Grandmother who saw GP twice a week for SIX MONTHS with stomach pain was told not to worry… then dies of bowel cancer just weeks later

Old ladies don’t matter to the NHS

A grandmother died from bowel cancer after being repeatedly told she only had constipation, her daughter revealed today.

Widow Maddy Pratt-Hooson, 66, went to her local GP surgery twice a week for six months complaining of severe abdominal pains. But each time she was told not to worry and sent back home to her bungalow in Newhaven, East Sussex where she lived alone.

Mrs Pratt-Hooson, a mother-of-three, was eventually rushed to hospital in the middle of the night after calling her daughter Laura Hooson in agony.

It was another ten days before she was diagnosed with bowel cancer, which had started in the colon – and less than four weeks later she died from a massive tumour.

Laura, 24, said: ‘She was failed by the NHS in every aspect – doctors, hospital, everything. ‘She saw various doctors at her local surgery for six months but no-one properly examined her at all. ‘She even saw out of hours doctors at the hospital but they all kept telling her she had constipation.

‘One night she rang me in the middle of the night, crying her eyes out, and we got an ambulance to her and she ended up in hospital. ‘That was on October 1st but it wasn’t until the 11th – another 10 days – before she was diagnosed with colon cancer.

‘By then we were told that nothing could be done for her apart from keeping her comfortable.

‘She came home for a couple of weeks but her final days were spent in a hospice as she went downhill fast and she passed away on November 5th.

‘She suffered unnecessary pain and distress for the last seven months of her life due to NHS negligence and I think the public should be informed.’

A prolonged unexplained period of constipation can be a symptom of bowel cancer.

Mother-of-one Laura, from Brighton, East Sussex, said she had tried to sue the NHS on her mother’s behalf but was told she was not allowed because she was over 18. She is now consulting solicitors to see what other options she has.


British human Rights laws stop Algerian terror suspect with links to gas plant massacre group being deported because he is suicidal

An Algerian terror suspect has been allowed to stay in Britain because a judge believes he may commit suicide if he is forced to go back home.

The 43-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, does not dispute he is a risk to Britain’s national security and is believed to support one of the terrorist groups which carried out the deadly attack on an Algerian gas plant earlier this month which claimed the lives of 39 hostages including six Britons.

He is also suspected of providing fake passports and travel arrangements to terrorists.

But in another blow for the Home Office, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) has allowed the married man to remain on British soil today because deporting him would breach his human rights.

Making his ruling, Mr Justice Mitting – who recently allowed hate preacher Abu Qatada to stay in the UK – said: ‘We must look at the totality of the psychiatric evidence in the round.

‘We are persuaded by it that the risk that G would commit suicide, especially after arrival in Algiers, is very high.

‘It may be containable in the UK but no special arrangements have been negotiated with Algeria to cope with it.’

In the same judgment, Mr Justice Mitting told six other Algerian terror suspects they must leave.

But the senior immigration judge warned there was still ‘no end in sight’ in attempting to put the men on a flight home because they are likely to appeal the decision.

Among the six men were two fundamentalists with links to an alleged 2003 plot to commit mass murder using the poison ricin and cohorts of hook-handed preacher Abu Hamza.

The decision comes after a dramatic terror attack last week on a gas plant in Algeria, which claimed the lives of at least 39 foreign hostages, including six Britons.
Hostages at the In Amenas gas facility during the siege earlier this months which claimed the lives of 39 foreigners including six Britons

Hostages at the In Amenas gas facility during the siege earlier this months which claimed the lives of 39 foreigners including six Britons

Siac said the judgment was drafted before the In Amenas attack and it was too early to say if it would have an impact on its assessment of Algeria.

In the wake of the crisis, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to put terrorism ‘right at the top of the agenda’ for Britain’s presidency of the G8 nations in 2013.

The successful appellant – who was referred to as “G” – claimed asylum in 1995 when he was caught entering the UK on a fake passport.

A previously published open judgment revealed he did not dispute the Home Secretary’s case that he poses a risk to national security.

He is a suspected supporter of Groupe Islamique Arme (GIA), an Islamist organisation that wants to overthrow the Algerian government, and the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, which is now known as Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

And he is understood to have supplied passports to terrorists and been involved in fundraising and providing travel to extremists undertaking jihad and terrorist training.

But the extremist was diagnosed with a major depressive disorder and is known to have made a suicide attempt in 2005 when he was found hanging in a cell in Belmarsh prison.

