Five nurses suspended from children’s ward after ‘restraining a baby’
Four nurses and a healthcare assistant on a children’s ward have been suspended over allegations that a baby was ‘restrained’. The incident happened on Wednesday at Scunthorpe General Hospital and police and NHS managers have launched an investigation.
So far the hospital has refused to confirm exactly what happened and nurses working there say they have been ‘sworn to secrecy’. But it is believed the parents of a baby being treated on Disney Ward complained that nurses had been too forceful.
The local hospital trust launched an inquiry and Humberside Police were called in to investigate. In the meantime, the four nurses and support worker have been suspended.
Young children often have to be held down by doctors and nurses while they are given an injection, such as a lumbar puncture, where a sample of fluid is taken from the lower back.
Sometimes it may take several members of staff to keep a small child still, particularly if they are in a lot of pain or distress.
It is not clear yet whether the four nurses and support worker were directly involved in the restraint or if they were simply working on the ward at the time. Last night a nurse working at the hospital told the Mail: ‘We have all been sworn to complete secrecy. There is nothing more we can say about the incident – it’s just not worth our jobs.’
Wendy Booth, of the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS trust, which runs Scunthorpe General Hospital, said: ‘We can confirm an incident has occurred which the trust is investigating. ‘We are keeping the family fully informed. It would not therefore be appropriate to comment further at this stage.’
A Humberside Police spokesman said: ‘Police can confirm that a complaint is being investigated following an incident at Scunthorpe General Hospital. ‘This is currently in the very early stages and police are working closely with the NHS trust to fully establish the circumstances of the case.’
NHS accused of putting ‘do not resuscitate’ notices on patients with learning disabilities without consulting with their families
A leading charity has accused NHS staff of thinking patients with learning abilities are not worth treating, often giving them ‘do not resuscitate’ notices without telling their families.
A Mencap report said the deaths in NHS care of 74 people with learning disabilities could have been avoided – and were a direct result of institutional discrimination.
Mencap said the staggering number of deaths had occurred in the past decade, and it called on the Government to ‘make the NHS safe for people with a learning disability’.
Its report – titled Death By Indifference: 74 Deaths And Counting – found continued discrimination in the NHS, and examined the progress made since the publication of its original Death By Indifference report in 2007.
The charity said that, although some positive steps had been taken in the NHS, many health professionals were still failing to provide adequate care to those with learning disabilities.
In particular, it pointed to the inappropriate use of ‘do not resuscitate’ (DNR) orders on such patients.
The report said: ‘The inappropriate use of DNR orders has remained a constant feature of many Mencap cases. There have been circumstances where DNR notices have been applied without the knowledge or agreement of families, and applied hastily in inappropriate situations, solely on the basis of the person’s learning disability.’
Report authors said they uncovered common errors made by healthcare professionals, including failure to abide by disability discrimination law, ignoring crucial advice from families, failing to meet even basic care needs, not recognising pain and distress, and delays in diagnosing and treating serious illness.
Mencap said it believed this was underpinned by an assumption by some healthcare professionals that people with a learning disability were not worth treating.
Mark Goldring, Mencap chief executive, said: ‘The report confirms that, five years on from our landmark Death By Indifference report, many parts of the NHS still do not understand how to treat people with a learning disability.
‘At Mencap we continue to hear heartbreaking stories of unnecessary deaths and pain. Sadly we believe that these cases are just the tip of the iceberg.’
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: ‘This Government has made very clear its commitment to improve the health of people with learning disabilities.
‘We share Mencap’s concerns that some people with learning disabilities may not be receiving the high-quality healthcare that they should expect.’
In the conclusion to its report, Mencap says: People with a learning disability have a right to the same quality of healthcare as those without a learning disability. Getting it right for them will also mean getting it right for all vulnerable people, such as older people and those with dementia.
‘The government must act to make all the changes necessary to make good healthcare a right for all.
580 foreigners a DAY got a job in Britain last year… as the number of British-born unemployed soared
There really are “Jobs Britons won’t do”. The notoriously feeble British work ethic and strike-proneness make the recent trends entirely understandable. Besides, why work when you can live as well or better on welfare payments? If I were an English businessman, I wouldn’t employ a whingeing Pom either
AROUND 580 foreigners landed a job in the UK every day last year while the number of British-born workers collapsed, official figures revealed today.
The Office for National Statistics said the number of British-born workers with a job crashed by 208,000 last year. But this is the exact opposite of what is happening to foreign-born workers, with numbers jumping by 212,000 last year.
Figures also revealed that women bore the brunt of the latest rise in unemployment, as figures showed today the number of female jobseekers has leapt to its highest rate in 23 years. Two thirds of the 48,000 extra unemployed in the last quarter were women, as Britain’s jobless rate rose for the eighth month in a row.
