‘No family should go through this’: Grandfather’s vow after crew ‘on a break’ took 41 minutes to attend baby grandson suffering heart attack
An ambulance crew took forty-one minutes to reach a critically ill six week old baby because they finished their break before responding to the emergency 999 call.
Thomas Passant died for four minutes after suffering a cardiac arrest and he continues to fight for his life at Birmingham Children’s Hospital two weeks after he stopped breathing and started to turn blue at his home.
The child has endured 14 hours of open heart surgery in 11 days since his parents’ emergency call to West Midlands Ambulance Service – and now faces a potential life of disability.
His grandfather, Paul Passant, a former fireman from Bridgnorth, Wolverhampton, has now vowed to ‘fight until his last breath’ to improve ambulance services so no family ever have to endure the same heartache.
Ambulance bosses have now confirmed that the mercy crew which responded to the family’s 999 call could not be dispatched until they had finished their break.
They had opted to take ‘undisturbed breaks’, which meant they did not show up on the operator’s system at the time.
Mr Passant, a 56 year-old fire risk assessor, said: ‘I understand that they have got to have breaks, but, if years ago when I was a fire officer, I had sat outside someone’s burning house and told them I was just going to finish my sandwich, I don’t think they would have been at all pleased.
‘They knew how critically ill Thomas was and how important time was. I think it’s disgusting.’
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: ‘The crews work 12-hour shifts and obviously have the right to a meal break. Individual staff can request that their break is not disturbed, meaning that they will not show up as an available ambulance to send to jobs. The service is duty bound to honour that choice.
‘The crew that was sent to Thomas was on an undisturbed break when the 999 call came through. As soon as it was over, they were shown as available and sent to Bridgnorth.’
Mr Passant spent much of Christmas drumming up support for his Return Our Ambulance Service to Bridgnorth campaign which he said he promised Thomas he would win while his grandson was on a life support machine.
He spent nine days – including Christmas Eve night – to get people to sign his petition and has collected around 2,000 signatures in just nine days.
He said he does not want another family to suffer such heartache.
He said: ‘It is always going to be in our minds that the damage that has been done to Thomas’s heart was caused by the hold-up of the ambulance service.
‘My grandson will have a disability and he’s going to miss out on so much. It is breaking our hearts. ‘If we had an ambulance in Bridgnorth he could have been in hospital in half an hour. ‘He wouldn’t have gone into cardiac arrest, and he wouldn’t have gone into respiratory arrest in the ambulance on the way over.
‘I won’t stop. I promised Thomas when he was fighting for his life on a machine that I will fight until my last breath so another family will not have to go through what we have gone through. I feel the service Thomas got was what you’d expect in a third world country.’
‘There are days when we don’t have any paramedic cover in Bridgnorth at all. People are really angry. The support I have had from the whole town is amazing.’
Surrounded by tubes, Thomas has two injections every day to prevent another devastating blood clot from developing on his heart.
Now aged eight weeks, his sports-loving family have been told that he will never be able to kick a ball around with his friends or take part in any contact sport.
His parents, Kate Oram and Matthew, dialled 999 at 12.47pm on December 17 from their home in Bridgnorth, Shrosphire.
The family waited for 15 minutes for help from a community paramedic, despite living just 300 yards away from the mercy base in Stourbridge Road, where the family claim 24/7 cover was promised when the town’s ambulance station was closed in April.
They say there was no-one working in Bridgnorth so a community paramedic had to travel from nearby Tweedale. It took until 13.28pm for an ambulance to respond to their life-saving call because it had to travel from Donnington.
Thomas was initially taken to Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
Mr Passant said: ‘Thomas was struggling to breathe and his breathing was really rapid. You could see his little chest going up and down, and he was going blue at the lips.
‘As soon as he got into the Princess Royal Hospital he went into cardiac arrest and Kate, Matthew and my wife Christine watched for three hours as anaesthetists desperately tried to provide him with oxygen. There was blood pouring out of his mouth. It was the most awful thing to witness.’
Doctors at the Telford hospital spent eight hours stabilising Thomas before he was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The next day he underwent his first six hours of open-heart surgery, and two more the day after, as doctors closed his tiny chest back up.
But the family’s heartache was far from over. A week after his first operation doctors discovered a leak in one of Thomas’s heart valves had worsened and that the already weak baby would need to go back under the knife.
