Grandmother moved 17 TIMES in the 19 weeks before she died
A heartbroken daughter has revealed how her mother was moved nearly once a week in the five months leading up to her death.
Heart patient Marion John, 84, was moved 17 times between three different NHS hospitals and her care home, before dying at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest on May 17 last year.
Her daughter, former nurse Megan Busby, criticised doctors telling an inquest at Milford Haven that the ‘communication was dire’ and said it was responsible for her mother’s rapid deterioration.
According to family members Mrs John, from Narberth, Pembrokeshire was ‘sharp and independent’ before the heart valve replacement surgery at Morriston Hospital in Swansea in January 2010.
Despite her death certificate stating that she died of bronchial pneumonia it was revealed at the court hearing last Friday that it was bleeding from the aorta that led to her death – a typical complication with someone of Mrs John’s age. It was only after Mrs John’s family disputed the cause of death and a post-mortem examination was ordered by the coroner that the internal bleeding was discovered.
Speaking out against her local health care trust Mrs Busby said: ‘The family had lost confidence in the care she was receiving.’
She added that her mother’s care home in Tenby, West Wales, Withybush hospital, the General Hospital in Carmarthen, and Morriston Hospital. failed to communicate effectively.
Mrs John developed a series of infections in the wounds in her chest, suffered internal bleeding at the point where a new heart valve was inserted and fell and broke her leg while at Morriston Hospital.
She was also due to be transferred from Withybush Hospital to Morriston Hospital but the ambulance had to turn around midway on discovering that there were no beds available, despite her pleading ‘with the crew to go on’.
Mrs Busby also told how her mother had been prescribed oxygen towards the end of her life, but she found her ‘gasping for air’ and not on ‘oxygen or fluids’. And when mother died, it took medics five minutes to arrive after she rang the call bell.
Hywel Dda health board apologised for the care and Iain Robertson-Steele, director of clinical care, at Withybush Hospital, said: ‘The health board regrets the distress caused by the circumstances surrounding this case and apologises to (Mrs John’s) family. ‘We will review the case in the light of the inquest to ensure any relevant lessons are learned.’
NHS medical staff with only eight weeks training are ‘doing the job of qualified paramedics’ due to budget cuts
How long will it be before Britain has the equivalent of Chairman Mao’s “barefoot doctors”?
NHS budget cuts have meant that medical staff with only basic first aid training are being sent out to emergency calls – instead of qualified paramedics. Emergency Care Assistants (ECAs) are being put in charge of ambulances attending life-threatening incidents such as heart attacks, chest pains and breathing difficulties.
But the ‘first responders’, who in some cases have only been trained for eight weeks, cannot administer life-saving drugs as they have not had the three years’ training given to paramedics.
It comes as the NHS suffers major financial cuts – with the axing of thousands of paramedics – and is occurring in half of ambulance trusts across England.
ECAs were introduced in 2007 to ease the pressure on paramedics. They are paid £17,400, some £12,000 less than their fully-trained counterparts, and were only meant to take patients into hospital and drive ambulances. But experts have revealed that some trusts are relying heavily on ECAs to perform front-line roles.
The Telegraph found that six out of 12 ambulance trusts in England sent two ECAs on 999 calls without paramedics. Five trusts said they refused to do so on patient safety grounds, while one trust revealed it does not employ any ECAs.
Jonathan Fox, spokesman for the Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel, said patient safety was being put at risk. He said: ‘Technically, they should be used for the non-urgent, non-life threatening calls and to back up front-line rapid response units. ‘The problem is that the waters are being muddied and they’ve ended up doing more high-priority calls where there’s a limitation of resources.’
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, added: ‘How will they cope if a supposedly non-urgent call-out becomes life-threatening?’
A spokesman for the Department of Health said the situation would determine who would be sent out. He said: ‘Ambulance service call handlers dispatch the most appropriate emergency care staff based on the clinical needs of their patients. ‘If a patients needs a paramedic then one should be dispatched.’
St Paul’s cathedral staff have to clean up human waste INSIDE the cathedral as “occupiers” use it as a latrine
Staff at St Paul’s have been forced to clear up human waste inside the cathedral, it emerged today. They have made several trips with mops to remove the mess found on a carpet inside the church near the West Steps – just yards from the anti-capitalist protest camp.
