Student lay dying from asthma attack yards from hospital gates after friend who ran for help was told by receptionist ‘ring an ambulance’
Bureaucracy rules in Britain, even if it costs a life
A student lay dying from an asthma attack outside a hospital after A&E staff refused to summon help, telling her friend to ring for an ambulance instead. Melody Davis, 20, had been driven to casualty but her friends got stuck behind a barrier to a staff car park.
One of Miss Davis’s friends ran 150 yards into the A&E department and asked a receptionist to summon help. She was told she would have to dial 999 for an ambulance if she wanted emergency treatment. The staff member refused to place the call and told the friend to use a phone in the reception area. It is believed that the friend did this.
By the time she returned to the car several minutes later, the Liverpool University student had collapsed and another friend was trying to resuscitate her. The second friend ran to the front of the Royal Liverpool Hospital and desperately pleaded for help from paramedics outside the A&E department.
When they returned with her to the car, two ambulances were already there and Miss Davis was receiving emergency treatment. The English literature student was taken into the hospital where she later died.
Merseyside Police are investigating the tragedy, which happened on October 27 last year, after coroner Andre Rebello said Miss Davis may have been saved by swifter treatment. He has opened and adjourned an inquest into her death pending the outcome of the police investigation.
Last night a patient group said a combination of bureaucracy and a lack of common sense could have cost the student her life.
‘The coroner questioned the decision to telephone for an ambulance and although the cause of death was a natural cause, he is unsure whether or not she would have survived if assistance had been given when first requested. ‘Merseyside Police are awaiting advice from the Crown Prosecution Service with regard to interviewing two members of nursing staff.’
Joyce Robins, co-founder of the campaign group Patient Concern, said: ‘It is shocking, absolutely shocking that blind form-filling and red tape could have cost this patient her life. Paramedics outside should have been immediately instructed to go and help her instead of calls having to be routed through a switchboard. Common sense should have prevailed. ‘It is appalling she may have lost her life because time was wasted.’
A spokesman for the hospital said: ‘We have given our sympathies and condolences to the family of this patient in person.
‘We immediately launched an investigation after this incident. We have shared the full details of our investigation with the family. We are working closely with the coroner who has requested that police investigate – this is standard practice in such cases. Until the inquest has happened it would be inappropriate to comment further.’
Shocking neglect of the elderly on wards of shame
Shocking neglect of the elderly is exposed again today in a damning report that claims the NHS is failing to meet even the most basic standards of care.
Complaints to health watchdogs include accounts of patients being left so dehydrated on wards they cannot even cry out for help.
Distraught relatives say loved ones have been completely ignored and their basic rights disregarded.
Frail patients are discharged from hospital when they are dangerously underweight while one elderly woman was sent home in another patient’s soiled clothes, held up by paper clips.
The shocking stories are detailed in an investigation by the Health Service Ombudsman, who accuses NHS staff of an ‘ignominious failure’ to care for the elderly. Ann Abraham, whose job is to carry out detailed investigations of the Health Service, warns that the NHS is failing to respond to the needs of older people with care and compassion.
Her report concludes that doctors and nurses have a dismissive attitude and are apparently indifferent to deplorable standards of care. It highlights ten appalling examples of neglect of the frail and vulnerable.
Its findings come just two months after the Daily Mail launched a campaign to end such scandalous treatment. With the help of our generous readers we were able to raise £100,000 for the Patients Association to go toward a helpline to deal with complaints arising from similar cases of poor care.
Today’s report highlights how meal trays, water and emergency call buttons are routinely left out of reach. It claims at least five of the ten patients had not been given enough food or drink during their hospital stay. They were described as individuals who tended to put up with difficult circumstances without making a fuss. ‘Like all of us, they wanted to be cared for properly and, at the end of their lives, to die peacefully and with dignity,’ it added.
Poor care or badly managed medication contributed to their deteriorating health, as they were transformed from alert and able individuals to people who were dehydrated, malnourished or unable to communicate.