‘We thought he was doing really well but then he took a turn for the worse,’ Paul said.
‘Two doctors were trying to get lines into him with drugs and adrenaline but they couldn’t get them into his little arms or legs.
‘In the end they managed to get two canulas into his head and it was a good job because he crashed right at that moment.’
Thomas was taken in for four more hours of surgery to replace his mitral valve with an artificial valve and then endured another two hours to close his chest again.
He will need a further operation around the age of 12 to have the artificial valve replaced with a larger one as he grows.
‘I had a little, weak smile off him the other day and it was just heartbreaking,’ Mr Passant said. ‘He’s been through such a lot but he’s a real fighter.’
Mr Passant said the ambulance response time was slower than that of a vet attending his elderly mother’s dog Oscar. He added: ‘It’s absolutely ridiculous that a vet can get to a sick dog within 15 minutes but it takes them almost an hour to get a baby to hospital.’
The family have also started raising funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and GBP450 has already been donated to their appeal from a quiz night at the Crown Hotel in Bridgnorth.
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: ‘Due to the level of demand at the time of the call, every ambulance in Shropshire was committed to a patient. ‘The Community Paramedic arrived 15 minutes after the start of the call and began to treat the boy. ‘Throughout all this time, the control room continued to search for an available ambulance.
‘It is also important to note that at the time of the call to Stourbridge Road, an elderly woman who had suffered a stroke in Bridgnorth, was already being tended to by an ambulance crew and was taken to Princess Royal Hospital, becoming available at 1.42pm.
‘There would not have been an ambulance available in Bridgnorth and an ambulance would have been called in from elsewhere to tend to the boy. The response would not have been quicker; it could even have been longer.’
‘They sent her home and she lay in my arms dying’
Husband’s anger at hospital and pub after his wife dies from suspected Christmas Day food poisoning
A devastated husband whose wife died following a Christmas Day pub lunch has claimed she was sent home from hospital just hours before her death.
Della Callagher, 46, took ill after the meal at the Railway Hotel in Hornchurch, Essex. She was one of seven people in the party of 16 who had eaten turkey and then became unwell.
As the evening progressed, the 46-year-old’s condition worsened and on Boxing Day she was admitted to the Queen’s Hospital in Romford.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, her husband John, 51, said: ‘She was in a really bad way but the hospital just sent her home. I was ill myself but she was in a terrible state.
‘They sent her home and she just lay in my arms, basically she was dying. We called an ambulance and went back to the hospital but she barely had a pulse.’
Despite receiving medical assistance, Mrs Callagher, from Hornchurch, who had a 14-year-old daughter, died on December 27.
Her furious husband, who is the chief executive of a recruitment firm, is now planning legal action against both the hospital and the pub.
He said: ‘This was an avoidable tragedy. The pub have not apologised personally to me or my family.
‘The hospital effectively turned my wife away when there could have been more of a chance of saving her life. It was disgusting the way she was dealt with. We were about to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
‘Della was so fit and healthy, I can’t believe it. This is devastating.’
About 30 other people were taken ill after having Christmas Day lunch at the pub.
Public health officials started an investigation last night after confirming that food poisoning bacteria commonly linked to red meat or poultry were found in samples from the victim and others who are unwell.
It is believed Mrs Callagher ate a £39.95 four-course festive lunch.
The bacteria involved are Clostridium perfringens, the third most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, mostly connected with red meat or poultry.
‘The illness generally lasts no more than a few days although vulnerable groups such as very young children, elderly people, and those with underlying health problems can be more seriously affected. ‘It is rare for a person to die as a direct result of food poisoning.’
A spokesman for Ember Inns, which runs the Railway Hotel, said: ‘We would like to reassure our guests that we prepare our food to the highest hygiene standards.
‘Our kitchens are monitored regularly through internal checks and independent external audits. In fact the pub holds a five-star hygiene rating under the Food Standards Association (FSA) National Rating Scheme, the highest rating that can be awarded by the FSA.
Dr Mike Gill, medical director of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘A patient attended our Emergency Department on Boxing Day with what appeared to be food poisoning. ‘The patient was seen and fully assessed by a senior clinician, and given appropriate treatment and advice before returning home.
