Grandfather who was coughing up blood died because doctors took TWO YEARS to realise he had lung cancer

A grandfather died after doctors failed to diagnose his treatable lung cancer for two years.

In May 2010, father-of-two Frank Golby, 65, had a CT scan that should have showed he was suffering from the early stages of lung cancer. However, staff at University Hospital Coventry told the former Rolls Royce worker that he was just suffering from a chest infection.

Mr Golby then continued to battle persistent pain for almost two years, coughing up blood and becoming anaemic, until he was rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties in February 2012. In A&E he was given a chest X-ray which revealed the tumour had grown to five times its original size.

At this point, the doctors suspected that he was suffering from lung cancer but before they were able to act on their findings, or inform his family, Mr Golby died.

The hospital has now admitted misdiagnosing Mr Golby, and accepts that early diagnosis could have prolonged his life by ten years, but his angry family have said it is all ‘too little too late’.

His son, Mark Golby, said: `My father put his complete trust in the doctors who treated him and had confidence that they were doing everything they could to help him. `He never discovered that the doctors had completely missed his cancer.

`Looking back it’s hard to believe the doctors missed the warning signs that something was seriously wrong. `He had been coughing up blood for months and still they did not think to check for cancer.’

Neil Clayton, a lawyer at medical negligence specialists Lime Solicitors, said: `An independent medical expert concluded that if clinicians had reviewed the CT scan taken in 2010, the one centimetre nodule on Frank’s upper left lung would have been clearly visible and would in turn have indicated he was suffering from the early stages of lung cancer. `At this point, the cancer was highly treatable and a combination of surgery and either radiotherapy or chemotherapy could in all likelihood have extended his lifespan by around ten years.’

Mark Golby said: `By the time he was admitted to hospital his breathing had become very laboured. `Even then we believed the doctors’ diagnosis that he just had a chest infection and clung to the hope that it was a passing illness that he would get over.

`The fact he was such a proud man who didn’t like to complain, meant opportunities to make him comfortable were also missed.

`The hospital had reassured my sister that there was no need for the family to dash up to see him as he was stable and would hopefully be home within a couple of days. Sadly he died the following morning.’

Following a full admission of liability, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, has offered a full apology to Mr Golby’s family and has paid a five figure out of court settlement.

Mark Golby said: `Although sadly it’s too late for our family, I would urge others to seek a second opinion if they find that their condition fails to improve.

`No one wants a doctor to tell them they have cancer, but in dad’s case, hearing those words two years earlier, when the scan was first taken, could have given him ten more precious years with his family.’

Frank, who worked at the Rolls Royce plant in Coventry for more than 30 years, leaves behind his wife Sandra, aged 62, a son and daughter as well as two grandchildren.

Meghana Pandit, Chief Medical Officer at the trust said: `I would like to apologise to Mr Golby’s wife and his family that his cancer was not recognised when his scan was read. `While errors of this kind are extremely rare, it doesn’t detract from the pain and distress this has caused.

`We have reviewed how the mistake was made and have tried to learn lessons from it.

`We hope that the financial settlement can help in some way but we recognise it will never compensate Mr Golby’s family for their loss.’


Grandmother died in agony after waiting FOUR HOURS for an ambulance to arrive

A grandmother died in agony after she was forced to wait four hours for an ambulance.

Isabel Carter, 74, died following a catalogue of failings by East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST), an inquest heard yesterday. The service admitted it had made mistakes in responding to a call from both Mrs Carter’s husband, David, and from her GP.

Mrs Carter, who had bowel ischaemia – inadequate blood supply to the bowel which causes it to become damaged – started to suffer from acute stomach pains at her home in Wymondham, near Norwich, on the morning of December 2, 2011.

Her husband called their GP and she was visited by a doctor who examined her and called the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The doctor informed the hospital that she needed to get a seriously ill pensioner to the to the surgical assessment ward within two hours. She then phoned her surgery and told them to call an ambulance.

However, two hours later an ambulance had still not arrived so Mr Carter called the surgery again and was told to dial 999.

At the same time, the surgery also called the ambulance service to inform them that the call needed to be upgraded to an emergency. However, the call handler did not upgrade the call.

