Doctors made money treating private patients while on strike (and they’ll still get paid by the NHS)
Doctors who cancelled NHS work in support of last week’s industrial action treated private patients on the day of the strike.
One consultant cancelled an outpatient clinic to support the strike – but spent Thursday afternoon three miles away from his NHS hospital hosting lucrative consultations with private patients. The surgeon, urology specialist Ramon Niekrash, will still be paid for his NHS duties despite going on strike, and will also have made hundreds of pounds from his private appointments.
Mr Niekrash’s NHS employer, Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Woolwich, South-East London, scrapped his morning clinic, including a scheduled appointment with a patient with possible cancer symptoms, as a result of the industrial action.
The British Medical Association, which called the strike, had told doctors they ‘cannot arrange to do private work instead of previously scheduled NHS work whilst taking part in industrial action’.
The BMA suggested that they also consider not carrying out their routine private clinics, even if they had no other NHS work, because ‘doing such work would not be viewed favourably by the media or the public’.
In addition to his work for the NHS, Mr Niekrash works at the BMI The Blackheath Hospital. On its website, the private hospital states that the surgeon holds clinics there on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
But a bookings agent at Blackheath Hospital confirmed Mr Niekrash had several appointments last Thursday between 2.30pm and 4.45pm.
However, Mr Niekrash said it was ‘routine’ for him to treat private patients on a Thursday afternoon. He said: ‘The advice of the BMA was to do urgent cases and cancer patients. I still came into the [NHS] hospital in the morning and carried out other activity which was related to patients.’
Another top doctor, breast specialist Michael Douek, supported the strike action at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in Central London and said he was ‘only seeing urgent cases’ on Thursday.
However, he also carried out private work at the Harley Street Clinic between 5.30pm and 7pm that day.
There is no suggestion that either of the doctors arranged their private patient appointments in place of their NHS duties.
It is not known how many doctors who were taking part in Thursday’s walkout also saw private patients during the day.
The action, called over plans to make doctors work two years longer and contribute more of their salaries to get a smaller pension, caused 2,700 elective operations to be rescheduled and 18,750 outpatient appointments to be rearranged.
Private hospital groups confirmed that nearly all scheduled clinics ran as normal on the day without cancellations. HCA Healthcare, which runs some of the country’s biggest private hospitals, said no doctors had cancelled their private patients over the dispute.
Baby at risk of brain damage has crucial operation cancelled because of doctors’ strike
A baby with a condition that could leave him with brain damage had an operation cancelled because of the doctors’ strike.
Leon Gough, suffers from craniosynostosis, which caused his skull to fuse prematurely, leaving no room for his brain to develop.
Doctors at Birmingham Children’s Hospital warned his parents, Sharon Mitchell and John Gough, that if the ten-hour operation to cut holes in his skull was not carried out before he was six months old, he risked brain damage.
A first operation on June 12 was cancelled because of an emergency, but the second date was scheduled for Thursday – the day of the strike – and this was also scrapped. Surgery has now been rearranged for July 5, when Leon will be nearly seven months old.
Ms Mitchell, 41, said: ‘Sometimes he just screams for no reason. We just don’t know what internal harm is being done by this delay. I feel so helpless.’
An estimated 1.25million GP appointments were postponed as a result of the strike, including 400,000 involving the elderly and 140,000 for children. It’s feared the industrial action will create a huge backlog that will have knock-on effects for the NHS for several weeks.
Patients whose operations, hospital tests or scans were due to take place on Thursday have been sent cancellation letters but many have still to be given a new appointment date. The Department of Health warned this could take some time.
Other victims of the dispute include 1,350 waiting for cataract surgery and 700 awaiting hip and knee replacements. Another 7,500 with heart problems have had appointments cancelled and a further 7,500 paediatric appointments were postponed. Around 9,500 pregnant women have had tests and scans cancelled and 200,000 hospital outpatient appointments will need to be rescheduled.
The real Ed Miliband
His speech about immigration to Britain has generally been reported as a backdown on the “open door” policy favoured by his Labour Party predecessors. It is however a different story if you look at the detail of what he said
In political, economic and demographic terms, we are living through remarkable times. The news, whether it be domestic or international, is almost uniformly bad. And yet amidst this maelstrom, the helmsmen of the emergent global economic and political order continue to chart a course that they set long ago, cognisant of the storms that their policies must surely engender, yet happy for us to suffer the ill-effects of their globalist tempest, utilising the naïveté of those who believe in the ideal of a global village, to aid in their construction of a global prison, from which none, they hope, will be permitted to escape.
