Father at ‘medium risk’ of developing blood clot dies after hospital fails to call him back for scan
A father-of-three deemed at ‘medium risk’ of developing a dangerous blood clot died after he was sent home from hospital.
Mark Bonehill visited Hull Royal Infirmary’s accident and emergency department complaining of pain in his calf. But doctors sent him home and failed to call him back for a further scan – despite him being assessed as being at ‘medium risk’ of developing a deadly clot.
The 42-year-old, who was an area manager for Autoglass, died less than three weeks’ later after the clot in his leg travelled to his lung.
His family have now been awarded £300,000 compensation after Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust admitted negligence.
Mr Bonehill’s widow Karen, 46, said: ‘What is so hard to deal with is the fact his death was entirely avoidable. ‘The compensation won’t bring Mark back. Mark has an 18-week-old grandchild he’s never met. ‘I had been with him since I was 19. He wasn’t just my husband he was my best friend.’
Mark, from Hull, became worried about the pain in his leg and went to Hull Royal Infirmary in September 2008.
A scan showed no sign of a clot at that stage. But the pain was the early signs of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a serious condition characterised by blood clots in the deep veins of the legs. A re-scan could have detected the clot that later formed in his leg, which then dislodged and travelled to the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism.
Karen, who has battled breast cancer since losing her husband, said Mark was not warned about the symptoms of DVT. She said: ‘We were not given a leaflet or given advice about what to look out for. ‘I just wanted to know lessons had been learned and this won’t happen to another family.’
Mrs Bonehill said her children, Nicholas, now 22, Gareth, 21, and Abigail, 16, have been left heartbroken by their father’s death. She said: ‘Abigail was just 13 when he died. She was a proper daddy’s girl. ‘She still bursts out crying now because she misses him so much.’
After her husband’s death, Mrs Bonehill wrote to the hospital to ask whether any changes would be made to its policy regarding DVT. Mrs Bonehill says she has never received a response to her question, although the trust insists it did contact the family.
Phil Morley, chief executive for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘I know my predecessor wrote to Mrs Bonehill and I would reiterate this apology and our sincere condolences.
‘Since this case occurred in 2008 the trust has implemented the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) recommendations across the organisation and monitors that all in-patients have undergone an assessment as part of the admission process.
‘A full education programme is being launched across the organisation to ensure all clinical staff are fully aware of the Nice guidance and to ensure we are able to respond rapidly to introduce new treatments and practice.’
Nick Gray, of the Hull branch of Williamsons Solicitors, which dealt with Mrs Bonehill’s case, said: ‘This is a good settlement. However, Mrs Bonehill is relatively young. ‘If you think of it in terms of what Mr Bonehill would have brought into the family in earnings and the pension he would have received, the settlement is about £10,000 a year.’
The hidden risks of top herbal remedies that pharmacists don’t tell us about
Herbal medicines can pose serious health risks that consumers are not warned about, researchers say. They surveyed different versions of the five most popular remedies – St John’s wort, Asian ginseng, echinacea, garlic and ginkgo – and found they were commonly sold over the counter with no safety warnings.
Yet St John’s wort, widely used to combat low moods, can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill. And Asian ginseng, used to boost the immune system, and echinacea, often used to protect against colds, also have their dangers. Even garlic – used to lower high blood pressure – can be dangerous in large quantities.
The researchers at Leeds University’s school of pharmacy surveyed 68 products on sale to the public and found 51 of them (75 per cent) contained no information on precautions, interactions with other medicines or side effects.
Seventy per cent of them (48 of the 68 products) were marketed as food supplements, despite their powerful effects. Just three products contained sufficient information on risks and side-effects. The products were bought at two health-food stores, three chain pharmacies and three supermarket chemists.
Under an EU directive in April this year, certain herbal medicines have to be licensed and carry health information, but of these five products, only St John’s wort and echinacea require a licence. Of the 12 St John’s wort products surveyed by the Leeds researchers, four contained no safety messages, and of 13 echinacea products, nine failed to provide the required information.
The other three remedies do not have to carry any warnings, as long as they make no medical claims.
The fact that so few products provided sufficient information could be because shops are allowed to continue selling old stock, with no warnings, until their expiry date.
Professor Theo Raynor, who led the study, said: ‘The best advice to consumers is “buyer beware”. Herbal medicines …… should be taken with as much caution as any over-the-counter medicine. ‘Any substance that affects the body has the potential to do harm if not taken correctly.’
He advised consumers to look for the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) logo, which means remedies have been approved by the Government. ‘People should tell their doctor about herbal medicines they are taking so they receive the best care,’ he added.
