Heavily pregnant teenager, 19, sent home from hospital had to walk FIVE MILES home while having contractions… and promptly gave birth on her bathroom floor
Working class people and the elderly are treated like sh*t by the NHS
Doctors forced a heavily pregnant woman to walk five miles home in the rain – just hours before she gave birth on her bathroom floor.
Katie Baker, 19, was rushed to hospital on Sunday after showing signs of going into labour – four days before her due date. She waited eight hours before a bed became available but, after being examined by doctors, she was discharged the following day.
Without her bank card to pay for a taxi and no one to collect her, Miss Baker was forced to hike the five-mile journey home along a busy dual carriageway. It took her two hours to walk from Walsall Manor hospital to her home in Tipton, West Midlands on Monday afternoon.
She was so exhausted that Miss Baker, who was due to give birth tomorrow, was forced to take a break at a library before continuing her painful journey. But just three hours later, she went into labour on the toilet but there was not enough time to take her back to hospital.
Her partner Clint Jones, 25, dialled 999 and paramedics were forced to deliver daughter Kelsey Jones, weighing 7lb 6oz, on her bathroom floor.
Miss Baker, who has another daughter, one-year-old Demi-Leigh, today blasted the hospital’s maternity unit for failing to listen to her. She said: ‘I’ve already had a child before so I knew that it was going to come soon but they still discharged me.
‘I said, “the only way I can get home is walking and that’s all the way in Tipton”. ‘They said, “you still have to be discharged”.
‘I rang my mum but she lives over 60 miles away in Banbury, Oxfordshire, but she didn’t have her car with her.
‘I had left my bank card at home so had no money and me and Clint were forced to walk home.
‘We told the doctors and nurses we had no transport but they shrugged their shoulders and said we had to go.
‘It was really exhausting because I had my overnight bag with me and it was cold and starting to rain.
‘I had to stop a few times to get my breath back and was so out of puff I had to sit down in a library half way home before carrying on.
‘When we finally got home, I had pains in my stomach so I had a warm bath and then an hour later I went on the toilet when the baby’s head popped out.
‘We rang 999 and the ambulance rushed round but there was no time to take me back to hospital so I gave birth on the bathroom floor.’
Miss Baker was taken back to hospital by paramedics after the birth as the baby had turned blue from swallowing amniotic fluid.
After staying in for two nights, she finally returned home with her healthy baby girl.
The family are now demanding an apology from the hospital.
Full-time mother Miss Baker added: ‘Nobody listened to me. What sort of a country do we live in when doctors force a woman who is nine months pregnant to walk home in the wet and cold? ‘I’m furious because the doctors put my baby at risk, I could have gone into labour on the path on the way home with cars whizzing by.’
Mr Jones, a factory worker, said: ‘It was awful, there were spots of rain, it was cold and windy and we had to walk along a busy dual carriageway. ‘I couldn’t believe it when we were told to walk home. It’s a disgraceful way to treat a heavily pregnant woman.’
An NHS spokesperson said it was ‘carrying out a full investigation’.
Karen Palmer, head of midwifery at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: ‘I am saddened to hear about this patient’s experience in our maternity department. ‘The trust is carrying out a full investigation into the concerns that have been raised on behalf of the patient and we will be happy to speak with the patient directly to try to address these.’
The scandal comes days after 11 medics were suspended after a man collapsed and died on the doorstep of Walsall Manor Hospital.
Pete was told he had groin strain – eight months later, he was dead: He had testicular cancer at aged 28
Immediate excision might have saved him
It was two weeks before Christmas 2007 when Pete told Anna he’d noticed a lump on his right testicle.
‘He said it didn’t hurt and was only small,’ says Anna, 31, who was then a medical technical officer and is now studying for a master’s degree in geo-environmental engineering. ‘I thought at worst it might be an infection that could be treated easily. ‘Pete was healthy, exercised regularly and he had never smoked.’
Three days later, Pete went to his GP, who prescribed a course of antibiotics. ‘But, in the new year, Pete didn’t have as much energy,’ says Anna. ‘He also had lower back pain. I did not connect the lump and his back pain — and if he did, he never mentioned it.
‘He was signed off from work and started taking painkillers. ‘But within a couple of weeks the lump on his testicle grew astonishingly quickly — it was fist-size and felt tender.’
Pete went back to his doctor, who sent him for a blood test three days later. Anna went with him, as by then they thought it could be something serious.
Just from looking at the lump, the urologist told them that Pete had testicular cancer. After blood tests and an X-ray, there was even worse news.
‘The doctor said the cancer had spread to his lower abdomen and possibly his lungs,’ says Anna.
‘We just had a feeling of disbelief. Everything was happening so quickly. ‘We just said: “OK, let’s get the treatment started. Let’s get this fixed.”
‘We went home in a daze and got his stuff ready to go into hospital the next day.
‘Even then I was certain he’d pull through. Pete was the sort of person who would set his mind to achieve something and would always succeed.’
The cancer was so advanced that Pete was given chemotherapy before the five-hour operation to remove his testicle and lymph nodes.