Miliband’s speech, like his recent speech on Englishness, was essentially devoid of content. Its intent however, was just the same as its forerunner: to generate headlines conveying the impression that he cares about the ostensible topic under discussion.
Whilst sections of the media and some trades union spokesmen have dutifully complied with this charade, feigning outrage over his touching upon such topics as national identity and immigration, both speeches delivered the same message as found expression in the policy of the last Labour Government: immigration and globalisation are positive, and should be promoted as such. This can be demonstrated through reference to key elements of Miliband’s speech reproduced below:
Excerpt 1: “Britain must control its borders but it must always face outwards to the world. The Britain I believe in is a confident and optimistic country, not one which is insecure and inward looking. If people are looking for a politician who says immigration is just bad for Britain, that’s not me. I believe immigration has benefits, economically, culturally and socially.”
Excerpt 2: “I am the son of immigrants and I am hugely proud of it. I will always talk about immigration in a way that is true to who I am, to my heritage, to my mum and dad.”
Excerpt 3: “Providing a refuge for those fleeing persecution. And a new approach to immigration based on building a different kind of economy. An economy that doesn’t leave anyone behind. That continues to attract people from abroad who contribute their talents to our economy and society. That offers proper wages and good conditions. That’s the kind of economy that will enable Britain to compete with the world.”
In summary the core message of Miliband’s speech was this: Labour made a gaffe in selling mass immigration from the EU accession states to the public and this backfired electorally, not because the party believes this to have been wrong, but because it handled its propaganda maladroitly. The Labour Party needs to repair its image with its traditional indigenous (although Labour’s upper echelons would never use such a term) working-class supporters, who have to a considerable degree deserted Labour; it would still like their votes.
By talking about “immigration” in a manner which suggests to the public that Miliband is recognising Labour’s mistakes and addressing their concerns, whilst in reality simply acknowledging that there had been public disquiet and then reiterating the message that Labour still advocates mass immigration and thinks that it is beneficial, Labour hopes that it can pull the wool over the public’s eyes and win back the support of ex-Labour voters without changing policy. Miliband wishes to change the presentation of policy, whilst retaining its essence: open borders and the deculturisation of the United Kingdom, especially England.
Another highly noteworthy aspect of Miliband’s speech was the target that he selected in his discussion of mass immigration: white Central and Eastern Europeans from the EU member states of the former Soviet bloc. Nowhere did he have a critical word to say with respect to the far larger, as well as more culturally and economically problematic influx, of immigrants from Asia (predominantly Pakistan and Bangladesh) and Africa (e.g. Somalia and Nigeria). It seems that he is perfectly at ease with this mass settlement.
Why? Although it is true that mass immigration from the EU accession states of the former Soviet bloc has lowered wages, increased unemployment and placed an increased strain on housing, education, health and utilities, there is not so great a cultural gulf between these immigrants and the host population as that between us and the incomers from Asia and Africa.
Although the press are keen to run stories about ‘East European’ or ‘Romanian’ criminal gangs, these are predominantly Roma, and thus should not be conflated with ethnic Romanians or other immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe.
So, why is it, taking into consideration the additional problems associated with significant elements of the immigrant populations from Africa and Asia, that Miliband chose not to focus upon them? Given Miliband’s glaring omission, it could give the impression that he has some issue with white European peoples that he does not have with non-Europeans.
Ed Miliband is the son of a Belgian-born Marxist theoretician of Jewish origins. Is that why he seems to have so little attachment to England and Englishness? He certainly stresses his family ties. Both Marxism and Jewishness would tend to lead him towards little respect for civilizations of Christian origins — JR
Truth about Britain’s feral youth: Small core of youngsters commit staggering 86 crimes by age 16
Which means that permanent incarceration of recidivists would hugely reduce crime incidence. Instead, recidivists are routinely released, if they are locked up at all
A tiny band of delinquents who commit around 86 crimes by the age of 16 are responsible for the majority of youth offending, according to a study. It also found that nearly half of juvenile offences can be traced back to a small number of thugs who make up less than 4 per cent of the teenage population.
