Woman died after Muslim nurse refused to help as he was praying
An elderly woman was left on the floor at a care home for up to ten minutes because a nurse was praying, an inquest heard.
Alzheimer’s sufferer Dorothy Griffiths, 87, was found sitting down after staff heard a bang and a carer went to the office for help to lift her. But agency nurse Abdul Bhutto, who was in charge, said they would have to wait.
Carer Zoe Shaw told the Sheffield hearing: “It took between five and ten minutes because he was praying upstairs in the office on his prayer mat. A staff member told me we had to wait for him to finish.”
An ambulance was not called for nearly four hours after Mrs Griffiths fell from bed and cut her head and suffered a gash to her hip at the privately-run Valley Park Nursing Home in Wombwell, near Barnsley.
She died later in hospital. Mr Bhutto failed to appear at the inquest and a summons had to be issued for him to attend the resumed hearing later in the year. Assistant deputy coroner Donald Coutts-Wood said he had contacted him during a recess and he denied being the duty nurse that night and said he had been there on a course.
Mrs Griffiths, the widow of former Barnsley footballer Steve Griffiths, who used to live in Wombwell, had been a resident at the home since 2009 and died last November. She was put to bed at 9.45pm on October 24 and checked checked every two hours, according to Zoe Shaw. The old lady was using the toilet at 4am and Mrs Shaw went to an office to fill in paperwork.
She said Mrs Griffiths was not prone to falls and was not considered “at risk”.
She and another carer found her on the floor and Mrs Shaw went to get help from Mr Bhutto. He was the most senior nurse on night duty at the home, run by the Mimosa Healthcare Group, because the senior carer was unable to work having been on duty for six of the previous seven nights.
When Mr Bhutto arrived he checked the pensioner’s limbs, took her blood presssure and pulse while she was still on the floor and told the carers to put her back into bed.
But instead Mrs Shaw, worried that she might fall again, washed the old lady, dressed her and took her to the office while she carried on filling forms. At about 5.45am she took her to the lounge and said she was “talking fine” and walking around.
But at breakfast-time when the residents were being offered a cup of tea Mrs Griffiths was found unresponsive and an ambulance was called at about 7.30am.
Mrs Shaw, who broke down and wept in the witness box, said she would have called an ambulance immediately after the fall but had only since discovered that staff could override a nurses’ decision.
Speaking after the inquest was adjourned Dorothy’s daughter Jean David, 61, said: “We are quite upset that Mr Bhutto hadn’t appeared and we are having to come here again particularly as my brother is having to come up from Staffordshire. We would like it to have been done and dusted but we can’t leave it without his evidence.”
Britain’s Fascist social workers again
Mother could face jail because her children talked to each other on Facebook
This case would make headlines across the land, if it were not hidden behind the family courts’ extraordinary wall of secrecy.
Sometime this week, in a case which promises to make legal history, a mother may be sent to prison, apparently because her teenage children – two of whom are in foster care for reasons which, I am told, had nothing to do with her treatment of them – have been chatting to each other on Facebook.
This landmark case, which says much about the surreal state of our family protection system, arose from a judicial order last year that the mother must not talk to her children on Facebook, even through “a third party”. The two girls were taken into care a few years back for their own protection, I am told, not because of any actions by their mother but because their safety had been threatened by members of a gang on the inner-city council estate where they lived. After being sent to a foster home in another part of the country, they eventually managed to make contact through Facebook with their brothers and a cousin, all of whom are still living with their mother in the family home.
Once contact had been established between the younger members of the family, the mother joined in – until this came to the notice of social workers in the city where the family originally lived. This led to the judge’s order last year that the mother must have no further contact with her daughters, an order which she obeyed – even though her girls had repeatedly been told that she no longer loved them. (Thanks to what they had been told by their brothers on Facebook, they knew this to be untrue.)
The children, however, continued to chat to each other, and this was picked up by social workers who were monitoring their exchanges on Facebook. This has led to the mother being summonsed to attend a family court, in a city 100 miles away from where they now live, under threat of imprisonment for breaching the court order.
