Girl, 3, died from swine flu at short-staffed hospital days after baby was sent home with the virus
A hospital where a girl died after doctors failed to spot she had swine flu – just days after a baby was sent home with the same disease – was guilty of a string of failings, a report has found.
The heartbreaking picture of three-year-old Lana Ameen lying on a life support machine after she fell critically ill on Christmas Day triggered an intense debate about whether children should be vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus.
Now the hospital that failed to diagnose Lana, and also twice dismissed five-week-old Harvey Flanagan’s parents’ worries before his swine flu was finally detected, has been told to change the way it treats children brought into A&E. After spending more than a week in intensive care, Harvey made a full recovery, but his mother yesterday said she would never take a child there again.
Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport was criticised in the report for a shortage of specialist nurses and a lack of consultant care at evenings and weekends. Harvey was seen by a junior doctor who had worked in the accident and emergency department for just ten days, with advice from a consultant only provided over the telephone, the report found. It also criticised the hospital for failing to take sufficient notice of parents’ worries.
Lana had been taken to Stepping Hill on Christmas Eve by her father Zana, a hospital registrar, and mother, with a temperature of almost 104f (40c) – but they were told it was a minor infection.
Barely a week earlier, Harvey had been taken to the unit on two consecutive days because he was struggling to breathe, but on both occasions doctors said it was indigestion and he was sent home. It was only when his parents, Andrew Flanagan and Michelle Dyer, took him to Tameside Hospital, in Ashton-under-Lyne, on the third day that he was finally diagnosed with swine flu.
They expressed their concerns to hospital bosses and said they were assured it would not happen again – just days before Lana was also misdiagnosed.
The report by specialists at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital expressed concern that only two nurses on A&E had specialist children’s training, meaning there was frequently none on duty.
Author Dr Rosemary Morton concluded: ‘In both episodes the care could have been improved. ‘The children would have benefited from the intervention of more experienced doctors,’ she added.
Dr Morton said Harvey ought to have been seen by a consultant face-to-face but conceded that it was difficult to diagnose swine flu in the children.
It is understood the probe suggested that in Lana’s case an earlier diagnosis of swine flu was unlikely to have changed the care given or prevented her death. Her mother Gemma, a 28-year-old former healthcare assistant, said: ‘Nothing will bring Lana back and because she was so ill we will never know if better care would have saved her – but we are pleased this report has identified what went wrong in so much detail.’
Harvey’s 24-year-old mother added: ‘We are devastated that after we highlighted the problems we experienced at Stepping Hill, staff then failed to spot Lana had swine flu and she tragically died. ‘We would not feel we could take our children there again.’
Stepping Hill chief executive Dr Chris Burke said: ‘We have taken on board all Dr Morton’s recommendations and have acted on many of them immediately.’
Migrant cover-up: Damning reports kept secret by British Labour Party
Reports show that mass immigration cut wages, raised tensions and that too many stayed too long
Labour is today accused of a ‘shocking’ cover-up over the impact of years of mass immigration as damning official research buried by the last government is revealed.
Ministers will publish three reports commissioned at the taxpayers’ expense by Labour politicians – but then apparently ‘sat on’ because of their inconvenient conclusions. Government advisers concluded immigration had depressed wages, threatened to increase community tensions and seen many incomers stay longer than intended.
The Coalition claims the unpublished reports, which cost more than £100,000 to produce, are extraordinary evidence of how Labour lost control of Britain’s borders and then tried to cover it up.
The revelations come as Labour leader Ed Miliband admitted his party got it ‘wrong’ on immigration while they were in power – with millions of families having their incomes squeezed as a result.
The last government was widely criticised for failing to impose any controls when ten countries joined the EU, underestimating the number of migrant workers coming to the UK as a result of the changes by a factor of ten.
Local government minister Grant Shapps, who will release research commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government before last year’s election, said: ‘This is a shocking cover-up by Labour. Labour ministers spent over £100,000 of taxpayers’ money on research reports into immigration, and when they didn’t like the results they tried to brush it all under the carpet.
