Mother-of-three misdiagnosed then ‘discharged from hospital at 3am and forced to walk four miles home in her dressing gown’
A mother-of-three was kicked out of hospital in the middle of the night and made to walk two hours home wearing just a dressing gown after doctors misdiagnosed her.
Nicky Moore, 42, was rushed to Royal Bournemouth Hospital with stomach pains but she was told she had gastroenteritis, given painkillers and discharged at 3am.
Ms Moore had no car or money on her and her husband, Roger, was at home with the couple’s children so couldn’t collect her. When the hospital refused to drop her because they had no vehicles, she walked the four miles home in her pyjamas and dressing gown and in severe pain.
Later that day her pain got worse and she was readmitted to the same hospital where an ultrasound scan revealed she actually had gallstones.
She stayed in the Dorset hospital for six days and is now on an emergency waiting list to have her gallbladder removed.
‘I was in agony when I left hospital and it was the middle of the night,’ said the Christchurch woman, who has now lodged a formal complaint against the hospital.
‘I told the doctor, a nurse and the hospital receptionist that I had no transport and no money to pay for a taxi.
‘My husband Roger was at home with our three children and, even if I could have contacted him, we don’t have a car so he couldn’t have picked me up.’
She said a nurse tried to arrange for a hospital car but there were none available.
‘No one suggested I could wait in the hospital until transport was available or offered me the use of a phone, it was busy and I got the impression they just wanted me to go,’ Ms Moore said.
‘I was in shock as I set off and kept having to stop to take shelter from the rain and because I was in pain.
‘Several police cars passed me but, even though I was in my dressing gown, no one pulled up to help.
She said that by the time she reached Christchurch the street lights had been switched off and the couple’s estate was in darkness.
‘I could have been attacked or collapsed and died from exposure,’ Ms Moore said.
‘My husband thought I was being kept in hospital overnight so he was asleep when I finally got home, two hours after being discharged.
‘I’m really angry and believe the hospital should apologise, apart from receiving the wrong diagnosis I feel I was treated very badly.’
The hospital confirmed they’d received an official complaint from Ms Moore and are investigating the case.
‘The emergency department continuously meets its obligations to see and treat patients in a timely way, individual to their personal needs,’ a hospital spokesman said.
‘Patients also have 24-hour access to phones to make their own transport arrangements. While the Trust has limited, non-emergency transport resources, patients must meet medical or social criteria to be eligible for these. ‘Where a patient is not eligible they are required to arrange their own transport.’
Girl, 17, bled to death after routine appendix operation because surgeons ‘accidentally tore a hole in her artery’
A 17-year-old girl died after suffering massive internal bleeding from a routine appendix operation.
Victoria Katie Harrison, from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, was admitted to Kettering General Hospital for the procedure on August 15 this year. Young, fit and healthy, the trainee hairdresser’s operation was supposed to be straightforward. Instead, she began to bleed heavily.
Despite desperate attempts to save her, Victoria died the next day. An investigation into her death is now underway.
Victoria’s family claim her death was possibly caused by surgeons accidentally tearing a hole in an artery while inserting a micro-camera into her stomach.
The appendix is usually removed via keyhole surgery as it means a shorter stay in hospital and a quicker recovery. It takes around 30minutes to perform under a general anaesthetic.
The surgeon makes two or three small cuts of about 1cm each in the lower abdomen and passes special instruments through to remove the organ.
A tiny camera is also inserted – this beams up images on to a nearby screen so the surgeon can see what’s happening inside the body. Once the appendix has been removed, the cuts are then closed with stitches or glue.
Victoria’s devastated mother Tracy Foskett has taken to a Facebook group set up in her daughter’s memory to explain to baffled friends why she died.
She wrote: ‘Just to let everyone know, Victoria died of internal bleeding from a tear to the hole where they inserted the camera. But she did not suffer.’
She later added: ‘She was such a lovely girl – everyone called her their best friend. She was also my best friend – I even go to call her sometimes now. She was loved by so many people and she was so popular. ‘We are such a close family and did so much together. I don’t ever want her to be forgotten.’
Over 300 people attended the funeral for Victoria, known as ‘Tor’, when she was laid to rest last month.
She was buried in a pink coffin, wearing her beloved ‘onesie’ outfit and holding a Snickers bar – her favourite snack.
Kettering General Hospital’s chief executive, Lorene Read, said: ‘The Trust can confirm it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the unexpected death of a patient following an operation at the hospital on August 15.
