Teenage hairdresser died 24 hours after hospital staff TWICE failed to give her drugs prescribed by surgeon

There are quite effective drugs for UTIs (a common ailment among females) and one of them was apparently prescribed. She would be alive today if they had been administered

A teenager died in hospital after medical staff twice failed to give her antibiotics ordered by her doctor in the 24 hours before her death, an inquest heard yesterday.

Laura Garner, 18, died from an acute infection after being admitted to Bradford Royal Infirmary the previous night suffering from abdominal pain.

A senior duty doctor recommended the trainee hairdresser be given an antibiotic when she was first admitted.

Surgeon Abid Hassan Mohammed Salih returned for his night shift the next day and prescribed another antibiotic when he discovered tests for appendicitis were negative. This second antibiotic drug was to treat a possible urinary [tract] infection.

But the court heard no-one wrote a prescription for the antibiotic on the first night, despite it being detailed in the medical notes, and although the alternative medication was prescribed on the second night, it was never administered.

Mr Salih said: ‘It was normal procedure at the time that one of my junior doctors would deal with the prescribing.’ He admitted: ‘If this had happened today it would have been very different. ‘We have different practices now. The doctor who prescribes the medication would also write it up. But that was the way the system operated at that time.’

The surgeon said Laura had showed signs of improvement. He said she seemed ‘fine’ and was ‘smiling’ before being transferred from the acute ward to a recovery ward. They had a conversation and she walked unaided to her bed, he said.

The inquest in Bradford heard how she suddenly died just over 24 hours after being admitted to the hospital in September 2009.

When she was moved to the new ward shortly after midnight the crash team were called and 30 minutes of resuscitation failed to bring her back to life.

Her parents Steve and Anne Garner were called at 12.20am at home in Baildon, West Yorkshire, to say that their daughter had died.

Breaking down when giving her evidence, Mrs Garner said: ‘I became really upset, I was screaming. ‘I just didn’t believe them. How could she be dead? ‘She had died alone, she was by herself.’

A post mortem revealed she died of septicaemia and a bacterial infection of the kidney.

John Griffith, a consultant surgeon who was looking after Laura during the day, said he had never seen a case like it. Mr Griffith said: ‘In 12 years of consulting I have never seen a case progress like Laura’s. ‘It was very, very unusual and very tragic for everyone involved.’

The teenager had an abnormally high heart rate and high temperature while in hospital, but staff did not increase the frequency of their observations of her. When questioned by coroner Paul Marks, ward manager Angela Hurtault said she couldn’t explain why this was not done.

Nine months after Laura’s tragic death her parents launched a legal action against the hospital trust.


Surge in legal claims leaves NHS with record £1.3bn bill

A surge in legal claims has left the NHS paying a record £1.3billion a year in compensation fees. The amount has risen by nearly 50 per cent in the last year, with more than 14,000 cases settled in the past 12 months.

Experts blamed the rise on no-win, no-fee lawyers, who sometimes pocket far more money than the patients they represent. [It’s not the fault of poor care by the NHS then?]

Figures from the NHS Litigation Authority, the body responsible for compensation, show that £1.325billion was paid in damages last year. This is up 46 per cent compared with 2010/11, when the bill was £906million. Compensation for patients injured due to medical blunders – and the associated legal costs – totalled £1.28billion.

The rest of the payouts related to patients and staff who slipped and fell in hospitals or other NHS buildings.

Solicitors received £230million for fighting negligence claims. Rather than the rise being caused by worsening care, the NHSLA and legal experts believe it is due to patients being more aware that they are entitled to compensation – spurred on by no-win, no-fee lawyers.

There is no suggestion that patients who have been, for example, permanently disabled by negligence are not entitled to damages – but there is concern at the high fees paid to lawyers working on behalf of victims and their families.

In 2009, figures obtained by the Tories revealed that in one in five cases solicitors received more than the people they represented. There were 5,500 such cases over the previous five years in which lawyers received an average of £36,000 per case, compared with £15,000 for the victims.

An NHSLA spokesman said: ‘[The rise is] certainly believed to be partly due to the impact of conditional fee agreements – what you and I know as no win, no fee. It’s making it much more profitable for solicitors to handle these cases. They are making it known to people who have a right to claim that they can help them with that.’

A Department of Health spokesman added: ‘The vast majority of the millions of people seen by the NHS experience good-quality, safe and effective care. However, if patients do not receive the treatment they should and mistakes are made, it is right that they are entitled to seek compensation.’


Knowing British bureaucratic rigidity I understand this guy

He may have done all customers of that firm a favour

An unhappy customer smashed up a city centre mobile phone shop during an apparent row over a refund for a mobile phone contract.

Shocked shoppers filmed Jason Codner, 42, from Salford, on their phones as he methodically ripped out wall fixtures and set off fire extinguishers at the T-Mobile store in Manchester city centre.  The footage, which later appeared on YouTube, shows the middle-aged man destroying the shop displays as staff watch in disbelief.

