Monday 31 August 2009

Mother-of-three died in pub as solo woman paramedic 'stood outside and refused to help'

A pub manager has demanded disciplinary action against a paramedic she claims would not help save a customer's life.

Melissa Procter-Blain, 32, died after suffering a heart attack at The Crown in Spondon, Derbyshire.

Her friends and family have told how the lone paramedic who responded to a 999 call first parked outside the wrong premises and then refused to enter the pub.

They also claim the female paramedic refused to try to resuscitate the mother-of-three on her own and that one of the pub's customers had to step in instead until back-up arrived.

Landlady Michelle Doherty, 34, is now calling for the paramedic to be suspended while an investigation into the incident is conducted.

Prison food better than that in NHS hospitals

Researchers have claimed the food provided in prisons is better than in NHS hospitals.

Experts from Bournemouth University examined the quality of food offered to prisoners and NHS patients.

They say people in hospital are losing out on nutrition because they are not being helped with eating or having their diet monitored.

A Department of Health spokesman said most patients were "satisfied with the food they receive in hospitals".
Oh, the irony.

Those outside of hospital are being lectured and harrassed by the Department of Health as they spend millions (£75m on Change4Life alone) telling us how vitally important healthy, nutritional food is. We must eat what we are told or government will legislate it for us by reducing salt in ready meals, enforcing no-nonsense approaches to school meals etc. Inside hospital, where one would assume such nutrition is at its most important, mere satisfaction is fine.

Source: BBC

Sunday 30 August 2009

Novices do nurses’ job after week’s training

HEALTHCARE assistants in the National Health Service with as little as one week’s training are performing technical nursing tasks on patients, including heart tests, blood checks and changing dripfeeding bags.

The service is also relying on unqualified nursing staff to carry out basic duties such as washing patients and taking them to the toilet.

Despite being responsible for such intimate treatment, the 150,000 healthcare assistants and nursing auxiliaries working in the NHS are not registered with any professional body.

The unregulated staff have been brought into hospitals partly to cut costs. However, criticism has also been levelled at ambitious nurses who perceive more menial tasks to be “beneath them”.
Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said that supermarket shelf-stackers receive more instruction than healthcare assistants. Now he is demanding a substantial minimum training period, as well as the introduction of a code of conduct.

“Hospitals take well-meaning people off the street, give them a uniform and put them on a ward,” said Carter.

“Supermarkets give all of their staff training. They wouldn’t dream of taking someone on, not even someone stacking the shelves, by just saying ‘find your way around’.”

One healthcare assistant, who received only a week’s training before starting work at an Essex hospital, told The Sunday Times how unqualified nurses are being relied on to wash and feed patients.

They are also used to adjust the amount of food that patients receive through a nasal tube and can even be asked to carry out echocardiograms (ECGs), which test the function of the heart.

The whistleblower, who did not want to be named, said she often felt inadequately trained for the tasks she performs.

“You only get about a week’s training and that is to train you how to take blood pressure and to take blood sugar levels,” she said. “You are shown how to wash patients, how to manually handle the patients and how to use a hoist.

“There are things I come up against that I am very unsure of. I did not get trained in how to carry out ECGs.

“We are supposed to put the patients onto the ECG machine and get a [heart] tracing. The other day I was asked to do one and I wasn’t up to doing it because I haven’t been trained. I didn’t want to do it wrong.”

Last week the Patients Association published a report detailing the lack of basic nursing care received by NHS patients. It revealed how patients were often being left in soiled bedclothes, deprived of sufficient food and drink and having repeated falls.

Katherine Murphy, director of the association, said it had received calls from healthcare assistants and auxiliaries complaining that they are being left to carry out duties they are not qualified to perform.

“Healthcare assistants are being asked to do a lot of the work that trained nurses should be doing,” she said. “We had healthcare assistants phoning us up who were put on a high-dependency unit with no introduction to the technology and no understanding of what they were meant to do.”

Unison, the public services union, claims the training of healthcare assistants and nursing auxiliaries is “patchy”. Many opt to complete national vocational qualifications, but this is not obligatory.

The union is concerned that nurses and healthcare assistants do not have standard uniforms across the NHS, leading to confusion among patients about whether or not they are being cared for by a qualified professional. One nurse, writing on the Nursing Times website, said that even she has found it difficult to distinguish between qualified and unqualified nurses.

The nurse wrote: “I may be being cynical, but the reason why employers are going to resist this is so that they can continue to confuse patients and relatives about the true staffing levels on wards.

“Even though I am a nurse, when I have visited relatives in hospital I have found it extremely difficult to identify the qualified from the unqualified staff.”

The healthcare assistant who spoke to The Sunday Times said qualified nurses fill out paperwork while healthcare assistants wash and feed patients. She explained that on one occasion, when a qualified nurse had been assisting with the washing of patients, she was called away to sign paperwork by another nurse who said: “Washing isn’t your job, that is not part of your job description.”

Claire Rayner, president of the Patients Association and a former nurse and newspaper agony aunt, admitted that such views were widely held by nurses. “It is an appalling attitude to say it is not your job to wash patients. I am afraid this is spreading widely and I disapprove of it strongly. Unfortunately, today’s nurses think it is too menial,” Rayner said.

Frank Field, the former Labour welfare reform minister, said: “It is a terrible indictment if the most qualified nurses on the ward are filling in the paperwork and the least qualified are doing the nursing.

“Cleaning people is an essential nursing function. At the same time nurses are talking to the patients and finding out what the patients’ worries are.”

On his blog, Field recalls how he had resorted to feeding the patient in the bed next to his mother, who had had a stroke, because nurses had failed to help her. He wrote: “The woman was paralysed and unable to reach her food. It was regularly placed there at meal times and then simply taken away uneaten. The nurses commented how kind it was of me to feed the old lady.

“I didn’t have the courage to tell them that it was their job; and that they had stood in a group gossiping, watching what I was doing. I was fearful that they would take it out on my mother if I did so.”