Experts concluded that medication would not stop him from committing suicide and he instead required round the clock supervision.

Mr Justice Mitting concluded that the UK would be in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights – that no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment – if he were deported in his present condition.

The six suspects ordered to leave the country claimed they would be at risk of torture or degrading treatment if returned to Algeria.

Among them is a regular visitor to the Finsbury Park mosque, who sided with hate preacher Abu Hamza, and a senior member of an Afghanistan training camp.

But Mr Justice Mitting said the court was ‘satisfied that the Algerian state’s assurances can be relied upon’ in the case of these men.

He added that the relations between Algeria and the UK are strong and the North African country has a good record with other men who have previously been deported.

However, in a sign that the six men are expected to drag out their fight against deportation, Mr Justice Mitting warned that after seven years of litigation there was ‘as yet, no end in sight’.

The Prime Minister pledged support to international efforts to track down and tear up the terror network behind last week’s attack on the In Amenas gas plant.

Mr Cameron said that the world was involved in a ‘generational struggle’ against al Qaida-inspired Islamist terrorism in North Africa.

Siac upheld Qatada’s appeal against deportation to Jordan, where he was convicted of terror charges in his absence in 1999.

The Government will appeal against the decision next month but Qatada remains in the UK on bail conditions including a 16-hour curfew, wearing an electronic tag, not using the internet and not contacting certain people.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are pleased Siac has dismissed the appeals of six of the individuals in the ‘W and Others’ case against their deportation, recognising the strength of our assurances with Algeria. We intend to remove them as quickly as possible.’


37 jailed killers walk out and flee: Alarm over security at Britain’s open prisons as figures reveal 175 inmates absconded last year

Dozens of dangerous criminals including murderers, rapists and paedophiles are simply walking out of prison.

Last year 175 inmates left open prisons or disappeared while on day release, the equivalent of one every other day. The list of violent offenders who have absconded over the last three years includes 37 murderers and five rapists.

Among them is rapist Ivan Leach, a predatory paedophile and ruthless robber whose criminal record stretches back three decades. The tattooed thug is suspected of breaking into a woman’s home and raping her while on the run.

Others include a man who stabbed a teacher to death while high on lighter fuel and a teenager who killed a ‘Good Samaritan’ who tried to stop a robbery.

Last night the MP who uncovered the figures asked how criminals guilty of such serious offences could be allowed to roam free.

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, said: ‘People will be astonished that it is possible for about 40 murderers and rapists to have absconded in three years.

‘The public expect to be protected from serious offenders, and the fact that so many can abscond is outrageous and unacceptable.

‘These are the most serious of offenders and, as far as I’m concerned, those guilty of murder should be behind bars for life, not put in a position where they can abscond at will.

‘People who have been convicted of rape simply should not be just walking the streets.’

He added: ‘What is frightening is that we don’t know how many of these committed offences while they were absconding. We don’t even know whether they are still at large.

‘It shows that far too many people are not being properly punished for their crimes. The public will be shocked and appalled.’

The vast majority of the convicts disappeared while in relatively relaxed institutions after serving a long period in prison.

Many of them were allowed to leave during the day to undertake work placements or work in charity shops in an attempt to prepare them for freedom.

According to the Ministry of Justice figures, 679 prisoners absconded between 2009/10 and 2011/12. They included 149 robbers, four kidnappers, 15 guilty of grievous bodily harm, and three of attempted murder.

A further four were convicted of manslaughter, 22 of possession of firearms or knives, and two had threatened to kill. In Government terminology, ‘absconding’ is different from ‘escaping’ as it does not require climbing a wall or digging a tunnel.

Mr Davies mocked the distinction, adding: ‘It’s like Yes Minister. The public will be delighted to know that these people haven’t escaped – they’ve just absconded.’

The figures prompted claims that officials are failing to get the balance right between protecting the public and rehabilitating criminals.

David Green, of think tank Civitas, said: ‘These figures simply reaffirm that the Government does not attach the weight it should to the safety of the public. ‘These are people who are given day release in preparation for ultimate release, and then go missing; or people who are put into open prisons where they should not necessarily be.

‘It is concerning that murderers are contained in these groups.’

The figures show that the number of ‘absconders’ has fallen from 269 in 2009/10 to 175 last year.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said: ‘The annual number of absconds has reduced significantly over the last several years with the number in 2011/12 being at the lowest levels since central records began.

