Battered by boyfriend… then denied treatment on the NHS: Mother left to pay for private operation that costs £5,500
A woman whose face was battered by her boyfriend has been refused NHS funding for an operation to repair the damage.
Rebecca Beattie, 25, says she is struggling to breathe through her nose because of her injuries and has been told she needs corrective and cosmetic surgery.
But she has been denied treatment by the Health Service and is now trying to raise £5,500 for a private operation.
Miss Beattie, who has a son of four, suffered horrific injuries when Bradley Want attacked her at their home last April. She was left with splayed nasal bones, fractures and a grossly deviated septum.
Want, 24, was jailed for 16 months last September after admitting charges of assault and actual bodily harm.
After the case at York Crown Court, Miss Beattie said: ‘I will never forget what went through my mind that night, it was one of the worst feelings I’ve had, and ever will have.
‘I thought “He’s going to kill me, I’m never going to see my son again” – a feeling no parent should have to experience.’
Miss Beattie, who does voluntary work for a domestic abuse charity, is furious the local NHS trust panel turned her down and her Labour MP Hugh Bayley has taken up the case.
She said she cannot breathe through her right nostril and can barely breathe through the left, making sleep difficult.
‘It’s really difficult for me to breathe out of my nose. It’s a nightmare if I get a cold because I struggle to blow my nose,’ she said.
‘The surgery I need is corrective and cosmetic to try to fix it both inside and outside. I feel the NHS’s decision is shocking – it wasn’t my fault I received these injuries. ‘It’s not just the physical damage. Every time I look in the mirror, I have a constant reminder of what I had to endure.
‘I want to move on and this is the last thing holding me back.’
She cited the case of glamour model Josie Cunningham, 22, who had her breasts enlarged on the NHS at a cost of £4,800 after persuading doctors her flat chest was ruining her life and causing her emotional distress. The operation on the unmarried mother-of-two was approved by a primary care trust in Leeds – 20 miles from Miss Beattie’s home in York.
Under NHS guidelines, cosmetic surgery should be funded only in rare circumstances ‘to protect a person’s health’.
Miss Beattie said: ‘They say I’m not an exception. I don’t meet the criteria, but apparently breasts do if you want to make money from glamour modelling. The surgeon couldn’t believe I have not got it.’
Miss Beattie applied for funding a few months ago and has had four rejection letters.
She is taking legal advice and has gone public to highlight the postcode lottery over NHS operations.
A GP-led Vale of York clinical commissioning group replaced the NHS North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust this month – and inherited its £19million financial deficit. The trust was criticised by doctors last year for spending £3.2million on home medical monitors that were barely used.
A spokesman for Vale of York CCG said it was working to understand the details of Miss Beattie’s case. The rejection letters said her condition was a low priority operation that was not ‘routinely commissioned unless exceptional clinical needs can be demonstrated’.
Mr Bayley said he had lobbied for extra funding from the Health Secretary and had raised the case personally with the trust.
My baby died after ambulance driver got lost TWICE, took three times as long to arrive and went the wrong way to the hospital
After directions from mother were ignored
A baby died after an ambulance driver on her first shift struggled to find the child’s home – and then took a wrong turning on the way back to hospital.
Amy Carter called 999 after her three-month-old daughter Bella suffered a fit and stopped breathing. But the ambulance took nearly half an hour to reach them because the driver – who was relying on a satnav – got lost.
Fearing the same thing could happen on the way to hospital, the frantic mother yelled directions from the back of the ambulance, but the driver went round a roundabout twice before taking a wrong turn.
By the time they arrived at hospital, Bella had not been breathing for nearly an hour and was pronounced dead.
Last night, Miss Carter, 24, of Thetford, Norfolk, said: ‘If they had got to her in time she would be alive today.’
She said that when she called the ambulance, she gave clear instructions that they lived in a new house, in case that led to problems finding it.
The ambulance took 26 minutes to arrive – more than three times the target response time.
On their way to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, Miss Carter gave directions from the back of the ambulance.
She said: ‘They had a satnav, but it was taking them the long way round. Anyone who knows the area would know to go on the bypass.