Department of Health spokesperson said: "The NHS is in a very healthy position regarding recruitment and retention, with supply broadly matching demand in most areas. Since 2007 we have seen a rise of 8,563 more qualified nurses.

"Local NHS organisations need to plan and develop their workforce to deliver the right staff with the right skills to meet the needs of their local populations and ensure high quality care for patients."

Source : The Times

Even the Times says that Vitamin D is essential

Get your Vitamin D levels checked

25hydroxyvitamin D blood levels need to be 65-90ng/mls

Moan, who worked with Richard Setlow, a biophysicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York state, said vitamin D deficiency could be lethal. Research links it with heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and reduced immunity.

Their research says: “Cold climates and high latitudes would speed up the need for skin lightening. Agricultural food was an insufficient source of vitamin D, and solar radiation was too low to produce enough vitamin D in dark skin.”

Full article here

Saturday 29 August 2009

NHS sorry for dead patient letter

The NHS has apologised after writing to a man to address concerns over his treatment - three-and-half years after he died.

Tom Milner's daughter emailed the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) after her 76-year-old father died at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital.

Janet Brooks said when she received a response, it was entitled "Dear Tom".

The agency said it had reviewed its systems to ensure the error did not happen again.

Mr Milner, who had terminal leukaemia, was not given his prescribed pain-relieving morphine in the last two days of his life, his family say.

They claim he was left in agony and lay in his own urine and blood at the NHS palliative care ward at the hospital.

The health trust responsible for his care said staff had "acted appropriately".

Mrs Brooks, 54, of Emsworth, Hampshire, said she had outlined her concerns about her father's treatment in an email to the NPSA.

"They responded with 'Dear Tom'.

"It's an example of the careless and shambolic attitude by the NHS towards my father and our family."

Bristol man claims knee op was botched by Scandinavian doctors

A Bristol man is taking Weston General Hospital to court, claiming an operation on his knee was botched by Scandinavian doctors. Terry Heath, from Lockleaze, underwent knee replacement surgery at the hospital in 2004 but had to be operated on again at Southmead Hospital a year later to correct mistakes that were made during the initial operation.

Surgeons were drafted in from Sweden, Denmark and Finland between 2003 and 2006 as part of a £3-million scheme to reduce waiting lists for hip and knee replacement patients across the Bristol area and beyond. Issues were raised about the quality of the work carried out by some of the Scandinavian surgeons back in 2004 when Welsh consultant, David Shewring, sent letters to his patients claiming that overseas doctors employed by Weston Area Health Trust might not be skilled enough to carry out operations...

In May the Evening Post reported that more than a third of patients who were operated on by Scandinavian surgeons in Weston- super-Mare had an unsatisfactory result, and that lawyers were considering at least six cases.

Weston Area Health Trust , which runs the hospital, is conducting a review into the us of the overseas surgeons, which is likely to be completed later in the year. A spokeswoman said she was unable to comment on the matter due to the legal proceedings.
Source: This Is Bristol

Friday 28 August 2009

The harsh truth? We nurses have just forgotten how to care

No occupation in Britain inspires greater public admiration than nursing.

And yet in recent years, the profession has gone desperately wrong. A report this week by the Patients Association reveals that since 2002, up to a million patients have experienced shockingly poor standards of nursing care in the NHS.

Some were not fed; others were left in soiled bedclothes.

As a former nurse, I believe the essential problem is an institutional failure of training and ethos.

When I embarked on my career in 1977, the vast majority of the training was based on practical experience. Instruction was carried out in a school of nursing, attached to the hospital.

Just a quarter of the course was academic study. Three-quarters was spent working with patients, whose care should be a nurse's primary concern.

Back then, when nurses qualified, they had already gained a thorough, hands-on understanding of medicine - and, most importantly, of their patients.

No longer. In the early Nineties, the government wrecked a perfectly good system by launching Project 2000 - an initiative that was meant to give nursing a stronger professional foundation by emphasising the academic over the practical.

Student nurses were removed from the hospitals and trained in lecture halls, rather than wards.

Many less glamorous, but vital elements of nursing care - such as cleaning, feeding or lifting patients - dropped off the syllabus and were replaced by empty, jargon-filled theorising about 'holistic care' and 'cultural sensitivities'.

New Flu Vaccine has AIDS virus component

Do you want to die? In pain and suffering?

Part of the Swine Flu Vaccine has a component of the AIDS virus.

The Vaccine May Be More Dangerous Than Swine Flu
By Dr Russell Blaylock

"...Novartis, the second contender, also has an agreement with WHO for a pandemic vaccine. Novartis appears to have won the contract, since their vaccine is near completion. What is terrifying is that these pandemic vaccines contain ingredients, called immune adjuvants that a number of studies have shown cause devastating autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.

Animal studies using this adjuvant have found them to be deadly. A study using 14 guinea pigs found that when they were injected with the special adjuvant, only one animal survived. A repeat of the study found the same deadly outcome.

So, what is this deadly ingredient? It is called squalene, a type of oil. The Chiron company, maker of the deadly anthrax vaccine, makes an adjuvant called MF-59 which contains two main ingredients of concern-squalene and gp120. A number of studies have shown that squalene can trigger all of the above-mentioned autoimmune diseases when injected.

The MF-59 adjuvant has been used in several vaccines. These vaccines, including tetanus and diphtheria, are the same vaccines frequently associated with adverse reactions.

I reviewed a number of studies on this adjuvant and found something quite interesting. Several studies done on human test subjects found MF-59 to be a very safe immune adjuvant. But when I checked to see who did these studies, I found-to no surprise-that they were done by the Novartis Pharmaceutical Company and Chiron Pharmaceutical Company, which have merged. They were all published in "prestigious" medical journals. Also, to no surprise, a great number of studies done by independent laboratories and research institutions all found a strong link between MF-59 and autoimmune diseases.

