It’s not only the elderly. NHS staff don’t care about abused kids either
One wonders if some of them care about anyone. Perhaps not
Hundreds of babies have died at the hands of drunken, drugged or violent parents because medical staff did too little to save them, a damning report said yesterday. In case after case, they failed to spot the warning signs of abuse or to realise a child could be in danger before it was even born.
The critical Ofsted report reveals doctors and nurses often placed too much emphasis on the mother’s needs at the expense of the baby, underestimating its ‘fragility’. The role of abusive fathers and the dangers they posed had been ‘marginalised’ or ignored.
There has been increasing concern about how local authorities and medical staff care for vulnerable children following the death of 17-month-old Baby Peter Connelly in 2007. He suffered months of abuse at his home despite being on the at-risk register.
The Ofsted inquiry looked at hundreds of cases in which children suffered death or serious injury at the hands of their parents, known as serious case reviews, between 2007 and 2011.
Investigators focused on the role of health workers who came into contact with families, such as GPs, midwives and health visitors. They said: ‘The agency most frequently involved with babies is health. In some serious case reviews this was the only agency that had involvement with the families.’
The report stated the deaths of babies under a year old were often a result of shortcomings by NHS staff, who failed to do their jobs properly or to tell each other what was going on. In one case, a baby boy starved to death after a GP failed to carry out basic checks on his weight.
Another baby was shaken to death after the health workers assessing his family failed to notice the father had a long criminal record.
In a third, a depressed mother suffocated her baby. Doctors and health workers were so worried about protecting her privacy, they failed to report that she could be a risk to her child.
Ofsted examined 210 cases of deaths and serious injuries to babies under a year old from 2007 to this year. It found ‘repeated examples of agencies underestimating the risks from parents’ background and lifestyle’, including drug or alcohol misuse and being abused as a child.
Among problems were failures to check on mothers before a child was born. In one case, a newborn baby in Devon died six days after being allowed to leave hospital at just 13 hours old, even though NHS agencies had detailed records about the parents’ alcoholism, domestic abuse and concerns about the neglect of older siblings.
Dangerous fathers were often ignored. One baby who suffered 16 broken bones, which were deliberately inflicted, was said to have a ‘supportive’ father. In fact, he had a criminal record and was aggressive when drunk.
In another case, a prematurely born baby was discharged from hospital against medical advice. Nurse visits were stopped and a GP failed to properly check the boy’s weight. He died at a few months old from multiple organ failure and malnourishment.
Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said the problems highlighted why it was so important to have set up the Munro review into child safety.
Chris Cuthbert, for the NSPCC, said the charity was ‘deeply concerned’ by the report and added: ‘It is clear that babies are still being let down by overstretched services. We will shortly publish our own research on the issue.’
Bleak socialist Britain driving its own people away
If homesickness is the curse of life as an expat, then millions of Britons abroad are bearing up manfully. As Britain’s economy continues to stall and the country recovers from the summer riots, hundreds of thousands have decided to scrap plans to come home.
Of the 5.5million Brits living abroad, 69 per cent say they will stay away from Britain permanently – an increase of 13 per cent in the past year – as the UK is now ‘more expensive, less safe and offers a lower quality of life’.
More than two thirds of expats, 3.74million, say they are happier living abroad, with 825,000 having cancelled their plans to come back during the last 12 months, according to research.
Seventy four per cent of expats say their quality of life is better abroad, 64 per cent say they are wealthier and 52 per cent say their cost of living is lower, a study for Lloyds TSB International found.
And 51 per cent think their country of residence is a better place to raise children.
Furthermore, many believe that living abroad is beneficial for their children as it offers the experience of another culture while learning a language.
Tony Wilcox of Lloyds TSB said: ‘Expats have an enlightening view of the UK, having experienced life both home and away. ‘So it is worrying that life in Britain appears so bleak when viewed through their eyes.
I think their happiness with life overseas also reflects that large groups of people in the UK are gradually becoming more outward-looking with increased global travel, more international business and generally coming into contact with other cultures.
‘It has become easier and a more natural transition than it would have been 20, even ten, years ago.’
The top ten expat destinations are Australia, Spain, U.S., Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.
Failed asylum seeker dodges deportation for a decade… because he goes to the GYM
A failed asylum seeker who has dodged deportation from Britain for nearly a decade has been told he can stay – because he goes to the gym.
Amir Beheshti has been trying to get refugee status for seven years, but was repeatedly turned down by the courts, who ruled he would not suffer if he returned to his home country Iran.
But the 40-year-old has now told judges he has a private life that involves going for work-outs with his friends – which means his human rights would be violated if he was deported.
The controversial legal ruling by Scotland’s Court of Session means he will be allowed to continue living rent-free in his publicly funded flat and claiming a weekly allowance.
Earlier this month, a top Scottish judge issued a written decision in which he agreed the case should be referred back to Home Secretary Theresa May for fresh consideration.
This effectively means the threat of deportation has been removed and Beheshti is free to remain in Scotland indefinitely.
