Welcome to Third World Britain: Relatives ‘need to help care for sick in hospital’, says nursing leader
Relatives should go into hospitals to help staff care for the elderly, according to a nursing leader. Dr Peter Carter, head of the Royal College of Nursing, said families should be encouraged to assist patients during mealtimes and take them to the toilet.
He also wants hospitals to end restricted visiting times so relatives can stay as long as they want.
Dr Carter warned that on some wards there were too few nurses to help all frail patients eat their meals or go to the toilet. He said: ‘If you have a 24-bed ward and have got five nurses and everybody is having lunch at the same time and half the patients need feeding, it becomes difficult to get it all done.
‘If someone is coming in and sitting with their loved one, they are going to have the focused dedicated time. You get this business of wards, very, very busy people, patients dying to go to the loo, elderly patients wetting themselves, then they lie there feeling embarrassed – and it is about helping gran get out and go to the loo.’
Figures show the average ‘care of the elderly’ ward has just one nurse for 11 patients – substantially fewer than in other parts of many hospitals. A report by the RCN last year found nurses on these wards were looking after an average of three more patients compared with children’s wards, for example.
Only last week Dr Carter warned that nurses were beginning their career unable to care for patients as they spend too much time in lecture halls.
He also said untrained healthcare assistants with no medical qualifications now carry out many tasks once reserved for nurses, such as helping patients to eat and drink, cleaning bedsores and taking blood samples.
Dr Carter has asked the Royal College of Nursing to consider ways to encourage more families to help out on wards. ‘The NHS is just not going to deal with it. Neither are social services,’ he said. ‘You have got to get maximum family involvement. ‘The services need to gear themselves up to make people aware: You are very welcome to come in and look after mum, dad, husband and wife.’
Many hospitals will allow relatives to visit only during the afternoon, for example from 2pm to 8pm. And many have ‘protective mealtimes’ which ban visitors coming to the ward whilst food is being served in case it distracts patients from eating.
But Dr Carter wants visiting times to be more flexible, particularly during mealtimes so families can help patients eat.
His views are backed up by Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, who said the NHS could not afford to employ staff to sit with the elderly for hours on end. ‘Families should be more involved,’ she said. ‘Can we afford to have someone sitting by an elderly person in hospital and feeding them, which might take two or three hours.’
But Dr Ros Altmann, director general of Saga, the over-50s group, said the suggestion was ‘astonishing’. ‘If patients are in hospital then it is hospital staff who surely have a duty of care to look after patients’ needs such as feeding them and ensuring they are clean, washed and dry,’ she said.
Official NHS figures show that last year 214,888 patients were discharged from hospital with some form of malnutrition.
The Care Quality Commission watchdog this year found that in some hospitals the elderly were going without food for several days. This means their immune systems will be far weaker and they are less able to cope with potentially fatal illnesses such as flu and pneumonia. Lacking calcium and vitamin D, they will be prone to osteoporosis and associated hip fractures and other broken bones.
Some hospitals now employ volunteer feeders – members of the public who come in during meal times to help patients too frail to eat.
Medical optimism gone mad
A London hospital’s trial of a prostate cancer drug has been stopped early because it was so successful doctors felt it would be “unethical” to deny the treatment to other patients.
But that is absurd. As Ioannides and others now often point out, the early results of a research project are often not typical and the effect observed in the research below was actually quite small in absolute terms. It is only the relative results that look good and even the .3 they report below is dismally short of the 2.0 that the Federal Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Second Edition says (p. 384) is the threshold for concluding that an agent was more likely than not the cause of an effect.
Even statistical correlations far stronger than anything found in medical research may disappear if more data is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: below:
“The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correlation coefficient between the two series at -0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower…. In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic conditions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his analysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic conditions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added.”
So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data not just a hasty first bite at it
Medics halted tests of the life-extending drug because it would have been “unethical” not to offer the treatment to all 922 cancer sufferers taking part in the trial.
Patients who were given the drug found that it eased pain and caused only minor side effects.