Squalene in vaccines has been strongly linked to the Gulf War Syndrome. On August 1991, Anthony Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs admitted that soldiers vaccinated with the anthrax vaccine from 1990 to 1991 had an increased risk of 200 percent in developing the deadly disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease. The soldiers also suffered from a number of debilitating and life-shortening diseases, such as polyarteritis nodosa, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, transverse myelitis (a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord), endocarditis (inflammation of the heart's inner lining), optic neuritis with blindness and glomerulonephritis (a type of kidney disease).

The second ingredient, and one that greatly concerns me, is called gp120, a glycoprotein. Researchers found when it was mixed with squalene, the glycoprotein became strongly antigenic - that is, it produced a powerful and prolonged immune response to the vaccination. In fact, their studies show that with each dose, the intense immune reaction lasts over a year.

Now for the shocker-the glycoprotein-gp120, a major component of MF-59 vaccine adjuvant, is the same protein fragment isolated from HIV - the virus that is responsible for the rapid dementia seen in AIDS patients.

Studies have shown that when gp120 is taken up by the microglia cells in the brain, it causes intense inflammation and makes the brain subject to excitotoxic damage-a process called immunoexcitotoxicity. This is also the cause of the MS and optic neuritis associated with vaccines that contain MF-59.

So, how would the gp120 get into the brain? Studies of other immune adjuvants using careful tracer techniques have shown that they routinely enter the brain following vaccination. What most people do not know, even the doctors who recommend the vaccines, is that most such studies by pharmaceutical companies observe the patients for only one to two weeks following vaccination-these types of reactions may take months or even years to manifest.

It is obvious that the vaccine manufacturers stand to make billions of dollars in profits from this WHO/government-promoted pandemic. Novartis, the maker of the new pandemic vaccine, recently announced that they would not give free vaccines to impoverished nations-everybody pays.

One must keep in mind that once the vaccine is injected, there is little you can do to protect yourself-at least by conventional medicine. It will mean a lifetime of crippling illness and early death.

There are much safer ways to protect oneself from this flu virus, such as higher doses of vitamin D3, selective immune enhancement using supplements, and a good diet." End of excerpt by Dr. Blaylock.

Thursday 27 August 2009

Nurses 'left elderly patients lying in urine'

NHS nurses will be criticised today for their cruel and demeaning treatment of more than a dozen elderly patients.

A report published by the Patients Association, a health watchdog, records 16 incidents of people left lying in their own faeces and urine, having call bells taken away from them and being left without food or drink.

One former nurse told of the substandard care she received as a patient, describing her experience as “scary”.

The Patients Association said one hospital had threatened it with legal action if it chose to publish the material, but added that there was a “striking similarity between many of the cases — nearly all of them centre on concerns over basic nursing and domiciliary care.”
Source: The Times

'Cruel and neglectful' care of one million NHS patients exposed

In the last six years, the Patients Association claims hundreds of thousands have suffered from poor standards of nursing, often with 'neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel' treatment.

The charity has disclosed a horrifying catalogue of elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff. The Patients Association said the dossier proves that while the scale of the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust - where up to 1,200 people died through failings in urgent care - was a one off, there are repeated examples they have uncovered of the same appalling standards throughout the NHS.

While the criticisms cover all aspects of hospital care, the treatment and attitude of nurses stands out as a repeated theme across almost all of the cases. They have called on Government and the Care Quality Commission to conduct an urgent review of standards of basic hospital care and to enforce stricter supervision and regulation.

Claire Rayner, President of the Patients Association and a former nurse, said:“For far too long now, the Patients Association has been receiving calls on our helpline from people wanting to talk about the dreadful, neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel treatment their elderly relatives had experienced at the hands of NHS nurses. I am sickened by what has happened to some part of my profession of which I was so proud. These bad, cruel nurses may be - probably are - a tiny proportion of the nursing work force, but even if they are only one or two percent of the whole they should be identified and struck off the Register.”
Source: The Daily Telegraph

Wednesday 26 August 2009

What did the NHS 'take out' then?

Man collapses with ruptured appendix... three weeks after NHS doctors 'took it out'

After weeks of excruciating pain, Mark Wattson was understandably relieved to have his appendix taken out.

Doctors told him the operation was a success and he was sent home.
But only a month later the 35-year-old collapsed in agony and had to be taken back to Great Western Hospital in Swindon by ambulance.

To his shock, surgeons from the same team told him that not only was his appendix still inside him, but it had ruptured - a potentially fatal complication.

In a second operation it was finally removed, leaving Mr Wattson fearing another organ might have been taken out during the first procedure.
Is it too much to ask that NHS surgeons should be qualified to know how to cut out an appendix? It is, after all, considered routine these days.

A spokesman for Great Western Hospital confirmed that a representative had met Mr Wattson and that an investigation had been started.

He was unable to confirm what, if anything, was removed in the first operation.
Don't we just #welovethenhs

Fortunately the admin staff, for they are muchly plentiful, are right on the ball.

Paul Gearing, deputy general manager for general surgery at Great Western Hospital NHS Trust, said: 'We are unable to comment on individual cases.
Stock reply.

'However, we would like to apologise if Mr Wattson felt dissatisfied with the care he received at Great Western Hospital.'
Would he like to take part in our client satisfaction survey? Here's a questionnaire.

Source: Daily Mail

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Bed shortage forces 4,000 mothers to give birth in lifts, offices and hospital toilets

Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds. The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets - even a caravan - went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000

Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full. Latest figures show that over the past two years there were at least:

63 births in ambulances and 608 in transit to hospitals;
117 births in A&E departments, four in minor injury units and two in medical assessment areas;
115 births on other hospital wards and 36 in other unspecified areas including corridors;
399 in parts of maternity units other than labour beds, including postnatal and antenatal wards and reception areas.

Additionally, overstretched maternity units shut their doors to any more women in labour on 553 occasions last year. Babies were born in offices, lifts, toilets and a caravan, according to the Freedom of Information data for 2007 and 2008 from 117 out of 147 trusts which provide maternity services.

