Student whose father begged doctors to keep his daughter in hospital jumped to her death hours after they let her go
They knew better, they obviously thought. They should at least have given her medication for a depressive illness
A coroner yesterday criticised a hospital for discharging a student hours before she killed herself by jumping from the 13th floor of a tower block.
Victoria Nye’s father Graham had begged doctors not to let her leave and warned staff: ‘If she goes back to her flat she will throw herself off the balcony.’
Coroner Keith Wiseman described the inquest as ‘as troubling and concerning as any I have dealt with over the best part of 20 years’.
In a report, he said that a risk assessment was ‘inadequate and incomplete’, indicated that no address or contact details were taken when Miss Nye left the hospital and said note taking was ‘sloppy’.
And he questioned whether doctors had been ‘naive’ in believing she had somewhere safe to sleep and would not touch alcohol the night she was discharged.
He also questioned if they could have done more to persuade her to stay. He added: ‘The public might find it extremely difficult to accept that it could possibly have been correct to allow Victoria to leave hospital when she was to die in such a horrendous fashion only a few hours later.
‘It may be particularly difficult for a family not to take that view when Mr Nye had so recently been pleading with the hospital not to release her because of his concerns.’
Miss Nye, 22, who wanted to be a doctor, checked herself into the Department of Psychiatry at Royal South Hampshire Hospital, Southampton, following eight years of mental health issues.
But she discharged herself two and a half weeks later, on March 3 last year, after psychiatrist Dr Andes Ekelund changed her diagnosis from bipolar to ‘a serious personality disorder’.
Doctors were unable to detain her because they did not believe she met the requirements of the Mental Health Act, despite her father pleading with them to keep her in hospital.
Hours later she plunged more than 130ft from the balcony of her Southampton flat. The court heard that Miss Nye was ‘bright and clever’ but boasted of ‘misusing’ her intelligence to ‘deceive’ doctors. But Mr Wiseman added: ‘She clearly met a number of relevant criteria for being allowed to go.’ He recorded a verdict of suicide.
The inquest heard that ‘all of the weaknesses identified in the hospital’s Critical Incident Review have now been addressed’. [Ha!]
Doctors and carers told the dying ‘must be given religious support’ in new NHS guidelines
Doctors and care workers have been told to ensure dying patients are given religious support and care at any time of day or night.
The latest NHS guidelines also insist that their final wishes, such as being able to die at home, are carried out. Doctors will have to draw up individual ‘death plans’ to ensure such patients end their days with dignity.
The guidelines, from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, aim to improve treatment following concern that the wishes of many patients are ignored. They say dying patients should have access to religious or spiritual leaders, including NHS chaplains, and interpreters.
Health professionals must also ensure they provide 24/7 services in a ‘safe, effective and appropriate way at any time of day or night’.
This includes access to GPs, one-to-one nursing care at home overnight and psychological support. The move is intended to cut the number of terminally ill patients being taken into hospital against their will.
Surveys show 80 per cent of the public want to die at home, but 60 per cent end up dying in hospital. The guidance, which applies to those with 12 months to live, draws on standards already operating in the NHS.
Simon Chapman, of the National Council for Palliative Care, said: ‘We only get one chance to get it right for people at the end of their lives.’
Don’t rage at the laughing burglar – save it for the clowns who let him go free
By Peter Hitchens
At last we know what thieves really think about the people whose lives they ruin. A bitterly funny and honest letter from a burglar to his victim disposes for all time of the notion that there is any point in being nice to crooks. Remember that this creature has actually been caught and is in the hands of the police. Is he trembling and afraid? Not exactly.
He explains: ‘I have been forced to write this letter… To be honest I’m not bothered or sorry about the fact that I burgled your house. Basically it was your fault.’ The victims, he argued, knew they lived in a high-crime area, so they shouldn’t have left a window open.
What is doubly funny about this is that it is almost exactly the same message given to honest citizens by our defeatist police. They, too, are always telling us that if we are robbed, it is our fault for not turning our homes into fortified bunkers. They assume that nobody has any morals or conscience any more, and also that robbers are no longer afraid of the law.
And why should they be afraid? They know the law won’t hurt them, or punish them. The courts yearn to find some excuse to let them go – because otherwise the prisons will burst.
It was while seeking an excuse to let the laughing burglar off that the police told him to write to his victim.
They let him off anyway – no prison, just an ‘electronically monitored curfew’ and 25 hours a week of so-called ‘structured activity’. The more syllables these phoney sanctions have, the less they mean. They mean ‘let off’.