Lord Glennie’s judgment read: ‘He had integrated well within the Glasgow community, had a large network of friends, most of whom were Scottish, and socialised with those friends at the gymnasium, at five-a-side football, in coffee shops, at college, in the library and at their homes. ‘He went on to say that he made use of local facilities, such as the library and Glasgow leisure centres’.
Beheshti’s claim, it said, was ‘based on Article 8 ECHR and, in particular, on the fact that he had, so he claimed, established a private life in the UK.
Beheshti was smuggled into Dover on a lorry in 2005. In his asylum application he claimed his father’s pro-Jewish sympathies put him in danger in Iran – but it was rejected, as were two appeals.
Having travelled to Glasgow, where he lived with his sister for two years, he appealed to the Court of Session. But in June 2009, Lord Osborne ruled he had consistently failed to provide any ‘credible’ evidence that he would personally face any persecution or disadvantage in Iran.
The decision marked the end of Beheshti’s rights of appeal. Technically, he should then have been removed as an illegal immigrant, but no action to deport him was taken.
Beheshti who was smuggled into Dover (pictured) on a lorry can continue to live rent-free in his publicly funded flat and claim a weekly allowance
Beheshti who was smuggled into Dover (pictured) on a lorry can continue to live rent-free in his publicly funded flat and claim a weekly allowance
In February 2010, Beheshti wrote to UKBA, asking for ‘leave to remain’ based on Article 8 ECHR. When that was rejected, he launched another appeal to the Court of Session. This appeal was the one that led to him being allowed to stay.
Beheshti said recently that he ‘feels comfortable’ in Glasgow and does not have anybody left back in Iran.
Last night, his case – which has already cost the public purse tens of thousands of pounds – sparked outrage.
Emma Boon of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘If the occasional trip to the gym is enough to allow a failed asylum seeker to appeal his deportation, then taxpayers will wonder who can’t claim a right to stay. ‘He should have been deported when his case was initially rejected. It’s appalling that we are left picking up all of his bills when he should have been sent home years ago’.
A UK Border Agency (UKBA) spokesman said: ‘Too often, Article 8 [of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing the right to a private and family life] has been used to place the family rights of illegal migrants above the rights of the British public in seeing our immigration laws properly enforced, and that balance needs to be redressed.
‘The Government will change the immigration rules to reinforce the public interest in seeing those who have breached our immigration laws removed from this country.
‘We have been seeking to remove this individual, but we have been asked by the courts to look again at this case. ‘Where we do not believe someone has the right to stay in this country, we expect them to return home’.
£5,000 compensation for falling out of bed in Britain
A council employee was awared more than £5,000 compensation after falling out of bed while trying to answer the telephone. Council staff have received a total of £75 million in the past five years as compensation following accidents at work. A catalogue of farcical payouts revealed another worker got nearly £6,000 for breaking their wrist in a fall during a demonstration on a first aid course.
And it was taxpayers who paid most of the pay-outs, as many local authorities had to stump up large excess fees to their insurers. Manchester City Council, which awarded £2.6million to injured employees, revealed its insurers only footed the bill for compensation payments over £250,000.
The local authority was one of 13 councils which had to pay compensation totalling more than £1million to staff after admitting liability for accidents.
Birmingham City Council topped the list with 274 payments totalling £4.9million, followed by Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, which paid out £3million to 152 staff.
Some of the biggest payments were to ex-employees who had developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working for a local authority.
There were also hundreds of claims for slips, trips and falls in the workplace, as well as manual handling injuries to carers and labourers.
Teachers assaulted by pupils and refuse workers who had been injured during bin collections also received thousands of pounds in compensation payments.
But in some cases it seems the employee was lucky to win compensation. Lancashire County Council was forced to pay £5,500 to a member of staff who injured their back when they fell while getting out of bed to respond to a work call. And a teacher employed by the London Borough of Islington Council was awarded £9,065 after injuring their thumb with a school guillotine.
Huge sums of cash were also paid to employees who sustained seemingly trivial injuries. Dacorum Borough Council paid £7,750 to an employee who lost their toe nail when a pool table collapsed on it. And a member of staff working for Cookstown District Council in Northern Ireland was paid £16,549 after suffering cuts and bruising when he fell into a skip. Meanwhile Teignbridge District Council had to pay £5,017 to a member of staff who claimed “dust got into his eyes” while operating a manual street cleaner.
However, many of the claims were made following serious accidents.
An employee of East Sussex County Council was awarded £39,637 after being assaulted in a toilet by two colleagues during a Christmas party.
And £226,000 was paid by North West Leicestershire District Council to a member of staff who smashed his knee cap when he fell from scaffolding.
The Sun’s request for information under the Freedom of Information Act also revealed some bizarre workplace accidents.
Lancashire County Council paid £9,575 to an employee who strained their back while putting paper in a printer.
London Borough of Lewisham Council paid nearly £6,000 to an employee who broke their wrist when they fell over during a demonstration on a FIRST AID course.
Wiltshire County Council paid £13,842 to a staff member who was struck in the eye with a pool cue.