One woman gave birth in a lift while being transferred to a labour ward from A&E while another gave birth in a corridor, said East Cheshire NHS Trust. Others said women had to give birth on the wards - rather than in their own maternity room - because the delivery suites were full. Tory health spokesman Andrew Lansley, who obtained the figures, said Labour had cut maternity beds by 2,340, or 22 per cent, since 1997. At the same time birth rates have been rising sharply - up 20 per cent in some areas.

Mr Lansley said: 'New mothers should not be being put through the trauma of having to give birth in such inappropriate places. 'While some will be unavoidable emergencies, it is extremely distressing for them and their families to be denied a labour bed because their maternity unit is full. 'It shows the incredible waste that has taken place that mothers are getting this sort of sub-standard treatment despite Gordon Brown's tripling of spending on the NHS.

'Labour have let down mothers by cutting the number of maternity beds and by shutting down maternity units.'
The NHS employs the equivalent of around 25,000 full-time midwives in England, but the Government has promised to recruit 3,400 more. However, the Royal College of Midwives estimates at least 5,000 more are needed to provide the quality of service pledged in the Government's blueprint for maternity services, Maternity Matters. At the same time almost half of all midwives are set to retire in the next decade.

Jon Skewes, a director at the Royal College of Midwives, said: 'The rise in the number of births in other than a designated labour bed is a concern. We would want to see the detail behind these figures to look at why this is happening. 'There is no doubt that maternity services are stretched, and that midwives are working harder and harder to provide good quality care. However, we know the Government is putting more money into the service.
'The key now is to make sure this money is spent by the people controlling the purse strings at a local level.'
Care services minister Phil Hope said: 'The number of maternity beds in the NHS reflects the number of women wanting to give birth in hospital. Giving birth can be unpredictableand it is difficult to plan for the exact time and place of every birth.

'Local health services have plans to ensure high quality, personal care with greater choice over place of birth and care provided by a named midwife. 'We recognise that some parts of the country face particular challenges due to the rising birth rate and that is why last year we pledged to increase funding for maternity by £330million over three years. 'We now have more maternity staff than ever before and we have already met our target to recruit 1,000 extra midwives by September.'

Man collapses with ruptured appendix... three weeks after NHS doctors 'took it out'

After months of excruciating pain, Mark Wattson was relieved to finally have his appendix taken out.

NHS doctors told him the operation to remove the ruptured organ was a 'success' and he was discharged from Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wilts. But just weeks later the 35-year-old collapsed in agony and had to be re-admitted by ambulance.

To his horror surgeons from the same team told him that his appendix was still inside him and had burst. In an emergency operation it was finally removed, leaving Mr Wattson fearing another organ may have been taken out during the first procedure.

The blunder has left Mr Wattson jobless as bosses at JJB Sports, where he worked as a shop assistant, didn't believe his story and sacked him. Last night, as an internal investigation began, Mr Wattson told of the moment he realised what had happened.

'I was lying on a stretcher in terrible pain and a doctor came up to me and said that my appendix had burst,' he said.'I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I told these people I had my appendix out just four weeks earlier but there it was on the scanner screen for all to see.

'I thought: "What the hell did they slice me open for in the first place"? 'I feel that if the surgery had been done correctly in the first place I wouldn't be in the mess I am today. I'm disgusted by the whole experience.'

Mr Wattson first went under the knife on July 7 after his appendix ruptured and left him with severe abdominal pain for several weeks. He was discharged the next day but exactly a month later he had to dial 999 after collapsing in agony while job-hunting in Swindon.

Following the second operation his appendectomy incision became infected leaving a hole in his stomach 4cm deep and 2cm wide.Mr Wattson was then admitted to hospital for a third time and spent another six days hospital and was prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection.

He said: 'I had a temporary job at JJB Sports but when I took in two medical certificates saying I had my appendix out twice they didn't believe me. 'Now I'm helpless. I can't go out and find a job, I can't go to interviews. I can barely walk and am in constant pain. 'Before the first operation they told me I had to have my appendix removed and when I woke up afterwards they said it had been a complete success.

'But then I keeled over in agony one month later and they did some tests at the hospital and we could see the appendix was still there on the scans. 'As far as I was aware they took my appendix out and no one told me any different. 'I have no idea what they have taken out but I want to find out what went wrong."

Earlier this month it emerged surgeons at a hospital in London operated on the wrong patient when two people on the same ward had the same name. The unnamed individual had a lung operation that should have been carried out on the other person. Another mistake involved removing the gall bladder from the wrong person.

Compensation payments to NHS patients have risen by 20 per cent in the last year to a record high of £769million, meaning that more than £2million on average had been paid every day to people lodging claims against the health service. A spokesman for Great Western Hospital confirmed representative had met with Mr Wattson and an investigation was ongoing. He was unable to confirm what, if anything, was removed in the first operation.

Paul Gearing, deputy general manager for head and neck, general surgery and urology for Great Western Hospital NHS Trust, said: 'We are unable to comment on individual cases. However, we would like to apologise if Mr Wattson felt dissatisfied with the care he received at Great Western Hospital.'

Sunday 23 August 2009

Appendicitis patient waited 64 hours for surgery

Via Witterings From Witney:
David Waterhouse was 'bumped down' the list several times because there was a lack of surgeons able to perform the operation on him at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, East Sussex.

The mortgage adviser was allowed to 'slowly deteriorate' in his bed to a state which could have killed him because only two theatres rather than the normal three were open. Instead other cases were dealt with as priorities while Mr Waterhouse - who is now at home following his ordeal earlier this month - lay in bed with crippling pains.

His wife Rebecca, 43, has criticised the care her husband received at the hospital when he was admitted on Saturday, August 8. She said: "It was unacceptable - he was put at risk - an appendicitis is a serious condition that could change at any time. The longer he was waiting to have his operation, the longer he was risking the appendix rupturing."

She added there should be no difference between weekend and weekday rotas as "people get sick all the time". She said: ""We are in no way complaining about the treatment itself but I think it would be a good idea to open up an extra operating theatre so people don't have to suffer. After all people get sick all the time - not just on weekends."

