Hospital patient, 39, died after waiting EIGHT HOURS without water and an ‘extraordinarily lack of care’
A hospital patient was subjected to ‘an extraordinary lack of care’ and died after waiting eight hours for water, according to a coroner’s report. Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg said that Geoff Thompson, 39, died of ‘natural causes contributed to by neglect.’
Mr Thompson, who had battled alcoholism, was referred to hospital by his GP after vomitting for three days.
His doctor was concerned that he was suffering with internal bleeding and dehydration. But on arrival Mr Thompson was marked as ‘nil by mouth’, even though he was suffering with dehydration.
Medics at Warrington Hospital in Cheshire thought he needed surgery.
Expert evidence presented at Mr Thompson’s inquest suggested that he might have survived if he had received fluids up to 30 minutes before he died.
Coroner for Cheshire Mr Rheinberg said: ‘The medical therapy which was required was simple and could have been administered.
‘His condition on attending Warrington Hospital meant urgent medical evaluation. ‘Any doctor would have commenced IV fluids, had that been done then perhaps Mr Thompson would have survived.
‘The failure of a doctor to assess Mr Thompson led to his death. This was an extraordinary lack of care.
‘The family will not be able to forget they put their trust in the hospital and this trust was not honoured.’
Mr Rheinberg said that nurse Alison Regan had approached Dr Edwin Ame twice, who was covering for another colleague on call in the surgical assessment ward. However Dr Ame denied being told twice that Mr Thompson was waiting to be seen.
Representatives of the hospital explained that major changes to the way patients are dealt with in the future had been implemented.
Among these was the introduction of new medical co-ordinators on each ward and new guidelines to ensure that all patients are seen within an hour by a junior doctor.
The coroner ruled Mr Thompson died of a cardiac arrest with vomiting and dehydration and alcoholism
Surge in abandoned NHS 111 calls after people forced to wait or are given substandard advice
The extent of the new NHS non-emergency advice line’s teething problems have been laid bare after official figures revealed a stark rise in abandoned calls.
The number of people who hung up after waiting for a response for more than 30 seconds increased from 6,976 in February to 29,100 in March, according to NHS England figures.
And the average call length also increased from 14.19 minutes in February to almost 18 minutes in March.
However, while the number of abandoned calls rose, the number of calls to the line increased by more than half a million within the same timeframe too.
Last week, leading doctors warned that the ‘problematic’ roll-out of the NHS 111 advice line had left patients not knowing where to turn to for help.
The Royal College of General Practitioners said patients have ‘lost confidence’ in the new non-emergency number before it is even fully up and running across the country.
The service was planned to be rolled out on April 1, but officials were forced to postpone the deadline after it emerged that many of the advice lines – which are run by 44 individual local bodies across the country – were not ready to ‘go live’.
And, more than a month on, seven of the regional bodies are still not ready to start giving advice to patients in their areas.
Patients have complained about calls going unanswered and poor advice being given, especially at weekends, which has led to hospitals being inundated with patients who could be treated elsewhere.
Today Health minister Earl Howe hit out at the quality of the some of the operators of the 111 line but claimed that across most of England people were getting a ‘good’ or ‘fantastic’ service.
At question time in the House of Lords, Lord Howe said: ‘We recognise that the NHS 111 launches in March did not go as smoothly as planned and a number of providers have delivered an unacceptable service, especially at weekends.
‘NHS England is working closely with clinical commissioning groups to stabilise providers who have failed to deliver an effective service and to ensure those areas yet to go live are in a safe and fit state to do so.’
But shadow health minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath demanded: “On what grounds was the decision made to go ahead with the national roll-out in the light of the results from the pilot which showed problems with the scheme and the fact that many people in the NHS advised ministers and NHS England that it should not have been rolled out because it was not ready to be rolled out?’
Lord Howe said Sheffield University had carried out research on the pilots which suggested high levels of satisfaction and that the service was sending people to the right places. ‘On that basis it was considered safe to go ahead with the roll-out.
‘Unfortunately, in particular areas of the country the resources deployed to meet the demand have not been accurately assessed,’ he added.