‘Of those prisoners who do abscond, the majority are quickly recaptured, returned to closed conditions and referred to the police for prosecution.’

A spokesman for the Prison Service admitted that a small number of those who abscond are never returned to jail.


One in four violent criminals gets just a CAUTION as police wrongly let off sex offenders and burglars

One in four violent criminals is cheating justice by escaping with a caution, magistrates warned yesterday. They are among tens of thousands of crooks, including sex offenders and burglars, wrongly let off with a ‘slap on the wrist’ by police.

New figures showed one in five sex offenders are also cautioned as well as an astonishing one in 20 of offenders with more than 10 previous convictions.

Experts fear officers are widely misusing cautions because they cut down on paperwork and improve crime detection figures.

The criminal justice sanction was originally aimed at first-time offenders caught committing relatively low level offences.

But there are concerns that police under pressure to deal with offences quickly are handing out cautions in the wrong circumstances.

The proportion of proven offences dealt with outside the court has more than doubled over the past decade, from 15 per cent to more than 30 per cent.

More than 112,000 cautions were given in 2011-12 for indictable offences, which are serious enough for trial in the crown court.

These included 14,137 cautions for violence against other people and 1,419 cautions for sexual offences.

John Fassenfelt, chairman of the Magistrates’ Association, said: ‘Cautions are being misused and there is no transparency.

‘It is alarming that so many offences which impact so seriously on victims are being dealt with behind closed doors.’

‘The line is quite clear. We are responsible for sentencing offenders, and the police are responsible for catching them. It seems to us the police are extending their powers.’

The latest figures show half of all cautions are given to offenders who have committed previous crimes.

Among them are six per cent of cautions handed out to career criminals who have committed at least 10 previous crimes.

Magistrates are concerned that cases dealt with by cautions and other out-of-court sanctions are not open to public scrutiny.

It is also impossible to make defendants pay compensation if the case is not brought before a magistrate.

It emerged last week that serial burglar Jason Dernbach, 24, from Woking, Surrey, was given a caution despite admitting 113 burglaries and car break-ins over a three-year crime spree. He was already serving a four-and-a-half year sentence for six burglaries when he admitted the new offences to the police while behind bars.

Other high-profile cases include that of Carl Bielby, 25, a sex offender from Hull who targeted schoolchildren using Facebook. He was given a warning when he was caught suggesting the use of sex toys to an 11-year-old. He went on to target other schoolchildren and was jailed last year.

In Birmingham, Junior Mohammed Oakes, 28, was cautioned for assault and possessing a knife. He was convicted this month of murdering the mother of his three children in a ‘savage and prolonged’ knife attack.

In 2011, a joint report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service said there was ‘disquiet’ over the use of out-of-court sanctions.

It revealed that in some police force areas, more than 40 per cent of all offences brought to justice were dealt with outside the courts.

It examined 190 cases dealt with outside the courts and found inappropriate decisions were made in a third of cases.

It said the most common problem was that cautions and other out-of-court sanctions were being used for prolific offenders.

Hampshire Chief Constable Alex Marshall, who has national responsibility for cautions, said the use of cautions and similar sanctions has declined. He said: ‘The vast majority of those who receive a caution for a first-time minor offence do not go on to commit further offences.

‘Officers need to ensure a caution is appropriate to the offence [and that] it is in the public interest.’

Theresa May, the home secretary, has said she wants the victims of crime to have more say in how perpetrators are punished when they are dealt with outside the courts.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘I am already looking into how police cautions are being used.

‘We shouldn’t remove the right for police officers to exercise discretion but the public are right to expect that people who commit serious crimes will be brought before a court where very tough sentences are available.’


Why feminism is a dirty word, by Bake Off star

It is unlikely she would ever be mistaken for a radical firebrand. And now Mary Berry has made her traditional views on gender equality absolutely clear, with the pronouncement: ‘Feminism is a dirty word.’

The star of The Great British Bake Off said she does not want women’s rights and is ‘thrilled to bits’ when men offer to look after her.

Although the 77-year-old has never made any secret of her traditionalist family values, her comments have been seized upon by some women, who accused her of being ‘ignorant’ about feminism’s achievements.

But Mrs Berry, who has published 70 cookbooks in a 46-year career and had three children, said: ‘I would always stand up for women but I don’t want women’s rights and all that sort of thing.