The new drug accurately targets tumours using alpha radiation, which doctors conducting the study said is the most effective form of radiation to eliminate cancer because it limits damage to surrounding tissue. Dr Chris Parker, lead researcher on the project at the Royal Marsden Hospital, said: “It’s more damaging. It takes one, two, three hits to kill a cancer cell compared with thousands of hits for beta particles.”
The drug, Radium-223 Chloride – known as Alpharadin TM – will also do less damage to surrounding tissue because it accurately targets calls, the doctors said. Speaking at an international gathering of cancer experts, Dr Parker, a consultant clinical oncologist, said: “They have such a tiny range, a few millionths of a metre. So we can be sure that the damage is being done where it should be.”
Patients taking the drug has a 30 per cent lower rate of death compared top patients taking a placebo pill. “It would have been unethical not to offer the active treatment to those taking placebo,” Dr. Parker said.
Radium-223 has “a completely different safety profile” to chemotherapy, he added.
The trial’s results were presented this week at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm.
The researchers, who have pointed out the urgent need for an effective treatment for prostate cancer, will now submit their findings for approval by regulators.
Prof Gillies McKenna, Cancer Research UK’s radiotherapy expert said: “This appears to be an important study using a highly targeted form of radiation to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones.
“This research looks very promising and could be an important addition to approaches available to treat secondary tumours – and should be investigated further.”
Our language is being hijacked by the Left to muzzle rational debate
By Melanie Phillips
One of the most sinister aspects of political correctness is the way in which its edicts purport to be in the interests of minority groups.
This is despite the fact that, very often, they are not promulgated at the behest of minorities at all, but by members of the majority who want to destroy their own culture and who use minorities to camouflage their true intentions.
The latest manifestation stars once again that all-time world champion of political correctness, the BBC. Apparently, it has decided that the terms AD and BC (Anno Domini, or the Year of Our Lord, and Before Christ) must be replaced by the terms Common Era and Before Common Era. Actually, this edict seems to have been laid down merely by some obscure tributary of the BBC website rather than from on high.
Nevertheless, the terms CE and BCE are now increasingly finding their way onto news bulletins and on programmes such as University Challenge or Melvyn Bragg’s Radio Four show In Our Time.
The reason given on the website is that, since the BBC is committed to impartiality, it is important not to alienate or offend non-Christians. Well, I am a Jew, so I am presumably a member of this group that must not be alienated. It so happens, however, that along with many other Jewish people I sometimes use CE and BCE since the terms BC and AD are not appropriate to me. But the idea that any of us would be offended by anyone else using BC and AD would be totally ridiculous.
How could we possibly take offence, since these are the commonly used and understood expressions when referring to the calendar?Moreover, I most certainly would not expect society in general to use these Common Era terms rather than BC and AD.
Indeed, I would go much further and react with undiluted scorn and disapproval to any attempt to do so.
That is because I feel passionately that a society should be allowed to express its own culture – and this attack on BC and AD, fatuous as it may seem on the surface, is yet another attack on British culture and the Christian underpinnings which provide it with its history, identity and fundamental values.
The impulse behind changing such established terms – obviously as familiar to us all as the names of the days of the week – is part of the wider desire to obliterate Christianity in British culture.
The fact remains, however, that whatever terms are used the British calendar is calibrated from the birth of Jesus. As Ann Widdecombe remarked, whatever next – abolishing the calendar itself on the grounds that it too therefore offends non-Christians?
The reasoning behind this linguistic legerdemain is entirely spurious. There is no evidence whatever that any non-Christian group is offended by BC and AD, nor that they would like it to be replaced. Even if they did, it cannot ever be right for minorities to seek to replace fundamental majority cultural expressions or values with their own.
To do so has nothing whatever to do with impartiality – indeed, quite the reverse. For what about the need not to offend or alienate Christians?
To ask the question is to realise how far we have travelled down this invidious road. For Christians in Britain are now routinely offended and alienated – indeed, positively harassed, and with their religious rights denied – and all in the Orwellian cause of promoting ‘diversity’.
