One in three NHS hospitals and care homes is breaking the law on dignity and respect
Nearly one in three hospitals and care homes are failing to treat patients with dignity and respect.
Inspections of thousands of hospitals and homes around the country revealed a shocking disdain for the plight of the frail, sick and vulnerable. Some nurses are failing to treat patients ‘as equal human beings’, said Cynthia Bower, head of the Care Quality Commission watchdog.
In some cases, care is so poor that patients are even denied help with the basics of life, from eating and drinking to going to the toilet.
Residents in some care homes are even being forced to get up as early as 4am to be washed in order to ease staff shortages during the day. Thirty per cent of NHS hospitals and care homes are breaking the law on treating patients with respect and dignity, an analysis of the 9,500 inspections and spot-checks carried out by the CQC between April and November this year revealed.
In some cases, ‘do not resuscitate’ orders had been placed in patients’ medical notes without their relatives being informed. In another, a relative who had asked for a care home resident to be given a greater choice of meals was told to pay for takeaways.
Other examples include patients who were given food but no help to eat it. In one ward, doctors had to put dehydrated patients on drips after finding they had not been given a drink for more than ten hours.
Inspectors also found nurses at some institutions are serving up evening meals at 3pm – for their own convenience.
Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, said that the elderly are particularly prone to be neglected. She said: ‘Patient Concern has been going for 12 years and we have been getting these reports from patients and relatives every single week for these 12 years. Sometimes they make me cry.’
The Daily Mail has highlighted the scandalous treatment of the frail and aged as part of its Dignity for the Elderly Campaign.
Miss Bower said that elderly patients told inspectors they just wanted to be treated with kindness. She said: ‘What we were looking at was the basics of everyday life: being fed, being taken to the toilet, being dressed – just being treated in a dignified way was absent in some places.’
Meanwhile, an unprecedented investigation has been ordered into claims the board of the CQC has been barred from questioning whether Miss Bower should continue in her role as chief executive.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has appointed Gill Rider, president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development to probe allegations that the CQC’s board had been ‘sidelined’ for questioning the watchdog’s leadership.
Girl dies of blood clot after being sent home by doctor
She should have had a scan and been put on clotbusters straight away
Shannon Deakin, a teenage girl, collapsed and died after suffering a blood clot hours after she was sent home from hospital with antibiotics. Shannon, 16, had been complaining of pain in her legs and abdomen for three days before her leg turned red and she went to an out-of-hours surgery.
But a doctor send her home with antibiotics – after telling her parents she “either had an infection or a clot.” Just hours later, she collapsed and died at her home in Barnsley, South Yorks.
Her parents, Bryan, 58, and Sue, 43, desperately tried to revive their daughter after her collapse last Sunday. Mrs Deakin said: “This doctor examined her, said her leg was red. “He said it was either an infection or a clot, and he was going to treat her for an infection.
“He gave us antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and said if it wasn’t better in 24 to 48 hours, to make an appointment with our regular GP and ask for a scan. “But Shannon kept complaining of pain when we went home, and 12 hours later, she just collapsed into the settee.
“Until then we had no idea there was anything seriously wrong – Shannon was still insisting she had just slept in an awkward position. “She was my only daughter, and we are absolutely devastated.”
Her parents had taken Shannon to an out-of-hours surgery run by Care UK at Barnsley hospital on Saturday morning. The family is considering legal action, believing the doctor should have done more.
Mr Deakin said: “The problem with that out-of-hours surgery is, too many people use it when they could go to their ordinary doctor. It was full of people with the sniffles. “I thought it was supposed to be about emergency care.
“Shannon had been complaining of an ache in her leg since Thursday – but it didn’t seem like there was much cause for concern. “She had said her leg was sore a few hours after we came home from the hospital, and then she just collapsed. “She wasn’t breathing. I tried giving her the kiss of life, while I was talking to the paramedics on the phone, and just screaming at her.
“I just couldn’t believe it. It was years ago I did the training. You never think for a minute you’ll have to use it on your own daughter.”
Student Shannon wanted to be a midwife, and was studying health and social care. Roger Goodwin, deputy head at her former school, said: “She clearly had a shining future ahead of her.”
An NHS Barnsley spokesperson said: “Our deepest condolences are with family and friends at this time.
“Working closely with our local health partners, including Barnsley’s out-of-hours service provider which is based at the hospital, we will undertake a full review of the circumstances leading to this tragic event.”
