Killed by a BEDSORE: Retired teacher died after ‘below standard’ treatment at NHS hospital
A grandmother was killed by a bedsore after receiving ‘below standard’ treatment at an NHS hospital.
Retired teacher Eileen Cliggett, 79, was sent home from hospital with a bedsore after being laid up for a week. She was re-admitted to hospital a month later when the sore became severely infected – and died a few days later on August 17. Her official cause of death was recorded as a pressure sore.
Health chiefs have now apologised to Mrs Cliggett’s family for the substandard care she received at the Llandough Hospital in Cardiff.
Her daughter Brenda Cliggett, 52, said: ‘I cannot believe in this day and age that a hospital allowed pressure sores to develop to such an extent my mother lost her life. ‘I was shocked when I first saw the extent of my mother’s injuries. ‘I have not been able to look at the photographs of the pressure sores since. ‘What happened to my my mother should not be allowed to happen to anyone, particularly when in the care of hospital staff.’
Retired teacher Mrs Cliggett was admitted to hospital for a hysterectomy following cancer in June 2011. She was given an epidural anaesthetic and had to stay in bed for a week. She was discharged two weeks after the operation.
Management consultant Ms Cliggett said: ‘A risk assessment was carried out but the appropriate NHS procedures to prevent bed sores were not taken. ‘My mother was poorly treated and when we raised concerns they were not addressed. I feel completely let down by the hospital.
‘I sincerely hope that lessons are learned so that other patients do not suffer from pressure sores.’
Ms Cliggett said it was only when her mother was visited by a district nurse that the sore was flagged up to the family. However, photographs taken of her mother four days before she was discharged ‘clearly showed’ a severe pressure sore.
The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board admitted mistakes were made in the care of widow Mrs Cliggett.
A spokesman said: ‘We would like to reassure the family and the public that a thorough investigation was carried out using the multi-agency approach provided by the Protection of Vulnerable Adults process. ‘This has led to changes in how we work including how we prevent and reduce pressure ulcers.
‘The health board offers its sincere apologies to Ms Cliggett over the care of her mother Eileen which we acknowledge was not acceptable and below the high standards we set for all our patients.’
Revealed: Shocking truth of axed A&E wards (and where it will now take you an hour to reach casualty)
A massive – and until now unreported – programme of closures of accident and emergency departments will leave millions forced to use so-called ‘urgent care centres’ that in reality cannot provide urgent care, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found.
The centres are allowed to handle only the simplest injuries and mild illnesses. An NHS document obtained by this newspaper reveals they are legally forbidden from treating a vast array of serious and life-threatening conditions, including shock, internal bleeding, most types of broken bones, breathing difficulties, stab or gunshot wounds, heart attacks, strokes and head injuries.
Extraordinarily, they are also banned from treating patients suffering from ‘severe pain’ – defined as anybody who needs medications not commonly prescribed by GPs, such as intravenous pain-relief drugs
The A&E closures mean serious diagnostic errors and untreated conditions are likely to become more common. And some patients now face an hour’s journey to reach a full hospital A&E department.
One patient who has already suffered is 23-month-old Emily Laking – who nearly died after being seen at a clinic that replaced her local A&E.
Emily had a raging fever, severe cough, lacked energy and was vomiting. Because the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s A&E had closed 11 months ago, her parents took her to a One Life centre, staffed by nurses and GPs. A doctor there said Emily was simply dehydrated, and prescribed Dioralyte – the chemical-replacement salts normally given to patients with diarrhoea.
But Emily continued to weaken, so the next morning the family made the 30-minute drive to what is now their nearest A&E department, at North Tees Hospital in Stockton. There, Emily was diagnosed with double pneumonia and a severely enlarged heart.
Her father Neil said: ‘The doctors told us that if we hadn’t ignored One Life’s advice and taken her to A&E, she wouldn’t have made it through another night. She spent 13 days in hospital, mostly in a heart unit, and six months on medication. ‘I’ll never set foot in the One Life centre again. I wouldn’t trust them to put sugar in my coffee.’
The Mail on Sunday’s investigation has found the family’s experience is far from unique – and equally serious errors are likely to become more common in many areas due to cuts in A&E. Patients at urgent care centres who are referred for further treatment at a proper hospital face long journeys, which may take more than an hour in peak traffic.
Supporters of the closure programme are led by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson. They claim the switch to bigger and fewer A&Es will improve patient care by focusing emergency treatment in high-tech ‘centres of excellence’.
They say urgent care centres will be enough for patients with minor problems who should not be treated in A&E at all. But critics, including many doctors, say the closures are being rushed through – putting patients’ lives at risk and depriving the affected hospitals of ‘patient intake’. This means they are likely – as has happened in the past – to lose many of their remaining services.
Opponents also argue that the real purpose of the ‘slash and burn’ approach – as it was described by one London hospital consultant – is to save money. The NHS must cut £20 billion from its budget by 2015.
