Total stranger delivered my baby on chair in NHS hospital waiting room – because there were no beds or staff
A woman gave birth on a hospital waiting room chair with her feet propped up on a suitcase because no trained staff or beds were available. Frances Randall, 21, had been waiting for three hours to be moved to a maternity ward when her baby arrived as her partner and mother desperately looked for help.
He was delivered by a stranger in the room, but fell to the floor and hit his head.
Doctors have since reassured Miss Randall that there will be no lasting damage to her son Freddie but yesterday she criticised Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex, for her ‘awful’ ordeal. Miss Randall, from Collier Row, near Romford, said: ‘How could they treat someone like that? ‘You read horror stories of things like this happening but you don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you. ‘I ended up giving birth in a waiting room. The staff didn’t seem to think it was that unusual, they said it happens a lot.’
The woman who came to her aid, Kiran Deep Virdee, 52, added: ‘It is disgusting that in this country she had to give birth on a chair. She was given no dignity.’
Miss Randall arrived at the hospital at 3.30am on December 12 when her contractions were three minutes apart. She was told to stay in the 20-seat waiting room because there were no beds available. Her mother, Sylvia Randall, 60, asked for help several times but no nurses or midwives arrived.
After two and a half hours Miss Randall’s waters broke and her mother and partner, Scott Jordan-Freeman, 20, went on a frantic search for help.
Mrs Virdee, whose own daughter was in labour, helped Miss Randall to lie over a chair with a suitcase to support her legs. ‘There was a receptionist sitting behind a window – she must have been able to see what was going on but she didn’t do anything to help,’ said Miss Randall. The woman in the waiting room was holding me up and I gave birth on my own.
‘Freddie came out and hit the floor. I don’t know if the receptionist had an alarm but medical staff all came running into the waiting room. ‘I tore during the delivery and they told me that wouldn’t have happened if I had medical assistance. ‘I am so annoyed that they left me to give birth alone.’
Describing his pleas for help, Mr Jordan-Freeman, a mechanic, said: ‘I told them her waters had broken but they didn’t want to know and just kept saying that we needed to stay in the waiting room.’
Miss Randall, who also has a two-year-old son, was discharged from hospital the following day with her 6lb 1oz baby.
Queen’s Hospital opened at a cost of £238million in 2006 but has been hit by a string of complaints about maternity services since. In 2007 a woman who had a chemically-induced abortion for medical reasons ended up delivering the foetus in a toilet because of a lack of trained staff. The same year a pregnant woman was sent home by doctors who thought she had a stomach bug. Her baby was delivered by her mother. And in 2008 a mother-to-be spent the night in her boyfriend’s car because she was too traumatised to stay in the hospital after she witnessed another woman giving birth on a floor.
Queen’s Hospital’s head of midwifery, Sue Lovell, apologised for the latest incident and said a new triage system was being introduced. ‘When labouring women arrive they will be seen immediately by a midwife and moved straight to the most appropriate area, whether that be the labour ward or ante-natal,’ she said. ‘This will eliminate the need for women to stay in waiting areas.’
Mother-of-four dies after blundering NHS nurse administers TEN times drug overdose
A mother-of-four died after a nurse at a trouble-hit hospital trust gave her ten times the amount of drugs she was supposed to receive. Arsula Samson, 80, had a heart attack at Good Hope Hospital, Birmingham, after she was given an overdose of deadly potassium chloride.
Mrs Samson from Walsall, who had once been an extra in Dallas, was being treated for pneumonia in the critical care unit before she died on Mother’s Day, March 14, last year. She was prescribed potassium chloride for low potassium levels. But staff nurse Lisa Sparrow wrongly pumped her with 50ml of the drug over half an hour instead of over five hours, the inquest heard. Instead of pressing the 10ml per hour button, the nurse admitted tapping in 100ml per hour on the drug infusion pump.
The Sutton Coldfield hospital is run by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which has already been investigated over a series of fatal overdose blunders in the past five years.
Staff nurse Sparrow signed out the medication from the controlled drug stock cupboard with staff nurse Susan Smith, as two people were supposed to administer and check the drug together to avoid any errors under hospital policy.