Never, in the history of Britain, has the fact that Belgium is 30 miles away mattered less
I think Britain should leave the EU and join NAFTA instead. I am sure they would find Americans and Canadians a whole heap easier to deal with. A similar language and legal system is a heck of a good start. And airfares between London and New York are very reasonable these days. Lots of Brits shop in NYC anyway — JR
At last a British Prime Minister has done it. Finally, a leader has been prepared to put the national interest first and say ‘no’. The taboo has been broken. David Cameron’s refusal to sign us up to any new European treaty could have profound consequences.
It leaves the rest of Euroland free to forge ahead on fiscal fusion – a common tax policy, single economic policy, and ultimately a single government. As early as March, most of the new Euroland’s laws will be made in Brussels and economic rules in Frankfurt.
But Britain need no longer be part of it. Instead of Britain leaving the European Union, this week’s events raise the intriguing possibility that the rest of Europe might quit instead – leaving us bound together by a trade arrangement, and not much else.
‘But we’ll be isolated!’ howl the Europhiles. Predictably, the BBC has spent the past couple of days grimly warning that Britain is now heading for the sidelines.
The same clownish commentators who a decade ago told us that we were ‘little Englanders’ for not wanting to join the euro have taken to the airwaves to say much the same again. There is, insist the advocates for everything European, a danger that we will be shut out, cast adrift in a hostile, friendless world.
Listening to such claims, I wonder how the Europhiles imagine that this country ever rose to global prominence in the first place? It was precisely when our leaders started to say ‘no’ to entanglement in endless European imbroglios that this small island off the north-west coast of Europe became a global economic and commercial powerhouse. Far from being fearful of detaching ourselves from Europe, doing so might allow us to resume the role we successfully played for centuries.
Almost 500 years ago, Henry VIII was even more intransigent in his European negotiations than David Cameron. He did not just take on the leader of France, and the then grand continental elites. He repudiated the entire idea of Papal supremacy. The breach that followed was not simply a matter of theology – or of his trouble with wives. It helped set us apart from Europe and many of Europe’s titanic power struggles in the years that followed.
In the 17th Century, Stuart monarchs tried to align themselves – and the rest of us – to Europe again. We got drawn back into continental power politics – even bailing out several of the king’s continental cronies.
Perhaps, like the Europhile elite who today insist we bail out the eurozone, the Stuarts felt more in common with the princely rulers of Europe than their own people who they left to pick up the tab. When Charles I lost his head, he was executed by those suspicious not only of the king and his Europhile courtiers.
Cromwell and the Parliamentarians – like the great mass of British voters today – were instinctively distrustful of continental entanglements. They felt they had more in common with East Anglian settlers living in the New World than with the French or the Dutch in the Old.
By the mid 17th Century, we were well on our way to being more than merely European. We planted colonies across the world: America, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. When the wealth created by trade with these colonies sparked the industrial revolution, we found many of our greatest markets in India, China and south America – not just in Europe. Far from being ‘little Englanders’, by the end of the 19th Century we were trading with the whole planet.
When Europhiles claim that it is Britain’s historic role to join the eurozone, they have presumably never heard of its precursor, the Napoleonic Continental System?
Like the eurozone, the Continental System was a single market, protected by high tariff walls designed to keep out cheaper imports. Like the eurozone, it was doomed to fail precisely because the longer its members remained part of it, the longer they were cut off from global trade and prosperity being created elsewhere on the planet.
The single European currency is just the latest in a long line of attempts by European elites to arrange the affairs of the Continent by grand design – from Napoleon’s France to Kaiser Bill’s Germany and beyond.
What is remarkable is not that David Cameron should find himself reverting to the traditional British detachment. Rather it is that it should have taken Britain’s political leaders so long to have reached this position 40 years after we made the historic mistake of joining the Common Market.
When Britain joined what became the European Union in the early Seventies, it accounted for 36 per cent of global GDP. It has been downhill ever since. By 2020, what we joined will account for 15 per cent.
Far from being a member of the world’s most dynamic trade bloc, we have shackled ourselves to a corpse. While the euro club has been in decline, the world on which we turned our back has prospered.
In the past decade alone, China’s economy has expanded by more than 140 per cent, India’s and Brazil’s by more than 70. The fastest rising economic indices in Europe, meanwhile, are likely to be those for debt and inflation.
