Disabled man collapses after being refused treatment at walk-in centre and forced to call NHS hotline for ambulance
A disabled man who collapsed in an NHS walk-in centre after being refused treatment had to ring the service’s hotline for an ambulance.
Adam Shropshire had been sent to the walk-in centre by NHS Direct after he rang them for help after a knee injury became swollen. But on arrival staff told him there were no appointments and he was told to go elsewhere.
He collapsed on his way out and when he came round he rang NHS Direct again before being taken to hospital by ambulance. Bosses have now launched an investigation.
Mr Shropshire said: ‘My illness was not life-threatening – but what if it had been someone having a heart attack?’
The 39-year-old was left disabled after contracting pneumonia and a virus last year. Mr Shropshire, who with wife Tanya runs a pub in Leeds, West Yorkshire uses a wheelchair or crutches.
On March 19, he fell and cut his knee, which needed stitches. A few days later his leg was red and swollen and he felt ill. He rang NHS Direct who told him to go to a walk-in centre in nearby Bradford.
Mr Shropshire took a taxi to Hillside Bridge Health Centre, which is commissioned by NHS Bradford and Airedale but run by a private firm. On arriving just after 2pm on March 24, Mr Shropshire explained he had been sent by NHS Direct. ‘The woman said “they are always doing that, we have got no appointments and you’ll have to go elsewhere”,’ he said.
He says he struggled towards the exit on his crutches, but felt faint and collapsed in a corridor. After coming round he called NHS Direct and the operator sent an ambulance.
That took him to Bradford Royal Infirmary, where he was diagnosed with the skin infection cellulitis. He was treated with antibiotics before being discharged last Monday.
Mr Shropshire is now making a complaint about the centre. Yorkshire Ambulance Service confirmed an ambulance was sent to the centre that afternoon.
A spokeswoman for Local Care Direct, which runs the facility, said: ‘We treat any incident reported to us very seriously and although we have not received a formal complaint about this matter, we are grateful it has been raised and have launched an immediate investigation to establish what happened.
‘We would be pleased to discuss this with the patient if they contact us directly.’ She said if the investigation showed issues with the care provided, lessons would be learned. [Ho ho!]
How to get tough with a terrorist: As UK agonises over Qatada, Italy simply ignores Euro judges and kicks out fanatic
For years, successive governments have insisted that extremist preacher Abu Qatada cannot be kicked out of Britain, claiming it would breach his human rights.
Perhaps we should have looked to Italy as an example. Yesterday the European Court of Human Rights admitted it is effectively powerless to intervene in the case of a convicted terrorist deported from Italy.
Although the Strasbourg court ordered that compensation be paid to Mohamed Mannai, who was sent home to Tunisia in 2010 in breach of a court order, officials said they are unable to force Italy to take him back.
A spokesman said: ‘Once the applicant has been deported there is nothing much we can do because he is in Tunisia, a country that is not part of the European Court of Human Rights.’
Last night, the ruling prompted calls for ministers to follow Italy’s example and deport Qatada.
The Government has argued the radical Islamist – described by a judge as Osama Bin Laden’s right hand man in Europe – cannot be removed to his home country of Jordan because of an ECHR judgment.
The court’s judges said Qatada could not hope to receive a fair trial there because it would likely be based on evidence obtained by torture.
But Dominic Raab, Tory MP for Esher and Walton, said: ‘The Italian and French governments have a track record of ignoring Strasbourg in deportation cases where there is a risk of torture with precious little consequence.
‘In the Qatada case, Strasbourg went well beyond existing human rights law. Having bent over backwards to accommodate this flawed ruling, we now need to put him on a flight to Jordan without delay.’
Mannai was jailed for five years and four months in October 2006 after he and two other men, thought to be linked to radical group Ansar al-Islam, were convicted of terror charges.
Police said the cell planned attacks in Italy and brainwashed recruits to act as suicide bombers. After Mannai’s conviction, the Milan court said he should be deported at the end of his sentence.
However, the ECHR ordered Italy to block the deportation while it considered if sending him home would breach his human rights. Despite this order, within months of finishing his sentence in February 2010, Mannai had been put on a plane back to Tunisia.
Yesterday the ECHR criticised the Italian government for ignoring its earlier ruling and ordered it to pay Mannai 15,000 euros (£12,500) plus expenses.
