Only 1 in 3 stroke patients receiving prompt brain scans
Only half of stroke patients are receiving some of the treatments doctors believe are crucial for saving their lives. A national audit carried out by the Royal College of Physicians has found that just 33 per cent of those treated at NHS hospitals after suffering a stroke receive a brain scan within an hour.
Only 52 per cent were given a clot-busting drug when they were eligible for it and 53 per cent were seen by a nurses and a therapist within 24 hours after having the devastating brain attack. In addition, 55 per cent of patients were taken either directly to a dedicated stroke unit or admitted there within four hours.
However 79 per cent were seen by a stroke consultant within 24 hours of being admitted to hospital and 92 per cent had a brain scan within the critical first day.
The figures relate to the first quarter of 2011-12 after the RCP switched to quarterly reporting of the Stroke Improvement National Audit Programme (SINAP), which collects information about the care provided to stroke patients during their first three days in hospital. The data can then be linked to death rates to see if those who receive better quality care are less likely to die.
The RCP says: “If we can show that patients are less likely to die or have another stroke if they get good stroke care, it will encourage all hospitals to improve their stroke services. It will also encourage the funders to provide more money for the most important stroke services.”
Dr Lorna Layward from The Stroke Association said: “The first few hours following a stroke are absolutely crucial to the level of recovery that someone can expect to make. These results show that some improvements have been made over recent years, but there are wide variations between hospitals. The guidelines and expectations are set out for stroke care but unfortunately some hospitals are falling short.
“We urge all hospitals that provide stroke care to ensure their data is submitted to this audit, so that we can gather the whole national perspective and help to drive standards of care up so that more people can survive their stroke and make a good recovery.”
Most of the British rioters were black
My totally “incorrect” heading above completely contradicts an impression that the media has laboured to build up. Most media stories about the British rioters highlight middle class whites. Blacks are rarely mentioned.
One hard-working geographer has however mapped out all the known data about the rioters and where they rioted and superimposed that map on maps of London demographics. He finds that the toxic combination is race and poverty. Poor blacks were the main culprits. Poverty alone was not an important factor as there was little rioting in poor white areas. The big riots were mostly in poor black areas and most of the rioters were poor blacks
Both theoretical and empirical evidence shows that it is improper to disconnect the August 2011 riots from race and ethnic culture. It is, likewise, inappropriate to associate it with the uneducated, low-skilled white lower class (‘chavs’). It was severely underrepresented in the riots, and did not produce riots in numerous poor non-black areas. None of the socioeconomic factors have the same predicting power as black ethnicity in this case. In fact, they are meaningless to the riots when not a correlate of black population.
Why the black community played such a prominent role in the riots may be disputed. But it is clear that role of the black community was greater than that of any other group, and it should be accordingly regarded in the media.
The riots are a warning
Thomas Sowell, writing from the USA
The orgies of violent attacks against strangers on the streets — in both England and the United States — are not necessarily just passing episodes. They should be wake-up calls, warning of the continuing degeneration of Western society.
As British doctor and author Theodore Dalrymple said, long before these riots broke out, “the good are afraid of the bad and the bad are afraid of nothing.”
Not only the trends over the years leading up to these riots but also the squeamish responses to them by officials — on both sides of the Atlantic — reveal the moral dry rot that has spread deep into Western societies.
Even when black youth gangs target white strangers on the streets and spew out racial hatred as they batter them and rob them, mayors, police chiefs and the media tiptoe around their racism and many in the media either don’t cover these stories or leave out the race and racism involved.
In England, the government did not call out the troops to squash their riots at the outset. The net result was that young hoodlums got to rampage and loot for hours, while the police struggled to try to contain the violence. Hoodlums returned home with loot from stores with impunity, as well as bringing home with them a contempt for the law and for the rights of other people.
With all the damage that was done by these rioters, both to cities and to the whole fabric of British society, it is very unlikely that most of the people who were arrested will be sentenced to jail. Only 7 percent of people convicted of crime in England are actually put behind bars.
“Alternatives to incarceration” are in vogue among the politically correct elites in England, just as in the United States. But in Britain those elites have had much more clout for a much longer time. And they have done much more damage.
Nevertheless, our own politically correct elites are pointing us in the same direction. A headline in the New York Times shows the same politically correct mindset in the United States: “London Riots Put Spotlight on Troubled, Unemployed Youths in Britain.” There is not a speck of evidence that the rioters and looters are troubled — unless you engage in circular reasoning and say that they must have been troubled to do the things they did.
In reality, like other rioters on both sides of the Atlantic they are often exultant in their violence and happy to be returning home with stolen designer clothes and upscale electronic devices.
In both England and in the United States, whole generations have been fed a steady diet of grievances and resentment against society, and especially against others who are more prosperous than they are. They get this in their schools, on television, on campuses and in the movies. Nothing is their own fault. It is all “society’s” fault.
One of the young Britons interviewed in the New York Times reported that he had learned to read only three years ago. He is not unique. In Theodore Dalrymple’s book, “Life at the Bottom,” he referred to many British youths who are unashamedly illiterate. The lyrics of a popular song in Britain said, “We don’t need no education” and another song was titled “Poor, White and Stupid.”
Dr. Dalrymple says, “I cannot recall meeting a sixteen-year-old white from the public housing estates that are near my hospital who could multiple nine by seven.”