Surgeons finally operated on Mr Waterhouse on Monday - almost three days after he was first admitted...
Source: Daily Telegraph

Saturday 22 August 2009

Swine Flu Vaccine contains Cancer cells

The Germans have found this out

Still think its a good idea

Read my posts

Swine flu vaccine on the NHS is the easiest way you will die

It really will be a national death service, a case of life imitating parody.

Friday 21 August 2009

Clinical samples 'wrongly labelled'

Tens of thousands of clinical samples were wrongly labelled when they arrived at NHS pathology laboratories, an investigation has found.

A further 11,712 specimens were incorrectly labelled by lab staff, according to information reportedly obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The survey of every NHS trust, of which 120 replied, found 365,608 specimens were mislabelled before they arrived at laboratories.

More4 News, who obtained the information, also reported 46 cases had been recorded where mislabelling was found to be related to delays in patients' treatment and even deaths...
Source: The Metro

Apology for fatal ambulance error

An ambulance service has apologised to the family of a Nottingham man who was refused transport to hospital shortly before dying from a heart attack.

Brenda Brewster called the emergency services when her husband Charles, 72, lay on the kitchen floor of their home in Bulwell after collapsing. But an East Midlands Ambulance Service (Emas) operator told her the call did not warrant a "high priority" response. Mr Brewster died last November while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Emas has admitted the call should have been given a higher priority...
Source: BBC

A little departure

Why do people die

They die of ignorance.

Our schools do a very poor job of teaching critical thinking skills, but they do a fantastic job of churning out the next generation of illiterate wage slaves. And this, of course, is entirely the point. That's why you can't even call public schools a "failure" -- because they are actually quite good at what they're designed to do: Train people to be mind slaves who get along in society without asking too many questions.

The truth is that even really smart people are mind slaves, too, because you don't get through the world of academia by asking lots of questions. You survive academia by conforming. You get through medical school by swallowing whatever you're told and shutting down that part of your brain that used to ask skeptical questions. People who ask too many questions get flunked out.

Thus, all the people who become the top doctors, academics and leaders in our nation are, by definition, conformists. That's how they are so easily fooled by the disinformation campaigns waged by Big Pharma, the FDA and the medical journals. And that's how they end up with a double-doctorate degree in physics while chowing down a greasy, genetically-modified cheeseburger in the other.

The above is taken from this article

The NHS would prefer you not to read this because it would undermine their profits and their big pharmacy company grants.

Don't say you were not warned.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Policeman's wife twice wrongly diagnosed with swine flu dies of Legionnaires' disease 'in terrible circumstances'

Here's the fifth example:
A senior policeman's wife died 'in terrible circumstances' from Legionnaires' disease after her symptoms were twice 'mistaken' for swine flu.

Carol Rowe, 46 was told she had swine flu by an ambulance crew who 'refused' to take her to hospital twice after emergency calls. Her furious husband, Detective Inspector Kevin Rowe of Thames Valley Police, said she died in 'terrible circumstances' after paramedics told the mother-of-two she was 'panicking'. Mrs Rowe, who had lung problems after suffering from TB three years ago, as well as asthma, rang for an ambulance after feeling severely unwell.

Det Insp Row, 46, from Thatcham, Berkshire, said that on the first visit the ambulance service made a diagnosis of swine flu and refused to take her to hospital. They returned two days later and again did not take her to hospital. After becoming increasingly more ill, a doctor told one of her children to call an ambulance with an oxygen supply and take her to hospital. Mrs Rowe was put on a life support machine at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading but died four days later...
Source: The Daily Mail

Father turned away from hospital with pregnant wife delivers baby on bathroom floor.

An ice-cool dad who delivered his baby daughter on the bathroom floor just hours after his wife was sent home from hospital stayed calm when he realised the child wasn't breathing.

Tony Molloy, 44, used knowledge from watching birthing videos to remove the umbilical cord from baby Rosalyn's neck, then he slapped her on the back to get her lungs working.

'She was grey and not breathing,' said Tony. 'I was talking to her, saying "come on little one, breathe for Daddy".

'It was only five or six seconds, but it seemed like an eternity. I turned her over to smack her on the back and it must have kick-started her lungs - she sprang into life'.
Tony and wife Rebecca, 33, were staying in Wilmslow, Cheshire, when she started having contractions.
They rushed to St Mary's Hospital in Manchester, but Rebecca was told she wasn't ready, despite being 38 weeks into the pregnancy. The couple, of Newbury, Berkshire, went back to the house - but three hours later, Rebecca was doubled up in pain on the bathroom floor.

Tony said he called the hospital to ask what to do and could not get any response. He said: 'I brought the car round so that we could drive back to St Mary's and as I went back into the bathroom, Rebecca was pushing. I told her the car was ready, in my calmest, most reassuring voice, but she said, "there's no time for that".

"There was no mistaking that Rosalyn was on her way". Tony shouted to a friend to call an ambulance, but knew the birth was imminent - so with only a 999 operator to help, he took control. 'I was pretty calm,' he said. 'I'd sort of prepared myself and I'd watched a couple of dozen birth videos, so I pretty much knew what to expect.'
Both mother and baby are now back at home and recovering well.

Tony - a freelance IT project manager - said: 'This was by far the most awesome experience of my life,' he said.
'It is impossible to put into words how I feel having brought my own little girl into the world. 'My advice if you're expecting is discuss it between yourselves, speak to your midwife and ask to help in the delivery. I will be delivering Rosalyn's brothers and sisters.'

A hospital spokesman said if a mother was not in 'established labour' she was encouraged to return home and phone if the situation changed. The spokesman added: 'We would encourage the family to contact our patient advice service if they have any concerns over the care received.'