The Council of Europe has also written to the Italian government, saying it is ‘deeply concerned’ by its actions.
Italy took similar steps in June 2008 when it ignored a court ruling and sent convicted terrorist Ben Khemais back to Tunisia.
The Home Secretary is currently negotiating with the Jordanian government to get assurances that Qatada would be given a fair trial.
Last week Theresa May refused five times in an interview to say whether she would defy Strasbourg judges and return the hate preacher. However, she insisted she wanted to find a way to deport Qatada so the Government was ‘not required by any court’ to take him back.
A Whitehall official last night pointed out that while Mannai had been deported as his case was still pending, a final judgment had been made with regards to Qatada.
Government lawyers fear that any attempt at removing him would therefore be in contempt of court.
Lying Lefties gradually being exposed
Crusading Left-wing journalists thought the internet was going to be their friend, enabling them to broadcast the evils of capitalism to a new audience. But things haven’t gone quite to plan. Instead, the web has thrown a spotlight on liberal hacks indulging in a habit that they just can’t kick, however hard they try.
I refer, of course, to making stuff up. With the best of intentions, naturally.
Let’s start with a journalistic hero of the London/New York literati who is being accused of breaches of professional ethics but denies any wrongdoing.
Step forward Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent of the Independent – former employers of Johann Hari – who is in an extremely tight spot this weekend. Private Eye has printed a round-up of allegations made about him by fellow foreign correspondents on a private Facebook forum. They accuse this ferocious anti-Zionist of (and I’m choosing my words carefully) embroidering news reports that invariably cast the leaders of the “US-Israeli axis” as Bond villains.
“I do not make stories up. Full stop,” Fisk told me when I rang him in Beirut this week. He also told me he didn’t spend much time reading the internet. Probably just as well, Bob, because if you did you’d find ex-colleagues telling extraordinarily detailed anecdotes about your lucky scoops.
Now let’s consider a Lefty polemicist who has been caught red-handed. He’s an American broadcaster called Mike Daisey who this month confessed to being a serial liar about the Foxconn factory in China that makes Apple products. Those 12-year-old labourers he met there? They didn’t exist. Nor did the workers poisoned by factory gas.
Talking of interviewees who possibly didn’t exist, what about the rich cast of characters in the reports by another serial liar, Johann Hari? The squeaky-voiced fraudster has confessed to plagiarism and vandalising Wikipedia entries in the dead of night (in the process frightening a woman friend of mine to whom he’s still too vain to apologise). But what he’s never done is explain the anomalies in his articles about Dubai and central Africa.
These pieces, full of conveniently quotable eyewitnesses who pop up just when Hari needs them, won him awards and money. The Orwell Prize took away his bauble, but he’s been allowed to cling on to other “progressive” awards.
We can go back further in time – to the films and books by Michael Moore, whose casual approach to evidence-gathering was eventually exposed online. But it took ages before people cottoned on, because readers lapped up his conspiracy theories and the metropolitan media considered him “one of ours”.
There’s a term for this modus operandi – telling “The Greater Truth”. Lefty hacks polish their stories in order to expose a greater truth obscured by an inconvenient lack of evidence. (Right-wingers do it too, of course, but they don’t have liberal allies high up in the BBC, the Guardian and, of course, the poor old Indy.)
The internet information exchange makes it easy to spot the holes in tales of corporate villainy. Until now, however, the right-on digital “community” has been reluctant to eviscerate its heroes. But has the humiliation of Johann Hari tipped the balance? His Lefty hangers-on are livid that they were hoodwinked and will be less trusting in future. Also, trainee reporters may now be more careful about splashing their stories in local colour. If so, Hari will have made a contribution to journalism after all – though not in the way he intended.
SOURCE (See the original for links)
Three-quarters of British universities ‘to cut student places’
Growing numbers of bright students face missing out on their first choice university, academics warned today, as figures showed three-quarters of institutions are being forced to slash places.
Almost 100 out of 130 universities in England could be forced to take fewer undergraduates this year numbers following the introduction of Coalition reforms designed to drive down tuition fees, it emerged.
Many members of the elite Russell Group are among those facing reductions, with Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton being particularly hit.