Until our investigation, no one has known the scale of the A&E reform programme. NHS decentralisation, imposed earlier this year means such policies are no longer being driven from Whitehall.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said yesterday: ‘These decisions should be made locally. We don’t know as well as the local health professionals what is needed for the populations they serve.’
She added that closures should only take place when conditions laid down by Mr Lansley had been met: they should be clinically justified, supported by local GPs and patients, and ‘promote patient choice’.
But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that department closures are looming on a scale so large that one doctor likens them to the drastic cuts on the rail network imposed in the Sixties by Richard Beeching, the then British Railways chairman. The hospitals slated for department closures include four in North West London; three elsewhere in the capital; and Trafford General in Greater Manchester
Some plans fly in the face of assurances made by David Cameron before and after he won the 2010 Election. In 2007 he promised a ‘bare-knuckle fight’ to stop A&E and maternity closures, listing several that have now closed or are set to — including Hartlepool, King George Hospital in Ilford, East London, Trafford General, Chase Farm in Enfield, North London and St Cross in Rugby.
He even attended a protest against the plans at Chase Farm, a few days after the election. The hospital’s future was a huge local issue, and thought to be behind the Tories gaining the seat from Labour.
In April last year, Mr Cameron chose another hospital, Ealing, to launch his health reform Bill – now the Health and Social Care Act. He praised the staff’s excellence and said: ‘It’s because I love the NHS so much that I want to change it, because the fact is the NHS needs to change.’ The hospital now faces A&E and maternity closures.
Mr Lansley, too, spoke of the need to continue services at Ealing and Chase Farm before the Election. They were, he said, ‘by any measure … large emergency departments’ and their treatment could not be easily provided elsewhere. He added: ‘If you’re somewhere like Ealing, Ealing Hospital is a very appropriate location … to access services.’
But NHS leaders now say the cuts are essential. Last month, Sir David Nicholson described them as a ‘really, really important set of changes for the NHS as a whole’. He singled out the pending upheaval in North West London as ‘a really good example of people genuinely striving to improve quality and outcomes on the one hand, and keeping costs under control on the other’.
There is evidence that concentrating care for some emergency conditions in fewer, specialist units can improve patients’ chances. Stroke victims, for example, are more likely to recover if treated swiftly by neurologists with clot-busting drugs.
But replacing A&Es altogether has two glaring drawbacks. First, patients who need treatment that urgent care centres can’t provide face long journeys – often after already waiting.
A seasoned paramedic in Northern England said: ‘We’ve all been taught from day one about the “golden hour” – that first 60 minutes after someone is seriously injured or falls ill when the right care is vital. If you go to an urgent care centre before being driven to an A&E, there may well be nothing left of it.’
Such a delay almost killed Julie Rigg, who has a rare condition that means her veins can burst at any time. When a potentially fatal bleed began, she was taken by ambulance to the One Life centre in Hartlepool – which, according to its protocols, had to turn her away. In agony, she then went to North Tees Hospital, where her life-saving treatment did not start for a further 45 minutes.
The other major drawback is the danger that an urgent care centre GP, often a temporary locum, will not have the experience and skills to recognise more serious conditions. It is believed this factor was behind Emily Laking’s ordeal.
Other examples include Callan Redshaw, 17, who was prescribed paracetamol at the One Life centre after a week of headaches. He collapsed two hours later. He had actually suffered a brain haemorrhage, and needed a five-hour operation.
In another case investigated by The Mail on Sunday, a road accident victim went to an urgent care centre in Kent that failed to spot he’d fractured his neck in two places. The delay in treatment left him permanently disabled and unable to work.
Yesterday, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS trust insisted that thousands of One Life patients had been ‘highly satisfied’ with their treatment. A spokeswoman said: ‘We are continuing to work with all services within the centre to make ongoing improvements and ensure all patients continue to receive high-quality care.’
Where A&E units have not yet been closed, there are mounting concerns about the much-vaunted public ‘consultation’ process.
In Ealing, two weeks after the 14-week ‘consultation’ has begun, the documents on which the closures are based have yet to be printed for the public and local health workers.
More than 60 GPs and hospital consultants in the borough last month held a protest meeting and speaker after speaker argued if the region lost four A&Es, the remainder would not cope. One GP told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Nothing gets me angrier than the claim that these changes are being driven by us. It is being done in our name but I and many others believe the results will be very negative.’
According to the advocates, the remaining A&Es’ extra workload will be mitigated by the urgent care centres and improved ‘community services’ provided by GPs. However, an urgent care centre has been operating in Ealing in tandem with its A&E for two years, and there has been no reduction in ‘grade one’ emergency cases (needing hospital admission). This is despite the centre managing to treat 30 per cent of its patients.
Although A&E closures are being partially driven by the need for budget cuts, Ealing Hospital is also managing its finances very well. Last year it turned a £28,000 surplus, and has met its financial targets for the last six years.
In North West London, however, the nine local hospitals are set to reach a combined £320 million deficit by 2015. Tomorrow, Labour is using one of its Opposition parliamentary days to focus on the NHS crisis. Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham will reveal that NHS spending has been shrinking for the past two years, with almost all of last year’s £1.7 billion underspend being clawed back by the Treasury, a process he wants reversed.