More than a million women are now unemployed in this country, the highest number in nearly a quarter of a century and a rise of 91,000 over last year, according to the think tank IPPR.
Young workers have also been hit hard by unemployment, with over million aged 16-24 now jobless, and nearly 250,000 unemployed for more than a year.
The total number of those out of work in the last quarter of 2011 leapt to 2.67 million, a jobless rate of 8.4 per cent, the worst figure since the end of 1995. Numbers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance rose by 6,900 in January to 1.6 million, the 11th consecutive monthly increase.
Of the 48,000 out of work in Britain at the end of last year, up to 33,000 are women and the remaining number of over 15,000 are men.
More than 530 workers every day are losing their jobs as Britain’s unemployment crisis deepens, official figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed today. Between October and December, 48,000 people joined the swelling ranks of 2.67million unemployed people in this country.
This means around one million people have lost their job since the credit crunch struck in August 2007, and face a battle against other desperate jobseekers to find another one.
The resulting clamour for employment means there is an average of almost six people chasing each job vacancy, with record numbers forced to accept part-time work because they could not find a full-time job.
Ministers insisted there were ‘encouraging signs of stability’ in the labour market, but one union boss today gave a bleaker outlook, describing ‘the worst employment prospects for Britons since the recession began.’ Other union bosses also rounded on the Coalition in light of the rising unemployment figures
The number of women claiming the allowance increased by 1,500 last month to 531,700, the highest figure since the summer of 1995.
Reacting to the figures, Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the think-tank, Migrationwatch, described the extraordinary increase in foreign-born workers as ‘quite extraordinary’. He said: ‘Given the continued increase in the number of British workers who are unemployed, it seems quite extraordinary that some employers are still employing agencies to recruit workers from overseas.’
Recently, the Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, was asked about why one branch of the sandwich chain Pret a Manger appeared to be staffed entirely by foreigners.
He said: ‘It is certainly a situation that I find unacceptable. Of course, this country has benefitted from people coming in from other countries to work. ‘But I want to see more young people in positions in this country and I want…to see them getting jobs that become vacant, rather than people coming into the UK.’
The data also prompted anger from gender equality groups. Anna Bird, acting chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: ‘These new figures must act as a wake-up call to Government – we are in a time of crisis. ‘Cuts are threatening women’s equality as jobs dry up, benefits are slashed and vital public services disappear.’
A record number of people are working part-time because they cannot find full-time jobs – up by 83,000 over the latest quarter to 1.35 million.
Employment increased by 60,000 to 29 million, mainly due to a rise of 90,000 in the number of part-time employees to 6.6 million.
Other data from the Office for National Statistics showed a 22,000 increase in youth unemployment to 1.04 million, which includes 307,000 in full-time education who were looking for work. The 48,000 increase in unemployment was the smallest quarterly rise since last summer.
Economic inactivity, which includes students, long-term sick, people who have retired early or those who have given up looking for work, fell by 78,000 to 9.29 million, 23 per cent of the working age population.
Average pay increased by 2 per cent in the year to December, unchanged from the previous month, although in the public sector it fell by 0.2 per cent to 1.7 per cent, the lowest figure since records began in 2001.
There were 1.39 million days lost through industrial disputes in the year to last December, the highest figure since 2002.
Around 164,000 workers were made redundant or took voluntary redundancy in the final quarter of last year, up by 17,000 from the three months to September.
The number of job vacancies increased by 11,000 in recent months to 476,000, although this was 21,000 down on a year ago.
The Government said the figures showed that despite continuing economic challenges, the labour market was stabilising. Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: ‘The latest figures show some encouraging signs of stability despite the challenging economic climate. ‘With more people in employment and a rise in vacancies, it is clear the private sector is still creating jobs
‘However, we are not complacent. With more people in the labour market we know that competition for those jobs is tough and we will continue to make it our priority to find people work.’
Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: ‘Austerity means 2.67 million people are not working. ‘As it is clear that austerity and deflation as a policy is not working, it is both surprising and shocking that there are so few demands from Tory backbenches, from the CBI, from the City and from the Liberal and Labour parties that the policy be abandoned in favour of sure fire ways of getting people back to work.
John Salt, of recruitment firm totaljobs.com, said: ‘Britons are facing their worst employment prospects since the recession began.
The UK’s negative Q4 GDP data released last month confirmed the lacklustre growth in the UK economy and this, alongside a backdrop of diminishing demand, has led to nervous employers adapting their ‘wait and see’ approach to the labour market to start cutting their workforces instead.
‘All the more apparent is the widening gap between North and South, with depressed high streets and businesses across the North West and North East struggling to cope with the lack of demand and obstacles to securing finance hindering the North from investing in its workforces.’