Dressed in a checked shirt and jeans, the man pulls stock from the walls and overturns tables.

The havoc continues for several minutes until one member of staff makes a call from his mobile phone and shopping centre security staff arrive at the store shortly afterwards.

Five burly police officers turn up seconds later and the man smiles and tells them he is OK. Police then arrest him and lead him away, after telling a huge crowd of bystanders to move on.

A spokesman for T-Mobile – whose slogan is Life is for Sharing – said the firm was aware of the video footage and was investigating the incident.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said they were aware of Saturday’s incident and that Jason Codner, from Salford, had been charged with criminal damage and public order offences. He is due to appear at Salford and Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 30 July.

One shopper said: ‘The footage is unreal and we couldn’t believe how much damage had been caused.

‘He must have been seriously angry about something to go on such a rampage. Normally disgruntled shoppers would have just an exchange of words with a member of a staff about a product but this guy took it to a whole new level.’

A T-Mobile spokesman said there were seven staff members and several other customers in the shop at the time of the incident but all managed to escape without injury.

They added: ‘The incident which occurred at the Manchester Market Street store was of course very upsetting for our staff.  ‘During the incident, all customers and staff were taken outside of the store as quickly as possible and the police were called immediately to handle the incident.

‘The customer’s dispute was in relation to a refund that we were not able to give – as it was clearly outside of the stated terms and conditions. 


He may have had good reasons for wanting a contract  release   — such as illness, becoming unemployed  or poor phone reception — and the terms and conditions should make generous provisions for  allowing reasonable requests

And in Britain, you’ve got to get all the  rules right for all the circumstances.  A  Brit with a rulebook is like a robot.  See a summary of the very different American approach here.  The descendants of pioneers behave very differently from the descendants of serfs and villeins — JR

Police station closed down? You’d better head to the supermarket: As one in five British police stations shut their doors to cut costs

Victims of crime will be told to go to Tesco to get help as the shutters at more than one in five police stations are brought down to cut costs.  Chief constables will close 264 public counters over the next three years as they battle to balance the books.

Residents will instead be encouraged to travel to supermarkets, libraries and community centres if they want to speak to officers face-to-face.

A further 179 police buildings which have no public access will be sold off in an unprecedented fire sale of assets.

Senior officers argued that the blow of the police station closures will be softened as 137 so-called ‘shared locations’ open their doors.

They highlighted how many buildings were out of date and said fewer people visit police stations as they turn to the phone and internet. Some forces, such as Kent, Surrey, Essex, Cumbria and Gwent, were already using mobile police stations in supermarket car parks.

But critics have accused police of withdrawing from landmark high street buildings in many towns and cities simply to cut costs.

Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation, lashed out at forces for closing ‘places of refuge’ for crime victims. He said: ‘These drop-in centres are no substitute for a proper police station and for a lot of people they are not the answer.

‘In many cases they have taken away a police station and given the public a part-time office in a supermarket or a mobile home left in a car park.

‘The public want a police station with full facilities, a place of refuge and safety. What we are doing is abandoning this and providing a drop-in point instead.’

The closures were disclosed yesterday in a report by a police watchdog into how police forces in England and Wales are coping with tighter budgets.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found crime continues to fall and confidence in police remains high despite substantial cuts in government funding.

Its report said the total police workforce will fall by 32,400 officers and staff by 2015.  Among these will be 5,800 frontline officers although many forces have reorganised to put a larger proportion of bobbies on the beat.

However, Paul McKeever, of the Police Federation, argued that some forces have simply created a ‘smokescreen’ by moving officers to the front line from other important roles.  He added: ‘Whichever way you cut it, the resilience of the police service to be able to react to whatever is thrown at it is being threatened.’

Spending on equipment and services will also be cut by about £474million as chief constables look to reorganise and share contracts to save cash.

Sir Denis O’Connor, Chief Inspector of Constabulary, argued that  forces can save the jobs of dozens of police officers by selling off costly buildings.  He said: ‘The police station and front counter have traditionally been the physical mainstay of forces’ presence in communities.

‘However, the potential savings benefit to a force in shrinking its estate can be considerable. One reports it will save £500,000 in 2013/14 rising to £1.6million in 2014/15.’

He said the frontline officers he has met are ‘cracking on with the mission’, working imaginatively to maintain services whatever difficulties they face.

The latest cuts figures do not include Britain’s biggest force, the Met, which has not produced detailed budget plans or officer numbers.

Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe is reassembling his management team following a string of  resignations and a shake-up of how the force is overseen. Officials warned his force was in danger of severe failings when cuts bite after the Olympics and it already has a budget shortfall of more than £233million.

