Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Staffing crisis as nurses quit NHS – More than 1,260 have left the NHS in the past year alone

More than 1,260 have left the NHS in the past year alone and health chiefs fear the exodus will grow as experienced staff take advantage of early retirement clauses in their contracts.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has also warned that the benefit of the £1billion pledged by David Cameron is unlikely to be felt until 2018. NHS boss Jim Mackey told the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network annual conference that “there is no cavalry coming”. Nursing recruitment is in crisis with vacancy levels averaging 10 per cent and a shortfall of 25,000 posts leading to huge bills for agency nurses to plug gaps. The Government has scrapped education bursaries so student nurses now apply for loans like other students.

The impact of the changes is likely to be felt more acutely in the mental health sector where recruits tend to be older and will struggle to afford the fees and student loan debts. Howard Catton, of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “This is a massive roll of the dice.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

Scarlet fever: Once-feared Victorian disease infecting hundreds of children a week

Illness associated with the Victorian era now infects hundreds of children a week, with no apparent reason for its return

Thousands of children are being infected with scarlet fever as the once feared Victorian disease, a leading cause of infant deaths in the early 20th century, makes a startling comeback.

Cases of scarlet fever have reached a 50-year high, with more than 17,000 cases confirmed last year – the highest since the 1960s. There have been more than 6,100 cases since September last year, and the peak season is from now until the middle of April. Around 600 cases are currently being recorded each week. Family doctors across the country are now being told to keep watch for scarlet fever by Public Health England, and parents are being told how to spot the symptoms.

Click on the link to read more

What are the symptoms? Click on the link


Filed under: NHS, ,

Newborn baby left dying alone at the Royal Free Hospital because doctors thought he had died

A newborn baby was left dying alone on a resuscitation table after doctors mistakenly gave him up for dead and medical staff ignored his gasps for breath, an inquest heard.

Baby Sebastian Sparrow revived himself an hour and a half after his parents were told by medics at the Royal Free Hospital that he had died. But Sebastian was too badly brain damaged to be saved, and died two days later after being transferred to University College Hospital. Coroner Mary Hassell was critical of several medical staff throughout last week’s inquest, and said that they must have realised the baby’s “agonal gasps” meant that he was “dying, and not dead”.

Sebastian was born by caesarean section on November 6 2013 after his mother, Sally Sparrow, experienced a prolonged labour. He was expected to be a healthy baby as no problems had been detected throughout the pregnancy.  It was suggested during the inquest that he may have sustained brain damage during the caesarean delivery as it took three attempts by different obstetricians to deliver the baby.

In a statement, Mrs Sparrow, a solicitor, and her husband, Jamie, an accountant, said they were left with “no real understanding of what had happened” after the mistaken diagnosis of death.

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Are you willing to talk to the ITV with a prebudget news program illustrating how the disability benefits cuts will affect vulnerable people

From Susan Tee… I have been contacted again by ITV and Penny Marshall and her team with an urgent request this afternoon. She wonders if any of our members would be willing to talk to them in order to help with a prebudget news program illustrating how the disability benefits cuts will affect vulnerable people. She is looking at filming around Liverpool tomorrow afternoon (17th March 2016) and can travel a little if you can’t. Please contact the ITV team directly on the number below”

Call Reshma on 07966504154


Penny Marshall

Filed under: Disabilities,

Health officials have ‘failed brain tumour patients and their families for decades’

Damning parliamentary report finds patients are let down at every stage from diagnosis to treatment

Health officials have “failed brain tumour patients and their families for decades” and need to invest more in research into the condition, a damning parliamentary report has concluded. Patients with brain tumours are let down at every stage from diagnosis to treatment, according to the Petitions Committee – which said it had little reason to believe the Department of Health had “grasped the seriousness of the issue”. MPs on the committee criticised the Government for not taking the lead in identifying gaps in research and providing funding for new studies which could help save lives.

The Petitions Committee concluded that funding for brain tumour research is inadequate and not given sufficient priority. Brain Tumour Research said just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to studies into brain tumours.

The report comes after a bereaved sister set up a petition calling for more research into brain tumours – it has since been signed by more than 120,000 people. Maria Lester began campaigning after her brother Stephen Realf died from a brain tumour aged just 26. “We are going to keep shouting and keep getting louder until someone in Government finally hears what we are saying and does something about it,” she said.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS,

Britain’s care homes are being turned into complex financial instruments

The extraordinary story of how one care conglomerate uses opaque corporate structures and a web of financial tools to suck wealth from the care of Britain’s most vulnerable.

Adult social care in the UK is in crisis. This much we are told by those in the sector and this much we can see in the statistics. To cite but a few of these: around 1.86 million people over the age of 50 are not getting the care they need; approximately 1.5 million people perform over 50 hours unpaid care per week; and the proportion of GDP the UK spends on social care is among the lowest in the OECD, with budgets having undergone an overall reduction of over 30 per cent since 2010.

Reflecting on the severity of the situation, Ian Smith, chairman of the largest care home chain in the UK, Four Seasons Healthcare, recently declared himself to be ‘embarrassed to be British at the state of our health and social care.’ As with the NHS, a mood of impending catastrophe hangs heavy over social care.

Yet whilst attention has overwhelmingly been focused on the impact of austerity in reducing levels of state support, something murkier and altogether more complicated is going on in the shadows.

According to a groundbreaking new report by the research organisation CRESC, large care home chains – which account for around a quarter of the industry – are rife with dubious financial engineering, tax avoidance, and complex business models designed to shift risks and costs from care home owners on to staff, the state and private payers. Where Does the Money Go? Financialised Chains and the Crisis in Residential Care is a stark warning that the problems of adult social care in the UK run deeper than a lack of state funding, damaging though this is.

Click on the link to read more

Click on the link to read the report

Britain’s care homes are being turned into complex financial instruments


Filed under: Care Homes,

Jo Taylor – abc After Breast Cancer Diagnosis – Speaks on BBC North West

Researchers in Manchester have discovered a new way of treating a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, which in some cases has seen tumours disappear in just 11 days.

Jo Taylor is interviewed by BBC North West at a Cancer conference in Trafford, she is currently about to go through her 3rd round of chemotherapy. She is also the founder of the website: abc After Breast Cancer Diagnosis  bringing an awareness and support to breast cancer sufferers providing news and information from the UK and around the world

Click on the link to watch the interview


Jo Taylor

Filed under: Cancer,

Mencap worker suspended over man in wheelchair piled with shopping

A picture shared on Facebook appears to show female carer smoking next to an elderly man with bags piled on his lap


A Mencap support worker has been suspended after a photograph emerged apparently showing shopping bags piled on a client in a wheelchair, obscuring his vision.

The learning disability charity said it was appalled by the image, which shows a female carer smoking and talking on the phone next to an elderly man, who has several bags on a lap tray on his wheelchair. The image was posted to the charity’s Facebook page by Charlotte Shaw, who was concerned after seeing the image shared online.

“One of your staff in the Leicestershire area smoking whilst on the phone in Leicester shoving all her shopping bags on top of him with no care in the world,” she wrote in a post accompanying the photograph. “I don’t think she should work with vulnerable people,” she added. Steve Baker, regional director of services at Mencap, confirmed the charity had suspended the worker.

Click on the link to read more

Filed under: Disabilities,

Breast Cancer Trial Kills Tumours In 11 Days

Using Herceptin together with another powerful breast cancer drug before surgery could shrink or destroy tumours in just 11 days, a study has found.

Around a quarter of women given a combined treatment of drugs in a clinical study saw their tumours shrink or disappear. Some patients may be spared chemotherapy if they are given a combination of the drugs Tyverb (lapatinib) and Herceptin (trastuzumab) immediately after diagnosis, according to the research by a team of British doctors.

The medics, who presented their study to experts at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam, said their findings had “groundbreaking potential”. Some 257 women with an aggressive form of cancer – HER2 – were involved in the clinical trial and either received no treatment, one of the drugs or a combination of them.

Around a quarter of the women on the combined treatment saw their tumours shrink or disappear.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Cancer, ,

Jedi, the diabetes-sniffing dog, saves sleeping 7-year-old’s life in middle of night

WATCH: Meet Jedi, the dog that watches over type-1 diabetic child every night while his family sleeps.

A diabetic alert dog named Jedi may have saved the life of a sleeping seven-year-old boy after the black Labrador alerted its owners that the child’s blood sugar levels dropped to dangerously low levels in the middle of the night.

Luke Nuttall was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was two-years-old, and his blood sugar levels need to be monitored around the clock. To help keep tabs on Luke’s levels, the Nuttall family acquired a dog trained to monitor blood sugar through smell.

Click on the link to read and watch the video

Jedi, the diabetes-sniffing dog, saves sleeping 7-year-old’s life in middle of night


“This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy,” Dorrie Nuttall wrote on Facebook.

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Plans to end the cover-up culture in the NHS

Health Secretary will announce plans to improve NHS safety and transparency at the first ministerial-level Global Patient Safety Summit

The 2-day summit (on 9 and 10 March 2016) brings together health ministers, senior delegates and expert clinicians from across the world including Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organisation.

Speaking at the summit, Jeremy Hunt will describe a range of new measures including an independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch and legal protection for anyone giving information following a hospital mistake. Legal ‘safe spaces’ will mean those co-operating with investigations will be supported and protected to speak up to help bring new openness to the NHS’s response to tragic mistakes. Families will be told the full truth more quickly and the NHS will become better at learning when things go wrong and acting upon it.

Jeremy Hunt will also announce that, from April 2018, expert medical examiners will independently review and confirm the cause of all deaths. This was originally recommended by the Shipman Inquiry, and subsequently by Robert Francis following the events of Mid Staffs. If any death needs to be investigated and if there is cause for concern, appropriate action will be taken.

The current system has remained largely unchanged for over 50 years and leads to significant variations in the number of deaths that are investigated. The changes announced by the Health Secretary will reassure the public that if things go wrong, the causes will be identified and investigated.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

A huge amount of progress has been made in improving our safety culture following the tragic events at Mid Staffs but to deliver a safer NHS for patients, 7 days a week, we need to unshackle ourselves from a quick-fix blame culture and acknowledge that sometimes bad mistakes can be made by good people.

It is a scandal that every week there are potentially 150 avoidable deaths in our hospitals and it is up to us all to make the need for whistleblowing and secrecy a thing of the past as we reform the NHS and its values and move from blaming to learning.

Today we take a step forward to building a new era of openness and the safest healthcare system in the world.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS child mental health money ‘missing’ despite investment

Some mental health trusts in England have seen “no significant investment” in psychiatric services for children despite government plans to overhaul provision, say experts.

Last summer ministers said they would invest an additional £143m in the services this financial year. The Mental Health Network suspects the funding has been used to support other NHS services. NHS England says it can show where the money has been allocated. The additional funding was part of a £1.25bn investment over five years announced by the chancellor in the Budget in March 2015.

While campaigners expected £250m to be made available this year, the Department of Health said in August that only £143m would be spent, as providers did not have the capacity to spend any more. However, the body representing mental health trusts says it has seen little of even that reduced amount.

How the £143m was allocated:

  • £75m – Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • £21m – Health Education England
  • £15m – Perinatal care (£11m underspend)
  • £12m – Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme
  • £10m – Hospital beds
  • £5m – Administrative costs for NHS England (£4m) and Department of Health (£1m)
  • £2m – Improving care for young people in the justice system
  • £2m – Joint programme with Department for Education to improve services in schools
  • £1m – Support for children with learning disabilities in long-term care

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS,

Mum dies after NHS 111 call handler cancelled her ambulance when it was just one minute from her home

A WOMAN was found dead in her living room ten hours after an NHS 111 call handler cancelled an ambulance when it was just one minute away from her home, an inquest heard today.

Tragic Ann Walters, 61, died after a nurse called off the emergency response team which had been heading to see her. A later investigation found Pete Richardson had ‘not demonstrated an understanding of heart failure’ when dealing with the call. At the hearing he confessed he made a mistake and apologised to the family. The inquest was told Mrs Walters called the NHS 111 service on December 28, 2014, asking for a doctor to be sent to her home.

Her breathlessness caused an initial call handler concern, so she was classed as an emergency. He was told by Mrs Walters – who at the time only had months to live – that she had a heart defect, and so dialled 999 himself for an ambulance to be sent to her home despite her asking to see a doctor instead. A crew was initially dispatched from Waterlooville to her home nearby in Portsmouth, but within four minutes a different ambulance was sent from Queen Alexandra Hospital in the city as it was nearer her home. However, in the meantime Mrs Walters was called at 8.24am by Pete Richardson, a qualified nurse and clinical support desk practitioner for the 111 service.

After talking with her, he took the decision to stand down the ambulance which was just one minute from her home.

Click on the link to read more


Mrs Walters (left) was found dead by her son Lawrence pictured here with his sister Felicity

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

NHS failing to answer patients’ questions, warns Ombudsman

The NHS too often fails to answer patients’ questions and forces them to contact the Ombudsman service for answers, according to a report  published today.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s latest snapshot of cases report included many cases where questions about mistakes or oversights by the health service were unanswered by the NHS itself. The report contains a snapshot of 40 case summaries of the 544 investigations of unresolved complaints that the Ombudsman completed investigating in April, May and June 2015.

Around 80% of the cases investigated by the Ombudsman are about the NHS and the rest are about UK government departments and other organisations. The latest cases included that of one family that was forced to bring their complaint to the Ombudsman service, following the death of their nine-year-old son from sepsis after he was wrongly discharged from hospital.

Click on the link to read more

Click on the link to download report

Selected summaries of investigations by PHSO Apr-to-June-2015


Filed under: NHS Blunders,

‘No criminal prosecutions’ of individuals over Stafford Hospital deaths

No doctor, nurse or manager will ever be held accountable for the hundreds of deaths at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009. A report released today, thought to be the very last one into high mortality rates there, confirmed no criminal prosecutions of individuals will take place.

But some of the families involved say this police report tells them nothing new and is a waste of money. The family of John Moore Robinson who died in 2006 have spoken to our health correspondent Stacey Foster.

Click on the link to see the video report by the family of John Moore Robinson who died in 2006


John Moore Robinson

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

Bullied into silence: NHS staff survey shows fears about whistleblowing

A poll of one quarter of NHS staff shows rising levels of bullying and widespread concerns about a failure to listen to those who raise concerns about safety

Just one in four NHS doctors and nurses believes whistleblowers are treated fairly by hospitals, according to a mass survey which shows rising complaints about staff bullying.

The poll of 300,000 NHS staff – around one in four of all workers – found widespread concerns about treatment of whistleblowers. In total, less than one in three said hospitals encouraged them to speak up when safety is at risk. Just 24 per cent said colleagues who became involved in a safety incident were treated fairly. Doctors and nurses said that when blunders or “near-misses” were reported, hospitals failed to learn from them.

Just 23 per cent of staff said that their hospitals took action to ensure failings were not repeated.

Click on the link to read more


Dr Raj Mattu, a cardiologist, was suspended for eight years, then sacked, after warning that patients were dying because of cost-cutting practices introduced by a Coventry hospital

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Ambulances referred by NHS 111 service deliberately delayed under secret trust policy, inquiry finds

Probe concludes decision to embark on the plan which affected 20,000 patients was taken by boss of South East Coast Ambulance trust

Ambulances dispatched after people called the NHS 111 helpline were deliberately delayed under a secret policy authorised by a senior health service executive, a leaked report seen by The Daily Telegraph reveals.

Up to 20,000 patients were subject to deliberate delays under the covert operation, which forced high-risk cases in the South East to automatically wait up to twice as long if their call was referred from the helpline. An inquiry into the scandal, which was exposed by this newspaper in October, has concluded that the decision to embark on the plan was taken by the chief executive of South East Coast Ambulance trust.

The draft report says Paul Sutton ordered the changes despite direct pleas to him from senior managers raising concerns about the dangers of the scheme.  The “forensic review” ordered by regulators, due to be published shortly, is one of three separate probes into the scandal. It details how the secret policy came to be introduced, without the knowledge of the trust’s board, without any risk assessment and in clear breach of NHS rules.

A separate inquiry, which will report later this year, is examining the extent of harm caused by the protocols to the thousands of patients affected. At least 11 deaths have been linked to the rogue protocols.

Click on the link to read more

F5A675 NHS South East Coast Ambulance parked by some grass while the crew take a break., in South East England, UK.

Filed under: NHS, ,

Four Southport and Ormskirk hospital bosses paid £200,000 while suspended for six months

Southport MP John Pugh describes this as an “atrocious waste” of NHS money

Four Southport Hospital bosses have been paid a total of £200,000 since they were suspended on full pay six months ago – a situation described by the local MP as an “atrocious waste of much-needed NHS money”.

Jonathan Parry, the Southport and Ormskirk hospital trust’s chief executive, and three other senior officials were placed on leave after whistleblower complaints last August.  The exact nature of the allegations against the four has never been revealed. Chief operating officer Sheilah Finnegan, human resources director Sharon Partington and deputy director of performance, Richard McCarthy, were all excluded alongside Mr Parry.

The four have been paid at least £200,000 in total since being suspended – described by Southport MP John Pugh as an “atrocious waste of much-needed NHS money”. The trust admitted Mr Parry has been paid £75,000 in salary since he was suspended around 200 days ago. Meanwhile, Ms Finnegan has been handed £55,000 over the same period and Ms Partington has received £45,000. It is not known exactly how much Mr McCarthy has been paid while on suspension, but his salary band ranges from £65,900 to £81,600 a year – suggesting a cost to the public purse of between £33,000 and £41,000 over six months.

Click on the link to read more


Jonathan Parry, Sharon Partington and Sheilah Finnegan, three senior managers at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust who are on suspension



Filed under: NHS, ,

How do you know you have got dementia? A group of people share their experiences of diagnosis

Grief, guilt, disbelief, denial, and even relief ­seven people living with dementia share how they felt the day they were diagnosed, and how they have come to terms with it since.

Being diagnosed with the neurological condition dementia terrifies many people who think their world is falling in. Many people have feelings which range from despair to denial, to guilt and relief.

A special project to try and raise awareness of the realities of dementia diagnosis has taken the stories of eight people from around the UK and asked them how they felt the day they were diagnosed.

They talk about how their feelings progressed and how they came to terms with their diagnosis and how they re-built their lives.

Click on the link to read their stories


Filed under: Dementia, ,

Neglect played part in death of mother after medics missed blood clot

Neglect contributed to the death of a mother-of-two who died after New Cross Hospital staff failed to detect a blood clot, an inquest heard.

Marie Rollason might have survived if the clot had been detected earlier, the hearing was told. Mrs Rollason visited the hospital’s A&E department twice in the weeks before her death on December 29 last year. The 43-year-old had been suffering from collapses, but these were attributed to a head injury sustained after she tripped and fell in the bathroom of her Wolverhampton home earlier that month.

Giving evidence at the inquest, consultant Rakesh Khanna said abnormalities in the results of an ECG test were a ‘potential red-flag’ – but the junior doctor who assessed Mrs Rollason decided she could be discharged without further investigations following discussions with a locum consultant. Dr Khanna added had the clot been treated following the test performed six days before Mrs Rollason’s death, she ‘more likely than not’ would have survived. But he also explained she had not displayed the predominant symptoms classically linked to a pulmonary embolism.

Coroner Zafar Siddique concluded: “On the balance of probabilities, had further tests been ordered and Mrs Rollason had been kept under observation, a basic medical procedure would have detected the pulmonary embolism and more likely than not she would have survived.