‘I love to have men around and I suppose if you’re a true feminist you get on and do it yourself. I love it when someone says, “I’ll get your coat” or, “I’ll look after you”, or offers you a seat on the bus. I’m thrilled to bits. I’m not a feminist.’

Mrs Berry, who was praised for her elegance last week when she wore a blue silk gown and pearls at the National Television Awards, has been married to retired bookseller Paul, 80, for 46 years. She has two surviving children – one son, William, died in 1989 – and four grandchildren.

Asked if she believed feminism means ‘shouting at men’, she said: ‘I don’t like that at all. I respect them, I don’t like shouting.’

She added: ‘Feminism is a dirty word. You’ve got to persuade them [men] gently to do things and, of course, when they come back they say, “Oh, wasn’t that fun?”’

Mrs Berry, who with her daughter Annabel Bosher, 40, runs Mary Berry And Daughter which sells a range of sauces and dressings, appeared to criticise female employees who take their full maternity leave entitlement, saying: ‘I had about five weeks off and now I think, gosh, they haven’t half cottoned on to it.

‘You have a year off, and you don’t have to tell them whether you’re coming back or not. ‘It makes it terribly difficult for the small employer to employ young women, young married women or [women] with children. ‘You’ve got three in the department and they all go to have children and you’ve got to leave the job open.’

Mrs Berry’s comments have been attacked by some women. Writer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who has described herself as a ‘leftie liberal, anti-racist, feminist’, said: ‘They show an ignorance of the power relationship between men and women.

‘They also show an ignorance of what feminism is. ‘I am a feminist and I cook for my husband every night – and I make very good cakes.’


Why do you need pliers to open a toothbrush packet? Difficult packaging afflicts people of all ages

Terry Wogan only tells the half of it below. I need a Stillson wrench to open some things! — JR

Standing in the bathroom with a new toothbrush still in its packet, I think: ‘Ah, I will restore my dentures to their pristine glory.’ But can I remove the toothbrush from its packaging? I cannot.

I bend it this way and that. I squeeze it and I pull it. I wrestle with it. I would need pliers to make any progress. The plastic packaging is moulded solid.

Indeed, it is almost soldered at the back. It has, in short, defeated me. I’m 74, and it is true that as you get older, your aged fingers begin to lose their strength.

But this problem with packaging is not confined to old geezers like me. It is universal — it afflicts people of all ages. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 85 per cent of consumers experience frustration with modern packaging.

Of the 500 people who took part, 425 said they found packaging difficult to ‘open, tear or rip easily’.

And I received a big round of applause earlier this month on the BBC series Room 101 when I nominated packaging to be consigned to oblivion.

Consider the tinned sardine or the pilchard, for example. You squeeze your finger into the ring-pull, dis-locate your digit, break your nail… then the damn ring-pull snaps off and you have to use a tin opener anyway — all for a sardine.

The humble tin of beans is exactly the same. Another ring-pull mechanism. It should be simple but it can take your finger off.

At home we have a little plastic yoke that you insert in tins with ring-pulls — but it doesn’t always work.

Then there are bottles. I can remember when it was easy to open a bottle of medicine or a jar containing tablets. Then someone invented the child-proof bottle. Child-proof? Adult-proof more like. They are the bane of modern life.

You read the label and follow the instructions to the letter. There is an arrow showing you the direction in which to twist. You press, you twist. It won’t come off. Press, twist. Nothing. You keep doing it. It doesn’t work. You are red in the face from trying — hot tears of frustration streaming down your blazing cheeks.

I tend to hand the thing to my wife, Lady Helen. She has stronger fingers than me.

And what about milk cartons? No matter what I do, for some reason I always end up with a bit of milk down my shirt front. In fact, Tetra Pak cartons in general are problematic. I gather they’ve made a fortune for the family that invented them. Think how much more money they could have made if they had ever found a way of getting the things to open properly.

Do you remember those little plastic triangles of milk they used to have on aeroplanes? I use Aer Lingus frequently and I could never get the triangles to open properly to put the milk in my tea. I’d struggle to tear off the cap and then cover a nun on the other side of the aisle with milk.

When I was a boy there was less fuss about packaging — probably because there was less packaging, and what there was mostly just good old-fashioned plain brown paper.

My late father had a shop and it seemed that everything then was more accessible and easy to get at. Life was less complicated. Bottles were used and returned. Four pounds of potatoes came in an open paper bag, not a sealed plastic one. They were happy days.