Apologists for these thugs should hang their heads in shame: A stinging rebuke from an inner-city youth worker
The riots in London over the past three days may have been shocking, but much of the response to these appalling events has been all too predictable.
As the smoke clears over the wrecked buildings and the torched vehicles, a growing army of apologists has indulged in an orgy of excuse-making for the widespread violence. We are told the rioters have been motivated by their rage at inequality, deprivation and unemployment. Some have blamed police brutality; others have wailed about ‘Tory cuts’ or the closure of youth clubs.
But such explanations are as misguided as they’re immoral. In reality, there is no justification for the outbreak of carnage that’s gripped the capital. What we witnessed was despicable. Far from representing a political act, it was nothing more than a mixture of mindless criminality and opportunistic materialism. There was no ‘legitimate grievance’ behind the mass thuggery, only feral mob rule which should have no place in a civilised society.
Those hand-wringing over today’s riots would have us believe the explosion of savage behaviour represents the modern cry of a disaffected people, struggling in the inner city under the yoke of economic and state oppression.
The shrill defence of the rioters is an affront to the thousands of people who live in straitened circumstances in the inner city, yet who did not loot or set vehicles ablaze or hurl missiles at the police.
Indeed, the biggest victims of the frenzied mayhem are the law-abiding, hard-working citizens — black, white and Asian — of the areas including Tottenham, Brixton, Hackney, Lewisham and Streatham (where I live) who have been made homeless, had their businesses destroyed or their livelihoods ruined in these senseless and disgusting attacks. They are the ones who have suffered the greatest injustice, not the bullying youths rampaging through the streets.
There are, of course, concerns about the incident in Tottenham which triggered the riot, when a man who had a reputation as a gang leader and drug dealer was shot dead in a clash with the police. An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission is under way.
The anguish of the dead man’s family is understandable, but what is deplorable is that local speculation about the conduct of the police has spiralled so wildly out of control.
This combustible hysteria has no sense of proportion, no moral imperative. Why has the same fury not been displayed over the mounting catalogue of black-on-black knifings and shootings in our cities? Why were the police the target of loud demands for vengeance, while gangland killers are rarely the subject of such outrage?
Tragically, young black people are using guns to kill each other with alarming regularity, but very few people ‘in the community’ — save distraught relatives — kick up a fuss. Yet when the police kill an alleged crack-dealing gangster, the so-called ‘dispossessed’ of our inner cities go crazy.
This is by no means to downplay the tragedy for the dead man’s family, but the eagerness of community leaders to focus all indignation against the police, while ignoring the lethal realities of gang feuds, displays a warped double standard which is hindering the acceptance of moral responsibility.
In truth, the rioting has nothing to do with any concept of justice and everything to do with a twisted sense of power and spirit of brute materialism.
There is no rationale that can legitimise the desire to set a bus ablaze or smash in shop windows. The portrayal in some quarters of the rioters as idealistic heroes striving for the rights of their community, as though they were latter-day followers of Gandhi or Martin Luther King, is as preposterous as it is blatantly untrue.
Thuggery knows no colour. We have seen plenty of white youths joining in the looting, too.
These young people wholly buy into a shallow culture of instant gratification. Oblivious to traditional ideas of hard work and social obligation, they seek to grab what they want, whether it be a new set of trainers from JD Sports or a flat-screen TV from Currys.
For all such condemnation, however, it is important to maintain a sense of perspective. The police may have made more than 100 arrests in the past couple of days, but most youths in the inner city have no involvement with violence whatsoever. The thuggery is confined to a hard-core minority.
In my spare time, I work as a volunteer mentor in Peckham, an even more deprived neighbourhood than Tottenham. Most of the young people in my scheme wear hoodies, but all are fine, upstanding citizens. Not one is in a gang or involved in criminal activity, and all are seeking to better their lives through education. Unlike the rioters and looters, all of them have a fully functioning moral compass.
We should also recognise that this kind of mindless aggression, masquerading as protest, is not confined to the world of inner-city black youths. Over the past year, we have witnessed disgraceful scenes on the streets of the capital, where the perpetrators have largely been white, privileged middle-class students.
Charlie Gilmour, son of a millionaire rock star, is a symbol of this pattern, having been jailed for 16 months following his conviction for violence during the tuition fees protest last December. Gilmour’s swinging from a Union Jack on the Cenotaph was just as great an insult to public decency as Saturday night’s looting in Tottenham.
Nor is vicious materialism by any means solely the preserve of black youth culture. Thuggery knows no colour. We have seen plenty of white youths joining in the looting, too.