Two other forces, Lincolnshire and Devon & Cornwall, were also singled out as potentially failing to provide an ‘efficient and effective’ service in the future.

Chief Constable Steve Finnigan, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: ‘We are becoming more flexible in the way we deliver critical services such as neighbourhood policing, local response teams and investigative work.’

Policing minister Nick Herbert defended the cuts, saying: ‘This report makes it clear that the frontline of policing is being protected overall and that the service to the public has largely been maintained.’


Monbiot retreats again: Admits “peak oil” was wrong

He also likes nukes these days

The facts have changed, now we must change too. For the past 10 years an unlikely coalition of geologists, oil drillers, bankers, military strategists and environmentalists has been warning that peak oil – the decline of global supplies – is just around the corner. We had some strong reasons for doing so: production had slowed, the price had risen sharply, depletion was widespread and appeared to be escalating. The first of the great resource crunches seemed about to strike.

Among environmentalists it was never clear, even to ourselves, whether or not we wanted it to happen. It had the potential both to shock the world into economic transformation, averting future catastrophes, and to generate catastrophes of its own, including a shift into even more damaging technologies, such as biofuels and petrol made from coal. Even so, peak oil was a powerful lever. Governments, businesses and voters who seemed impervious to the moral case for cutting the use of fossil fuels might, we hoped, respond to the economic case.

Some of us made vague predictions, others were more specific. In all cases we were wrong. Peak oil hasn’t happened, and it’s unlikely to happen for a very long time.

A report by the oil executive Leonardo Maugeri, published by Harvard University, provides compelling evidence that a new oil boom has begun. The constraints on oil supply over the past 10 years appear to have had more to do with money than geology. The low prices before 2003 had discouraged investors from developing difficult fields. The high prices of the past few years have changed that.

Maugeri’s analysis of projects in 23 countries suggests that global oil supplies are likely to rise by a net 17 million barrels per day (to 110 million) by 2020. This, he says, is ”the largest potential addition to the world’s oil supply capacity since the 1980s”. The investments required to make this boom happen depend on a long-term price of $70 a barrel – the current cost of Brent crude is $95. Money is now flooding into new oil: a trillion dollars has been spent in the past two years; a record $600 billion is lined up for 2012.

The country in which production is likely to rise most is Iraq, into which multinational companies are now sinking their money, and their claws. But the bigger surprise is that the other great boom is likely to happen in the US. Hubbert’s peak, the famous bell-shaped graph depicting the rise and fall of American oil, is set to become Hubbert’s Rollercoaster.

Investment there will concentrate on unconventional oil, especially shale oil (which, confusingly, is not the same as oil shale). Shale oil is high-quality crude trapped in rocks through which it doesn’t flow naturally.

There are, we now know, monstrous deposits in the US: one estimate suggests that the Bakken shales in North Dakota contain almost as much oil as Saudi Arabia (though less of it is extractable). And this is one of 20 such formations in the US. Extracting shale oil requires horizontal drilling and fracking: a combination of high prices and technological refinements has made them economically viable.

So this is where we are. The automatic correction – resource depletion destroying the machine that was driving it – that many environmentalists foresaw is not going to happen. The problem we face is not that there is too little oil, but that there is too much.

There is enough oil in the ground to deep-fry the lot of us, and no obvious means to prevail upon governments and industry to leave it in the ground. Twenty years of efforts to prevent climate breakdown through moral persuasion have failed, with the collapse of the multilateral process at Rio de Janeiro last month. The world’s most powerful nation is again becoming an oil state, and if the political transformation of its northern neighbour is anything to go by, the results will not be pretty.

Humanity seems to be like the girl in Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth: she knows that if she eats the exquisite feast laid out in front of her, she too will be consumed, but she cannot help herself. I don’t like raising problems when I cannot see a solution.

But right now I’m not sure how I can look my children in the eyes.


Shale gas reserves looking very good in Britain

Despite the desperate hopes of the many who want to dismiss any impact of UK shale as inconsequential, that old trouble called facts keeps getting in the way.

The recovery rate of Cuadrilla’s 200TCF resource would range from 5 to 40%. How large the recovery would be depends on the results of further drilling and future technology. To argue today that it wont’ mean much is rather pointless, especially because “only” a 5% recovery rate for example still would supply over four years of total UK usage. That sounds like a yawn until understanding at today’s prices it would have a value of ‘only’ œ70 billion pounds taxable at 62%.

Cuadrilla are on the public record as saying that their estimate is conservative, but an investor presentation by Igas just to the south of the Cuadrilla concession shows that the scale of the Bowland resource shows potential to expand. Igas are already on the record as saying that their first serious exploration for shale at Ince Marshes near Ellesmere Port Cheshire show a recoverable reserve of over 4 TCF. This from the Chairman’s statement shows how the company is now positioning themselves:

Since 1 January 2011 we have moved from being a non-operated partner having equity interests in CBM licences under appraisal, to delivering material hydrocarbon production, having full control (as operator) and ownership (100% in most cases) of our assets and having early indications of significant shale resource potential.