Data from the Government’s Higher Education Funding Council for England suggests some newer universities such as Bedfordshire and East London are expecting to lose around one-in-eight places.
The cuts are being imposed following the introduction of new rules that effectively penalise universities charging more than £7,500 in student fees from this autumn.
It means large numbers of places are being shifted towards cheap further education colleges.
Ministers are also lifting controls on the number of bright students gaining at least two A grades and a B at A-level that universities can recruit – leading to an inevitable scramble towards a small number of top institutions.
Sir Alan Langlands, the funding council’s chief executive, denied the loss of student places would tip any institution into “significant financial trouble”.
But Prof Michael Farthing, vice-chancellor of Sussex University and chairman of the 1994 Group, which represents many small research institutions, said the figures show that “many excellent students will be denied places at their first choice universities.”
“The number of students universities are allowed to recruit has been cut across the sector, with 20,000 places auctioned off to institutions with lower than average fees,” he said.
“Far from giving the best universities freedom to take on more students this represents a push to a cut-price education.”
Today, HEFCE announced funding and estimated student places for universities and colleges in 2012/13. It emerged that teaching funds had been cut by £1.1 billion – to £3.2bn – while cash for research has been frozen at £1.6bn.
Under Coalition reforms, funding gaps are expected to be plugged by a rise in annual student tuition fees – from £3,290 to £9,000.
But to keep the student loans bill down, some 20,000 places are being taken from all institutions and redistributed to universities and colleges charging less than £7,500.
At the same time, 10,000 places – offered in previous years to cope with a sudden surge in applications – are not being made available in 2012.
In a report published today, the funding council outlined how places would be distributed this year. Some 98 out of 129 universities – 76 per cent – are estimated to see some drop in their student numbers. A quarter could see cuts of at least 10 per cent.
Fourteen out of 20 English members of the Russell Group also face cuts, with Liverpool losing as many as 6.4 per cent of places and Leeds 5.1 per cent.
All 12 English members of the 1994 Group are also facing reductions, including 11 per cent at Essex and 10.5 per cent at Goldsmith’s College, London.
But newer universities are being hit hardest, figures suggest. Cuts of at least 12 per cent will be seen at Bedfordshire, East London, Liverpool Hope, Middlesex and Northampton.
The funding council insist figures are estimates based on recruitment in previous years and final allocations could be higher as universities compete against each other to recruit students gaining two As and a B at A-level. This is likely to benefit the top universities the most.
But the biggest year-on-year rises in student numbers are likely to be seen at further education colleges, which can often run degree courses at a fraction of the price of universities. Kingston College in West London is seeing a 1,115 per cent rise in places – from 20 to 223 students.
David Willetts, the Universities Minister, said: “We want a student-focused higher education sector, more choice over where to study and a renewed focus on the quality of the student experience.
“That’s why we’re freeing up centralised number controls, improving information for prospective students and driving a new focus on the academic experience.”
But Libby Hackett, director of University Alliance, said: “Despite continued demand for university places we are seeing significant drops in student places across the sector with some institutions subject to cuts of 12 per cent in just one year.
“The places which are being taken out of the system in 2012-13, or transferring to further education, means that there will be 20,000 fewer young people able to go to university compared to last year.”
British teachers bend rules to boost exam scores: Survey finds test marks are fiddled and pupils bribed
Just like Georgia
Teachers are bribing pupils with pizza nights and fiddling test results to help their schools secure exam success, a survey has found. Almost 40 per cent admitted the ‘overwhelming pressure’ to ensure that pupils achieve good grades ‘could compromise their professionalism’.
The poll, by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, reveals the lengths that schools are prepared to go to in order to climb league tables. A quarter of respondents said they gave pupils ‘rewards and incentives’ to work harder. One teacher cited organising ‘pizza nights’.
In addition, 28 per cent said they felt obliged to attend controversial exam board seminars.
The admission follows an undercover newspaper investigation that found some teachers paid up to £230 a day to attend seminars with chief examiners, during which they were advised on exam questions and even the wording pupils should use to get higher marks.
One state secondary school teacher told ATL: ‘I know of an exam meeting where it was strongly hinted which topics would come up in the exam. I was glad my school was there but I felt sorry for those that were not.’
Another said: ‘We don’t go to many exam seminars because we can’t afford it. We probably lose out to those who can.’