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘These figures are bad, although thankfully not quite the disaster we saw at the end of last year. ‘With one in three jobseekers looking for work for over a year, and around six unemployed people for every job, the Government’s mantra that there are plenty of jobs out there just doesn’t ring true.
‘It’s encouraging to see a small rise in employment, but this is entirely down to people taking part-time work because there are no full-time jobs available. ‘Any job is better than no job at all, even if it’s on far lower pay and shorter hours, but people cannot afford to do this indefinitely. We desperately need more full-time jobs paying decent wages.’
In conformist Britain, anything unusual is assumed to be illegal
Supermarket manager bans man for buying gallons of vegetable oil to power his delivery van claiming it is ‘illegal’. I had similar experiences of British rigidity in Britain back in the ’70s, as you can read here. No wonder many people from Britain and other Northern European countries migrate to easygoing Australia to get away from all the social rigidities and expectations — JR
A grocer claims supermarket staff banned him from his local store after he bought vegetable oil to use as fuel in his vehicle. Chris Waites says managers at his local Tesco in Didcot, Oxfordshire, told him it was illegal for him to buy vegetable oil and use it as fuel in his delivery van.
He claims the ban came after he purchased six five-litre bottles of vegetable oil to fill up the van he uses for his grocery business. The transit van has been adapted to run on vegetable oil. It is not thought to be illegal to purchase vegetable oil to be used as bio fuel.
Mr Waites said he clashed with staff at the store when he bought the bottles of oil and told them what he was using it for.
Tesco said it was investigating the matter and stressed that it does not prevent customers from buying products.
He said when he returned to the supermarket on Saturday to buy other items, he was told he was no longer welcome because using vegetable oil to run a vehicle was a criminal activity. He said: ‘A member of staff told me in front of lots of other customers that I was no longer welcome at the store because I had been using vegetable oil illegally for my van.
‘Using vegetable oil to run a vehicle is not illegal and it was embarrassing to be branded a criminal in this way in front of lots of other shoppers.
‘Normally we get given the vegetable oil free from pubs and restaurants but on this occasion I’d gone to Tesco.
‘We deliver groceries to people in rural areas but I can’t imagine Tesco are trying to stop me from using my van because they feel threatened by the competition.’
Mr Waites said he had been a customer at the store for seven years and he was not aware of any other reason why he was being banned.
He added: ‘The day before I bought the oil I went to customer services because the store had overcharged me for a pack of PG Tips. I got a refund but that was all sorted out and I can’t believe Tesco are being so petty.’
Mr Waites, who lives with wife Miriam, 27, said his 2.5-litre Ford Transit van had been adapted to run on vegetable oil. He added: ‘I have been running the van this way for about six years and it’s perfectly legal. The Government actually gives you a tax-free allowance every year if you use vegetable oil. We cover about 50 miles a day travelling around South Oxfordshire and use about 2,300 litres a year.
‘A litre of diesel now costs over £1.40 at the pumps whereas a litre of vegetable oil costs about 90p.’
In recent years companies have provided drivers with a source of greener, cheaper motoring by turning oil used for frying chips into biodiesel. After collecting drums of used oil from cafes and takeaways, firms refine the liquid into a fuel suitable for most diesel engines.
But specially adapted engines, like the one in Mr Waites’s van, can run on unrefined vegetable oil.
Biodiesel emits much less unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and other harmful substances, and does not produce the noxious black smoke associated with mineral diesel. However, biodiesel is not a lover of cold mornings and may cause start-up problems at very low temperatures.
Tesco spokesman David Nieberg said: ‘Our stores are there to serve customers, not prevent them from shopping. ‘We’d like to stress we do not ban customers for simply buying vegetable oil – even if it is to put in a vehicle. We are speaking to Mr Waites to resolve the issue.’
BBC wins Supreme Court battle after spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of licence fee payers’ money to keep report on its ‘biased’ journalism a secret
Leftism can’t stand the light of day. But the secrecy itself tells us most of what they are hiding
The BBC has been accused of a cover-up after spending almost £350,000 on a legal battle to suppress an internal report about bias in its Middle East coverage. A seven-year campaign to gain access to the 2004 document, which examined the corporation’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ended in defeat yesterday after the Supreme Court ruled it could remain secret.
Lawyer Steven Sugar, who passed away last year, made a Freedom of Information request in 2005 for disclosure of the 20,000-word Balen Report. But the corporation argued it was exempt from revealing information it held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature’.
After years of courtroom battles and Mr Sugar’s death, his widow Fiona Paveley continued on his behalf. Her lawyer, Michael Levey, said the family were ‘considering their options’ after the Supreme Court dismissed the latest appeal after ruling the report was ‘outside the scope’ of the FoI Act.
