Old lady dies after THREE-HOUR wait for ambulance following slip on black ice
An 88-year-old pensioner died after she was left lying on a freezing cold pavement for three hours while waiting for an ambulance, it has been alleged.
It is thought Doreen Wignall fell on black ice causing a head injury as she crossed a bridge in Ludgershall, Wiltshire.
Repeated calls were made for an ambulance without success while members of the public gave her first aid – including stemming the blood with kitchen towels. People even supplied duvets to protect her from the rain.
Eyewitnesses say a paramedic turned up after 65 minutes – followed nearly two hours later by an ambulance. However, the pensioner died two days later in Salisbury District Hospital. It is understood the family think she may have lived if the ambulance had got there sooner.
Yesterday top Wiltshire County Councillor Chris Williams and the statutory patient watchdog The Wiltshire Involvement Network demanded the Great Western Ambulance Service conducts an urgent inquiry into the ‘unacceptable’ three hour wait.
Mr Williams – who represents Ludgershall on the council – fumed: ‘The ambulance took three hours to get there which is a dreadful situation. ‘I have been in contact with the Great Western Ambulance Service and there must be an inquiry into this. This must not happen again. ‘We have had problems with the ambulance service before in this area. It is unacceptable. The family is very upset by what happened.’
Phil Matthews – who is chairman of the Involvement Network – added: ‘I am very concerned about the information forwarded to me about the three hour wait to get to this lady. There should be an inquiry and it must be done very quickly.’
Grandfather John Binsley, 71 – who gave first aid to Doreen – said: ‘I revived her after she fell unconscious. ‘She fell on the black ice. It had been raining. It was an hour and five minutes before a paramedic turned up. I used my kitchen towels to stem the blood from the wound. The ambulance arrived so much later – probably nearly two hours.’
The Great Western Ambulance Service yesterday refused to comment about the three hour wait. They released a statement that said: ‘We have been notified by the coroner about the outcome of this incident on Saturday 17 December and will be co-operating fully and openly with the resulting inquest. We will also be carrying out a thorough internal investigation.’
Mrs Wignall’s daughter Mrs Julie Pickernell did not want to talk about what happened.
An inquest opened at Salisbury yesterday into the death of Mrs Wignall from Ludgershall, Wiltshire. Deputy Wiltshire Coroner Peter Hatvany was told she died from a Intracranial bleed following a fall at Ludgershall. She was identified by her daughter Julie Pickernell.
£466 to replace a light, £242 for a new padlock and £75 on an air freshener
Labour Party’s botched PFI deals have sent NHS costs soaring… and there’s a £60 BILLION bill for taxpayers
Hospitals have been forced to shell out £242 just to change a padlock and £13,704 to install three lights as a result of Labour’s botched PFI deals.
Taxpayers have been left with a £60billion repayment bill for hospitals built under the private finance initiative – leaving 22 trusts facing major financial difficulties.
As part of the deals, hospitals had to sign contracts under which they agreed to pay hyper-inflated prices for maintenance work.
Freedom of Information requests have revealed some of the most stunning examples, including £525 to move three beds, and £466 to replace a light fitting.
Ministers are angry over the findings, which provide further information about how Labour’s PFI debt is crippling the NHS and burdening taxpayers.
Under PFI schemes, private firms paid for the building of new hospitals, with trusts repaying them over 30 or more years, with interest.
But due to the nature of the deals, the ultimate total cost is often far more than the value of the assets.
Trusts also agreed to pay firms for maintenance of the properties, meaning the firms can charge exorbitant sums as there can be no competition. Often, trusts pay a fixed sum for maintenance, meaning if they do not need much work done over a year, each individual piece of work becomes very expensive.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘These figures show the true legacy of Labour’s poorly negotiated PFI deals – hospitals being forced to spend extortionate sums on private contractors rather than spending that money on helping sick patients get better. ‘Unless we take action, these post-dated cheques left to us by Labour could seriously impact on patients.
‘This government is working with trusts with PFI-related financial problems. We will not make the sick pay for Labour’s debt crisis.’