He will also show that nearly 4,000 full-time nursing jobs have gone since the 2010 Election – but spending on expensive agency nurses to fill the gaps has risen by 50 per cent. Mr Burnham said last night: ‘David Cameron made two promises to the country at the last Election: not to cut the NHS, and to fight “bare-knuckle” to keep A&E and maternity units open. He has broken both.
‘He promised to put doctors in the driving seat but has allowed closures to be driven through even where they don’t have clinical support.’
Despite often being billed as local A&Es by NHS bosses, the leaked document makes it clear that the ‘urgent care centres’ can handle only the least serious illnesses and injuries.
They can change wound dressings and stitch shallow, but not deep, cuts. They can handle head injuries where there is no sign of concussion or loss of consciousness, minor facial injuries which do not need stitches, fractured collar bones and fingers, and ‘minor medical conditions’ such as ‘sore throats’. But anything more serious is legally ruled out.
On the ‘urgent care centre exclusion list’ of banned treatments is just about everything for which most patients would normally go to an A&E. Patients will have to travel elsewhere if they suffer heart attacks, strokes, suicidal feelings, drug or alcohol intoxication that may need observation.
The centres are also unable to treat all major traumas from traffic accidents or assaults, all but the simplest fractures, chest pain, kidney stones, drug overdoses, serious burns, suspected meningitis, poisoning, internal abdominal bleeding and penetrating eye injuries.
Anyone who has been referred by their GP for specialist hospital treatment for any condition is excluded, as well as those who are confused, in pain severe enough to need more than over-the-counter medication and any pregnant woman suffering from persistent vomiting.
‘To describe a place with these restrictions as an urgent care centre is a joke,’ one hospital consultant said last night.
Closing A&E and maternity departments means millions of patients will be forced to use existing facilities which are already under great pressure. Hundreds of mothers will have to travel to Queen’s Hospital in Romford, East London, when the maternity department closes at King George Hospital in Ilford.
Last year, a damning report by the Care Quality Commission said mothers giving birth at Queen’s maternity unit were ‘at risk’, after two deaths there. Sareena Ali, 27, died from a ruptured womb, and Violet Stephens, 35, died from undiagnosed pre-eclampsia. According to the report, there was a ‘culture of abuse’ among Queen’s midwives. The Mail on Sunday has learnt that these cases are far from isolated.
Sarah Hutchings’s third child, Blake, now three, has learning and other difficulties because of the circumstances of his birth. She said: ‘The hospital can’t cope as it is. With the extra patients, it will buckle under the pressure.’
Saira Choudhri went to Queen’s three hours after her waters broke, while having contractions every ten minutes. She was kept waiting in increasing pain for a further two hours before being told to go home without being admitted.
She then collapsed, bleeding heavily, in the car park. The birth of her first child turned into a dangerous and extremely painful ordeal. Saira said: ‘It felt as if I was in Pakistan not Romford. I would love another baby, but this has put me off.’
Both women, who are represented by leading medical negligence solicitor Sarah Harman, are now suing the hospital. Miss Harman said: ‘Queen’s is the last place on earth where you should be increasing the workload.
You may save a little money by shutting another unit, but end up spending much more on children with long-term, expensive needs.’
Political Imprisonment in Britain, 2012
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a.k.a. Tommy Robinson, is the joint vice-chairman of the British Freedom Party. The following article, which appeared earlier today at the British Freedom website, describes some of the ongoing official harassment that Mr. Lennon is forced to endure virtually every day.
Following British Freedom’s recent public meeting in Yeovil, party co-Vice Chairman Stephen Lennon was arrested by police for entering a kebab shop. He recounted the sequence of events in his speech at the European Parliament:
[I] came out of the meeting, I was walking, police officer pulled up. “I’m arresting you on suspicion of drunk and disorderly.”
“I’m not drunk. Okay? You can’t arrest me for drunk and disorderly.”
We get down to the police station, I start my breathalyser. I’m not drunk. Eleven o’clock in the morning, the next day comes, they then rearrest me on suspicion of racially-aggravated public order. I’m held for another twelve hours. I said, “Why are you arresting me?”
They said, “Did you go to the Muslim kebab shop? Did you go in that Muslim kebab shop?”
I said, “Yeah. I went in there. My mate was in there”.
“Well, what happened in there?”
“Nothing happened in there.”
“Well, we need to investigate whether something happened in there.”
I said, “So no one’s actually telling you something happened”.
They held me for twelve hours until they could contact the kebab shop owner to see if I’d done anything…. I spent twenty-four hours in the cells. I’m then released.
Maliciously entering a kebab shop? It sounds absurd, but it’s no joking matter when a citizen can be arrested and imprisoned simply for going into a take-away restaurant to greet a friend.