Click on the link to read more


Marie on holiday in Bulgaria

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Stricken A&E patients told ‘go home unless you’re dying’ as hospital is hit by seven-hour delays

North Middlesex Hospital put a message over a Tannoy advising people to go home unless they had a life-threatening illness

Stricken NHS patients were left waiting for up to SEVEN HOURS on hospital trolleys leaving medics with no option but to say: “Go home if you’re not dying.” In a disturbing new low for our over-stretched health service, the Sunday People can reveal a hospital put a message over a Tannoy advising people to go home.

Patients were told: “We would ask anyone who doesn’t have a life-threatening illness to go home and come back in the morning.” The extraordinary situation unfolded at the North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton, north London on Friday night.

Tonight a spokesman for the hospital confirmed they had to issue the mayday alert because 450 casualties arrived during one shift. One eyewitness who saw the chaos unfold said he witnessed more than 100 people in the waiting room. He said at one point there were a dozen patients on trolleys lining the wall along the department because all cubicles full.

Many had been waiting on trolleys for several hours. At 11pm a message went on the tannoy saying that the wait to see a doctor was eight hours for adults and six hours in children’s A&E, leading to disbelief among those there.

Click on the link to read more


Go home: There were seven-hour delays in the A&E department at North Middlesex Hospital

Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Secretly filmed carer found guilty of abusing 87-year-old dementia patient

A carer has been found guilty of ill treating an elderly patient who suffered with dementia after being secretly filmed aiming blows towards him.

Pauline Demaurie was caught on camera moving her arms towards 87-year-old Edward Bridge as he cried for help and moving her head close to his face, which the prosecution said was done in a threatening manner. She was also heard threatening to pinch Mr Bridge, who in addition to dementia suffered Paget’s disease which meant he could feel pain at the slightest touch. Though she admitted she may have slapped his arm, Demaurie claimed she had only being joking with the patient and had never abused him.

But the jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court took just an hour and 23 minutes to find her guilty.  Demaurie, aged 40, of California Road, Tividale, wiped away tears after the verdict had been delivered. She was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.

Click on the link to read more


Pauline Demaurie at court

Filed under: Care Homes, Named & Shamed, ,

Agency nurse paid £100 an hour at Walsall Manor Hospital

An agency nurse picked up £1,100 for a 11 and a half-hour shift at Walsall Manor Hospital, it has emerged.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust paid out more than £14.4 million to agency nurses and locum doctors in three years. The trust paid the nurse £337.25 for the five hours worked between 7pm and midnight at a night rate of £67.45.  The same nurse was then paid £766 for a six and a half-hour shift the next morning – an hourly rate of £117.95. The total payments to the agencies and locum doctors amounted to £14.4m between 2012 and 2015.

During this period there have been seven occasions where the trust paid more than £1,000 for a locum doctor to cover a shift. The highest payout for a locum doctor last year was £1,150 for a medicine and long terms conditions consultant who was on call for three days in March. The highest payout for the previous financial year was in November 2013 when a paediatric consultant was paid £1,417 for a 17-hour night shift.

In the 2014/15 financial year, the trust paid £2,310,000 to locum doctors and £3,335,000 to agency nurses – a total of £5,645,000. Both the 2014/15 and 13/14 figures are a huge increase on the £3,059,000 spent in 2012/13, including £1,627,000 on locum doctors and £1,432,000 on agency nurses.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital

NHS 111 helpline safety questioned by top paediatrician

A leading child health specialist has questioned whether England’s NHS 111 helpline is safe and effective for young children.

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health president Prof Neena Modi said the system was unfair on call handlers, who are not medically trained. She said even clinicians would find it hard to assess small children by phone. NHS England acknowledged the importance of thorough training but said the royal colleges helped produce the protocols.

A report last month by NHS England described how NHS 111 missed chances to save 12-month-old William Mead, from Cornwall, who died in 2014 from blood poisoning following a chest infection after staff failed to recognise the seriousness of his condition. NHS England has said call handlers for the 111 service should be trained on how to recognise a complex call and when to call in clinical advice earlier.

The government has said this will happen as soon as possible. But the NHS England report concluded that if a medic had taken the final phone call, instead of an NHS 111 adviser using a computer system, they probably would have realised William’s “cries as a child in distress” meant he needed urgent medical attention.

Click on the link to read more


William’s mother Melissa said she found out-of-hours services ‘chaotic’

Filed under: NHS Blunders, , ,

More than 1,000 NHS ‘never’ errors in four years

More than 1,100 patients have suffered from NHS “never events” – mistakes so serious they should never have happened – in the past four years.

Around 800 of these have either had the wrong area operated on or “foreign objects” such as gauzes, swabs, rubber gloves, scalpel blades or needles left inside them.

Some of the worst mistakes revealed by a Press Association investigation include:

  • A woman having her fallopian tubes removed instead of her appendix
  • A man having a testicle taken off instead of just the cyst on it
  • One woman having a kidney removed instead of an ovary
  • Another patient had a biopsy taken from their liver instead of their pancreas
  • Operations were carried out on the wrong hips, legs, eyes and knees
  • Blood transfusions with the wrong blood were given
  • Feeding tubes were put into patients’ lungs rather than their stomachs -which can prove fatal
  • Diabetic patients were not given insulin
  • Other patients were given the wrong type of implant or joint replacement
  • Patients were mixed up with others
  • Drug doses given out were far too high in some cases

Click on the link to read more


More than 800 people have had the wrong area operated on or ‘foreign objects’ left inside them.

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Faye’s story – This is in memory of 2-year-old Faye- Meningitis Now

Many of you will have seen and signed the online petition calling for the Meningitis B vaccine to be given to all children, not just newborn babies.

This is in memory of 2-year-old Faye

Below, Faye’s mum Jenny tells her story and why she is campaigning for change.

“This is a photo of Faye, 2-years-old, who sadly lost her life to this dreadful disease. We campaign for change in her memory.” “Faye was taken to A&E with a rash on her forehead. She was then transferred by South Bank Retrieval Service to Evelina Children’s Hospital, where her heart stopped in the ambulance. They revived her and spent hours working on stabilising her.” “We were given a one per cent survival chance but she proved them wrong and carried on fighting.” “After a few days she seemed to have turned a corner, but the sepsis started to affect her more and the decision of limb removal was made. The extent of removal was massive, full leg amputation and one arm and plastic surgery.” “She was getting tired, her little body consumed by meningitis and sepsis (blood poisoning). We had to make the decision, a massive operation and she may die or we let her go peacefully on her own accord.” “We decided the latter and then watched our little girl slip away. At 9pm on February 14th she finally fell asleep forever. All this in only 11 days.”

“This is the link to the government petition calling for the Meningitis B vaccine to be given to ALL children, not just newborn babies –

“All children are at risk from this terrible infection, yet the Government plan to only vaccinate 2 to 5-month-olds. There needs to be a rollout programme to vaccinate all children, at least up to age 11. Meningococcal infections can be very serious, causing meningitis, septicaemia and death.” “In a few days we have seen this rise from a few hundred signatures to over 13,000 due to furious social media campaigns and also contacting some media.”

“Anything you can do to promote and support this cause is very welcome.”

Jenny, Faye’s mum


Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Asleep when they should be saving lives: Pictures of exhausted paramedic and call handler snoozing shame NHS’s out-of-hours hotline at UK’s worst-performing 111 centre

  • Photos at call centre where fatal errors were made in William Mead’s case
  • Baby died hours after a 111 call adviser failed to spot he was seriously ill
  • Ex-manager reveals concerns were ‘repeatedly raised’ about call handler
  • Health Secretary says Daily Mail’s new evidence will be ‘fully investigated’

They are the devastating images that shame the NHS out-of-hours service. Taken at the country’s worst-performing 111 centre, they show an exhausted paramedic and call handler fast asleep at their posts – unable to hear potentially life-or-death calls coming in from patients.

The pictures were taken at the same call centre where fatal errors were made in the case of baby William Mead, who died hours after a 111 call adviser failed to spot he was seriously ill.  They are revealed today as a former manager at the service lays bare the true scale of the blunders that surrounded the tragedy. Sarah Hayes reveals that ‘concerns had been repeatedly raised’ about the member of staff who took the call that led to William’s death – but he had never been suspended. She also says the failings at the 111 service that contributed to William’s death were by no means isolated, claiming that the call centre is frequently mired in chaos.  As well as staff falling asleep on the job, she claims, a string of serious blunders were covered up.

The revelations have been met with anger from the parents of William Mead. They had been given written assurances by the head of the 111 service that ‘no concerns’ had previously been raised over the call handler’s performance. Last night they demanded an urgent investigation.

Click on the link to read more

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Worn out: A woman paramedic asleep at the Dorset 111 centre (left) and her call handler colleague (right) – unable to hear potentially life-or-death calls coming in from patients

Filed under: NHS,

Pensioner dies of thirst in hospital after nurse ‘refused to give her water in case she wet the bed’

Edna Thompson, 85, was admitted to hospital with a rare eye condition – but died of severe dehydration and renal failure eight days later

Edna, a former librarian from Harrietsham, subsequently suffered severe dehydration and renal failure. She passed away just eight days after her admission to hospital last September. Now, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust chief executive Glenn Douglas has admitted a catalogue of errors in the mother of three’s care and has apologised to her family.

Mr Douglas said an investigation found that Edna’s condition was exacerbated by the prescription of medication known to cause dehydration, including mannitol, used to lower eye pressure. It is usually prescribed for 48 hours – but was given to Edna five days in a row. Mr Douglas told the pensioner’s family: “I would like to offer an unreserved apology for the errors. “Regrettably we cannot alter the sad outcome. “However, I can assure you we have recognised the need to ensure this type of event does not occur again.”

Click on the link to read more


Tragic: The pensioner was admitted to hospital with suspected malignant glaucoma – but passed away eight days later

Filed under: Hospital

Any families in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire who put up cameras to monitor their loved ones in care homes. The BBC would like to hear from you

I have just been approached by The BBC Look North, Any families in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire who put up cameras to monitor their loved ones. The BBC Look North and today are covering a story about whether CCTV cameras should be installed in care homes to monitor staff and residents

The BBC would like to hear from you, please pass on and email me asap at thanks


Filed under: Uncategorized

London hospital trust heading for biggest overspend in NHS history

The biggest hospital trust in the country is set to run up a £134.9m deficit this year – by far the largest ever overspend in the history of the NHS.

Barts Health NHS Trust which runs four hospitals in east London, employs 15,000 people and serves an area containing 2.5 million people, is on course to have failed to balance its books by that margin when the NHS financial year ends on 31 March. Its overspend is 69% bigger than the trust’s £79.6m overspend – also a record at the time – in 2014-15.

Its grim financial predicament has been revealed in a parliamentary answer by the health minister, Alistair Burt, to Sadiq Khan, Labour London mayoral hopeful. Burt also revealed another London trust, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, which operates four hospitals, had suffered such a sharp decline in its finances that it was due to end the year £88.3m in the red – the second biggest in NHS history and £63.4m worse than last year.

Click on the link to read more


Barts Health NHS Trust runs four hospitals in east London, including St Bartholomew’s (pictured).

Filed under: NHS, ,

PRESS RELEASE: Three Patient Safety campaigners Will Powell, Delilah Hesling and Jade Taylor, brought together through tragic circumstances which span 26 years met with the Secretary of State for Health, Mr Jeremy Hunt on 3rd February 2016

The purpose of the meeting was to express their concerns about the inept NHS complaint procedures and the appalling way in which whistle-blowers are treated.

Will Powell’s deceased son’s case identified the absence of legal Duty of Candour in healthcare back in 1996. Robbie’s case went to the High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in May 2000: “Whilst it is arguable that doctors had a duty not to falsify medical records under the common law (Sir Donaldson MR’s “duty of candour”), before Powell v Boladz there was no binding decision of the courts as to the existence of such a duty. As the law stands now, however, doctors have no duty to give parents of a child who died as a result of their negligence a truthful account of the circumstances of the death, nor even to refrain from deliberately falsifying records.”
As a consequence of Robbie’s case and the efforts of the Powells’ campaign, to change this perverse law, there was a legal Duty of Candour introduced in November 2014.

In 2006 Jade Taylor’s late step father became caught up in the Mid Staffordshire NHS Disaster where an estimated 400-1200 people died unnecessarily. Following this Jade’s late mother was then admitted to Stafford Hospital’s A&E and Emergency Assessment Unit, in early 2008, where she received an appalling lack of care and treatment with nurses falsifying A&E waiting time breaches to meet hospital targets. As an NHS Manager Jade also has experience of raising patient safety concerns, which were later founded, and was a contributor to Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak-up Review.

Also in 2006 Delilah Hesling became an NHS whistle-blower and started to unravel abuse within Brighton NHS. As with many whistle-blowers Delilah attempted to raise these serious issues through the appropriate official channels but was blatantly ignored and punished for doing so. However, following the NHS exposure by Panorama, which involved brave Nurse Margaret Heywood, Delilah became the country’s very first Patient Safety Ombudsman and whistleblowing guardian as referred to by Sir Robert Francis QC in his recent Freedom to Speak-up Review.

The meeting with the Secretary of State for Health was not looking at the personal cases of the three campaigners. This is a meeting at which the campaigners represented the voices of all patients, families and NHS whistle-blowers. Solutions were discussed to address current issues that are still continuing to show failings and/or corrupt practices within all parts of the current NHS systems. They also raised with Mr Hunt the absence of accountability within the NHS. The three say they did not hold back their criticisms of the NHS as the days of covering up errors, fatalities and the vilifying of whistle-blowers must be brought to an end.

Click on the link below to read the minutes of the meeting with Jeremy Hunt

Private meeting with the Secretary of State for Health

Will Powell                                Delilah Hesling

Will Powell  Delilah

Jade Taylor


Filed under: Uncategorized

Junior doctors’ strike: BMA totally irresponsible – Jeremy Hunt

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has accused the British Medical Association (BMA) of being “totally irresponsible” over a lengthy industrial dispute.

The doctors’ union had refused to sit down and talk about improving patient care and had spread “misinformation”, he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. Mr Hunt wants to change junior doctors’ contracts, which he says are “unfair”.

The BMA said its door was open to talks and blamed the strikes on Mr Hunt’s “shambolic mishandling” of the matter.

Click on the link to read and hear part of the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show in which Andrew Marr read out junior doctors’ concerns for Jeremy Hunt to respond to


Junior doctors and their supporters staged a “masked march” protest in London

Filed under: Hospital, , ,

As the Zika virus is branded a global health emergency…are YOU at risk of the infection that can shrink babies’ brains?

  • The Zika virus, which shrinks babies’ heads, was first reported in Brazil just eight months ago
  • It has since spread to 23 other countries, including Mexico and Barbados
  • Predictions suggest 4 million people could be affected by the end of 2016

An incurable virus that shrinks babies’ brains sounds like the stuff of nightmares. And there is no denying the headlines about the zika virus have made alarming reading over the past week, with one expert from the World Health Organisation (WHO) describing its spread as ‘explosive’ — yesterday the organisation declared the virus a global health emergency.

Zika, which was identified in Africa in the Forties, was first reported in Brazil just eight months ago, but it has already now spread to 23 other countries in the region, including Mexico and Barbados, with predictions that the numbers affected could rise to four million by the end of the year.  Meanwhile, 31 Americans, four Canadians and three Britons have tested positive for zika — all were infected while travelling. However, a study published in The Lancet suggests around a third of the 9.9 million foreign tourists who visited risk areas in Brazil in a year, returned to Europe.

Here we look at why Zika has suddenly become a major health concern and what you need to know to protect yourself.

Click on the link to watch the video and read are you at risk?


Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

‘I wouldn’t wish it on anyone’: Heartbroken daughter to sue hospital after dad given wrong cancer diagnosis

A heartbroken daughter is planning to sue hospital bosses after medics diagnosed her dad with terminal lung cancer – but then wrongly changed their minds.

Doctors left Roger Taylor in a discharge area of North Manchester General Hospital for 15 hours after ordering the wrong ambulance, the Manchester Evening News reports. He died less than 24 hours after arriving home.

Mr Taylor’s daughter Elizabeth is now suing Pennine Acute NHS Trust, claiming he died prematurely due to its actions. Mr Taylor, from Bury , fell ill last May just a few weeks after his wife Janet – who he had cared for – lost her own battle with cancer. At the start of June, the hospital told him he had very advanced lung cancer, which had spread. It was decided he would not have chemotherapy, as it would prolong his life by only a few months. Two weeks later, on June 25, the hospital rang to say it was not lung cancer after all, but lymphoma – a disease that could be treated. Mr Taylor’s family cancelled what was going to be his last holiday, at a cost of £1,000, and prepared for treatment at the Christie.

At that point, his family made a formal complaint. But just a week later the hospital changed its mind again – and said he did have incurable lung cancer after all. He was admitted to the hospital a fortnight later for a separate health issue, a visit he made alone in the belief it would only take a couple of hours. But when the decision was taken to discharge him, the nurse did not order him a palliative ambulance – so transport provider Arriva did not pick up the request until the following morning. After 15 hours waiting, he arrived home and died 21 hours later.

Click on the link to read more


Diagnosis: Roger Taylor, seen here with his wife Janet

Filed under: Cancer, NHS Blunders, ,

10 symptoms of cancer you could be missing

A lump in the breast, sudden weight loss and blood in the stools. We think we know the signs of cancer. Except we don’t – and now experts are encouraging people to be more aware of less-known symptoms that could signal early disease and report them to their GPs. Research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows England has some of the poorest survival rates in the Western world for common cancers such as colon, breast, lung, ovarian and stomach. In the UK, one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and the disease is responsible for a quarter of all deaths. According to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence(Nice), about 5,000 lives a year could be saved by making earlier diagnoses.

But what are we looking for? “A lot of the early symptoms of cancer will be vague and non-specific,” says Peter Johnson, professor of medical oncology at Southampton University and lead clinician for Cancer Research UK. “It’s these that people need to be aware of and report to their doctors. But we’re not good at paying attention to our own bodies, to what’s normal for us, so we ignore minor symptoms which occasionally can be caused by early cancer.”

The good news is that most cancers are curable if caught in the early stages, says Dr David Bloomfield, clinical oncologist at the Sussex Cancer Centre, Royal Sussex County Hospital, and medical director for the Royal College of Radiologists. “Be aware of the red flags [see box below], but if something else is unexplained and unusual for you and doesn’t get better in a couple of weeks, get it checked out,” he says.

Together we have worked with Cancer Research UK and Britain’s leading oncologists to come up with a list of vague symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored.

Click on the ink to read the 10 symptoms


Artwork depicting cancer cells dividing

Filed under: Cancer, ,

Shocking video captures two care home workers taunting dementia sufferers by torturing the ‘comfort dolls’ they believe are real babies

  • Dementia patients at Ashbourne House care home are given therapy dolls
  • Some vulnerable residents come to see the toys as their own real children
  • Shocking video shows nurses taunting residents by torturing their dolls
  • Two members of staff have been suspended pending an investigation 

Carers have been suspended amid claims they taunted vulnerable dementia patients by torturing the ‘comfort dolls’ they believe are real babies in a series of sick pranks. Sickening video footage shot at Ashbourne House nursing home in Middleton, Greater Manchester, appears to show a member of staff throwing the doll to the floor, distressing its elderly owner. And photographs show the dolls being hanged, put in a tumble dryer and apparently being cooked in a saucepan on a hob.

Another photograph shows an elderly woman appearing distressed as her doll is snatched out of her hands, while there are also images of a doll face down in a fish tank.  A source claims that one picture, showing the doll hung with rope around the neck outside a resident’s bedroom window, was taken as the pensioner was sleeping after staff barged in and put the light on.