Accounts from distraught relatives describe how nurses are too busy chatting to help the elderly eat their food. Patients are not even helped to the toilet and are left for months without being taken to the shower or bath. Relatives themselves are also being ignored by staff and in one case doctors switched off a patient’s life-support machine against the wishes of his family.
Last night campaigners and patient groups accused the NHS of failing the vulnerable. Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: ‘The situation is completely unacceptable. The NHS should always get these basic patient needs right. There isn’t an on-cost to this – it is an entitlement that every individual has a right to. ‘Attitudes need to change – older patients need to be treated with respect and compassion, not as an inconvenience.’
Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, said: ‘The inhumane treatment of older people described in this report is sickening and should send shockwaves through the NHS and government. It’s difficult to imagine us allowing any other group of people to suffer this indignity and neglect, yet we know this is just the tip of the iceberg: appalling treatment of older people in the Health Service is far too common. ‘This is not only a damning indictment of our health service, but of our society in general, where older people count for less and damaging discriminatory attitudes against older people remain rife.’
The ombudsman deals with complaints that patients and relatives feel have not been properly dealt with by hospitals, GPs or other NHS services. They are advised to raise their concerns with a hospital or surgery first, and if that is unsuccessful make a formal complaint to the primary care trust. They can also contact independent organisations such as the Patient Advice and Liaison Service or the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service.
More than 9,000 complaints were examined by the health watchdog and almost a fifth concerned older people.
Care services minister Paul Burstow said: ‘This report exposes the urgent need to update our NHS. ‘We need a culture where poor practice is challenged and quality is the watchword. ‘The dignity of frail older people should never be sidelined. ‘Leadership on the front line is key to driving out poor practice.’
Thousands of illegal workers claiming British welfare payments: Loophole in the law costs taxpayers millions
Tens of thousands of workers with no right to be in Britain have been claiming benefits thanks to an extraordinary loophole in the law.
Ministers have discovered that Labour allowed 155,000 illegal immigrants to qualify for sickness benefits and maternity pay. Government sources put the cost to the public purse at ‘tens of millions of pounds’.
They say the shambles is a damning indictment of how Labour lost control of both the benefits and immigration systems with taxpayers left to foot the bill. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will outlaw the practice in welfare reform legislation expected to be unveiled this week.
Ministers believe most of those abusing the system came to work in Britain for a limited period and overstayed their visa. Others managed to get a job without a work permit.
At present, someone could be illegally in the UK and able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), paid to those too sick to work, as well as statutory payments such as maternity or paternity pay and sick pay.
Astonishingly, the Work and Pensions Department has not in the past asked to see work permits when assessing claims for ESA. Employers, meanwhile, have not been asked to show proof that workers are in Britain legally when processing claims for maternity or paternity pay or sick pay.
A Whitehall source said: ‘It cannot be right that people who aren’t eligible to work here can get benefits that are a substitute for earnings.
‘This is a classic example of where the welfare system has been allowed to get completely out of control. It is difficult to track because these are illegal workers, but the cost is likely to be in the tens of millions. ‘Clearly it’s incredibly unfair and ministers are acting to legislate to close the loophole as quickly as possible. ‘Work permits showing people are here legally will be needed for ESA claims or an employer will have to show one when they are putting claims through. ‘The Bill we are bringing forward will start the root-and-branch overhaul needed to put fairness back at the heart of the system.’
Hundreds of thousands of National Insurance numbers were handed out under Labour to illegal workers as, alarmingly, there was no requirement on JobCentre staff to check whether a person was in the country legally. Many employers wrongly believed that having an NI number meant foreign staff were allowed to work in the UK.
Illegal workers should not be eligible for any state-funded benefit, housing, or anything other than emergency NHS treatment. At the moment, a ‘habitual residency test’ is used to establish whether migrants are eligible for other types of benefit.
To qualify for jobseeker’s allowance, employment support allowance, pension credit and income support, they must demonstrate that they have either worked or have a good opportunity to get a job.
However, the European Commission has warned ministers that the rules may infringe the human rights of EU citizens and are ‘not compatible’ with EU law. It has started legal proceedings against Britain to have restrictions on welfare claims by incomers scrapped.