In the latest example, police have threatened a Christian cafe owner with arrest – for displaying passages from the Bible on a TV screen which are said to incite hatred against homosexuals. Why stop at a TV screen, one might ask. For in such a climate, it is hardly frivolous to wonder how long it will be before the Bible itself is banned.
At the weekend, a campaign was launched by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, to press for greater legal protection for Christians against such attacks.
The pressure on Christians, however, is merely part of a far wider onslaught on Western culture through the hijacking or censorship of language. Thus Christmas has been renamed in various places ‘Winterval’.
Last week, it was reported that Southwark council has renamed its Guy Fawkes fireworks display ‘The Colour Thief: A Winter Extravaganza Celebrating the Change of the Seasons’. This ludicrous gesture is presumably aimed at being more ‘inclusive’ of Catholics upset by references to the 17th-century Popish gunpowder plot. What is actually does is exclude Britons by airbrushing out part of their history.
Even more bizarre are the latest edicts by so-called ‘equality’ experts, who say that the traditional black garb of witches in children’s stories leads to racism (yes, seriously). Witches should therefore be given pink hats, and fairies dressed in dark colours.
Meanwhile Anne O’Connor, an ‘early years consultant’, advises that ‘white paper’, especially in schools, provokes racism since it does not reflect the range of hues of the human race. Maybe Ms O’Connor needs especially strong spectacles. Has anyone ever seen a human being with skin as white as paper?
And finally, teachers are told they should be ready to lie, if necessary, when asked by pupils what their favourite colour is and, in the interests of good race relations, answer ‘black’ or ‘brown’.
Can you believe this? What on earth has our society come to when grown individuals in receipt of public money descend to such mind-blowing imbecility?
Calling children as young as two ‘racist’ is simply grotesque. Helping them ‘unlearn’ negative associations with dark colours is to try to brainwash them in ways reminiscent of Soviet Stalinism.
But then, political correctness is all about dictating what people are permitted or forbidden to say as a way of controlling and reshaping a society and its values.
Look at the way the Labour leader Ed Miliband has refused to call people who defraud the welfare system ‘benefit cheats’. He has condemned abuses of the welfare system and said it must be stopped. So why does he say he cannot accuse the people who behave in this way of being ‘cheats’?
The answer is surely that political correctness means you can’t criticise anyone who does wrong if they belong to a group of people who are considered marginalised or oppressed. This is effectively to give such groups a free pass for any bad behaviour. And anyone who dares criticise is accused of ‘demonising’ such groups.
This means, of course, that those who criticise such bad behaviour are themselves demonised. Indeed, they can be positively victimised and even threatened with their lives by vicious campaigns on Twitter or the internet – all on the grounds that they have ‘demonised’ some ‘victim’ group or other. If this wasn’t so terrifying, it would be hilarious.
The result of this hijacking of the language is that debate becomes impossible because words like rights, tolerance, liberal, justice, truth and many more have come to mean the precise opposite of what they really do mean.
The result of this inversion of right and wrong is that morality itself has been reversed or negated. Politically correct language is thus a way of shifting the very centre of moral and political gravity. So what was once considered far-Left has become the centre-ground; and those who stand on the real centre-ground are now dismissed as extreme.
The attack on BC and AD is merely the latest salvo in the war of the words, part of the defining madness of our time.
Persecuted British Christians take Government to European Court so they can express their beliefs at work
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is leading a campaign to urge David Cameron to back the rights of Christians to express their beliefs at work. He wants the Prime Minister to press for greater legal protection for Christians who have been sacked for following their consciences when a group of test cases are heard by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg next month.
Four Christians are taking legal action at a landmark hearing because they believe British laws have failed to protect their human rights to wear religious symbols or opt out of gay rights legislation.
The cases include those of Shirley Chaplin, a Devon nurse banned from working on the wards after she failed to hide a cross she had worn since she was 16, and Gary MacFarlane, who was sacked as a Relate counsellor after suggesting he would refuse to provide sexual therapy to gay couples.