It is thought that the pictures and video were taken and shared among some members of staff via WhatsApp.  Two members of staff have been suspended pending an investigation.

Click on the link to read and see more of this evil

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Filed under: Care Homes, , ,

Hunt apologises to family of dead boy over NHS sepsis failings

Health secretary accepts recommendations of report on William Mead, who died despite visits to GP and call to helpline

Jeremy Hunt has accepted the recommendations of a damning NHS report which found that doctors and the NHS helpline missed four opportunities to save the life of a one-year-old boy. The health secretary offered a public apology to the family of William Mead, who died in September 2014 of the common sepsis bug, which went undetected despite repeated visits to the GP and a call to the NHS 111 helpline hours before his death. He promised that lessons would be learned from Tuesday’s report. Labour accused the government of ignoring warnings about poor sepsis care a year before William died.

Speaking in the Commons, Hunt said: “Whilst any health system will inevitably suffer some tragedies, the issues raised in this case have significant implications for the rest of the NHS which I’m determined we should learn from.”

Hunt said he had met William’s mother, Melissa, to offer his personal apologies. “Quite simply, we let her, her family and William down in the worst possible way through serious failings in the NHS care offered and I would like to apologise to them on behalf of the government and the NHS.”

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS Blunders, , ,

Nothing can prepare you for seeing your baby in a coffin’: Bombshell report condemns NHS 111 service as not safe for sick children over blunders that cost baby his life

  • William Mead died after developing an abscess in his left lung aged one
  • His mother Melissa, 29, of Cornwall, called NHS out-of-hours service 
  • But non-medically trained call handler failed to realise how serious it was
  • NHS England report found service ‘unsafe for seriously ill children’

The out-of-hours NHS hotline is unsafe for seriously ill children, a bombshell report reveals. The 111 service puts parents at the mercy of a box-ticking process that can miss life-threatening symptoms. The shocking finding comes in a report into the death of a baby from sepsis. It said William Mead might be alive today had a 111 call handler realised just how ill he was.

That blunder is only one of 16 that contributed to the tragedy. But many of the problems are nationwide, the report says, because:

  • GPs are pressured not to prescribe antibiotics, including to children;
  • They are reluctant to refer sick patients to crowded casualty units;
  • Patients suffer ‘loss of continuity’ when taken ill over a weekend;
  • Out-of-hours doctors cannot access patients’ medical records, often leaving them in the dark.

The report is the result of a gruelling year-long campaign by Paul and Melissa Mead to know the truth about their son William’s death in December 2014. NHS England concluded that a doctor or a nurse taking their call would probably have seen the need for urgent action. But most 111 staff, who use computer scripts, are not medically trained. Other problems included the failure of GPs to carry out basic checks for signs of sepsis, and to give William the antibiotics that could have saved his life.

Mrs Mead said no words could explain her family’s profound loss. She called for lessons to be learnt from William’s death.

Click on the link to read more and watch the NHS Direct Video which shows how the 111 service works


William Mead, pictured with parents Paul and Melissa, died from sepsis after a series of medical blunders including an NHS 111 service operator not realising how serious his illness was

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

GE Healthcare: US healthcare giant makes fortune from NHS but pays hardly a penny in tax

One of the biggest suppliers of equipment and testing services to the NHS pays barely any corporate tax in the UK, despite receiving hundreds of millions of pounds a year from medical sales to British clinics and hospitals.

A study of GE Healthcare’s accounts by The Independent suggests it has received more money back in tax benefits over the past 12 years than it has paid in, with the taxpayer appearing to be missing out on millions of pounds a year in lost revenues. The company has been headquartered in Buckinghamshire since 2003 when its vast US owner, General Electric, bought the British multinational medical firm Nycomed Amersham. It makes scanners and other equipment used in areas such as oncology and heart disease.

Nycomed Amersham typically used to pay up to £8m in corporation tax to the Exchequer every year, plus £50m to £90m more abroad. But in the 12 years since its takeover by GE, the UK divisions examined by The Independent made a total net gain of £1.6m in benefits from the taxman.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

MyNotes Medical

Just to let you all know that we are starting the build on the MyNotes Medical app Phase 1, I will keep you all updated, Joanna

1. welcome

Filed under: Uncategorized,

The secret A&E nurse’s diary: ‘He stands 1cm from my face, saying he will kill me’

A casualty nurse describes a week of stark contrasts, from helping a 79 year old man whose lips have turned blue to being confronted by a violent drunk

Sunday 7am – 7.30pm

Sundays are notoriously busy in A&E. GPs are closed, and there has been no movement out from the wards so there are no free beds in the hospital. At the start of my shift there are already 83 patients in the department. People are waiting to be treated in the corridors and it’s like sardines. My heart sinks. I’m in charge of ambulance triage – as soon as the ambulance pulls up outside, I have 15 minutes to get the patient into a cubicle and take over from the paramedic. I have targets to achieve. For every breach, we are fined. It seems unfair, especially when 10 turn up at once.

I hear one of my drunk patients shouting and run to find him ripping off his monitoring, throwing thousands of pounds worth of equipment across the room. I ask what he’s doing and he comes and stands 1cm away from my face, telling me he is going to kill me. He reaches into his pocket but before I know it, one of my colleagues has restrained him up against the wall.

Monday 7am – 7.30pm

Today is a day of stark contrast. I see a 20-year-old woman who describes symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Her GP prescribed her antibiotics five hours ago. She says they’re not working.

A few minutes later, a 79-year-old man walks into A&E. His lips are blue. He says he rolled over in bed last night and has felt short of breath since. I take him into resuscitation and later find out he suffered a collapsed lung. He should have phoned an ambulance.

Click on the link to read more of the secret A&E nurses diary


Filed under: A&E, ,

Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital cancer scandal: Cleared after four-year fight! Victory for NHS whistle-blower

The whistle-blower who lifted the lid on the chemotherapy cancer scandal at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has been cleared of misconduct after a four-year battle to clear his name, the Express & Star can reveal.

In October Professor David Ferry revealed that at least 55 patients were given extra chemotherapy treatment they did not need between 2005 and 2010. Following his revelations Professor Ferry – who has asked the Express & Star to name him in this article – had his integrity called into question by trust bosses. They issued a press release stating he was under investigation for ‘serious misconduct’, referenced his alleged ‘poor practice’ and accused him of ‘pursuing his own agenda’.

The General Medical Council (GMC) placed restrictions on Prof Ferry in March 2015 in light of concerns regarding his clinical practice and alleged resistance to ‘working effectively’ with colleagues at New Cross Hospital. Now the council’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has removed the conditions and cleared him to return to practice should he wish to do so.

Click on the link to read more


Professor David Ferry, who has been cleared of misconduct after a four-year battle

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Doctor ‘responsible for the avoidable death of teacher following caesarean’ nearly killed another new mother

Dr Nadeem Azeez is one of two anaesthetists accused of failing to take basic steps to save the life of Frances Cappuccini, 30

An underqualified foreign doctor alleged to have been responsible for the “totally unexpected and avoidable” death of a young teacher following an emergency caesarean had nearly killed another new mother placed in his care, a court heard.  Dr Nadeem Azeez is one of two anaesthetists accused of failing to take basic steps to save the life of Frances Cappuccini, 30, as they attempted to bring her round from a general anaesthetic following the birth of her second child.

Mrs Cappuccini never regained consciousness and died in October 2012 following a massive heart attack as a result of a build-up of acid in her body from lack of oxygen. A report into her death following an internal investigation was redacted to remove reference to the previous incident involving Dr Azeez before it was sent to the coroner, Inner London Crown Court heard.

In March 2012, Dr Azeez, 52, had been responsible for anaesthetising a woman at the same hospital who had suffered a haemorrhage after giving birth and whose placenta needed removing in theatre.

Click on the link to read more


Dr Nadeem Azeez (right) is accused of failing to take basic steps to save Frances Cappuccini

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Nye Bevan’s dream: a history of the NHS

In 1946 the health minister strode into a Manchester hospital to launch a free healthcare service that has brought innovation and controversy ever since

Almost 68 years after its creation, the National Health Service’s founding principles remain intact: it continues to be funded from general taxation and free at the point of use. Here are some of the key moments in its history, with contemporary reports from the Guardian and Observer archive.


The NHS was born was 5th July 1948. On that day, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians, dentists and hospitals came together for the first time as one giant UK-wide organisation. It was inaugurated when Aneurin “Nye” Bevan, the health minister who was its far-sighted creator, visited Park hospital in Davyhulme, Manchester. It is now Trafford general hospital and is known as “the birthplace of the NHS” as the first NHS hospital.

On that day Bevan met the NHS’s first patient, 13-year-old Sylvia Diggory, who had acute nephritis, a life-threatening liver condition. Later, Diggory recalled: “Mr Bevan asked me if I understood the significance of the occasion and told me that it was a milestone in history – the most civilised step any country had ever taken. I had earwigged at adults’ conversations and I knew this was a great change that was coming about and that most people could hardly believe this was happening.” It had huge public support, though the British Medical Association, the doctors’ union, was still threatening to boycott it until as late as February 1948.

Click on the link to read more of the history of the NHS from 1948 – 2014



Filed under: NHS,

NHS fails on key performance targets

The NHS has yet again failed to hit some of its key performance targets, raising fears that problems are now deeply ingrained and that services are at risk of buckling under the pressure, particularly if colder whether sparks a spike in the number of patients needing medical attention.

Data for November show that, for the sixth month in a row, the standard for the number of the most urgent ambulance calls’ being responded to within eight minutes was missed, coming in at 71.9 percent versus the target of 75 percent. The number of less urgent ‘Red 2’ calls hitting the eight-minute response target was even lower, at just 67.4 percent.

According to the figures, there were 1,874,234 attendances at A&E in November 2015, up 2.4 percent from the same month in 2014. But the number of patients admitted, transferred and discharged from A&E within the four-hour target continued to slip, with 91.3 percent for the period versus the 95 percent target and 93.5 percent a year ago.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS moves to stop bereaved families blocking donation of relatives’ organs

If someone wishes to become an organ donor then their family should respect their wishes. Totally disrespectful of their dying wishes and totally selfish in not wanting to help save the life of another. It’s the kindest thing anyone can do. Joanna

Families have vetoed the donation of organs from hundreds of registered donors in the last five years, new figures show

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) data suggests relatives blocked transplants in 547 – or one in seven – cases since 2010.  The body said it would no longer seek a family’s formal consent in order to reduce the number of “overrides”, according to the BBC. The bereaved will be given a leaflet which explains consent remains with the deceased, although they can still block donation by providing reasons in writing.

NHSBT estimated the blocked donors would have provided organs for 1,200 of the 6,578 patients on the waiting list for a transplant, while not asking relatives could result in the number donors rising by 9%.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHSBT, told the broadcaster: “We are taking a tougher approach – but also a more honest approach.

“My nurses are speaking for the person who has died. People who join the register want and expect to become organ donors. We do not want to let them down. “We have every sympathy for families – and of course we do not want to make their grief worse. We think this will make what is a hugely distressing day easier for them, by reducing the burden on them. “The principle that the individual affected is the one who consents applies throughout medicine, and it is not different because someone has died.”

The Guardian – Press Association



Filed under: Uncategorized,

The dementia timebomb: People fear it MORE than cancer – yet it receives only a tenth of the funding

  • Dame Gill Morgan is chair of NHS Providers, representing hospital trusts  
  • Says dementia research lags 25 years behind the progress made in cancer
  • Advances in drug development will be too late for 850,000 sufferers

Dementia research is lagging 25 years behind the progress made in cancer, a leading health chief warned today.  People fear Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia more than cancer – yet dementia research receives only a tenth of the funding. Dame Gill Morgan, chair of NHS Providers, said yesterday: ‘Dementia is, in my view, the cruellest disease.

‘It is a cruel disease because your family watch you declining, and they lose the person, but they keep the body. ‘Studies show that dementia is now the most feared disease, it is more feared than cancer. ‘It is the thing that people do not want to get when they are older. ‘One of the thing that makes it very difficult, is that we really are not fully clear what the biological causes are. ‘If you compare it to cancer, and the knowledge that we have about the biology and genetics of the disease, cancer is probably 20 to 25 years ahead.’

Dame Gill, whose organisation represents most English NHS trusts, said that advances currently being made in dementia drug development will come too late to help the 850,000 people currently living with the disease in Britain.

Click on the link to read more

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

Pictured, CT scan of sufferers’ brains


Filed under: Dementia, ,

Junior doctors row: David Cameron asks doctors to call off strike

David Cameron has urged junior doctors to call off their planned strike.

He warned Tuesday’s strike will cause “real difficulties for patients and potentially worse”. The strike begins across England at 08:00 GMT, from when junior doctors will only provide emergency care.

Talks between the doctors’ union – the BMA – and NHS bosses continue. The BMA has said the strikes “demonstrated the strength of feeling amongst the profession”. Issues being disputed by the BMA and NHS include weekend pay and whether there are appropriate safeguards in place to stop hospitals over-working doctors.

Three strikes are set to take place from:

  • 08:00 Tuesday 12 January to 08:00 Wednesday 13 January (emergency care will be staffed)
  • 08:00 Tuesday 26 January to 08:00 Thursday 28 January (emergency care will be staffed)
  • 08:00 to 17:00 Wednesday 10 February (full walk-out)

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, ,

Our baby choked to death in nurse’s care so why didn’t they admit it for 14 years? Mother was branded ‘mental’ for pursuing the truth after 11-month-old daughter died

  • Anne Dixon, 52, branded ‘mental’ in police notes during her 14-year battle for the truth behind death of her disabled 11-month-old daughter Elizabeth
  • An agency nurse, Joyce Aburime, with no experience had been looking after Elizabeth and failed to notice a blockage in her tracheostomy tube
  • Anne referred for psychiatric treatment over ‘unreasonable concerns’
  • Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently ordered an investigation into case

Anne Dixon sat in the back seat of an unfamiliar car, watching as her husband cradled the lifeless body of her 11-month-old daughter. Overcome with grief and shock, she gazed at Elizabeth’s tiny face, her still frame wrapped in her pink flannelette sheet. In what appeared to be a simple act of compassion, albeit a highly unusual one, Dr Michael Tettenborn – the doctor in charge of Elizabeth’s care – was driving the grieving mother, her husband and their dead baby home.  Also in the car was the nurse, Joyce Aburime, who they held responsible for their daughter’s tragic death. It was only later, after the shock of their loss had subsided, that Anne and Graeme Dixon realised how bizarrely inappropriate this journey home had been.

Earlier that morning, profoundly disabled Elizabeth was rushed to the A&E department at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey after the tracheostomy tube that helped her breathe had become fatally blocked and Elizabeth was suffocating.  As would later emerge, an agency nurse with no experience had been looking after Elizabeth but failed to notice the blockage in the tube. To Anne and Graeme’s utter devastation, their daughter was pronounced dead.

Click on the link to read more

Collect Photos showing Elizabeth Dixon being held by her Mother  Pix Info : about 4 months old in Great Ormond Street Hospital  Copyright  Photo Dixon Family MAIL ON SUNDAY ONLY  Sent by 14th Oct 2015

Anne Dixon holding Elizabeth when she was about four months old in Great Ormond Street Hospital. Elizabeth was pronounced dead after a nurse with no experience failed to notice the blockage in her tracheostomy tube that helped her breathe. Anne battled health authorities for 14-years and it was only recently that an investigation was ordered by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt



Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

David Cameron ‘must take bold action to tackle NHS and social care pressures’

Leading charities have called on David Cameron to take “bold” action to tackle the growing pressures on health and social care, warning that vulnerable elderly and disabled people will “bear the brunt” if he fails.

A letter backed by nearly 40 organisations, including older people’s charity Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie, urges the Prime Minister to set up an independent commission to review the system. It warns there is ” no room for complacency” and points to official figures that suggest nearly a quarter of the population will be over the age of 65 in just over 20 years’ time.

The letter states: “We need to ensure we have an NHS and social care system that is fit for purpose otherwise it is the elderly, disabled people and their carers who will bear the brunt of inaction. ” Bold long term thinking is required about the size, shape and scope of services we want the NHS and social care to provide – and an honest debate about how much as a society we are prepared to pay for them. “It is vital that you meet the challenge posed by an ageing society, and an underfunded care system, head on and establish a cross-party commission to review the future of health and social care in England.”

It comes after former health minister Norman Lamb warned some experts believe there will be a £30 billion “gap” in NHS funding by 2020 despite the Government already committing extra cash.


Click on the link to read more

Prime Minister David Cameron has been warned about the pressures facing the NHS

Prime Minister David Cameron has been warned about the pressures facing the NHS

Filed under: Disabilities, Elderly, , ,

8 years ago today my darling mother passed away

8 years ago today on the 8th January 2008 my darling mother passed away after being in hospital for 6 months for a routine hip operation. She will now be dancing in heaven with my dear dad. Love you mum, always and forever xxxxx

You can read my mother’s story which was published in The Mail on Sunday on 5th June 2011

Click on the link to read

mum - Copy

Filed under: Hospital, ,

Former head of leadership at NHS England jailed – By Lawrence Dunhill for HSJ

A former head of leadership at NHS England has been jailed for nearly five years after being convicted of fraud offences.

  • Neil Wood was part of a group  convicted of unlawfully taking £3.5m from NHS England and two trusts
  • Case revolved around payments made for training videos featuring his wife
  • Wood was a senior manager at LYPFT until March 2013, and also worked with Leeds Community Healthcare before moving to NHS England
  • He was arrested in June 2014, after police were alerted by HMRC

Neil Wood, 41, was part of a group of people convicted of unlawfully taking £3.5m from NHS England, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust and Leeds Community Healthcare Trust over a number of years. The case, which concluded at Leeds Crown Court on Friday, revolved around payments made for training videos featuring his wife.

NHS Protect, which supported the case against Wood, said he had awarded numerous training contracts to a company called The Learning Grove, which was run by his friend. Over a seven year period to June 2014,  £1.8m was transferred from The Learning Grove to LW Learning, a company registered in his wife’s name.

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A former head of leadership at NHS England has been jailed



Filed under: NHS,

NHS whistleblower helpline ‘useless’ campaigner Rab Wilson claims

A CONFIDENTIAL phone line set up to allow NHS workers to report concerns about patient safety and bullying has been branded “useless” by one of the country’s most high-profile whistleblowers.

Rab Wilson, a nurse who uncovered a catalogue of failings at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said he had suggested the measure to Nicola Sturgeon but the initiative had “failed utterly” as it had proved toothless in holding health boards to account. The Scottish Government hit back at the claims, saying its policies allowing health workers to raise concerns were already “robust” and would be strengthened further with the appointment of an independent national whistleblowing officer.

Mr Wilson spoke out after Dr Jane Hamilton, a consultant psychiatrist, revealed that she was retiring after believing that she had become known as a “troublemaker” within the Scottish NHS. She warned bosses that lives were being put at risk at a specialist Mother and Baby Unit at St John’s Hospital in Livingston before going public with her fears. Dr Hamilton said that she had been unable to find work north of the Border and that a weekly commute to Yorkshire where she worked for the NHS in England had proved too demanding.

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Rab Wilson, outside the Scottish Parliament

Filed under: Whistleblowing, , , ,

Some hospital trusts make millions a year from car parks

Some hospital trusts in England are making more than £3m a year from car parking fees, Freedom of Information (FOI) requests have shown.

Of more than 90 trusts that responded to FOI requests, half are making at least £1m a year, the news agency Press Association (PA) found. The Patients Association said the charges were “morally wrong”. But many trusts defended their revenues, saying some or all of the money was put back into patient care.