But nurse Smith left nurse Sparrow to give the drug on her own when the error happened. The coroner said that nurse Sparrow’s gross failure resulted in the overdose and was a direct cause for the death while a second failure was that nurse Smith did not oversee the drug being given.
Nurse Sparrow told the inquest she had not expected nurse Smith to watch her give the potassium as ‘no-one ever did’. Nurse Sparrow said: ‘I’ve had relatives say, “I don’t know how you can do this job because there are so many things to do and remember”. You are always on the go.’
An official Trust report read out in court stated Mrs Samson quickly deteriorated and suffered a cardiac arrest and was found to have a potassium blood reading of 7.4, much higher than the norm of 4.5, which can cause heart problems.
No error was found with the infusion pump and investigators ruled the death was due to ‘individual, human error’.
A Trust action plan after the death saw new infusion pumps and software that reduce the risk of error brought into all wards, medical staff retrained and warned over the dangers of potassium chloride and advice on the importance of a second nurse witnessing medication being given.
Birmingham coroner Aidan Cotter gave a verdict of accidental death to which neglect contributed.
Mrs Samson’s three daughters Bonnie Hughes, Helen Williams and Louise Scragg, all from Four Oaks, said they were angry that nurses responsible for the death were still working. ‘The neglect ruling is what we wanted,’ said Bonnie. ‘The fact her death is due to human error makes it hard to stomach but we have fought for our mother.’
Louise said: ‘We want this to be a warning to Heart of England Trust bosses that they have got to start tightening their belts and start retraining staff to stop other families going through this hell.’
Helen added: ‘Nurse Sparrow killed our mother by giving the overdose but nurse Smith played a part too as she should have been there.’
A Good Hope Hospital spokeswoman said: ‘We remain very sorry indeed that this medication error occurred. ‘An incident such as this is, of course, devastating for the family, but it also has a huge impact on the staff involved.’
Record rise in immigration to Britain as 240,000 given right to stay in just one year
Labour’s ‘shambolic’ stewardship of the immigration system was exposed last night by figures showing that almost a quarter of a million migrants were handed the right to stay in Britain last year.
Grants of settlement, which are one step short of a passport, rose 35 per cent to 238,950 in the year to September 2010 – the highest since records began in 1960.
The total includes tens of thousands given full access to Britain’s public services because of the catastrophic failure to deal with their asylum cases swiftly.
Official figures also showed migration added 226,000 to the country’s population in 2010. This net migration figure – the number of arrivals minus those departing – is more than double the level that would be needed if ministers are to fulfil their pledge to reduce the annual net total to ‘tens of thousands’ by 2015.
Among the arrivals were spiralling numbers of students. Study visas issued in Labour’s last year were up by 41 per cent. The Office for National Statistics stated: ‘Long-term immigration to the UK for formal study has trebled over the last decade.’
The backlog of more than 400,000 asylum cases was uncovered more than five years ago and only now are many finally being resolved. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said the settlement figures were ‘appalling’.
‘This is what Labour called “managed migration”. It would be hard to imagine a more shambolic inheritance,’ he said.
‘Around one in three of those granted settlement were failed asylum seekers who had been hanging around so long that they acquired a human rights case to stay.’
The ONS confirmed that the foreign-born population rose by 3.2million during Labour’s 13 years in power, as reported in the Mail this week.
Sir Andrew said: ‘These figures are Labour’s legacy to Britain – 3.2million immigrants, including a quarter of a million in their last year alone.
‘Over half a million students in one year with no interviews before arrival and no checks on departure, and a “points-based system” that has increased immigration, not reduced it.’
Immigration Minister Damian Green said that the figures reinforced the need for radical reforms of the immigration system.
Anger as word ‘marriage’ vanishes from British birth statistics
Married couples have disappeared from official family records for the first time. In a further blow to the status of marriage, records of the number of women who become pregnant will no longer show how many were or were not married. Instead, Government statisticians will publish the number of mothers-to-be who were in ‘a legal partnership’ at the time they conceived – which will include both marriages and women in civil partnerships.
Eight years ago Labour ministers ordered that the word ‘marriage’ should no longer be used on official documents because they said it led to discrimination against gays.
