Dehydrated baby nearly died after twice being turned away from hospital by receptionists because of lack of doctors
The mother of a baby boy who was turned away twice by hospital receptionists today said he nearly died because of a lack of doctors. Jaiden Daley was rushed to Grantham and District Hospital by his mother Michaela Sleney, 22, when he became lethargic and unable to keep liquids down.
But she was amazed when the receptionist in the accident and emergency department claimed her son was not ill enough to be seen by a doctor and sent them home.
The mother-of-two brought Jaiden, now nearly two, back to the department a few days later when his conditioned worsened – but again a different receptionist tried to convince her to go. She stood her ground and eventually her son was seen by doctors – who found he was suffering from severe dehydration and was just hours from death. He was rushed to a specialist baby unit and clung to life for three days before eventually showing signs of improvement.
Michaela then recorded a matron blaming the blunders on the fact the hospital was ‘understaffed’ and morale was low. She said: ‘The bottom line is this is a result of the NHS cuts. ‘Staff have to work longer hours and do everything – because there is nobody else to cover them if they don’t.
‘There are not enough doctors working so the receptionists are trying to keep the waiting list down by only checking in emergency cases.’
She added: ‘It makes my blood boil that the government will throw tax payers’ money at things like the Olympics but they can’t get elementary things right on the NHS and have ended up in a situation where a receptionist is attempting to diagnose patients.’
Michaela, who lives with Jaiden and partner Luke Daley, 26, and Gabriel, seven months, in Grantham, Lincolnshire, took her sick son to casualty in April 2011.
Michaela said: ‘I was pregnant at the time with Gabriel and extremely emotional. ‘A male receptionist said he was not ill enough to be seen in A and E so I presumed if the receptionist was sending me home he must have some medical experience.
‘When people say something authoritative and they work in a hospital, you presume they know what they are talking about.
‘The truth is that same receptionist was checking in drunks and patients with minor injuries and they were attended to by doctors – whilst my little boy who was actually in the last stages of dehydration and dying was sent home. ‘I remember thinking that wasn’t right but I didn’t know what to do.’
Michaela then took Jaiden to the out-of-hours GP surgery that same night after his condition worsened. But the doctor did not pick up on how sick the poorly her son was either and told her to take him home.
However, less than 12 hours later Jaiden’s eyes had sunk in, he was barely moving, being violently sick and had chronic diarrhoea. Terrified Michaela called NHS Direct – who advised her to take him to A and E at Grantham Hospital. But again a different receptionist tried to send her home.
Michaela said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when another receptionist tried to fob me off. ‘Here I was with a clearly sick baby in my arms and another receptionist tried to tell me again that I was overreacting and that I should just take him home.
‘She was huffing and puffing and trying to make me feel stupid. But this time Luke was at my side, and together we stood our ground and demanded to see a doctor. ‘She reluctantly booked Jaiden in and shortly afterwards a doctor examined him.’
The doctor immediately flagged Jaiden up as a medical emergency because of his limpness, high temperature and his inability to hold down liquids. He was diagnosed as being in the last stages of dehydration and medics warned his body was starting to shut down.
They took him to Boston Hospital, Lincolnshire, an hour away, and put on a drip in their specialist baby unit.
Michaela said: ‘I couldn’t stop crying – I thought he was going to die. Luke tried to console me but I was a mess. ‘We didn’t know if he was going to pull through. He was fighting for his life.
It was an agonising three days before he began to show signs of improvement and that whole time I wasn’t sure if I’d lose him. ‘I just kept thinking that the whole situation could have been avoided if Grantham A and E had not sent him home in the first place.
‘And by now I felt furious that the person who had sent us home was just a receptionist.’
His furious parents demanded an apology from the hospital and finally secured a meeting with the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, who run the facility, months later.
During the meeting Michaela recorded a matron at Grantham Hospital blaming the Easter break for the blunders, stating they were “understaffed”.