The judges will also examine the cases of Nadia Eweida, a check-in clerk for British Airways who was told to remove her small crucifix at work, and registrar Lilian Ladele, who lost her job at Islington town hall, North London, after refusing to officiate at civil partnerships.
The Government must submit a formal statement by the end of next week outlining whether it believes the rights of Christians have been infringed in Britain. Lord Carey, along with 150,000 other campaigners from the lobby group Christian Concern, has written to Mr Cameron calling on the Government to back new safeguards for religious believers.
‘No one wants to deny homosexual people rights, but can a way be found for Christians to have rights as well? I would like the Government to acknowledge that something has to be adjusted in the law so people can express their faith in the workplace in a non-confrontational way.’
Both he and the former Church of England Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali have made their own submissions to the ECHR, asking employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate the religious beliefs of employees.
Under this proposal, staff could refuse to do something against their religious consciences as long as the same service could be provided by a colleague.
Bishop Nazir-Ali said ‘reasonable accommodation’ could include ‘both expression and manifestation of belief. Thus a registrar refusing to officiate at a civil partnership because of religious belief would qualify because other registrars would be able to officiate and the delivery of a service would not be unduly hindered.
‘Similarly, a counsellor refusing counselling on the sexual lifestyle of same-sex couples would fall within the criteria for reasonable accommodation as there are other counsellors, even in the same agencies, who could deliver the service.’
In July, the watchdog Equality and Human Rights Commission announced its support for the concept of ‘reasonable accommodation’ but it appeared to backtrack within weeks following criticism from pressure groups.
Old-fashioned morals can rescue societies broken by bad behaviour
One of the more disturbing reports of rioting in London and other British cities was of the Malaysian student who was knocked to the ground, robbed, and had his jaw broken. That was bad enough, but what happened next seems somehow worse.
While passers-by helped him to his feet, they ransacked his rucksack. What sort of mentality lies behind that?
The student, as it happened, behaved with magnanimity, telling journalists that he still thought very highly of Britain, which was, he said, a great place. He did say, though, that he thought this sort of thing would not happen in Malaysia, which was a well-ordered country in which the police did their job well. Ouch.
There were plenty of other stories of breathtakingly bad behaviour. The reaction to all this was numbed shock, in some cases disbelief. Is this what Britain has become, where we have ended up? Yes, of course it is. And should we be the slightest bit surprised? We should not.
People have been talking about the “broken society” for some time now – all these riots demonstrated was just how broken. Australia is not in so bad a way but nobody should be complacent. The causes of this desperate situation are common, even if they are worse in some places than in others.
The broken society is a consequence partly of social change and cultural change. The social change is familiar: the destruction of the family as the fundamental social unit would be fine if we had replaced it with something. We have not.
It would be fine if we had devised ways of ensuring children had stability and security, but considerable numbers of them are brought up instead in chaotic households where there is no consistent authority. What do we expect from that, if not behavioural problems and damaged lives?
Teachers will spell that out for you, if you ask them. Arguments about that side of the picture are familiar to all of us, and there is room for disagreement.
What interests me more is the cultural side of the equation. Is there something going wrong with the sort of culture we are creating? It’s a culture in which we seem to have abandoned many of the values on which we based our civilisation.
Civilisation? That’s an unusual word these days, perhaps because people are embarrassed to talk about it, and therein lies at least part of the reason for the crisis. We don’t know what we believe in and are busy bringing up children who share our confusion. The result is that we have massive numbers of people who are dishonest, indifferent to casual violence or aggression, and devoid of respect or consideration for others.
If you doubt this, look at the studies. In one piece of British research in 2009, it was discovered that a substantial proportion of the population – almost half – was prepared to steal and commit fraud. Another study of US students found that about three-quarters of them were regular cheats. There are plenty of these enlightening statistics.