If the judge sentences the mother, it will have a hugely detrimental effect on the lives of the three children who live with her, Her two sons have already had enough disturbance to their lives, having themselves spent time unhappily in care (again for reasons which, I am told, had nothing to do with their mother’s treatment of them but with the behaviour of a now long-absent partner). They were eventually allowed by the social workers and courts to return to live with her, as was their cousin, who had also been in care.
All three teenagers are deeply dismayed at the prospect of their lives being turned upside down again, after they have found security with someone who loves and cares for them. The two boys and their cousin plan to accompany the mother to the court, hoping they might be allowed to explain that it was they, not she, who initially tracked down the sisters on Facebook, and continued to make contact after the mother had been forbidden to communicate with them.
I have more than once reported on mothers being sent to prison for inadvertently breaching court orders prohibiting them from contacting their children. One was punished for sending her son a birthday card, another for waving across the street when she saw her child, who was in foster care in the same town. A third was sent down when, after walking to a local petrol station to buy a newspaper, she happened to coincide with her daughter, who called out to her from the back of a car which had pulled in at the same time.
But if this latest episode ends in a prison sentence it will make history as the first time that any mother has been gaoled just because her children have wanted to talk to each other on Facebook – supposedly in breach of a court order that was not directed at them in the first place. It is a case that should make headlines across the land. But thanks to the extraordinary wall of secrecy that our family protection system has erected around itself, to hide its workings from public view, it is unlikely to attract any coverage at all.
Such is the England in which we now live, where people can be imprisoned for an offence they themselves have not committed – and where this cannot even be reported, except in the anonymised terms I have had to use here.
Red Ken: I will make London a beacon of Islam
Ken Livingstone has promised to turn London into a “beacon” for the words of the Prophet Mohammed in a sermon at one of the capital’s most controversial mosques.
Mr Livingstone, Labour’s candidate for mayor of London, pledged to “educate the mass of Londoners” in Islam, saying: “That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet.” Mr Livingstone described Mohammed’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.”
He praised the Prophet’s last sermon, telling his audience: “I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-Muslim in London knows and understands [its] words and message.” He also promised to “make your life a bit easier financially.”
Mr Livingstone was speaking at last Friday’s Jummah prayer at the North London Central Mosque, also known as Finsbury Park Mosque, formerly controlled by the terrorist recruiter Abu Hamza.
Hamza was removed in 2003 but the mosque is now controlled by an Islamist organisation, the Muslim Association of Britain, which has been linked to the banned terror group, Hamas. A man who has acted as spokesman for the current leadership, Azzam Tamimi, is on record as supporting suicide bombings. One of the mosque’s current directors, Mohammed Sawalha, is described by the BBC as a former senior figure in Hamas who “is said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” from his post in London.
In 2009 Mr Sawalha also signed the Istanbul Declaration which calls for attacks against the allies of Israel, which include the UK. The British Government interpreted it as calling for attacks on British troops.
In 2010, the Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, a Muslim moderate, resigned from the mosque’s board of trustees and reported it to the Charity Commission, accusing the mosque of forging his signature on key legal documents.
Mr Livingstone has been dogged by allegations of links to Islamic fundamentalism. In 2010, in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, he campaigned against his own party’s candidate to back a controversial independent politician, Lutfur Rahman, sacked by Labour for his links to a Muslim extremist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE).
During his mayoralty, Mr Livingstone’s London Development Agency channelled hundreds of thousands of pounds to the East London Mosque in Tower Hamlets, controlled by the IFE, even though senior LDA managers strongly opposed the grant. In return, IFE activists campaigned strongly for him at the 2008 mayoral elections, boasting that they “got out the vote” for Mr Livingstone and achieving dramatic swings to him in their east London heartland.
Mr Livingstone also gave thousands of pounds of public money to the Muslim Welfare House, a charity closely associated with the Finsbury Park Mosque, which signed an open letter backing his re-election campaign in 2008.
In his last sermon, delivered in the valley of Mount Arafat, near Mecca in 632 AD, the Prophet Mohammed attacked discrimination, saying that “a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white, except by piety and good action.” However, he also said that men had a right to ensure their wives “do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve.”