‘The new Government is being more honest with the public and so we will be making these reports public. We are introducing a series of measures to get immigration under control. Labour’s uncontrolled immigration put unacceptable pressures on public services and harmed community relations.’
The first report, a DCLG ‘economics paper’, was commissioned in 2009 at a cost of £24,275, and looked into immigration and rural economies. Government advisers concluded that immigration had had a negative effect on the wages of British workers, particularly at the lower end of the income scale.
They also warned of a big increase in the number of National Insurance numbers being issued, with hundreds of thousands handed to illegal workers as there was no requirement for JobCentre staff to check whether a person was in the country legally.
In rural areas, migrants make up a third of food manufacturing workers, a quarter of farm workers and a fifth of hotel and restaurant workers, the report added. ‘There are challenges posed by language barriers, which can make access to services and integration within local communities more difficult,’ it said.
The inconvenient conclusions
‘Housing, healthcare and education could also be affected by an increase in local population, when some existing local services may already be under pressure.’
The largest clusters of migrant workers, the report said, were around Herefordshire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire and, to an extent, Somerset and Devon.
‘Far from being an urban phenomenon, recent migrants have increasingly chosen to settle in the countryside, in many cases in areas without a history of migration,’ the report added.
The second report, prepared by the Government’s regeneration and economic development analysis expert panel, looked at the impact of the economic downturn on migration. It was commissioned in 2008 at a cost of £3,400.
The report showed that the number of migrants entering the country with dependants increased dramatically from 2007 to 2008. Ministers were also warned that community tensions were likely to increase in the event of an economic downturn.
The third report, commissioned last year at a cost of £78,500, was designed to measure international and internal migration using information from a national database of school pupils. It found that one in eleven pupils spoke English as a second language.
Yesterday, Ed Miliband admitted the Labour government’s open door policy towards immigration from Eastern Europe had put ‘pressure on people’s wages’ by bringing about an influx of cheap migrant labour.
He also conceded that Labour ministers had been ‘wrong’ to say that a maximum of 13,000 migrants a year would come to the UK from Eastern Europe following EU enlargement in 2004. In the event, more than 600,000 arrived in the following two years. And he warned that immigration had helped widen the gap between rich and poor by piling pressure on those in lower skilled jobs.
Labour’s former immigration minister Phil Woolas claimed last year that even at party gatherings, senior figures were reluctant to talk about one of voters’ chief concerns. ‘We had imposed a gag on ourselves,’ he said. And by the 2010 election, when the party did finally discuss the issue, ‘the public thought we were shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted and even worse that we were doing it for electoral gain’.
Celebrities and anti-Semitism: has our liberal creative elite rediscovered an ancient prejudice?
There are bar-room bigots – and then there is the top fashion designer, John Galliano. Latest reports show a video of the diminutive fashionista in a bar in Le Marais (a Parisian Jewish neighbourhood that experienced Nazi deportations during World War II) where he had already been accused of one anti-Semitic and racist outburst, with a drink in one hand, declaring: “I love Hitler.”
The British designer then tells a horrified woman: “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed.”
Galliano may be adored by Kate Moss and all the other narcissistic airheads from fashion’s “master race”, but when a member of staff at the Parisian bar told one of the designer’s victims: “This guy deserves to be beaten up, but we can’t do anything, it’s John Galliano,” there were a lot of people who buy their clothes on the High Street who understood what he meant.
Yet, Galliano is not the only anti-Semite in the (celebrity) village. His drunken ramblings are reminiscent of Mel Gibson’s penchant for racist diatribes. Incidentally, Gibson’s new movie The Beaver is out next month – where’s the Jewish control of Hollywood when you need it, eh?
And then there’s Charlie Sheen. Fresh from carousing with porn stars, and despite being apparently self-cured of his cravings for drugs and alcohol, the sitcom star and once talented actor had a “Gaddafi moment” on a radio show last week, pouring invective over the Two and a Half Men creator, Chuck Lorre.