The Welfare Reform Bill, ministers say, will bring an end to the complex, costly and inefficient series of benefits and tax credits, replacing them with a single universal credit. Cuts to housing and disability benefits will also be confirmed.
The scale of the welfare challenge facing Britain is laid bare today in figures which show at least 330,000 children – around one in 30 – are growing up with a parent claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Mr Duncan Smith said: ‘We know that family is the most important influence on a child’s life, so it is no surprise that with this many children growing up with parents on unemployment benefits we are facing intergenerational worklessness and benefit dependency on such a massive scale. ‘Our broken welfare system has reinforced this destructive cycle for generations.’
An open letter to the British Prime Minister that asks him to put his money where his mouth is
From: Dr Frank Ellis
Dear Mr Cameron
I am writing to you in connection with the speech you delivered at the Munich Security Conference last week since its subject matter pertains not just to the security of the United Kingdom and other Western European states but also to the long-term survival of the indigenous population of this country itself: the ultimate security question.
You begin your speech by seeking to reassure fellow member NATO states that despite the dire condition of the UK economy Britain will continue to meet the NATO 2% defence-spending target. In general terms that is good. However, the standard government line notwithstanding – Labour as well as Tory – Britain is not made safer nor is our national security enhanced by the presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan. The NATO presence in Afghanistan has, I believe, more to do with the nuclear ambitions of Iran.
Now, you begin your discussion of the terrorist threat in the UK by saying that some of these attacks are carried out ‘by our own citizens’ and that the perpetrators, Muslims, ‘are prepared to blow themselves up and kill their fellow citizens’ (my emphasis).
But these Muslim terrorists do not regard me, us, as ‘their fellow citizens’. Indeed, they are correct: I am not one of ‘their fellow citizens’. Nor do I wish to be. Formally these people may have acquired a British passport but in what way can these people be regarded as ‘our own citizens’ when they live in parallel societies paid for by the white indigenous population and are at best indifferent to, and at worst murderously hostile, to the interests of the host indigenous population? If I went to live in Munich and started to make demands of indigenous Germans that they adapt to my folkways, habits and customs and threatened to kill them, would Germans regard me as one of their own? I doubt it.
True, Europe has suffered from terrorism before the arrival of Al Qaeda and its imitators. The key difference is however that groups such as The Angry Brigade (England) IRA (Northern Ireland), The Red Brigades (Italy), Direct Action (France) and Baader-Meinhof & RAF (West Germany) were all home-grown groups. People who were active in the IRA belong to the tribes of the British Isles.
Muslims have no such claim. They are alien. Islamic terrorism would not be a problem in the United Kingdom had we maintained strict control over our borders and not permitted the huge influx of immigrants from Pakistan, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and Somalia. This was and remains a direct consequence of the cult of multiculturalism, a cult that preaches the poisonous view that, for example, sub-Saharan Africans have as much right to live in Britain as the white indigenous population.
You say that: ‘Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries’. Who exactly needs to wake up? Millions of people throughout Europe who over the last 40 years have seen their cities turned into Third World slums, who have witnessed, and suffered from, the relentless influx of immigrants, Muslim or otherwise, who have seen their institutions – police, armed forces, health services – corrupted by multiculturalism, who have seen their primary and secondary schools and universities turned into centres of politically correct indoctrination, where to be white, middle class, heterosexual and Christian is to suffer a constant stream of insults and barely concealed hatred, where, on the other hand, to be black or non-white is to enjoy special, protected-species status since non-whites are supposed to be bearers of some wonderful gift (referred to as diversity) and a source of great wisdom. Those of us all over Europe need no lectures from you Mr Cameron on what has been happening.
If they are not exceptionally wealthy and have no choice but to endure the daily grind of commuting into our large cities or may actually have to live there, white people are confronted every day of their lives with the consequences of ‘vibrant multicultural diversity’ and have been for a long time. Take it from me they hate it and where possible they will avoid it all costs (white flight). If they work in the public sector and have large mortgages they will endure the consequences of the cult in silence, confiding their fears only to a trusted few.