By the time an ambulance did arrive, four hours after it was initially requested, Mrs Carter had collapsed.

Paramedics managed to resuscitate her but she died within ten minutes of arriving at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The inquest was told that survival rates from bowel ischaemia are low even with the right treatment.

Senior manager Adrian Maasz led an EEAST inquiry into what went so badly wrong. He said that demand on the service that afternoon had meant the trust could not get to Mrs Carter within two hours.

Mr Maasz said: ‘Undoubtedly there were failings within the control room at that time.’ He said lessons had been learned from Mrs Carter’s case and that it had put in new procedures to ‘significantly’ reduce the chances of similar mistakes.

Recording a narrative verdict, deputy coroner David Osborne said Mrs Carter died from bowel ischaemia.

Mrs Carter’s son-in-law, Barry Holland, said: ‘We have lost a loving wife, mother and grandmother. ‘The ambulance service let us down on the day. It let Isabel down on the day she needed it most.’

The East of England Ambulance Service said: ‘Following this incident the Trust launched an investigation to identify the issues that led to the delay in the ambulance attending Mrs Carter.

‘This investigation identified that on December 2, 2011, a number of factors contributed to the delay in the ambulance attending some of which included increased 999 call volume, staffing levels in the control room, and incorrect upgrading of the call.

‘As a result of the investigation the Trust has increased staffing levels in the Norwich control room, made investment in the addition of more clinical co-ordinators for 24/7 clinical cover in the control rooms, education and training for staff and ensuring more communication around the correct comfort call process is made.

John Martin, interim Director of Clinical Quality said: ‘We have apologised to Mrs Carter’s family and shared with them the findings of our investigation and the actions we have taken as a result of this incident.

‘It took too long to get an ambulance to the patient, but as a result of this we have taken steps which the coroner recognised we had implemented and that they’re reviewed regularly.’


Knitting’s classroom comeback: Subject set to return to lessons after school found it improved behaviour and maths skills

It was last taught in the classroom when throwaway fashion was unimaginable and people had to make do and mend. But knitting, sewing and embroidery are making a comeback in design and technology lessons as children learn traditional home skills again.

Knitting has not been widely taught for decades, but after one school found it had the knock-on effect of improving pupils’ maths and behaviour, it is returning for boys and girls aged up to 14.

At Worth Primary School, near Deal in Kent, teachers said it improved behaviour, helped pupils learn to write and encouraged them to have proper discussions with each other rather than play with their phones.

They were so impressed with the impact of a lunchtime knitting club that they started incorporating it into other lessons. During maths lessons, pupils created a design then calculated the number of stitches they would need. In history, pupils learned about the clothing worn in the Middle Ages and how to make it.

Headmistress Lynne Moore said: ‘It has dramatically improved behaviour, and it really helps communication. Instead of playing on their phones or computers, the children knit and talk to each other. They have proper conversations.’

Teachers and parents are now being consulted on a planned shake-up of the national curriculum next year.

The proposed curriculum states children will be taught ‘to plan, design, make, repair and evaluate decorative and/or practical objects, using a range of textiles and employing common techniques such as sewing, embroidery and knitting’.

But Caroline Wright, of the British Educational Suppliers Association, said yesterday: ‘These proposals will result in some fabulous knitwear but, sadly, fewer world-class engineers and innovators.’

Make Do And Mend was the title of an official booklet produced during the Second World War when wool was in short supply and women were urged to unpick old garments and reuse the wool. Knitting patterns were issued to the public to show them how to make winter clothes.

After the war, girls learned knitting at school. Its popularity soared in the 1960s when people used new ranges of brightly coloured wool to emulate the latest fashions. But in the 1980s it went into decline as earnings went up and people could afford high street fashions.

It was phased out of lessons completely with the introduction of the national curriculum in 1988.

However there has been a revival thanks to the internet, with millions of people exchanging patterns online.


British teachers told not to use red ink in case it upsets pupils: Tory MP slams ‘political correctness gone wild’

Teachers have been told not to use red link to mark homework to avoid upsetting pupils. The edict has been condemned as ‘absolutely political correctness gone wild’ which risks leaving students in the dark about where they have gone wrong.