The investigation showed hospitals were making increasing amounts of money from staff, patients and visitors – including those who are disabled – who used their car parks. It also found hospitals were giving millions of pounds to private firms to run their car parks for them, with some receiving money from parking fines. Others are tied into private finance initiative contracts, where all the money charged from car parks goes to companies under the terms of the scheme.

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Filed under: Hospital,

NHS paid more than £1m in compensation due to helpline’s bad advice

THE HEALTH service has had to pay out more than £1million in compensation to patients who suffered after being given poor advice from the controversial NHS Direct telephone helpline.

Legal documents from the NHS show that patients who rang the now-disbanded service have successfully sued for a range of ailments triggered by incorrect advice. One case involved the family of a patient who died. In another the patient suffered life-changing brain damage as a result of not getting treatment quickly enough. Other payouts involved patients left blind, in needless pain, requiring extra operations and a case where a man had to have a testicle removed.

In nearly all the cases NHS Direct accepted there was a delay or a ­failure to recognise the symptoms of an ­illness or to refer somebody to hospital quickly enough. The dossier of claims also lists cases where patients won compensation after suffering a heart attack, dental damage, burns and peritonitis, a serious abdominal infection. Over the past four years the NHS has paid out on 13 cases where it has accepted that a patient suffered because of negligent advice.

The total compensation involved is £1.4million. The figure has shot up in the past year as one of the most recent cases, believed to be where the victim suffered brain damage, was settled with a payment of more than £1million.

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Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

NHS ‘Must Keep Pace’ With Allergy Epidemic

One of the world’s top allergy experts says many health professionals are inadequately trained to deal with the crisis.

Nathalie Dyson-Coope’s four-year-old son, Callum, has 12 severe food allergies – six of them are potentially fatal. His sensitivities to foods, including peanuts, milk, eggs and tomatoes, began when he was a baby with reactions varying from painful rashes to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Ms Dyson-Coope said she had trouble getting some GPs to understand Callum’s reactions, which often involved excruciating, bleeding eczema. “You would pick him up in the morning… and it would look like a murder had been committed in his moses basket. It was absolutely horrific. “It didn’t matter how many times we went to the doctors, they would say ‘oh it’s just baby eczema’ or ‘it’s just colic’ or ‘it’s just a bit of reflux – they’ll get over it’.”

A sharp increase in allergy sufferers over the past 20 years has made allergic disease the most common chronic disorder in childhood, matched only the obesity crisis. Some 50% of children now have an allergy, with some reactions potentially fatal, but scientists still do not know why. One of the world’s top allergy experts told Sky News cases are not being identified early enough because many health care professionals are inadequately trained to deal with the growing epidemic.

Click on the link to read more and watch video’s


4 year old Callum

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Junior Doctors – emotional video about NHS Staff working at Christmas

Mini-documentary. An emotional collection of personal stories from Junior Doctors from around England, from their own Christmas shifts.

When we left medical school, we had to take an oath to “do no harm”. The new proposed contract being imposed will cause harm to our patients, as it is unsafe. We cannot let this happen – we have one the first battle in recommencing proper negotiations. But we have been given

Filed under: Hospital, ,

Whistle blower retires with her career in Scotland ruined

A whistle-blowing doctor who was at the centre of a gagging row, has retired after deciding her career in Scotland is beyond repair.

Dr Jane Hamilton now advises any doctor thinking of blowing the whistle in Scotland to think very hard before doing so as it has ruined her professional life. The consultant perinatal psychiatrist has been working in Hull where her specialist expertise has been warmly welcomed. But her family is settled north of the border and she has finally found the weekly commute too demanding.

However she believes she is now seen as a trouble-maker within the NHS in Scotland. Jobs she has applied for have been re-advertised shortly afterwards. “It would appear they would rather have nobody than have me,” she said.

She and her family had moved north in 2007 because Dr Hamilton had been appointed to the Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) at St John’s Hospital in Livingston. Her national reputation in the care of mothers with severe psychiatric problems had been recognised when she was asked to help draw up the UK guidelines before her appointment in Scotland.

By the end of 2007 she raised concerns over how the unit was being run and shortly afterwards warned in writing that patients could die. Two women patients subsequently took their own lives and the family of one is now suing the health board for medical negligence.

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Dr Jane Hamilton, a consultant psychiatrist pictured in Glasgow.

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Elderly and social care in the NHS: share your experiences

Whether you live alone or in a care home the Guardian would like to hear about your experiences of the NHS care and support services you’ve received

With news that a training scheme to address the shortage of nurses in care homes has been scrapped the social care sector, and the services that provide for the elderly in particular, is facing a crisis that could affect those in need.

Whether you live at home alone and are provided with practical support, live in sheltered accommodation or a residential or nursing home we’d like to hear from you.

We’d also like to hear how you combat loneliness. Perhaps you have someone to help with your shopping or someone who visits you to keep you company. Whatever kind of social care you receive from the NHS, share your stories with us.

Do you care for older parents or relatives? If so we’d like to hear from you too. Do they live with you in a home adapted to their needs? If they’re in a care home what is it like for both you and your relative? If you’re a carer for a relative and you have applied for respite care what was your experience like? Do you feel supported by the NHS? Share your experiences with us and we’ll feature some of your stories on the site.

Click on the link to fill out the form


Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly,

Revealed: NHS hospitals investigate one in seven deaths of vulnerable patients

Jeremy Hunt urged to investigate after trusts examine just 209 of 1,436 deaths of inpatients with learning disabilities

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, is facing calls for a nationwide inquiry into the deaths of highly vulnerable patients in NHS care after it emerged that just one in seven such fatalities in hospitals in England have been investigated.

Data released to the Guardian under freedom of information laws show that hospitals in England have investigated just 209 out of 1,436 deaths of inpatients with learning disabilities since 2011. Even among deaths they classed as unexpected, hospitals inquired into only a third. Just 100 (36.2%) of the 276 deaths in that category were the subject of an investigation, despite longstanding concerns that these patients receive poorer care and are at higher risk of dying while in hospital.

“The findings from this investigation are very concerning,” said Prof Mike Richards, England’s chief inspector of hospitals. “We’re keen to work with the Guardian to look at the new information in more detail. This will help us to plan the review that CQC [Care Quality Commission] is already committed to doing.”


Filed under: Disabilities, ,

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to meet grieving parents in NHS baby death cover-up case

  • Parents Allyn and Jenny Condon’s eight-week-old son Ben died in April
  • They exposed medics trying to cover up failings they say led to his death
  • Jeremy Hunt has agreed to a face-to-face meeting in the new year 

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will meet heartbroken parents who exposed health bosses trying to cover up failings they say led to the death of their baby. Mr Hunt, who is understood to have been deeply moved by the efforts of Allyn and Jenny Condon, has agreed to a face-to-face summit in the new year after The Mail on Sunday revealed their campaign for answers after their eight-week-old son Ben died in April.

When Ben died, medics told the couple that their son was not strong enough to fight off a virus. But two months later they were told Ben had also contracted a bacterial infection – which he could have picked up in hospital. The Condons then exposed how senior staff at Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital discussed deleting a key recording in which they admitted mistakes were made. On the recording, one doctor said Ben’s parents were ‘absolutely right’ to say Ben should have been given antibiotics much sooner.

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2F07EF0F00000578-3367375-image-a-43_1450565870877 Ben Condon

Watch the interview with LBC and listen to the recording.

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

Pensioners to be charged £26 ‘falling fee’ to be helped back to their feet by local council

A district council said it would introduce the fee on top of the existing cost of a subscription to its service for elderly people who require home care

Pensioners who need help being helped back to their feet after a fall at home will be charged £26 by their local council. Tendring District Council said it would introduce the fee as part of its Careline service for elderly people who require home care.

An elderly rights campaign group has described the charge as “shocking” and equivalent to a ‘falling fine’. The £25.92 annual charge means a carer will come to pick an elderly resident up after a fall. If it is not paid, in addition to the existing £21.60-a-month Careline fee, then an ambulance would need to be called.

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Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly, ,

Stevenage mum speaks out about lack of NHS support and importance of helping others after death of her transgender daughter

The Stevenage mother of a transgender woman whose daughter tragically died days before she was due to receive confirmation of the hormone treatment she needed has bravely spoken out about the lack of support her child was given from the NHS.

A coroner at Poplar Coroners’ Court on Thursday found Synestra De Courcy, 23, died from cocaine and mephedrone toxicity on July 26 this year. Synestra, was born a boy but at the time of her death was hoping to undergo full gender reassignment through hormone therapy treatment. She attended St Christopher school in Letchworth, where she was a high achiever known as Alex, rising to become head boy, going on to study cosmetic science at the University of the Arts in London.

Her mother, Amanda De Courcy from Woodfield Road in Stevenage, spoke to the Comet following last week’s inquest. Courageous Amanda said: “The issue wasn’t so much her death by what the coroner said was recreational drugs – the issue for me, as her mum, was how does a person get into a position where they feel so helpless? “She was terribly depressed. She needed the hormone therapy. It was tragic she didn’t receive the help she needed from the NHS and her GP. “If she’d got the referral letter telling her she could have the hormone treatment a few days before, then things may have been different.

“The point is you have to have the referral letter to get the hormones. Why did she get so depressed? It was because she felt there was no way out and no help from the relevant authorities – and that needs changing.

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Synestra de Courcy

Filed under: Mental Health, ,

Biggest NHS ‘market’ deal to date collapses – what now?

A highly controversial new style of contract for nearly a billion pounds worth of older people’s healthcare in the East of England has collapsed – but will anyone learn the right lessons? 

One of the largest NHS ‘market’ contracts to date collapsed this month. The£800million (originally £1 billion) deal to provide NHS care for older people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough failed after only 8 months, deemed “financially unsustainable”.

So what does this mean for the future of health care in the region? And for the government’s preferred – and expensive – approach to offering up NHS contracts? Back in 2013 Cambridgeshire NHS bosses created the largest potential privatisation to date. They claimed that only by offering all older people’s healthcare to private sector bidders, could they deliver the ‘innovative’ services needed, ‘joined up’ with social care.

The controversial contract – delivered through the largely untested model of ‘outcome based contracting’ – included bold promises to reduce nearby hospital admissions by 20%.

As private firms like Virgin, Care UK and UnitedHealth submitted bids, a huge public backlash followed – including a successful legal challenge by local campaigners to find out more detail on the plans. Several private bidders including Capita, Circle, Serco and Interserve pulled out, citing ‘affordability concerns’.

A new NHS ‘Uniting Care Partnership’ (the local acute and mental health trusts) eventually took over, after a bidding process that cost the CCG over a million pounds (and cost the NHS hospitals that had to fight off the private health firms, considerably more). Predictably perhaps, the ‘Partnership’ has now found they couldn’t deliver the promised outcomes for the money on offer, either.

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elderly people sign_0_0

Filed under: Elderly, ,

Shortage of nurses ‘kills hundreds of patients after emergency surgery’: Investigation finds hospital with highest staffing levels have lowest death rates

  • Experts analysed the chance of dying within 30 days of being admitted for an emergency operation
  • Discovered five-fold variation in death rates across 156 NHS hospital trusts
  • Crucially, the hospitals with the worst survival records had far fewer nurses, doctors and surgeons 
  • Researchers linked a 7 per cent difference in death rates to staffing alone

Hundreds of patients die every year after emergency surgery because there are not enough nurses to care for them, research suggests. A five-year investigation into death rates in English NHS hospitals found those with the highest staffing levels had the lowest death rates.

Experts who analysed the chance of dying within 30 days of being admitted for an emergency operation discovered a five-fold variation in death rates across 156 NHS hospital trusts – from 1.6 per cent at the best trust to 8 per cent at the worst.  Crucially, the hospitals with the worst survival records had far fewer nurses, doctors and surgeons.

When the hospital trusts were divided into the best, middle and worst groups in terms of the number of nurses and doctors per patient – researchers linked a 7 per cent difference in death rates to staffing alone. This was despite the fact that patients at the best hospitals – many of which have specialist or trauma units – were often more seriously ill before surgery and more likely to suffer complications following operations.

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Filed under: Hospital, , ,

Call to review baby death rates at more than 20 NHS trusts and boards

Inquiry urges those with higher than average stillbirth and newborn death rates to examine their maternity care to see if mistakes were made

More than 20 NHS trusts and health boards in the UK should investigate why they have a higher stillbirth and newborn baby death rate than their peers, an inquiry has recommended.

The trusts and boards should review their maternity care to find out whether mistakes were made or if there were other reasons for a death rate that was more than 10% higher than average, said a national team of experts from MBRRACE-UK  (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk Through Audits and Confidential Enquiries Across the UK), led by the University of Leicester.

It is the first time potential issues in childbirth have been highlighted at individual trust level. Out of 162 trusts and boards, 21 have been red flagged by the investigators and told they should hold a review. A further 52 have an orange flag, which means they are advised to consider a review.

“These data provide NHS trusts and health boards from around the UK with the clearest insight yet in helping them understand their performance against their peers. Whilst there is always room for improvement, the data flags those trusts and health boards which need to review their performance as a priority,” said Prof David Field, from MBRRACE-UK.

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Filed under: Hospital, ,

Jack Adcock death: Doctor and nurse get suspended sentences for manslaughter

A doctor and an agency nurse who “seriously neglected” a six-year-old boy who died in hospital have been sentenced for his manslaughter.

Jack Adcock died of a cardiac arrest at Leicester Royal Infirmary after he developed sepsis. Doctor Hadiza Bawa-Garba, 39, and nurse Isabel Amaro, 47, of Manchester, were both given a two-year term, suspended for two years. The pair had denied manslaughter by gross negligence.

The two defendants “robbed” Jack of his chance of survival by failing to realise how seriously ill he was, prosecutors said. Jack, who had Down’s syndrome, was admitted to hospital with vomiting and diarrhoea in February 2011 but died about 11 hours later. On the day of his death, Bawa-Garba, of Leicester, stopped performing CPR after wrongly assuming Jack was subject to a do-not-resuscitate order.

Portuguese-born Amaro, from Manchester, failed “woefully” to monitor Jack’s treatment or alert colleagues when his condition deteriorated, the court heard during her trial. Both were found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence at Nottingham Crown Court last month and both have already been suspended from their posts.

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Jack Adcock


Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba (left) and agency nurse Isabel Amaro (right) were both found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence

Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS Blunders, ,

All Your Stories, Strength in Numbers. Well it’s been emotional few week of watching my dear dad be neglected time after time since making a complaint at his care home – By Lisa Smith

Dad was severely overdosed on pregablin he was prescribed 50mg within a week it was increased to 450mg which resulted in him having a fall on the 29.10.2015, he never received any medical attention until on the 31.10.15, he was found unresponsive in his room with a suspected bleed on the brain.

Lucky it was but we found out he was severely overdosed, but now there is no evidence to who did this on medical records and care plans. Since putting the complaint in this neglect has got worst.  Apparently after four years he as become aggressive and needs 1.1 care 24 7 and 2.1 personal care bathing , despite him able to dress and undress himself has no incontinence problems and can even shave him self , he has no mobility problems and goes out on a regular basis.

Please click on the link “All Your Stories – Strength In Numbers to read more

2 (2) 2 (1) 3

Filed under: Uncategorized

There is a sickness at the heart of the NHS – and if we pretend not to see it, we’ll condemn it to destruction – By Ian Birrell

You have to wonder if use of the word ‘trust’ in these hospital titles is cruel irony

Two weeks ago I went to a journalism awards ceremony at which the speaker was a man who blew the whistle on malpractice within the National Health Service rather than the usual comedian or TV personality inflicted on such events. Gary Walker, a former hospital trust chief executive, spoke passionately about how he was gagged, smeared and threatened in the most appalling manner after raising concerns that pressure to meet targets was compromising patient safety.

Walker was the most senior whistleblower in NHS history and his speech, highlighting the crucial public interest role of the media, was rather chilling. He said he knew it was custom for top staff to cover-up incompetence by gagging those that sought to speak out, yet was shocked to be subject to such a restrictive silencing order that he could not even mention its existence – then threatened with being sued for £500,000 when going public. This brave man, almost crushed fighting for decent care, claims he remains ‘blacklisted’ by the NHS.

This is all too often the plight of whistleblowers, as I have seen dealing with others who sought to highlight corruption and waste in public services. Politicians promise to protect them, new regulations get published, but nothing changes. And when mistakes come to light after cover-ups, no-one is held accountable – even when involving hundreds of premature deaths as in the shameful mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal. Some of those responsible even glided on to other top jobs.

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Connor Sparrowhawk’s family say their concerns about his epilepsy were ignored

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Prostate cancer could be ‘transformed from killer disease to chronic illness’ for thousands of men after NHS give green light to promising drug

  • Experts say men who took the drug had 29% better chance of survival
  • Trials found drug delayed need for chemotherapy by average of 17 months 
  • Drug costs £2,734 a month and had previously been refused by NICE

Thousands of men are to benefit from a prostate cancer drug which delays the need for gruelling chemotherapy. Officials at NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – have reversed their previous decision and recommended that enzalutamide be funded on the NHS. An estimated 5,500 men in England and Wales each year are expected to benefit from use of the drug, which slashes the risk of prostate cancer progressing. Clinical trials have shown that the treatment delays the need for chemotherapy by an average 17 months, substantially increasing quality of life for patients.

Men who took the drug at this stage also had a 29 per cent better overall chance of survival. Doctors say the treatment, which was developed by British scientists, has the potential to transform prostate cancer from a killer disease unto a chronic illness. Enzalutamide is already available if chemotherapy has failed – but cancer charities have repeatedly insisted that the drug, which is also called Xtandi, will benefit even more men if it is used before chemotherapy. Yet officials at NICE published a draft decision in June indicating it would not be approved for routine use before chemotherapy.

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The drug was found to delay the need for chemotherapy in patients for an average 17 months, increasing the quality of life for patients. (The prostate is pictured, orange, below the bladder)

Filed under: Cancer, , , ,

Older People Needing Care Face ‘Bleak Future’

Around 1.86 million people over 50 in England already have unmet care needs – an increase of 7% since the financial crash in 2008

Older people needing care are facing a “bleak future” because of a lack of funding, a think tank has warned. In his Spending Review last month, Chancellor George Osborne announced changes to council tax that he said would lead to a rise in care budgets. But the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) has said this would only “paper over the cracks” and is not enough to meet the needs of a growing older population.

It said around 1.86 million people over the age of 50 in England had unmet care needs – an increase of 7% since the financial crash in 2008. It also said the number of people over 80 had risen by 800,000 in the last decade, and that there were already around 1.5 million people providing over 50 hours a week of unpaid care – often a person’s family.

The Government said local authorities would have access to an extra £3.5bn for adult social care through the 2% council tax hike announced in the Spending Review. However, ILC-UK said it was “highly unlikely” this sum would be raised, and even if it was it would only mean care spending returns to 2015 levels by the end of the Parliament in 2020.

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Filed under: Elderly,

Hospitals run out of beds as NHS strained by norovirus

Health service figures show several casualty units were shut around the country and no spaces free even before onset of full winter conditions

Hospitals have run out of beds, had to temporarily close their A&E unit and been battling outbreaks of norovirus this month, even though winter has not yet brought its usual major problems for the NHS, such as flu and bad weather. Official figures released on Friday by NHS England, for hospital performance in the first week of December, show many are already struggling to cope with the extra pressures, even before the heaviest strain of norovirus, which usually arrives in January.

NHS England’s first set of situation reports data covering the previous week, which it will release every Friday until the spring, shows that 12 hospital trusts did not have a single bed available from 4-6 December, and another 30 had fewer than 10 beds free for patients. That so many hospitals have so few beds available at this early stage of the winter will increase the widespread concern in the NHS that hospitals will not be able to cope with the influx of very sick patients that usually happens in January.