Earlier in the year, it was revealed that 22 hospital trusts had appealed to the Department of Health for help after finding the bills posed a threat to their clinical and financial sustainability. Ministers are now considering what help they can give to hospitals with the most challenging PFI deals.
Examples of the shocking amounts charged under the agreements include County Durham and Darlington NHS trust, which had to shell out £525 to move three beds.
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals trust paid out £8,450 to install a dishwasher, £929 to install a double data point and two double electrical sockets. North Staffordshire trust was charged £13,704 to install three lights in the garden.
North Cumbria University Hospital Trust is paying £2million to its PFI contractor for maintenance work. This included £466 to replace a light fitting and £184 to install a bell in reception – even though bells can be bought on Amazon for £2.99.
Emma Boon, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Taxpayers will be shocked to hear of the hyper-inflated prices hospitals have to pay for maintenance work because of badly negotiated PFI deals. ‘These arrangements have left a scandalous legacy which taxpayers will bear the cost of for years to come. Taxpayers want the NHS to spend money treating sick patients, not wasting it because of PFI.’
Last night Labour’s health spokesman Andy Burnham said: ‘The last Labour government used PFI deals to support the biggest hospital building programme in the history of the NHS, modernising the service after 18 years of Tory neglect. ‘This massively expanded the capacity of the NHS and helped to drive down waiting times.’
British stores ‘ashamed’ to sell religious cards… but obscene ones litter the High Street
I couldn’t find any Christian cards in the Australian supermarket that I go to either. But I got some from a nearby small Indian shop where the owner reads the Bhagavad Gita!
Supermarkets have become ‘ashamed’ of selling Christmas cards with religious themes, Christian leaders said yesterday. They claimed a creeping ‘multicultural indoctrination’ had led to an aversion to Christianity, and that shops were worried about stocking cards that might offend other faiths.
The rebuke to Britain’s big four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – came as a snapshot poll by the Daily Mail revealed the tiny number of religious cards on sale.
Christmas cards emblazoned with obscenities are on sale across Britain’s High Streets. One card showing a quintessential 50s family inside a wreath reads ‘Merry Christmas W*****’, while another depicts a pair of carol singers with the words ‘Merry F****** Christmas.’ A third says: ‘Merry Christmas You F****** F*****.’
In total, dozens of the explicit cards are on sale in branches of Scribbler. Each costs around £2.50.
Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, said: ‘You don’t have to be a prude to see this is inappropriate at what is, after all, a special time for families.’
Christian Concern’s Andrea Williams added: ‘Christmas is a time when we remember the birth of Jesus, a message of hope and peace for all people. It is a great shame if Scribbler use it to promote obscenities.’
In the branch of the store in London’s Kensington High Street, the filth-ridden cards are part of a large display containing other family-orientated festive greetings.
One shows Santa saying: ‘Shh! Nobody knows I’m gay’ while another shows him with a cigarette in hand and the words: ‘F*** off! I’m smoking.’
A third shows a cheery-looking Father Christmas with the phrase ‘YOU ain’t getting s***!’
But Scribbler’s managing director John Procter described the cards as having a ‘schoolboy’ sense of humour. ‘It’s our company policy not to use expletives or such words in a gratuitous way. If we think it makes a joke then we will use one,’ he said. ‘We do group all of these rather rude cards together and keep them at eye level so children can’t see them.
‘I understand why some people might find them offensive. But they really are our best sellers and in reality we get very few complaints.’
Of 6,576 cards sold individually, just 36 – 0.5 per cent – featured scenes such as Jesus in a manger or angels.
Multi-packs fared little better, with only 5 per cent of 1,337 on sale at the stores visited containing at least one card that reflected the season’s Christian message.
One store, a Tesco in Manchester, didn’t have a single religious card on sale. Many others had just one or two.
The worst offender overall was Asda, which had just four Christian cards out of 2,638 sold individually across all the stores visited – 0.15 per cent. It also had the lowest proportion among multi-packs, with 13 out of 427, or 3 per cent.
Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said: ‘I can’t believe this is being led by consumer demand. ‘I believe there is anti-Christian prejudice in the buying departments involved.