‘The Trust followed accepted medical practice. We will be fully reviewing the case.
‘We have written to the family offering our condolences at this very difficult time and inviting them to meet with medical staff who can answer any queries or concerns they may have.’
Teacher ‘bias’ gives better marks to favourite pupils, British research reveals
It really does pay to be the teacher’s pet. New research has revealed that teachers mark children’s work according to how they feel about particular pupils.
The study, commissioned by the Department for Education, found that staff allow “bias” and “personal feelings” to influence their marking. Neat handwriting also bring children extra marks, it found.
The research involved more than 2,000 teachers judging essays written by their 11 year old pupils over the course of a year. The overall marks awarded to pupils were then double checked by specially trained, external “moderators”.
They discovered that in one in ten cases, teachers had marked the work too favourably. In 5 per cent of cases, the work was marked too harshly.
Nearly two thirds of the moderators said they thought that “teachers’ personal feelings about particular pupils influenced their assessments” on some occasions or on a regular basis.
Children who provided longer stories or had very neat writing were also more likely to receive better marks, regardless of the quality of their writing, most moderators said.
The study was conducted by the National Centre for Social Research, as part of wider research into the impact of changes to the national curriculum tests which will come in to effect this year.
The findings cast doubt on teacher objectivity and undermine calls from teachers unions and some academics for internal assessment to replace external tests at primary school level.
It comes after a report by Ofqual found that teachers in some secondary schools over marked GCSE English essays last year in a bid to get more pupils to a grade C, thereby “fiddling” league table rankings.
Professor Alan Smithers, the director of the centre for education and employment research at Buckingham University, said: “It is a failure to understand human nature to rely on teacher assessment.
“If the results are going to be used to judge schools and teachers, you would expect teachers to be as optimistic in their marking as possible.
“When teachers know the pupils, they are going to be influenced by all sorts of extraneous things such as whether they like the pupil.
“Some staff are more favourably disposed to female than male pupils for instance, some employ stereotypes, such as expecting Chinese pupils to do well but not expecting too much from say, Bangladeshi children.
“Essentially the only fair way to test children is through externally set and externally marked exams.”
Professor Peter Tymms, Durham University’s head of education, has warned against “inherent bias” in teacher assessment and said it should not be used as a measure of school performance.
He said staff could be subconsciously biased according to factors such as a pupil’s gender, ability, social class or behaviour in lessons.
Even if teachers were aware of their prejudices, trying to compensate for them would not make their assessments reliable.
“If you know you have got that bias and you react against it, you might go too far in the other direction,” he said.
Under the new system, which was partially introduced last year, primary teachers will assess the quality of their pupils writing over the year and produce a score.
Specially trained local authority moderators will then check a sample of their judgements in at least 25 per cent of schools.
In addition, a new English grammar, punctuation and spelling test will be taken in May, along with the standard reading test. Both are externally marked.
Teachers will submit their writing scores before the results of the grammar and reading tests are known to prevent it from influencing their judgement.
The Department said that it had not yet decided whether the three elements of the English test will be reported separately or whether the scores will be added together.
A spokesman said: “We expect teachers to take professional responsibility for accurate assessments so that all children get the results they deserve.”
Make high levels of fat, sugar and salt in children’s food ILLEGAL, say British Labour Party
Fascism is never far beneath the surface among Leftists
Labour will today propose new legal limits on levels of fat, sugar and salt in children’s food. Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham will say urgent action must be considered to tackle spiralling levels of obesity. [Does he have any evidence that what he asks will do any good?]
One option to be considered in the party’s public policy health review is to outlaw products with more than a maximum level of fat, sugar and salt which are targeted at children to try to reverse the trend.
Kellog’s Frosties and Tesco Choco Snaps cereals, both high in sugar could be under threat if a cap on limits in children’s foods is made law – Frosties has 37g of sugar per 100g and Tesco Choco Snaps has 36.1g per 100g
A consultation paper identifies a number of breakfast cereals containing more than 30 per cent sugar according to research by Which?, including Kellogg’s Frosties, with 37.0g of sugar per 100g and Tesco Choco Snaps with 36.1g per 100g.
The latest research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), shows that in the UK, 26.6 per cent of girls and 22.7 per cent of boys are now considered ‘obese’.