Ministers have been forced to distance themselves from the bizarre policy, insisting no government rules exist on what colour pens teachers use.

The policy would appear to be at odds with the back to basics approach of Education Secretary Michael Gove who has insisted teachers must mark pupils down for poor spelling and grammar.

He has warned that in the past too little has been done to focus on core skills to ensure young people are confident in key writing skills.

Tory MP Bob Blackman revealed his anger after being told a secondary school in his Harrow East constituency had banned teachers from using red ink. He told MailOnline: ‘A teacher contacted me and said I cannot believe I have been instructed by my head to mark children’s homework in particular colours and not to use certain colours. ‘It is all about not wanting to discourage youngsters if their work is marked wrong.

‘It sounds to me like some petty edict which is nonsense. It is absolutely political correctness gone wild.

‘My take on all this is to say children need to understand the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong.’

Mr Blackman took his concerns to ministers, tabling a parliamentary question whether the government issues guidelines which ‘prohibit or discourage the use of red ink for the purposes of marking or commenting on students’ schoolwork’.

Elizabeth Truss, the ministers responsible for school attendance and cutting bureaucracy, insisted: ‘No, the Department does not issue guidelines which prohibit or discourage the use of red ink for marking student’s schoolwork.’

It is thought the policy is set by the headteacher, and not Labour-run Harrow council.

Mr Blackman refused to name the school to protect the teacher who had spoken out.

But he said he was going to take the issue up with the headteacher to ensure pupils were told when they had got things wrong.

Mr Blackman added: ‘If they have got their homework wrong they need to be told it is wrong and to understand what the right answers are. The idea that they should use this or that colour is madness.’

Earlier this year a US study suggested that teachers should stop using red pens because the colour is associated with ‘warning, prohibition, caution, anger, embarrassment and being wrong’.

Researchers showed students think they’ve been assessed more harshly when their work is covered in red ink compared to more neutral colours like blue.

Sociologists Richard Dukes and Heather Albanesi from the University of Colorado told the Journal of Social Science: ‘The red grading pen can upset students and weaken teacher-student relations and perhaps learning.’

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, slammed the findings saying: ‘In my own experience of 35 years in teaching is that children actually prefer teachers to use red ink because they can read comments more easily.

‘I think this research is misguided. The problem with using a colour like green or blue is that it’s not clear. A lot of schools seem to have a culture where they don’t like critcising children but actually this helps them.

‘It’s not intimidating children want to see where they’ve made a mistake. I think it’s a rather silly idea.’

Under the last Labour government red ink was banned in hundreds of schools because it was considered ‘confrontational’ and ‘threatening’.


Diabetes danger in just ONE sugary drink a day: Chance of developing Type 2 increases by a fifth

The usual correlational stupidity. Working class people probably drink more pop and are also less healthy. The pop itself likely does nothing

Drinking one can of soft drink a day can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by a fifth, scientists warn.

A major study found the risk rose by as much as 22 per cent for every 12oz serving of sugar-sweetened drink – a typical can – consumed per day.

Soft drinks have previously been linked with weight gain and obesity – a well-known trigger for type 2 diabetes – but researchers say the effect goes beyond body weight and may be caused by an increase in insulin resistance.

The study of almost 30,000 people living in eight European countries, including Britain, follows US research which made near-identical findings. Scientists at Imperial College London wanted to determine whether the link held good in Europe, where soft drinks are less popular than in America.

Professor Nick Wareham, of the Medical Research Council’s epidemiology unit, who oversaw the study, said it was more evidence that people should be cautious about the amount of sugary soft drink they consumed.

He said: ‘This finding adds to growing global literature suggesting that there is a link between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, obesity and risk of development of type 2 diabetes.

‘This observation suggests that consumption of these beverages should be limited as part of an overall healthy diet.’

Researchers found that the risk of type 2 diabetes rose 22 per cent for people having one 12oz (336ml) serving of sugar-sweetened soft drink a day compared with those not having any. For those having two soft drinks, it rose a further 22 per cent over those having one drink.

The number of Britons diagnosed with diabetes hit three million this year for the first time – almost one in 20 of the population.

Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet.

It occurs when the body gradually loses the ability to process blood sugar, leading to high levels which can damage body organs and result in years of ill-health.