The union surveyed 512 teachers, lecturers and headteachers working in state-funded and independent primary and secondary schools, academies and colleges in England ahead of its annual conference, which begins in Manchester today.
Some admitted fiddling exam scores. A primary school teacher said: ‘I have been forced to manipulate results so that levels of progress stay up.’ A secondary school teacher added: ‘The school I work at definitely pushes the boundaries of exam integrity. Maintaining their “gold-plated” status takes precedence over developing the abilities of the pupils. ‘Controlled assessments and aspects of coursework are problem areas for cheating, with senior leadership driving the agenda.’
A grammar school teacher said: ‘In some cases I end up virtually re-writing my students’ homework to match the marking criteria, rather than teach them my subject, French. I do this because there is simply not time to do both.’
Eighty-eight per cent of those polled said the pressure to get pupils through exams prevented the teaching of a broad and balanced curriculum, while 73 per cent claimed it had a detrimental effect on the quality of teaching. Seventy-one per cent said it affected the standard of learning.
In addition, one teacher warned that pupils are ‘close to breakdown’ with the demands being put on them during out-of-school hours and the Easter holidays.
Dr Mary Bousted, ATL’s general secretary, said: ‘With the Government’s persistent focus on tests, exam results and league tables, many teachers and lecturers also feel under enormous pressure – often to the detriment of high-quality teaching, learning and development of pupils.
‘School league tables, school banding and Ofsted inspections undermine the curriculum and do nothing to support pupils and their hard-working teachers, lecturers and leaders.’
No Global Warming For 15 Years
HADCRUT is a temperature dataset compiled as a joint effort between the British Met Office and the University of East Anglia
Analysis by the GWPF of the newly released HadCRUT4 global temperature database shows that there has been no global warming in the past 15 years – a timescale that challenges current models of global warming.
The graph shows the global annual average temperature since 1997. No statistically significant trend can be discerned from the data. The only statistically acceptable conclusion to be drawn from the HadCRUT4 data is that between 1997 – 2011 it has remained constant, with a global temperature of 14.44 +/- 0.16 deg C (2 standard deviations.)
The important question is whether 15 years is a sufficient length of time from which to draw climatic conclusions that are usually considered over 30 years, as well as its implications for climate projections.
The IPCC states that anthropogenic influences on the climate dominated natural ones sometime between 1960 – 80.The recent episode of global warming that occurred after that transition began in 1980. The world has warmed by about 0.4 deg C in this time. Whilst we live in the warmest decade of the instrumental era of global temperature measurement (post-1880), and the 90s were warmer than the 80s, the world has not got any warmer in the last 15 years.
In 2001 and 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (and here) estimated that the world would warm at a rate of 0.2 deg C per decade in the future due to greenhouse gas forcing. Since those predictions were made it has become clear that the world has not been warming at that rate. Some scientists retrospectively revised their forecasts saying that the 0.2 deg C figure is an average one. Larger or smaller rates of warming are possible as short-term variations.
Global warming simulations, some carried out by the UK Met Office (here, here and here), have been able to reproduce “standstills” in global warming of a decade or so while still maintaining the long-term 0.2 deg C per decade average. These decadal standstills occur about once every eight decades. However, such climate simulations have not been able to reproduce a 15-year standstill:
“Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate” (NOAA 2008).
We also note a comment in an email sent by Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit: “Bottom line – the no upward trend has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.”
Whether the global temperature standstill of the past 15 years continues or is replaced by warming, as the IPCC predicts, only future data will tell. In the meantime the length of the standstill means that the challenge it offers for models of future climate prediction, and explanations for past warming, cannot be ignored.
Dr David Whitehouse, science editor of the GWPF, said: “We are at the point where the temperature standstill is becoming the dominant feature of the post-1980 warming, and as such cannot be dismissed as being unimportant even when viewed over 30 years.”
“It is time that the scientific community in general and the IPCC in particular acknowledged the reality of the global temperature standstill and the very real challenge it implies for our understanding of climate change and estimates of its future effects.”
“It is a demonstration that the science is not settled, and that there are great uncertainties in our understanding of the real-world greenhouse effect when combined with anthropogenic and natural factors.”
More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)
There is a big new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up — on his usual vastly “incorrect” themes of race, genes, IQ etc.