All over Europe an unaccountable class of political-functionaries has sought to impose the alien cult of multiculturalism on the white indigenous populations. Your call that we need to stand up to Muslims – and it is not just Muslims – comes far too late and is, in any case, thoroughly dishonest. The danger to the white indigenous population posed by mass non-white immigration has been evident for a long time and politicians of all parties have either encouraged this process of dispossession or have been too cowardly to speak out in public. When, in his famous speech, Enoch Powell warned of what was to come he was mocked, derided and abandoned by people like you. The damage done to the indigenous population, its history, culture and future may now be irreversible. I pray to God that I am wrong; that it is not too late to save our nation.
Your attempts to distinguish between Islam as a religion of peace and Islamic terrorism are doomed to failure. Such is the overwhelming collectivist ethos of Islam and the complete absence of any respect for the dissenting individual that Muslims resident in this country who do not take part in acts of terrorism are not going to break ranks with the extremists. For Muslims the rule of law, free speech and liberal democracy are alien Western abstractions that mean very little. Given the choice between the rule of law, free speech and the civil society and Islam – in any shape or form – Muslims resident in this country will support the cause of Islam. There is no love for the British: we are just a source of welfare payments and material provision that would be impossible in Pakistan and Somalia (the reason immigrants come here).
You state the following: ‘It is vital that we make the distinction between religion on the one hand, and political ideology on the other. Time and again people equate the two’. Again, your attempt to separate religion from ideology is doomed to failure for the obvious reason that Islam, the ideology-religion, recognises no lay principle: it is all or nothing; it is Islam for the believers; Dhimmitude for the rest. Consequently, whatever action Western governments take to neutralise what they believe to be the purely political, ideological aspect of Islam, will always be interpreted as an attack on Islam as a whole. Indeed, such measures will be an attack on Islam as a whole since Islam does not recognise the division between state and civil society; the right of the individual to resist its collectivist ethos (just like communism incidentally).
The other factor that makes Islam a threat to the Christian West is the birth rate among Islamic immigrants resident in the West. The huge increase in the Muslim population throughout the West may well turn out to be the decisive factor that overwhelms the white indigenous population in their ancient lands, reducing them to a suppressed minority. In all the discussions about rising food prices, metals, access to water and productive farm land no one wishes to identify the real problem: specifically the reckless and unsustainable breeding of Third World Populations either in the Third World itself or in the Third World estates that Third-Worlders have been allowed to create in the First World.
You cite what has happened on the streets of Tunis and Cairo as an example of the compatibility of Western values and Islam: ‘hundreds of thousands of people demanding the universal right to free elections and democracy’. Middle-class, English-speaking protesters might well press the right buttons when interviewed by some BBC reporter but the underlying problem of Arab states and Sub-Saharan Africa is massive, out-of-control and unsustainable population growth. This is the Malthusian nightmare writ large and it is being played out all over the Third World. Egypt’s unemployed will remain unemployed (many of them are unemployable in any case). Hunger and hopelessness will gnaw at them. The results are predictable. Democracy and civil society are preposterous and irrelevant abstractions outside of Western Europe and will not feed people, certainly not in Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa. Where populations spiral out of control, as they are doing in so many parts of the world, violence, exacerbated by religious/ideological fanaticism, is inevitable.
Concerning multiculturalism in the United Kingdom you state the following:
Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.
For the avoidance of any doubt your repeated exculpatory use of “we” does not include me and, I suspect, millions of other Britons. Your use of ‘we’ refers to the last Labour government and the xenophiles who sought to impose the anti-white racist cult of multiculturalism on the indigenous population. It is emphatically not the responsibility of the indigenous population ‘to provide a vision of a society to which they [immigrants] feel they want to belong’. If, according to you, the ‘we’ failed to provide this vision, then why did millions of Islamic immigrants join the first wave who could not find this ‘vision’? If they have no ‘vision of society to which they feel they want to belong’ why do they stay?
Why not go home to Somalia, Waziristan and Sub-Saharan Africa? That these millions of immigrants have no ‘vision of society to which they feel they want to belong’ yet still stay in the Christian-infidel-infested wasteland of Britain suggests to me that their continued presence in Britain has everything to do with the fantastically generous welfare provision they receive (all the wives included) and absolutely nothing at all to do with any lack of ‘vision of society’.