The latest study used data on consumption of juices and nectars, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and artificially sweetened soft drinks. It involved 12,403 people with type 2 diabetes and 16,154 without diabetes.

The researchers, led by Dr Dora Romaguera, said a possible reason for the link could be the effect of sugar-sweetened drinks on insulin resistance.

Type 2 diabetes is frequently preceded by an increase in insulin resistance, where the body becomes insensitive to the effects of insulin resulting in high blood sugar levels.

Dr Romaguera said: ‘Given the increase in sweet beverage consumption in Europe, clear messages on the unhealthy effect of these drinks should be given to the population.’

Consumption of pure fruit juice and nectar drinks was not implicated in rising diabetes, although the study could not separate out the effect of 100 per cent pure juices from those with added sugars.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, of Diabetes UK, said: ‘The large number of people involved in this study means this finding is extremely unlikely to have happened by chance.’

Gavin Partington, of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: ‘It is well known that diabetes is the result of many different factors, including obesity and family history.

‘Soft drinks are safe to consume but, like all other food and drink, should be consumed in moderation.’ The study was published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.


Are you sure this is going to work? Scotland’s first ‘solar meadow’ opens under grey skies and rain

They were built to slash a college’s carbon emissions and save them tens of thousands of pounds in energy bills.

But some people must have been left wondering if the new ‘solar meadow’ will live up to its billing as it opened today under grey and rainy skies.

The site at the Midlothian campus of Edinburgh College in Dalkeith is Scotland’s first solar meadow and one of the most northerly locations for the green technology in Europe.

The five-acre site cost œ1.2million to build and was designed by SSE Energy Solutions.

It promises to decrease the college’s carbon emissions by 300,000kg a year and meet all the campus’ electricity demands.

But dignitaries who turned out for the grand opening had to walk through the rain with not a beam of sunlight in sight.

Dressed in bright hi-viz jackets, the group including local MSP Colin Beattie, staff, students and business leaders, were pictured holding umbrellas aloft as they inspected the site.

Backers of the project also hope it will become a local attraction.

Wildflowers and various grasses are to be planted in the meadow to increase the site’s biodiversity.

Professor Steve Tinsley, vice-principal of Edinburgh College, who is leading the project, said: ‘We believe the solar meadow also looks great and will become a significant attraction for local people as well as visitors to the capital.

‘It is also fantastic that the project has enabled the college to engage with schools and local community groups to develop their own renewable energy projects. ‘It really is giving something back to the local community in more ways than one.’

The solar meadow, which can still generate energy under in overcast conditions, will also be used as a teaching facility for students.

‘[The solar meadow] will help not only to provide the next generation of engineers with essential skills, but also allow the college to become less reliant on fossil fuel energy,’ said Prof Tinsley.

The meadow will also be used as a research centre where the interaction between biodiversity and solar technology is analysed, including the effect of environmental conditions on the output from the solar panels such as weather and pollen.

Richard Chandler, SSE’s head of green deal and energy solutions, said: ‘The solar meadow will not only generate around 560,000 kWhrs every year, enough energy to power 170 homes, but is also a fine example of how industry and education can work well together.

‘This project will bring benefits to the college, its students and the wider community as well as further strengthening Scotland’s renewable energy resources.’


The East German mentality of the British bureaucracy

Agony of woman jailed in secret: Daughter locked up for trying to save father from care home tells of terrifying police swoop

A woman imprisoned by a secret court yesterday described the shocking moment police descended on her father’s care home to `cart me off to jail’.

Wanda Maddocks was sentenced for trying to remove her father John from a home where his family thought he was in danger of dying.

But she was not present in court, nor was she represented by a lawyer, when the judgment was made – and her sentencing was not made public for six months.

Miss Maddocks, 50, is believed to be the first person to be jailed by the Court of Protection, which settles the affairs of those too ill to make their own decisions.

Last night the case was at the centre of a furious row over behind-closed-doors justice as MPs condemned the secrecy of the court that jailed Miss Maddocks.

She was visiting her frail father when officers arrived to break the news that she had been sentenced to five months in prison.