Mandy Charles, matron at the hospital, told Michaela: ‘We have been understaffed. ‘That’s not your fault. We have had to work some pretty awful shift patterns so morale has been really low and that makes people a bit bad tempered. But that is absolutely no excuse for what has happened to you.’
In the recording of the meeting, the out-of-hours service doctor, Dr Codi Ramesh, also apologised. He said: ‘I should have taken longer to examine him them had him immediately admitted to hospital. I’ve learnt from this incident and I will make sure it won’t happen again.’
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Lincolnshire Community Health Services apologised to Michaela.
A spokesman said: ‘Patients are routinely asked if they would normally seek GP advice for the condition they are presenting with and if so are directed to the out of hours GP next to A and E for the initial consultation. ‘Work has recently been completed to integrate the GP into the A and E department which means patients are seen by the right clinician more quickly.
‘In the last year we have made significant changes to the Grantham A and E department including a review of paediatric pathways, an increase in paediatric training for staff and we have also introduced a new Paediatric Liaison Nurse.’
Woman ‘starved to death’ in hospital after operation, family claim
A pensioner who served in the Women’s Land Army during WWII was allowed to starve to death in hospital after an operation, her family have claimed.
Joan Wood, 83, died from an infection, an inquest heard.
But Mrs Wood’s daughter Lori, 52, claimed her mother was so malnourished after 10 days without food in Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital that she was unable to fight off the infection.
The inquest in Sheffield was told that malnutrition could have hindered Mrs Wood’s ability to fight infection. Mrs Wood’s daughter claimed hospital staff failed to fit a feeding tube.
Mrs Wood was admitted to the hospital in January 2011, after fracturing a hip in a fall at the nursing home where she lived.
She underwent hip replacement surgery, and was discharged on January 20. But she was back eight days later when part of a prosthesis she had fitted collapsed.
Doctors tried to solve the problem with pain relief and physiotherapy before operating to remove her hip implant and clean the infected wound. But Mrs Wood died on April 1 after the infection spread to her lungs and caused pneumonia. Miss Wood claimed her mother had not eaten for 10 days before the operation.
When asked by Miss Wood if staff shortages could have prevented nurses from feeding all the patients on the ward orthopaedic geriatrician Dr Philippa May said there was “a very high demand on nursing staff” and that she “would find it difficult to comment on staff shortages”.
Diane Fawbert , a matron at the Hospital, told the inquest that since Mrs Wood’s death, more volunteers were being recruited to help dementia patients eat and relatives were encourage to bring in the favourite food of older patients.
She said Mrs Wood often rejected food, spat it out and was difficult when nurses tried to help with oral hygiene. She said that Mrs Wood did eat some food and her nutrition was satisfactory.
But Mrs Wood’s daughter asked her : “I want to know why she came to be so malnourished when she was in the hospital.? I don’t understand how she ended up so malnourished. “You are saying she was fed adequately and in the next breath you are saying she is difficult to feed.”
Sheffied Coroner David Urpeth, recorded a narrative verdict. “It is clear to me that it has to be right that better nutrition would have helped.”
Britain must limit European immigration during the recession, says ex-Labour minister Frank Field
Britain must stop letting in so many immigrants from Europe during the recession because the job market is “flooded”, Downing Street’s poverty adviser has warned.
Frank Field, a former Labour minister and MP for Birkenhead, said immigration from Europe was a major reason that millions of people are struggling to find jobs in the recession.
He said it would be increasingly difficult for unemployed British people to find work while the “market is flooded with over-qualified applicants from Europe”.
He said temporary restrictions would help give the Government’s welfare reforms a “fair wind”, as ministers try to encourage the long-term workless back into jobs.
“During the recession, the Government just needs to tell Brussels that we just can’t have free movement of labour,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“How is Iain Duncan-Smith [the Work and Pensions Secretary] going to get people off benefits into work if the market is flood with over-qualified people from Europe?
“There’s a huge haemorrhaging of Tory support to UKIP. I would have thought the leadership should look at an idea that would appeal to Tory and indeed many Labour voters.”
Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from Eastern Europe have settled in Britain since countries such as Poland joined the European Union.
However, the Government quickly dismissed Mr Field’s suggestions as it could make it difficult for British people to get jobs abroad.
Damian Green, the immigration minister, said “closing off” the European market would “badly impact” workers.
It is not unprecedented for countries imposed temporary measures to stop an influx of workers from eastern Europe.
Earlier this month, Switzerland said workers from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia would have to seek authorisation before arriving for work.
The country is not in the European Union (EU), but it said immigration from the economic bloc would now be subject to quotas.
At the time, the EU warned Switzerland it was in breach of a free movement treaty and hinted it could face legal action.
Britain has already limited the arrival of unskilled workers from outside the European Union.
However, free travel within the EU is a key principle of the union.
Earlier this year, David Cameron led a coalition of countries claiming that workers should be able to get jobs abroad within Europe even more easily as migration will help the economy.
Lazy British Police given 24 hour deadline to investigate complaints of anti-social behaviour
Police will be forced to investigate complaints of anti-social behaviour under new criminal justice reforms to be announced by the Home Secretary today.
Residents will be able to report anti-social behaviour online, over the telephone or in writing and the police will have to respond to their concerns within 24 hours.
One of the six new simplified powers will be Community Protection Notices, which can be issued for anti-social behaviour. The notices could be used to fine householders who are found to be leaving rubbish in their gardens. They would be given a £100 on-the-spot fine or be taken to court where the maximum fine would be £2,500.
The so-called “community trigger” is to be introduced by Theresa May amid concerns that many incidences of anti-social behaviour are repeatedly reported before police take action.
Local communities not receiving an adequate police response will be able to take their complaints to new police commissioners who will be able to force a more adequate investigation.
A new anti-social behaviour white paper is to be published today which will set out plans for six new sanctions to allow police and local authorities to deal with low-level criminality or nuisance behaviour. The new “streamlined” powers replace 19 previous sanctions covering everything from dropping litter to controlling dogs and dispersing yobs.
A Home Office source said: “Some people don’t bother to report anti-social behaviour as they have little faith in anything being done to deal with the problem.
“These new plans will directly address this continuing problem. Those involved in making life a misery for others will not get away with it. Police and local agencies will be given a set of six new fast and flexible powers to make the message clear: anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”
The new community trigger plans will initially be piloted in three areas – Manchester, Brighton and West Lindsey.
Ministers insist that the scheme will help crackdown on anti-social behaviour but Labour have accused the Government of watering down the criminal sanctions against prolific offenders.
They claim that those breaching anti-social behaviour orders will no longer face prison.
Gloria del Piero, a shadow Home Office minister, said: “The Government are weakening the powers police have to tackle antisocial behaviour. These measures are a weak rebrand, with a breach of the order not even resulting in a criminal record.“
“People will be bemused that it will take three separate complaints, or five different households, before getting a response. All complaints should be dealt with, and quickly. People suffering from antisocial behaviour don’t want to wait until the Government’s slow trigger is released.”
The new anti-social behaviour sanctions are part of a wider Government initiative to tackle low-level crime.
Ministers across Government are also focussing on new initiatives to target 120,000 problem families who are blamed for causing the majority of trouble.
Louise Casey, Tony Blair’s former respect csar, is co-ordinating the scheme which will see experts intervene by developing a detailed plan for each of the families to help them overcome their problems.
The 29 areas most affected by gang and youth crime are also being targeted with intensive help in the wake of last summer’s riots.
British Liberal leader promoting ‘communist’ policies for university access
Nick Clegg has been accused of promoting “communist” policies to force universities to take more students from state schools.
The Deputy Prime Minister suggested that leading colleges should lower their A-level entry grades for state school candidates.
Under a sweeping “social mobility strategy”, the country’s higher education system will be judged on how many state school pupils win places at leading universities, he said.