However, there has been a growing chorus of complaints that the censorship of the word will warp official records and erase the evidence which shows that married couples and their children live healthier and happier lives.
The Office for National Statistics’ new figures show that there were 896,300 conceptions in England and Wales in 2009. But, rather than referring to numbers inside and outside marriage, they only show that 57 per cent of pregnancies began ‘outside a legal partnership’.
The disappearance of marriage statistics has come despite a plea from Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. In a major speech earlier this month, Mr Duncan Smith said: ‘I have asked my department to ensure references to marriage are included on relevant forms and research in the future.’
An old hatred revived in Britain
If it ever went away
What is worse, being falsely labelled a Tory or wrongly called a Jew? This question might have flashed through the mind of Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students, when police escorted him away from a group of anti-fees protesters in Manchester who taunted him with cries of “Tory Jew scum.”
Given that Porter is not Jewish and is a member of the Labour Party, the choice of insult may seem bizarre. But Porter probably managed to decode the message. He knows that on the extreme fringe of left-wing activism in this country, “Jew” has become a term of political abuse.
Surprisingly, this does not always relate to Israel or Zionism — at least not directly. Shortly after the incident, Porter went on a fact-finding mission to Israel and the West Bank where he met Israeli and Palestinian students. But his venture into the Middle East imbroglio is not what annoyed the crowd in Manchester.
Porter was being heckled by protesters from that faction of the student movement who believe that the NUS under his leadership has not done enough to challenge the government’s policy on university fees. They also condemn the NUS’s refusal to do more in defence of those charged with various offences committed during the rioting in central London last year. They think Porter has sold out his members, not the Palestinians. So why on earth accuse him of being a “Tory Jew?”
There is a clue to this in the activity of Clare Solomon, president of the University of London Students Union. An ex-member of the Socialist Workers Party, now involved with Respect, she has consistently taken a more militant line in opposition to the hike in student fees and repeatedly outflanked Porter on the left.
In addition to her militancy on this front, Solomon has pronounced views on Zionism, Israel and the Jews. On Facebook last May, she declared that “there is no such thing as the ‘Jewish race’.” She went on: “The view that Jews have been persecuted all throughout history is one that has been fabricated in the last 100 years or so in order to justify the persecution of the Palestinians.”
Solomon has since apologised, explained that the offending words were written in haste and stressed that she does not dispute whether six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. She denounced unreservedly expressions of anti-Semitism. But while she has made a welcome retraction, we are left with this articulation of her unfiltered thoughts, a statement of beliefs so deeply rooted that, until challenged externally, did not merit a moment’s doubt or self-questioning.
That may be because in the circles in which she moves it is the received wisdom that supporters of Israel manipulate the Holocaust for their own ends. Yet how does this ideological fixture connect with university fees and the NUS in this country? Because, in these self-same circles there is a concatenation between Zionism, Israel, Jews and everything that is perceived as bad in the world.
As if to make the point right on cue, on the same day that Porter was being barracked in Manchester, hundreds of students in central London were demonstrating against university fees with the chant, “London, Cairo — unite and fight.” In the eyes of this faction, the struggle against higher fees and the Coalition government in England is at one with the global struggle against American-backed authoritarian regimes who are propped up, at the behest of the American Jewish lobby, as a carapace for Israel.
To this segment of student militants the enemy is global capitalism, which is identified with the United States which is, in turn, identified with Israel. They are convinced that Jews run the US and that any effort anywhere to thwart the thrust of progressive politics is probably the result of Jewish interference. To them, it makes perfect sense to bark “Tory Jew scum” at Porter.
Yet, even if we can find a serpentine logic to their behaviour, is it anything more than the ephemera of student politics . Is it even worth noting? Well, yes — I think it should ring alarm bells. The danger is that in the sub-culture of the far Left and in the world of student politics such received ideas go unchallenged and cement young peoples’ view of the world. It is from this matrix that the leaders of tomorrow emerge. As weird and transitory as it may be, this is the breeding ground for future trades union leaders, college lecturers, journalists, MPs, and even cabinet ministers. Think of Peter Hain, Sue Slipman, Jack Straw and Charles Clarke, who were the student leaders and activists of their time.