No doubt, Hollywood is a nest of vipers and everyone is screwing over somebody else but Sheen’s abuse was not restricted to a soured business/creative relationship. He repeatedly referred to Chuck Lorre (born Charles Levine) as “Chaim Levine”. The invention of a stereotypical Jewish name for his alleged nemesis was rightly described by ADL National Director Abraham H Foxman as, “at best bizarre, and at worst, borderline anti-Semitism.”
Last year, the ADL also had to have words with Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone about his “Jewish domination of the media” comments.
But if there is rising ambivalence towards Jews among the liberal, creative elite, then the British director Ken Loach represents its true face.
The dour Leftie, who can’t blame drink, drugs or rank stupidity, has endlessly used a desiccated anti-imperialist rhetoric to incite the boycott of Israel at every turn, and in doing so flirts with the very biogtry he claims to ideologically oppose.
This was highlighted by his notorious response to a report on the growth of anti-Semitism in the aftermath of the Gaza War, in which he said: “If there has been a rise I am not surprised. In fact, it is perfectly understandable because Israel feeds feelings of anti-Semitism.” So whether perpetrator or victim, in Ken’s world, the Jews are to blame.
For Booker prize winner Howard Jacobson, anti-Semitism is a historical bacillus too toxic to have become extinct in a generation or two. Post Holocaust, it has hidden in the cracks of time waiting for the right conditions to re-infect the minds of men. The bitter, at times cruel, Israel-Palestine conflict now provides the environment for renewed contagion. To borrow a phrase, it may not be long before anti-Semitism once again “passes the dinner-table test”.
Lord Monckton’s prophecy
The following email from Lord Monckton was copied to me and many others and I think it deserves to be reproduced in full. The essential point of it is however simple: The Muller project is a red herring. There is little interest in WHETHER there has been warming. The only issue is what caused it — mankind or nature. And the Muller project does not address cause at all. The Guardian is already trumpeting the Muller work as ENDING the debate about global warming but in fact it does not even BEGIN to test global warming theory.
That is of course no disrespect to Prof. Muller. There seems reason to believe that he will do his work well, despite its limited relevance — JR
The outcome of Muller’s research project into the reliability of the official global temperature record will probably be as follows:
1. The accuracy of the terrestrial global mean surface temperature record for the 31 years since the satellites were watching – or at least a very close and statistically highly-significant correlation between the terrestrial and satellite records – will be confirmed.
2. Warming since the global record began in 1850 (if they decide they can go back that far), or since 1900 if they regard the 19th-century record as insufficiently complete, will be found to have been overstated by0.05-0.1 K.
3. Broadly speaking, and within the statistical error margin, the group’s resuts will confirm the accuracy of the Hadley Centre/CRU record, while finding the NOAA/NCDC and GISS records rather exaggerated (but not exaggerated enough to fall outwith the statistical error margin).
4. On grounds of time and cost, the group will not consider the tamperings with the early-20th-century record over time that are most evident in successive changes to the GISS data, and have also been exposed in some of the underlying national datasets, particulaly thoe of Australia and New Zealand.
5. Instead, the group will refer to certain systemic regional inadequacies in the terrestrial temperature record, but will conclude (citing inter alia the near-identical linear global trend generated by the two satellite records and the Hadley/CRU record) that these regional inadequacies are insufficient to alter the global result enough to move it outwith its error-bars.
6. The group will not find that there is any systemic, as opposed to purely regional or intermittent, defect in the record-keeping. They will not – as things now stand – test their own results by using Ross McKitrick’s dazzling idea of investigating whether there is a statistically-significant correlation between rates of regional industrial development and rates of warming in the corresponding regions. Two reasons: first, cost and time, and secondly – as the Guardian article revealingly reveals – Ross had not heard of the group’s work, from which we may infer that it had not heard of his: for otherwise an honestly-conducted project would have contacted him by now to ask for further and better particulars of the data and methods that underlay his (still unchallenged, as far as I know) paper strongly suggesting that much of the warming in the past century was attributable to the exothermic consequences of growing industrial activity, rather than to greenhouse-gas enrichment of the atmosphere. His method remains the most powerful I have come across for independently testing the validity of global-temperature records such as that which the group is compiling. If I were the group, I’d be concerned that my results – which depend upon computer algorithms just as much as the official results, as the Guardian article reveals – might not pass the McKitrick test, and my entire project might be shown to have been valueless. If I were the group, I’d do a McKitrick test on our results before I went public with them – and I’d ask him to help us do it.