‘There’s too much of this multicultural indoctrination and too much of an idea that if they put out Christian cards they will alienate or discriminate against or offend other faiths.
‘There’s a kind of militant atheism and nasty secularism at work in this country which is completely opposed to Christianity.’
Dr Don Horrocks, of the Evangelical Alliance, said supermarkets were ‘helping to kill off the Christian theme at Christmas’.
‘There appears to be an aversion in society to Christianity being public,’ he said. ‘Supermarkets appear to be ashamed to put cards on shelves because there is a perception it is dodgy.
‘Half a per cent of cards with religious themes when 70 per cent of people describe themselves as Christian shows this is totally out of kilter with the country.’
The Bishop of Colchester, the Right Reverend Christopher Morgan, said Christmas church services were among the most popular of the year. He added: ‘It is disappointing that so few of our Christmas cards now portray symbols and scenes at the heart of the Christmas story.’
The comments follow the Pope’s criticism of ‘aggressive secularism’ in Britain during his visit last year.
And last week Prime Minister David Cameron called on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to speak up for Christianity.
The Mail visited stores owned by the four biggest supermarket chains in seven areas – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Colchester and Witham, London, Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
An Asda spokesman said: ‘We sell a variety of cards that meet the demand of our customers.’
Tesco said: ‘Our religious Christmas card range has increased for the second year running.’
Sainsbury’s also said that what appeared on shelves was based on customer demand, adding: ‘It is wrong to suggest we are ignoring religious themes at Christmas.’
And Morrisons said its range of religious cards included a multi-pack aimed at children that included the Nativity scene.
Another triumph for multiculturalism in Britain
Afghan rapists aged just 16 caught on camera ‘elated’ after horrific sex attack on woman, 20. Another example of Muslim respect for women in action
Two teenagers subjected a woman to a terrifying rape ordeal after stalking her and abducting her as she left a nightclub. Jailat Khan and Shahzada Khan, both just 16, were caught after they were captured on CCTV celebrating their sickening attack in Leeds city centre.
The victim, in her early 20s, was on the phone to her boyfriend asking him to get her a taxi at around 2am when she was dragged into a doorway. He could hear her screams for 30 seconds before the line went dead. She was then raped.
The pair have now been jailed for the shocking attack. A court heard the pair, both Afghans, were prowling the streets on June 12 this year looking for an easy target when they came across their victim.
The defendants spotted the woman and followed her after she left the HiFi club in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and one spoke to her when she stopped at a bus stop while the other was looking around assessing the area. The pair then struck from either side bundling her into a fire exit doorway.
Jason Pitter, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court she was pushed to the ground and when she screamed Shahzada put his hand over her mouth. She could hear Jailat laughing and tried to struggle but was overpowered. Jailat raped her while his accomplice held her down.
Mr Pitter said: ‘While on the mobile phone to her boyfriend, he had the misfortune of hearing the attack begin. ‘He heard her become distressed then say ‘Get off, get off, what are you doing’. He heard her scream for 30 seconds before her line went dead.’
The defendants ran off when they were disturbed but Shahzada was then captured on CCTV making a playful bowling motion. The prosecutor said they appeared ‘elated’ after the attack. ‘Those actions do not portray the grave nature of their conduct moments before,’ said Mr Pitter.
Two men heard the victim’s distress and went to her assistance. She was hysterical and pleaded with them not to leave her alone saying ‘Why has this happened to me? Why have they done this to me?’ When the police arrived they found her sitting in the doorway hugging her knees, shaking, crying and muttering.
Jailat Khan, of Beeston, Leeds, was ordered to be detained for five years and Shahzada Khan, of Leeds, was ordered to be detained for four years after both admitted kidnap and rape.
Sentencing the pair on Tuesday, Judge Christopher Batty said they had targeted a vulnerable woman alone in the city centre and the effect on her was ‘immeasurable’. ‘Not a day passes without her suffering flashbacks and nightmares. She has not been out since these events, her confidence has gone and she is currently taking anti-depressant medication.’