‘We have been working closely with the family of this patient and with the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation into the matter is made prior to an inquest. We cannot comment further at this point.’
A police spokesman said: ‘An inquest has been opened and adjourned by the coroner and we are waiting for a date to be fixed. An investigation is currently ongoing.’
Fast food children ‘develop lower IQs’: Junk diet has a lasting effect (?)
The two statements in the heading above don’t make a logical sequence. The writer sort of gets it below in that they realize that the poor eat more fast food but they fail to realize that the poor are dumber and that the low IQ is passed on genetically — with what they eat being just incidental. Journal abstract at foot of article below.
In her comments below Dr Dumb (“Stumm” is German/Yiddish for “dumb”) relies heavily on “common sense”. She is obviously a very conventional thinker — despite the fact that she is author of a paper which claims that “Intellectual Curiosity Is the Third Pillar of Academic Performance”! Ya gotta laugh!
She also is a poor psychologist. The idea that you can reliably measure IQ at age 3 is ludicrous. Any results you get from it are likely to be a random walk
And in the end she concludes that food type accounts for a “negligible amount” of IQ change. In other words the kids remained as bright or dull as they originally were — regardless of what they ate! No wonder she relies so heavily on “commonsense”. Science is clearly too hard for her. I think she gets by on glamour
Children given more fast food meals will grow up to have a lower IQ than those who regularly eat freshly-cooked meals, according to a study.
Childhood nutrition has long lasting effects on IQ, even after previous intelligence and wealth and social status are taken into account, it found.
The study examined whether the type of main meal that children ate each day had an impact on their cognitive ability and growth.
It looked at 4,000 Scottish children aged three to five years old and compared fast food with freshly-cooked food.
The study, undertaken by an academic at Goldsmiths, University of London, found that parents with a higher socio-economic status reported that they gave their children meals prepared with fresh ingredients more often, which positively affected their IQ.
Lower socio-economic status was linked to more children having fast food, which led to lower intelligence.
Dr Sophie von Stumm, from the department of psychology at Goldsmiths, said: ‘It’s common sense that the type of food we eat will affect brain development, but previous research has only looked at the effects of specific food groups on children’s IQ rather than at generic types of meals.
‘This research will go some way to providing hard evidence to support the various high-profile campaigns aimed at reducing the amount of fast food consumed by children in the UK.’
Dr von Stumm said her findings highlighted that differences in children’s meals were also a social problem. ‘Mothers and fathers from less privileged backgrounds often have less time to prepare a freshly cooked meal from scratch for their children,’ she said.
‘These children score lower on intelligence tests and often struggle in school.
‘Schools in less privileged areas must do even more to balance children’s diet, so that they can achieve their cognitive potential.
‘It shows that the freshness and quality of food matters more than just being full, in particular when children are young and developing.’
You are what you eat? Meal type, socio-economic status and cognitive ability in childhood
By Sophie von Stumm
The current study tests if the type of children’s daily main meal (slow versus fast food) mediates the association of socioeconomic status (SES) with cognitive ability and cognitive growth in childhood. A Scottish birth cohort (Growing Up in Scotland) was assessed at ages 3 (N = 4512) and 5 years (N = 3833) on cognitive ability (i.e. vocabulary and picture similarities), SES, and the frequency of having slow and fast food main meals per week. SES was highly correlated at ages 3 and 5 years, while intelligence and the type of meal were only moderately associated across ages. SES at age 3 was positively related to ability at age 3 but not at age 5. The type of meals partially mediated the effects of SES on cognitive ability at ages 3 and 5, with more slow meals being associated with better cognitive performance.
Furthermore, a higher frequency of slow food meals were positively related to cognitive growth between ages 3 and 5 years, after adjusting for SES and prior cognitive ability; however, they only accounted for a negligible amount of the variance in cognitive change. Overall, slow food was associated with better cognitive ability and cognitive growth in childhood, albeit corresponding effect sizes were small.
Bureaucratic hatred of a great British entrepreneur behind rail contract fiasco
Derogatory emails about Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Trains were allegedly sent between civil servants under investigation over the shambles of the West Coast mainline franchise.
The messages were between a dozen staff at the Department for Transport, which has been accused of allowing the development of a culture characterised as ‘ABB – Anyone But Branson’.
The emails were allegedly sent between those responsible for overseeing the franchise bidding and other decision-makers connected with the route.