Bearing in mind that the findings will probably be as I have described them, how will the usual suspects spin the results? Bob Ferguson is right to be supicious: he has seen it all before, as we all have. The climate extremists are far more desperate to exorcise the ghost of Climategate than they will admit. They know that it was those thousands of emails that established just how politicized climate science had become, just how few scientists were actually driving the scare, just how unscrupulous they were in tampering with results and data of all kinds, just how viciously they maneuvered against scientists whose results countered the extremist position, and just how thoroughly nasty the climate extremist scientists are
I suspect that the Muller project – precisely because it will indeed be properly conducted and will produce results as fair as the group can make them, and precisely because it has obtained funding not only from the ClimateWorks Foundation etc. but also from the Koch Brothers – has been brought into being so that its results, broadly confirming the official record, can be trumpeted as showing how wrong the skeptics are, how pure the IPCC’s science is, how clear all the official conclusions are. This is a classic diversionary tactic: for, although Jones and his crooked crew were indeed remiss in trying to withhold and destroy data about the temperature record to prevent other scientists from coming to realize what a mess the record was in, the most revealing aspect of Climategate had nothing to do with the temperature record itself. Instead, what it revealed was that anyone who produced serious data demonstrating low climate sensitivity was being subjected to what can only be described as a hate campaign. David Douglass, the conspirators’ prime victim, telephoned me almost in tears, shocked that people in his own profession could have abused and misused him as they did in the 71 Climategate emails that referred to him. Ross McKitrick was another who was unkindly and inappropriately treated.
The climate sensitivity question – in the present context, how much of the obseved warming since pre-industrial times is fairly attributable to greenhouse-gas enrichment of the atmosphere – is where the true debate lies. So, when the group’s broadly confirmatory results are published, the group itself will draw no political conclusions from it, because that is not the plan. It will be the Climategate clique that will crow. Newspapers like The Guardian will proclaim that a major blow has been dealt to the skeptics, that there is no longer any doubt about the seriousness of “global warming”, that there is no longer any doubt about the fact that it is all our fault, that the economies of the West must be closed down, that the US, whose House of Representatives has dared to defund the IPCC, should be isolated and punished among the international community, etc., etc. The intention will be to conceal the fact that the group’s results will say little or nothing about climate sensitivity, and – insofar as they merely confirm the present temperature record – will only be of marginal importance in its eventual determination.
How, then, should scientists genuinely concerned with the truth respond to the group’s results? The following points might be made:
1. The group is to be congratulated for having published all of its data, algorithms, code, methods and results. That is how Phil Jones and his crew should have behaved from the outset.
2. The group’s results are unsurprising, and are much as anyone reasonably familiar with the global temperature record would have expected. [Indeed, it is precisely because the results are and were always expected broadly to confirm the global record that the project was conceived in the first place].
3. Most serious scientists did not consider the global temperature record to have been too far from the published results.
4. However, legitimate concerns remain about the extent to which the terrestrial and even the satellite results have been contributed to by the direct heat emitted by the rapid industrialization of the 20th century.
5. Accordingly, the group’s results tell us nothing – repeat, nothing – about what caused the warming that has occurred. The extent to which Man was responsible for the warming over the period is debatable, and it is here that the true scientific debate resides.
6. A similar group should now be formed, precisely to consider the climate sensitivity question independently of the defective IPCC process. That group should do what the IPCC and too many of its contributing scientists have conspicuously failed to do: it should make its data, methods and results fully available for proper scrutiny by other scientists.
7. Until the climate sensitivity question has been subjected to the same intellectual rigor and academic openness as the group has demonstrated in verifying the official temperature record, that verification in itself changes the central debate on climate sensitivity hardly at all.