‘I was shouting directions, but it was like I wasn’t even there.’ The grieving mother said when she had called the ambulance on two previous occasions, unrelated to Bella’s fit, paramedics arrived in minutes.
Miss Carter, who lives with her lorry driver partner Scott Hellings, 24, said: ‘The people who were meant to help failed Bella. I live on a new development, but I gave the operator clear instructions.
‘It is not hard to find and they had managed it twice before.’ She said she had told them all the doors to the house were open so she could remain upstairs with her sick child when they arrived.
‘But the paramedics just kept ringing and ringing on the bell,’ she said. ‘I didn’t want to leave Bella, but I had to abandon her and run down and back up two flights of stairs to let them in.’
Miss Carter claims the crew then made jokes instead of devoting all their attention to her daughter. She said: ‘They just talked about what they did at the weekend and complained about their knees and being old when they knelt down on the floor. I don’t think they knew how to deal with me.’
Miss Carter, who has a son aged four, said her daughter’s death has left her so distressed that she is unable to see other babies.
‘I would not wish this pain on my worst enemy,’ she said. ‘Two of my family members have just had babies and I have not been able to go and see them.’
Ambulance bosses have met the family and admitted failings in the tragedy, which happened on March 11. Local Tory MP Elizabeth Truss said: ‘For the ambulance to take so long to arrive is of serious concern.’
The East of England Ambulance Service Trust last night declined to comment. An inquest has been opened and adjourned.
Green Madness: Do British Ministers Know What They Are Doing?
British leaders are making some truly bizarre decisions in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and comply with European renewable electricity mandates. For example, they are converting a coal-fired plant to burn wood chips that are shipped from the United States. A wood burning plant qualifies under the European rules for meeting electricity generation mandates from renewable energy for the purpose of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from energy producing sources. But this move is sheer lunacy for it will increase rather than decrease emissions while increasing the price of electricity to consumers. Yet the British parliament has whole-heartedly embraced the move. Have legislators gone mad?
The British Drax Plant and Its Conversion
The Drax plant in Yorkshire, England is one of the biggest coal-fired power plants in the world with an almost 1,000 foot-tall flue chimney, 6 boilers, and 12 very large cooling towers. It consumes 36,000 tons of coal each day, providing 7 percent of the country’s electricity. Starting next month, the plant will be converted to burn millions of tons of wood chips a year, costing œ700 million ($1.085 billion). [i]
Most of the wood chips will travel 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, coming from trees downed in the United States. Drax is building 2 plants in the United States that will turn the wood from trees into chips that can be transported by ship to Yorkshire and then hauled to the power station by railway trucks. In order to prevent spontaneous combustion, the wood chips must be stored in domes where the humidity is controlled before they can be pulverized into powder. (Wood is 1,000 times more prone to spontaneous combustion than coal.)
Despite the fact that coal is the least-expensive source of electricity generation in England, the owners of the Drax plant realized that a recently instituted carbon tax on fossil fuels would put them out of business if they continued to burn coal eventually making their electricity become twice as expensive. The political incumbents in Britain decided last year to give any coal-fired power station that switched to `biomass’ the almost 100 percent `renewable subsidy’ that owners of onshore wind farms get.
A British Carbon Tax and an EU Mandate
A new carbon tax introduced in Britain on April 1 is applied to every ton of carbon dioxide produced during electricity production. While the tax is starting out low, it will increase each year, making the cost of generating electricity from coal double within 20 years, at which point it will no longer be economical for Drax to generate electricity from coal. Along with the carbon tax, the British government will also be subsidizing electricity produced from its list of `carbon neutral’ power sources that will further increase consumer electricity bills.