In fact, we see this nasty, self-centred mentality all round us — reflected in the greed of bankers over their bonuses or MPs over their expenses. The pernicious spirit of instant gratification and ruthless entitlement transcends race and class, undermining the codes of morality that once built our civilisation.
That is why these riots are different to the unrest that gripped Britain in the early Eighties, epitomised by the flames of Toxteth and Brixton. Then, there were justified grievances about social exclusion and police heavy-handedness. But none of that applies today. Things have vastly improved for ethnic minorities since then. Job and educational opportunities are far greater. Contrary to what the Left claim, public resources have been poured into the inner cities.
After the Brixton riots in 1985 there were several regeneration schemes and today Peckham has a state-of-the-art library and new art gallery. The quality of the social housing stock has been transformed.
Attitudes among the police are also much better, as shown by Operation Trident, a highly successful community-driven initiative to combat gun crime within the black community.
But none of these changes will help if the worst aspects of youth culture are not tackled. Too many young people will never reach their potential if they are allowed to remain in their mental ghettoes. Education unequivocally provides the best path for young people out of the ghetto, both geographical and mental. That also means providing guidance and discipline, rather than pandering to their shallow teenage whims.
It is our own politically correct cowardice that has been the greatest force behind their marginalisation.
“In the public interest?” Yeah, right
A motley crew of left-wingers is using the fallout from recent scandals to grab a bit of influence for themselves
Taking advantage of Hackgate and the banking and MPs expenses crises, a section of liberal thinkers is vying for greater influence by launching a campaign against the straw man they dub the ‘feral elite’. Worst of all, they are doing it under the façade that they are representing the interests of the public, who it’s clear they hold in contempt.
They may call their campaign In the Public Interest. They may be calling for ‘a new jury of people to put the public interest first’. But it’s evident from the outset that In the Public Interest supporters have no interest in reflecting what the public is actually interested in. Because, surely, if you were going to randomly select a panel of 1,000 members of the public to act as a ‘jury’ of what’s in the public interest, the first, most glaringly obvious thing you would do is ask them what social and political issues concern them?
That’s far from obvious to this campaign, established by the left-wing pressure group Compass. After all, they already know what’s in the public’s interest. How could the issues that most concern the public be anything other than those In the Public Interest has already determined the public jury will examine? These are media ownership, the role of the financial sector in the crash, the selection and accountability of MPs and policing. Surely such a choice is self-evident given, in the words of the campaign’s founders, the ‘waves of extraordinary public horror’ in reaction to Hackgate and other incidents?
Far from it. In reality, there was no such collective sense of horror among the public after Hackgate. As Frank Furedi has observed previously on spiked, it was instead confined to a ‘narrow stratum’ of British society: ‘People in the pub or on the streets are not having animated debates about the News of the World’s heinous behaviour. Rather it is the Twitterati and those most directly influenced by the cultural elite and its lifestyle and identity who are emotionally drawn to the anti-Murdoch crusade.’
The same can broadly be said about the MPs’ expenses scandal and the financial crash, neither of which invoked the public outcry opportunist members of the media and political classes often claim it did. And, following the knockout blow the public gave to the electoral-reform lobby in the referendum on the Alternative Vote earlier in the year, how ‘selection of MPs’ is seen to be a burning issue among the populace is simply baffling. ‘Policing’ is simply added to the list without explanation, as if this was self-evident.
Not wanting to leave anything to the public to decide in this proposed jury, In the Public Interest has even helpfully pinpointed the cause of all this ‘horror’ the public are experiencing, something they dub the ‘feral elite’: the ‘politicians, bankers and media moguls [who] share a common culture in which greed is good, everyone takes their turn at the trough, and private interest takes precedence over the public good’.
They even go so far as to dictate the outcomes of their proposed initiative, which would be ‘a new public-interest test with ethical procedures for the corporate world… and the proper treatment of national assets, services and utilities; and the outlawing of excessive concentrations of elite power in places like banking or the media’. Offending members of the ‘feral elite’ would also be mandated to attend public hearings – just like the Murdochs did in parliament – where members of the public can grill them on issues that In the Public Interest has ordained are relevant.
Astoundingly, this clique of campaigners is actually attempting to masquerade as the public. In an open letter to the Guardian – where else? – a gaggle of luminaries claim: ‘Only we, the public, can hold power truly to account by testing whether what happens is in the public interest.’
‘We the public?’ There is not a single shred of evidence of a groundswell of public support or demand for such an initiative. In fact, if you click to see who their supporters are on their website, the only signatures you can view are figures deemed ‘influential’ enough. Either public support is lacking, or they don’t want to sully the petition with the names of insignificant, irrelevant plebs who might put their name to it. Or both.
