Foreign locum GP ‘told dying woman with serious heart condition he did not have time to visit’
A foreign locum doctor allegedly told a woman with a serious heart condition who called up with chest pains that he did not have time to see her that afternoon. 24 hours later she was dead.
German doctor Helmut Ilg told Katherine Wilkinson, 29, from Norfolk, she would have to wait two-and-a-half hours until the out of hours service opened if she wanted treatment, her mother has claimed. Miss Wilkinson died in hospital of catastrophic heart failure caused by a blood clot just over 24 hours after the call.
Her mother, Elizabeth Wilkinson, wants to know whether the delay could have been a factor in her daughter’s death.
Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS trust, which ran the surgery at the time, has now launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Miss Wilkinson’s death.
Miss Wilkinson’s suffered from a heart condition that put her at an increased risk of sudden death. She had an artificial heart valve fitted when she was just nine, and relied on a pacemaker to keep her heart beating. She was also on blood-thinning drug warfarin. There is no suggestion that Dr Ilg was made aware of her health problems.
Mrs Wilkinson, from Southery, Norfolk, said her daughter, who was also deaf, and her neighbour, Mick Bilsby, who called the surgery, took Dr Ilg’s advice and waited almost two-and-a-half hours from the 4pm call for the out-of-hours service to open. But by 6.21pm, her heart pains growing more severe, Miss Wilkinson asked Mr Bilsby to call for an ambulance.
Mrs Wilkinson, 55, travelled in the ambulance with her daughter to Queen Elizabeth hospital in King’s Lynn. She told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I knew she was really ill. Her heart rate was 140 and she was having difficulty breathing.’ The following morning Miss Wilkinson was transferred to the specialist heart unit at Papworth Hospital, but she died later that evening.
Sheila Adams O’Shea, chief executive of Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, told the Telegraph: ‘While the Trust is unable to discuss individual patients’ cases, I can confirm that a thorough investigation in ongoing. As such it is not possible, nor would it be appropriate, to comment further on any specific details at this stage.’
Miliband ally attacks Labour migration ‘lies’ over 2.2m they let in Britain
A close ally of Ed Miliband has attacked Labour for ‘lying’ about immigration. Lord Glasman – a leading academic and personal friend of the Labour leader – said that the previous Labour government had used mass immigration to control wages.
In an article for Progress magazine, the Labour peer wrote: ‘Labour lied to people about the extent of immigration … and there’s been a massive rupture of trust.’
Labour let in 2.2million migrants during its 13 years in power – more than twice the population of Birmingham.
Maurice Glasman was promoted to the House of Lords by Mr Miliband earlier this year. He has been dubbed the Labour leader’s ‘de facto chief of staff’ by party insiders and has written speeches for him.
Lord Glasman, 49, had already told BBC Radio 4 recently: ‘What you have with immigration is the idea that people should travel all over the world in search of higher-paying jobs, often to undercut existing workforces, and somehow in the Labour Party we got into a position that that was a good thing.
‘Now obviously it undermines solidarity, it undermines relationships, and in the scale that it’s been going on in England, it can undermine the possibility of politics entirely.’
The academic, who directs the faith and citizenship programme at London Metropolitan University, criticised Labour for being ‘hostile to the English working class’. He said: ‘In many ways [Labour] viewed working-class voters as an obstacle to progress.
‘Their commitment to various civil rights, anti-racism, meant that often working-class voters… were seen as racist, resistant to change, homophobic and generally reactionary. ‘So in many ways you had a terrible situation where a Labour government was hostile to the English working class.’
Lord Glasman has also argued for Labour to take a more patriotic stance, opposing the sale of the ports of Dover to the French as ‘lunacy’. He said: ‘I would like to see Ed on the white cliffs saying, “This is forever England”.’
Tory MP Michael Ellis said: ‘What we want to know is: will Ed Miliband admit that the Labour government he was a part of lied to the country? ‘It’s time for Ed Miliband to apologise for Labour’s record on immigration.’
Mr Miliband has denied that Labour let in too many immigrants during its time in government.
A source close to the Labour leader tried to play down the significance of the peer’s remarks. He said: ‘Maurice Glasman is a mate of Ed’s but he is not his guru on this or any other issue.’
Persecuted for his cross: British electrician told he faces the sack for Christian symbol on his van dashboard
Everything but Christianity is OK, apparently
An electrician faces the sack for displaying a small palm cross on the dashboard of his company van. Former soldier Colin Atkinson has been summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the giant housing association where he has been employed for 15 years because he refuses to remove the symbol.
Throughout his time at work, he has had an 8in-long cross made from woven palm leaves attached to the dashboard shelf below his windscreen without receiving a single complaint.