The Government awarded the new £7billion franchise to FirstGroup, but cancelled it before the planned handover in December after Sir Richard’s Virgin group, which offered £700million less, made a successful legal challenge on the grounds that the Government ‘got its sums wrong’.
Last night an insider revealed: ‘There is electronic e-mail traffic between the officials. In some of them Virgin is referred to in derogatory terms. Some people sent these messages, others received them.’
Virgin executives have long been concerned about the perception of an ‘anti-Virgin’ bias and culture within the department characterised as ‘Anyone But Branson’.
Industry insiders said Whitehall officials – some of whom had worked for more traditional train operators – disliked the firm’s maverick approach.
There was allegedly deep resentment when Virgin renegotiated the terms of the West Coast franchise in 2006 on terms which ‘nailed them to the floor’. ‘Some people in the department felt they were stitched up,’ said one source. ‘It’s a catalogue of calamities.’
Officially, the ‘flaw’ at the centre of the investigation stems from the way the level of risk in the rival bids was evaluated.
Mistakes were made in the way in which inflation and passenger numbers were taken into account, and how much money bidders were then asked to guarantee as a result.
But Sir Richard told the Daily Mail that officials failed to play fair. He said: ‘First Group were given information Virgin was not given. And some of the information was not given to everyone equally. ‘But to the credit of the new minister, he said they were 100 per cent guilty and were dealing with it.’
Three civil servants have been suspended over the fiasco, which is expected to cost taxpayers more than £100million after new Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin pulled the plug on the whole process a minute after midnight on Wednesday.
The news caused First Group’s shares to plummet by 20 per cent, wiping £240million off its value.
Sir Richard said Whitehall had accepted that First Group’s successful £7billion bid for the 15-year franchise was ‘five times riskier’ than Virgin’s by demanding a £200million guarantee – compared to just £40million demanded of Virgin.
But if the Department had properly followed its rules, the Government should have demanded a £600million security.
Commenting on the First Group passenger projections made and accepted by the transport department, he said: ‘You would have had to pile people on the roof of the train like in India to get anywhere near that.’
He said the ‘feedback’ he was getting from the Government was that they wanted him to continue running the line ‘for the next 12 to 24 months’ until the next franchise bidding got under way.
A DfT spokesman said: ‘There is no culture of bias against Virgin at the Department for Transport and we have seen no evidence to suggest that there is. ‘We are also not aware of any email exchanges that are derogatory towards Virgin or suggest that officials have acted in any way other than impartially and in good faith.’
– Justine Greening was told about an ‘error’ in the Government’s handling of the West Coast franchise within hours of a legal challenge being launched by Sir Richard, it emerged last night.
An aide to the former Transport Secretary said she had been informed of a problem with the bid shortly after the Virgin boss started legal action on August 28.
One week later, she was promoted to International Development Secretary in David Cameron’s first reshuffle – leaving successor Mr McLoughlin to make a humiliating climbdown this week when the full scale of the department’s failings emerged.
Tax-dodging BBC fatcats
Tax is good — unless you are the one paying it, apparently
The BBC hands out 25,000 contracts a year that can help its workers pay less tax, MPs reveal today. The off-the-books arrangements create ‘suspicions of complicity in tax avoidance’, according to Commons spending watchdog Margaret Hodge.
The workers include 4,500 presenters and backroom employees paid through ‘personal service companies’ that allow them to limit substantially their tax liabilities.
That figure – revealed by the BBC last night – is much higher than previously thought and covers 400 stars paid at least £50,000 a year. Of these, 148 are news presenters such as Fiona Bruce and Jeremy Paxman.
Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander told the Daily Mail he expected the corporation to take ‘swift and decisive action’ to address public concern about the tax arrangements.
Thirteen thousand of the off-the-books contracts are for on-air roles. The BBC stressed that most are normal freelance contracts, rather than personal service company deals.
The corporation, which said the 25,000 figure includes individuals with multiple contracts, has launched an internal review into the issue, while insisting it has done nothing wrong.
But MPs last night said they were shocked by the scale of the issue at the BBC. In a damning report, the Commons public accounts committee said it was alarmed the Corporation could not ‘provide any assurance that these individuals are paying the correct amount of tax’.
Mrs Hodge, the chairman of the committee, said the practice, which has been uncovered elsewhere in the public sector, ‘generates suspicions of complicity in tax avoidance and fails to meet the standards expected of public officials’.