One cleric furious at the use of the building ‘as a latrine’ said: ‘ This is desecration of a very holy place. it hurts me and it hurts the staff.’ The cathedral workers have met senior clergy to vent their feelings over the clean-up.
St Paul’s has blamed ‘hangers on’ and not protesters at the tented camp which closed one of London’s most iconic attractions for a number of days last month.
Cathedral spokesman, The Rev Rob Marshall, told the Sunday Times: ‘We are aware of these kind of problems and raising them in our daily talks with camp members who we are not presuming at all are responsible.’
Two senior clerics have quit since the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp was set up on October 15 as part of a global campaign against corporate greed. The cathedral was shut on health and safety grounds, but reopened on October 27.
Today shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said the cathedral was wrong to shut its doors. He claimed the job of the church was not just to ‘comfort the afflicted, but afflict the comfortable.’ Speaking to Jeremy Vine, on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Alexander said the demonstrators were speaking to a ‘general unease’ in the country.
Meanwhile, vandals have spray painted ‘666’ next to the main entrance.The provocative ‘number of the beast’ was daubed in silver paint on a wall to the left-hand side of the Christopher Wren masterpiece. It was painted at head height in the middle of a silver painted heart near to the entrance and tagged LCDG! with an anarchist logo.
Protesters were pictured trying to scrub off the paint but were told to stop in case they damaged the building.
Worshippers and visitors to the historic place of worship, outside where anti-capitalist protesters are camping, reacted with outrage. June Burton, who has been worshipping at the Cathedral since she began working in the City in the 1970s, said: ‘It’s absolutely disgusting. There are no words really to say, just disgusting.’
Referring to the protest camp, the 69-year-old, from Essex, added: ‘The whole thing is unbelievable. ‘Where is it going to end? It’s an absolute eyesore.’
Tourist Ian Tomson, 59, from Melbourne in Australia, said: ‘I am not a Christian, but I find it horrendous – the devil’s number on the church.’
Photographer Will Hilton, 26 from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, who is camping with and documenting the protest, said: ‘I don’t like it. ‘We should be respectful to the Cathedral. I think most people are. But there are always people that take it too far.’
Annabel Watson, 75, from Devon, said: ‘It’s terrible, but I feel people are doing it to discredit these people.
One of the protest organisers Charles, 22 from the Isle of Wright, who has camped out for two weeks, said: ‘We condemn this. ‘We are trying to work with the Church as much as we can, but I can’t imagine its from us as there are no spray cans on site.’
Reverend Bob Marshall, speaking for the Cathedral, said: ‘It is abhorrent that anybody will do this. ‘We condemn those who deface the Cathedral in this way. ‘We have no evidence who is responsible for this until our security guys look into it. There are cameras around.
‘We just have to investigate. It’s not the first damage that’s been caused to the Cathedral since this whole story began. We are investigating each case and we are logging them. ‘But there is some evidence people are doing this because of our relationship with the protesters.’
Arrested and strip-searched for a ‘crime’ she knew nothing about — under unjust European law
A British woman was seized, strip-searched and jailed under the controversial European Arrest Warrant for an alleged crime committed by her then boyfriend 12 years before.
Tracey Molamphy, a 40-year-old secretary from Lancashire, was held while changing planes at Munich airport on charges she had no idea even existed. Told she would be extradited to Portugal, she spent two weeks in a cell and paid more than £20,000 ($30,000) in legal fees before the case was dropped.
Ms Molamphy is now suing the Portuguese authorities for wrongful imprisonment and mental anguish. The action, which begins this week in Lisbon, will be an important test of the EAW, under which anyone in Britain can be arrested, jailed and extradited on demand by any EU country without any requirement to produce evidence.
Ms Molamphy told London’s The Sunday Telegraph: “I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. Even the German police officer who took me to prison said it was ridiculous.” After a full body search, Ms Molamphy was forced to change into a prison uniform. She spent the next 14 days in a small cell, shared with a heroin addict, in which she was locked for 22 1/2 hours a day.
“Nobody told me anything,” she said. “I’ve never been in trouble with the police apart from this and I didn’t have any idea what it was about at first.”