Letting criminals off is what we are good at. Nearly 30,000 habitual criminals were also let off last year with cautions, after they had returned to crime.
The prisons are bursting because hundreds of thousands of people who were once afraid of the law now laugh at it. Eventually, after 15 or more crimes, the state locks them up for a few weeks in an effort to look tougher than it is. But it is just for show.
This is all quite obvious. Our Government refuses to learn from it because it is the slave of a foolish, Leftist dogma, that crime is a disease caused by hardship. It is not. It is human evil let loose, and till we return to that view, it will get worse. Like the laughing burglar, I’m not going to show any sympathy for the clowns who have got us into this mess and keep us there.
No doubt you agree with me, in which case why do you keep voting for the clowns? That’s the bit I don’t understand.
Mr Injustice Bean says that it is not a crime to swear at the police because they hear foul language too often to be offended.
On the same principle, the time will come when burglary, mugging, GBH and even murder will no longer be crimes, because we have all got used to them happening all the time. Well, when that day comes, we won’t need Mr Bean any more.
Useless British police again
They are only good for harassing inoffensive people over trivialities — like helping put a silly man in jail for 4 years for “holocaust denial”
Police abandoned the streets to opportunistic looters during the August riots, an inquiry has concluded. By not getting a grip at the outbreak of the violence, officers allowed the impression to take hold that the streets had been surrendered to thousands of yobs. Disturbingly, the report added that unless police improve their response few rule out the prospect of riots in the future.
The official inquiry into the five days of violence – which cost the country at least £500million – concluded the shameful scenes were not motivated by ‘politics’. Instead, the rioters’ main objectives were getting their hands on ‘luxury branded goods’ which ‘confer instant status’. The report describes looters queuing up inside shops to get the best products, trying on trainers in the wreckage of stores and admitting their motivation was ‘greed’.
The panel, established by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, concluded: ‘Rioters believed they would be able to loot and damage without being challenged by the police. In the hardest-hit areas, they were correct.’
Labour MPs had claimed the shocking scenes witnessed in August, which included 5,000 crimes and five fatalities, had been sparked by Coalition cuts. But panel member Heather Rabbatts said: ‘These were not riots that were political, these were particularly characterised by opportunistic looting and very much targeted at brands.’
The panel, which interviewed those who lost their homes and businesses, said the vast majority believed the ‘sole trigger’ for disturbances was the perception that the police ‘could not contain’ the scale of rioting in the capital.
Between 13,000 and 15,000 people were ‘actively involved’ in rioting which swept across the country between August 6 and 10. More than 4,000 suspected rioters have been arrested with nine out of 10 already known to the police, the study said. More than 5,000 crimes were committed – and there were five deaths.
There were 1,860 incidents of arson and criminal damage, 1,649 burglaries, 141 incidents of disorder and 366 cases of violence against the person.
The final bill could be around £500 million, with up to £300 million of claims under the Riot Damages Act and £50million on policing London.
Miss Rabbatts said scenes from Tottenham, North London, in which it ‘looked as if police were backing off’, led to a ‘perception that the streets were there for the taking’.
The panel members, headed by Darra Singh, have a long history of working in the public and voluntary sector. Mr Singh has worked for homeless charities and was chief executive of two local councils. Miss Rabbatts spent time as a barrister and a BBC governor.
They were joined on the panel by Baroness Sherlock, of the Refugee Council and the National Council for One Parent Families, and Simon Marcus, who founded the Boxing Academy for teenagers at risk of gang crime.
Riots broke out in Tottenham on August 6, two days after the fatal shooting by police of 29-year-old Mark Duggan. Unrest spread to other cities, including Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.
Mr Singh said: ‘Our research has also led us to conclude that riots of this nature will happen again unless immediate action is taken.’
The Riots, Communities and Victims panel painted a devastating picture of a country in which ‘some would argue consumerism is the new religion’. It said: ‘The desire to own goods which give the owner high status (such as branded trainers and digital gadgets) was seen as an important factor behind the riots.’
Looters repeatedly targeted the same types of shops across the country, including Footlocker, JD Sports and electrical stores. The panel went on: ‘The ownership of luxury branded goods confers instant status. It is therefore perhaps not surprising these goods became the rioters’ main objectives.’
The panel, demanding much improved planning from police in future, said: ‘The police decision to withdraw to the periphery of riot-hit areas left many communities feeling they had been abandoned.’
The panel also called for insurers, who were accused of a ‘poor response’ in some cases, to do far more to pay compensation claims promptly.
It also called for an overhaul of the 1886 Riot Damages Act, which is used to claim compensation from the state.
An Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman said the riots had presented ‘considerable challenges’ to the police.
Britain’s poor whites ‘feel like they are last in line for council housing’
White working class people believe they are the last in line for state handouts, welfare help and council housing, a report by a respected research group said yesterday. It said that many think if they complain they will be silenced with the charge of racism.
The inquiry by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said that many white people in poorer districts use ‘racialised language that would be unacceptable to many reading this report.’ But it found that such rough language is regarded as normal by the people who use it, that they regard themselves as tolerant and welcoming, and that they hate being labelled as racist.
The Rowntree report also said that, contrary to the fears of many politicians and left-wing commentators, white working class people do not turn to far-right politics or organisations like the British National Party. Instead, it said there was ‘active distaste’ for racial extremism and the far right, and people were outraged that their views were taken as indicating they supported racist parties.
The report, produced by Professor Harris Beider of Coventry University was based on interviews with residents of three working class districts and findings from focus groups drawn from people who lived there. People with lower incomes from Aston in Birmingham, Canley in Coventry, and Somers Town in North London, took part in the project.
Professor Beider said: ‘The way that people from working class white backgrounds are portrayed is often negative, which doesn’t reflect the reality of the pride most people hold in their community, nor their strong work ethic, and collective values.
‘It is important to confound negative stereotypes and understand that people in these communities feel their voices are not listened to, and that they have no stake in their community. They want to be valued, heard and connected to government.’
The inquiry comes in the wake of wide concerns over the past five years over the resentment felt in by white people in poorer parts of the country.
Former Labour minister Margaret Hodge said in 2007 that her white constituents in Barking in East London felt they had little chance of getting council or housing association homes because newly-arrived migrants were given priority in the queues.
However fears that disaffection would lead to large-scale support from the BNP or other far-right extremists in places like East London or Stoke-on-Trent were proved groundless when the BNP collapsed in the 2010 general election.
The report from Rowntree – whose chief executive Julia Unwin was an adviser to Gordon Brown during his premiership – said that the allocation of social housing should be seen to be fair. This would ‘counter widespread perceptions of queue jumping or preferential treatment for certain groups.’
Since the 1970s council and housing association homes have been awarded not on the basis of waiting lists compiled largely from the names of local people, but on the basis of a points system in which ‘need’ is important. Families who are newly-arrived in a district can often score highly in terms of points if they are jobless or can say they have inadequate housing.
The report said that terms like ‘community cohesion’, coined after the 2005 London bombings when Labour ministers decided to abandon the left-wing doctrine of multiculturalism, mean little to working class white people.
Instead equality programmes are associated with political correctness or attempts by selected groups to siphon away state money. One project in Birmingham was described by a white resident as ‘run by Asians for Asians’.
White working class people, the report said, ‘are proud of their working class identity and the values it stands for – working hard, looking after each other, pride in the community.’
The report said white working class people deeply resented being painted as political extremists. ‘The association of the white working class with the far right follows an established (and false) narrative going back to the rise of Oswald Moseley in the East End of London,’ it said.
‘Since this point, the white working-class has been labelled as hostile to race and immigration: teddy boys in the 1950s; dockers in the 1960s; skinheads in the 1970s; and the rise of the BNP since 2000.’
A probiotic drink that reduces irritable bowel symptoms
Note that this occurred among severe IBS sufferers so is no warrant for general use
For the first time in three years, Lynette McMeekin is looking forward to her staff Christmas party.
Previously, the nurse from Newcastle has declined the invitation — bloating and pain caused by her irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) made the idea of socialising unthinkable. ‘It left me feeling so bloated and exhausted that all I could manage was to go to work, do the odd bit of shopping and come home,’ says Lynette, 53, who has an adult son. ‘And I was so bloated that when I was at work I often felt embarrassed even walking across the ward.’
Around one in five people in Britain are affected by IBS, thought to be caused by a sensitive gut.
But Lynette’s symptoms were eased by a new drink containing ‘friendly’ bacteria, suggested to her by a colleague. ‘My attitude was “Not another probiotic!”, but I decided to give it a go,’ says Lynette. After a few months the bloating and discomfort have gone.
The drink she tried has just been the subject of a large British trial — one of the first to show convincingly that probiotics can make a difference to health.
In the study at King’s College London, 186 patients with IBS whose symptoms had not responded to conventional treatments were given the new probiotic in the form of a drink, at a dose of 1ml of drink per kilo of bodyweight. Two-thirds were given the drink every morning before breakfast for three months, while the remainder were given a placebo.