Source : The Daily Mail

Wednesday 19 August 2009

MRSA and cDiff figures fall

There has been a fall in the number of death certificates mentioning MRSA or Clostridium difficile (C diff) as a contributory factor in why someone died, figures showed today. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the number of death certificates mentioning C diff fell by 29% between 2007 and 2008, to 5,931.
... ah, I see...
This is the first year that mentions on a death certificate have fallen since records began in 1999.
Source: The Metro

Tuesday 18 August 2009

30% of nurses 'don't want' flu jab

A poll has found that almost one in three nurses do not want the swine flu jab over fears about its safety and a perception that the flu is mild.

The poll of almost 1,500 readers of the Nursing Times found that many would reject the vaccine. The jab is to be given to people in high-risk groups, such as those with asthma or diabetes, as well as health workers like GPs and nurses.

Some 91% of those who responded to the survey described themselves as frontline nurses. When asked if they would have the vaccine, 30% of those surveyed said 'no', while 37% said 'yes' and 33% said 'maybe'.

Of those who said they would refuse the jab, 60% said their main reason was concern about the safety of the vaccine. A further 31% said they did not consider the risks to their health from swine flu to be great enough, while 9% thought they would not be able to take time off work to get immunised.

One nurse said: "I would not be willing to put myself at risk of, as yet, unknown long-term effects to facilitate a short-term solution." Another who had not made up their mind whether to have the jab, said: "I have had the seasonal flu vaccination three times and on each occasion was very poorly for several days afterwards. It can give you flu-like symptoms, which in my case were bad enough to put me in my bed."

Professor David Salisbury, the Department of Health's director of immunisation said: "They have a duty to themselves, they are at risk. They have a duty to their patients not to infect their patients and they have a duty to their families."

The survey comes after health chiefs said doctors should watch out for cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome when the vaccine is introduced in October. The syndrome, which affects around 1,500 people a year in the UK, attacks the nervous system and can result in temporary paralysis.
This article may seem o/t, but it does raise interesting questions - if the jab is nigh harmless, why don't the nurses want it, and, if it does prevent swine 'flu, shouldn't the NHS be employing people who are prepared to minimise risks to patients, many of whom will be suffering from 'underlying health disorders'?

Source: The Metro

Major hospital halts post-mortems

Post-mortem examinations have been suspended at Wales' biggest hospital after inspectors found major problems.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) highlighted problems in procedures, facilities and equipment at University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff. The HTA said it did not take such action lightly, and Conservatives called it an "extreme step".

Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust set up an urgent inquiry and said it would take immediate action on recommendations. The examinations will now take place at other facilities.

The examinations at UHW's mortuary were halted last Thursday after its licence was suspended by the HTA. The HTA said two licences were suspended after an inspection last month showed poor compliance with regulatory standards.

Director of regulation Sandy Mather said: "The nature of mortuary work means that should something go wrong, it has the potential to cause significant distress to those involved. It is therefore essential that establishments comply with HTA regulatory requirements. We have been in dialogue with the chief executive and other senior members of staff at the hospital since the inspection and we are confident they understand the serious nature of this action. We do not take regulatory action of this seriousness lightly, but feel, in this case, action is in the public interest."

Jan Williams, who became the trust chief executive in July, said: "I am disappointed to come in and find myself in receipt of the HTA report. It highlights serious shortcomings in the operating policies and procedures, premises, facilities and equipment in place in the UHW mortuary. I accept fully the report's findings and recommendations and have taken immediate action to ensure that we address the concerns raised swiftly so that our licence suspension can be lifted as soon as possible.

"In addition, I have set up an urgent inquiry into the circumstances that led to the HTA decision, to be conducted by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW). I will also implement HIW's recommendations once they become available. I am also working closely with the HTA team to ensure our return to full compliance with the HTA standards. I want to assure people that I take this matter seriously and understand that any discussion of mortuary and post-mortem facilities can cause distress, particularly to people who are recently bereaved."
Source: BBC

Monday 17 August 2009

Woman's anger over street birth

A woman gave birth on the pavement outside the Leicester Royal Infirmary after being told to make her own way to the hospital when she went into labour.

Carmen Blake, 27, who lives about 100 metres from the hospital, was told to walk rather than have an ambulance. A passer-by helped deliver the healthy baby girl, named Mariah, before paramedics made it to the scene. A hospital spokesman said they wanted people to be happy with their care and they would investigate any complaint.

Ms Blake, who has three other children, gave birth on 2 August. She said: "They should have sent an ambulance, knowing that the more children you have the quicker the labour is*. But I was sent no-one and was told to walk over - by myself. Now I would like to have an apology from the hospital and an acknowledgement of how traumatic the experience was for me."

She also thanked the passer-by, a physiotherapist who she described as "fantastic", for her help.

A spokesperson from Leicester's Hospitals said: "Of course it's disappointing that Ms Blake was not happy with the advice and care she received and we will investigate any complaint we receive. We are pleased that both Ms Blake and her daughter are well and healthy.**"
Source: BBC

* Even I knew that!

** Classic DoubleSpeak.

Friday 14 August 2009

Anger after swine 'flu misdiagnosis

...and here's another one:
A woman who was told she had swine flu ended up in hospital with a serious leg infection.

Anne Smith, 48, of Wagstaff Lane, Jacksdale, initially thought she had swine flu and rang the national helpline which issued her with Tamiflu drugs to treat it. She also saw her GP who said he thought she had the virus. But Ms Smith and her family were concerned the diagnosis was wrong as she has a heart condition and they wanted her to see a GP again because her leg was beginning to swell.

So four days later she went to a walk-in health centre in Nottingham and explained what had happened. But she was turned away because the centre thought she was infected with swine flu.

Ms Smith's son, David, said: "Her leg was four times its normal size and the man at the desk just said, 'Go home'. I find it so hard to believe that in this day and age someone can go to a medical centre where you are supposed to trust people and they can treat you like that."

Worried David, 26, eventually took his mum to King's Mill Hospital in Sutton- in-Ashfield which diagnosed cellulitis, caused by poor circulation due to the heart condition. He claimed doctors said if it had been 24 hours later the infection might have killed her because it was spreading.