Advocates of closer British integration into Europe often like to point out that we still do more trade with Belgium, than with China, India and Brazil combined.
That is precisely the problem. Outside the moribund West, the world is witnessing an explosion of wealth creation. Indeed, the economic take-off in China, India, Mexico, Brazil and east Asia today is perhaps without any precedent in human history. We could be part of it if we would only detach ourselves from sclerotic Euroland.
Far from taking a step into the dark, we would be rejoining old friends. Britain could once again take her rightful place as part of the global Anglosphere – that sprawling collection of English-speaking countries, with which we already have much in common; Australia, Singapore, India, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States.
Britain has a long history of independence from Europe. Indeed, we have been at our happiest and most successful as a people when we have stood apart from a continent of grand power politics and grand designs, and instead joined in with the whole world.
If, in the age of steam trains and sail boats, we were able to forge such close links with millions of people around the planet, think of the possibilities in the age of the internet.
Never has geographic proximity been less important when determining economic success. Thanks to broadband and Skype, competition and markets located half a world away is a mouse click away. The fact the Belgian coastline is a mere 30 miles away has never seemed so unimportant.
I leave the last word to a Frenchman. When General de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s application to join the European project, he declared that it was because when forced to choose between Europe and the open ocean, Britain always chose the open seas. He was right – and perhaps he understood our history better than we do ourselves.
How Europhile BBC turned triumph over Britain’s veto into disaster
The BBC was accused of reporting Britain’s veto of the eurozone rescue plan as a national catastrophe rather than a tough decision David Cameron was forced to make.
Conservative MPs said the broadcaster’s ‘biased’ coverage began on Radio 4’s flagship Today programme and continued throughout the day on radio and television.
Presenters used solemn tones to inform listeners about Britain becoming isolated following David Cameron’s refusal to sign a new treaty.
In some cases, it was several minutes into news bulletins before the BBC got round to reporting Mr Cameron’s explanation of why he had resisted pressure to hand over more powers to Brussels.
On Radio 4’s 6am news bulletin, Justin Webb announced gravely: ‘Leaders of 23 EU countries are to draft a new fiscal pact to help stabilise their currency WITHOUT the involvement of Britain.’ He added: ‘President Sarkozy accused David Cameron of making a deal between all 27 countries impossible.’
It was a full two minutes into the broadcast before listeners heard Mr Cameron’s remarks explaining why he was forced into exercising Britain’s veto.
Mr Cameron’s refusal to give in to Germany and France’s demands was the lead story on most of the BBC’s outlets yesterday.
Concerned: BBC Business Editor Robert Peston gave ‘grave’ warnings about the eurozone veto today
Tory MP Peter Bone complained: ‘The BBC seemed to be using language that suggested it was a disaster. It was being pro-EU and anti-British, and it was in marked contrast to how other major news organisations reported it.
‘In fact, it was a triumph for Britain and a triumph for the Prime Minister. When it comes to Europe, the BBC is institutionally biased.’
Downing Street declined to comment, but insiders said Mr Cameron’s aides were resigned to him coming under attack from ‘pro-EU media outlets’ including parts of the BBC.
On Today, Business Editor Robert Peston informed listeners they should be ‘concerned’. He warned gravely: ‘For Britain, frankly, that is massively important because, if the eurozone goes down, the impact on the British economy will be hideous.
‘It would inevitably tip us back into a very severe recession. So we should be concerned that this deal to save the world doesn’t seem to have materialised.’
On the BBC TV One O’Clock News, presenter Sophie Raworth began with: ‘David Cameron has dramatically refused to sign a new treaty designed to resolve the eurozone debt crisis’ – even though critics pointed out that the proposed treaty had merely sought to stabilise, rather than to resolve, the crisis.
Viewers then had to wait until almost 1.03pm to hear Mr Cameron’s remarks on the story.
Last year, BBC Director General Mark Thompson accepted the corporation had previously been guilty of a ‘massive’ left-wing bias. He also confessed that the BBC’s coverage of Europe had been ‘weak and rather nervous’.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister’s comments on the developments in Europe have been a central part of our coverage throughout the day. ‘The coverage has reflected the story as it has unfolded and featured a wide range of voices.’
More than 1,000 failing British primary schools are facing closure
More than 1,000 primary schools face closure or takeover after failing to hit Coalition targets in English and maths.