The judge, who lifted a ban on their identities because of the severity of the attack, said: ‘I have been to that alleyway and it is a very cold, miserable, frightening place and I can’t even begin to imagine how the complainant felt. It is a very dark and lonely spot.’ He told them had they been adults the sentence would have been longer but he had taken into account their plea sparing the victim a trial and their age.
The Khans were identified following an appeal. Jailat Khan’s DNA was found on the woman and while in custody, he was found to have a ‘worrying attitude to women’ and threatened to rape a member of staff.
After the case Det Supt Paul Taylor said: ‘This was an extremely shocking incident and is thankfully something which I have never seen before in my many years as a detective.
‘After stalking lone women until they were able to find a victim, they then celebrated their crimes in full view of CCTV cameras. This proved to be their undoing.’
Now Brussels clobbers British holidaymakers with a green tax on flights: Family of four forced to pay £80 more to fly to America
A green tax imposed by Brussels will cost a family of four £80 more to holiday in the U.S. The controversial levy comes into force on January 1. A ruling yesterday by the European Court of Justice means any airline using any EU airport will be subject to the environmental charge.
This will add an estimated £21 to the price of a return flight to America. It comes on top of charges to be introduced in April by the UK Treasury which will add to the burden faced by British holidaymakers. In all, the cost to a family of four of a return flight to Florida will rise by a daunting £344.
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is designed to curb emissions from aircraft jet engines of carbon dioxide. From January 1, all airlines will be required to buy a ‘permit to pollute’ to cover the cost of their carbon emissions plus extra costs if they exceed their emissions limit.
The court yesterday rejected a challenge from the U.S. and other non-EU nations that the levy infringes their national sovereignty and violates international aviation treaties.
The cost will almost inevitably be passed on to passengers, and the EU calculates the cost will be £10.50 on a one-way transatlantic flight – or £21 return. For many shorter flights it will be up to £1.75 each way.
The EU does not have power to raise direct taxes but can impose expensive regulations on businesses in member states, which have a similar effect. The money raised each year by the sale to airlines of the ‘pollution permits’ will go back to the country in which the airline is based, rather than to Brussels.
The ECJ rejected an American challenge that the scheme violates the Open Skies treaty prohibition against unilateral taxation or discriminatory treatment.
It is especially bad news for British passengers, who will be forced to pay twice over because the Government also imposes the Air Passenger Duty departure levy, known as ‘the poll tax of the skies.’
Last month the Daily Mail revealed how Mr Osborne had finally abandoned all previous Government pretence of using Air Passenger Duty as a ‘green tax’ and admitted in a letter to European airport bosses that it was now ‘fundamentally a revenue-raising duty’ which provides Treasury coffers with £2.5billion a year.
Yesterday’s decision sparked fury from countries outside the EU and threatened to ignite a transatlantic and worldwide trade war with Britain and the rest of the European Union. The rejected lawsuit was brought by U.S. and Canadian airlines acting through the trade organisation Airlines for America and backed by Russia, China and other non-EU countries.
They object strongly on ‘sovereignty’ grounds to being forced to pay ‘green’ taxes to foreign governments. A Bill currently going through the U.S. Congress will even make it illegal for airlines to pay them.
Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘It’s unacceptable. The last thing people need at this time of year is the EU sticking extra taxes on us. Families are struggling to make ends meet as it is.’
Britain’s main Leftist newspaper going broke
Guardian News & Media is to shrink the Guardian, axe its Film & Music supplement, and reduce its sport supplement to a two-days-a-week publication as it battles to stem pre-tax losses of more than £40m a year.
It will also reduce the number of pages in the Guardian’s flagship supplement G2, under wide-ranging changes to be introduced in January.
The media group, which also publishes the Observer newspaper, is briefing staff about the changes today and early next week. “As part of our digital first strategy, we have been looking in detail at how we produce our newspapers and website, and over the next few days we will be telling staff about our plans for a new, simplified production process,” a spokesman said.
“This will be introduced in January, along with some changes to the printed Monday to Friday Guardian. The changes to the paper take account of changing patterns of readership and advertising and are based on research with our readers.”
GNM will continue producing the Guardian’s sports supplement on Mondays and Saturdays, but every other day it will be folded into the main newspaper, which will itself have space squeezed due to a reduction in the number of pages. The Film & Music supplement will be replaced with a section in G2.