Vice-chancellors will face financial penalties if they fail to meet targets for increasing the number of disadvantaged students they admit.
But the plan raised concerns that independent school pupils who achieve good grades will be rejected by the best universities. Leading head teachers warned Mr Clegg he risked “stirring up ill feeling” between the state and private education systems.
Tim Hands, master of the independent Magdalen College School in Oxford, said Mr Clegg’s plan would “betray” parents who pay for a private education. “This is the old-style communist creation of a closed market, to try and deal with the problem after the event,” he said.
The government’s “energy and money” would be better spent on improving state education “rather than capping the achievements” of pupils in independent schools, he said.
Dr Hands, co-chair of the universities committee at the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) of leading independent schools, said Mr Clegg should “value” high quality teaching. “Many parents make huge sacrifices in order to get the best possible education for their children,” he said.
“Privileged politicians propose to betray those parents and their values.”
Brian Binley, a Conservative MP on the Commons education committee, said the drive to widen access to universities had been “one of the most destructive measures to our skills base that anyone could ever imagine”. He said it was “absolute nonsense” to tell universities to take more students from state schools when the focus should be on improving standards of primary and secondary education.
The criticism came as Mr Clegg annouced sweeping “social mobility strategy” intended to break the grip of middle-class families on the best-paid jobs and the most highly regarded universities.
In his most strident remarks on college access to date, he said universities to recruit students “on the basis of an ability to excel, not purely on previous attainment”.
He said ministers would aim to ensure that children born into working-class homes can find better jobs than their fathers held, amid evidence that “a large number of professions remain dominated by a small section of society”.
Mr Clegg said the Coalition’s social policies would be rated against 17 new indicators, ranging from babies’ birth weight to adults’ job opportunities.
Opening the best colleges to working-class students is essential to create a country “where what matters most is the person you become, not the person you were born”.
Children of mothers over 40 ‘are healthier and more intelligent and less likely to have accidents’
As an unpublished paper this is hard to evaluate but the picture of the children given below is typical of high IQ individuals. The authors claim to have controlled for social class but did that include maternal and paternal IQ? I doubt it. High IQ mothers are more likely to postpone childbirth so I think we are just looking at an effect of genetically transmitted IQ here
They might be harder to catch – and no doubt leave their mothers more exhausted – but children born to mums over 40 are healthier and brighter than those of younger women. The offspring of older women are less likely to have accidents or need hospital care and more likely to have been vaccinated early, a study found.
They will also develop a broader vocabulary from a young age and achieve higher scores in IQ tests in a range of measures up to the age of five.
The research, to be presented today at The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health conference in Glasgow, is a rare piece of good news for the rising number of women who are delaying motherhood.
Previous studies have highlighted the growing infertility rates for older women and the greater risk of them developing diabetes and pre-eclampsia.
But the latest research appears to show gains for older mothers once they have given birth, possibly due to their greater experience and maturity. The number of mothers who gave birth over the age of 40 increased from 15,000 in 2000 to 27,000 in 2010.
Researchers at the Institute of Child Health, University College London and Birkbeck College, London, said their findings showed older mothers can make better parents.
Dr Alastair Sutcliffe, who worked on the study, said negative publicity surrounding the rise of older mothers was based on the physical risks of pregnancy and childbirth. He said: ‘We have clear evidence that there are more desirable outcomes for children of older mothers compared with younger ages. We can reassure these older women that their children are probably better off.’
The Wellcome Foundation-funded study looked at 1,100 children born to women aged 40 and over, compared with 38,000 children born to younger women in Britain. The children’s ages ranged from nine months to five years.
Children of older mothers were less likely to be in accidents or need hospital admission, and were no more at risk of obesity.
Dr Sutcliffe said older mothers might be more risk-averse, possibly because they were less active and unable to run after their children, but they may also be better at spotting and avoiding potentially risky situations.
The research also checked a number of outcomes linked to parenting skills, including naming vocabulary, picture and shapes identification and developmental IQ using established British assessment scales.
