Claim over missed diagnosis ‘could top £30 million’
There have been high payouts before to people in prominent positions but the NHS never learns. Note that there is no denial of negligence. What’s the point of doing diagnostic tests if the result is not carefully evaluated? Missing a positive finding TWICE points to a culture of negligence. Don’t have diagnostic tests in Scotland
A woman who claims the failure of doctors to spot her cancer symptoms blighted her prospects of a lucrative City career is now seeking damages from the NHS that could total more than £30 million.
Helen McGlone, 32, said that if two smear tests had been correctly interpreted, her cervical cancer could have been identified at an early stage and she could have avoided a hysterectomy. She claims that her job prospects have been damaged and that she may have to resort to surrogacy to have children.
A hearing is due to take place next week at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to decide on the size of her award. But NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde say her claims about an intended career in finance with a substantial income are unrealistic.
Dr McGlone, a physicist, had been seeking £5 million from the health board but at a hearing yesterday, a judge was told that the sum was likely to rise “very substantially”. Alan McLean QC, for the health authority, said: “The figure that has been mentioned is in excess of £30 million.”
Dr McGlone has a first-class honours degree in physics and applied maths from Glasgow University and a PhD in particle physics. She has worked as a researcher at Cern in Switzerland.
She discovered she had cervical cancer in January 2008 when she visited a GP in Switzerland after cutting her finger. A previous hearing has been told that tests in December 2005 and March 2006 had not alerted Scottish medical staff to the symptoms.
By the time her tumour was found, it had reached the stage where surgery was the only option.
In her damages claim, it is said that the missed diagnosis and subsequent surgery caused her to lose “many of the abilities and qualities which would have enabled her to work in a high-pressure environment such as in the financial sector”.
The claim states that she was a “strong and well-qualified candidate” for such posts. Dr McGlone’s action includes claims for pain and suffering, loss of opportunity to earn, and the consequences of loss of fertility.
How stupid to claim you’re too clever for motherhood
Sandra Parsons has some germane comments below but she misses out the key deficiency in the thinking of the unfortunate Lucy Worsley. Ms Worsley seems to think that dilettantish activities are the peak of enjoyment and fulfilment. Almost any mother could tell her that children are the greatest joy in life, compared to which all other things are a footnote. Ms Worsley is not liberated; she is lost
By any reckoning, TV historian Lucy Worsley has done pretty well for herself. In addition to her day job as chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces, the 38-year-old has written three books, made umpteen TV programmes – and has also found love, sharing a London riverside flat with her architect boyfriend.
Just about the only thing she hasn’t done is bear a child.
In an interview this week to publicise her latest programme, Antiques Uncovered, she explained that this was her deliberate choice. ‘I have become the poster girl for opting out of reproduction. I am happy to stand up and be counted,’ she declares.
All well and good, you might think. Women who decide not to have children are often made to feel somehow lacking, so three cheers to Lucy for standing up for them.
Until, that is, you read what she said next: ‘I have been educated out of the natural reproductive function. I get to spend my time doing things I enjoy.’ No doubt this was intended as a rather flip, humorous comment. It’s backfired for two reasons.
First, it’s astonishingly patronising. Does Dr Worsley really believe that because she has a history degree from Oxford, she’s somehow too intelligent for the act of child-rearing? Or is she merely saying that those of us whose brains (or upbringing) did not propel us to the dreaming spires should accept motherhood as the summit of our intellectual ambition?
Second, for someone who calls herself a feminist historian, she appears to be hopelessly confused about what equality really means. Because while it’s difficult to be a working woman as well as a wife and mother, at least being the first of these no longer precludes also being the other two.
Indeed, anyone who assumes that women with an Oxford degree have allowed themselves to be ‘educated out of the natural reproductive function’ is entering very dangerous – and regressive – territory indeed. What next? A sort of sliding scale for women to keep handy during their childbearing years? No degree at all? Excellent! Have as many children as you like. A degree from Manchester or Bristol? Fine – have two! A first from Oxford? Sorry, but it would be a waste of your brain to reproduce.
In reality, of course, there are many women just as well educated as Lucy Worsley who’ve managed to have both children and a fulfilling career. Her fellow historian and Oxford graduate Amanda Foreman has five offspring, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has three and BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders two.
There are countless more who’ve made sacrifices big and small for the sake of their families, including turning down promotions, changing careers and giving up work altogether.
What I find particularly distasteful is Dr Worsley’s tone, which implies she’s too superior for the messy business of raising children. Your ability to be a mother has nothing to do with your educational attainment and everything to do with the universal qualities of selflessness, generosity, compassion and patience.
Lucy Worsley’s ambition is to make history as popular as The X Factor, and I’m all for it. But before she goes any further, can I suggest that she looks at the history of her own sex? Not so long ago, the choice was quite simple: you could be a nun, a bluestocking or a mother. You could also be burned at the stake.
So give us more history, by all means, Dr Worsley. But please make it clear that women are lucky enough today to live in more enlightened times — and whether we have children or not has nothing to do with how clever we may (or may not) think we are.
Children’s favourite books removed from British library shelves after parents complain they’re ‘offensive’
Public libraries have had to withdraw dozens of long-standing children’s favourites after parents complained they were offensive.
Anxious adults have taken action over stories deemed to be racist, blasphemous, violent or otherwise unsuitable, a survey has revealed.
Roald Dahl was among those criticised, with his Revolting Rhymes and Even More Revolting Rhymes singled out over the celebrated author’s use of supposedly coarse language.
And while young readers have been enjoying Dahl’s satirical fairy tales for decades, even classics such as The Nutcracker and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves were said to be too sinister or frightening for children.
Library staff have had to investigate each of the complaints and have often ended up moving the offending books out of the children’s section, or removing them altogether.