Last year GNM, which is propped up by the Scott Trust, went £43.8m into the red. The previous year the figure was £57.9m. The reduction in the Guardian’s activities is part of an effort to make £25m of savings over the next five years, which is also expected to include large-scale job losses.
The group is still seeking volunteers for redundancy but is expected to start the firing gun on compulsory redundancies in the new year, after too few volunteers came forward. Insiders say the company plans to cut around 100 jobs in total, although a Guardian spokeswoman said she did not recognise that figure.
GNM has cut more than 300 jobs in the last two financial years, reduced pagination and closed The Guardian’s media, education and society supplements. It is also considering closing the £80m printing plant it opened just six years ago, leading to further job losses.
It has opened talks with Trinity Mirror, owner of the Daily Mirror, about shifting its Berliner printing presses to the red-top’s Watford plant.
At one point it considered abandoning its print products altogether, but Andrew Miller, chief executive of GNM’s parent company Guardian Media Group, has told staff it will continue to have a print presence “for the foreseeable future”.
Class war as British universities seek to break ‘middle-class monopoly’
Students applying to university will have checks made on their school and family background under a move to create a more diverse student population.
Two thirds of universities will use data covering students’ social class, parental education or school performance next year to give the most disadvantaged candidates a better chance of getting on to degree courses, reports the Daily Telegraph.
For the first time next year, they will be required to set targets for the number of disadvantaged students being admitted in a move that coincides with a sharp rise in tuition fees. It represents an escalation of the current rules that merely require institutions to generate more applications.
Figures suggest that more than 20,000 students at almost 100 universities are already admitted to degree courses each year using contextual data and this number could rise in 2012 and beyond. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills insisted that it was ‘valid and appropriate’ to use this information to pick out applicants with ‘potential’.
Private schools will be alarmed at the move as this scheme risks penalising academic pupils from top performing schools.
In the latest study, researchers surveyed almost 100 universities on their use of contextual information. The report, by the organisation Supporting Professionalism in Admissions, which advises universities on admissions policies, found that 41.5 per cent of institutions used this data to admit students in autumn 2011.
But it said that almost 63 per cent of universities ‘indicated that they plan to use it in the future’, including for next year’s admissions when tuition fees will rise from £3,000 to a maximum of £9,000 a year.
The survey suggested that universities aligned to the elite Russell Group, which represents Oxford, Cambridge and other leading institutions were ‘more likely to be using contextual data’ than other institutions.
Almost 23 per cent of universities said they were planning to make ‘lower offers’ to some candidates from poor backgrounds — potentially awarding them places with worse A-level grades than students from top schools. This was up from 18 per cent in 2011.
Meet the extreme breast-feeders
One uses her nanny as a wet-nurse. Another took drugs to fool her body into producing milk. How the ‘breast is best’ mantra can become an obsession
Sarah Hastings came across a problem familiar to many new mothers when her daughter was six months old. Desperate as she was to persuade her baby Zoe to take a bottle instead of being breast-fed so she could get back to work, the little girl refused to do so.
What might not be so familiar to other mothers was 46-year-old Sarah’s solution — having another woman suckle her child instead.
Her nanny Mary, who was still breast-feeding her own 18-month-old daughter at the time, was only too happy to step into the breach. ‘With this solution it meant I could get back to work with much less worry and guilt,’ says Sarah, a professional singer married to Martin, a 50-year-old school chaplain.
‘People are astonished when I tell them my child-minder also breast-fed Zoe — but why is that considered so very odd? In previous centuries, wet nursing was very common indeed, especially among the upper classes.’
It may sound strange but in what experts are now calling ‘extreme breast-feeding’, many mothers are going to extraordinary lengths to make sure their babies get the best possible start in life.
Take Cass Fisher, from Epsom, Surrey. Having adopted a ten-month-old girl from India — who until then had spent her entire life feeding from a bottle in a foster home — she was determined to breast-feed her new daughter.