And Telford & Wrekin Council paid £1,500 to an employee who suffered multiple injuries when he fell into an open grave.
Meanwhile a member of staff who was poisoned by a cleaner with a bleach tablet was awarded nearly £3,000 by Harrogate Borough Council.
And Birmingham City Council had to pay £1,750 to an obese member of staff who was injured when using a “defective toilet unsuitable for a very heavy employee”.
In North Kesteven the district council paid £6,000 to an operative who injured their back while carrying a heavy bag of DOG POO.
And Gwynedd County Council in Wales paid £3,500 to an employee who injured their back while carrying a mere six tins of beans.
Meanwhile East Ayrshire Council in Scotland paid out £16,759 to an employee whose finger was bitten by a dog when they put a calling card through a mail box.
And a member of staff working for Newcastle Under Lyme Borough Council was paid £1,500 after suffering emotional distress when they were trapped in a lift due to an electrical fault.
Emma Boon, campaign director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, called on councils to bring down the number of avoidable accidents. She said: “The bill to taxpayers for compensation pay-outs is unacceptably high.
“While some staff might have legitimate claims because of negligence there is a worrying rise in compensation culture in local government offices. “It’s outrageous that people are getting away with making claims for things like falling out of bed or getting a huge wedge of cash simply for losing a toenail.”
The Sun’s request for information revealed councils have made 7,494 compensation payments to injured staff since 2006, totalling £74.6million. But the real total may actually be much higher because 20 per cent of local authorities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland failed to respond.
Fifty of the 348 councils that replied said they had made no compensation payments at all.
Lazy workers should be sacked without explanation, British government told
Firms would be able to sack lazy and unproductive staff without giving them a reason under a radical reform of employment law being considered by David Cameron. The Prime Minister has been warned that unless he makes it easier to dismiss those who ‘coast’ at work, it will stifle economic growth.
A report commissioned by Mr Cameron has recommended banning workers from claiming unfair dismissal so that companies and public sector bodies can find someone prepared to work harder.
The radical plans are contained in a study by venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft. He branded current employment laws ‘terrible’ and said that they are making it difficult for employers to find the workers they need.
A final draft of the Beecroft report, dated October 12, refers to ‘the terrible impact of the current unfair dismissal rules on the efficiency and hence competitiveness of our businesses, and on the effectiveness and cost of our public services’. It concludes: ‘The rules make it difficult to prove that someone deserves to be dismissed. This makes it too easy for employees to claim they have been unfairly treated and to gain significant compensation.’
Changing the rules would help lift the burden of red tape on small businesses who cannot afford to pay for the costs of industrial tribunals and wrongful dismissal lawsuits.
Mr Beecroft also takes aim at under performance in the public sector, where bosses often hand lucrative payoffs to unproductive employees to avoid costly tribunal cases. (They) accept inefficiency that they would not tolerate if dismissal of unsatisfactory employees was easier.
‘A proportion of employees, secure in the knowledge that their employer will be reluctant to dismiss them, work at a level well below their true capacity; they coast along.’
Mr Beecroft has recommended a new system called Compensated No Fault Dismissal, which would allow employers to sack unproductive staff with basic redundancy pay and notice.
His proposals are understood to appeal to Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, who have both called for an end to regulation on businesses.
But they will be fiercely opposed by the Liberal Democrats and the trade unions.
Last night a Downing Street spokesman made clear the Government has not decided whether to adopt the plans.
Nick Clegg said yesterday that employers will be given new powers to urge older workers to consider retirement without the risk of being sued for ageism.
The Deputy Prime Minister said firms should be free to have ‘frank discussions’ with underperforming staff regardless of their age.
Unveiling plans for a crackdown on red tape, Mr Clegg said ministers would change the law to allow employers to have ‘protected conversations’ with staff which could not then be dredged up in later employment tribunals as evidence of discrimination.
Fish could cut risk of dementia as it boosts blood flow to the brain
Wow! They found that fish oil did NOT affect mental performance but still think it MAY be a good thing! Nothing can shake the Omega-3 religion
Eating fish may boost blood flow to the brain which could stave off dementia in later life, researchers have discovered.
The health benefits of a diet rich in omega-3, a fatty acid found in oily fish, have long been suspected, and the findings of two studies into its effects on young people suggest that it can improve reaction times in 18-35 year olds as well as reducing levels of mental fatigue after they perform tough tasks.
Although the results suggest that, contrary to popular belief, taking omega-3 or fish oil supplements may not have an impact on the mental performance of young adults, the researchers at Northumbria University say the increased blood flow to the brain it caused could be important for older people.
Lead researcher Dr Philippa Jackson said: ‘These findings could have implications for mental function later on in life. The evidence suggests that regularly eating oily fish may prevent cognitive decline and dementia, and increased blood flow to the brain may be a mechanism by which this occurs.
‘If we can pinpoint both the behavioural and brain blood flow effects of this fatty acid in older healthy people, then the benefits for those with mental degenerative conditions associated with normal ageing could be that much greater.’
Researchers now plan to conduct a study on omega-3 use in people aged 50-70.