Unfortunately, Stephen routinely has to endure official harassment and intimidation that would break most men. In the last couple of years he has:
* had the doors of his home kicked down by police
* been interrogated by Special Branch over £30 worth of damage to a hotel room (the charge was later dropped)
* been arrested with his wife, in front of their children, on a bogus charge of ‘money laundering’
* had 15 police descend on his parent’s home
* had his financial assets frozen
* seen the seizure of computers and phones from his parents’ home
* had police question his grandmother and cousin
* been arrested and incarcerated for entering the abovementioned kebab shop.
As a catalogue of harassment and intimidation by politically motivated police, all this wouldn’t look out of place in a Stasi interrogator’s log book. But it’s happening here, in supposedly democratic Britain, in 2012.
Its purpose, of course, is to silence political dissent on the issue of Islamic extremism. Too afraid to deal with the problem itself (for the violent Muslim backlash it might bring) officialdom instead turns its wrath and frustration on the messenger, one who sees clearer than most the danger our society is in.
There is one sure-fire way to stop these abuses, and that is for others to follow Stephen’s courageous example, to get up and speak the truth, whenever and wherever they can. The state can bully one man, or ten, or a hundred, but it cannot bully hundreds of thousands into silence. To quote again from Stephen’s Brussels speech, “… the next generation… will never forgive us if we stand by and do nothing”.
Why victim culture is running riot in Britain
Last year’s English riots weren’t down to government cuts but to a vast culture of self-pity and entitlement among the young
A new Church of England report into last August’s riots in England ‘sounds a clear warning note’ about the ‘social consequences’ of austerity measures, senior cleric Reverend Peter Price said on Sunday. After the LSE/Guardian Reading the Riots reports, the Children’s Society’s Behind the Riots, and the government’s own independent panel report, the Church of England is the latest, and probably not the last, institution to blame the riots on cutbacks in social services. Written by the church’s mission and public affairs (MPA) council, the Testing the Bridges report is made up of interviews with clergy around the country who witnessed the riots breaking out.
A mixture of poverty and welfare cutbacks has, according to the church, had a negative impact on ‘already vulnerable people’. This has contributed to a ‘feeling of hopelessness which may sometimes emerge in destructive and anti-social actions’. The idea of the looters and arsonists being seen as ‘vulnerable people’ may surprise those who were attacked or had their livelihoods destroyed. But in recent years, being ‘vulnerable’ essentially means anyone who is not under the direct control of state agencies. These individuals, who clearly can’t cope when left to their own devices, must be nurtured, flattered and mollycoddled by nice, caring professionals.
If the response to the riots reveals anything, it is how the concept of the welfare state has dramatically changed in recent years. And it is this redefinition of state agencies which has helped pave the way, not just for the riots last August, but for a generalised culture of menace and anti-social behaviour, too. The original concept of the welfare state was to act as a safety net if an individual lost his job or when a person retired. At the heart of this conception of welfare was the idea that people made contributions which they would be entitled to in times of hardship. But in recent decades, welfarism has lost much of that ‘take out what you put in’ ethos. Instead, it now provides resources regardless of what a person has contributed to society beforehand.
Even worse, welfarism has actively promoted an incapacity culture, whereby the state has encouraged people to believe they can’t cope without help from an army of professionals. This is something that young people learn at an early age. The medicalisation of young people, whereby routine teenage behaviour becomes recast as a form of illness, makes youth aware of how potent the language of therapeutic victimhood can be. School pupils can be remarkably adroit at putting teachers on the backfoot by trotting out phrases like ‘you haven’t catered for my individual needs’. Consequently, schools in England have steadily replaced the attempt to instil in young people the value of personal responsibility with a belief that they are disadvantaged and in need of constant support. Far from ‘esteem boosting’ values providing a motivation to do well in life, instead they have informed a culture of self-pitying grievance and an inflated sense of entitlement.
Even before the riots, it was noticeable how a grievance or an assertive victim culture was increasingly palpable among young people. In an article I wrote for spiked in February last year, I pointed out that in ‘today’s therapeutic age, the cultural script is… an unappealing mix of gross emotional incontinence and aggressive assertions of victimisation. Even without oceans of booze inside them, I’ve seen young people kick off in public – to bus inspectors checking tickets or shopkeepers, for example – using the therapeutic language of assertive victimhood.’ Many a pop sociologist has reckoned that there were ‘warning signs’ of the riots in young people’s ‘sense of hopelessness’ and ‘anger’. In truth, it was a decade of the state promoting pity-based entitlement, not unemployment or poverty, that inflamed the short-fused tendencies of some young people today. This is why the riots should not be seen as an unfortunate one off, but as the rising to the surface of a more generalised culture of menace and aggressive entitlement.
At a Stone Roses gig last weekend at Heaton Park in Manchester, for example, one of the tent bars was raided and looted by crowds impatient with queuing for a drink. It was reported that one chap simply served pint after pint and distributed the stolen drinks to punters. On YouTube and internet chat forums, such antics were generally applauded for ‘sticking it the man’. In reality, as one individual pointed out, it meant that young bar staff were being threatened and intimidated by a riotous mob. It provided a rather sorry snapshot of the complete absence of class solidarity in British society today. Historically, a general affability towards service-industry staff, especially in domains of working-class life such as pubs, cafes and shops, was an important norm that was rarely transgressed. To do so would be to denigrate ‘one of your own’. The one-man riot at a T-mobile shop in Manchester last week, cheered on approvingly by a large crowd, was another dramatic example of how service workers are seen to be worthy targets of individual grievances and contempt.