So, months before the adoption had even gone through, she used an electric breast pump four times a day to kick-start milk production. She took herbal supplements known to boost lactation and later, a high dose of a drug called domperidone, which is sometimes given to mothers of newborns because it increases the levels of the breast-feeding hormone prolactin and stimulates lactation.
Then, when her daughter finally arrived, she bought a ‘milk supplementer’ to wean the child from bottle to breast. This £20 contraption is essentially a bottle with an attached tube. It can be filled with either formula or expressed milk by the mother who places the tube over her nipple so that when the baby sucks, it receives milk from both the breast and the bottle.
All this required hours of patience and a fierce determination but Cass, who’s in her mid 40s, insists it was worth it. ‘The benefits are so obvious,’ she stresses. ‘I see my daughter becoming more attached to me and feeling more safe and secure and I know that breast-feeding is a big part of that. It’s a lovely, enjoyable thing for us to share that I never thought I would be able to do with an adopted child.’
Though Cass can only be commended for her perseverance, her decision to trick nature to such a degree is clearly controversial. There are concerns in some quarters about the long-term health risks of tampering with hormone levels, particularly as studies show that some breast cancers are fed by hormones.
‘A woman who has not gone through the hormonal changes of pregnancy is forcing the body to do something it is not prepared for,’ warns Dr Marilyn Glenville, who specialises in natural alternatives to hormone treatments. ‘I always think there could be a consequence to doing something against nature and nobody has done this for long enough to monitor the long-term effects on the mother or baby.’
Breast-feeding counsellor Clare Byam-Cook, meanwhile, is concerned that women are putting themselves under intolerable emotional pressure to nurse a baby against all the odds. Though a passionate advocate for breast-feeding, she is deeply troubled that some are prepared to go to what she describes as ‘extraordinary lengths’ to do it.
‘Women are being brain-washed into thinking that breast-feeding is the only way they will bond with their babies and guarantee their perfect health,’ she says. ‘They feel they must go to these extraordinary lengths — even if it is to the detriment of their baby’s happiness and wellbeing. ‘There’s an entire industry today based around creating breast milk which is not naturally present, and putting even more pressure on women.’
Clare has noticed a rise in adoptive mothers who feel compelled to breast-feed. ‘A few years ago two sisters from London asked me to help them breast-feed their babies, which they had each adopted from America,’ she says.
‘I was astonished to find they were older women in their 50s. They had filled themselves up with hormones and artificial supplements to try to stimulate their milk production but their milk supply was still inadequate and their babies looked miserable and underweight. ‘It was awful watching them desperate to breast-feed and seeing their tiny babies crying and pulling away as they were forced to suck on an empty breast — it must have been torture for all of them.
‘Eventually I suggested they gave the babies a bottle of formula milk, which they immediately gulped down and then fell into a contented sleep for the first time in their young lives.’
Lynn Adams was diagnosed with a condition called mammary hypoplasia after her daughter Mailey, now three, was born. It meant she couldn’t produce enough of her own milk to feed her daughter who, after ten days, was so dehydrated she had to be treated in hospital.
Most mothers would have given up but not 34-year-old Lynn, from Chatham, Kent. She spent £90 on a lactation consultant, and was then prescribed domperidone by her GP to boost her milk supply.
She also used a milk supplementer system while nursing to boost the baby’s consumption.
Occupational therapist Lynn used expressed milk with Mailey, her first child, and, while she found it fiddly and rather time consuming, relished the opportunity it gave her.
‘To me, there is so much more to breast-feeding than just the milk,’ she says. ‘You establish such a close bond and there are so many health benefits to the baby.’
While Lynn, who also used the same method after giving birth to her six-month-old son Robin, is delighted with the results, Clare Byam-Cook is not convinced it would work for everyone.
‘I think that many of the artificial devices are tiring and stressful for a new mother and frequently don’t solve the problem,’ she warns. ‘I cannot see how it can be good for you to fill yourself up with artificial hormones to boost a naturally low milk supply. ‘If breast-feeding isn’t working, I’d much rather women bottle-fed their babies and were relaxed and happy.’
The sad fact is, thought, that for many, turning to a bottle goes hand in hand with a crushing sense of guilt.