The U.K. carbon tax is defined as a carbon price floor (CPF) that will increase from 16 pounds per metric ton of carbon dioxide ($24.80) in April 2013 to 30 pounds per metric ton ($46.50) in 2020, in constant 2009 prices. The resulting carbon tax is calculated as the difference between the carbon price floor, adjusted for inflation, and the European Union allowance (EUA) price, which is the 12-month average settlement on the European Climate Exchange for the relevant EUA futures contract. The tax for this financial year is 4.94 pounds per metric ton of carbon dioxide ($7.66) and in 2014/2015, it is 9.55 pounds ($14.80). IHS CERA calculated the 2015/2016 rate at 18.29 pounds per metric ton of carbon dioxide ($28.35) resulting in an annual doubling for two successive years.[ii]
The conversion of the Drax plant to wood chips will significantly contribute to meeting a target imposed by the European Union (EU) that commits Britain to producing almost a third of its electricity from `renewable energy’ within seven years. Upon completion, Drax will have the capability to generate 3,500 megawatts of electricity from a qualified renewable source, contributing more than a quarter of the EU target for the use of renewable energy. The reliability of the converted Drax plant along with its size will produce far more generation than the country’s wind farms.
The Issues the U.K. Politicians Aren’t Confronting
The energy policies that the United Kingdom has put in place have consequences that will affect the lives of its citizens and their pocketbooks. The country’s energy policies mean the electricity will cost more, that electric supplies may not be sufficient to meet future demands, and that little will be achieved in emissions reduction because of actions of other countries and the consequences of biomass conversions on the life cycle of the fuel.
It will cost two to three times as much for Drax to generate about the same amount of electricity from wood as it does from coal, i.e. fuel costs will double or triple. The government is providing a subsidy that will eventually be worth over œ1 billion a year that make the Drax conversion to `biomass’ economical. But for electricity consumers in Britain, bills have already increased by over œ1 billion ($1.55 billion) a year because of subsidizing wind farms; the Drax subsidies will increase them even more.
Those coal-fired power plants not converting to `biomass’ are being forced to close. An EU anti-pollution directive has resulted in the closure of several coal-fired power plants such as Kingsnorth in Kent, Didcot A in Oxfordshire and Cockenzie in Scotland with a combined capacity of almost 6,000 megawatts, which leaves natural gas to back-up wind power that cannot be relied upon to generate power when needed. For example, on a recent windless day, the country’s 4,300 wind turbines combined to generate just one thousandth of demand (29 megawatts).
But natural gas supplies from the North Sea are diminishing, making the country dependent on expensive natural gas from Qatar, Algeria, and Russia that will also be affected by the carbon tax when burned to produce electricity. Early in March, Britain’s supplies of natural gas in storage were down to 2 weeks of coverage-the lowest amount ever. The low electricity supplies are worrying some that the country may face major power cuts that it cannot endure due to its dependence on electricity not just for home heating, but also computers, traffic lights, and a whole host of other needs.
The irony of the situation is that Britain is moving away from coal as other countries which have been big proponents of reducing carbon dioxide emissions are moving to build more coal-fired power plants. Germany is building 20 new coal-fired power plants to back-up its wind and solar plants and to replace its nuclear plants; the first of which (2,200 megawatts) came on line last September. China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, is building at least one coal-fired unit a week and is planning to build 363 more coal-fired power plants to fuel its fast growing economy. India is also planning to build 455 new coal-fired power plants to fuel its growing economy.
And then there is Japan, who is building coal-fired power plants to replace its nuclear power after the accident at Fukushima in 2011. Japan is currently using idled oil-fired power plants, but expects to build cheaper coal-fired power plants in the future. Tokyo Electric just added 2,600 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity from two new plants that started operation this month. Other new coal-fired plants are expected to follow as Japan works on decreasing the time for processing permits from up to 4 years to a maximum of 12 months. In order to consume more coal, Japan is planning on revising by this October its Kyoto Protocol commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent from their 1990 level by 2020.[iii]
There is no carbon dioxide benefit to burning wood at the Drax plant.
But the real lunacy in the U.K. is the reasoning for converting the Drax plant to wood. The entire point is a belief that burning biomass would, on net, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, especially compared to coal. But that’s not the case in the real world, especially with the Drax plant. Any carbon reductions would take many years to be realized when dealing with the life cycle of the process of growing trees, making wood chips, transporting them to consumers, and combusting them into electricity. A researcher at Princeton University calculated that if whole trees are used to produce energy, they would increase carbon emissions compared with coal by 79 percent over 20 years and 49 percent over 40 years and that there would be no carbon reduction for 100 years until the replacement trees have matured.[iv]
The result of Britain’s energy policy is ever-increasing energy bills and likely power outages. According to the UK Daily Mail, Britain’s politicians “live in such a la-la land of green make-believe that they no longer connect with reality – and seem unable to comprehend the national energy crisis now heading our way with the speed of a bullet train. But the sad truth is that we ourselves should be neither laughing nor crying. We should be rising up to protest, in real anger, at those politicians whose collective flight from reality is fast dragging us towards as damaging a crisis as this country has ever faced.”