‘Across the vast bulk of England people are getting a good if not fantastic service. ‘Unfortunately, in two particular areas of the country – the South East and South West – we are still seeing the problems arising.’
Shock as 84 schools have NO white British pupils at all… double the number of five years ago
More than 80 state schools in England have no white British pupils, Government figures show.
The number of such schools appears to have more than doubled over the past five years, and the findings will fuel concerns that some parts of the country are becoming increasingly segregated.
The new figures follow research showing that white Britons are retreating from areas dominated by ethnic minorities, to be replaced by immigrants and other ethnic minorities.
Critics said that the previous Labour Government’s ‘open-door’ immigration policy had created ‘huge’ problems for integration, which was now threatening the country’s social cohesion.
The Department for Education figures, revealed in a Freedom of Information request, show that 84 schools recorded last year that no pupils on their rolls were white British. Of those, 67 are primaries, eight secondaries and the remainder special or pupil referral units.
The statistics, derived from the annual school census, found that the highest concentration is in Birmingham, with 22 such schools, followed by Oldham with eight, Leicester with seven and the London borough of Tower Hamlets with six.
Other local authority areas in which there are at least two schools with no white British pupils include Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Lancashire, Rochdale, Surrey, Walsall and Worcester, as well as the London boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, and Southwark. The schools, which were not named, are likely to include England’s 11 state Muslim schools, three state Sikh schools and one state Hindu school.
One school that is understood to have no white British pupils is Gladstone Primary in Peterborough, which is dominated by students from the Punjab, with smaller groups from Afghanistan and Lithuania. None of its 440 pupils has English as a first language.
In 2008, the Department of Education said there were 31 state schools that had recorded no white children on their rolls – including children of white migrants.
MigrationWatch’s Sir Andrew Green said: ‘This is yet another indication of the huge impact of Labour mass migration policies on our society.
‘The result of three million immigrants in ten years has created a huge problem for integration of the newcomers. Obviously, if there are no children of the host community in a school, the prospects of integration are close to zero.
‘In the longer term, this is bound to effect the cohesion of our society as a whole.’
The new figures follow a study published earlier this month by the Left-leaning think tank Demos which showed white Britons are moving out of areas where they are in a minority at the same time as the ethnic minority population was growing.
The study said that 45 per cent of ethnic minorities in England and Wales, about four million people, live in areas where less than half the population is white British.
Demos director David Goodhart said the number of schools with no white British pupils was ‘depressingly high’ because it suggested there must be many others where the proportion of such pupils was tiny.
With The Deepest Respect, Charles, Please Do Shut Up
When Her Majesty read the Queen’s speech to the assembled houses of parliament last week, it was, as usual, impossible to tell whether she agreed with any of it, all of it or none of it.
We should make the most of this; for when or if her eldest son succeeds her, the coverage of what will then be the King’s speech will be full of informed speculation about Charles’s great displeasure at various aspects of it.
“My government will bring forward proposals to eliminate subsidies for renewable energy and therefore reduce the cost of heating for hard-working families”, for example, would provoke screeds about the monarch’s fury at such a proposal.
Or, worse, the absence of such a commitment, if it had been pledged in the election manifesto of the governing party, would immediately cause us to wonder if its excision from the gracious speech might have been a result of intensive lobbying by the King himself.
These thoughts are not provoked merely by the fact that for the first time the duty of attending the Commonwealth heads of government meeting has been passed to the prince, in recognition of the need to reduce the burden on the 87-year-old monarch.
Last week, at a conference at St James’s Palace, Prince Charles launched yet another attack on those who disagree with his views on the problems confronting the planet — in which he includes not just fossil fuels but all form of genetically modified crops. The prince criticised what he called “corporate lobbyists” for turning the Earth into a “dying patient”, and his intervention was praised at the conference by a member of the Spanish Socialist party’s think tank, who called such lobbyists “forces of darkness”.
Yet there is no lobbyist in the land with more access to government than Prince Charles himself. In this he is assiduous to the point of driving ministers to distraction (though none dares tell him so). And he gets results: if it were not for his obsessive efforts in the cause of homeopathy, successive governments would not have directed millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, via the NHS, towards the purchase of potions with no medical properties whatever.