Her detention, she learned, turned out to relate to an incident involving her then partner, Lee Chapman, while the couple were on holiday in Portugal in 1996. Unwittingly, she insists, Mr Chapman was in possession of about £120 of forged British currency. “He didn’t realise it was counterfeit,” she said. “When he tried to change it to Portuguese money, both of us were arrested.”
The couple were held in custody for 24 hours but were then released, as they believed, without charge.
“We weren’t allowed to make any phone calls or speak to a lawyer,” Ms Molamphy said. “We went to a hearing which was all in Portuguese with no translation and after that we were told to leave the country on the next plane.”
Ms Molamphy and Mr Chapman travelled freely throughout Europe and the world without incident for the next 12 years until they were changing planes at Munich airport in spring, 2008.
“They typed our names into the computer, and asked us to come with them,” she said. “We waited 30 minutes, and they came back and said they were sorry, they were going to have to arrest me.”
Entirely unknown to her, she says, the Portuguese had charged her with being an accessory to forgery and issued an EAW for her arrest. Mr Chapman was not the subject of a warrant, apparently because the Portuguese authorities did not have an address for him, and so he was not arrested. “When we found out what it was about he told the Germans it should be him in custody, not me, but they took no notice,” she said.
During her detention, Ms Molamphy was forced to hire three sets of lawyers – in Germany, England and Portugal – and was within hours of extradition to Portugal, where she faced months in custody awaiting trial and up to five years’ imprisonment if convicted. Her Portuguese lawyer secured her release on bail and, eventually, the dropping of the charges.
“It was horrible,” she said. “It’s really affected me. It’s knocked my confidence and I was really down about it for a long time. We spent a lot of our savings on legal fees. We worked hard for that money, and it was really hard to lose it.”
The couple’s relationship ended 18 months after the arrest. “It was due to a lot of things, but this didn’t help,” she said. The Molamphy case is the latest controversy involving the European Arrest Warrant, introduced in 2003 as a “fast-track” extradition system between EU countries.
Under the EAW, previous requirements for prima facie evidence were dropped and British courts have been stripped of most powers to resist extradition. Thousands of people in Britain have been seized by police, imprisoned here and eventually extradited, many for crimes that would never be prosecuted in this country and might not even be criminal offences at all in British law.
The Sunday Telegraph has campaigned for reform after highlighting victims of the system, including a British motorist who spent months in custody fighting extradition to Poland on charges of having a forged car insurance certificate, and others seized on charges of failing to pay their credit card bills.
Last week, Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, lost his appeal against an EAW extradition from Britain to Sweden, where prosecutors want to question him on allegations of sexual assault. Mr Assange told supporters: “I have not been charged with any crime in any country. The EAW is so restrictive that it prevents UK courts from considering the facts of a case.”
Jago Russell, the chief executive of the charity Fair Trials International, which helps those faced with unfair foreign criminal proceedings, said: “Tracey is the victim of a fast-track extradition system which is being used for the most petty crimes and years after the alleged offence.
“Her case is just the tip of the iceberg: last year alone over 1000 people were extradited from the UK under these laws. Until they are reformed, many more are going to suffer this kind of terrifying ordeal.”
Despite a string of controversial cases, however, a recent British Government review, conducted by a retired judge, ruled the EAW was not unfair.
British drive for more discipline in school: New teachers must show they can control pupils
Trainee teachers will be instilled with a zero-tolerance approach to ill discipline in school. They will be taught to bring back the traditions of pupils standing when a teacher enters the room and of keeping quiet in corridors.
A trainee unable to prove they can control a rowdy classroom will not qualify for a teaching post.
The radical shake-up by Education Secretary Michael Gove is designed to raise standards in state education. New teachers will have to punish any pupil who steps outside strict codes of behaviour. They will learn to discipline, or even send home, students who fail to turn up to their class without the right equipment – such as a pencil and paper.
All trainees will have to sit personality tests to prove their resilience and ability to remain calm under pressure. And the majority of their training will be conducted on the job in a classroom – rather than in a university lecture hall.
Headmasters will have the power to sack teachers who cannot control their class.
Mr Gove will also announce that graduates with first-class degrees will be handed £20,000 bursaries to train for a year as teachers.