Racism was a common cause for concern, with the much-loved Babar and Tintin series accused of exposing children to ethnic stereotypes.
Librarians in East Sussex removed copies of Babar’s Travels, in which one of the cartoon elephant’s adventures finds him faced with ‘savage cannibals’.
Those wishing to borrow it must now order it specially, after staff upheld a complaint that it contained offensive stereotypes of black Africans.
A similar complaint saw staff in Lewisham, London, remove Herge’s Tintin in the Congo, while elsewhere the title has been transferred to the adult’s section.
Children’s author David McKee, creator of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and Mr Ben, attracted more complaints than any other writer. Parents claimed Tusk Tusk – his book about a dispute between black and grey elephants – was racist, while the wealthy main character of Denver was said to promote the idea of an unfair gap between rich and poor.
Meanwhile, the insults hurled between the characters in Two Monsters – such as ‘twit’ and ‘dumbo’ – were thought too aggressive for young ears.
A surprised Mr McKee told the Sunday Telegraph his books were meant to celebrate the differences in society. He said: ‘I think the complaints seem to come from the parents rather than the child. ‘Children often seem to get the point. It would be rather boring if all books simply started “once upon a time” and ended “happily ever after”.’
Nicholas Allan’s More and More Rabbits, about two rabbits who can’t stop having babies, has been praised for teaching numeracy and broaching the difficult subject of where babies come from.
But librarians in West Lothian pulled the book after one anxious parent said it the content was inappropriate.
The gruesome Horrible Histories series – which seeks to take the stuffiness out of the subject – was said to celebrate and trivialise violence, while one reader feared its sister series Horrible Science would encourage children to carry out dangerous experiments.
Parents worried that titles such as The Big Ugly Monster and the Little Stone Rabbit – in which a lonely monster fashions friends out of stone – would damage children’s self-esteem.
And staff in Newcastle library removed Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog from the health and wellbeing section after it was said to give a negative message about obesity.
The survey of 98 library authorities took in more than 300 complaints from the last five years about ‘unsuitable, inappropriate or offensive’ works. Half of them were about children’s books.
Good teaching `stops pupils going off rails’: British government minister praises power of traditional subjects
Teaching children traditional subjects makes them less likely to indulge in `risky behaviour’, Michael Gove declared yesterday.
The Education Secretary claimed that a good grounding in core academic disciplines was more effective than teaching life skills `in minutiae’.
His comments to MPs came amid growing controversy over lurid sex education materials used in some schools. They include a film for nine-year-olds produced by BBC Active that features computer-generated images of genitalia and a couple having sex. Sex education is typically covered in personal, social and health education (PSHE) lessons, which remain optional.
Labour tried to make PSHE compulsory from September last year, which would have required all schools to provide sex education to pupils as young as five.
The Coalition ditched these plans and instead launched a review of PSHE.
It also began ranking schools according to how many pupils achieved the English Baccalaureate – good grades in traditional subjects including maths, English, science and a language.
Giving evidence to the Commons Education Select Committee, Mr Gove said he wanted to make a `deliberately controversial point’.
`I am all in favour of good sex and relationships education, and our investigation into PSHE is an attempt to find which schools do it best because we want to learn from them,’ he said.
`However, if you look at the way in which we can encourage students not to indulge in risky behaviour, one of the best ways we can do that is by educating them so well in a particular range of subjects that they have hope in the future. `There is a direct correlation between how well students are doing overall academically and their propensity to fall into risky behaviour.’
Instilling character, resilience and intelligence in pupils was more important than `for example, teaching someone in minutiae how to wash their hands,’ he said.
Last year, the Daily Mail highlighted a disturbing dossier containing a wide range of graphic resources recommended for use in primary schools, which include explicit images. Yesterday Damian Hinds, MP for East Hampshire, highlighted concerns over some of the material making its way into schools. `Some of the BBC stuff and Channel 4 stuff is quite startling,’ he said.
Is global warming just hot air? World temperatures have risen by just 0.29C in the last two decades
This article appeared in Britain’s widely-read “Daily Mail”
World temperatures have remained almost stagnant in the last two decades, new figures have revealed. Temperatures across the globe rose by around a third of a degree last year from the average of 14 degrees Celsius recorded between 1961 and 1990. In some years, temperatures rose by just 0.29 degrees C while in others they rose by .53 degrees.
The findings come as consumers feel the full force of a raft of environment policies introduced by the coalition and the previous Labour government in the name of climate change. By 2030, ‘green’ policy burdens could cost families an extra £267 a year and have already raised current energy bills by £78 annually.
The figures on global temperatures were published by Environment Minister Gregory Barker in a parliamentary answer to Tory MP Anne Main.
Mrs Main said it raised questions about whether vulnerable people should be made to make the choice between heating and eating. She said: ‘These figures show that the cost to domestic energy bills from these policies will be significant and is a cause for concern.
‘I understand the Government is trying to mitigate the increase with the Green Deal and by encouraging people to insulate their homes.
‘However in areas like St Albans that have many listed properties, often owned by elderly people where they cannot benefit from energy efficiency schemes; mitigation may not be the answer and energy bills will rise.
‘I am worried that the most vulnerable in my constituency could be hardest hit by these policies; the Government needs to take this into account if bills are to be kept down.’
The figures were unveiled as an environmental guru and maverick scientist admitted that he may have been ‘alarmist’ about climate change. James Lovelock, who warned that billions would die before the end of this century and only the Arctic would be fit for human habitation, said: ‘The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened.’
The 92-year-old told MSNBC in America: ‘The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now. The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising.’
The scientist is writing a new book in which he will say climate change is still happening, but not as quickly as he once feared.
‘It will be the third in a series and follows on from his best-selling: Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back – and How We Can Still Save Humanity, and The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning: Enjoy It While You Can.