She said: `I walked out of the care home and saw a small white van, then two female police officers approached me with two court officers. `They told me I had been sentenced to jail for contempt of court. I couldn’t believe it.

`They told me it was almost unheard of for somebody to be jailed like that in a civil hearing without first being given the chance to explain themselves.’

Miss Maddocks served six weeks in Foston Hall – the women’s jail in Derbyshire which was home to Maxine Carr, girlfriend of Soham killer Ian Huntley – following her arrest in September.

The Court of Protection had originally ruled that Mr Maddocks, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, must stay in the care home in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, because the plans for his care put forward by his children were considered inadequate.

It argued there was no choice but to take control of his affairs when he was found collapsed in his home by his carers. The council also deny he was badly treated during his stay in several care homes.

What has angered the family and open justice campaigners, however, is the draconian way in which Miss Maddocks was treated and the fact the secretive court was able to send her to jail.

Yesterday Miss Maddocks, a property developer, whose home is in the Turkish holiday resort of Fethiye, said: `I spent two weeks in the remand section and was then transferred to the main jail. I was ganged up on by the other inmates and one woman rushed at me and hit me.

`She did it because she thought I was lying about my reasons for being incarcerated. She couldn’t believe I could have been jailed over something so petty, as she called it.’

Miss Maddocks added: `If my case had been in the public domain the judge would never have dared to jail me. There would have been uproar.

The Human Rights Act is supposed to guarantee everybody the right to a family life. It is the council and the court who have broken my father’s human rights, not me.’

She said that while in Foston Hall she became too scared to ring her father, a painter and decorator who ran his own business, while in prison, out of fear of somehow breaking the restrictions designed to keep the case secret.

`The court paperwork threatened to seize the family’s assets if we spoke to the press or anybody else about this,’ she said. `I was terrified. I eventually called my father after almost two months, to tell him I would soon be released, and he was crying his eyes out. He was heartbroken because he was missing me so much.’

She said the family were told that social services would agree to Mr Maddocks leaving the care home only if she and his three other children – Ivan, 55, Wayne, 54, and Eden, 49 – could submit an acceptable `care package’ to the court.

The care package had to explain how they would divide responsibility for looking after Mr Maddocks, who needed continual care, what food they would provide for him and any outside help they could call on, such as carers. But she said the judge turned down four separate submissions.

Judge Martin Cardinal sentenced Miss Maddocks at the Court of Protection in Birmingham after hearing that she had repeatedly broken orders not to interfere with her father’s life at the care home.

He found that she had helped take her father to a court hearing and had also taken him to see a solicitor; that she had tried to publicise the case; that she had left offensive messages for social workers; and that she had given the 80-year-old former painter and decorator a wooden cross to ward off evil at his care home.

The judge said she had `the attitude of someone who is simply not going to obey court orders’.

Miss Maddocks took her father to Turkey while he was subject to an order to remain in his care home and she acknowledged yesterday that she had left a message on a social worker’s voicemail.

But she claimed the end of her father’s life had been hastened by being `held prisoner’ in care and claimed it was likely he would still be alive today if she had been allowed to move her father to live with her in Fethiye. `We were all stunned at how quickly he had deteriorated,’ she said of her father, who died in January.

Miss Maddocks said her jail sentence was outrageous and added: `I have had a successful career as a businesswoman and have never been in trouble. `Why should I have to go through all this just to get my father back?’

Stoke-on-Trent councillor Gwen Hassall said: `This is clearly an extreme case, but one that the Court of Protection supported the council on. It was the court’s decision to issue a custodial sentence to Wanda Maddocks.

`Our chief concern was always centred around the welfare of her father, who was suffering from a deteriorating condition and required 24-hour supervision in a stable environment.

This was a decision reached by medical consultants, geriatricians, social workers, community psychiatric nurses, dieticians, consultant health and nursing professionals and others who were involved in assessing his needs.’

Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who was first alerted to the case, called for new laws to ensure courts cannot sentence people to prison in secret. He said his own private member’s bill had been blocked by the Government.

`My bill would have made sure that we know about jailings in the secret courts by making sure that details are made available. We then could know if the courts are behaving properly in our name.

Lord McNally, the Lib Dem Justice Minister, instructed the whips to squash the bill and keep secret jailings secret.