The political defeat of the working class in the 1980s had the effect of weakening class solidarity. But it is the rise of state intervention into working-class life which has completely destroyed that important source of social solidarity. spiked has constantly attacked the ‘anti-chav’ prejudices of the political class because these have become ways to legitimise the state colonisation of all aspects of working-class life. As Brendan O’Neill said in a speech last year: ‘Today, people’s mental and moral powers are being decommissioned, weakened, undermined, put out to pasture by the relentless intervention of the welfare, nanny and psychological states into their lives, constantly telling them how to parent, how to eat, even how to think about themselves and their futures.’ For many people today, identifying with the ‘all helpful’ state has replaced identifying with each other or a local community as a source of moral support. The wider community, in turn, and individuals in that community, can end up being a focal point for all sorts of real and imaginary grievances.
Testing the Bridges also makes the point that the lack of youth centres should share in the blame for the riots. Come off it. Such places are hardly likely to be magnets for any self-respecting youngster. It would be far better if a vibrant pub culture thrived that enabled teenagers to socialise with, and be expected to behave like, grown adults. But here again, under the auspices of combating chav-style binge drinking and smoking, the state’s war on public drinking has effectively destroyed these once important areas of communal solidarity. Pubs were once a vital way in which expectations of mature adult behaviour were informally transmitted to the next generation. As places where the emphasis was also on conversation and quick wit, they forced young people out of their solipsistic state and into a relationship with others. The social development of young people has been seriously stunted through the state’s relentless attacks and interventions on pubs (see An initiation to the culture of unfreedom by Neil Davenport).
Testing the Bridges continues with the wrongheaded idea that further state intervention in ‘poorer communities’ is needed to prevent a repeat of the riots. That is clearly the last thing such communities need. The moral- and soul-destroying consequences of such hectoring intervention has not only corroded old forms of solidarity, it has also fostered the rise of a culture of victimhood and menace. You don’t only have to look at the riots to see the grim evidence of that.
Record levels of immigration lead to jam-packed England: As the population rockets to 56million, England is now offcially the most crowded major country in Europe
The number of people living in England and Wales rose by a record 3.7million over the past decade.
The results of last year’s census indicate that the population is swelling at its fastest rate for 100 years, largely due to high immigration, and has now reached 56.1million.
With the exception of tiny Malta, England is now the most crowded country in Europe, with 407 people for every square kilometre. Ten years ago Holland held second place behind Malta.
The rise is almost equal to the population of Bristol arriving every year for ten years, and marks the biggest jump since the ten-yearly census was introduced more than 200 years ago, beating the baby booms of the Fifties and Sixties.
The results suggest the population will reach 70million – considered by many to be too high for the country’s resources – far sooner than the present estimate of 2027.
Around 55 cent of the population increase was a result of immigration, the Office for National Statistics said. The overall effect is likely to be far higher, as immigration has also contributed to the rising birth rate. Census estimates on this area are expected later this year.
Yesterday’s figures prompted more calls for reductions, following a decade in which hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans were allowed to settle in the UK after the expansion of the EU. Immigration minister Damian Green said: ‘These figures are firm evidence that Labour let immigration run out of control.’
The first published results of the £500million census, carried out last March, included about 200,000 people thought to have been missed out in the disastrous 2001 headcount, and 270,000 uncounted immigrants.
At a time of deepening controversy over pensions and the cost of caring for the elderly, they revealed a rapid increase in the number of people aged over 65, while some 430,000 are now over 90. Immigration and increasing birthrates have also boosted the other end of the population, with 400,000 more under-fives compared with the last census.
The results debunked the claim – often made by Whitehall – that households are shrinking. For years, officials have predicted that thanks to family breakdown there will be more single people needing homes, but the census results published yesterday showed that an average home still contains 2.4 people – meaning the statistic has been unchanged for 20 years.
The census figures estimate the population of England and Wales to be 56.1million, within a margin of error of 85,000. About 3million of these live in Wales.
The Northern Ireland population is 1.8million, up 100,000 since 2001 and Scotland will publish its figures later in the year. The final UK population estimate is thought likely to be around 63million.
The England and Wales figure compares with the 52.4million estimate of 2001 – an increase of 3.7million, or 7 per cent.
It is the largest jump in numbers since the first national census was carried out in 1801. The rate of growth of the population was higher in 1911, which saw a rise of just under 11 per cent.
How we’re bursting at the seams
Census director Glen Watson said: ‘In 2011, growth of 3.7million stands out as being the largest growth in any ten-year period in the last 210 years. The population has been growing throughout the decade since 2001. These latest 2011 population estimates are 1 per cent higher than we previously thought – just under half a million higher.’