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Filed under: Hospital, ,

The NHS must stop victimising bereaved families. By Shaun Lintern for HSJ

Bereaved families of systemic failure-related deaths have far too often become second victims, due to the NHS’s misguided secrecy and focus on reputation management, writes Shaun Lintern

Losing a loved one is painful enough especially when that loss results from a mistake, a system error, or worse, clinical negligence. In too many cases the NHS fails to be open and transparent with grieving families, compounding their loss with obfuscation and secrecy. Insult is literally added to injury for people who, in the most part, are just desperate for the truth about what happened – as well as an assurance that it won’t be repeated.

Fighting Back

The problem for the health service is that times have changed. Families are no longer prepared to just accept what they are told. Many are fighting back with a rage and a fury the health service has perhaps not faced on such a scale before. HSJ has reported the stories of a number of families whose individual struggles for the truth date back years and the journey has left them with permanent emotional scars. In these and many other cases, the effect on those families cannot be underestimated. They are traumatised by their treatment at the hands of a health service that is supposed to have compassion as a core value.

They are the true second victims of NHS failures and many will struggle to trust the service again.

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Shaun Lintern

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

NHS trust ‘failed to investigate hundreds of deaths’

The NHS has failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of more than 1,000 people since 2011, according to a report obtained by BBC News.

It blames a “failure of leadership” at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. It says the deaths of mental health and learning-disability patients were not properly examined. Southern Health, one of the country’s largest mental health trusts, has “serious concerns” about the report’s interpretation of the evidence.

The trust covers Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, providing services to about 45,000 people. The investigation, commissioned by NHS England and carried out by Mazars, a large audit firm, looked at all deaths at the trust between April 2011 and March 2015. During that period, it found 10,306 people had died. Most were expected. However, 1,454 were not. Of those, 272 were treated as critical incidents, of which just 195 – 13% – were treated by the trust as a serious incident requiring investigation (SIRI).

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Connor Sparrowhawk, who died at Slade House, had epilepsy and experienced seizures

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

Does the flu jab actually work? The vaccination costs the NHS £100 million, but last year it was worryingly ineffective. Now take-up’s falling

  • Figures show the number of people being vaccinated against it is low
  • Rates in October were an ‘alarming’ 6 per cent lower than last year
  • Problem has been particularly acute among ‘at-risk’ groups
  • For some, the question is not the jab’s effectiveness, but its safety

Should you or shouldn’t you? It’s the big question surrounding this year’s flu jab as Britons wrangle with concerns about the vaccine’s effectiveness. As the influenza season takes hold, official figures show the number of people being vaccinated against it is low. Last month, the Royal College of General Practitioners warned that vaccination rates in October were an ‘alarming’ 6 per cent lower compared with the same time last year.

The problem has been particularly acute among ‘at-risk’ groups, which include the over-65s, pregnant women and those with serious long-term health conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney disease (who are all offered the jabs free on the NHS). Frontline NHS staff – those in direct contact with patients – were also failing, in large numbers, to get the jab.

The latest figures show that in November the numbers rose, and were even slightly up on those from the same time in 2014 – though officials at Public Health England are warning that ‘there is no place for complacency’ about the statistics. Indeed. Clearly public confidence in the jab has been affected by the fact that last year’s vaccine didn’t work very well – scientists had identified the wrong strain of flu to target and, as a result, the jab worked in a mere 3 per cent of cases, it was initially thought.

This figure has recently been revised up to 34 per cent, but is still much lower than usual. And the inefficiency of the jab has been blamed by Patient Concern for the fact that last year, England and Wales had the highest winter death toll in a decade and a half.

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Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

NHS watchdog slams hospitals’ handling of patient complaints

Click on the link to download the ombudsman’s report

A review nto the quality of NHS complaints investigations single pages


Dame Julie Mellor warns that three out of four investigations fail to identify serious failings in care as families are often met with ‘wall of silence’

Three out of four investigations by hospitals into complaints that patients suffered avoidable injury or death fail to identify serious failings in care, leaving distraught families in the dark, the NHS ombudsman has warned. Inquiries by hospital staff are so often inadequate that many complainants seeking to understand what went wrong are met with “a wall of silence from the NHS”, according to Dame Julie Mellor. Mellor, the parliamentary and health service ombudsman, has demanded an urgent overhaul of how hospitals examine serious complaints made against them, in which mistakes allegedly led to patients being harmed or even killed.

Her review of the quality of internal hospital investigations uncovered a series of major weaknesses. In 73% of cases in which she found evidence of clear failings, the NHS hospitals trust concerned had concluded that no failings occurred. “Parents and families are being met with a wall of silence from the NHS when they seek answers as to why their loved one died or was harmed,” said Mellor. “Our review found that NHS investigations into complaints about avoidable death and harm are simply not good enough. They are not consistent, reliable or transparent, which means that too many people are being forced to bring their complaint to us to get it resolved.”

In just over half (52%) of the cases she examined, the investigation had been led by a doctor who was not independent of the events complained about.

For example, when a baby girl was left with brain damage after a blood transfusion went wrong, the hospital appointed a close colleague of the paediatrician at the centre of the complaint to investigate. The girl’s family had to wait three years before learning what mistakes had been made.

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Dame Julie Mellor has demanded an urgent overhaul of how hospitals examine serious complaints made against them.

Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

Gagged, smeared, sued and threatened by the NHS – a media whistleblower tells his story

A former hospital executive who blew the whistle to the BBC over concerns about patient safety has revealed that he remains blacklisted by the NHS two years on.

Gary Walker broke a gagging order in order to raise concerns about Lincolnshire NHS Trust in 2013. Speaking at this week’s British Journalism Awards he revealed how he was punished by the NHS for speaking out. He revealed that he agreed to break a gagging order imposed as part of his exit agreement when he was sacked from his NHS job in 2010 after “unrelenting persistent persuasion” by Andrew Hosken of the BBC.

He said: “It was February and I’d just watched the prime minster in the House of Commons announce the results of Sir Robert Francis’ review into what went wrong at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. “That review, which took two years and cost more than £19m of taxpayers’ money, didn’t find a single person accountable for the premature deaths of hundreds perhaps thousands of people. “From my time in the NHS, I knew it was custom and practice for those in senior roles to hide their wrongdoing or incompetence by gagging those who attempted to speak out.

“I myself was an example of someone gagged for putting patient safety ahead of targets. Indeed the gag was so draconian I wasn’t even allowed to mention it existed.”

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Gary Walker

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

An open letter to Jeremy Hunt from Will Powell

This is the link to my open letter to Jeremy Hunt the Secretary of State for Health. I don’t take exception to Mr Hunt publicly supporting the Titcombe family. In fact, I found it commendable. This letter is about Mr Hunt’s lack of support for other parents and families who have also lost loved ones and fought for decades for truth and Justice. Will Powell

Please click on the link to read



Will Powell

Filed under: NHS, , ,

Junior doctors contract: Jeremy Hunt accused of ‘lying’ over weekend mortality

Jeremy Hunt has been accused of “lying” about weekend mortality rates, over his use of data from a study published in the British Medical Journal.

An audience member on the BBC’s Question Time programme said some of his liver transplant patients refused life-saving operations because they now feared going under the knife at the weekend.

It is not the first time Mr Hunt’s use of the study has been questioned. In October, BMJ editor Dr Fiona Godlee sought clarification over comments which she said implied the higher weekend death risk was due to poor staffing, despite the study itself not apportioning blame.

Mr Hunt has used the study repeatedly and the government says there is enough evidence to support the claims.



Filed under: NHS, , ,

Father faces commuting from FRANCE every day because his sick sons need a drug to help them walk that’s not available on the NHS

  • William Baker, six, and brother Isaac, three have muscle-wasting disease
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy will leave them both in wheelchairs
  • Family want pioneering drug, Translarna, which is available in France
  • Decision on whether it will be made available on NHS expected in February
  • Father Robert  is prepared to make 285-mile journey from London to Paris  

A desperate father whose sons both have a rare muscle-wasting disease faces relocating his family to France for treatment if a new drug is not offered on the NHS. Rob Baker, of Colchester, Essex, said he will make the 285-mile cross-country commute so his sons William, six, and Isaac, three, can get a pioneering drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The disease, which causes muscles to deteriorate and leads to early death, typically sees sufferers confined to a wheelchair by the age of 11.  And while the first treatment to protect boys from the worst ravages of the disease is now available in several European countries including France, Italy and Spain, Translarna is yet to get the go-ahead in the UK.

Mr Baker, 40, said the family face a race against time for one of their children, as the treatment is only effective in patients who are still walking. He and his wife Clare, a neo-natal nurse, are considering moving to France where the drug is available on prescription if the decision in England expected early next year, does not go in their favour. There, he will have to commute back to London every day or be forced to spend nights in London away from his family, to carry out his job as a tax advisor. 

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William and Isaac Baker, pictured with mother Claire at Disneyland Paris, struggle to walk because they both have the muscle-wasting disease r Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Filed under: Disabilities, NHS, , ,

Are agency staff to blame for hospital deficits?

In May 2015, the chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens, claimed that the entire NHS deficit of £822m in 2014-15 could be accounted for by the “run-up in temporary staffing costs”. Six months into the new financial year, hospitals had overspent by £1.6 billion, the largest NHS deficit ever recorded.

In its report, the hospital regulator, the Trust Development Authority and Monitor, points to ever-growing demand – highlighting an 8% increase in the number of people waiting for treatment, 5% more ambulance calls and a quarter of a percentage point increase in A&E attendances than a year before. “These pressures”, the report says, “coupled with high agency costs for the additional staffing to meet that demand” have compromised the ability of hospitals to manage their finances.

The cost of agency staff has been singled out as the main culprit. Companies providing temporary staff have been accused by the health secretary Jeremy Hunt of “ripping off” the NHS, citing “unscrupulous companies charging up to £3,500 a shift for a doctor”.

The government’s response has been to impose price caps on the hourly rate paid to agency staff. From April 2016, the hourly rate the NHS can pay agency staff will be capped at 55% above the pay levels of permanent staff. Maximum rates have been set out for each staff group. The solution is appealingly simple, but it won’t solve the problem.

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The new chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens (C) meets staff during a visit to Shotley Bridge Hospital in Consett, northern England April 1, 2014.   REUTERS/Owen Humphreys/Pool   (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH) - RTR3JHOL

The new chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens (C) meets staff during a visit to Shotley Bridge Hospital in Consett, northern England April 1, 2014. 

Filed under: Hospital, ,

Morecambe Bay NHS trust should come out of special measures, says inspector

Prof Sir Mike Richards says trust has taken steps to reduce risks to patient safety but that it must secure partnerships to improve maternity services

An NHS trust running three hospitals in south Cumbria and north Lancashire should come out of special measures following progress in reducing risks to patient safety, the chief inspector of hospitals has said.

His recommendation will be considered by another NHS regulator, Monitor, within the next few days and is dependent on University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS foundation trust securing a partnership with another trust to support ongoing improvements in maternity services. This was a recommendation of a scathing independent report into the unnecessary deaths of a mother and 11 babies at Furness general hospital, Barrow, between 2004 and 2013. The trust also runs Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the Westmoreland general hospital in Kendal, Lancashire.

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Chief inspector of hospitals Prof Sir Mike Richard

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

In Memory of my Father “Eddie” 20 years ago today a birthday surprise

20 years ago today my mum, me and my sisters Camille and Vanessa gave our dad a birthday surprise lunch for his 79th birthday. We had no idea that 20 days later on the 22nd December he would pass away. Love you dad, always in our hearts xxxxxx

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Junior doctors’ strike called off but disruption still widespread

A survey of NHS trusts shows 600 operations and 3,500 outpatient appointments have been cancelled despite temporary agreement

Thousands of patients have had their operations and appointments cancelled despite a strike by junior doctors being called off. A temporary agreement reached on Monday night between the government, the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS employers means three days of strikes will now no longer go ahead as long as a final settlement can be agreed. There has already been mass disruption to the NHS, with thousands of patients unable to undergo operations or attend appointments on Tuesday alone.

A survey of almost 20 NHS trusts by the Press Association has revealed around 600 operations and procedures cancelled alongside around 3,500 outpatient appointments. This represents less than a fifth of the trusts across England.

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Dementia assistance cards

This is the interview Caron Sprake did last week for her local BBC TV station about the Dementia assistance cards. These are FREE to download and if you need help making some, please contact

Filed under: Dementia,

Court finds Benefits Cap unlawfully discriminates against disabled people’s carers

The High Court has today ruled that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has unjustifiably indirectly discriminated against unpaid carers for disabled family members by failing to exempt them from the Benefits Cap. The Court upheld the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s submission that carers’ Article 14 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights had been contravened by not considering the impact on disabled people.

Commenting in response to this ruling, Rebecca Hilsenrath, CEO at the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

“We are pleased that the court has found the impact on disabled people of losing a family carer had not been properly considered. The effect could be profound and the loss of a trusted carer devastating.”

“The substantial reduction of income could jeopardise the ability of those affected to continue to care for severely disabled relatives. The court noted that the Secretary of State did not provide any information to Parliament about the effect on disabled people if their family carer were unable to continue.”

“The court also held that, rather than saving public money, it would cost considerably more for the care to be provided by local authorities or the NHS.”

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Filed under: Care Homes, Disabilities, ,

Babies born in NHS hospitals at weekends ‘have lower survival rate’

Babies born at weekends in NHS hospitals are more likely to die in the first week of life than those delivered on weekdays, new research suggests.

Experts estimated 770 more babies die annually and 470 more infections occur among new mothers than would happen if performance was consistent across the week. The findings, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), were based on a study of 1.3 million births in England between April 2010 and March 2012. The death rate among babies was 7.3 per 1,000 delivered at weekends – 0.9 higher than for weekdays. However, there was no consistent link between death rates and staffing level.

Nevertheless, the study is likely to feed the debate over the state of weekend NHS services. A separate study published in the BMJ in September showed that around 11,000 more people die every year within 30 days of admission to hospital on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday compared with other days of the week. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt used those figures as part of his drive to create a seven-day NHS.

The latest results showed that “babies born at the weekend had an increased risk of being stillborn or dying in hospital within the first seven days”, researchers from Imperial College London said.

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Poor hospital care blamed for thousands of deaths from sepsis every year: Nearly half of patients die or end up disabled because cases are diagnosed late

  • Condition affects estimated 200,000 people a year in UK and kills 37,000
  • Sepsis occurs when bacterial infection sparks violent immune response
  •  Early signs of condition include fever, inflammation and blood clotting
  •  But warnings are often missed by doctors and can lead to heart failure

Basic failings in hospital care are contributing to thousands of deaths from sepsis every year, according to a damning report. Known as the ‘silent killer’, the condition affects an estimated 200,000 people a year in Britain and kills 37,000 – more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. Early signs of sepsis – which usually occurs when a bacterial infection sparks a violent immune response in which the body attacks its own organs – include fever, inflammation and blood clotting. But these warnings are often missed by doctors and, if not recognised quickly, can lead to failure of the heart, liver, kidneys or lungs. It is the leading cause of avoidable death in the UK.

An audit, conducted by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death, found that there were delays in diagnosing sepsis in 36 per cent of cases, rising to 52 per cent in severe cases.  Even when the condition was suspected, treatment to bring it under control was not always given quickly. The report found that a third of hospitals had no formal protocol for tackling the problem and that 45 per cent of patients admitted with sepsis either died or suffered a major disability.

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Filed under: Hospital, , ,

Nine in 10 GPs fear missing symptoms due to workload – survey

One in 10 say they feel so overworked and disillusioned that they will quit in the next year, and 97% say morale has worsened

Nine out of 10 GP’s fear they will miss a vital clue about a patient’s illness during a consultation because they are so busy, a poll of family doctors reveals. And one in 10 say they feel so overworked and disillusioned with the rising demand for care, endless paperwork and the push for seven-day GP services that they will quit in the next year.

The findings, contained in a poll of 504 GPs from across the UK undertaken last month by ComRes on behalf of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), underline the growing doubts about the government’s pledge to increase the number of family doctors in England by 5,000 by 2020. The survey found that 88% of respondents worried about missing something serious during an appointment with a patient because of their workload.

“It is OK now and again to have a really busy day, but at the moment in general practice it’s relentless, and that is a threat to our own health and our patients’ safety,” said Dr Maureen Baker, the chair of the RCGP. “Tired GPs are more likely to make mistakes, be it missing a potential symptom or making a paperwork error, and the results of our survey today show that this is a very real concern for a huge number of family doctors. “Demand on general practice is increasing and the resources and workforce available to us are so lacking that individual GPs are currently seeing too many patients a day to be safe. And then at the end of a long day in clinic, we will still have a mountain of paperwork to get through.”

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Filed under: GP's, , ,

2,300 assaults on West Midlands NHS staff in a year

There have been more than 2,300 physical assaults on NHS staff in the West Midlands in the last year.

Nationally, there were 67,864 attacks throughout in 2014/15. The figures have been released by NHS Protect and show that many of the attacks were the result of ‘medical factors’ – by people who did not know what they were doing due to illness, treatment or severe learning disability. The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs New Cross, reported a total of 102 violent incidents.

Of those assaults, 77 were the result of medical factors and 25 were without. There were 340 assaults at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, 306 with medical factors and 34 without.

Toby Lewis, chief executive said: “We actively encourage staff to report all incidents of physical assault so that we can put measures in place to address safety and security.”

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Filed under: Mental Health, NHS, ,

Raid on health department funds to pay for frontline NHS services by Sarah Neville, Public Policy Editor –


As negotiations continued this week over the settlement for health, government insiders argued that the “ring fence”, which ensures spending on the health service rises at least at the rate of inflation, applied to the NHS but not to other areas of health department spending. The move raises the prospect of cuts to areas of expenditure such as public health, nurses’ and doctors’ education and capital for maintaining and expanding NHS infrastructure. However, it would allow George Osborne to argue that he was putting money into frontline services as he implements a promise to give the service an additional £8bn a year by 2020.

Total department of health spending in England in 2014-15 stood at £113bn, compared with the NHS England budget of £98bn. That leaves £15bn outside the ring fence: £11bn of revenue funding, with public health and clinical training consuming the lion’s share; and £4bn of capital. This unprotected expenditure could be put into frontline services run by NHS England.

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Raid on health department funds to pay for frontline NHS services



Funds for areas such as public health and nurses’ training look set to be raided for money to pour into frontline NHS services in next week’s spending review.

Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS whistleblower fears patients will die as he leaks image of suffering patients

Ambulance worker Martin Jackson turned whistleblower to hand over a shocking picture of seriously ill people queuing on stretchers to be checked in at A&E

A NHS whistleblower fears ­patients will DIE in corridors due to the crisis in hospital. The warning from ambulance ­worker Martin Jackson came as he ­handed over this shocking picture of seriously ill patients on stretchers queuing to be checked in at A&E.

He said they waited for two hours. The hospital denied it was that long. The photo was taken at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington which opened in June and has been described as a “vision for the NHS”. But Mr Jackson, 51, said: “It’s only a ­matter of time before a patient dies on a stretcher waiting to be seen, the Sunday People reports.

He said centralising A&E care for serious illness and injury in such ­“super” hospitals at the expense of other NHS units was not good for patient care. He believed it meant longer travel time for patients and waits for ­ambulance crews.