Provoked by the scale of the prince’s behind-the-scenes lobbying, The Guardian has attempted to use the Freedom of Information Act to discover the true extent of his influence on ministers. Last September an FoI tribunal ruled that the public had the right to know how the prince had been seeking to alter or influence government policy. A month later the attorney-general, Dominic Grieve, overruled the tribunal and vetoed the publication of 27 letters between Charles and government ministers.
Grieve declared that the release of the prince’s “particularly frank” letters would “have undermined his position of political neutrality”; he added that “inherited monarchy could not be preserved” if the sovereign was seen to have abandoned such neutrality.
It was not hard to conclude that it was precisely because these letters demonstrated a ferocious partiality that their contents and effect had to remain secret. For the time being we must await the result of The Guardian’s appeal against Grieve’s decision, heard over two days at the High Court last week.
In the prince’s defence, his campaigns against GM crops and for “alternative” medicine — while they might, if successful globally, result in millions of avoidable deaths through starvation and inappropriate coffee enemas for cancer sufferers — are entirely public-spirited. He in turn should try to accept that those who take a different view from him are not all malevolent profiteers, but may also be concerned about what is good for the public as a whole.
The prince, indeed, might be summed up by that strangely disparaging term “do-gooder”, though he does not have the desperation for public approval that tends to characterise such people in political life. Moreover, his work with the Prince’s Trust is an admirable example of what such a sense of public duty can achieve, without courting controversy. Yet in the fields of medicine, agriculture, architecture and energy production, the prince is taking positions that are intensely partisan; and some of these are areas in which decisions have monumental economic implications for every family in the land.
Normally, when a highly influential public figure makes dramatic assertions on such topics — for example, Charles’s comment that industrial-scale food production will cause farmers to be “driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness” — we would expect him to agree to debate and defend his views with John Humphrys on the Today programme. Charles is a controversialist who will never allow himself to be questioned in open debate.
Even if this is out of a proper regard for royal dignity on his part, rather than any insecurity in a man of intellectual instincts but without all the necessary equipment, such a rigorous encounter might still do the prince some good.
One of the observations that even his friends make of him is that, unlike his mother, he is incapable of taking criticism; and although he is in a wonderful position to hear from the best, on both sides of every argument, he tends to listen only to those whose views match his own primordial prejudices — what in this context we should term “yes, sir” men.
The prince certainly needs someone to point out to him that the planet is not “dying” and that it was doing just fine when CO2 concentrations were vastly higher than they are now or are ever likely to be as a result of whatever amount of fossil fuels we burn.
He might also be told that his duties do not extend to “saving the planet” and that he could find enough to occupy his time in the everyday activities of being seen by his people and performing the often mundane and even tedious public functions associated with his status as the monarch’s representative.
Yet this is the man who in his book Harmony declared that he “would be failing in his duty to future generations and to the Earth itself” if he did not preach in this way. Again, we should not doubt Charles’s genuine concern, however much such grandiloquent expressions might seem more properly the role of popes than of princes. He is an anguished man; agonised, even.
Unfortunately for him — and perhaps for us — a monarch really should be someone at ease with his (or her) station in life. In the meantime, the prince’s job, dreadful though it may seem to him as the decades go by, is just to be the heir to the throne.
It was Jeremy Paxman in his book on royalty who pointed out that Charles “consistently misunderstood or ignored a basic truth at the heart of the relationship between royalty and the people. He seemed to believe his significance lay in what he believed and did. The truth was simply that his significance lay in who he was.”
As a result, we know far too much about him and what he thinks. A period of silence on his part would now be welcome.
Migrant loophole ‘lets in 20,000 a year’: Rule allows EU nationals living here to bring their families into Britain without checks
Twenty thousand migrants a year are being let into Britain under a loophole that could be exploited by sham-marriage racketeers, a report warns today.
Under European law, EU nationals living in this country are allowed to bring in spouses or partners and their families from anywhere in the world with no checks or qualifications.
But British citizens who want to bring in a wife, husband or partner and family from abroad must first show they have an income of £18,600 or more to guarantee their dependants will not become a burden on the taxpayer.