"If it had gone to her heart it would have given her septicaemia and with her heart being the way it is, who knows what would have happened. I was trying to explain to them on the phone that she had a heart problem and many of the symptoms he was reading out she suffered with anyway. I said I think someone really needs to see her. People with serious underlying problems should not just be diagnosed over the phone. It seems madness to me. We are not talking about GPs – just people checking off a list of symptoms. How can someone who is not a qualified GP talk to someone with serious problems and prescribe them Tamiflu? It's a good idea to do something about the pandemic, but more people are going to die from serious underlying problems being misdiagnosed."

A spokesperson for the walk-in centre said flu symptoms were assessed by a nurse who checked whether patients needed emergency care. If they did, they were put in an isolated area to wait for an ambulance and if they did not they were advised to go home and ring their GP.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: "You should contact your doctor direct rather than using the National Pandemic Flu Service if you have a serious underlying illness. "The questions asked by the National Pandemic Flu Service (NPFS) to determine whether a person has swine flu have been agreed by a range of clinicians and specialist UK Royal Colleges."

Ms Smith is in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Source: Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser.

Thursday 13 August 2009

Stop phone diagnosis say family of North Wales teen who died after being told he had swine flu

Here's the third case of somebody being diagnosed with swine 'flu and then dying of something completely different ...

AN on-line petition against phone diagnosis has been launched by the family of a teenager who died after being wrongly told she had swine flu.

The funeral takes place today of 16-year-old Charlotte Hartey from Quinta, near Oswestry, who died on July 31 at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

She had tonsillitis, but her symptoms had been diagnosed as swine flu.

Her father, Karl, says over-the-phone diagnosis must stop before others suffer similar tragedies...
Source: Daily Post North Wales

BBC Not even trying to follow its charter here.

click link in title.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Meningitis killed woman wrongly diagnosed with swine flu

A woman diagnosed with swine flu died of meningitis just days later, an inquest heard today.

Jasvir Kaur Gill, 48, started suffering from a sore throat and vomiting.

She was given a telephone diagnosis of Swine Flu and told to take Tamiflu, but just 12 hours later the mother-of-three from Leicester had collapsed and was taken to hospital. An inquest opening at the city's Town Hall today heard she died of meningococcal septicaemia - blood poisoning caused by the same bacteria that causes meningitis - four days later.

Today her 25-year-old son Sukhvinder Gill called for doctors to consider other illnesses than Swine Flu when making diagnoses.

At the hearing today, Mr Gill told Leicester City Coroner Catherine Mason that his mother started complaining of a sore throat during the evening of Saturday, August 1.

She then vomited repeatedly through the night, prompting her husband to call NHS Direct at 5am on Sunday.
This is the second case: we reported this story last week.

Source: The Metro

Dirty ambulances 'infection risk'

An inspection has revealed the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is putting patients at risk of infection with dirty vehicles and poor training.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) looked at 22 ambulances and found nine were "in a very poor condition with visible dirt". The other 13 were not cleaned to a good standard and one was so unclean it was taken out of service, the CQC said. The ambulance service said it took the report "extremely seriously".

The NWAS covers the Cumbria, Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire areas. Inspectors found most staff were unaware of the ambulance service policy on cleanliness...
Source: BBC

Tuesday 11 August 2009

NHS alert after Legionnaires' death

Infection controls are under way after a patient died and two other people were seriously ill with Legionnaires' disease, a hospital trust said.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust said an elderly patient had developed the disease while at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Health officials are already undertaking an inquiry after a former guest at a Pontin's holiday camp in Blackpool, Lancashire, was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease. The woman is seriously ill in hospital in Birmingham.

The disease is caught by individuals inhaling water droplets which carry the Legionella bacterium. Legionella naturally occurs in the environment.

The Trust said staff at the hospital had begun disinfecting shower and bath fittings. It added showers, baths and water births had been temporarily suspended and the hospital's entire water system flushed as a precaution.

One case was admitted to the William Harvey Hospital from the community already ill with Legionella infection. The person had not been a recent in-patient, but had visited the hospital for an out-patient appointment during the previous two weeks.

The Trust said a patient with no known connection to the William Harvey Hospital died after being admitted to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital already ill with the Legionella infection.
Source: The Metro

Sunday 9 August 2009

NHS follows rules that 'guarantee failure', says Civitas

Tell us something we didn't know.

The National Health Service follows every known rule that guarantees failure in the business world, a new report claims.

It claimed that NHS organisations remain "isolated and risk averse, consumed with internal processes, bureaucracy, and conforming to the latest Government initiative".

This came at the expense of "focusing squarely on the end-goal of providing high quality care to the patient".

A top-down target culture was to blame. It said: "Targets have ruled the roost, pushing organisations to the edge, often to the neglect of patient care."

A target to treat patients within four hours has meant that patients are held in ambulances, or admitted unnecessarily.
Time for a change, then. Over to you, Department of Health.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "National targets have led to huge improvements in the care patients receive."
Translation: La la la, we're not listening.

Source: Daily Telegraph

Saturday 8 August 2009

Probe into girl's meningitis death

Health bosses are investigating whether a two-year-old girl who died from suspected meningitis was wrongly diagnosed with swine flu.

The parents of Georgia Keeling from Norwich claim paramedics "diagnosed her before even looking at her" and gave Tamiflu before her condition worsened and she died in hospital. News of her death comes after it emerged at least one call centre for the Government's National Flu Pandemic Service for England was employing 16-year-olds, sparking concern about the inexperience of staff.

The parents of Georgia, died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Tuesday, said they were twice told her symptoms sounded like swine flu before she was finally taken to hospital. Their local health centre first said Georgia probably had swine flu and advised them to call the swine flu helpline which said she had only one of the symptoms and suggested that they should call NHS Direct.

NHS Direct then advised them to take the little girl to hospital only if her temperature rose above 40 degrees C but, an hour later, Georgia's condition worsened and her mother called an ambulance. A paramedic who arrived first said it sounded like Georgia had swine flu and so the ambulance would not come out.