The severity of the symptoms of IBS is normally plotted on a scale up to 500. ‘Before taking part, the average scores for our patients was about 300,’ says gastro-enterologist Professor Ingvar Bjarnason, who led the study at King’s. ‘At the end of the study, those taking the placebo went down to 270. ‘However, the average score for those taking the active drink dropped far more, to 220. ‘When you consider that with a score of 150 a patient would have no symptoms, it shows you how significant a reduction this was.
‘It did not work for everyone, but around 60 per cent of those on the active product showed an improvement.’
Professor Bjarnason says he believes the key to the success of his trial lies with the fact that the drink contains four strains of probiotic (many contain only one) and the bacteria used in the drink (called Symprove) were live. Many products consist of freeze-dried bacteria, which means that they are inactive until they mix with fluids in the digestive system, and a proportion will not survive the process.
‘I was really surprised by the results because I went into this trial thinking probiotics are a lot of nonsense,’ says Professor Bjarnason. ‘That is what a lot of doctors think, because there have never been robust trials conducted on them.
‘Probiotics are classed as a food, so trials of them don’t need to be as rigorous as they would be if they were classed as drugs — but we did carry out this one rigorously.’
He says that some patients experienced a relapse of symptoms once they stopped taking the drink. ‘My suspicion is that this treatment would need to be given for three months at a time twice a year, but we don’t know for sure yet,’ he says.
The average person’s gut is home to around 1,000 different types of bacteria. ‘There is a lot of evidence that people with IBS have insufficient quantities of beneficial bacteria in their gut,’ says Peter Whorwell, a professor of medicine and gastroenterology at the University of Manchester.
However, how probiotics might help with IBS is unclear. ‘Previous studies on probiotics have not involved so many people,’ says Professor Whorwell.
‘We generally say that if a treatment can produce a 50-point reduction in the severity of symptom score, then it is worth doing — so having a reduction of 80 points is significant. ‘However, it is impossible to be sure of the full significance of this study until all the study data is published next year.’
Must not say that suicide can be selfish
When it leaves behind a young family it can be — though it is of course also an awful thing that someone could feel so despairing. Suicide counsellors do use reminders of the effect on family to deter the act
Footballer Joey Barton was at the centre of a controversy over comments he made on Twitter about Gary Speed’s death, describing suicide as a ‘selfish’ act.
Welsh football legend Gary Speed was tragically found hanged at his home on Sunday morning in what is thought could have been a suicide. Like countless others, Barton took to Twitter to speak of his shock at Speed’s death and paid tribute to him.
He posted: ‘Just hearing about Gary Speed, to say am shocked is an understatement. ‘My thoughts are with his family and friends. Really sad news.’
However, his tributes were then swiftly followed – with astonishingly tactless timing – by his views on suicide. The outspoken footballer added: ‘Suicide is a mix of the most tragic, most selfish, most terrible (and I want to believe preventable) acts out there.’
As Twitter users bombarded Barton in an online backlash, the star – unrepentant – branded his critics as having ‘half a brain’ instead of apologising for his offensive comments.
White woman arrested for saying what many Brits think
She must have been really fed up to shout it in public. Maybe she was hormonal or hypermanic. But there is an element of truth in what she said. British living standards have been declining steadily for at least five years and that decline is very visible and highly regrettable to most Brits. And ever-increasing taxes are a large factor in the reduced disposable income
And there are at the same time a large number of welfare dependant blacks in Britain who exhibit the high level of criminality that one always gets from blacks. The thought that sending blacks back to their countries of origin would both reduce the welfare bill and reduce levels of crime is therefore hard to escape.
She got a good answer to her attack on the Poles though. Polish immigrants who come to Britain come to work — generally doing work that the Brits are too lazy to do.
The 34-year-old from New Addington in Croydon, south London, was held on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence after a video came to light on YouTube.
The two-minute clip showed a woman insulting passengers while holding a toddler on her lap in a full tram carriage on the Croydon to Wimbledon service in South London.
She can be heard saying: “What has this country come to … with loads of black people and a load of f—— Polish.
“Sort out your own countries, don’t come and do mine, Britain is nothing now, Britain is f— all, my Britain is f— all now.”
When a passenger points out there are children on board, she replies: “Yeah fine, I’ve got my little kid here.”
Tension almost boils over when the incensed woman attempts to pronounce “Nicaragua” and a young black man has to be calmed down by others.
The passenger continued to try to stop the woman insulting commuters and said: “If we didn’t come here you guys wouldn’t have people to work. We have to come here and do the work for you.”