`Thanks to the hard work of the Daily Mail we now know that the courts are locking people up for getting legal advice for family members. This just cannot be right.’

Chris Skidmore, a Tory MP who sits on the Health Select Committee said: `Without commenting on the specifics of this case, it cannot be right that local authorities and council bureaucrats should run roughshod over the lives of individuals and their families.

`At the centre of elderly care must be the concept that families and loved ones must have a right to care and look after the best interests of patients, whatever their condition.’

Former care minister Paul Burstow, a Liberal Democrat, said outcome of the court case seemed an `extreme conclusion’.

He said: `The Court of Protection had a vital role to play in protecting the best interests of people who can’t make decisions for themselves, for example dementia suffers.

`The law does provide for families to exercise decision making authority. The Court should be there to ensure people are safe, treated with dignity and are not deprived of their liberty.

`This is a very hard case and it is far from clear how the court, the council and the care home let events come to such an extreme conclusion.’

John Maddocks was being held in a care home against his families wishes under the Labour government’s Mental Capacity Act

There the family claim Mr Maddocks stopped eating after being bullied by a male staff member, who would send him to his room as a punishment.

A spokesman for the home denied it had caused the death of Mr Maddocks.

`We are saddened by the allegations from the family and strongly refute them,’ he added. `Mr Maddocks was seen by the GP and other medical professionals on five separate occasions over his 25 day stay.

`Everyone involved in his care was aware of his complex medical conditions and he was fully supported with these. When he arrived he was already a very ill man.’

Gwen Hassall, from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: `We are saddened to hear that the family have made allegations about the quality of care provided to Mr Maddocks, and take those allegations very seriously.

A post mortem examination revealed that Mr Maddocks died of natural causes, with Alzheimer’s dementia and type II diabetes as contributory factors.

He was cared for at well-respected health facilities and centres which specialise in supporting people with dementia.’


Men could be convicted of rape ‘even if the woman agrees to have sex’

A court headed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, ruled in a sign-post decision that a man would still be guilty if he did something she asked him not to.

The High Court ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions to think again over a decision not to prosecute a man accused of raping his wife.

The woman had consented to sex, but only on condition that her husband withdrew as she did not want to become pregnant.

However, at the last minute he told her he was not withdrawing and told her ‘because you are my wife and I’ll do it if I want’.

The woman who did not want another child become pregnant after the incident in February 2010.

In his landmark decision Lord Judge ruled that because the man, the woman’s husband under Sharia law, did not stick to his part of the pre-sex deal he could, in the eyes of the law, be held guilty of rape.

The judges said she ‘was deprived of choice relating to the crucial feature on which her original consent to sexual intercourse was based’.

Granting a judicial review of the decision not to prosecute, the Lord Judge said that the woman’s consent was ‘negated’ by the man’s failure to withdraw.

He said that the woman’s essential evidence was that after her Islamic marriage to the man in November 2009 their relationship was marred by his abusive dominance.

Lord Judge said that men who tried in vain to withdraw in time should not be pursued for rape, adding: `These things happen – they always have and they always will. `No offence is committed when they do. They underline why withdrawal is not a safe method of contraception.’

In May 2010 she rang a rape phone line and made a formal complaint to the police about rape and sexual assault, but the DPP took the decision not to prosecute.


Catholic midwives in Scotland told they won’t have to supervise staff taking part in abortions after winning court battle

Two Catholic midwives have today won a landmark court battle for the right to refuse any involvement in abortion procedures.

Mary Doogan, 58, and Connie Wood, 52, argued that being required to supervise staff involved in abortions was a violation of their human rights.

As conscientious objectors, the women had no direct role in pregnancy terminations, but claimed they should also be able to refuse to support staff taking part in the procedures.

The women took their case against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to the Court of Session in Edinburgh but lost last year.

But three appeal judges at the same court today ruled that their appeal should succeed. ‘In our view the right of conscientious objection extends not only to the actual medical or surgical termination but to the whole process of treatment given for that purpose,’ ruled Lady Dorrian, sitting with Lords Mackay and McEwan.

The health board noted the decision and said it would be considering its options with its legal advisers.