The research by Cambridge University has been hailed as a ground-breaking study into Britain’s feral youth as it suggests for the first time that it is not opportunity which makes the thief, it is morality.
While the majority of schoolchildren know the difference between right and wrong, it was a tiny minority of 3.8 per cent of teenagers who were judged to have no morals that committed 47 per cent of the 16,000 juvenile crimes studied. This small group was responsible for the most serious property crimes such as burglaries, robberies and car theft.
Many of them were serial offenders who had begun committing crime before the age of 12 and were considered ‘highly versatile in their criminality’, regularly committing acts of violence, vandalism and shoplifting.
Researchers studied 700 teenagers over five years from the age of 12 to 16 in Peterborough, which was chosen for its average size, crime level and social make-up.
Youngsters were asked about their attitudes to crime and what offences they had committed, which was cross-checked with police and school records. A lack of moral compass, rather than the opportunity to commit crime or social background, was revealed to be the most important factor in youths breaking the law.
The research, which is the most comprehensive study of youth crime in Europe, found that teenagers who avoided crime did so not because they feared the consequences or lacked the chance, but because they saw it as wrong.
Of those surveyed, the 16 per cent most ‘crime-prone’ group who admitted having the weakest morals, being impulsive and short-sighted and having no self-control were responsible for 60 per cent of the 16,000 crimes reported by those surveyed, with the average racking up 86 crimes between the age of 12 and 16.
The 16 per cent most ‘crime-averse’ group who were judged to have the strongest values, accounted for just 0.5 per cent of the crimes reported.
The research also offers some insights into last year’s riots and why some young people went on the rampage in some areas while others did not. It suggested that certain urban environments provide triggers for crime where there is weak social cohesion and lack of community spirit. City centres, retail outlets, entertainment venues and rundown housing estates where no one is likely to intervene provide easy targets.
While deprived areas with a ‘higher level of social disadvantage’ and low levels of moral education tended to be the most crime-prone.
Professor Per-Olof Wikstrom, who led the Cambridge study, said: ‘The idea that opportunity makes the thief – that young people will inevitably commit crime in certain environments – runs counter to our findings. ‘Rather, only the “crime-prone” become vulnerable to said opportunities when taking part in environments with a moral context that encourages or at least does not discourage crime.’
He urged the Government to put more emphasis on teaching children the difference between right and wrong. ‘In prevention we need to focus on developing policies that affect children and young people’s moral education and cognitive nurturing, which aids the development of greater self-control, and policies that help minimise the emergence of moral contexts conducive to crime,’ he added.
The findings could have profound implications for policing with under-17s being responsible for 23 per cent of recorded crime nationally.
Yesterday academics around the world praised the report. Professor Michael Gottfredson at the University of California described it as ‘among the most significant works in criminology in decades’, while Professor Robert Sampson at Harvard University near Boston Cambridge Massachusetts said the research was a ‘breakthrough’.
But Camila Batmanghelidjh, the founder of Kids Company, cautioned against branding some young people as amoral. She said: ‘Society is lecturing children and young people about how well behaved they should be but it’s not behaving in a way that warrants respect. It’s a given that it’s a good thing to teach right from wrong, but really where children observe it the most is in experience: it’s “have you looked after me?” and “do you do what you preach?”’
Graham Beech, the director of the crime reduction charity Nacro, said: ‘In my view the key to preventing crime by the small number of young people who are most likely to get entrenched in crime is to get in early, instil positive attitudes and teach them how to solve their everyday problems in a better way.’
Britain’s Stasi cops a setback
The exhaustive record keeping of the Stasi was legendary
Police will have to destroy mugshots of innocent people following a landmark case brought by a 15-year-old. The boy went to court after being told his image would be held until he reached 100 – even though no charges were laid against him.
The High Court ruled yesterday that retaining photographs of suspects who have never been charged was a breach of their human rights.
Police forces will now have to trawl through their records deleting images, including those of people cleared at trial.
The teenager from Peckham, South London, was arrested on suspicion of rape in April 2009 but no charges were brought when a witness failed to confirm an offence took place. When he asked to have his details removed he was told the mugshot could be retained until he reached the age of 100. He was 12 at the time.