Georgia's mother Tasha Keeling was given Calpol and Tamiflu and told to put Georgia to bed, the girl's father, Paul Sewell, 21, said. An hour later, her worried mother called for an ambulance again and Georgia was taken to hospital where she died.

A hospital spokesman said the suspected cause of death was meningitis. Sources said the investigation into the little girl's death would look into all aspects of her care - including the possibility that she may have been wrongly diagnosed as having swine flu.
Source: The Metro

Friday 7 August 2009

MP John Pugh welcomes NHS enquiry into death of Southport baby Oskar Klosowski

MP John Pugh has welcomed an NHS inquiry into the death of a baby boy from Sefton.

The Regional Health Authority has decided to look into the circumstances surrounding the death of four-day-old Oskar Klosowski after he was driven past his nearest hospital in Southport on to Ormskirk in search of vital treatment.

The investigation will also cover the understanding and application of emergency procedures by hospital and ambulance authorities and will be separate from the Coroner's inquiry.

Dr Pugh said: “This is a welcome move as Sefton NHS is independent of the hospital and the ambulance service. When I spoke with the Regional Health Authority they made it clear they too wanted this independence.There is a paramount need to ensure that patient safety and only patient safety determines and shapes decisions at any time of the day or night. Sefton NHS must have access to all tapes of telephone calls and logs made on the night.

"I will be asking the inquiry to establish whether the A&E department in Southport have to up to date training and skills in infant resuscitation. The hospital is obliged to ensure this and must be capable of stabilising any child that arrives, however they get there. The public need to know that these important skills are there in Southport. There can be no turning away of children from Southport hospital where lives may be at stake and everyone within and without the NHS has to get that message.If the inquiry establishes that loud and clear it will have done us all a service.”

Pressure has been mounting to bring back the children’s A&E department at Southport hospital following the death of baby Oskar. Children’s services were moved from Southport to Ormskirk hospital in June 2003 in a shake-up aimed at improving hospital care. Shortly afterwards, adult services were moved from Ormskirk to Southport.
Source: Formby Times

Monday 3 August 2009

Patients forced to live in agony after NHS refuses to pay for painkilling injections.

The Government's drug rationing watchdog says "therapeutic" injections of steroids, such as cortisone, which are used to reduce inflammation, should no longer be offered to patients suffering from persistent lower back pain when the cause is not known.
Instead the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is ordering doctors to offer patients remedies like acupuncture and osteopathy.

Specialists fear tens of thousands of people, mainly the elderly and frail, will be left to suffer excruciating levels of pain or pay as much as £500 each for private treatment.
The NHS currently issues more than 60,000 treatments of steroid injections every year. NICE said in its guidance it wants to cut this to just 3,000 treatments a year, a move which would save the NHS £33 million.
But the British Pain Society, which represents specialists in the field, has written to NICE calling for the guidelines to be withdrawn after its members warned that they would lead to many patients having to undergo unnecessary and high-risk spinal surgery.
Dr Christopher Wells, a leading specialist in pain relief medicine and the founder of the NHS' first specialist pain clinic, said it was "entirely unacceptable" that conventional treatments used by thousands of patients would be stopped.
"I don't mind whether some people want to try acupuncture, or osteopathy. What concerns me is that to pay for these treatments, specialist clinics which offer vital services are going to be forced to close, leaving patients in significant pain, with nowhere to go,"
The NICE guidelines admit that evidence was limited for many back pain treatments, including those it recommended. Where scientific proof was lacking, advice was instead taken from its expert group. But specialists are furious that while the group included practitioners of alternative therapies, there was no one with expertise in conventional pain relief medicine to argue against a decision to significantly restrict its use.
Dr Jonathan Richardson, a consultant pain specialist from Bradford Hospitals Trust, is among more than 50 medics who have written to NICE urging the body to reconsider its decision, which was taken in May.
He said: "The consequences of the NICE decision will be devastating for thousands of patients. It will mean more people on opiates, which are addictive, and kill 2,000 a year. It will mean more people having spinal surgery, which is incredibly risky, and has a 50 per cent failure rate."
One in three people are estimated to suffer from lower back pain every year, while one in 15 consult their GP about it. Specialists say therapeutic injections using steroids to reduce inflammation and other injections which can deaden nerve endings, can provide months or even years of respite from pain.
Experts said that if funding was stopped for the injections, many clinics would also struggle to offer other vital services, such as pain management programmes and psychotherapy which is used to manage chronic pain.
Anger among medics has reached such levels that Dr Paul Watson, a physiotherapist who helped draft the guidelines, was last week forced to resign as President of the British Pain Society.
Doctors said he had failed to represent their views when the guidelines were drawn up and refused to support the letter by more than 50 of the group's members which called for the guidelines to be withdrawn.
In response, NICE chairman Professor Sir Michael Rawlins expressed outrage over the vote that forced Dr Watson from his position, describing the actions of the society as "shameful". He accused pain specialists of refusing to accept that there was insufficient scientific evidence to support their practices.
A spokesman for NICE said its guidance did not recommend that injections were stopped for all patients, but only for those who had been in pain for less than a year, where the cause was not known.
Iris Watkins, 80 from Appleton, in Cheshire said her life had been "transformed" by the use of therapeutic injections every two years. The pensioner began to suffer back pain in her 70s. Four years ago, despite physiotherapy treatment and the use of medication, she had reached a stage where she could barely walk.
"It was horrendous, I was spending hours lying on the sofa, or in bed, I couldn't spend a whole evening out. I was referred to a specialist, who decided to give me a set of injections. The difference was tremendous",
Within days, she was able to return to her old life, gardening, caring for her husband Herbert, and enjoying social occasions.
"I just felt fabulous – almost immediately, there was not a twinge. I only had an injection every two years, but it really has transformed my life; if I couldn't have them I would be in despair".

Source :The Telegraph