But despite this, the cancer continued to spread and Pete was transferred from Coventry to Barts Hospital in London to begin a more intensive course of chemotherapy.
‘Pete was really sick. As a side-effect of the chemo, he developed terribly painful mouth ulcers and couldn’t keep any food down. ‘It was really hard to see him like that,’ says Anna.
The couple, who had been together for five years, had talked about getting married and starting a family.
‘His parents, brother and sister were going through all the emotions you could imagine, like I was. But we tried our best to be strong for him.’
Then Pete developed a stomach infection. ‘He was so weak from his treatment — he basically had no immune system and just couldn’t fight the infection,’ says Anna. He died on September 16, 2008.
‘Everyone was devastated,’ says Anna. ‘Pete was the smartest person I’ve met. He was a really great person.’
At his funeral, instead of flowers, donations were made to male cancer charity Orchid.
Following his death, Anna carried out the vow she and Pete had made to raise funds and awareness for testicular cancer.
Almost immediately, she started organising sponsored walks and cycle rides.
‘Pete was more health aware than most men, yet he never checked himself for lumps,’ she says.
‘I do think his GP could have been more aware, too. He should have been alarmed, yet he didn’t even send him for a blood test.
‘My message to men is: check yourself every couple of weeks. And women should be encouraging them, too. ‘If there’s anything even remotely different, see a doctor immediately. Life’s too precious to ignore it.’
Social engineering ‘could lead to class war’ the British Government’s social mobility tsar admits
The Coalition is in danger of creating a class war with middle-income families pitted against the poorest, the Government’s social mobility tsar admitted yesterday.
Alan Milburn warned that moves to give priority to working-class university applicants and create an array of social mobility targets risked alienating the better off.
Giving evidence to MPs, he appeared to admit that so-called ‘social engineering’ policies are in danger of backfiring. ‘If we’re not very careful, we will end up in a position where we’re pitting the interests of kids at the very bottom against the kids in the middle,’ he said.
Surveys show that while the public felt a ‘high degree of empathy for children in poverty’, there was ‘not a high degree of sympathy for their parents’, he said.
‘And there is less and less sympathy over time for efforts to ameliorate on the part of Government the financial position of those at the bottom end.’
‘If we end up in a situation where working-class families are pitted against middle-class families, I think that’s a really big public policy and political problem because in the end you need public permission from the majority to be able to address some of these issues.’ He added that ‘some of our indicators don’t help that.’
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is using 17 social ‘trackers’ to assess the success of Government policies aimed at boosting social mobility.
The Coalition is also backing the use of so-called ‘contextual data’ – information on applicants’ school, family background and postcode – to help universities decide who to admit and which entry grades to set them.
Mr Milburn said it was ‘correct’ that the problem of class tensions most commonly arose in debates about university admissions.
Arguments about the merits of handing out benefits or helping the jobless back into work – instead of doing together – were also to blame, he suggested.
Mr Milburn, a former Labour Cabinet minister, was being quizzed by MPs prior to his appointment as head of a new social mobility commission being set up by the Coalition.
He went on to call for every child to be labelled according to their parents’ social class and tracked from nursery to employment as part of moves to close the gap between rich and poor. They should be divided into ten groups based on their parents’ wealth and monitored throughout their education.
This would be more finely-grained than simply splitting pupils into those on free school meals and those not, as currently happens for many targets.
‘There are also a bunch of kids in private schools who would be entitled to free school meals because of bursaries and sponsorship etc’ he said.
‘We need a single set of indicators. We need to be able to track in my view an individual pupil from between starting school, getting into school, what happens about their progress in school, where they go to once they leave school, and post-university as well.’
In his current role as social mobility adviser, Mr Milburn will shortly produce a report on universities’ role in boosting social mobility which is expected to call for greater use of contextual data in admissions.
However he is also likely to say that the data on applicants’ social backgrounds made available to universities must become more reliable. Mr Milburn admitted that current data – based on geographical areas – used was ‘imprecise’.
Elsewhere in his evidence, he disclosed that a 2020 target to eradicate child poverty in the UK had no chance of being met. ‘It’s time for all political parties to put up or shut up,’ he said. ‘I don’t believe there’s a snowball’s chance in hell we’ll meet the 2020 target. ‘That’s widely privately acknowledged, and it’s time to publicly acknowledge it.’
Liberal leader’s bluff has been called. Now it’s time the Prime Minister put him back in his playpen
That Roman emperor no one liked — the one whose lions dined off Christians in place of Pedigree Chum and who was accused of playing light music while his capital burned down — seems to have been a model of gravitas compared to the Liberal Democrats.
The party of Nick Clegg has an eye for the irrelevant and trivial, an instinct for embracing silliness, a nose for nonsense, which we would all find richly comic but for the fact the Lib Dems are part of Britain’s Coalition Government.
Before the last opening of Parliament, David Cameron asked Clegg if there was anything special he would like put in the Queen’s Speech, outlining forthcoming legislation.
The Lib Dems are men and women of powerful passions and clear priorities. Perhaps they would welcome a Bill to impose quotas for women in TV comedy? Or to outlaw cruelty to moorhens?