The report by the MigrationWatch UK think-tank warns that 20,000 people a year are now coming to live in Britain as partners of a citizen of another EU country.
The loophole means the system is wide open to abuse by racketeers who can charge vast sums of money to set up a sham marriage, it said.
Sir Andrew Green of MigrationWatch said: ‘This is a loophole that must be closed and soon.
‘It is absurd that EU citizens should be in a more favourable position than our own citizens.
‘Furthermore, 20,000 per year is a very large number to admit unconditionally, especially compared to the government’s target of tens of thousands for annual net migration.’
Under the rules, a member of the family of an EU citizen – who has the right to travel to and work freely in Britain – can bring in their family under a ‘European Economic Area family permit’.
The permit is issued to any national of another EU country who is living in Britain and applies for it.
The report said: ‘A Polish or French person can marry someone from outside the EU, say Kenya or Vietnam, and can bring their spouse into the UK, even if they do not have a job earning £18,600 or indeed any job.
‘The couple would be entitled to full access to the welfare state. A British or non-EU settled resident would not be allowed to bring in a spouse without this minimum income.’
A number of Indian nationals from the former Portuguese territory of Goa are thought to have taken advantage of the loophole. Indians living in Goa can claim they have Portuguese heritage and so claim Portuguese citizenship.
They can then move directly to Britain – without ever having to visit Portugal – and bring a family without meeting any qualification test.
Immigrants told they can only get housing and healthcare if they have paid taxes into Britain’s welfare system
Immigrants to Britain will not be able to claim benefits without proving they have contributed to the welfare state by working, under plans to be set out by the government.
Benefits, housing and healthcare will be limited to new arrivals who are willing to work and paid taxes to fund state-backed support.
A package of reforms will be included in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech including major law changes needed to limit the claims that can be made by Romanians and Bulgarians when controls are lifted next year.
Ministers will also use existing powers to enforce secondary legislation needed to stop ‘abuse’ of the tax and benefits system.
However, government sources say the details are yet to be fleshed out, and the flagship Immigration Bill is unlikely to be published in full until the autumn.
The moves will be seen as a reaction to the electoral threat posed by the UK Independence Party, which rocked the political establishment this week by taking votes and council seats from all the main parties.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage focussed on the impact of immigration, and how membership of the EU stopped Britain acting to limit it, during much of the local election campaign.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today signalled that the days of Britain’s benefits ‘free-for-all’ for foreigners were over.
He said: ‘We have been very clear that we totally get that there’s a heightened level of public anxiety about immigration.
‘We should stamp out abuse and make sure our public services and benefits are not simply a free-for-all, there needs to be some relation between what you put in and what you get out,’ he told BBC Breakfast.
Ministers will use the Welfare Reform Act, passed in the last year, to close a loophole that allowed migrants who no longer have a right to work here to carry on claiming benefits.
The test that decides who can access benefits will also be tightened. Migrants from the European Economic Area will be told that they can only receive Jobseeker’s Allowance if they are genuinely looking for a job.
It will include a tougher test to ensure they can speak English properly.
Migrants will be given only six months to find a job before benefits stop, unless they can prove they are close to getting a job.
David Cameron responded to fears about the appeal of Britain’s benefits system in drawing immigrants to Britain. He put immigration minister Mark Harper in charge of a Cabinet committee examining the ‘pull factors’ which needed to be addressed. It also included ministers for health, housing, legal aid and welfare.
Ministers are in talks with other EU countries about whether jobless migrants can be the responsibility of their home country before they start claiming benefits in the UK.
Britain would also like to curb the £36million paid every year in child benefit to 24,000 families who do live in the UK.
The government also wants to end the idea that the NHS is a ‘free international health service’.
Efforts will be stepped up to recoup costs from migrants who use the NHS, through charging or requiring private medical insurance.
One in ten new rentals of social homes goes to a foreign national. New guidance from this spring will set a local residence test, to ensure people with ties to a local area can get priority for housing.
Migrants will have to have lived – and worked – in the UK for two years before their qualify for a state-funded home.