‘Johnny No Friends’: the new role model in British schools
Some UK schools are banning ‘best friends’ to spare children the heartbreak of falling out. Bad move
Will Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer soon be banned from school libraries in England? Not because it contains the word ‘nigger’, which has led it to be censored in some US schools, but because it contains a heinous example of young boys being best mates.
In some English schools, having best friends can now get you in serious trouble with teacher. At the weekend, it was reported that primary school children in certain areas are being discouraged from having best friends to avoid the ‘pain of falling out’. Gaynor Sbuttoni, an educational psychologist working with schools in south-west London, told The Sunday Times, ‘I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn’t have a best friend and that everyone should play together… They’re doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend.’ Sbuttoni is not the first to speak out against this trend in the UK, and ‘no best friend’ policies have been in place in some US schools for quite a while.
Reading the reports, it might seem like this is just a silly intervention by meddling teachers, which simply needs to be stamped out. But that underestimates what is going on in our schools. The teaching profession is being reformed as a therapeutic profession, often prioritising the delivery of therapy over education to ‘vulnerable’ children and young people. As this new therapeutic profession develops, more and more interventions like ‘no best friends’ will arise, either spontaneously in classrooms or as a result of conscious intervention by school heads, local authorities, government and, of course, Ofsted, which runs with every fad and fashion.
Meddling in young children’s emotional lives is the worst feature of contemporary schooling. Children are now trained to have ‘appropriate’ emotions through emotional literacy classes and so-called subjects like SEAL – the ‘Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning’. The training on offer in such sessions is nothing short of emotional manipulation. Children are taught to be moderate; empathy is good, anger is bad. They are taught to be emotionally dead, out of touch with all the emotions that make up human relationships, passion, anger, jealousy, hatred and even love, which is sentimentalised and sanitised. This is the anodyne therapeutic ethos that now dominates education at all levels.
The excuse given by advocates is that this is all done in the name of protecting children from harmful emotions and emotional relationships. Here’s an example that shows just how manipulative this concern with emotional literacy can be. A friend’s daughter told her that she didn’t like SEAL, but she understood that ‘some of the children in my class have problems with anger management’. She is nine years old and worryingly in danger of becoming an emotional police officer.
These emotional interventions are well meant, but their impact is a dysfunctional one. They create ‘can’t cope’ kids. In this way, teachers are in fact creating the situation that they fear – that kids won’t be able to cope with falling-out, not only with best friends at school but with other friends later in life and then perhaps with girl- or boyfriends. Keeping children together in emotionally safe packs where no one gets too close to anyone else is scary, like something from Brave New World.
Despite the negative effects, teachers adopting therapeutic approaches, expressing concern with emotional literacy, emotional intelligence and emotional wellbeing, will often find they are lauded by parents, schools and local authorities. Schools promoting such therapeutic initiatives can be rewarded with better funding and increased status. This may seem a cynical view, but there is an explanation for it. As teachers have given up their commitment to teaching the traditional subjects, all sorts of fads and fashions have filled the vacuum. The emotional meddling that many of these initiatives involve has an added advantage for teacher and pupils when there is nothing being taught or learnt. The assumption is that children are the best authorities on what they feel. No need to teach them anything!
In the past, children learned their emotional sensitivity and robustness not just from the playground and friends, but also from literature. Poetry, plays and novels teach a range of emotions and feelings that go far beyond the limited and often vulgar interactions of the playground. As their immersion in literature has diminished, children are instead taught lists of ‘appropriate’ feelings. What hope have they of experiencing the higher emotions, those once induced by art and literature?
Many of the best-friend models that we encounter in literature would be damned as ‘inappropriate’ today. Christopher Robin and Pooh; Tom Saywer, Jim and Huck Finn; Iago and Othello; Macbeth and his Lady – all of these relationships have qualities that make them eternal and yet ban-happy teachers would probably find them objectionable.
In the past, therapeutic interventions at school were often about helping Johnny or Sarah ‘No Mates’. These were sometimes effective, helping lonely and sad children to get a best friend. Now it seems that for some emotionally meddling teachers, Johnny and Sarah No Mates are becoming the ideal role models for all our children.