The findings showed greater ability among children born to older mothers once social class was taken into account.
Previous research found three times more children born to older mothers got five GCSEs compared with those born to younger women.
Dr Sutcliffe said: ‘We found a continuum which showed a link between the older ages of mothers and better outcomes. It was the effect of age per se.
‘The big question is why. Older mothers appear to have good parenting skills, they may be less impulsive, calmer and have more life experience that better equips them for the role. More women are giving birth at older ages, this isn’t going to go away, they are deferring motherhood for many reasons.
‘The evidence suggests that when the enormous difficulties of pregnancy and birth are over, they can make better mothers,’ he added.
‘Wind farms are green tokenism’: British Actor Griff Rhys Jones attacks turbines and says it is not elitist to care about the countryside
Actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones has hit out at the ‘hypocrisy’ of wind farms – labelling them ‘green tokenism.’ The 58-year-old also criticised the Government’s controversial planning reforms and the ‘indiscriminate barbarity’ of developers.
He told today’s Radio Times: ‘There is still the hypocrisy of a green tokenism. ‘Randomly deposited industrial wind farms still pop up in a fulfilment of a hectic ambition that won’t solve ten per cent of our energy needs.
‘It is not elitist to care about the countryside. It is not old-fashioned. It is not the preserve of old-age pensioners, or out-of-touch aesthetes, or little Englanders, or sentimentalists, or soppy nature worshippers or selfish nimbyists to require that this balance endures, and that our government ensures that it does. ‘It is the proper demand of a citizen.’
Mr Rhys Jones owns a home in Holbrook, Suffolk, near the proposed site of one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms.
The huge development off the Suffolk coast would cover 300 square kilometres and include 325 turbines.
A former president of heritage charity The Civic Trust, Mr Rhys Jones recently campaigned against plans to erect a line of electricity pylons across moorland near his home.
He used his article to draft planning reforms that aimed to ‘cut red tape’ and make it easier to build in the countryside.
In March, ministers altered the proposed regulations after opposition from conservation groups.
Rhys Jones feels that wind firms, like this one in Lanarkshire in Scotland, will not cure the UK’s energy problems
Rhys Jones feels that wind firms, like this one in Lanarkshire in Scotland, will not cure the UK’s energy problems
Mr Rhys Jones said: ‘The Government panicked. The planning regulations were torn up. Our sense of priorities warped before our very eyes.’
He added: ‘The landscape is just as much part of the urgent remit of our state as housing or transport or the National Health Service. It is our shared birthright.
‘It belongs to you and, more importantly to your great, great, great grand-children.
‘So don’t let them destroy our shared beauty in the name of a short-term economic sticking plaster.
‘Buildings never go back to fields. Cheap, shoddy solutions are never eradicated with time, Rage rage, rage against indiscriminate barbarity.’
Mr Rhys Jones presents BBC1’s Britain’s Lost Routes, a new four part series that explores forgotten transport routes across the British countryside.
While promoting his 2009 documentary River Journeys, he angered fishermen by saying they have too much access to the nation’s waterways.
He encouraged canoeists and boaters to ‘disturb as many fishermen as possible’, prompting an angry response from anglers groups.
‘Colored’ is offensive? Someone should tell the NAACP
ITV news producers have been given a reprimand after they allowed a reporter to use the word ‘coloured’ to describe soccer players and coaches.
The word was used during a lunchtime news bulletin on February 26 about Prime Minister David Cameron hosting a summit on tackling racism in sport.
Twenty viewers complained to ITV and four to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom after the gaffe on the ITV1 programme.
ITV executives quickly apologised on Twitter, edited the word from the news report and removed the word from the report that appeared on the ITV News website.
They gave warnings about use of the word to the producer, programme editor and reporter.
Now, as a result of this, Ofcom has decided to take no action. It said: ‘We noted that ITV recognised the editorial mistake almost immediately after broadcast, and took swift and appropriate action to mitigate the potential for further offence.’