But his bosses at publicly funded Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) in West Yorkshire – the fifth-biggest housing organisation in England – have demanded he remove the cross on the grounds it may offend people or suggest the organisation is Christian. Mr Atkinson’s union representative said he faces a full disciplinary hearing next month for gross misconduct, which could result in dismissal.
The association strongly promotes ‘inclusive’ policies and allows employees to wear religious symbols at work. It has provided stalls at gay pride events, held ‘diversity days’ for travellers, and hosted a gender reassignment event entitled A World That Includes Transpeople.
Mr Atkinson, who has an unblemished work record, said he had not been shown similar respect. ‘The past few months have been unbelievable, a nightmare,’ he said. ‘I have worked in the coal mines and served in the Army in Northern Ireland and I have never suffered such stress. The treatment of Christians in this country is becoming diabolical. It is political correctness taken to the extreme.’
But he added: ‘I have never been so full of resolve. I am determined to stand up for my rights. If they sack me, so be it. But I am standing up for my faith.’
Mr Atkinson’s battle follows a series of similar cases involving Christians who claim their freedoms have been curbed following the introduction of controversial equality laws.
Campaigners accused the housing association of ‘remarkable intolerance’ at a time when millions of Christians will be celebrating Palm Sunday today, a week before Easter Sunday. Palms are traditionally distributed during services to mark Christ’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem.
Despite the company’s treatment of Mr Atkinson, the boss of the depot where he works in Castleford has been allowed to adorn his office with a poster of the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara. Denis Doody, who is WDH’s environmental manager, also has a whiteboard on which are written several quotations by the Marxist guerrilla leader, who was a key figure in the Cuban revolution in the Fifties. Colleagues said staff and even members of the public who were visiting the depot would be able to see the poster and whiteboard through his office window.
Mr Atkinson began work as an electrician in the mines before serving as an Army radio technician for seven years. His military career included a stint at the notorious, riot-torn Long Kesh internment camp in Northern Ireland in 1974. He was employed as a £25,000-a-year electrician by Wakefield Council in 1996, but its housing department was transferred into the association’s ownership six years ago.
His ordeal began last year when managers at WDH, which has 31,000 properties, told Mr Atkinson to remove the cross from the van after years of ignoring it.
He demanded to know why. He said his cross was as discreet and inoffensive as other forms of religious expression and accused his bosses of badgering him.
The company said, however, that he had refused a ‘reasonable’ request to remove the symbol from an official vehicle that could be seen by members of the public.
The 64-year-old grandfather became a committed Christian more than 20 years ago and was a regular Church of England worshipper for many years.
He and his second wife Geraldine, 61, who have five children from previous marriages and three grandchildren, now attend the Pentecostal Destiny Church in Wakefield.
The softly spoken electrician said he never pushed his beliefs on other people but would gently explain his faith to anyone who enquired.
‘I’m just an ordinary bloke. I get on with people and have many friends of other faiths, including a Sikh and a Hindu who both came and spoke up for me at one of the meetings I’ve had with managers about this. ‘Christians are called to be public in our faith, and the cross is my way of being obedient to that call. It brings me peace and strength. It is a central part of who I am and I can’t hide it away.’
Wakefield and District Housing’s equality and diversity manager, Jayne O’Connell, believes wearing a burka at work would be considered discreet
Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre, which is backing Mr Atkinson, said: ‘Colin Atkinson is a decent and hard-working man, yet after many years of service he has been told he cannot continue to have a small palm cross in his van. ‘This smacks of something deeply illiberal and remarkably intolerant. Is this the kind of society the British public want to live in?
Wakefield District Housing said: ‘We do not allow employees to display any personal representations in our vehicles, although they are free to do so upon their person. ‘It would be inappropriate to comment further about this individual case.’
The association had a turnover of £106 million in the financial year to the end of March 2010. The chief executive is Kevin Dodd, who earns £157,000 a year. A 2009 report revealed that the association staged a number of diversity days for employees and tenants. Sessions have been led by groups including Women In Construction, Mental Health Matters and The Leeds Gypsy and Travellers Group. The imam from Wakefield Central Mosque has also been involved.
The company also produces an intranet calendar for employees that shows religious festivals and celebrations.
UK student union elects radical Islamists
The student union at Westminster University in central London has elected to its top leadership posts two people linked to a radical Islamist group with an anti-Semitic history.
The two have ties to Hizb ut- Tahrir, a group calling for an Islamic state or caliphate. The group has been barred from organizing and speaking on campuses under the National Union of Students (NUS) policy of “no platform” for racist or fascist views.