You have been reported as saying that multiculturalism has failed. I see no clear statement of that in your speech at all. In fact, you claim that it is the indigenous population that has driven Muslims into their parallel societies. That you are still advocating some form of the cult is clear when you argue that ‘instead of encouraging people to live apart, we need a clear sense of shared national identity that is open to everyone’.
National identity by its very nature is exclusive, partial and narrow. A national identity that is ‘open to everyone’ is not a national identity. National identity is determined by a combination of genetic, racial, cultural, psychological, geographical, linguistic and mental factors, tempered by the blows of history, by shared suffering in war and peace, by humiliation and glory, by the memory of those gone before. How can my English national identity be open to everyone? The answer is that it cannot. National identity that is open to everyone ceases to be a national identity; national identity that is open to everyone is just another way of promoting multiculturalism without using the m-word. In other words, it is a deceit, a ploy to disarm the critics of multiculturalism who have instinctively and rationally apprehended the cult’s national-identity-hating agenda all along.
As an Englishman who still values his national identity I have no desire at all to share it with others. Do Pakistanis, Indians, Chinese, Japanese and Zulus want to share their national identity with me? Of course not: and why should they? It is their exclusive property.
Nor do immigrants wish to share their identity with white Europeans. When, in 2008, he addressed a large Turkish audience in Cologne, the Turkish Prime Minister, Reccep Erdogan was quite clear by what he understood on the question of integration. He told his audience: ‘I understand the sensitivity you show towards the question of assimilation. Nobody can expect that you tolerate assimilation. Nobody can expect that you submit yourself to assimilation. Then assimilation is a crime against humanity.’ Erdogan’s vision of how he expects Turks to behave in Europe is just one of a number of reasons why a Muslim non-European state such as Turkey can have no place at all in the EU.
You argue that Muslims are attracted to extremism from a sense of not belonging. Again you claim that this is the failure of ‘the wider society’. You might like to ask yourself why indigenous Britons – ‘the wider society’ – do not wish to engage with Muslims. Here are some of the reasons why indigenous, white Christian (or heathen) Britons want nothing to do with Islam:
Suicide-homicide bombers; sharia; jihad; the obscene practice of female circumcision; so-called honour killings; stoning women to death; polygamy, the sexual grooming of white girls; extreme censorship; hatred of free speech; welfare parasitism; mosques; continuing, active terroristic hatred of white European host societies; and the cruel murders of Christians in the Middle East (and Turkey).
I am not convinced that you are serious about combating the damage done by multiculturalism.
Britain’s “unfair dismissal” tribunals
Millions of man-hours are wasted, as business people are obliged to give evidence rather than getting on with their jobs. Huge fees are racked up by lawyers and “expert witnesses”, who are called on to pronounce on the exact meaning of an insult, and on all the unverifiable aches and pains and stresses that may constitute a disability.
The total cost of the system has been put at œ1 billion for British business, and it is rising the whole time. In 2010, the number of employment tribunal cases rose by 56 per cent, with an amazing 236,000 cases last year alone. Of course there are hundreds if not thousands of firms that simply don’t have the cash or the energy to fight – not when it costs an average of œ8,500 to put up resistance, and about œ4,500 to settle.
Even when they fight and win, it can be a pretty pyrrhic sort of victory. A small manufacturing company with 45 employees decided to sack an employee who was caught stealing the company’s booze. The company was completely confident that it had proved the theft against the employee – an alcoholic cleaner – but she sued for sex discrimination and breach of contract, and by the time the whole thing finished, nine months later, the firm was œ11,000 down, on what should have been a slam-dunk case.
No wonder firms are gun-shy of this kind of battle, and no wonder people (and their solicitors) have been emboldened to have a go. The stigma has gone from the obvious try-on. In fact the only stigma attaches to anyone who dares to question where we are going. Why did all three parties sign up to Hattie Harman’s “Equalities Act”, which is already threatening to be a new engine for vexatious litigation of all kinds? Because no one wants to seem opposed to “equality”.