But recently I heard about plans to sell individually wrapped bananas. Has the world gone mad?

Bananas come in their own distinctive yellow packaging, thoughtfully provided by Mother Nature herself. It is packaging, I might add, that I am actually capable of removing. Bananas don’t need to be shrink-wrapped, heat-sealed or otherwise interfered with. What next I ask you? Coconuts encased in Perspex? Individual eggs in tins?

The temptation, of course, is to take a penknife to packaging. Or a machete even. But most packaging is so fiendishly contrived as to defeat even a blade. And you have to be very wary or you’ll take a finger off. In my declining years I keep away from the penknife.

Try breaking into a leg of lamb or a joint of beef. Pressurised jars of jam or preserves? Forget it. Confectionery? You would need the strength of an ox to open a packet of sweets. Nuts are no different. How many times have you scattered them near and far as you struggle to prise them open?

Personally, I am fond of a crisp but gaining entry to a pack of salt-and-vinegar requires the skill and dexterity of the master safe-cracker.

Many people over Christmas will have suffered from the ordeal of attempting to open presents. I say attempt because, like toothbrushes and razors, toys seem to come encased in plastic that has been moulded for eternity.

And as if the plastic isn’t enough, toys are often secured with twine of such tensile strength that you could make a zip-wire of it. The poor child has not a hope of getting access to the gift — leading to an infernal ballyhoo and tears before breakfast.

As for my toothbrush, I did get it open eventually. I had to use scissors, though. If they had failed I would have resorted to the garden shears.


Teacher unfairly fired because she ‘pruned bush without risk checks’

A teacher was unfairly sacked from her job after her superiors claimed she had pruned a bush without performing a risk assessment, a tribunal heard.

Tracey Smith was awarded £70,000 compensation after successfully arguing her career had been left in ruins following her unfair dismissal from a secure unit for problem youngsters in Sheffield, south Yorks.

The 43 year-old had been accused of breaking rules over disciplining a youngster, having poor relationships with colleagues and breaking health and safety rules, the tribunal was told.

One “ridiculous” allegation centred on suggestions that Miss Smith, from Crookes, Sheffield, had not pruned a bush without performing a risk assessment.

Today, it emerged that she had been awarded £70,000 – the maximum possible amount – after an employment tribunal found she was unfairly dismissed from Aldine House, a secure unit for eight young offenders and other problem youngsters.

The Sheffield-based hearing in September last year found Miss Smith had been unfairly dismissed and awarded more than £18,000 for loss of earnings.

A second hearing on Monday awarded her a further £52,400, the maximum amount a tribunal can award in compensation.

Sheffield Council, which operates the secure unit, said it was considering an appeal.

Miss Smith said outside court: “The case has destroyed my career and I am pleased to have won. “I believe the problems arose because I didn’t get on with my line manager. I was accused of five allegations. “One, which was ridiculous, was that I pruned a bush without performing a risk assessment.”

She added: “I was on full pay for nine months doing nothing, which is something I was horrified about because I have friends who run companies and were having to make redundancies. It was not good use of taxpayers’ money.

“I am so pleased with the result. To prove my innocence and show that I have been unfairly treated was my goal and … I now feel vindicated.”

Miss Smith, who remains unemployed, had worked at the secure unit, for three years when she was suspended on full pay in August 2010.

She was then sacked in May the following year, despite working at other mainstream schools for 12 years.

Before her suspension she had reported to management about the bullying behaviour of her line manager, which she said was placing herself and the young people in the unit at risk because they were ignoring alarm calls.

After she was sacked she was placed on the “dismissed persons register”, which hindered her chances of gaining new employment. Her name has only recently been removed from the register after the tribunal result.

Her lawyer, Scott Sim, of Howells Solicitors, said they were “very happy” with the result. “Miss Smith was found to be subjected to an unfair dismissal which has had a large impact on her life and hindered her attempts to gain employment elsewhere,” he said. “We are pleased that justice has been achieved for Tracey and she can now move forward.”

Mr Sim said that at the initial hearing in September, Sheffield council claimed that Aldine House was due to be closed and so any further hearings were postponed. Since then Aldine House has remained open resulting in a second hearing where Ms Smith was awarded further compensation.

A spokesman for Sheffield Council said today: “We note the result of the tribunal and we are looking into appealing the decision. “It would be inappropriate for us to comment further than this at this time.”