Unfortunately, the United States could follow in Britain’s footsteps if we are not ever vigilant in making our politicians aware of the energy system and how it works in this country. Germany’s residences already play 3 times what we pay for electricity and almost 20 percent of England is in energy poverty, providing more than 10 percent of their household income to non-transportation energy needs. We need to learn from their mistakes and insist our policy makers do so as well.
A Crisis in UK Energy Policy Looks Inevitable: We Identify the Possible Triggers
Excerpt from an extensive report from Liberum Capital — warning investors off British government energy follies
When the crisis hits there will be three possible casu alties, the government of the day, the consumer, and the investors who have funded the government’s radical energy policy. Whilst no doubt there will be plenty of pain to go around, in our view investors should be under no illusions that the government of the day will seek to protect itself and the consumer (who are also the electorate) by heaping most of the financial pain on to investors.
* UK Energy Policy is not Plausible: in our view successive UK gove rnments have grossly underestimated the engineering, financial, and economic challenges posed by the drive to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2030. Moving from a largely fossil fuel based power system to one dominated by renewables and nuclear in just a decade and a half, whilst keeping the lights on and consumer bills affordable, may simply be impossible.
* Policy Cost: we estimate that the total required investment to deliver policy goals is œ161bn from now to 2020 and up to œ376bn by 2030. Even with the large increase in public support provided by the Energy Bill it is extremely hard to envisage that this finance will be forthcoming given that the large European Utility companies are actually reducing capex. If the inve stment does take place we see electricity bills rising by at least 30% by 2020 and 100% by 2030 in real terms.
* Economic Rationale Looks Weak: the fundamental economic argument for the EU’s energy policy is that fossil fuels are scarce, and will therefore become ever more expensive. The belief is that those that move first away from fossil fuels will gain a substantial competitive advantage. But the arrival of unconventional gas and oil makes this assumption look shaky at best. Without clear economic benefits it is not at all certain that the public will be willing to bear the costs. Without public support the policy is bound to fail at some point.
* Re-nationalisation: the decarbonisation agenda has required the government to intervene in the energy market in ever more aggressive ways. The Energy Bill takes this to a new level and effectively re-nationalises the investment-making decision process in the power sector. But it is not clear that policy makers yet appreciate that this also means that the risks and costs associated with these decisions must also transfer to the public.
* Probable Triggers for the Crisis: we identify a number of possible triggers; a generation capacity crunch in the 2014-17 period leading to a sharp spike in power prices, a lack of dispatchable generation by the end of this decade onwards, and spiralling consumer costs / developer profits that a future government will find untenable.
* Utility Companies & Investors Should Limit Exposure: political risk looks certain to rise sharply in the UK energy space in the coming years as the implausibility and contradictory nature of policy is exposed by events. We welcome recent moves by both Centrica and SSE to take a more cautious approach to allocating capital to UK renewables. UK utility stocks have benefited in recent years by being viewed as having relatively low political risk, this may well change in coming years. Most exposed will be Drax, SSE and Centrica.
Much more HERE
A “Green” British bureaucrat with a storm-trooper mentality
Over-zealous council worker ‘rips gate off its hinges’ so he can check whether family is recycling
A couple has accused a council worker of ripping their padlocked front gate off its hinges so he could check if they were recycling properly.
The officer from Croydon Council, in south London, was sent to question Bharat and Sheila Gandhi, who had been reported to the local authority for not leaving paper, glass and plastics out for collection.
But when the officer arrived at the house in South Norwood and realised he couldn’t get in, he allegedly forced the gate off its hinges.
Unbeknown to him, he was being filmed by the couple’s CCTV camera which had been installed after the house was burgled in 2011.