Meanwhile, the National Child Measurement Programme last month reported that one-third of children in England are either overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. Overweight children are at a greater risk of developing diabetes and cancer.
Mr Burnham said: ‘The findings of the OECD should shock us out of our complacency. It is clear that the current voluntary approach is not working. We need to open our minds to new approaches in tackling child obesity.
‘Labour wants to lead this debate. That is why we are asking the public and experts if new limits for sugar, fats and salts would be the right approach. Like all parents, I have bought products like cereals and fruit drinks, marketed as more healthy, that contained higher sugar levels than expected. I don’t think that any parent would be comfortable with their child eating something that is 40 per cent sugar.
Mr Burnham has begun consulting with the public and experts on the issue, and is considering proposing a 30 per cent cap on sugar in cereals.
‘The Government has failed to come up with a convincing plan to tackle this challenge. If we fail to act on the OECD’s warning we are storing up huge problems for the country and the NHS in the long term. That is why Labour is calling for new thinking and why we’re initiating today’s consultation.’
Professor Gabriel Scally, former regional director of public health at the Department of Health, said: ‘The continued rise in childhood obesity is an urgent call to action and must not be ignored.
‘I applaud the Labour Party for tackling the issue of the foodstuffs filling our children with the empty calories that fuel obesity. Helping parents protect and promote the future health of our children is exactly what we need to be doing.’
Paul Wheeler, of Kellogg’s, said: ‘Frosties has been on sale for more than 60 years and by now we think people know there’s sugar in them – we’re not hiding it.
‘The problem with ideas like this is they want an easy, silver bullet solution to what is a very difficult issue. It all boils down to the fact we believe parents, and not the government, should choose what their kids eat.’
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘By working with industry through the Responsibility Deal we have helped to reduce fat, sugar and salt in foods.
‘There is now less salt in the food we buy, companies are cutting and capping calories and artificial trans fats are being widely taken out of food.’
The spokesman added: ‘We are working to reduce the amount of salt in food further, cut saturated fat consumption and we are exploring how to promote healthier food choices more widely. We also want more businesses making pledges so we get bigger results.’
David Cameron: we will keep out EU benefit tourists
Britain will demand new restrictions to keep out benefit tourists under a new relationship with the European Union, David Cameron has said.
The Prime Minister suggested only working immigrants should be allowed into the country, even if it means undermining the EU’s key principle of “free movement”.
He said there are already some restrictions on immigration across the EU, which could be extended when Britain seeks a new settlement with Brussels over the next few years.
“Should we look at arguments about, should it be harder for people to come and live in Britain and claim benefits? Yes, frankly we should,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
There are fears that Britain will see an influx of immigrants from new EU member states within the next year.
Five year old quotas limiting the number of people from Bulgaria and Romania who can move to live in Britain are due to expire.
This will give 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians the right to live and work in Britain, in the same way as immigrants from Poland and other Eastern European countries entered the country from 2004 onwards.
Mr Cameron said stopping European immigrants claiming benefits is just one of a number of areas where Britain will try to re-negotiate its relationship with the EU.
The Prime Minister said he would also like the UK to be exempt from the Working Time Directive, which restricts the number of hours people can work.
“There are lots of things we’d be better off out of,” he said. “The working time directive in my view should never have been introduced in the first place because it’s actually affecting things like the way we run our hospitals rather than simply about business and trade and the single market.”
He said it is “perfectly acceptable” for Britain to make demands in exchange for other countries negotiating a closer union, despite fears that this will cause resentment within the EU.
Last month, the Prime Minister was chastised by a senior official for trying to pick and choose which EU laws Britain wants to follow.
Cecilia Malmström, EU home affairs commissioner, suggested Mr Cameron should not be trying to claw back 136 powers related to law and order. This is the Prime Minister’s first step towards re-negotiating wider powers over areas such as agriculture, justice and employment laws.
This morning, he insisted a looser relationship with Brussels will be possible, as he prepares to give a major speech setting out his vision for Britain’s future in the EU.
He is expected to reveal a plan go into the next election promising to give UK voters a referendum on whether to stay in the EU with a new relationship or exit altogether.
If he can persuade Conservatives that Britain already has a better deal from Brussels, it would give him a better chance of persuading many voters to stay in the EU.