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Worries: Martin Jackson fears a patient will die on a stretcher

Filed under: A&E, Whistleblowing, , , ,

Michael Parkinson warns that visiting some care homes dealing with dementia patients is ‘like going back to Victorian times’

  • Veteran broadcaster’s mother died with dementia at the age of 96
  • He has now warned others about conditions in some care homes
  • Sir Michael says people caring for relatives not to be afraid to complain

Sir Michael Parkinson has urged those looking after people with dementia to check care homes very carefully. He has likened the ‘appalling standards’ he saw after his own mother’s battle with dementia as ‘like going back to the Victorian times and bedlam.’ The veteran broadcaster and former chat show host has urged people caring for relatives with dementia not to be afraid to ask difficult questions or complain if they are worried about the standard of care their loved ones are receiving.

He said: ‘You should be very careful – if you can be and you have a choice – about where you send them. And keep your eye out and don’t be frightened of complaining. Ask what’s happening, what’s going on, because sometimes the care is not sufficient, I have to say.’  Sir Michael’s mother Freda Rose died with dementia at the age of 96 after battling the condition for several years. He has spoken movingly about the pain of watching his ‘sharp and articulate’ mother become ‘a total stranger.’ He said that Freda, who was cared for in several homes of varying standards while she was ill, hated being patronised or shouted at despite not being deaf.

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Filed under: Care Homes, Dementia, Elderly, , ,

NHS mandate consultation expires in two days but critics argue Department of Health kept it ‘quiet’

There is only two days left to share your views on the NHS mandate consultation, which will set the objectives and budget of the health service in England for the next five years. Critics have accused the Department of Health of keeping the consultation “quiet” and only giving members of the public a month to reply to a “pretty important” document, published on the Government’s website on 29 October.

The deadline for the consultation is 23 November and a new mandate will be published after the completion of the spending review due to take effect from April 2016. The consultation is made of five questions and asks members of the public if they agree with the mandate, its priorities and objectives, and if they think NHS England should consider anything else.

On Friday, the Department of Health said it enlarged the size of its inbox after it overloaded with answers to the consultation following a Guardian article

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Filed under: NHS

Up to 600 stillborn babies a year ‘are dying needlessly because of blunders by doctors and midwives’

  • Doctors and midwives accused of failing to intervene when babies become distressed in the womb
  • Inquiry was commissioned by the Department of Health and conducted by Oxford University
  • Comes as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt launches drive to halve the number of stillbirths and deaths among new babies and mothers
  • UK had one of the highest rates of stillbirth in Europe in 2013

A confidential inquiry commissioned by the Department of Health is set to reveal that the lives of half of all stillborn babies could be saved every year in the UK. The report accuses doctors and midwives of failing to intervene in enough cases when the fetus is distressed in the womb, resulting in 600 avoidable deaths every year.

Approximately 1,200 babies are stillborn every year, but the inquiry conducted by Oxford University is expected to reveal that in many cases the deaths could have been prevented by closer monitoring and intervention to deliver the baby before the complications became serious. It is not the first time research has shown that the deaths of some full-term babies could be avoided, something campaigners have been keen to highlight for years.

Janet Scott, research and prevention head at Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, said: ‘If you knew that there were hundreds of avoidable deaths from some particular cause among infants or children or even adults, people would take that very seriously and that would be addressed. ‘It is mystifying that this doesn’t apply to this group of babies. ‘Very often, the things that go wrong are due to failure to identify risk during pregnancy and failure to act on a risk that has been identified.’

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Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

Hunt condemns junior doctors’ ‘extreme’ three-day strike proposal

Ballot expected to approve industrial action with warnings from NHS bosses of serious disruption at busy time

Jeremy Hunt has condemned what he described as “extreme action” after the British Medical Association (BMA) said junior doctors would take strike action on three days in December. The health secretary is gearing up for a fierce battle with the profession, despite NHS bosses and leaders of the medical profession warning him that a protracted dispute will seriously disrupt services just when they are under the most pressure.

The BMA said junior doctors would walk out on 1, 8 and 16 December over a new contract Hunt is threatening to impose on them if, as expected, their ongoing ballot approves industrial action. “Threatening extreme action is totally unwarranted and will harm vulnerable patients. Refusing to talk to a government that wants to improve weekend care for patients and reduce doctors’ hours can only damage the NHS,” said Hunt on Thursday.

Junior doctors, 20,000 of whom staged a protest march in London last month, are furious that the proposed new contract will hugely extend the hours in any week for which they are paid basic rates of pay from the current finish-time of 7pm on weekdays to 10pm and, crucially, will also include Saturday up until teatime for the first time. They are also worried that safeguards that stop hospitals forcing them to work dangerously long hours, and the current banding system which dictates how much they are paid, especially in overtime, will both disappear.

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Oxfordshire health watchdog reports ‘shocking cases’ dignity care report

“Shocking” cases of patients not being treated with dignity in care have been uncovered by a health watchdog.

Healthwatch Oxfordshire also highlights staff fears that “workforce pressures” are making it harder for them to deliver acceptable levels of care. Its report, written with Age UK, was based on 161 patients and 57 staff completing questionnaires, as well as six focus groups and 10 case studies. The majority of patients were still treated with dignity, the report added. Patients with communication difficulties and dementia were particularly unhappy with their care.

One patient, who had suffered a stroke, said she was left for hours in her own excrement. She said: “I was sedated and my health needs were neglected.” Another described finding her mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s, “soaked, dirty” and ignored by nurses.

Their report said that, in a small number of cases, their experiences were “shocking”.

‘Much can be improved’

A woman who suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, a condition which causes severe facial pain, said that while she was normally treated with respect, on one occasion she was called “unclean” by a staff member when she was in too much pain to wash. Healthwatch also found people were often reluctant to complain and did not always feel properly involved in decisions about their care. But 93% of patients who responded said they had been treated with dignity or respect “some of the time”, “most of the time” or “always”.

While patients were receiving “a high level of dignity in their care”, Healthwatch chief executive Rachel Coney said there was “still much that can be improved about how people are treated”. The report, written in partnership with charity Age UK, said the county’s care organisations have made commitments to improve. These include drawing up formal dignity standards, reviewing staff training, and involving patients more in decision making.

BBC News


Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly, ,

Stafford Hospital deaths: NHS Trust admits four charges

The NHS trust that ran Stafford Hospital has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in relation to four deaths.

Charges were brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) against the now defunct Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. There were four allegations of health and safety breaches relating to patients who died between October 2005 and May last year. The trust remains in place as a legal entity but was dissolved last November. A new trust began to run the hospital, now called County Hospital, on 1 November 2014.

The HSE said the charges related to the deaths of:

  • Patrick Daly, aged 89, on 13 May 2014
  • Edith Bourne, aged 83, on 22 July 2013
  • Ivy Bunn, aged 90, on 6 November 2008
  • Lillian Tucker, aged, 77 on 21 October 2005

The court heard three of the deaths occurred after falls, while another happened after a patient was given penicillin despite hospital staff being told she was allergic to the antibiotic.

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Filed under: Hospital, , ,

Jack Adcock trial: Nurse guilty of six-year old’s manslaughter

A nurse has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a six-year-old boy whose resuscitation was mistakenly called off.

Jack Adcock, who had Down’s syndrome, died of a cardiac arrest at Leicester Royal Infirmary in February 2011. Portuguese-born agency nurse Isabel Amaro, 47, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence. The jury is deliberating on the same charge for two other medics – Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba and nurse Theresa Taylor.

Jack, who had a heart condition, was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and died from a cardiac arrest after sepsis was triggered by a bacterial infection about 11 hours later. The trial has heard the boy’s death was caused by “serious neglect on the part of the doctor and the two nurses”. They failed to recognise his body was “shutting down” due to sepsis and close to death, the prosecution claimed.

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Jack Adcock

Filed under: Hospital, Named & Shamed, ,

How trust made secret 111 plan to hit all-important NHS targets

The deaths of up to 25 patients have come under investigation, after whistleblower reveals extent of policy that delayed help for seriously ill patients

In December last year, South East Coast Ambulance trust was facing major problems. Key NHS targets – to send an ambulance out within eight minutes for all cases designated as “life-threatening” were slipping far out of reach, with too few crews to send out to meet growing pressures as winter drew in. The creation of the controversial 111 phone line was supposed to ease demand for ambulances, making sure those with more minor needs could get help without an ambulance being dispatched.

Instead, the phoneline was adding to pressures on services, with fears that “risk averse” call handling were too often sending out ambulances. And so a plan was hatched. Behind closed doors, senior managers at the ambulance trust devised their own protocols. Any “life-threatening” calls which were sent their way would no longer get an automatic ambulance response.

Those which had been categorised as “Red 2”– life-threatening, but not the most immediately time-sensitive – would be allowed an extra ten minute delay, while the 999 service “re-triaged” them to decide on the best response. Such cases would still be counted as hitting the all-important NHS targets, implying that a response had still been received within eight minutes.

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EYF3DT South East Coast Ambulance Service Mercedes Ambulance in Eastbourne East Sussex UK with Stroke Act Fast sign attached blue light


Filed under: Whistleblowing, , ,

What a new government could do to improve our failing NHS – By Will Powell

With the General Election less than a month away, Will Powell asks what steps a new government could take to address the current faults within the NHS.

1.  Ensure that there is openness and transparency both in the providing of healthcare and how the NHS is being financially run.

2.  Ensure that all Managers and Chief Executives have the skill and expertise to provide the services they are being paid to provide. If not, either retrain them or terminate their employment. Everyone employed by the NHS should be a fit and proper person with integrity.

3.  Ensure that all doctors and nurses have the skill and expertise to provide the services they are being paid to provide. If not, either retrain them or terminate their employment.

4.  Ensure that any doctor, nurse or healthcare professional that is dishonest about mistakes are forthwith suspended, without pay, and referred to their regulatory body.

5.    Encourage the culling of exorbitant payment to lawyers defending indefensible medical errors.  Admit liability immediately as and when appropriate.

6.  Ensure that all failures in the providing of healthcare are identified and learned from to prevent repetition.

7.  Ensure that all complaints are robustly and independently investigated by first taking a statement of truth from the complainant. If appropriate apologise to the complainant and reassure them that all will be done to remedy any damage caused. Outlaw discrimination against the complainant and welcome complaints to improve NHS services.

8.  Introduce a mechanism that secures original/photocopies of the relevant medical records immediately following an adverse event.

9.  Appoint a Whistleblowers/Complainants Representative in every hospital, care home and GP practice.

10.  Appoint a Whistleblowers/Complainants Minister at the Department of Health to address any allegations of NHS cover ups.

11.  Ensure that all whistleblowers are protected by law and not discriminated against, or bullied by management, or anyone else for that matter. Any proven discrimination or bullying should result in instant dismissal or disciplinary action.

12.  Secure a statement of truth  from all Whistleblowers and provide the statement to the appointed Whistleblowers’ Minister and Whistleblowers’ Representative. Fully investigate the Whistleblower’s allegations without fear, favour or prejudice.

13.  Ensure that everyone employed by the NHS is held accountable for their actions and/or inactions and in particular when it is detrimental to patient safety issues and/or the financial running of the NHS.

14.  Appreciate and promote the very people within the NHS who best serve the public and their needs and not the wrongdoers as has been the case for far too long.

Will Powell

NHS Adviser for


Will Powell

Filed under: NHS,

Good care homes will be preserve of rich unless more funding given – ITV Report

High quality care will only be available to those who can afford it unless proper funding is offered to pay staff the new national living wage, a charity has warned.

Around half of the country’s care home staff – some 300,000 people – will be eligible for a pay rise when the new minimum rate of £7.20 an hour comes in next April. But a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that this will cost the industry – already struggling beneath the weight of government cost-cutting and an ageing population – an extra £387 million a year. Care homes in areas with a large number of council-funded positions will be put at particular risk, the report warned. Joseph Rowntree Foundation chief executive Julia Unwin said the impact could be “devastating”.

‘The new national living wage is a welcome step towards a higher pay economy with lower need for welfare, and is good news for those working in traditional low-pay sectors, such as care. However, care homes are already under financial pressure and if proper funding is not provided to help with these additional costs, the Government risks creating a two-tier care home system where good care is only available to those who can pay for it. This would be devastating for those who are unable to meet these costs themselves, and would have an impact on the wider economy.

While many local authorities will struggle to meet higher wage costs without further investment, many care providers with self-funded residents will find that their current business plans allow them to absorb the cost.’




Filed under: Care Homes, ,

How an NHS hospital missed my broken back

Britain has become locked into a taxpayer-funded model which is no longer fit for purpose. If we don’t act soon it will be beyond repair

A study last year by the US based think tank, The Commonwealth Fund, found Britain’s NHS to be the best healthcare system in the world, outperforming by some margin other advanced economies that spend far more on health. Other international studies have not been nearly so flattering, but whether a credible assessment or not, my own recent experience of UK health provision does not chime with this starry eyed view of our “precious” value-for-money NHS.

Early last summer, I was stretchered into a London Accident and Emergency unit after being catapulted off my bike and landing at speed on the unforgiving concrete. A few hours later, following a cursory physical examination and a number of X-rays, I was discharged.

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Filed under: A&E, ,

Around 500 GPs are needed to help save a struggling NHS in East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, according to a new report.

There is a warning that a GP crisis – which means ever-increasing waiting times in East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire – is deepening.

New figures have revealed 500 GPs are needed, with the NHS seemingly struggling to fill the void. Now it is having to turn overseas to help fill it. Fiona Dwyer reports:

Click on the link to watch the video report


Filed under: GP's, , ,

NHS neonatal intensive care units ‘stretched to breaking point’

Sick and premature baby charity Bliss says shortage of staff affects two thirds of units, and most work beyond safe capacity

Two thirds of NHS neonatal intensive care units do not have enough nurses and doctors, and a similar number are consistently working at higher than safe capacity, a charity has warned. A growing shortage of specialist nurses and doctors has left neonatal services “stretched to breaking point”, putting the safety of vulnerable babies at risk according to the report from the sick and premature baby charity Bliss.

It argues that without urgent action from the government and NHS England, the gap between the standards expected and the care provided will widen. “The government set out a comprehensive vision for neonatal care in 2009, with the publication of the toolkit for high quality neonatal services,” said Caroline Davey, chief executive of Bliss.  “Six years on and we are falling further behind on critical measures of quality and safety, and the shortfall in funding means units are simply unable to meet these standards.”

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Gosport panel appeals for concerned relatives to come forward

Gosport Independent Panel would like to hear from anyone who is concerned about the treatment of patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital from the 1980s through to the early 2000s.

More than 80 families – concerned at the way in which their loved ones died at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital – have contacted an inquiry examining the way patients were treated there.

An independent investigation into the deaths of 92 elderly people between 1988 and the year 2000 is being chaired by Bishop James Jones – who led the Hillsborough Inquiry. He says more relatives must come forward.

Andrew Pate has spoken exclusively to two sisters, whose mother AND father both died at the hospital within just three years of each other.

Click on the link to read more


The concerns at the hospital date back to the 1980s

Filed under: Hospital, ,

Statins add a mere three days to life

STATINS, the controversial heart drugs, add only three days to a patient’s life, research reveals.

The study contradicts the widely held view that they save lives and last night health experts demanded a radical overhaul in the use of the drugs – which have been linked with severe and debilitating side-effects such as diabetes, muscle pain and cataracts – claiming the research reveals patients have been “misled” over “exaggerated” benefits.

The British Medical Journal, which published the findings, called for a review of prescribing guidelines for statins which are routinely given to up to 12 million patients. Professor Jesper Hallas led the research, which assessed 11 major studies on statins, including patients at lower and high risk of heart disease. It followed patients for up to six years. The research compared patients who took the drugs with those who unknowingly took a placebo. It concluded: “Statin treatment results in a surprisingly small average gain in overall survival within the trials’ running time.”

Statins increased life expectancy by just three days for those people who did not already have a diagnosis of existing heart disease or associated symptoms. Patients who had already suffered a heart attack, stroke or associated symptoms increased their longevity by four days by taking statins.

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

‘I truly hope our loss is not in vain’ – mother of asthma death teenager Tamara Mills

The mum of a teenage girl who died from an asthma attack says she hopes that lessons will be learned from her family’s tragedy

South Tyneside coroner Terence Carney ruled that Tamara Mills’ death was contributed to by a lack of co-ordination between health professionals. The 13-year-old, who lived on the Woodbine Estate, South Shields, died on April 11, last year at South Tyneside District Hospital. She suffered a cardiac arrest after an asthma attack and could not be saved. Mr Carney said at the end of the four-day hearing: “The premature death of this young woman was contributed to by a lack of appreciation, and or reaction to the deteriorating nature of her chronic condition, and to the absence of any planning to direct, monitor, manage and co-ordinate her care.”

After the hearing, Tamara’s mum Dawn Wilson issued a statement through Browell Smith & Co Solicitors.

“I hope that the recommendations made in relation to the treatment of asthma patients in response to Tamara’s death will be implemented to prevent future deaths and other families suffering as we have. I truly hope that our loss has not been in vain”

Click on the link to read more


Tamara Mills

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Leader of NHS junior doctors urges Jeremy Hunt to reopen negotiations

At London protest Dr Johann Malawana tells health secretary to stop lambasting junior medics, in bid to stop BMA strike

The leader of NHS junior doctors in England has urged Jeremy Hunt to stop treating them like “the enemy” and instead reopen negotiations in a bid to stop their threatened strike. Dr Johann Malawana told the health secretary he must stop lambasting junior doctors if he wants to settle a long-running dispute over his threat to introduce new NHS contracts.

“Stop attacking us. We are not the enemy. We are just health professionals who want to have a meaningful discussion. Talk to us, talk to us reasonably. Stop going to the press claiming that we are scaremongering”, said Malawana as he addressed a protest rally in central London attended by many thousands of junior doctors, their families and other health service personnel.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

Whistleblower outed by hospital bosses in cancer drugs cover-up: Health chiefs try to discredit and reveal name of professor

  • Professor revealed patients were needlessly put through chemotherapy
  • Had wished to remain anonymous after disclosing ‘macabre experiment’ 
  • Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust named whistleblower in a statement
  • Tried to discredit him by stating restrictions had been put on his ability to practice

An NHS whistleblower who revealed patients were needlessly put through the agony of chemotherapy has been outed by his bosses. The professor wished to remain anonymous after disclosing the ‘macabre experiment’ carried out by colleagues. But health chiefs tried to discredit him yesterday in a statement described as ‘obscene victimisation’.

The whistleblower had previously been gagged from warning the public about his concerns by bosses at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.  He was also subjected to racist abuse, which became the focus of a criminal investigation. Last night, MPs and campaigners demanded intervention from the Health Secretary. Former colleagues of the whistleblower also contacted the Mail to speak out about his ‘horrendous treatment’.

One said: ‘The whistleblower was one of the most valued members of staff. There has been a witchhunt to silence him. Instead of tarnishing his name they should apologise to the patients.’ The Daily Mail yesterday revealed how 55 patients aged between 49 and 83 were wrongly exposed to chemotherapy by two doctors between 2005 and 2009. The chemotherapy, which was administered against guidelines, was of no medical use to the patients because their type of cancer required different treatment. But it exposed them to horrific and unnecessary side effects including higher risk of fatal infections and lost fertility.

Click on the link to read more


The chemotherapy was administered in defiance of strict guidelines by oncologists Dr Margaret King, and Dr Mark Churn,  to patients with colorectal cancer

Filed under: Whistleblowing, , ,

State of Care 2014/15 – Report from the CQC

England’s health and social care system is under pressure. Changing care needs and tough financial demands have contributed to an environment where higher quality is hard won. But our inspections show that improvement is possible, and we must look to the best to understand what works and why.

Click on the link to read the report


Filed under: NHS, ,

Three-quarters of NHS hospitals inspected need to do more on safety, says CQC

Three-quarters of NHS hospitals in England are not safe enough, inspectors have found.