In the United States, the color may be different but the attitudes among the hoodlum element are very similar. In both countries, classmates who try to learn can find themselves targeted by bullies.
Here those who want to study in ghetto schools are often accused of “acting white.” But whites in Britain show the same pattern. Some conscientious students are beaten up badly enough to end up at Dr. Dalrymple’s hospital.
Our elites often advise us to learn from other countries. They usually mean that we should imitate other countries. But it may be far more important to learn from their mistakes — the biggest of which may be listening to fashionable nonsense from the smug intelligentsia.
These countries show us where that smug nonsense leads. It may be a sneak preview of our own future. “Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.”
Our prisons walls are too high to look over, moan terror suspects in Britain
Inmates complain limited view damaged their eyesight
Suspected terrorists are complaining about a fence around the exercise yard in their high-security prison which restricts their view of the horizon. The alleged extremists are locked up while the Government tries to remove them from the country.
But the inmates have complained the limited view is damaging their eyesight, a prison inspection report revealed.
And astonishingly, inspectors accepted their complaints, criticising the cladding put around the edge of the exercise yard because it stops the men seeing into the distance.
They men are being held in the detainee unit at Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire and are prevented from mixing with other inmates.
Some months ago, prison bosses offered to allow them to join activities involving paedophiles and rapists who are isolated from the rest of the prison for their own protection. But this was rejected because the terror suspects feared they would be ‘stigmatised’ by being seen with the sex offenders.
The report recommended removing the cladding so the prisoners have a clear view into the outside world.
Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said: ‘While detainees’ treatment and conditions were satisfactory in some respects, too little attention was paid to their uniquely isolated and uncertain position.’
The report added: ‘For most of the time, detainees were confined to the unit and largely deprived of contact with the range of people that was possible for convicted prisoners in the main prison. ‘This had resulted in a feeling of claustrophobia.
‘The fence surrounding the exercise yard was clad, therefore preventing detainees from seeing into the distance. All detainee unit cells overlooked the inner courtyard and detainees therefore had no opportunities to see into the distance, and some complained of deteriorating eyesight.’
The high-security detainee unit at Long Lartin holds seven suspected terrorists. Three are foreign nationals whom ministers want to deport to their home countries. The other four are awaiting the outcome of legal challenges to extradition requests by the United States. They are thought to include Babar Ahmed, whose case is being considered by the European Court of Human Rights. Two of the men have been held for more than 11 years as they fight deportation, at a cost of more than £1.6million.
The average cost of a place in a high-security prison is £74,000 per year.
The report revealed the men are allowed out of their cells for nearly 60 hours a week. They also have access to gym equipment and their own kitchen, as well as prepared meals.
British pupils who take harder A-levels should be given priority for university places, says education minister
Pupils who have taken ‘traditional’ A-levels such as maths and foreign languages should take precedence in the race for university places, the higher education minister has said.
David Willetts said that more modern subjects such as dance and media studies should not be recognised as core academic subjects. His comments came as around 250,000 A-level students wait to discover their exam results tomorrow.
Mr Willetts told the Daily Telegraph that the points system used in university admissions ‘sends a very bad message to young people by implying that all A-levels have an equal chance of helping them into university.’
Currently Ucas, which processes university applications, allocates points based on the grade achieved, regardless of the subject.
Mr Willetts added: ‘[Ucas] are operating a massive system with more than half a million applications, but they need to signal the importance of some A-levels more than others and that message is often hidden behind a tariff point model.’
He also said that work-based apprenticeships should be accepted as a way to get into university.
Concerns have been raised this year about students who fail to secure a university place and could face the daunting prospect of up to three times higher tuition fees in 2012.
Dr Wendy Piatt, of the Russell Group, which represents top universities, said that it was not realistic to expect every student who wants to go to university to get a place. She said: ‘The costs to the taxpayer of a very generous system of student loans and grants make it unrealistic to think that the country could afford to offer a properly funded university place to everyone who would like one. ‘In a tight fiscal climate, maintaining the quality of the student experience must be a greater priority than expanding the number of places.’
On Monday Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, expressed concern about the financial burden for those who miss out. She said: ‘This year, more than ever, we fear for the thousands of students who miss out on a university place and face paying three times more next year or struggle to find careers advice following Government cuts.’
But Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, sought to play down the fears. She said: ‘It must be very dispiriting for students who have worked hard for the results they’re receiving to be faced with a barrage of gloom and apocalyptic predictions, that usually turn out to be incorrect. ‘People making such unfounded forecasts, usually to score cheap political points, are quite irresponsible and they should consider the impact it has on applicants.
‘I would advise people looking to secure a university place to speak directly to specialist advisers at Ucas and at universities.’ She said that last year nearly 70 per cent of university applicants were accepted onto a course.
This summer’s A-level and GCSE exam papers have been beset by errors. Around 100,000 students in total are thought to have been affected by mistakes found in 12 different exam papers this summer. The blunders ranged from wrong answers in a multiple choice paper to impossible questions and printing errors.
The five exams boards responsible for the errors have promised students that they will not be penalised, in what looks to be a record year in terms of top grades.
Education expert Professor Alan Smithers predicted earlier this week that one in 10 A-levels could be graded as A*, as this year teachers and students have a better understanding of what is required to gain the top result. However, he also suggested that the overall pass rate was likely to stay about the same, perhaps rising or falling by only 0.1 per cent.