Just as DECC has a sentimental attachment to Peak OIl, many UK operators continue publicly to talk about CBM. CBM was the reason most got their license in the first place, but luckily under UK regulation the license is for hydrocarbons including gas and oil thousands of feet below the coal layer. CBM has trundled along for years. I continue to be amazed how companies can do almost nothing in the way of activitiy but still continue to exist, but shale is changing the dynamics at least at Igas:

Successful appraisal of our unconventional resource potential continued with Ince Marshes-1 well, which was spudded on 4 November 2011. This well was planned to log and core the coals in an area around which less was known than elsewhere in our portfolio. The entire coal sequence was encountered shallower than anticipated and the decision was taken to continue to drill into the deeper horizons to better understand the geology and resource potential of the area. While it was anticipated that shale would be encountered, the results of the drilling, the logs and samples received, completely surpassed our expectations. We encountered and logged a significant Bowland Shale section of approximately 1,000ft. The well was TD`d in the Bowland Shale due to the limitations imposed by the CBM well design criteria. The well was suspended so that it might be re-entered and deepened at a later stage to fully appraise the entire thickness of the Bowland Shale. The logs and samples were sent for independent analysis. These results indicate a resource in excess of twice the pre-drill estimate and with the total organic carbon (?TOC?) observed between 1.2 and 6.9 (average 2.7) and initial analysis of the samples support our view that we may have discovered a potentially world class shale resource. Clearly, further wells and analysis are required to fully appraise the shales and critically flow tests need to be performed, however our results combined with those of operators in neighbouring licences in the Bowland Shale are extremely encouraging.

Combine the caution of public statments by public companies and English reticence, and extremely encouraging sounds like just that. As I’ve noted before 1,000 feet of shale is world class shale all by itself. Within the investor presentation geological data allows us to make some educated guesses.

We already know that Cuadrilla have revealed over 3,000 feet shale at Preece Hall. The question is how big is the resource. Cuadrilla have been stymied by the seismicity issue from investigating further to see a) if they can get the gas out of the ground and b) if Preece Hall was a fluke and there isn’t much gas elsewhere.

Igas figures show what could be confirmation that the Cuadrilla and Igas PEDL’s have a lot of gas, since now we see that forty miles south of Preece Hall the Bowland Shale is still 1000 feet thick. In other words, the surface extent is as healthy as the thickness.

More HERE (See the original for graphics)

The assault on the Enid Blyton books

A comment from Australia below on the wonderful children’s books by English author Enid Blyton.  I was a keen reader of them myself in my now long-gone childhood.  The stories are set in England in the first half of the 20th century and so use “prewar” English idioms.  The owners of the copyright, however, do from time to time reissue the books with “modernized” language in them.  Like the writer below, I regard that as a great loss — JR

I went on ABC Radio in Melbourne yesterday to talk about Enid Blyton‘s latest bout with the rewrite man (or woman). Now, we all know that the Famous Five and Secret Seven books have been tinkered with in the past to remove what were seen as sexist and racist themes. Personally I don’t think that was necessary, but I can see why some people did and I don’t have a huge argument with them.

But this latest rewrite, to “update” the language of Blyton’s young characters, to edit out their goshes and gollys and make their speech “timeless” (read of this time), is, as I said on radio, absolute nonsense. Here’s how Marlene Johnson, head of Hachette’s children’s books in the UK, explained the decision:

“These days you don’t talk about jolly japes to kids.”
She’s right, but so what? Kids these days don’t eat tinned tongue either, so do we rewrite the books to replace that staple foodstuff with a cheeseburger and fries?

And one of the stranger changes is to replace “peculiar”, such a lovely word, with the blander “strange”. Mercy me!

When I first read one of Blyton’s stories to my 7yo he was amazed and disgusted to learn that the kids in it ate tongue. It was wonderful to share that with him.

And this is my point: I love reading books to my son that expose him to the concept that people behaved differently in different times, and spoke differently. And that people in different nations have different customs and so on. I believe this is called learning!

This doesn’t apply only to old books either. My son loves Jeff Kinney‘s Wimpy Kid books, and when reading them I often have to explain American references that he doesn’t get. “In America,” I say, “they call a footpath a sidewalk”, and so on. Only last night I had to did deep to explain the words Barry Manilow .

I think this sort of thing, working out that that there are different words that mean the same thing in different places, is good for the nimbleness of one’s brain, like doing the crossword. And the more you do it, the better you get. A few days ago we were reading an American book and the word “nimrod” came up. I asked the boy if he knew what a nimrod was and was pleased that he’d worked it out from the context. “A dickhead,” he replied.



About jonjayray

I am former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party. The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody
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