The Labour MP added: ‘We were shocked to discover that the BBC has about 25,000 off-payroll contracts. Some 13,000 of these are for individuals who are on our screens and on the radio every day. They are the public face of the BBC.
‘Avoiding tax and national insurance when paying public sector staff is almost always staggeringly inappropriate. ‘The public sector must maintain the highest standards of propriety in its employment practices if it is to show leadership in the fight against tax avoidance.’
Mr Alexander ordered a crackdown on the use of personal service companies in the public sector after it emerged that 2,400 senior civil servants were employed in this way.
As an independent organisation, the BBC is beyond the scope of the Treasury review, but Mr Alexander has written to the Corporation’s new director-general George Entwistle asking him to follow suit. He told the Mail: ‘We took swift and decisive action to improve tax transparency in central government. I see no reason why, just like we have in central government, the BBC shouldn’t be able to provide assurance that its employees are paying the proper amount of tax and NI.
‘With a new broom at the top of the BBC there is an opportunity to look again at this issue. I look forward to seeing the findings of their review.’
So far the BBC has moved just two workers on to its payroll as a result of its investigations.
Those employed through personal service companies are responsible for ensuring they pay the right amount of tax and national insurance because it is not deducted from their salary at source.
Unlike normal freelance contracts there is no liability against the BBC if a mistake is made.
MPs heard evidence that the BBC requires some on-screen stars to set up these arrangements – a claim disputed by the corporation.
Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander told the Daily Mail he expected the BBC to take ‘swift and decisive action’ to address public concern about the tax arrangements
Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander told the Daily Mail he expected the BBC to take ‘swift and decisive action’ to address public concern about the tax arrangements
The BBC denies that the arrangement reduces its tax bill or that of top stars. It claims the practice is standard in the industry and reflects the fact that many presenters have other outside earnings.
The Commons inquiry was launched in the wake of controversy over Student Loans Company boss Ed Lester’s employment through a personal service company without tax being deducted.
Following a review, the Treasury disclosed in May that more than 2,400 Whitehall staff, each earning more than £58,200 a year, were being paid directly and without PAYE deductions.
But the public accounts committee warned that the Treasury’s review of off-payroll arrangements had been ‘limited’ because it did not cover the wider public sector like local government, the NHS or the BBC.
Mrs Hodge said the committee suspected ‘many individuals and employers in local government and in the health service do not pay their proper tax and national insurance contributions’.
In a statement last night the BBC said: ‘We note the conclusions of the PAC report and will respond to the points raised as part of our detailed review of tax arrangements.’ A spokesman added: ‘The BBC pointed out that this relates to 25,000 contracts and not 25,000 people, and that in many cases an individual – such as an occasional contributor to programmes – could be issued with a contract each time he or she is booked to appear.’
They made us do it, say the BBC stars
Mr Paxman has said it was not his choice to be paid through a private service company.
The Newsnight presenter insisted the BBC had ‘required me to form a company if I wanted to continue to present Newsnight. It claimed it had been told to do so by the HMRC’.
Antiques Roadshow presenter Miss Bruce said she had formed a company because ‘it was a stipulation laid down by the BBC’.
Last year tax inspectors launched just 23 investigations into breaches of the law surrounding personal service companies – down from more than 1,000 a year a decade ago.
Must not mention British student misbehaviour
A police worker who posted details of her battles with drunk students on her Twitter account has been ordered off the social media site after an official complaint.
Police Community Support Officer Sarah Giles was accused of ‘stereotyping’ by tweeting about the drunken antics of university freshers.
PCSO Giles, tweeting as @TopshamPolice, put up messages about student ‘mayhem’ in her beat area of Exeter, Devon.
She often tweeted about the drinking habits of first years at Exeter University – until a complaint was made by its Students’ Guild.
In one tweet two weeks ago, PCSO Giles wrote: ‘Lots of strong coffee needed tonight follow up calls to student who threw up in taxi and victims of wing mirror bashing #exeterfreshers’.
Another tweet on September 19, said: ‘Off to work in an hour – more student mayhem :-)’
And the day before she tweeted: ‘Large group of students already spotted heading into town to tour the city’s watering holes’
Another said: ‘2 students details taken for uni disciplinary process after trying to wheel road signs away from site in stolen trolleys’
I have no doubt that the comments mirrored reality but truth is no defense these days, particularly in Britain.