The news comes at a time when the Coalition has promised to bring net migration – the number of people added to the population each year by immigration – down to the tens of thousands. So far no dent has been made in the net migration level of around 250,000 a year left by Labour.
Sir Andrew Green, of the Migrationwatch UK think-tank, said: ‘This census confirms the impact of mass immigration on our population. We now find that even the official numbers previously understated the scale of net migration by 14 per cent and even this does not account for the illegal immigrant population who would not complete the census form. Nobody wants to see the population grow at this rate.’
There were 56.1 million people living in England and Wales on the day of Census 2011, 3.7 million more than in 2001 when there were 52.4 million people. This represents an increase of seven per cent.
The population of England was 53 million while Wales was 3.06 million. Northern Ireland’s population also rose to 1.8 million, an increase from around 1.7 million in 2001.
The total population figure was about half a million larger than estimates had shown a year earlier, when it was expected it would have risen to 55.6 million.
The results show that every region in England and Wales had a larger population in 2011 than 10 years earlier.
The largest increase in population was in London, which grew by 12 per cent, gaining more than 850,000 inhabitants and taking its total population to more than eight million.
The figures show how people in England and Wales are increasingly living for longer, with a rise of 16.4 per cent of people aged 65 and over. This means that one in six people in England and Wales was aged 65 and over in 2011.
Of these, 430,000 people were aged 90 and over, compared with only 13,000 when the census was carried out 100 years earlier in 1911. The number of women over 90 was 315,000, nearly three times higher than the 114,000 men recorded as being over that age.
In 11 local authorities more than a quarter of the population was aged 65 or over, with the highest being Christchurch in Dorset with 30 per cent.
It shows the median age of the population has increased to 39 in 2011, up from 35 in 2001 and 25 in 1911.
But there was also an increase in the number of under-fives, with 405,700 more in 2011 compared when the survey was conducted a decade before. This was explained by a rise in the number of women of childbearing age because of inward migration. The local authority with the largest proportion of children under five was the London borough of Barking and Dagenham, at 10 per cent.
On average 105 males are born for every 100 females, however, in 2011 females consistently outnumbered males for every year from 35 upwards.
The average household size of 2.4 people has remained unchanged from 2001. The number of households has risen by eight per cent compared to a decade ago, with 23.4 million households in England and Wales in 2011 compared to 21.7 in 2001.
Towns that still have grammar schools top the table when it comes to getting pupils to Oxbridge
Regions that still have grammar schools are significantly more likely to send sixth-formers to elite universities than areas that went comprehensive.
Official figures published yesterday for the first time reveal stark differences across England in teenagers’ chances of attending Oxford, Cambridge and other universities in the prestigious Russell Group.
More than one in seven sixth-forms at state schools and colleges – 330 – failed to send a single teenager to a leading university in 2009/10. More than 40 of these had at least 100 A-level students.
Nearly two-thirds of sixth-forms failed to get any pupils into Oxford or Cambridge.
But areas with grammar schools dominated a list of the local authorities sending most pupils to leading universities – despite accounting for less than a quarter of councils nationally.
Reading, which has two grammar schools, sent seven per cent of all sixth-formers to Oxbridge and 28 per cent to a Russell Group university.
Sutton, which has several grammars, sent three per cent of A-level students to Oxbridge and 23 per cent to another leading university.
Other selective or partially selective authorities which sent large proportions of pupils to elite universities include Buckinghamshire, Trafford, Barnet, Wirral, Torbay, Bournemouth, Kingston-upon-Thames and Liverpool.
Nine of the top 11 areas for sending pupils to Oxbridge have grammars, and eight out of 12 for sending pupils to any Russell Group university.
Some grammars in these areas draw pupils from a wide area but experts last night said the figures still raised questions over the provision for bright children in many comprehensives.
Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said the dominance of selective authorities was ‘striking’.
‘It’s plain as a pikestaff that in many of those areas where they bring bright kids together at 11, they are getting higher qualifications and going to top universities.
‘There are advantages in getting really bright people together in the same schools.
‘They can spark off each other and there will be a concentration of good teachers. These teachers clearly know the route into Oxbridge and the other Russell Group universities.’
Professor Smithers recently published a report warning that the country was neglecting its brightest pupils due to failures by successive governments to cater properly for gifted children following the scrapping of most grammars beginning in the mid-60s.
‘If you want to increase social mobility you need to be able to identify the bright children and ensure a good education for them,’ he said.
‘Under our present approach, those bright kids run the risk of getting isolated in a school which is essentially about other things, so they don’t realise their potential.’
Education Secretary Michael Gove has allowed existing grammars to set up satellites in neighbouring towns but has ruled out new schools, instead concentrating his efforts on making exams more rigorous and improving the calibre of teachers.
Data published yesterday – which excludes private schools – gives parents a breakdown of the paths taken by pupils after they have left state schools and colleges, including whether they went to university, further education colleges or apprenticeships.
Ministers hope the information, available on the Department for Education website, will make it easier for parents choose a secondary school.
The figures showed that four schools and colleges in England did not send any pupils to university in 2009/10, although they all had small numbers of candidates.