Ms Doogan and Ms Wood were employed as labour ward co-ordinators at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.

At the time of the original ruling, Ms Doogan had been absent from work due to ill health since March 2010 and Ms Wood had been transferred to other work.

Both women, practising Roman Catholics, registered their conscientious objection to participation in pregnancy terminations years ago, as allowed by the Abortion Act, but became concerned when all medical terminations were moved to the labour ward in 2007.

They argued that before that they were not called on to delegate, supervise or support staff treating or caring for patients undergoing termination procedures – a stance disputed by the health board.

They said the supervision and support of staff providing care to women having an abortion did amount to ‘participation in treatment’ and breached their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. They raised a petition for a judicial review at the court, which was refused last year by judge Lady Smith.

She found that the women were sufficiently removed from involvement in pregnancy terminations to afford them appropriate respect for their beliefs.

The midwives said at the time that they were ‘very disappointed’ by the decision, and appealed against that ruling.

During the hearing earlier this year, Gerry Moynihan QC, representing the women, suggested that their consciences should determine what tasks they undertake.

He told the court: ‘The dividing line ought to be the individual’s conscience, not a bureaucrat saying what is within the literal meaning of the word `participation’ or not.’

The health board argued that the right of conscientious objection was a right only to refuse to take part in activities that directly brought about the termination of a pregnancy, and was not available to the pair in respect of their duties of delegation, supervision and support.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said in a statement: ‘We note the outcome of the appeal and will be considering our options with our legal advisers over the next few days.’

The midwives’ appeal was supported by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), which welcomed today’s decision.

In a statement released by the society, Ms Wood and Ms Doogan said: ‘Connie and I are absolutely delighted with today’s judgment from the Court of Session, which recognises and upholds our rights as labour ward midwifery sisters to withdraw from participating in any treatment that would result in medical termination of pregnancy.

‘In holding all life to be sacred from conception to natural death, as midwives we have always worked in the knowledge we have two lives to care for throughout labour; a mother and that of her unborn child.

‘Today’s judgment is a welcome affirmation of the rights of all midwives to withdraw from a practice that would violate their conscience and which over time, would indeed debar many from entering what has always been a very rewarding and noble profession. It is with great relief we can now return to considerations that are all to do with childbirth and midwifery practice and less to do with legal matters.’

The midwives also thanked ‘the many individuals the length and breadth of Britain and, indeed, further afield’ who have supported them throughout the dispute.


Health and safety nonsense revealed: Shredded paper and toothpicks banned

Bar staff banned from serving pints in traditional handled beer mugs, toothpicks removed from tables, and a six-year-old told she couldn’t have a bubble machine at her party. These are just a few of the bizarre rules imposed under the guise of `health and safety’.

A school banned shredded paper in a lucky dip stall, while a hotel said it couldn’t serve burgers rare.

A taskforce set up to weed out poor use of health and safety laws found a host of examples in its first year.

It investigated 150 cases – including a hotel which told a chamber maid she could not make up a cot bed.

The ridiculous bans were revealed by Judith Hackitt, chairman of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who heads a team which looks at cases where `health and safety’ is cited for bogus reasons.

She called on those making daft decisions to own up to their real motives. `We never cease to be amazed by the cases we consider,’ she said.

`Why on earth do people think they can get away with banning pint glasses with handles, bubbles at a birthday party, or burgers served anything other than well done, claiming they are a health and safety hazard?

`The reality is people hide behind “health and safety” when there are other reasons for what they’re doing – fear of being sued perhaps, or bad customer service. It’s time for them to own up to their real motives.’

She added: `We’re helping people to fight back – and I’m delighted to hear of cases of our panel making jobsworths admit they’re wrong.’

The HSE’s panel welcomes examples from the public of the barmy use of health and safety legislation.

In one example, Joel Gordon, 42, of Glossop in Derbyshire, told the panel that a hotel restaurant would not let him have a toothpick in case he stabbed his mouth. He said: `I’m a grown adult – I’ll take the risk. It was nonsense.’

Employment minister Mark Hoban said: `I despair when I read cases like these. Health and safety is to protect people from serious risks, not to be abused by jobsworths who stop people getting on with their lives.’


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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