Mr and Mrs Gandhi say they take their waste to Factory Lane recycling centre by hand and have accused the council of ‘intrusion’.
Mr Gandhi, 60, said: ‘The behaviour by the council person was inexcusable and even dangerous as he left our property vulnerable and without any reason.’
The council, which said the damage was accidental, has offered to refund the œ100 repair costs.
However, Mrs Gandhi, 56, said: ‘It is not about money, it is about the principle. It would have taken a lot of force to break the gate. ‘There is a bell for people to ring, which he did not.’
The couple run the local Neighbourhood Watch group and lost œ20,000 of possessions when they were burgled.
They also accused the officer of not having ID on him when he visited again on April 17.
A council spokesman said: ‘We’re waiting for details of the necessary repairs and we will compensate the homeowners appropriately for this accidental damage.
‘Staff on the team have been reminded of the importance of carrying their ID at all times and if, as in this case, they have left it at home, a temporary form of identification will be arranged.’
Open up secret courts demands British Justice Minister: Chris Grayling orders review of shadowy Court of Protection
Chris Grayling has ordered an urgent review of a controversial court that has the power to make life-or-death decisions – and even send people to jail – in secret.
The Justice Secretary last night asked one of the country’s most senior judges to consider steps to increase the transparency of the shadowy Court of Protection.
Set up in 2007 under Labour’s Mental Capacity Act, it gave the state draconian powers to intervene in the lives of those deemed unfit to look after their own affairs.
Controversy increased when the Daily Mail revealed last month that a woman had been jailed in secret after trying to remove her father from a care home where his family thought he was in danger of dying.
A judge ruled Wanda Maddocks, 50, should go to prison for five months for contempt of court even though she was not present or represented by a lawyer.
She is the first person known to have been imprisoned by the Court of Protection.
Several senior MPs expressed alarm at the case and suggested the Government should review its procedures.
Now the Justice Secretary has written to Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, asking him to expand an existing review of the family courts to consider the use of secret hearings in the Court of Protection.
‘We have already agreed there is a need for greater openness in the family courts, with the intention that we make progress on this as soon as possible in order to ensure public confidence … he wrote in a letter seen by the Daily Mail.
‘As you will be aware, the issue of transparency in the Court of Protection has also recently attracted media attention.
Set up in 2007 under Labour¿s Mental Capacity Act, it gave the state draconian powers to intervene in the lives of those deemed unfit to look after their own affairs
Set up in 2007 under Labour¿s Mental Capacity Act, the Court of Protection gave the state draconian powers to intervene in the lives of those deemed unfit to look after their own affairs
‘While we want to ensure that we balance the interests of safeguarding vulnerable adults with those of increasing the transparency of proceedings, I would welcome your views on how we might best achieve this.
‘Therefore I would like to invite you to consider if you might extend the scope of your work on transparency in the family courts to include arrangements for the Court of Protection.’
Ministers are expected to hold a meeting in the next few weeks with Sir James on how the review will proceed.
A Ministry of Justice source said Mr Grayling had been ‘deeply concerned’ by the idea of people being jailed in their absence and without any public scrutiny and believed reforms must be considered.
MP John Hemming, chairman of the all-party Parliamentary Group on Family Law and the Court of Protection, said: ‘At last the Government has stopped being complacent and pretending there is no problem.
‘They have been ignoring this issue for years. The Wanda Maddocks case was one where she was imprisoned for taking her father to a solicitor to get legal advice to prove that the courts were wrong.
‘That can’t be right. There is a general problem of secrecy right across the family courts. If the legal system won’t stand up to public scrutiny there is something wrong with the legal system – not with public scrutiny.’
Former Liberal Democrat care minister Paul Burstow, who has been critical of the court, welcomed the move.
‘I think a review is timely and should allow us to ensure justice is being seen to be done. We need to bring this more into the light so people understand how this court does its job.
‘It’s also vital that where decisions are being made that have a very direct and considerable impact on families’ lives, that every effort is made to ensure that they actually know what is going on.’
Miss Maddocks was jailed for taking her father John out of his care home against the instructions of a court order that he should not be moved.