Official league tables published next week will reveal they are still not ensuring youngsters get a good enough grasp of the three Rs, despite the billions poured into education under Labour.
Ministers have warned that by the end of this year, headmasters must meet a minimum of 60 per cent of 11-year-olds reaching the standard expected in English and maths.
Schools failing to reach this target can gain a reprieve if they prove children are making necessary progress between the ages of seven and 11.
The escape clause is designed to counter critics who claim some schools are punished for having large numbers of pupils from troubled backgrounds, who are far behind their classmates.
Last year, school-by-school data published by the Department for Education showed 962 primaries – which were attended by 269,000 pupils – failed to hit the official benchmarks.
However, full results were only recorded for 11,500 schools after almost a quarter boycotted the tests.
Education experts expect the number of schools failing to meet the targets to rise to around 1,200 when the data for all primaries in England is published on Thursday.
These substandard schools will go on a Government ‘hit list’. They face being closed and reopened as academies under the leadership of a new headmaster, or being merged with a successful neighbouring school. The weakest 200 will be pulled out of local authority control and converted into academies as early as next September.
Schools are supposed to ensure that at least 60 per cent of their pupils gain ‘level four’ – the standard expected of their age – in both English and maths. They are also expected to satisfy ‘pupil progress’ measures designed to chart improvement between the ages of seven and 11.
Statistics show that 74 per cent of 11-year-olds reached ‘level four’ this year in English and maths, up from 73 per cent last year. However, this still means more than 142,000 do not understand the basics.
Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said: ‘Since overall performance has only gone up by 1 per cent, one could expect 1,200 or more schools are failing to meet the expected standard this year.
‘It’s very disappointing so many children are leaving primary school not able to handle words and numbers properly. ‘The Government is quite right to want to tackle this.’
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, accused ministers of being heavy handed, adding: ‘Having failed to persuade the majority of primary schools to become academies, the Government has resorted to bullying.’
Two-day diet could reduce breast cancer risk
This is pure speculation. The diet does seem to be one way to achieve weight loss but there is NO data on its effect on cancer incidence
Contrary to the usual assertions, some big studies show that fat women get LESS breast cancer. See the links in the sidebar here
Women can lower their risk of breast cancer by 40 per cent by following a two-day ‘life saver diet’ it has been claimed.
Two-day diet could reduce breast cancer risk
Researchers at the University Hospital in South Manchester are claiming that observing a strict two-day diet, rather than trying to constantly cut calories, is a more effective way to loose weight.
The study, lead by Dr Michelle Harvie, and presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, found that women who followed a diet for just two days of the week lost more weight than those practising a full-time diet.
The researchers put 100 overweight female volunteers on one of three diets. The first diet consisted of consuming just 650 calories a day for several days of the week, with carbohydrates such as potatoes and bread cut out. For the remaining five days of the week the participants, whilst encouraged to eat healthily, could consumer whatever they liked.
Although volunteers on the second diet were also banned from eating carbohydrates for two days in a week, they were not set a specific calorie limit.
They were also allowed to eat as much as they wanted for the remainder of the week. The third and final group followed a more conventional diet, which included avoiding high-fat foods, alcohol and sticking to approximately 1,500 calories every day.
The results of the study showed that after three months the women on the two day diets had lost an average of nine pounds, compared to five pounds of those on the full-time diet.
Volunteers who had followed the two day diet had lost nearly twice the amount of weight of those on the more traditional full-time diet, and recorded significant improvements in three key areas linked to breast cancer. Their levels of hormone leptin dropped by 40 per cent.
Research professor Gillian Haddock, who also took part in the study herself, has said she would recommend the diet to friends and that she found it an easier diet option.
Mrs Haddock said: “I used to follow the 650-calorie diet on a Monday and Tuesday and it was great because I knew that by Wednesday I would be eating normally.
“It really suited me, I did it on my busiest work days and I would mainly have the milky drinks while I was at work so I didn’t have to worry about shopping or taking in a specially prepared packed lunch.”
The research, conducted at the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre at UHSM, was published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Pamela Goldberg, chief executive of the Breast Cancer Campaign said: “There are many breast cancer risk factors that can’t be controlled, such as age, gender and family history – but staying at a healthy weight is one positive step that can be taken.
“This intermittent dieting approach provides an alternative to conventional dieting which could help with weight loss, but also potentially reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.”
Nigel Farage explains what is happening in Europe