Some 13% of hospitals are “inadequate” for safety while 61% “require improvement”, according to a study from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The report offers the fullest picture yet of the state of care across England under a new “tougher” inspection regime headed by chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards.

It includes inspections of half of hospitals in the country but the study also found problems with safety at GP practices and nursing homes. A quarter of GP practices or GP out-of-hours services required improvement relating to safety, alongside a third of adult social care services. One in 10 social care facilities visited were ranked the lowest possible rating of “inadequate” for safety.

In hospitals, inspectors found examples of “disregard for patient safety”, including inadequate record-keeping, staff not being trained properly, incomplete safety checks and medicines not being kept properly. There was also “poor management of patients at risk of health complications” and examples of “disregard” for infection control.

The report said: “A major reason for failings in safety is insufficient numbers of staff and use of temporary staff. “This is particularly prevalent in medical care departments, where key safety risks are not always recognised, patient assessments can be poorly carried out and deteriorating patients are not always recognised.” Inspectors also reported “intense concern” about all places of care that were regarded as inadequate.

Click on the link to read more

Some 13% of hospitals are 'inadequate' for safety, according to a study from the Care Quality Commission

Some 13% of hospitals are ‘inadequate’ for safety, according to a study from the Care Quality Commission

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

NHS ‘backtracking’ on ward nurse numbers introduced after Mid Staffs

Critics fear safety will be sacrificed to cut costs after NHS bosses tell hospitals that 1:8 nurse-to-patient ratio is a guide, not a requirement

The NHS has been accused of backtracking on improvements in patient safety made after the Mid Staffs scandal by reducing the number of nurses on wards because of its growing financial crisis. NHS bosses have told hospitals they no longer have to ensure that one nurse is caring for no more than eight patients at a time, in order to help tackle a £2bn black hole that has left 80% of hospitals facing deficits of up to £100m each.

The letter states: “We would stress that a 1:8 ratio is a guide not a requirement. It should not be unthinkingly adhered to. Achieving the right number and balance of clinical and support staff to deliver quality care based on patient needs in an efficient way that makes the best possible use of available resources is the key issue for provider [hospital] boards.”

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS agency staff cap ‘to save £1bn’

Ministers have set out details of how they aim to save the NHS £1bn on agency staff costs over the next three years.

In June, the government in England said agency spending was to be capped and it has now unveiled details of how that will work. From April, NHS trusts will not be able to pay more than 55% more to agencies than it costs to pay a member of staff for a shift. It comes amid mounting pressure on NHS finances.

Figures released last week showed trusts had overspent by £930m in the last three months – with agency spending highlighted as one of the biggest factors. Ministers believe the move will save £1bn by April 2018 – the equivalent of shaving 10% from the £3.3bn annual agency bill.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

How private healthcare patients are denied operations that are free on the NHS

  • Michelle Booth, 47, from Basingstoke slipped on oil and needed help
  • Should have been a straightforward claim on her private medical insurance
  • She has been waiting for 19 month after a series of absurd events 
  • Former healthcare assistant could have had treatment for free on the NHS

The instant she slipped on a patch of oil at the petrol station last year, Michelle Booth knew she’d need medical help. She’d already had surgery on the same knee a year earlier to repair damage caused by arthritis. But after her fall, the pain came roaring back.

Using health insurance through her husband Mark’s work, the 47-year-old mother and former healthcare assistant went to see a private knee specialist, who told her the fall had caused further damage and she needed surgery.

However, what should have been a straightforward claim on her private medical insurance turned into an absurd series of events which have left her, 19 months on, still waiting for treatment she could have had free on the NHS.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

Mental health time bomb warning as NHS ‘turns children away’

Mental health services are turning away one in five children who are referred to them for treatment, including youngsters who have been abused and neglected, a charity has found.

Mental health services are turning away one in five children who are referred to them for treatment, including youngsters who have been abused and neglected, a charity has found. The NSPCC warned of a “time bomb” of serious mental health conditions after it emerged that more than a fifth of children referred to NHS services for treatment for mental health issues were rejected.

Figures from 35 mental health trusts in England revealed that of 186,453 cases referred to them by family doctors and other professionals, 39,652 did not receive help. In six trusts where children who had problems associated with abuse or neglect were referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), 305 of the 1,843 cases were rejected – one in six.

The NSPCC said the lack of support for such children could lead to serious long-term mental health problems as young people are not getting the help they need early on.

Peter Wanless, the charity’s chief executive, said: “If children don’t receive the right kind of help and support following a disclosure, the damage can last a lifetime and include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or suicidal thoughts in adulthood.” Abused and neglected children were often denied treatment because their cases did not meet the “high clinical threshold” required at a CAMHS, the NSPCC said.

Click on the link to read more


Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive

Filed under: Mental Health, , , ,

Incredible animation shows EXACTLY how a woman’s body adjusts to give birth – as experts reveal just how much it hurts

  • Everyone knows that childbirth hurts, but how bad will the pain get? 
  • What happens in the delivery room – and what pain relief is available?
  • Here leading experts reveal the truth – and it may not be as bad as you fear 

It is the most natural thing in the world – a mother giving birth to her child. Millions of women across the world deliver their babies into the world each year, soon forgetting the agonising pain as soon as their tiny bundle of joy is placed in their arms. Babies can enter the world one of two ways, via a vaginal birth or Caesarean section.  In the case of a vaginal birth, a woman’s body adapts stretching and expanding where necessary to allow the baby to arrive safely into the world.

Now, a video animation reveals exactly how a woman’s body adjusts during childbirth.  Regular contractions signal the start of the process, occurring as the cervix dilates to accommodate birth.

Click on the link to read and watch the video


Filed under: Uncategorized,

Doctors ‘failed to spot’ Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey had fallen ill again

Toni Cafferkey says it was “absolutely diabolical” the way her sister was treated

The family of nurse Pauline Cafferkey have claimed doctors “missed a big opportunity” to spot she had fallen ill with Ebola again when she was told she had a virus when she attended a clinic. Toni Cafferkey said it was “absolutely diabolical” the way her sister, who originally contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone last year, had been treated.

Pauline Cafferkey, 39, was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on Tuesday after feeling unwell. She has since been flown to the Royal Free Hospital in London where she is being treated in an isolation unit. Toni Cafferkey told the Sunday Mail that her sister had gone to a GP out-of-hours clinic at the Victoria Hospital in Glasgow on Monday night but the doctor who assessed her diagnosed a virus and sent her home.

She said: “At that point me and my family believe they missed a big opportunity to give the right diagnosis and we feel she was let down. “Instead of being taken into hospital, she spent the whole of Tuesday very ill.

Click here to read more


Pauline Cafferkey, 39

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

The Dementia Assistance Card

Who is behind this service? 

Caron Sprake. An award winning blogger, her blog offers advice and information for anyone caring for the elderly.
Caron is a Purple Angel Ambassador working in the UK to raise awareness about Dementia.

The dementia assistance card provides a clear and concise way for someone with dementia to ask for help in shops, restaurants etc and shows the contact number of a relative or friend in the case of an emergency.  The Dementia Assistance Card

Click on the link below to create and print the assistance card



Filed under: Dementia, , ,

UK end-of-life care ‘best in world’ Get in touch with the BBC to air your views

Now’s your chance to air your views….From the BBC… Has a family member or a friend of yours experienced end-of-life care in the UK? Let us know about their experiences. Email
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971
Send pictures/video to
Upload your pictures / video here
Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100

The study of 80 countries said thanks to the NHS and hospice movement the care provided was “second to none”. Rich nations tended to perform the best – with Australia and New Zealand ranked second and third respectively. But the report by the Economist Intelligence Unit praised progress made in some of the poorest countries. For example. Mongolia – ranked 28th – has invested in hospice facilities, while Uganda – 35th – has managed to improve access to pain control through a public-private partnership.

The rankings were worked out following assessments for the quality of the hospitals and hospice environments, staffing numbers and skills, affordability of care and quality of care. Just 34 out of 80 countries provided what could be classed as good end-of-life care – and these accounted for just 15% of the adult population.

The report said the quality of end-of-life care was becoming increasingly important with the ageing population, meaning people were increasingly facing “drawn-out” deaths. The UK received top marks for affordability – as would be expected for a service that is provided free at the point of need – but also got a perfect score for quality of care.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS,

Junior doctors – ‘no one understands the level of responsibility we have’

From listening to suicidal patients to looking after the sickest children in the UK, junior doctors are the backbone of the NHS

I am a 45-year-old mother of four – my youngest has cystic fibrosis. I graduated from medical school in 2010 – since then I’ve had two children in my 40s – and am currently an anaesthetics trainee with at least six years of training left. I live in Bristol and commute daily to Abergavenny in Wales, which is 75 minutes each way. Every day sees me getting up at 5.45am to get the children ready. I start work at 7.45am by seeing patients due to have an operation that day. I work supervised by a consultant, putting patients under anaesthetic and managing their airway and vitals while they are asleep. I also provide on-call services, seeing the sickest patients in the hospital. I admit them to the intensive care unit, provide pain relief, attend cardiac arrests and much more.

No one understands the level of responsibility junior doctors have; we are the backbone of doctors, providing care 24/7. Once I was managing five critically unwell patients in resus overnight as an acute medicine doctor. I needed to make quick life or death decisions, stay calm and focused in the middle of the night.

We sacrifice family time and our own welfare to care for others. In addition, we must work in our own time on mandatory exams, courses, publications, audits and much more. Though I work in Wales, which has rejected the junior doctors’ contract, my 43-year-old junior doctor husband works in England. The proposed pay cut means that one or both of us may be forced to find different work to pay the bills. Our family debt exceeds £80,000. The future looks very bleak indeed and I’m worried.

Every time I leave my children and go six days without seeing my husband or older daughters, or when I miss school events and find providing care for my child with cystic fibrosis a challenge, I consider leaving the medical profession. I care for patients sometimes at the expense of my family and that saddens me. This is why we cannot be pushed any further, it is not worth the cost. To say we lack vocation, altruism and professionalism is a deep and painful insult.

Sethina Watson, CT2 ACCS anaesthetics trainee, Wales

Click on the link to read more stories of these young dedicated health professionals


Filed under: NHS, , , ,

Wrong foot in the grave – EXCLUSIVE: Family kiss ‘dead mum’ goodbye… but she’s alive in ward next door

A DAUGHTER kissed her mum goodbye after being told she had died — then found seven hours later it was the wrong body.

Grieving Liz Page, 61, and husband Gerry, 72, were too upset to notice the hospital blunder when they were ushered into a cubicle. Liz said: “I couldn’t believe it. I was angry and delighted at the same time.” She added: “They said, ‘We’re very sorry, your mother’s not dead, she’s on another part of the ward.’ “They said the woman who died had a similar name and they pulled out the wrong file.”

A brain scan revealed some bleeding and Phyllis was put on oxygen. Liz and hubby Gerry spent the evening at her bedside before returning to their home nearby. Liz recalled: “I didn’t sleep very well and at about 4.50am I had a phone call from the hospital. “They said they were sorry to say my mum had passed away and asked if I wanted to see her. It was news I was expecting to hear.

“A nurse showed us into the cubicle. We were there about three or four minutes I suppose. “I just said, ‘Goodbye’ and kissed her forehead and came out.

Click on the ink to read more


Shock … Liz Page with mum Phyllis Lilley

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Mother who released this desperately poignant picture of daughter who hospital insisted was stillborn launches drive for coroners to probe every full-term baby’s death in… Clara’s law

  • A study showed Britain has the highest stillbirth rate among 35 rich nations
  • Some 3,300 babies are stillborn each year, 1,000 of which are full term
  • Parents believe hospitals can falsify records to avoid damaging inquests 
  • Caroline Tully, whose daughter Clara was still born wants inquests for all 

Babies are dying needlessly in labour because stillbirths are not being properly investigated, campaigners claim. And hospitals are failing to learn vital lessons from the ‘catastrophic’ deaths, say experts.

Britain has the third highest rate of stillbirth among 35 rich nations, according to a study in The Lancet, with around 3,300 a year. Some 1,000 are at full term. Currently hospitals investigate stillbirths themselves – even if the baby dies just minutes before delivery. But parents say they can falsely record babies as stillborn to avoid potentially damaging inquests. Bereaved parents, legal experts and MPs last night said stillbirths occurring at delivery had to be reported to a coroner if future deaths were to be avoided.

Caroline Tully, who fought for an inquest after being told her daughter Clara was stillborn, said: ‘It doesn’t seem right that a full-term baby can be alive one minute, then die in labour, and there’s no external investigation.’ She wants a ‘Clara’s Law’ to make it a legal requirement for all deaths of full-term babies in labour to be reported to the coroner.

Click on the link to read more


Clara Tully-Hardman - daughter of Caroline Tully who was still born after a blunder at Warwickshire hospital. ***INTERNET IMAGE TAKEN FROM***

Caroline Tully fought for an inquest for her daughter, Clara, pictured, who was stillborn


Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Ministers ‘are hiding details of £2bn NHS cash crisis’

Tories accused of burying bad news with delayed figures on health service finances expected to show huge deficit

Government ministers have buried NHS statistics that show the service hurtling towards an unprecedented £2bn deficit to avoid overshadowing the Tory party conference, say top NHS officials. One senior figure at the health service regulator Monitor said his organisation had been “leaned on” by Whitehall to delay its report, which shows that NHS finances are worsening.

Neither Monitor’s quarterly report on how the NHS is faring, nor equivalent data from the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA), have been published, as they usually are around the time of the organisations’ board meetings last month. Hospital trusts passed their information to the two regulators two months ago.

NHS insiders said it was “very, very odd” and significant that, in a departure from its usual practice, Monitor discussed the financial and treatment waiting time performance of the 152 foundation trusts it regulates in the private – rather than the public – session of its board meeting last Wednesday.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, , ,

Can You Help?

I found this page while looking on internet for help.
My dad is dying he has been in hospital for several weeks 1st they said kidney failure then too much potassium he had to have his blood filtered and cleaned(very poorly ICU 4days) on the mend then breathing became bad so they said its his lungs..then we were told he has heart failure. My dad then got so much better 3 days was great and thought he was coming home. Over night he went so bad again. Consultants told my mum there is nothing they can do but make him comfortable. They said not to give dialysis as he may have heart attack. I am seeing the consultant Monday for the 1st time and would really appreciate if anyone can help me with what questions I should ask. I am going to demand dialysis I cannot allow my dad to just rot and die without trying treatment. I would rather him die trying than to die with no hope. If he has a heart attack while having dialysis then at least its quicker than what he is going through now. People with some knowledge of my situation may be able to give advise to bombard consultant and back him in a corner so he cant wriggle out of agreeing to dialysis for my dad. Im not ready to lose my dad yet not without a fight.

Kindest regards

Karen Read

Please comment


Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Why GPs are quitting in droves: They get six-figure salaries and don’t have to work weekends or nights. Yet so many GPs are giving up it’s never been harder to see one. This major series examines the (very) disturbing reasons why

  • Figures reveal 10.2 per cent of full-time GP positions across UK are vacant
  • Only 61 per cent of vacancies can even be temporarily filled by locum staff
  • Ever-growing numbers of GPs are also choosing to take early retirement
  • In total 5,114 GPs have retired in England alone in the past three years 

There is a picture-postcard quality to Frinton-on-Sea, with its golden sands, Victorian-style beach huts and famous esplanade, where crowds of day-trippers spend the summer months laying out picnic blankets and licking ice creams. The genteel Essex town (population 5,500) has a station, six schools, seven churches, 27 restaurants and cafes and, to the delight of many residents of its comfortable retirement chalets, the UK’s 11th best golf club. Yet something has recently been missing — something very important. Because for most of the past year, Frinton has not had a single full-time GP.

There are more than 8,000 men, women and children registered at the Caradoc Surgery, the only NHS facility in town. Yet when the Daily Mail visited last month, there were no qualified doctors on its staff. That is because the last permanent family doctor still practising in Frinton took early retirement last year. Patients were left in the hands of a rolling cast of locums — or temporary GPs — shipped in to work on a shift basis. They therefore found it almost impossible to see the same doctor more than once.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: GP's, , ,

A national framework for local action on end-of-life care By Prof Bee Wee

Great strides have been made to recognise palliative and end-of-life care as an important area of healthcare, but more needs to be done. Here, Prof Bee Wee sheds some light on a new framework to make a big difference to people’s final days.

The primary purpose of the NHS – and the primary motivation of all health and care professionals for joining the NHS family – is to save, prolong and improve lives. But however hard we work and however skilfully we perform our duties, and however advanced the prevention, identification, treatment and care options available to us become, every life comes to an end. It’s therefore crucial that meeting the distinct needs of people who are reaching the end of their lives is a priority across the health and social care system, and for the professionals who work within it.

We’ve made great strides in the past in recognising palliative and end-of-life care as an important area of healthcare in its own right. Improving the experience of patients and their loved ones has also, quite rightly, been a consistent focus of campaigners, clinical leaders and politicians, leading to important pieces of work such as the 2008 national strategy for end-of-life care, and the 2011 NICE quality standard for end-of-life care.

But nobody would argue that we’re there yet. While a recent Office for National Statistics report found that 75 per cent of bereaved people rate the overall quality of end-of-life care for their relative as good or better, we know that there is much more we need to do, and particularly as there remains significant variation and inequity in the way care is provided and experienced.

Click on the link to read more

Click on the link to download the document ‘Ambitions for palliative and end-of-life-care’


Filed under: NHS

The tragic cost of NHS out-of-hours hotline’s descent into meltdown: Two babies died after parents were given wrong advice – as investigation finds ONE nurse on duty for 2 million people

  • Investigation reveals NHS out-of-hours hotline is in meltdown in part of UK
  • Staff shortages mean those with just three weeks training are overwhelmed
  • Hotline has missed answering targets for seven months, affecting 500,000
  • Two babies died after staff failed to recommend treatment to save them
  •  Up to 75 per cent of calls can go unanswered at busy times, research finds

The NHS out-of-hours hotline is in meltdown in parts of Britain, a Daily Mail investigation reveals today. Chronic staff shortages mean call centre staff with just three weeks of training are being overwhelmed. Lacking medical qualifications, they must follow on-screen computer prompts that often lead to a referral to a nurse. But so few nurses are on standby that at times there is only one to serve as many as 2.3million people.

The hotline, which replaced NHS Direct and deals with urgent cases, has missed its call-answering targets for the past seven months. Half a million patients were unable to speak to anyone at all during this time.

Evidence obtained by the Mail, including shocking testimony from an NHS whistleblower, reveals that:

  • A tick-box computer culture means call centre workers can miss vital symptoms;
  • Two babies died after staff failed to recommend treatment that could have saved them;
  • Up to 75 per cent of calls can go unanswered at busy times, with one case of an 11-hour wait for a call back;
  • Nurses have been told to prioritise routine calls over advising on serious cases so they can hit targets;
  • 111 staff believe the service is ‘completely unsafe’.

Click on the link to read more and watch the video


Former NHS 111 worker and whistleblower Irsah Tahir, 21 has waived her anonymity to raise her grave concerns

Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, , ,

Injured RAF sergeant moved from A&E waiting room over fears uniform might cause upset

An RAF airman was moved out of a hospital waiting room because staff feared his uniform may “upset” other patients, it has been reported.

According to the Sun, aircraft engineer Mark Prendeville, was taken to A&E at Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, after chemicals from a fire extinguisher got in to his eyes during a training exercise.

The 38-year-old, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was taken to an empty corner of the waiting room before being moved behind a corner by hospital staff, the newspaper said.