She served six weeks of her sentence. A judge ruled Miss Maddocks was causing her father ‘very considerable grief’ and ‘it seems to be only right she should go to prison’.
The Court of Protection, which handles 24,540 cases a year of which 2,700 involve the Official Solicitor, is increasingly being asked to sanction key medical decisions that will either prolong a patient’s life or allow death to take its course.
It also intervenes in other business involving property, financial affairs, divorce and other civil disputes when a person is deemed unable to make decisions.
Set up by the last government, the court was given powers to sit in secret. In practice, it has never opened to the public and only its final judgments are occasionally made available beyond the courtroom.
Niri Shan, a contempt expert with the law firm Taylor Wessing, said: ‘This is in every practical way a secret court. This is troubling. Five months is a long sentence. It is rare that a court will sentence someone to five months for contempt.’
Teenage girls are jailed for falsely accusing British father of two of flashing at them in revenge for long-running family dispute
Women never make false accusations against men, according to feminists
An innocent man falsely accused of being a flasher by two vindictive girls spoke of his ‘living nightmare’ yesterday after the pair were jailed.
The two teenagers told police that they were in a car when Jason McCue, 34, approached them and exposed himself.
The father of two was arrested a couple of days after the alleged incident in June last year.
He was forced to give DNA samples, his fingerprints were taken along with intimate body samples before he was charged with indecent exposure.
Lucie Rhimes and Ella Cooper, both 18, backed up their allegations by making detailed statements to the police.
Facing two years in jail for indecent exposure, Mr McCue was hauled before magistrates three times. At the third hearing the distraught Mr McCue again maintained his innocence and was told he would face trial by jury at Crown court.
But just before the trial was set to begin in January, Rhimes confessed that the whole story had been made up. Rhimes of Chorley, Lancashire, admitted she had tried to frame Mr McCue after he had a disagreement with one of their families.
At Preston Crown Court, Rhimes, 18, and Cooper, 18, of Preston admitted perverting the course of justice and were each jailed for eight months.
After his name was finally cleared, Mr McCue revealed how the malicious allegations had turned his life upside down and that he had suffered a breakdown. He said: ‘I’ve been through months of pure hell. If they wanted to ruin me, it worked. ‘The false accusations have caused mayhem for me and my family, and the doctor has had to sign me off with depression.’
Mr McCue, a builder, said: ‘Things like this can ruin a man’s life, and people should know the massive impact it’s had. ‘I’ve been feeling embarrassed and ashamed for something I’ve not even done, because it’s easy for people to jump to conclusions.
‘My mum [who lives in Australia] is ill with cancer and I had been planning to look after her, but I couldn’t leave the country until this was sorted out. Imagine how that felt.
‘These girls may have thought it was some kind of joke but it was not a joke for me – things got well and truly out of control.’
Mr McCue had been walking down a street in Ashton-on-Ribble, Lancashire, when he saw Cooper at the wheel of her car at traffic lights with Rhimes in the passenger seat. Later, Cooper told her mother that Mr McCue had approached their car and exposed himself, and police were called in.
Officers were eventually alerted to the lies just days before the Crown court trial was due to start. Prosecutors offered no evidence against Mr McCue and a formal not guilty verdict was recorded.
His partner Donna Masterson, 39, said: ‘There was never any doubt in my mind about Jay’s innocence, but people point the finger. ‘It’s affected the whole family. It’s put a strain on our relationship.
‘Jay has been ill, and I have children who have to go to the same school as the girls’ families. I’d still have liked to have seen these girls get longer sentences. They didn’t show any remorse the whole time.
‘No matter what the vendetta someone has against a family, you cannot do that to someone. It’s the worst thing that someone can say about a man.’
She added: ‘When we found out that the case had been dropped just before it was meant to go to court, it was the best feeling ever.
‘It was great, knowing that the truth was out and the record had been set straight.’
Sentencing the pair, Judge Anthony Russell QC said: ‘In this case the most serious aspect is that an innocent man was wrongly charged with an unpleasant offence which has caused him distress and anguish, and affected his personal life and employment opportunities because, unfortunately, when mud is thrown it sticks.
‘This was an offence motivated by malice. You caused this man to suffer for a six-month period.’