“Our rules state individuals or members of organizations or groups identified as holding racist or fascist views are not allowed to stand for election or go to, speak at or take part in conferences, meetings or any other events,” said NUS president Aaron Porter.
Tarik Mahri, 23, was elected president of the Westminster student union in polling on April 1. He is a member of the “Global Ideas” society, which was banned last year by the university after inviting senior Hizb ut- Tahrir member Jamal Harwood to address students.
In his election manifesto, Mahri called for the creation of “segregated sports activities” for women, and his Twitter feed and Facebook profile are littered with calls for Shari’a law and the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.
Jamal Achchi, 26, was elected vice-president. He has been accused of circulating Hizb ut- Tahrir documents that call on Muslims to overthrow democratic regimes and establish the Khilafah, a worldwide Islamic theocracy run by mullahs.
Hizb ut-Tahrir was once led by Omar Bakri Mohammed, who was expelled from the UK in 2006. Residing today in Lebanon, the radical cleric has recently been charged with fundraising for al-Qaida.
Since the 7/7 terrorist attack on London in 2005, the government keeps Hizb ut-Tahrir “under continuous review,” but has not yet banned the group despite regular calls by the Conservative party to do so.
The group, which has been outlawed in a number of countries, including Germany and Egypt, calls for “the dismantling” of the “illegal entity” of Israel. In 2001, part of a statement removed from its Web site said: “In origin, no one likes the Jews except the Jews. Even they themselves rarely like each other.”
Islamist radicalization on campuses is a huge concern in the UK. A review of extremism by Universities UK, the organization of vice-chancellors in Britain, was launched last year after it was discovered that the failed 2009 Detroit airline bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a former president of the Islamic Society at University College London.
“Hizb ut-Tahrir despises democracy and believes Shari’a law must be imposed over the whole world, by force if necessary,” said Shiraz Maher, a former member of the group and now a senior research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalism at King’s College London. “I think unless we challenge this we are sleepwalking into a very dangerous future.”
Raheem Kassam, director of Student Rights, an organization that tackles radicalism on campus, and himself a former Westminster student, said there has been a “grassroots Islamist movement” there for many years and that he had “experienced” it himself.
“What’s disgraceful is that the Student Union refuses to subscribe to the NUS’s no-platform policy for extremists and that the university allows this to continue,” Kassam said.
Chance find of optical illusion that eases arthritis pain without drugs
85% improvement is about as good as you get — way above placebo. I guess it’s a kind of hypnotism
A trick of the mind could relieve the pain of arthritis, claim psychologists. In a discovery made by accident, people with the condition found a simple computer-generated optical illusion could soothe pain.
Nottingham University academics hope the experiment might one day enable more people to harness their unconscious to tackle ailments. The technology, called Mirage, helped arthritis patients improve the mobility of their hands by halving the pain they felt in fingers.
A small number of sufferers were asked to place their hands inside a box containing a camera, which then projected the image on to a screen in front of them. The technology allowed them to see their arthritic fingers being apparently stretched and shrunk. In fact, someone was gently pushing and pulling their fingers from the other side of the box and the camera created the illusion of huge stretching and shrinking. In 85 per cent of cases it halved the pain.
Mirage was first used as part of a educational project on the way our brains put together what we see and feel happening to our bodies.
Dr Roger Newport, who is leading the research in the School of Psychology, said: ‘The majority of people who come to these fun events are kids – the illusions really capture their imagination and they think it’s a cool trick.’
But it was one of their grandparents who discovered a healing effect by chance. Dr Catherine Preston, who is collaborating on the study and is now at Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘The grandmother wanted to have a go, but warned us to be gentle because of arthritis in her fingers.
‘We were giving a practical demonstration of illusory finger stretching when she announced “My finger doesn’t hurt any more” and asked whether she could take the machine home with her. ‘We were just stunned – I don’t know who was more surprised, her or us.’
The psychologists then recruited 20 volunteers aged around 70 with osteoarthritis to test out the Mirage technology. All had been diagnosed with arthritic pain in their hands and fingers, and were asked to rate their pain during the illusion.
Many of those tested said they felt less pain in their hands and fingers when the image appeared to show them being stretched, while others got relief when the image showed them shrinking. Some said they were in less pain when stretched and shrunk.
In a third of those taking part, the treatment stopped the pain entirely. It was found the illusion only worked when the painful part of the hands was being manipulated.
Alexander Cockburn dumps on nuke loving greens and man made global warming
Acclaimed leftist journalist Alexander Cockburn at his home in Humboldt County, CA. I have been reading HotCock on and off for years but I did not realize what a posh English accent he has. He went to Oxford U so that is no mystery. Such an accent is quite close to an educated Australian accent so I found it very easy to follow. I hope American readers do too — JR