His family was allegedly told by hospital workers that “they didn’t want to upset people” as they “have lots of different cultures coming in”.

Click on the link to read more


Mark Prendeville served in Iraq and Afghanistan

Filed under: A&E, NHS, , ,

Hospitals Have ‘No Plan’ For Seven-Day Services – Sky News investigation

Four out of five hospital trusts tell Sky they are still unsure over the costs and extra staffing needed to boost weekend care.

Most hospitals still have no idea how they are going to introduce comprehensive weekend care for patients despite months of political pressure, according to a Sky News investigation.

Freedom of Information requests show four out of five hospital trusts in England have not calculated the number of consultants they need, nor the likely cost of extending weekday services. The few trusts that have done the maths expect costs to run to several million pounds, piling more money worries on those already in deep deficit.

NHS England set out a plan two years ago to “drive seven day services across the NHS” and the Prime Minister said last May that it was a key priority for the Government. But our findings suggest that sense of urgency has yet to reach hospitals.

Dr Paul Flynn, chair of the British Medical Association’s consultants’ committee, told Sky News that hospitals are still confused over what services they have to provide and daunted by the likely costs.

Click on the link to read more and watch the video’s


Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Joanna Gosling interviews Sharmila Chowdhury (NHS Whistleblower) on the BBC Victoria Derbyshire Show, 24 Sept 2015

Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, ,

‘My son shouldn’t have died!’ Mother hits out at mental health trust over suicide risks



A mental health trust where two men were found hanged this year had failed to act adequately on recommendations going back a decade on how to minimise suicide risks to patients.

Seven in-patients have now died by hanging at the North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust since 2004, including the two in the first half of this year. The Bureau, which is investigating quality of provision in the care sector, has discovered that internal recommendations made after the first of these deaths were not adopted.

In the years since then, six more people have died and at least three other separate warnings and recommendations were issued, both from the healthcare regulator and internally. But when the Care Quality Commission regulator, carried out an unannounced inspection following a death in February this year, it found the risks had still not been fully addressed.

The recommendations focused on the issue of ligature points, such as on doors, windows and wardrobes. Most in-patient suicides on psychiatric wards occur as a result of hanging from these points.

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Melanie Leahy and son Matthew in 2010, two years before his death

Filed under: Mental Health, NHS, ,

Probe launched into first C difficile increase in eight years – By Will Hazell for Nursing Times.Net

The public health watchdog has launched an investigation after the number of Clostridium difficile incidents in the English NHS rose last year for the first time since 2007.

Public Health England said it was concerned by the increase in cases of the bacterial infection, which can lead to life threatening complications in some infected patients.  According to data in this month’s NHS England board papers, 2014-15 saw a 6% increase in cases of C difficile compared to the previous year.

Between April 2014 and  March this year, 14,165 cases were reported across the NHS, compared to 13,361 in 2013-14. This is the first annual rise since enhanced mandatory surveillance of the infection was introduced in 2007 as part of a major campaign by the Labour government against hospital bugs”.

Alan Johnson, head of PHE’s department of healthcare associated infection and antibiotic resistance, said the increase in cases of C difficile was “a concern”. However, he said it was too early to tell whether it was “just a short term fluctuation” in the downward trend which has been observed since 2007, or a “more sustained” increase. “PHE will continue to monitor the numbers of cases and is working with the NHS and wider health service to better understand the underlying epidemiology,” he said. Dr Johnson added: “Tackling C difficile infection continues to be a priority for PHE and across the NHS.”

While the number of C difficile incidents increased last year, it remains about 75% below the number of infections in 2007-08. The number of MRSA cases has continued to fall, decreasing by 7% in 2014-15 compared with the previous year. By Will Hazell 


Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

UK NHS cancer patients denied drugs due to inflated prices – say experts

Research reveals how drug firms are charging health service such high prices, some treatments can no longer be offered

Cancer patients are being denied drugs on the NHS that could lengthen their lives because of unnecessarily exorbitant prices, say experts. The drugs are cheap to make, and are available to patients in some other countries at much lower prices, according to new research.

Patients in the UK have been told the NHS will not pay for two such drugs because they are not cost-effective and they have been dropped from the list reimbursed by the government’s special cancer drugs fund.

The price of lapatinib (brand name Tyverb), for breast cancer, was set at $36,000 (£24,000) per patient per year in the UK but costs $17,724 in Thailand. Dasatinib (Sprycel), for leukaemia, was priced at $33,739 in the UK but at $15,423 in Brazil.

The researchers also ask why the UK is not succeeding in obtaining better discounts from drugs the NHS does use. Even some other high-income countries manage to barter the manufacturers down to lower prices than in the UK.

Imatinib (Gleevec) – for leukaemia and some other cancers – costs $31,867 in the UK but $28,675 in France and just $8,370 in Russia. Sorafenib (Nexavar), for liver cancer, costs $57,232 in the UK but $49,715 in Spain and $44,543 in France.

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Ashya King’s Parents Put Him ‘At Risk’ – Report

I say “Bless Ashya’s parents” they saved his life and the quality of his life. I would have done the same, Joanna

Ashya King’s parents are criticised for taking him abroad for therapy in a report, which says he was “at risk of serious harm”.

The five-year-old was removed from Southampton General Hospital by Brett and Naghmeh King without doctors’ consent and taken to Prague for proton beam therapy in August 2014.

A report by Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board into how agencies dealt with the case said he was placed “at risk of serious harm if anything untoward had happened with regard to the nasogastric tube”. It also added that the journey for Ashya to the Czech Republic “must have been difficult and if anything had gone wrong the consequences would have been significant”.

Mr King told Sky News tonight that the family has seen the report and has agreed with Portsmouth City Council that neither side will comment on its findings.  Last week, Ashya’s parents told Sky News they were pleased they’d decided on proton therapy as they returned to the Czech capital for a check on his progress.

Mr King said his son’s improvement had exceeded all expectations and Ashya was becoming “strong, more social and happier as a person”. “We are thankful that we did the research and we chose a treatment that was less aggressive than the one they were going to give to us because I’d hate to think with that treatment where would we be today,” he said.

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Filed under: NHS, ,

New report sheds light on top hospital complaints investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

A report published 22 September 2015 has revealed that, similar to last year, the top three reasons for hospital complaints investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in the last financial year (2014-15) were poor communication, errors in diagnosis and poor treatment.

Non-medical aspects of patient care are cited as a factor in almost half of all complaints investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Poor communication, including quality and accuracy of information, was a factor in one third of all complaints. Other reasons for complaints in this period included staff attitude and behaviour, which were factors in two out of 10 complaints.

The report outlines how many unresolved complaints the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman investigated for every acute trust in England and the final decision made.

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Complaints about acute trusts 2014-15



Filed under: NHS, , ,

Baby death at Shropshire maternity unit should be re-examined, says NHS review

The death of a baby girl hours after she was born at a Shropshire maternity unit should be re-examined, an independent review by NHS England has concluded.

Six years after the avoidable death of baby Kate Stanton-Davies, born at Ludlow’s midwife-led unit in March 2009, a review of the case has said a previous investigation into the case was “not fit for purpose” and called for it to be done again.

The report comes after years of parents Richard Stanton and Rhiannon Davies calling for an inquiry. A jury inquest in 2012 and an investigation by the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman in 2013 both concluded Kate’s death was avoidable and the result of serious failings in care. Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust (SaTH) apologised to the couple in January but has now agreed to fully re-investigate the case and its handling of complaints.

Kate Stanton-Davies was born with anaemia at Ludlow Hospital before being transferred to Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital but died six hours after she was born. The 2012 inquest found that Kate would have survived if she had been born elsewhere and that the original classification of the pregnancy as low-risk was a contributory factor in her death.

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Rhiannon Davies, of Ludlow, with daughter Kate

Filed under: Hospital, NHS Blunders, ,

Man suffers stroke after stopping pills on doctor’s advice

A MAN suffered a stroke after being given incorrect advice about stopping his blood thinning medication.

According to the Scottish Ombudsman, the patient, named only as “Mr C”, was taking rivaroxaban, a drug that thins the blood to minimise the risk of strokes, when he was scheduled for non-emergency surgery. He was told to stop taking his medication seven days before his operation because of the risk of excessive bleeding during 
surgery. But four days after coming off it, he suffered a stroke.

 The ombudsman said the health board concerned – NHS Fife – and Mr C’s consultant had “appeared unclear” about whether Mr C was on rivaroxaban or warfarin. The board said it had followed guidelines for warfarin, as rivaroxaban was a very new type of medication. It also said Mr C was classed as a low risk of having a stroke and the advice he was given was accurate, but that in light of his complaint, it would develop further protocols for staff.

Mr C said he should not have been classified as low risk and should not have been advised to stop his medication.

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Filed under: NHS Blunders, , ,

‘Attacks’ lead father to quit maternity review

A grieving father resigns from the NHS review into maternity care over the failure to take into account the views of parents whose babies have been harmed or died

A grieving father who exposed a baby deaths scandal at an NHS hospital has resigned from a national review of maternity care after claiming he came under attack from midwives. James Titcombe has left the NHS review because he felt that the views of parents whose babies had been harmed or died on maternity wards were being ignored.

The review, which is looking at standards of maternity care across the country, was set up after a damning inquiry into a series of deaths at Furness General Hospital, part of the Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust, between 2004 and 2013.

Mr Titcombe’s son, Joshua, died in 2008, at nine days old, from a serious infection which midwives repeatedly failed to spot and treat. His observation chart went missing and was never found. A coroner later accused midwives of “colluding” in a cover-up.

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James and Hoa Titcombe attend the inquest into the death of their baby son Joshua Titcombe who bled to death nine days after his birth in October 2008.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Shocking footage shows care home abuse

Shocking footage has emerged of the mistreatment of an elderly woman at a care home in Birmingham after her daughters became suspicious of staff and installed a hidden camera.

The video led to a police investigation and resulted in two staff members being sacked.

Dr John Beer from Action against Elder Abuse – a charity that looks after the rights of older people – joined us.

Warning: Some viewers may find the vision distressing. Good Morning Britain

Click on the link to see the television report


Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly, Named & Shamed, ,

CQC report into Addenbrooke’s reflects ‘perfect storm’ facing NHS trusts, says Unison

Union officials have said they are “shocked” that Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie hospitals have been rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission and said increasing demand and shrinking government budgets meant trusts were “set up to fail”.

Unison Cambridge Acute Hospitals Branch said in a statement the financial pressures facing the trust and the “insistence of the Government to implement efficiency savings within the NHS severely impedes the trust’s ability to cope with the increased demand. “The Government is expecting the trust to cope with budgets that are decreasing proportional to demand. Meanwhile, the CQC is expecting the trust to cope with this significantly increased demand on services.

“This has created a perfect storm and sets the trust up to fail. CUH is not the only trust to find themselves in this position. Monitor has already written to 40 trusts earlier this year to instruct them to amend their financial plans.”

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

‘No apology’ tops patient complaints.

Not getting a good enough apology when things go wrong is the most common complaint escalated by NHS patients in England, figures show.

It was the reason behind 34% of cases investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in 2014-15. Errors in diagnosing conditions, poor treatment and a lack of communication were also among the top reasons acute hospital trusts were referred. The organisation upheld 726 complaints out of the 1,652 it investigated.

The PHSO is the final port of call for patients in England who are unhappy with a hospital’s original handling of their complaint. The ombudsman has itself been criticised in recent years for not doing its job well enough by investigating too few cases and dragging its heels over decisions. Its latest report shows it has investigated more complaints than last year – 1,652 in 2014-15, compared with 852 in 2013-14.

The investigations resulted in 36% of cases about the NHS being upheld, alongside 44% about acute hospital trusts.

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Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

‘We’ve had to investigate the death of our son ourselves’

Jamie Appleby died in 2005 after being admitted to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, but his mother says she has had to wait a decade for an inquest 

A mother whose epileptic and Down’s Syndrome son died in hospital 10 years ago has spoken of the heartache she has suffered waiting to find out what happened to her beloved boy. Jamie Appleby, 22, who also had a heart condition, died at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in November 2005, almost a month after being admitted with sickness and pains in his head.

His mother Angie Hobson, from Denbigh, has spoken to the Daily Post about the strain of waiting for the coroner’s office to hold an inquest and rule on a cause of death – a process which has not allowed her to fully get over the pain of her loss. In an emotional interview, she revealed her resolve had been stretched to breaking point as she pursued her quest for answers surrounding her son’s death. She said: “It’s like having cloud over you isn’t it – for a very long time. “You go through peaks and troughs with it. “Because each time there’s a preliminary hearing you have to relearn the case.

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Jamie Appleby, who died at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in 2005

Filed under: Disabilities, NHS Blunders, ,

‘One in three’ Brits born this year will develop #dementia as experts warn of national health crisis

Experts warned of a “looming national health crisis” as it was revealed today that one in three Brits born this year will develop dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK said as people live longer, the numbers with dementia will rise.

The latest figures obtained by the charity show that 37% of girls born in 2015 will develop the condition in their lifetime, alongside 27% of boys. The group called for investment in research to find new treatments and preventions in order to beat “our greatest medical challenge”.

Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK, resulting in the loss of brain cells. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease.

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Filed under: Dementia, ,

Care of vulnerable people ‘put in danger’

The dignity, heath and wellbeing of older people and those with disabilities in England are in danger, health and care groups warn.

In a joint submission to the Treasury ahead of November’s Spending Review, 20 organisations said the care sector was facing a “deepening crisis”. They have called for funding to councils to be protected, as is happening with the NHS. Ministers said investment in health would also benefit the care sector.

The government pointed out that plans were being put in place to ensure greater joint working between the two sectors that would relieve some of the pressures. However, the signatories of the submission, who include leaders of councils, the NHS, care providers and charities, said that they still feared for the future.

The document said that the market was “fragile” with councils forced to freeze fees and providers exiting the sector. The submission said this was driving up prices for those who fund themselves and leading to fewer people getting state-funded support. While the government has pledged an extra £8bn a year for the NHS by 2020, social care has received no such assurances.

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Filed under: Care Homes, Disabilities, Elderly, Hospital, , , ,

Campaigning father invited to sit on NHS England safety body after Welsh ‘snub’

It has been my privilege to have known Will Powell for many years now and his perseverance in bringing justice for his son Robbie going on for 25 years. Will has helped so many people within that time who have also gone through trauma in losing a loved one. A worthy advocate for the Independent Patient Safety Investigation Service (Ipsis)  Joanna

Will Powell fought a lengthy battle to have criminal prosecutions brought against a number of medical staff involved in the negligent treatment of his 10-year-old son

A bereaved father who has spent 25 years campaigning for justice for his son has been invited to sit on a expert patient safety group by NHS England.

But Will Powell, of Ystradgynlais Powys, who has fought a lengthy battle to have criminal prosecutions brought against a number of medical staff involved in the negligent treatment of 10-year-old Robbie, said he was saddened that he was not taken as seriously by NHS Wales.

Robbie died of Addison’s disease, a rare illness that stops the adrenal glands pumping vital hormones. Doctors did not act on a suspicion that he had the condition and he did not receive the treatment that would have saved his life. Six years later the NHS accepted that negligence had occurred at Morriston Hospital, Swansea.

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1415192000612_Image_galleryImage_A_battling_dad_yesterday_   1415191946400_wps_54_A_battling_dad_yesterday_

Will Powell and his son Robbie

Filed under: NHS Blunders, , , , ,

Revealed: Shocking NHS postcode lottery for elderly care

An NHS ‘atlas’ reveals the full extent of the postcode lottery in healthcare, with wide variations in the chance of being diagnosed with cancer early, or receiving emergency care which could have been avoided

Elderly people in some parts of the country are nine times more likely than in others to be admitted to hospital as emergency cases – for lack of the right care in their local communities. Charities said the new official figures are a “troubling” insight into a growing crisis in care of the elderly, with hundreds of thousands of pensioners being admitted to hospitals via casualty in cases which could have been avoided with the right help earlier.

The statistics also reveal a three-fold difference in the chance of cancer sufferers being diagnosed early enough to have a good chance of successful treatment, depending where they live. The figures, published by Public Health England, are among more than 100 measures assessed today in an “NHS atlas” exposing enormous variations in NHS care. They also show major disparities in dementia care, the chance of receiving stroke treatment quickly, or receiving treatment at all for a host of common health complaints such as cataracts.

Over 75s living in Canterbury were the most likely to be admitted to hospital as an emergency for a stay of less than 24 hours, with 11,000 cases per 100,000 population.

Click on the link to read more and view the NHS Atlas


Filed under: Dementia, Elderly, NHS, ,

Could robot nurses ease the pain at NHS? By Rachel McKenzie

Crazy and no substitute for the human touch, where does compassion come in, Joanna

The increasing care needs of an ageing population will be difficult to meet without help, says Rachel McKenzie. An automated service might be the answer

ROBOT nurses may soon provide companionship as well as practical care to pensioners according to the UK government strategy for Robotics and Autonomous System. Who else, indeed, will do this for the now 11 million people aged 65 or over in the UK? By 2050 the elderly will comprise 16 per cent of the global population and three-quarters of them will have a care need. Few human care professionals will be equipped or willing to take this responsibility.
The present surge towards the silver economy targets robotics entrepreneurs to get ready to fill the gap. Our mission, says government innovation specialist, Jackie Marshall-Balloch, is “to demonstrate that through innovations in technology … dependent lifestyles can become an engine for economic growth, leading to a reduction in the financial burden on state”.

 The 80 plus age group in the UK represents an expanding market at £ 21.4 billion a year.

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Filed under: Hospital,

Tragic infant died following delayed Caesarean delivery caused by hospital IT blunder

Inquest hears how devastated Natasha and Sean Butler lost baby Spencer following catalogue of ‘missed opportunities’ at Royal Oldham hospital

An infant was delivered tragically late after an IT blunder at a major maternity unit, an inquest heard. Natasha and Sean Butler lost their baby Spencer after a catalogue of errors and “missed opportunities” at the Royal Oldham Hospital in May 2014. And the devastated Oldham couple suffered further distress when they accidentally received a letter congratulating them on the birth just days after he had died.

Spencer was one of seven baby deaths at the centre of an investigation into two maternity units ran by Penine Acute Trust. Medical staff from the Royal Oldham Hospital wept as they gave evidence at an inquest into Spencer’s death on Wednesday. The court heard how Mr and Mrs Butler’s concerns about their unborn child were ignored over four days by busy medical staff on Royal Oldham’s maternity unit.

The mum-to-be was already 42 weeks pregnant when admitted on May 16 – yet she repeatedly went hours without being examined by a doctor.

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS Blunders, , , ,

Nurses claim NICE diabetes guidance will put patients at risk By Jo Stephenson for Nursing Times

Nurses claim new official guidance on drug treatments for type 2 diabetes has set the field “back 20 years” and could put patients at risk.

The guidance on the pharmacological management of blood glucose in adults with type 2 diabetes is due to be published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence later this year. But it has been criticised for actively recommending a limited range of treatments that may not be the best options for some patients. The draft guideline  has been consulted on twice but some nurses, charities and drugs companies have expressed concern.

“The 2009 version was very much about individualising care and making the patient the centre of the consultation,” said Debbie Hicks, co-chair of Training Research and Education for Nurses in Diabetes. “It incorporated all the classes of drugs… and felt like NICE was giving us the ability to choose what was best for the individual. But the new draft took away all of that.”

One issue, highlighted by Diabetes UK, is that some recently approved drugs are only mentioned in passing, such as sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors, which the charity says now risk being overlooked.

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Nurses claim NICE diabetes guidance will put patients at risk



Filed under: NHS, , ,

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