These were Tividale Community Arts College, John Madejski Academy, Avon Valley College and Handsworth Wood Girls’ Visual and Performing Arts Specialist College.
A total of 330 schools and colleges out of 2,164 which entered pupils for A-levels or equivalent qualifications, did not send any students to a Russell Group university.
In addition, 1,395, 64.5 per cent, did not send any youngsters to Oxford or Cambridge.
Between them, these two universities, considered to be the best in the country, have around 6,700 places for undergraduates each year.
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: ‘There is still a postcode lottery in the UK when it comes to education. Unfortunately where you live still makes a difference on how you get on in life.
‘We cannot afford to have areas in the country where it is unheard of for people to go to Oxford and Cambridge.’
Dr Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group, said: ‘The most important factor in whether pupils are able to apply successfully to leading universities is whether or not they achieve the right grades.
‘Entry to all our universities is very competitive for many courses and places are limited so these figures should be seen in that context.’
The figures also showed how authorities with relatively high levels of poverty, such as Tower Hamlets and Brent in London, confounded expectations and still sent large numbers of pupils to university.
Schools minister Lord Hill said: ‘It is interesting to see how well some local authorities in more deprived areas, and some schools and colleges in those authorities, do in terms of students going to our best universities, compared to those in other parts of the country.’
British boy smashed with golf club not teacher’s fault, judge rules
A schoolboy who was awarded damages after being hit in the face by a golf club during a PE lesson has been stripped of his £21,000 payout after judges ruled that it was “impossible” for teachers to keep a constant eye on all pupils.
Samuel Hammersley Gonsalves, an outstanding cross-country runner, was 11 when his teeth were smashed and jawbone broken in an accident during a golf lesson at the sports academy he attended, Laurence Jackson Secondary School, on Teesside.
Samuel, now 16, of Guisborough, North Yorks, sued the local authority, Redcar and Cleveland council, through his father, Thomas Gonsalves, claiming his PE teacher, Mike Fowle, had failed to supervise the 22 boys adequately during the lesson.
He was awarded £21,000 damages at Middlesbrough County Court in November last year, after Judge Peter Cuthbertson ruled that the teacher had been negligent in failing to keep every pupil in the “crocodile” of boys in his line of sight.
However, the finding was overturned yesterday after Lord Justice Pill, sitting in the Appeal Court in London, said teachers “cannot be expected to see every action of every pupil” in their care, or face negligence claims.
Christopher Williams, for the family, said Samuel was hit accidentally in the face by another pupil with a club as the class made their way out to the school field for their golf lesson. Mr Fowle was at the back of the line of 22 boys and, on Judge Cuthbertson’s finding, had not seen the incident happen. Mr Williams argued that Judge Cuthbertson was right to find the teacher negligent and said the original ruling should stand.
Daniel Edwards, for the council, told the court that the decision placed “an unrealistic burden” on schools and teachers. “One teacher cannot possibly keep 22 pupils in direct sight at all times,” he said. “He could walk in a crab-like style up and down the line constantly turning his head from side to side, but some pupils would still be out of sight at some times. It simply cannot be done.”
Lord Justice Pill, sitting with Lord Justice Rimer and Lady Justice Black, upheld the council’s appeal.
He said: “However observant the teacher is, and however careful the lookout he is keeping, he cannot be expected to see every action of 22 boys walking in a crocodile fashion.” He added: “One feels sympathy for a boy who received the unpleasant injury without any fault on his part. However the appellants cannot be held responsible for what happened.”
Mr Gonsalves said after the ruling that the family would have to spend £30,000 on dental reconstruction work for his son. He added: “He hasn’t competed in any sports since the accident, to this day.”
How a third of gastric surgery patients put ALL the weight back on
More evidence of the futility of the war on “obesity”
Seventeen firefighters and ambulance staff were needed to carry a 40st woman from her home to an ambulance in Croydon, it was reported last week. At one point, it was thought a window would need to be removed to get the woman out. And a firefighter later told reporters: ‘We are finding we are getting more of these calls.’
Another day in overweight Britain, where one in four adults is now officially obese. The cost to the NHS of treating diabetes — often triggered by excess weight — is a staggering £1.5 million an hour, while experts warn our children may be the first generation to die at an earlier age than their parents.
In the ten years since bariatric (weight loss) surgery was first recommended as a last resort for obesity by government watchdog NICE, the number of operations has increased tenfold.
Eight thousand procedures were carried out in England alone on the NHS last year, most of them either a gastric band — in which a silicone band is fitted around the stomach to make it smaller — or a gastric bypass, where a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach and connected to the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and bowel.
The aim is to reduce appetite and speed up feelings of fullness — to transform the patient from someone who eats too much into one who simply cannot. Results are often impressive, especially the first post-op months, as the weight falls off.
Surgery can also dramatically reduce the risk of health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Each operation costs the NHS £3,000 to £10,000, but a study by the Office of Health Economics in 2010 reported that it pays for itself within a year in reduced prescriptions and GP time, and benefit payments.