By September 2010, the BBC had spent £270,000 on the case, but senior insiders admitted this had now increased to as much as £350,000.
The broadcaster’s reluctance to reveal the details of the dossier – which was compiled by Malcolm Balen, a senior journalist and editorial adviser at the BBC – has led to speculation that it was highly critical. Lord Janner of Braunstone, chairman of the Britain Israel Parliamentary Group, said last night: ‘What have they got to hide?’
Tory MP Mike Freer, vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism, added: ‘This is the worst of all outcomes. ‘It fuels suspicion they have got something to hide.’
A spokesman for the BBC insisted it did not have anything to hide about its Middle East coverage but had pursued the case to defend its right to protect information about its journalism. He added: ‘We welcome the Supreme Court’s judgment, which will ensure that the BBC is afforded the space to conduct its journalistic activities freely.
‘Independent journalism requires honest and open internal debate free from external pressures. This ruling enables us to continue to do that.’
Scottish children’s tsar adds support to schoolboy’s battle to wear a skirt to school
I don’t think this is doing the kid any favours. He will just be mocked
Boys should be able to wear skirts to school because uniforms ‘should not discriminate’, a children’s adviser has claimed. Tam Baillie, the Scottish parliament’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, has backed 13-year-old Luca Scarabello, who is fighting for a ban on ‘gender-specific uniforms’.
Mr Baillie said that Luca, a pupil at St Mungo’s High School in Falkirk, Stirlingshire, who lodged a petition with the Scottish Government in November, had ‘raised important rights issues’. The public petitions committee (PPC) is considering Luca’s proposals.
In his response to the PPC, Mr Baillie claimed that forcing uniforms on children could cause ‘serious distress’ for those with gender variants. Mr Baillie said ‘We should be rejecting discriminatory practice and allowing our children and young people to express themselves. ‘I would agree that gender specific uniforms or dress codes can cause serious distress in gender-variant pupils. ‘School uniforms and dress codes should not be discriminate, directly or indirectly against any of these protected groups.
‘Schools should be reviewing their uniform code policies to ensure they do not have the effect of unlawfully discriminating against pupils with a protected characteristic.’
The young peoples’ commissioner believes that forcing children to stick to strict uniform policies could contravene the UN convention on the Rights of the Child and the Equality Act 2010. The latter law places a duty on public bodies to prevent discrimination on the grounds of gender-reassignment or sexual orientation.
However he accepted that having a uniform acts as a “leveller” between children of differing financial backgrounds and helped reduce stigma and bullying. He added ‘This is clearly an issue which divides people and there are strong views on both sides.
‘I believe we should be celebrating difference, rejecting discriminatory practice and allowing our children and young people to express themselves freely in a way that is both inclusive and respectful and helps them to develop a strong sense of who they are. ‘I would suggest that a balance be struck between school dress codes on the one hand and the need for relaxation of requirements, where this is appropriate, on the other.’
Mr Baillie made the comments as he lent his backing to teenager Luca Scarabello who is campaigning for boys to be allowed to wear the traditionally female clothing in class.
The youngster from Camelon, Stirlingshire believes that if girls can wear trousers boys should be able to wear skirts.
The campaign is being backed by the Scottish Transgender Alliance and LGBT Scotland, which represents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In his petition, the schoolboy said ‘Gender specific uniforms … cause problems for gender variant pupils and create a stigma. It is outdated nonsense.’
MSPs have been discussing the proposal to scrap ‘gender specific’ uniforms. However Mr Baillie thinks a blanket ban is not the way forward, with a more flexible approach being the preferred option, and he called for a debate on the teenager’s proposals that traditional uniforms be replaced with more comfortable and cheaper alternatives.
But the proposals have been rubbished by family campaigners. Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, said ‘Schools should be free to make their own decisions about uniform policies in consultation with parents, without the constraints of political correctness. ‘Gender is determined by objective biological facts and not by a person’s feelings, no matter how strong they may be. ‘Rather than encouraging children to become what they are not, we need to help them recognise and accept what they are.
‘To that end, maintaining a distinction between what boys and girls are required to wear can be positive and helpful for pupils struggling with gender identity issues. ‘This is yet another case of the language of children’s rights being used in an attempt to add weight to what is nothing more than a personal minority view. ‘To enforce it on everyone by force of law is undemocratic.’
It is not the first time the issue has hit the headlines. In January, a Cambridgeshire couple revealed they kept the gender of their son, Sasha, a secret for five years until he started school. Parents Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper referred to him as ‘the infant’ and allowed him to cross-dress. They said they did not want to ‘stereotype’ him.