Where, you might ask, is the equality in a system that adds so much to the cost base of business that they can’t afford – or don’t dare – to take on more staff in a recession? For centuries people have fought to protect workers from discrimination and unfair dismissal, and it is of course vital that we should have these safeguards.
The trouble is that it is now becoming standard practice to follow any dismissal or redundancy with a discrimination claim, in the knowledge that the employer – often an emanation of the state – will find it easier and cheaper to cough up rather than argue. The result is that many genuine grievances and genuine cases of discrimination risk being lumped in with a load of codswallop, and the system is in danger, frankly, of being brought into disrepute.
Of course there will be many who think I am being too harsh. Times are tough, they may say, and people who face unemployment should be urged to go for everything they can get – like the people who think they are morally justified in overclaiming on their insurance for lost luggage.
But what about the people who don’t qualify for any kind of “discrimination”, or who don’t feel that it would be right to launch a case? Who will speak up for them? What about the small businesses driven under by these extra costs? What about the psychological toll on society of a system that insidiously encourages people to lie or to exaggerate in order to get money from their employer?
The Government is right that it is time to end the tribunal madness, and to introduce a new culture of robust common sense, of the kind advocated by Trevor Phillips of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Measures like Hattie Harman’s Equalities Act should be assessed for their impact on jobs and growth, never mind “equalities”.
If there is one way to entrench inequality in this country, it is to prevent British business from generating jobs. We used to compete on tax and on labour market flexibility, and the danger at the moment is that we are losing our edge on both.
Royal Society condemns British High School exams as ‘not fit for purpose’, and calls for European baccalaureates
Only 3 per cent of students leave university with a degree in maths or pure science, a report shows. Of last year’s 300,000 graduates, just 10,000 studied chemistry, physics, biology or maths, according to the Royal Society. The celebrated research institution also said that one in six secondary schools had not entered a single candidate for A-level physics.
It said the A-level system was unfit for purpose and should be scrapped in favour of European-style baccalaureates. That would see teenagers studying six or more core subjects, including science and maths.
Education Secretary Michael Gove recently introduced a measure into school performance tables to encourage the study of what are seen as more rigorous subjects. The move is aimed at stopping Britain tumbling further down international league tables for science and maths.
And it would bring the state system into line with many private schools which have already adopted the six-subject International Baccalaureate.
Most students study three A-levels but under the IB they would take six courses including a language, a science, maths and a social science.
Followed by 900,000 students in 140 countries, the IB is widely respected by universities and studied in many top private schools. The Royal Society believes it would ensure students are qualified to do a university degree in a STEM subject: science, technology, engineering or maths. Employers complain of a major shortage of such graduates.
The Royal Society report says: ‘Given that higher education institutions tend to want STEM undergraduates to have taken more than one science subject (excluding mathematics), and that many students would welcome being able to take a wider range and number of subjects at A-level, it is clear that A-levels are not fit for purpose.’
The authors say England is lagging behind the rest of the UK. Students in Scotland already take five highers and both Scotland and Wales are looking at Baccalaureate-style qualifications for science and languages for post-16 education.
The report blamed England’s woeful science and maths provision on a shortage of specialist teachers.
Schools are also failing to warn pupils away from picking subjects at A-level that are unsuitable for science and maths degrees.
Dame Athene Donald, a physics professor who is chairman of the Royal Society’s education committee, said: ‘At a time of economic uncertainty, when science and scientists can play a key role in revitalising the UK’s financial outlook, it is deeply worrying to find that numbers of A-level science students are at such low levels.’
Schools minister Nick Gibb endorsed the report’s findings, saying: ‘We echo the concerns of the Royal Society about the need to improve the teaching and take-up of science and mathematics in our schools. ‘The UK continues to fall down international league tables and we now languish at 27th in the world for maths, and 16th for science – falling 19 and 14 places respectively in under ten years.’
However Mark Dawe, of exam board OCR, said A-levels offered choice, flexibility and excellent preparation for university. ‘They also leave curriculum space for other forms of enrichment and development,’ he added.