An aspirin every day ‘cuts cancer death risk by 37%’ and can stop disease from spreading
Without looking at the details, these findings seem sound. But in taking it daily the real issue is side effects — effects which may not be evident with occasional use. Does it reduce all-cause mortality is the only important question
Taking a daily dose of aspirin lowers the chance of dying from cancer by more than a third, major research shows today.
It reveals that the pills not only reduce the likelihood of contracting the illness, they also protect against it spreading. Oxford scientists say the evidence is so strong that in future the NHS watchdog NICE may issue guidelines telling doctors to prescribe aspirin to cancer sufferers.
In one of a series of studies involving 200,000 patients, the academics found aspirin cut the risk of dying of cancer by 37 per cent if patients took it every day for five years.
Another study found that taking aspirin for three years reduced the chance of men developing cancer by 23 per cent, and women by 25 per cent.
Researchers also found that once patients had been diagnosed with cancer, their chance of it spreading was cut by 55 per cent if they took daily doses of aspirin for at least six and a half years.
For some time scientists have known that aspirin protects against certain types of cancer, particularly those affecting the bowel and throat.
But this is the first time they have revealed it could also treat the illness by preventing tumours spreading to other organs – or ‘metastasising’ – which is often fatal.
Professor Peter Rothwell, whose studies are published today in the Lancet, said extra research needed to be carried out ‘urgently’.
Professor Rothwell who is based at the University of Oxford and John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, said: ‘If NICE were to prioritise it, it would certainly be influential. ‘It’s certainly time to add prevention of cancer into the analysis of the balance of risk and benefits of aspirin.
‘So far, all the guidelines have just been based on the prevention of strokes and heart attacks. ‘This research really shows that the cancer benefit is as large, if not larger, than the benefit in terms of preventing heart attacks and strokes. ‘It does change the equation quite drastically.’
Aspirin is known to reduce the effectiveness of key cells, called platelets, which cause the blood to clot. For this reason it is prescribed to patients who have had heart attacks and strokes to reduce the chance of blood clots and try to prevent it happening again.
Scientists think that platelets are also involved in the formation of cancerous tumours. And they believe that they spread the illness to other areas of the body. So by making these cells less effective, aspirin helps prevent and treat cancer.
But despite this compelling evidence, Professor Rothwell urged patients not to start taking aspirin every day purely to try to prevent cancer. Aspirin can have harmful side effects including stomach ulcers and internal bleeding in the intestines.
Other risks in adults include kidney disease and tinnitus – or ringing in the ears.
But he said that the thousands of patients currently taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke would almost certainly be also reducing their risk of dying from cancer.
Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, said: ‘This is an exciting development. ‘It adds to the other established ways of reducing cancer risk – not smoking, keeping a healthy bodyweight and cutting down on alcohol.
‘It’s a good idea for people thinking of taking aspirin to discuss it with their GP, as it can sometimes have side effects such as internal bleeding especially in people over 70.
‘The research also suggests that aspirin may help to prevent cancer from spreading in the body, so it could be beneficial for people already diagnosed with cancer.
‘However, because of the risk of bleeding, patients should discuss this with their specialist before starting to take aspirin, and be aware of the potential for increased complications before surgery or other treatments such as chemotherapy.’
No free speech for racially derogatory utterances in England
“A law student’s future lay in ruins yesterday after he admitted sending racist messages on Twitter to former England footballer Stan Collymore. Joshua Cryer, 21, was arrested after the Liverpool striker turned radio pundit contacted police in January.
Cryer, the son of a company director, initially denied sending the messages on the social networking site, claiming his account had been hacked into. But he later admitted sending grossly offensive messages and yesterday was given a two-year community order.
The final-year student at Newcastle University’s acclaimed Law School was also told to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.
The judge said he expected Cryer ‘to have put his education to better use’. One message from the student, who captains the law school’s football side Barca-Law-Na, read: ‘Has anyone ever called you Stan ****ymore.’
A second, also sent from user @joshuacryer1, said: ‘Has anyone ever referred to you as semi pro as in a semi pro ****.’
With a criminal conviction, he would appear to have no future as a lawyer