As obesity rates continue to rise — by 2050 it’s expected that half of all British adults will be clinically obese — many experts are keen to see more people offered surgery.
In April this year, Scottish doctors warned that unless more gastric operations are performed, the costs of treating diabetes and its complications will ‘bankrupt’ the NHS. But now evidence is emerging that this very modern approach to losing weight may not be the panacea it was hoped to be.
A worrying proportion of patients fail to keep the weight off long term, largely because although their stomachs have physically shrunk their addiction to food remains.
In fact, 63 per cent of patients put weight back on within two years of their operation, according to one Brazilian study of 782 patients. Meanwhile, a German review of studies on weight-loss surgery found 30 per cent of patients regained their lost weight between 18 and 36 months.
As a result, growing numbers of patients are requesting a second operation. In a Dutch study of patients who’d had gastric banding, a third needed the operation redone after five years and half after ten years.
‘You must realise this is not the final answer most of the time,’ lead researcher Dr Edo Aarts says.
Most hospitals in the UK now carry out gastric bypasses rather than banding, as these have been shown to be more effective long term.
‘A percentage of patients will not do well,’ says Guy Slater, a bariatric surgeon at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester. ‘And it’s very hard to predict, because there are so many physiological and psychological variables involved.
‘That’s one of the problems with this type of surgery — and also what makes it so different from any other.’
When weight-loss surgery fails it is not only extremely distressing for the patient, but means they are still at risk of all the health problems linked with obesity, such as joint damage, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
‘They can become a burden to the NHS again, because either they have revision surgery or need procedures like knee ops because they are overweight again,’ says Jane Ogden, professor of health psychology at the University of Surrey. ‘Weight-loss surgery is cost effective but only if it works.’
Meanwhile, results for a second operation are poor, with a higher risk of complications and death, says Mr Slater, who also practises privately for Streamline Surgical, agrees. ‘I try to avoid it at all costs. I’m always much more nervous doing it the second time than the first time.’
So what’s going wrong?
Crucial to the success of bariatric surgery is that the patient is mentally prepared for the vigorous diet plan they’ll need to stick to for the rest of their lives. Their stomach will only cope with small side-dish size portions.
However, it is possible to stretch the newly reduced stomach by eating a little more each time. So experts agree patients need psychological screening before surgery, to ensure they have the willpower to resist the old temptations. And then, if necessary, they will need aftercare with dietitians and specialists to keep them on track.
‘In the first year, or two years, after the surgery, you feel like you’re walking on air. But three or four years on is a very different thing,’ says Bianca Scollen, of the support group Weight Loss Surgery Info (she herself had surgery eight years ago).
‘In a way, losing the weight is the easy part, it’s changing your lifestyle and keeping it off that’s hard.’
Some people find the sight of their new, slimmer shape is enough to keep them motivated, but for others it’s not so easy.
‘Hunger isn’t just a biological process — it can be about feeling fed up and wanting comfort, or feeling bored,’ says Professor Ogden. ‘Unless patients have changed their attitude towards food, they end up cheating — grazing, or drinking lots of water so their stomach can manage more food.’
Guy Slater agrees. ‘We get rid of the physical hunger, but some people have an emotional hunger that is less easy to get rid of,’ he says.
Under NICE guidelines, NHS patients must receive a psychological assessment before being approved for surgery, as well as regular aftercare appointments. But provision is patchy, because of waiting times for psychologists on the NHS.
‘All our patients have a psychological assessment, and we turn down around one in eight of them, because we don’t feel they’re ready for it,’ says Mr Slater. ‘But this doesn’t always happen elsewhere.
‘We try to spot the people who are going to need the psychological support after their operation and try to get their GP to put a programme in place, but it’s very difficult with funding.’ It’s also vital that patients are properly prepared for the realities of life after surgery. Most patients will be left with large folds of excess skin that’s vulnerable to infection.
Some suffer depression as a result of the dramatic transformation to their body and the effect it has on their relationships, lifestyle and sense of identity.
Another risk is ‘transfer addiction’ — where, denied food, patients develop other dependencies, such as gambling and alcohol.
The NHS will only offer the surgery to those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or above (or 35 and above if you also have a serious health condition such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure).
An estimated one million Britons qualify on the basis of their BMI but as a result of growing NHS waiting lists more people are going private.
One company, BMI Healthcare, has seen a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in requests.
But private providers don’t have to provide any psychological support and, often, patients are just given the option to pay extra for it.
Some providers also don’t offer sufficient aftercare, vital to protect against weight regain and, because of the risk of complications such as infections, vomiting, gastric bands that slip or leak and intestinal blockages.
The number of negligence claims against independent bariatric surgeons doubled in the two years between 2008 and 2010, according to the Medical Defence Union, the doctors’ insurers.
Common complaints included failure to obtain consent from the patient about the risks involved.
Bariatric surgery is often seen as the easy solution to a growing problem — but it won’t work unless the patient changes their mind, as well as their body.
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up — on his usual vastly “incorrect” themes of race, genes, IQ etc.