Illegal immigrants will also face tougher checks to stop them getting driving licences, credit cards, personal loans or a council house.
Mr Clegg said: ‘This Government will take further measures to ensure that, yes, of course we should be a welcoming, generous country to those people who want to come here and make a contribution.
‘But people who want to come here – worst of all illegally – or want to come here and sort of abuse our generosity and use our benefits and public services when they’re not really properly entitled to do so, yes, we need to clamp down on that,’ he told ITV’s Daybreak.
‘So, yes, to a sort of open and tolerant Britain, but no to abuse of the immigration system and that’s what we will make sure happens.’
The immigration bill expected in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech will implement the major legal changes which cannot be made using secondary legislation.
Mr Cameron has promised to ‘fight back very robustly’ against any attempts by the courts or the EU to block British curbs on benefits for migrants.
In a speech in March, Mr the next stage of reform is to say, ‘Let’s not just reform the immigration system. Let’s make sure the housing system, the welfare system, the legal aid system, all of these things actually fit in – the health system – fit in with our immigration policy,’ sending a very clear message that people can come and work, but they can’t come for the wrong reasons.
Britain’s Health and Safety Executive debunks myths
A coffee chain told a customer that they could not serve half and half full fat and skimmed milk due to “health and safety”.
While a state of the art gym used the same excuse when it banned men from using the hairdryers on anything other than the hair on the head.
But now these have become the latest myths exposed by the Health and Safety Executive as they hit out at the spurious uses of the term which is abused to justify “ridiculous decisions”.
The watchdog is attempting to set the record straight as misuse is “trivialising” what protecting peoples health and safety really means, it said.
For the last year the HSE’s “myth busting panel” has been correcting statements, including that trapeze artists have to wear hard hats, that children should be banned from playing conkers, and that park benches need replacing as they are three inches too low.
HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: “We’ve uncovered and exposed abuses and misuses of health and safety right across Britain, and seen ‘health and safety’ trotted out to justify all sorts of ridiculous decisions… is it really too much to expect people to explain the reasons for their decision rather than just saying “elf’n’safety innit, guv”?”
The latest “staggering misuse” include Fitness First in Highbury, north London, who wrote “hairdryers can only be used for drying hair on the head”.
The HSE concluded it was an “easy excuse” to deter “inappropriate” public use, adding: “The health club should give the real reason for their decision rather than hiding behind the catch all”.
Mark Doodes, 35, reported the “amusing” sign as he realised he could inadvertently be “abusing all sorts of regulations” without even realising it as companies make up their own rules on “health and safety” grounds.
A Costa coffee shop in Sheffield refused to mix milk for health and safety manager Melanie Ransom when she asked for semi skimmed and they did not supply it.
Mrs Ransom, who works in the construction industry, said abusing the excuse is dangerous as it trivialises a process which is essential to saving lives.
The HSE described Costa’s excuse as a “clear case of poor customer service hiding behind the health and safety”.
Costa says it is a trading standards issue – as they legally cannot replace semi skimmed with a mixture of other milks because the mixture would not deliver the required fat content – and the employee got her wires crossed.
A spokesperson added: “We can however if the customer requests make the drink with a mix of whole milk and skimmed milk, but we would have to advise that it cannot officially be classed as semi-skimmed milk.”
Britain’s Feckless, Two-Faced Approach to Radical Islam
The UK government, simultaneous with its legal pursuit of extremists, has attempted to resolve the challenge through political accommodation with Islamist fanatics.
In an example of such conduct, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Pakistani-born minister for faith and communities in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition headed by Prime Minister David Cameron, spoke in March at a meeting of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS).
FOSIS has been criticized by Cameron’s home secretary, Theresa May, for its failure to distance itself from extremist ideology; May has refused to meet with FOSIS leaders. The organization has been similarly censured by Liberal Democrat leader and current deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
Guest speakers at past FOSIS annual conferences have included Al-Awlaki, as well as other prominent fundamentalists, such as Azzam Tamimi, a Palestinian-British academic aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Baroness Warsi, an advocate of “engagement” with radical Islam, was until last year, a co-chair of the Conservative Party. Nobody believes she supports terrorism, but her approach to the problem betrays, at least, a lack of coherence. One cannot oppose radical Islam by “dialogue” with its exponents. Such an approach reveals at worst, a failure of will and nerve on the part of British authorities. Radical Islam must be confronted openly and defeated categorically.