The most urgent step that should now be taken is to put Ross McKitrick in touch with the group, so that he can work with them on testing their own results against regional variations in the rate of economic development. Or, even if the group does not welcome this approach, he should at least be ready to take their data and, as rapidly as possible, apply to it the same test that he applied in demonstrating the statistically significant – and perhaps to some extent causative – correlation between regional rates of economic development and regional rates of warming. To this end, I am copying this email to him. His conclusions, of course, do not in any way undermine those of the group itself as to the accuracy of the temperature measurements themselves: but they do raise serious questions about the extent to which greenhouse-gas enrichment is to blame.
The climate extremists, with nearly all of the news media on their side, will do their best massively to disseminate and spin the Muller group’s results, particulary in the days and weeks immediately following their publication. It would be worthwhile to prepare the minds of some key world leaders for this onslaught, so that it will be to some extent discounted. Therefore, I am copying this email to parties in high places who will find it of interest.
And we should perhap try to brief one or two key journalists who are willing to print both sides of the argument. They can do much to defuse the effect of the coming campaign by discounting it in advance. Again, I am copying some of them in.
The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
Carie, Rannoch, Scotland, PH17 2QJ
British study says green sector costs more jobs than it creates
Government support for the renewable sector in Scotland is costing more jobs than it creates, a report has claimed.
A study by consultants Verso Economics found there was a negative impact from the policy to promote the industry. It said 3.7 jobs were lost for every one created in the UK as a whole and that political leaders needed to engage in “honest debate” about the issue.
The Scottish government called the study “misleading” and said 60,000 jobs could be created by the sector by 2020.
The report, called Worth the Candle? The economic impact of renewable energy policy in Scotland and the UK, said the industry in Scotland benefited from an annual transfer of about £330m from taxpayers and consumers elsewhere in the UK.
It said politicians needed to recognise the economic and environmental costs of support for the sector and focus more on the scientific and technical issues that arose.
Richard Marsh, research director of Verso Economics and co-author of the report, said: “There’s a big emphasis in Scotland on the economic opportunity of investing in renewable energy. “Whatever the environmental merits, we have shown that the case for green jobs just doesn’t stack up.”
Co-author Tom Miers added: “The Scottish renewables sector is very reliant on subsidies from the rest of the UK. “Without this UK-wide framework, it would be very difficult to sustain the main policy tools used to promote this industry.”
A spokesman for the Scottish government said other studies had shown Scotland’s natural resources and low carbon opportunities could bring “significant” economic benefits. He said: “This report is misleading. “Investment in energy by the private sector, which is ultimately paid for by consumers, has absolutely no impact on public services or public sector budgets – in fact, it is likely that investment leads to increased tax revenue.
“We are in no doubt about the positive impact that investment in low carbon technologies can have and nor are major international companies like Mitsubishi that are investing £100m in offshore wind in Scotland or domestic companies like Scottish and Southern Energy who are investing £100m in sustainable energy in Glasgow.”
He denied the suggestion that UK consumers subsidised Scotland. He added: “Our abundant renewable resources assist all UK suppliers with their obligation to source a percentage of their sales from renewable generation – without this, the costs to deliver renewable ambitions and obligations across the UK and Europe would be significantly higher.”
British Leftist politician says that calling Israelis Nazis is not hate speech
In that case, I wonder what would be hate speech? Only speech directed against the Left, I imagine. How about calling Ms. Jackson a Nazi? I wonder how that would go down? Her attitude to Jews certainly seems similar,
“You can call Israelis Nazis and compare Gaza to a concentration camp – but that is not preaching hatred, according to Labour MP Glenda Jackson.
Ms Jackson, who won her Hampstead and Kilburn seat with a majority of just 42 votes in the general election, submitted herself to a grilling by Jewish constituents at London’s Belsize Square Synagogue this week.
The MP dug her heels in when asked by a Birmingham student about hate speech on campus. The student was distressed by the comments made at Birmingham Palestine Society by a visiting speaker, Mike Prysner, who compared Israel’s actions with the Holocaust.
But Ms Jackson was unmoved. Free speech on campus was “precious”, she said, adding: “I don’t think that is hate speech,