The reforms to recruit only the best come as figures show 10 per cent of teachers leave the profession after a year – often because they cannot handle a class.
Yesterday, the Daily Mail revealed that some teachers were handed jobs despite failing numeracy tests up to 37 times. Mr Gove has limited the number of resits a trainee can take to two from 2012.
The new system of tapered bursaries will be introduced for postgraduate trainees. Students with first-class degrees are expected to receive up to £20,000 to teach secondary school subjects such as maths, physics and chemistry, which suffer the biggest staff shortages.
They would receive £13,000 to teach ‘medium priority specialisms’ such as languages, IT and design and technology, and £9,000 to teach other secondary subjects and to work in primary schools.
Students with a 2:1 degree would get £15,000 to teach shortage subjects, while those with 2:2s would receive £11,000.
Funding will be withdrawn for graduates holding less than a 2:2 degree. The tax–free bursaries can be spent however the student wishes, but it is likely that there will be an obligation to remain in the profession for an agreed period once they have completed their training.
The funds for the scheme will be found within the existing £500million teacher training budget. It is also expected that funding will be axed from some undergraduate teacher training courses as part of a shift toward training in schools.
This September, 100 schools, ranked ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, were given specialist ‘teaching school’ status entitling them to grants to train new staff.
However, unions warned that the academically brilliant do not necessarily make good teachers. ‘We all want the brightest and best but having a first-class degree is no guarantee that you are able to communicate with children,’ said a spokesman for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
‘The best teachers have an enthusiasm for their subject and an understanding of how children develop. If teachers do not have the ability to convey their knowledge and passion to pupils, their academic brilliance is not going to do pupils any good.’
Scrapping wind farms in favour of nuclear and gas would save each Briton £550
Shelving expensive wind farms in favour of cheaper nuclear and gas-fired power stations would save every Briton almost £550, it is claimed. Government plans to cut pollution by a third by 2020 rely heavily on wind power and will cost £108billion to implement, an accountancy firm has calculated.
But shifting the emphasis away from turbines and towards nuclear and gas-fired power stations would slash the bill by £34billion, according to KPMG. This equates to around £550 for every person in the country.
The preliminary conclusions of the Thinking About the Affordable report come as spiralling gas and electricity bills have left millions worrying about how they will keep warm this winter.
The average annual dual fuel bill stands at £1,345, almost double the £740 of five years ago.
Bills are predicted to rise another 25 per cent over the next four years, taking one in four households – 7.25million – into fuel poverty.
Wind turbines produce around 5 per cent of the country’s electricity, or enough to power 3.2million homes. This will increase around five-fold by 2020 under plans to raise the amount of green energy produced, while cutting carbon emissions.
But wind power is one of the most expensive forms of electricity generation to build. For instance, an offshore wind farm capable of powering 800,000 homes would cost £2.4billion. The bill for an equivalent power station fired by gas, a cleaner alternative to coal, would come in at £400million, or one sixth of the amount.
Power station: Nuclear power could prove to be more economical than wind
Wind farms and nuclear power stations cost similar amounts, but turbines are seen as more expensive as depending on nature means they often operate at a fraction of full capacity.
KPMG, which advises the Government on energy pricing, says wind power is too expensive. Mark Powell, the report’s author, said: ‘Taking a clinical economist’s view of hitting our carbon-reduction targets for the least cost shows we can reach our goal for a lot less. ‘However, to do this, the most expensive forms of renewable energies, particularly offshore wind, need to be scaled back.
‘Trying to meet carbon targets with a heavy reliance on renewable energy was a laudable vision but … it’s time to face facts on how the huge level of investment may translate into fuel poverty.’
He said focusing on gas-fired and nuclear power plants would help Britain reach its target of a 34 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide by 2020 and increase the level of energy from renewable resources to 15 per cent. The bill, which will be footed by the consumer, would fall from £108billion to £74billion.
But the wind industry said the figures do not factor in points such as the farms being cheaper to run or benefits of not being reliant on imported gas.
The Energy Department echoed the criticism, saying KPMG ‘ignored long-term benefits to customers of energy sources that involve no on-going fuel costs’. [But DO involve huge maintenance costs]