The second claimant was a cyclist from Chelsea accused of assaulting a police community support officer who stopped her riding on a footpath in April 2007.
The 60-year-old, who was described as of good character, had DNA samples, fingerprints and photographs taken but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge her with any offence. When she complained, the Metropolitan Police refused to delete her record.
The force’s policy, which is based on the Home Secretary’s code of practice, is to retain mugshots for a minimum of six years, although this can be extended indefinitely. Scotland Yard argued that it was necessary to keep the photographs to prevent crime and disorder.
But Lord Justice Richards said the policy drew ‘no adequate distinction’ between those who are convicted and those who are either acquitted or not even charged.
The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, concluded: ‘I am not satisfied that the existing policy strikes a fair balance between the competing public and private interests and meets the requirements of proportionality.
‘In my judgment, therefore, the retention of the claimants’ photographs in application of the existing policy amounts to unjustified interference with their right to respect for their private life and is in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.’
The judge granted the force a few months to revise their policy. Home Secretary Theresa May now has two weeks to lodge an appeal on the ruling, which has implications for all police forces. The courts have already ruled that it is unlawful to keep innocent people’s fingerprints and DNA indefinitely.
But Lord Justice Richards said the Met would not have to delete details of the teenage boy’s alleged offence from the police national computer.
Yesterday John Wadham, general counsel for Equality and Human Rights Commission, which backed the test case, said: ‘There is no good reason why the police should hold on to information about people who have not committed any crime.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are urgently examining the implications of today’s ruling.’
Cowardly British firemen shown up by teenager
Once it would have been a simple job for a fire brigade happy to do its bit for the community. Not any longer. When Diesel the cat refused to come down from a 60ft spruce tree, he was stuck there for five days – because of health and safety rules. The local fire and rescue service feared its officers would be ‘putting their lives at risk’ if they tried to rescue him.
In the end it was a 15-year-old boy who came to the cat’s aid – without the benefit of the fire brigade’s ladders, safety nets or cranes.
As Diesel’s mews trailed off into silence and his owner feared he would die from dehydration, Kyle Watkinson simply climbed the tree and brought him down yesterday afternoon. Kyle, a keen climber, said: ‘It wasn’t hard and it isn’t even the worst tree I have climbed. I was scared for the cat but never for myself.
‘I am happy to have saved Diesel, but would like to send a message to the firefighters and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that they should be helping animals in trouble.
‘They said it was too risky – but I just can’t see how, when I’m a 15-year-old boy and I got up and got the cat down with no bother at all.’
A border dispute between English and Scottish firemen only added to the problem, while an animal welfare charity said it was also unable to help.
Diesel’s owner Adele Harland thanked Kyle, but criticised Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue for refusing to even attempt to save her 18-month-old cat. Mrs Harland added: ‘If I had gone out and tied Diesel to a tree the SSPCA would be here quickly enough, wanting to prosecute me for cruelty. But when I ask for help to get him down a tree, they don’t want to know.’
Diesel got stuck 60 feet up the spruce tree last Tuesday evening.
Mrs Harland, a nursery worker in the Borders village of Foulden, rang the local fire brigade, but was told it wasn’t its policy to rescue cats from trees. The SSPCA said the same thing.
The Northumberland Fire Service initially agreed to come out, but then said it could not sent a team across the border.
Mrs Harland spent four nights helplessly listening to her cat’s terrified cries before the weakened moggie went quiet. After a tree surgeon tried and failed to reach Diesel, a spokesman for the Borders fire service gave the following statement: ‘The cat has been up nearly a week now. ‘The cat was too high for the tree surgeon to reach and he was not going to put his life at risk by going any further.
‘Similarly, we are not going to put the lives of our firefighters at risk. The SSPCA are of a similar opinion.’
But help was on its way. By chance a friend of Kyle’s mother, Margaret Muir, had emailed her after hearing about Diesel’s plight. Mrs Muir, 38, said: ‘We have never met the people involved, but I called Kyle and we got straight in the car. I would never have put my son at risk if I thought he couldn’t do it, but it was fine. He wants to be a doctor but it seems he might have a back-up career as a firefighter now.’