No, said little Nick with quiet firmness. All he wanted was House of Lords reform. And thus, this month, the Government put such a measure before Parliament: a Bill to halve the size of the Second Chamber and make it 80 per cent elected.
The outcome is a widely predicted political shambles. Last night, the Government was obliged to cancel a key vote on the Bill, because close to 100 Tory MPs would have refused to support it.
The measure has brought to a head all the bubbling exasperation at Westminster and across the country with the Coalition and the Lib Dems’ role in it.
Now, we are faced with weeks of wrangling and endless discussion in Parliament about the Lords, which will only serve to distract from the business of governing.
At a time when Britain faces some of the most serious peace-time challenges of the past century — reviving the economy and our global competitiveness, redefining our relationship with Europe — Nick Clegg and his MPs have become a drogue anchor on policy-making.
It is true that since 2010 they have supported action to cut the nation’s dreadful budget deficit by reducing public spending. That was right and — for them — courageous. But almost everywhere else, they are a dead weight.
Their obsession with renewable energy is responsible for thousands of grossly subsidised wind turbines, and snail’s progress towards exploiting newly discovered shale gas reserves and building a new generation of nuclear power stations.
They are intractably opposed to curbing the excesses of human rights legislation. They will countenance no reduction in overseas aid spending, even when the British Army is being cut to the bone.
They condemn Michael Gove’s attempts to make exams more rigorous because, like the Labour Party, they think that in the name of social justice everyone must win and be given prizes.
They resist measures to make business more competitive. They will continue to fight revision of our relationship with Europe even when all that is left of the Eurozone are bubbles rising to the surface where it sank.
They cherish a self-image as the nice party in a nasty world, even though in truth their MPs include as many unfaithful spouses as Labour and the Tories, and they have raised funds from just as many crooks.
Not one of their current ministers would occupy a government post if appointments were made on merit, in open competition with Tory MPs rather than by quota.
If David Cameron were being frank, he might say: ‘Even if all that is true, we are stuck with the Lib Dems. We had to join them in coalition because we failed to win an absolute majority at the 2010 election.
‘Coalition means compromise, and if the country doesn’t like it, voters should have given us a clear mandate.’
But the Tory part of the country is weary to death of seeing the Coalition cited as an excuse for not doing so many right things, while doing such wrong ones as introducing Lords reform. This seems, to quote Blackadder, as useful as a catflap in an elephant house.
There is plenty wrong with the House of Lords, packed with superannuated politicians and folk whom the Serious Fraud Squad would like to interview. But no democratic nation’s constitution is working perfectly just now.
Ask an American how he feels about the paralysis of Congress. Hear what Australians have got to say about the bunglers running their country. Talk to one of the French fugitives scurrying to get taken off the Channel coast beaches in small boats, to escape the consequences of their recent elections.
Democracy is in trouble, partly because few people whom you would want to see join your parish council are entering politics, and partly because it is hard to reconcile voters with the idea of having fewer of the things than they have had in the past, which is the name of the game in the 21st century for everyone except bankers and Russian oligarchs.
I do not think the Lib Dems’ Lords reform proposals threaten a constitutional disaster.
What is for sure, however, is that it is monumentally frivolous to waste time and energy debating and introducing such a change at this moment in the nation’s fortunes.
It is as if Nick Clegg said to the British people: ‘I haven’t an earthly what to do about the economy or Europe or immigration or bank governance, but instead here’s a little wheeze we think is quite fun.’
Lib Dems are not serious people. They never have been and never will be.
They are a political party for flat earthers, muesli eaters, world peace salesmen, and kindness-to- rats enthusiasts. It is absolutely right that the body politic should offer such a home to voters who shut their eyes and stop their ears whenever hard choices are to be made.
But it becomes Nightmare on Elm Street when these people get anywhere near the levers of power, because they are a chronic impediment to getting things done.
One of David Cameron’s biggest mistakes, acknowledged even by some of those closest to him, is that he has allowed keeping the Coalition afloat to become his principal policy objective, an end in itself.
Well, last night’s government decision to press the panic button and cancel a doomed Commons vote gives a dramatic political message.
The Cleggies’ bluff is being called. It only remains to be seen what happens next.
For weeks, the Lib Dems have been muttering that, if they cannot have Lords reform, they will retaliate by voting against constituency boundary change legislation that might benefit the Tories by as much as 20 seats.
This threat emphasises the Lib Dems’ irresponsibility. But the onus is on them to decide whether to put up or walk out.
If they quit the Coalition and force an election, they will merely transform themselves into political suicide bombers. Opinion polls suggest that, when the votes are counted, it will be hard to identify their remains. And they know it.
Most likely, the Lib Dems will cling to their chauffeurs and red boxes. If they are smart, they will recognise that the Lords reform stunt will not fly, and does not deserve to.
As for David Cameron, nothing will do more to raise respect for the Prime Minister, currently less than stratospheric, than for him to quit stroking the Lib Dems, and instead give them a dose of tough love.
Lords reform has brought to a head popular as well as Tory Party impatience with coalition government.
It is time for the Prime Minister and his closest colleagues to start acting grown up, which includes pushing Clegg back into his playpen.