Most of those who are protesting today will eventually learn that the anti-globalisation conspiracy theories and the demonisation of Israel which is central to them are based on fantasy, and will quietly disavow them. Some may even develop a sense of shame for the things they thought, said, and did. Others will carry their stereotypical perception of Jews with them to the top of their chosen fields. The consequences of that will be incalculable.
British school “lotteries” hitting the middle class
Typical Leftist stupidity. They overlook what makes a school “good”. The main factor is that the pupils are well-behaved and diligent children from middle-class homes. Break that up and the school will no longer be desirable — to anybody
Schools in more than a third of council areas are selecting low-ability students or using lotteries in an attempt to break the middle-class hold on the most sought-after places.
The number of authorities where such admission policies are used has increased sharply as competition for the best schools has intensified, a survey by The Daily Telegraph has found.
The rise of lotteries and so-called “fair banding” – where test results are used to select a proportion of pupils with lower ability – could thwart affluent families who have bought homes within the catchment areas of successful schools. They have often paid a premium of tens of thousands of pounds to do so.
This is the fifth year since councils were given the power to use such admissions techniques. Fair banding has since been encouraged by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, who has said that it could help make schools “truly comprehensive”.
But opponents say the policies amount to social engineering and can result in children travelling miles every day after being turned down by a first choice local school.
Families also face a potential fall in house prices if an oversubscribed school decides to employ a random admissions policy.
The disclosure comes ahead of “admissions day” on Tuesday when the parents of almost 540,000 children in England will find out which secondary school their son or daughter will go to in September.
At least 60,000 children are expected to miss their preferred school, one in nine. In some areas, 40 per cent of children are being turned down by their preferred school.
The Telegraph surveyed 150 councils in England with responsibility for education. Of 110 that responded, 27 said that some schools in their area were using lotteries to assign places, while 21 said some were using “fair banding”.
A number of councils included schools using both methods, with the result that 38 in total – more than one in three – had schools using at least one. A similar survey in 2009 suggested the figure was around one in four. The results suggest that, across all 150 councils, up to 180,000 pupils are applying in areas where their admission could effectively be decided “by a roll of the dice” or fair banding.
The measures are most common in urban areas, where competition for the best schools is particularly fierce, and at academy schools.
Local authorities and schools were given the power to use lotteries and fair banding in 2007. Local authorities decide whether ordinary comprehensives can employ the policies while academies, voluntary aided and foundation schools decide for themselves.
Brighton became the first council to allow random selection in 2008. Since then such procedures have become widespread. Mr Gove has previously explained his support, saying: “You can make sure that if your school is located in an area which may well be relatively privileged, by dint of house prices and background and so on, that you are spreading the load academically.”
However, he is facing mounting opposition to their growing use. Jennie Varley, the vice-chairman of the National Grammar Schools Association, said: “This is a form of social engineering. “It seems wrong to decide the fate of children on the roll of a dice. It means that children might end up with the wrong education which can have a damaging impact on their lives. “An academic high-flier would be bored to tears in a school which catered for special needs. “The Government should be focusing instead on improving the standards of all schools.”
Margaret Morrissey, of the campaign group Parents Outloud, said: “Middle-class families are being penalised because of political correctness. “There was nothing wrong with the previous system – local children should be allowed to go to local schools. Catchment areas have been hugely successful.”
In Westminster, London, 40 per cent of children have been turned down by their preferred school while in Sandwell, West Midlands, 27 per cent have missed out. Schools in both areas use fair banding to cope with demand. One of the most oversubscribed schools in the country is the William Hulme Grammar Academy in Manchester, which had 433 applicants for 120 places.
The school has adopted both fair banding and random selection. Peter Mulholland, its head teacher, said: “Fair banding ensures we have a completely comprehensive intake with children of all abilities and from all ethnic backgrounds. We reflect the full range of society. “We have an excellent and completely multicultural school. It is genuinely comprehensive.”
Mr Gove last night expressed his sympathy for parents whose children are being turned away from their preferred school. He declined to comment, however, on the use of lotteries and fair banding in deciding admissions. He said: “It’s heartbreaking for parents when they don’t get their children into the school they want.