Headmaster accuses Oxbridge of ‘discrimination’ against public school pupils applying for university places

Public school pupils are being discriminated against when they apply for places at Oxford and Cambridge, a leading headmaster has claimed. Dr Anthony Seldon, the Master of the prestigious Wellington College described the ‘hostility’ towards these students as ‘the hatred that dare not speak its name.’

There are cases of some parents allegedly putting their children into local state sixth forms to give them a better chance of getting into Oxbridge.

David Cameron has tried to ‘disown’ his Eton-educated background because of the public ‘jealousy’ of independent schools, said Dr Seldon.

He told the Daily Telegraph that at Wellington there were 62 pupils clever enough to get an interview at Oxbridge, but he expected only 20 to be offered places.

‘From our perspective it looks as if some public school students are being discriminated against at the final hurdle,’ he said. ‘Was that different to when I was at Oxford 35 years ago? Yes. I don’t think anyone gave a toss back then where you came from, only that you were good enough to go.’

He added: ‘Positive discrimination in favour of state school people has become the hatred that dare not speak its name.’

This year, according to the paper, Cambridge has reduced the number of places it is offering to independent schools to 200 with almost two-thirds its students coming from state schools and colleges.

The dilemma facing parents of privately-educated children is highlighted in the Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine tomorrow with the case of a QC with two daughters at the Catholic boarding school St Mary’s Shaftesbury, Dorset.

He took away the cleverer of the two at 16 and sent her to the local state sixth form because he believed it would improve her chance of a place at Oxbridge.

Last October, private school leaders raised the prospect of boycotts against any university found to be systematically discriminating against their pupils in admissions.

They are incensed that more than half of top universities have set specific targets for admitting more state school pupils under pressure from the Government to widen the social mix of students.

Headmasters are demanding that universities such as Cambridge and University College London are banned from setting targets which classify students according to the type of school they attended.


Popular media misrepresent effects of statins

The benefits of statins are so widely preached that journalists think they MUST be good stuff, I guess

A national newspaper here in the UK (the Daily Mail) recently reported “How a 40p statin can stop deadly form of blood poisoning”

OK, here we go again. It’s a great pity that much of the mainstream media no longer consider the implications of what they publish.

This article relates to a recent study published in the journal Critical Care, which investigated the use of a statin in people with sepsis (which is a harmful or damaging response to infection).

It was a small study of 100 people with sepsis. 49 were given a statin and 51 were given a placebo.

I’m not criticising the study itself. From a certain point of view, it might make sense to try the use of statins in cases of sepsis. Statins are known to have anti-inflammatory effects and inflammation, of course, is a key feature of sepsis. However, the anti-inflammatory effect may weaken the body’s immune system overall.

Another important point is statins, of course, lower cholesterol, and low cholesterol levels have been consistently shown to increase the risk for infection.

Therefore, as with any medication, the benefits and risks have to be balanced.

Using some criteria, the use of the statin did reduce the severity of sepsis, however, there were the same number of deaths in both the statin and placebo group. So there was no evidence that the statin actually provided any extension of life. In addition, after one year, there was no difference in hospital readmission between the statin and placebo group. It is also worth mentioning that the researchers measured the patients perceived quality of life index and, at discharge, the people who did not receive the statin had a better quality of life index.

The way that the Daily Mail skewed the results in favour of statins was misleading. For example, by the statement: “The findings suggest the drugs, which cost as little as 40 pence a day, could help to reduce the death toll from a condition that affects around 37,000 people a year in Britain”

The study did not find a reduction in the death rate at all. This is factually incorrect.

And this recent study did not really tell us anything new; it certainly was not newsworthy.

In 2012 there was a detailed review of the use of statins in cases in sepsis, published in the Annals of Intensive Care. The study can be found here:

Statins in the Critically Ill, by Isabelle De Loecker and Jean-Charles Preiser

The authors of this study provide a balanced review of the use of statins in cases of sepsis and, all things considered, there was no clear evidence of any nett benefit associated with the use of statins.

The Daily Mail article also took the opportunity to portray statins as cheap, by referring to “a 40p statin”. I have complained about this many times before, but I must say it again – statins are not cheap, they cost the `health’ service in the UK 450 million pounds each year, not to mention the costs of administering the cholesterol test itself, which probably doubles the cost.



About jonjayray

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