Conservative member of the British parliament Patrick Mercer stated at that time that 100 million British pounds – about $150 million – had been spent on an overall set of anti-terrorism programs known as “Prevent,” in the period 2007-09. This amounted to about 90,000 UK pounds per day (then equivalent to $135,000) on schemes to abate radicalism by “soft” methods.
These included the “Radical Middle Way” project, in which fundamentalist Muslim preachers were hired to travel around Britain with the message that while radical ideology is acceptable in the marketplace of ideas, the violence that it has produced is not.
Nevertheless, the “Radical Middle Way” – which received 1.2 million British pounds [$1.8 million], including 54,000 [$80,000] for its website, up to 2009 – continues to function. Its main participants include Abdur Rahman Al-Helbawy, son and colleague of Kemal Helbawy, the long-time representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain.
Other leading figures in the “Radical Middle Way” are highly-placed partners of the Egyptian-born, Qatar-based, Muslim Brotherhood-supporting hate preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. These associates include the Muslim Brotherhood’s star among Western-based intellectuals, Tariq Ramadan (grandson of Brotherhood founder Hasan Al-Banna).
As pointed out by the leading German scholar of Islam, Matthias Rohe, “with respect to the legal rules of shariah it was broadly accepted since the Middle Ages that they cannot be applied outside ‘Islamic’ territory and that Muslims are obliged to either respect the law of the land or to leave the country and to return to countries ruled by Muslims.”
Rohe, in an article titled “Application of Shari’a Rules in Europe – Scope and Limits,” in the Special Theme Issue – Shari’a in Europe, published by the authoritative journal Die Welt Des Islams, in 2004, cited this principle from Islamic legal works in Arabic published in Kuwait in 1990 and Lebanon in 1998. Every Muslim is taught that when the first Muslims fled from Mecca to Christian Abyssinia (today’s Ethiopia) they were commanded by Muhammad to obey the Christian ruler or return to Muslim territory.
Mandates by ECFR include judgments that Muslim women may be ordered by their husbands not to visit female friends of the wife, if the husband suspects such relationships will harm the family or relations between the couple. Under ECFR rules, Muslim women must obtain permission from their “male guardian,” that is, a family member, before marrying. Al-Qaradawi’s effort to establish “parallel Shariah” in Europe legitimizes four wives for Muslim men living in non-Muslim Europe. ECFR reserves the right of husbands to initiate divorce from Muslim wives, unless a right to divorce by action of the wife is written into their marriage contract. It prohibits gender mixing between unrelated men and women, unless women are entirely covered except for their face and hands. It forbids Muslim women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a “male guardian.”
These concepts contradict European civil law, but ECFR does not represent Muslims living in Europe and integrated into Western society. It has excluded moderate French and German Muslim leaders, and nearly all of its members are immigrants from or residents in Arab or African countries. It is, however, affiliated with the Turkish Milli Gorus [National Vision] movement, an ultra-fundamentalist trend associated with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Milli Gorus has a significant, if low-key presence in Germany and the Netherlands.
Members of the “Radical Middle Way,” such as Tariq Ramadan, Ibrahim Osi-Efa, Jamal Badawi, and Abdullah Bin Bayyah, are not moderate Muslims. They have demonstrated this by their commitment to the Muslim Brotherhood and the South Asian jihadi Deobandi movement, their defense of wife-beating, and their support for Wahhabism. Moderate Muslims have repudiated all these interpretations. These Islamist personalities are not appropriate partners for the British government in its effort to obstruct radicalization.
The planning of violent atrocities continues in Britain; the government has still failed to curb the spread of radical agitation, and actions like the visit of Baroness Warsi to FOSIS illustrate that a necessary, firm, and united opposition to radical Islam remains lacking at the official level. Nobody in the UK government should ask Muslims to abandon Islam as a religion, but a significant struggle against radicalism is justifiable and necessary.