“The fact is that after 13 years of Labour there simply aren’t enough good schools. That’s why we’re turning around failing schools and letting teachers set up new schools to give all parents, not just the rich, access to schools with strong discipline, great teaching and small class sizes.”
Eating more than three slices of ham a day DOES increase the risk of bowel cancer, say government experts
More epidemiological and theoretical speculation sourced from the sensation-mongering WCRF
You should limit the amount of red meat you eat to the equivalent of three slices of ham, one lamb chop or two slices of roast beef a day, Government advisors have warned. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), published recommendations designed to cut the risk of bowel cancer.
The latest findings are bound to muddy the already confusing debate around the nutritional benefits of red meat. Only last week a British Nutrition Foundation study claimed that the majority of adults ate ‘healthy amounts’ of red meat and there was an ‘inconclusive’ link to cancer. However, the government insists that people who eat 90g or more of red and processed meat a day should cut back. Cutting down to the UK average of 70g a day can help reduce the risk, the study from SACN said.
Red meat contains substances that have been linked to bowel cancer. One compound in particular, haem, which gives red meat its colour, has been shown to damage the lining of the colon in some studies.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recommends limiting red meat consumption to 500g a week of cooked weight (about 700g to 750g uncooked). And it says people should avoid processed meats altogether because of the even higher risk of bowel cancer.
The charity estimated 3,800 cases of bowel cancer could be prevented every year if everyone ate less than 70g of processed meat a week. Some 1,900 cases of bowel cancer could also be prevented through cutting red meat consumption to under 70g per week.
Processed meat is generally defined as any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or with chemical preservatives added to it. It is thought this process causes the formation of carcinogens, which can damage cells in the body and allow cancer to develop.
To help consumers the Government published a list today of what is considered a 70g portion of red or processed meat. These are: one medium portion shepherds pie and a rasher of bacon; two standard beef burgers; six slices of salami; one lamb chop; two slices of roast lamb, beef or pork; or three slices of ham. Some 90g of cooked meat is the equivalent to about 130g of uncooked meat, due to the loss of water during cooking.
Men are more likely to eat a lot of red and processed meat – 42 per cent eat more than 90g a day compared to 12 per cent of women.
Interim chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said: ‘Following simple diet and lifestyle advice can help protect against cancer.
‘Red meat can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It is a good source of protein and vitamins and minerals, such as iron, selenium, zinc and B vitamins. ‘But people who eat a lot of red and processed meat should consider cutting down. ‘The occasional steak or extra few slices of lamb is fine but regularly eating a lot could increase your risk of bowel cancer.’
Experts estimate the average Briton’s lifetime risk of bowel cancer to be about 5 per cent. This rises to 6 per cent if people eat an extra 50g of processed meat a day on top of what they already consume.
Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, welcomed the advice. ‘The evidence suggests that a diet high in red and processed meat may increase your risk of developing bowel cancer, but the good news is that red meat can still be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet. ‘This combined with an active lifestyle, and awareness of the symptoms and risk factors, could help protect you from the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.’
Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science for the World cancer Research Fund, said: ‘We welcome the fact that this report recognises the strong evidence that it increases risk of bowel cancer. ‘We are also pleased that its suggested maximum intake is similar to the 500g per week (cooked weight) limit that World Cancer Research Fund recommends.
‘However, our report made the distinction between red and processed meat and we recommended that while people should limit intake of red meat, they should avoid processed meat. ‘This means that we would suggest that people following this new report’s guidelines should try and make sure as little as possible of their 70g per day is processed.’
Peter Baker, chief executive of the Men’s Health Forum, said: ‘Men who enjoy regular breakfast fry-ups or roast beef dinners will be surprised to learn that eating too much red or processed meat might increase their risk of bowel cancer.
‘We’re not saying men can’t occasionally enjoy a bacon sandwich or some sausages for breakfast – but the evidence tells us we need to think about cutting down on how much red and processed meat we’re eating. ‘This is a health benefit surely worth giving up a few sausages for.’
Last year, experts from the Harvard School of Public Health in the U.S. found that eating processed meats can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The round-up of 20 studies published worldwide found people who eat processed meats have a 42 per cent higher risk of heart disease and a 19 per cent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. However, unprocessed red meats, such as beef, pork or lamb, do not raise the risk, the study found.