However, this will only be possible if other EU countries are willing to co-operate because they want to keep Britain in the union.
Mr Cameron today said Britain is better off staying part of the EU because it must have a “seat at the table” when trading laws are being negotiated.
Asked whether the UK should leave Europe, he said: “I don’t think it would be right for Britain. My policy, my approach is determined absolutely, purely, and simply by the national interest. What is right for Britain? What is right for people in work? What’s right for British business? What’s right for the future of our country?
“Fifty per cent of our trade is with the European Union. At the moment, because we’re in this single market, we have a seat at the table in the single market, we help write those rules. If we were outside the EU altogether, we’d still be trading with these European countries but we’d have no say.”
Britain’s once great RSPCA is being destroyed by a militant tendency
The animal welfare organisation has badly lost its way under its present leadership. I once contemplated remembering its Australian offshoot in my will but the “animal rights” fanaticism of some of its senior people cut that thought stone dead. And that was years ago — JR
One must always treat lawyers with respect, so let me state at once that I have absolutely nothing against Jeremy Carter-Manning QC. From his entry in Who’s Who, I see that he was educated at St Paul’s School, called to the Bar nearly 40 years ago, and that his recreations include “food and wine”, which he pursues in the Reform Club. I have no doubt he is esteemed in his profession.
Most of us might have passed our entire lives without ever hearing of Mr Carter-Manning QC, were it not for a bill submitted for his costs at Bicester magistrates’ court last month. He charged £73,310.80 plus VAT. (His two fellow counsel added another £90,000.) Mr Carter-Manning’s services cost £300 an hour, so I calculate that he worked for roughly 244 hours on this case.
What was he doing? According to Gavin Grant, the chief executive of the RSPCA, which hired him, he was watching “hundreds of hours of footage” of the Heythrop Hunt to see if offences had been committed under the Hunting Act. Eventually, the RSPCA brought 52 charges against four hunt members. Two were acquitted, but two pleaded guilty to four charges of hunting a wild mammal with dogs, a charge so minor that it is classified as “non-recordable”. They – and the hunt corporately – were fined a total of less than £7,000.
The costs that the RSPCA submitted to the court were £326,000. The district judge, who rejected the RSPCA’s attempt to conceal this amount from public gaze, described them as “quite staggering”. Despite the RSPCA “winning”, the charity therefore had to pay most of them itself.
As I say, no blame attaches to Mr Carter-Manning QC. He must live. If he can get £300 an hour for staring at grainy amateur film to see if hounds are chasing after foxes, good luck to him. But the more one reflects on this enterprise, the more extraordinary it is.
Charities must, by law, act prudently with their funds. The RSPCA often brings cases of animal cruelty to court, and since it regards hunting as cruel, this comes within its remit. But Mr Grant himself says that his organisation brought 2,000 prosecutions last year, at a total cost of £5 million, an average of £2,500 a go. If each of these 2,000 cases had cost the same as the Heythrop case, the RSPCA would have spent approximately £660 million on them – way beyond the means of any charity in the entire history of the planet.
So why, in terms of animal cruelty, was the Heythrop Hunt case considered more than 100 times more important than the torture of a pony, or the starvation of a cat, or alsatians, overcrowded and filthy, locked in a tower block all day, or all the other horrible things that human beings do to animals?
It wasn’t, of course. Even a fierce opponent of hunting could not make that claim. The difference is political. Under Mr Grant, who took over last year, the RSPCA is militant. The Heythrop Hunt was chosen because its country is in David Cameron’s constituency. Mr Grant has denied that he is fighting a class war: “This isn’t about accents,” he declared. But he also said to the Daily Mirror that those hunting with the Heythrop were “no different from badger baiters – apart from their accents”, so accents would seem to be on his mind. He says he wants the men to go to prison for between two and five years.
As you would expect, the RSPCA has its own legal department, well-versed, presumably, in looking at film of alleged animal cruelty. But that wasn’t good enough for Mr Grant. He had to get the QC in and pay him to watch the movies. He wanted this to be big.
A similar tendency to go for the dramatic gesture was visible when Mr Grant called for a boycott of all milk produced by farmers who had agreed to take part in the badger cull (later postponed) to help eradicate bovine – and badger – TB. People would not want to buy milk from farms “soaked in badgers’ blood”, he said. In Ramsgate, in September, RSPCA inspectors, worried about defective live animal transport, insisted on unloading sheep at the port and shooting more than 40 that they deemed unfit to travel. Two sheep also drowned in a water tank. Mr Grant has defended what the inspectors did, without qualification.