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue said: ‘We advised the owner of the cat that we have a policy of not putting the lives of operation crews at risk unnecessarily.’
Mike Flynn, of the SSPCA, said: ‘We explained to the owner of a cat in the Berwick-upon-Tweed area that as a tree surgeon was unable to reach her cat and the fire service was unable to assist, unfortunately there was nothing further we were able to do.’
Disgusting wretches, all of them! — JR
The Battle of Britain? Wasn’t that at sea? Half of secondary school pupils do not know battle took place in the air
It was a turning point in the war, when only the bravery of The Few who took to the skies to defend their country stood between Britain and the might of Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe.
But less than half of today’s secondary school pupils know the Battle of Britain was fought in the air, a poll has revealed.
Only 62 per cent could correctly identify a photograph of Sir Winston Churchill, it found – but 92 per cent recognised a picture of Churchill the insurance dog.
‘Oh yes’? More like ‘Oh no’: Over 90 per cent recognised the dog from the Churchill Insurance advertisements yet only a measly 62 per cent of the students polled could identify Sir Winston Churchill
More could identify Jedward, Wayne Rooney and Katie Price than their country’s wartime leader.
Only a third of 11 to 18-year-olds know the Second World War began in 1939, according to a poll by former Conservative Party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft, while only one in five knows what happened on D-Day.
The survey of 1,000 children at secondary schools across Britain was commissioned to mark the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in London later this week.
Its results will heighten concern about the quality of history teaching in our schools.
It found that only 34 per cent of pupils – including 45 per cent of those aged 17 and 18 – knew the Second World War began in 1939. Only 39 per cent knew it ended in 1945, again including only 45 per cent of 17 and 18-year-olds.
Forty-three per cent knew the Battle of Britain was fought in the air, 29 per cent believed it was fought on land, and 8 per cent at sea. Twenty per cent admitted they did not know.
Just 34 per cent correctly said the Battle of Britain took place in the 1940s, and only 11 per cent of these – about one in 27 of the whole sample – knew it happened in 1940.
Only a fifth of children had any idea of what happened on D-Day, with the most frequent answer being the day the war ended.
More people could identify Jedward [singers] and Katie Price [silicone enhanced woman] than Sir Winston Churchill
Eighty-six per cent correctly said there had been two world wars – but one in 20 thought there had been three.
Nearly a third were unable to give any unprompted explanation of why Britain fought in the Second World War. And while 89 per cent identified Germany as an adversary during the conflict, only 15 per cent could name Japan unprompted.
When the children were offered four different explanations for what Bomber Command is or was, only 36 per cent correctly said it had been part of the RAF.
Lord Ashcroft, who donated £1million towards the Bomber Command Memorial, said: ‘I don’t mean to criticise the children. ‘We must all take responsibility for ensuring that what we know is passed to the next generation. ‘These findings show we can never be complacent about our duty to remember.’
Homosexual hate in Britain
A newlywed couple have been targeted by internet trolls after they joined a campaign against the Government’s gay marriage proposals.
Campaign group Coalition for Marriage (C4M) said Rhys and Esther Curnow, both 23, from Newcastle, have been subjected to a torrent of abuse on Facebook and Twitter.
C4M, which is a coalition of groups opposed to plans for same-sex marriage, backed by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, said the messages included deaths threats.
One Facebook message said: ‘I really hope you & your husband turn out infertile & die of cancer. That would be something to celebrate.’
Another, on Twitter, said: ‘Did Esther Curnow suffocate and die a sad and lonely death in her polyester wedding dress yet? No? Shame….’
And a further tweet said: ‘Esther Curnow needs a punch in the face. That is all.’
C4M said one troll urged others to send excrement to the couple, who married in March and live in Newcastle.
They have also been told to ‘Go and die and rot in hell.’
Internet hate; One of the vile tweets targeting young bride Esther Curnow
The group said the hate campaign began after Mr and Mrs Curnow took part in the presentation of a C4M petition to Downing Street last week. They posed outside the famous front door in their wedding outfits. The petition opposing proposals for gay marriage has 575,000 signatories.
C4M campaign director Colin Hart said: ‘The level of abuse that this young couple have been subjected too is shocking…. Mr Hart said the matter has been referred to the police.