Where does this come from? Mainly it comes from an espousal of moral pluralism – the idea that there is no such thing as a general right or wrong, only differing visions of them.
This means that there are few broad certainties that society can put as unequivocal values. Schools cannot teach values because not everybody shares those values. As a result, the goal of character education has been lost: children must decide for themselves.
In Britain, schools have even taken this to heart in school lunch programs. Children should be able to choose for themselves between healthy food and pizza, goes the argument. They choose pizza, and are becoming obese.
But the issue is more than educational. We have created a strange culture perpetuated by television and other media that rejoices in and celebrates dysfunction, violence and anti-social behaviour. Our popular films are highly aggressive in tone, our reality television holds a mirror up to selfishness, shallowness and often sheer nastiness. This is all presented as being the only form of reality.
The opposite choices – those of the virtues – are impossibly boring and therefore more or less totally excluded.
And the remarkable thing about this is that we do not see it! We have come to expect this vision of life as the default position. And so we should not be surprised if we create a culture that is selfish and aggressive, that has no interest in improving the extent to which concern for others, old-fashioned good manners, or any of the traditional virtues, including honesty, are actively stressed and propagated.
Hopelessly old-fashioned? If it is old-fashioned to yearn for a day when people’s lives were not made a misery through bullying and intimidation, when one could rely on the honesty of others, then old-fashioned it is.
We must try to assert values. As societies we have to decide again to believe in something and begin to teach those values. That well-mannered Malaysian student, I suspect, might just agree.
British primary schools are being ‘punished’ if they stop sex lessons as secondaries are told to hand out contraceptives
Primary schools are being pressured into providing sex education under a scheme to promote ‘healthy’ lifestyles, a report claims today. And secondary schools are being encouraged to hand out contraception and hold condom demonstrations in class to prove they are sending out ‘healthy’ messages, it says.
Campaigners claim the Healthy Schools Programme is being used to impose ‘permissive’ sex education without a national debate.
Launched in 1999, it had its central funding cut this year, but is still being promoted by local authorities.
In a survey of all 152 English councils, the Family Education Trust found one in five told primary schools that decided not to teach sex and relationship education they would not be eligible for ‘Healthy Schools status’.
This is despite the fact that primary schools may decide if they want to teach sex education beyond the requirements of the curriculum.
This month, Schools Minister Nick Gibb ruled out implementing Labour’s commitment to compulsory sex education for those as young as five.
Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said it was ‘very concerning’ that primary schools were still being leant on to provide it. ‘Primary schools that make a principled decision not to teach sex education should not be stigmatised and denied a sought-after award for that reason,’ he said. ‘There is nothing inherently “unhealthy” about a primary school that decides not to teach sex education.’
To achieve ‘Healthy Schools status’ schools must meet 41 criteria covering personal, social and health education, healthy eating, physical activity and emotional health and well-being.
While there is no direct financial incentive, schools that achieve it can use a special logo on their websites promoting their status. More than 70 per cent of schools have the status and most councils are encouraging the remainder to follow suit.
Head teachers assess themselves against the criteria – which are on the Department for Education website – but local authorities provide a ‘quality assurance function’, checking they are on the right track.
The Family Education Trust found ‘considerable levels of inconsistency’ over how the Healthy Schools guidance is interpreted and applied.
Northamptonshire county council supported giving pupils as young as 12 the opportunity to practise putting a condom on a demonstrator device in the classroom. But it believed ‘it would not be appropriate to supply free condoms’ to pupils for the lessons.
However, this approach was not followed by all councils. South Tyneside, for example, believed it would be ‘good practice’ to give free condoms to pupils older than 14 for such lessons.
Overall, 8 per cent of councils believed pupils as young as 12 and 13 how to use freely supplied condoms would be in line with the guidance. Six per cent of councils said it would not be possible for secondary schools to get Healthy Schools status if they did not wish to refer pupils to contraceptive and sexual health clinics.
Mr Wells said: ‘In some parts, the programme is being used to impose a liberal and permissive type of sex education on schools by the back door