In an article outlining their intentions, the campaign’s founders are at least a little more forthright, admitting: ‘There is an irony in that this call is coming from another group of the self-appointed and self-righteous. But in today’s celebrity world, this is the only way left to draw attention to an issue; and the issue is, letting the public decide.’
For people who claim to have faith in the public’s ability to decide, their complete disdain for the ability of the public to be able to draw attention to an issue of concern to them is simply breathtaking. The only way the interests of the feeble demos can be heard, it seems, is if a few celebrities bang the drum loud enough for the little people to be given a platform.
It is true, however, that it’s a bit ironic – and, many would likely add, more than a bit rich – that this campaign is being undertaken by ‘another group of the self-appointed and self-righteous’. What we have here is nothing more than a left-wing section of the liberal elite, emboldened to the point of atrocious arrogance, jockeying for greater power and influence as the hollowed-out condition of the right becomes apparent. They are, it should be noted, already making a complete hack job of it, managing to alienate swathes of groups and individuals who would, if the campaign had been approached differently, likely have proven enthusiastic bedfellows.
But this new self-appointed and self-righteous clique is actually far more insidious than even the most caricatured version of the coterie of ‘greed is good’, Gordon Gecko types they claim to be calling to account. Not just due to their slippery, underhand attempts to cloak their own special interests in democratic garb, but also because of their contempt for the idea that the public is capable of engaging in democratic activity without the help of a carefully-managed ‘public jury’. Individuals can make their own minds up without being spoon-fed about what their interests actually are and without having ‘celebrity’ campaigners getting their concerns heard for them.
In truth, the In the Public Interest campaign is about as far from being in the interests of the public as you can get.
Children’s grasp of WW2 ‘sanitised’ by books and films
Pupils’ understanding of the Second World War is being undermined by sensationalist films, television programmes and books, according to a leading headmaster. Children are increasingly distracted by the “prurient and commercial elements” of the conflict employed by the entertainment industry to make profits, it was claimed.
Graham Lacey, headmaster of the Berlin British School, a private international school in the German capital, said schools had a moral duty to “rescue” the subject by focusing on more challenging topics such as the Nazi’s exploitation of democracy and the state’s treatment of minorities. The comments come amid ongoing controversy over the way the conflict – from 1939 to 1945 – is taught in British schools.
Successive German ambassadors to London have criticised Britain’s “unbalanced” obsession with Nazi stereotypes at the expense of any aspect of the nation’s history beyond 1945.
Four years ago Labour also sparked outrage by suggesting that Winston Churchill – Britain’s wartime leader – should be erased from the secondary school curriculum in an attempt to give teachers more freedom to teach history.
Mr Lacey, former deputy head of Sevenoaks School in Kent, said schools “must be careful not to downplay the significance of a period when the world almost fell off its moral axis”.
But writing in an article today on Telegraph.co.uk, he suggested that the biggest threat to the subject was the entertainment industry, which prioritises a “populist narrative over objective analysis”.
It follows the success of films such as Saving Private Ryan and video games including Call of Duty: World at War. The Second World War is also one of the mainstays of satellite channels such as UKTV History and the History Channel, where recent programmes have included Hitler’s Bodyguard, Hitler’s Women, Nazi America and Nazi Guerrillas.
But Mr Lacey said: “The argument that this period should retain its elevated position in UK school history syllabuses has, ironically, been hindered rather than helped by the popularisation of the subject. “Students have been too easily distracted by its more prurient and commercial elements, whether it be the sex lives of its leaders or the pop memorabilia of the SS, for example.
“Even the horrors of the Second World War have been sanitised through books and films that have inevitably given higher priority to commercial success over factual accuracy, and populist narrative over objective analysis. “All this has undermined the pedagogical and moral justification for teaching the subject.”
The study of the two world wars is compulsory in English secondary schools. Pupils are also expected to study the Holocaust as a distinct topic.
But Mr Lacey said schools had a responsibility to focus on the “less familiar but more intellectually fulfilling topics of the period, to rescue the academic respectability of the subject as well as to ensure their students appreciate the relevance it holds for all who wish to protect the civilised values which the Third Reich displaced.”
The Nazi’s rise to power should be used as an example of how a small minority can exploit democracy or exert “undue political influence at a time of instability”, he said.
Mr Lacey added that a study of the Nazi’s murder campaign can also shed light on the “sanctity of human life and the state’s approach to the treatment of minorities”.
“Unless you fall for the myth that ‘it could never happen to us’, a study of the Third Reich still provides lessons for us all, and should retain its prominent place in the history syllabuses of the UK’s schools and universities,” he said.