise a pest-ridden island off Haiti met with a disastrous small pox outbreak, Mr Lincoln was secretly authorising British officials to recruit what could have been hundreds of thousands of blacks for a new life on the sugar and cotton plantations of Central America.
Papers show Lincoln personally met agents for the then-colonies of British Honduras and British Guiana and authorised them to go into the camps of the recently-freed slaves and find recruits. One of the agents, John Hodge, assured the British ambassador that ‘it was [Lincoln’s] honest desire that this should go ahead’.
Lincoln also considered a plan to get thousands of black soldiers out of the way after the civil war ended by sending them down to Panama to build a canal.
The new evidence, contained in a forthcoming book entitled Colonisation After Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement, is causing ructions in the U.S. over the legacy of its most revered president. Some neo-Nazi websites have seized on it as evidence of Lincoln’s anti-black inclinations.
However, Mr Page, a Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford, insisted that it was wrong to conclude Lincoln was a racist. Blacks had been lynched during recent race riots in New York and the president was motivated by a fear that the freeing of black slaves would cause serious racial strife, said Mr Page.
In addition, Lincoln always made clear the emigration would be voluntary, he said. ‘I don’t think it was ever about any personal dislike for blacks,’ Mr Page said.
‘That said, that’s not to let him off the hook because if you’re backing black colonisation you’re kind of putting your blessing on racism. But he saw strife coming.’
In the end, records show that Lincoln’s plans were foiled, largely because of the reluctance of the British government who feared the pro-slavery South might win the Civil War and sue Britain for its lost slaves. At the same time, the U.S. Congress was upset about the failure of the Haiti project and another attempt to colonise land in Panama.
America is sensitive to accusations that it has ever behaved as a colonial power, a label it prefers to stick on Britain and other European countries. Mr Magness admitted that historians had ‘tended to downplay’ Lincoln’s commitment to colonisation as it did not ‘mesh’ with his image as the Great Emancipator of the slaves.