He is entitled to his views. But when you look at the main work for which the RSPCA is valued, you see that it is overwhelmingly the practical rescue and care of animals. On its website, the emphasis is on this good work, and on practical advice about disease, strays, worming etc. The RSPCA’s key “five pledges” do not mention prosecutions.
Because of its care of animals, the RSPCA is treated in a special way. Its inspectors wear uniforms, though they have no legal powers. Chief constables encourage its prosecution work. And – a little known fact – if the RSPCA brings a case and loses it, the costs of the defendants are usually borne by the taxpayer. So the RSPCA can prosecute almost without thinking. It can go to law as a marketing tool or to make a political point.
This is an abuse of the privileges our culture has traditionally granted it. These, including its many legacies, its charitable status and the patronage of the Queen, came because the RSPCA was an animal welfare organisation – and people strongly support that. Recently, it has become an animal rights organisation instead.
The doctrine of animal rights, developed by Dr Richard Ryder, who is on the RSPCA Council, regards human beings as morally identical to “other animals”, so they should never kill animals for food or clothing, let alone sport. Dr Ryder thinks that people who disagree are guilty of “speciesism”, which, like racism, is profoundly wicked. Mr Grant is highly sympathetic to these views.
A former Liberal Democrat activist, he sees his work as a political campaign. This alienates large numbers of people – farmers, horse-racing bodies, dog organisations – who work professionally with animals, not to mention officials and ministers at Defra. Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State, recently told the RSPCA to be “wary” of muddling charity and politics. Relationships which once were co-operative have become confrontational.
People are naturally starting to ask by what right the RSPCA acts. Despite its policy of never killing a “rehousable” animal, it admits to putting down 3,400 animals for non-medical reasons in 2011. Its membership has fallen to only 25,000. This is a tenth of the numbers who turn out to support hunts on Boxing Day and a fortieth of the membership of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Whom, then, does it actually represent? The RSPCA website does little to attract members, as opposed to donations. It looks as if it likes to trade on its huge, historic reputation, without answering to anyone.
Over 30 years ago, a comparable takeover occurred in the Labour Party. A mass movement originally designed to advance the interests of workers was infiltrated by the Militant Tendency. Today, a movement originally designed to advance the interests of animals hangs in the balance.
By the way, I notice a postscript on the bill submitted to Bicester magistrates’ court. “Counsel,” it says, “have carried out and will carry out other work in relation to this type of prosecution in general.” If you are thinking of giving money to the RSPCA, you might as well cut out the middle man and send it straight to Mr Jeremy Carter-Manning QC instead.
Now Girl Guides consider abandoning oath to God and the Queen after 102 years
The Girl Guides are considering dropping their oath to God and the Queen, in one of the biggest shake-ups in their 102-year history.
Girlguiding UK, the parent organisation which encompasses the Guides, Brownies and Rainbows, has launched a consultation that could see significant changes to the pledge girls take on joining.
The organisation’s new chief executive, Julie Bentley, said yesterday: ‘The promise has been part of the Girl Guides since its beginning – it is crucial and unique.
‘We know from listening to our members that some people do find some parts of the oath challenging, and when members do make that oath we want them to mean it and believe it.
‘Times do change, the world has changed and the way people view the world has changed. Our response is not to be stuck in a rigid way, but to respond to the needs of our membership.’
She told the Guardian that this was ‘in no way a watering down of our values or moral compass’. ‘Some people could be uncomfortable with a change, others might be encouraged,’ she added.
The move follows a similar consultation by the Scout Association, which is also considering providing an alternative promise to welcome atheists as full members after complaints from parents and campaigners.
The consultation, which will close on March 3, is open both to members of the organisation and those outside it.
Guides currently promise to do their best, love ‘my God’, serve ‘the Queen and country’ and keep the Guides’ law.
But the consultation exercise asks for opinions on a range of alternatives.
Girlguiding UK has 538,247 members, including 63,000 trained volunteers. But last year more than 50,000 girls were on waiting lists to join because of a lack of leaders.