Sunday, 23 November 2008

NHS want to close smoking room for terminally ill patients

POLITICALLY correct NHS bosses in Birmingham are battling to ban a smoking room for terminally ill patients – forcing them to be turfed out into the cold to enjoy their final cigarettes.

(Smoking ban doesn't apply in House of Commons)

Complete article here: Sunday Mercury

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

More than 400 NHS staff sacked in Wales for sexual abuse and Fraud

More than 400 NHS staff in Wales have been sacked or suspended in the past two years, according to figures obtained by an assembly member.

The alleged offences involved included abuse of patients, sexual harassment, drug thefts and fraud.

Chris Franks AM warned suspensions for a year or more in some cases put extra pressure on others working in the NHS.

Trusts stressed suspension was a "neutral act" often taken to protect the staff member involved.

The figures, obtained using the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), showed the costs of paying staff while they were suspended was more than £850,000 over two years.

They indicated 78 staff were suspended in 2006/07 and 121 in 2007/08 - a total of 199.

Over the same period there were 87 dismissals in the first year and 115 in the second - 202 altogether.

The statistics also indicated that one staff member in north Wales was suspended for 19 months in the 2006/07 financial year.

More than 90,000 people are directly employed by the health service in Wales, around five per cent of the working age population

Plaid Cymru AM Mr Franks said he accepted the numbers suspended "represents a very small proportion of NHS staff but it is important that those who fall below the standards expected are weeded out which is clearly happening".

"I do have concerns at the length of time that some staff are suspended before a decision on their future is made.

"This can be for a year or more and during that time staff are paid.

Complete article here

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

NHS Doctor, Sabah al-Zayyat, failed to identify Baby P's broken back and ribs

Sabah al-Zayyat

The consultant paediatrician was the last doctor to see Baby P alive, two days before his death. She failed to identify his broken back and ribs, recording that the examination could not be completed because the baby was “miserable and cranky”. She said she thought that Baby P had a cold. Dr Al-Zayyat, from Ilford, Essex, trained in Saudi Arabia and moved to Ireland in 1997 to study a master’s degree. Worked as a locum consultant paediatrician between 2002 and 2006 before moving to Great Ormond Street trust, based at St Ann’s Hospital. She has been banned from working unsupervised with children until the inquiry is complete and may face a GMC hearing.

Source: Mailonline

Monday, 10 November 2008

Almost as many patients die from bedsores as MRSA

EXCLUSIVE: Toll from bed ulcers near 5,000 £2bn cost of treating victims

By Nigel Nelson Political Editor Nigel.Nelson@People.Co.Uk

Bed sores are today revealed as the NHS's hidden killer.

New figures show they have caused nearly 5,000 deaths over five years, almost as many as hospital superbug MRSA.

Now a campaign has begun to press Health Secretary Alan Johnson to act.

Lib Dem MP Paul Burstow obtained figures showing untreated pressure ulcers were a factor in the deaths of 4,708 patients.

By comparison MRSA, which has had a much higher profile, killed 6,200.

Ex-health spokesman Mr Burstow, who was approached by victims' families, said: "These painful and grotesque sores can cause premature death. It is vital there is a national prevention programme."

Sores develop when the blood supply is cut off and strike those who are immobile or cannot feel pain suchas the old and paralysed.

They destroy tissue, allowing infection to spread, but can be prevented by checking and turning patients.

Superman actor Christopher Reeve died from a pressure sore at 52 in 2004, nine years after breaking his neck horse-riding.

Hospitals do not have to report sores, so patients are NOT checked frequently enough and there is NO way of knowing where they are most at risk.

There are estimated to be 800,000 cases a year costing the NHS £2billion.

Now the campaign group Your Turn wants records to become mandatory to name the worst hospitals.

David Stonehouse, of Guisborough, North Yorks, complained to PM Gordon Brown after his father was killed by a sore.

The Health Department said: "We provide clear guidance to hospitals on prevention."


Sunday, 9 November 2008

You live or die - who chooses?

This woman got the life-saving cancer drug she needed. Thousands more have been sentenced to an early death by bureaucrats. Russell Miller investigates.
Photographs by Larry Dunstan

At the age of 29, Toral Shah was warned she faced losing both her breasts to avoid death from an aggressive cancer. The disease had affected both her mother and her aunt. Devastated by the news, she asked for time to come to terms with the prospect of surgery that could disfigure her for life — and chemo or radiotherapy that could prevent her from ever having children. In a matter of weeks, the tumour had grown to the size of a mango. It was on the verge of invading other tissues — and the prognosis was bad. The surgeons removed a substantial amount of tissue with the tumour and she was given a synthetic implant. In common with thousands of women, Toral faced a stark choice: have both breasts removed, and endure the harrowing ordeal of chemo or radiotherapy, or somehow find an alternative. Toral comes from a medical background and she herself came across the alternative — Tamoxifen, a drug that had been mired in controversy, considered an expensive and unproven cure, offered to only a handful of NHS patients. On the advice of Macmillan Cancer Support, she asked to be given the drug. She was told by her doctors that her tumour was a localised variety. Such tumours grow in the presence of the female hormone oestrogen, which can be blocked by Tamoxifen. She was determined to get it.

Complete article here

Thursday, 6 November 2008

MUM found dead a week after ambulance sent to pick her up was cancelled because of NHS cuts

Ruth Hedge, 60, dialled 999 suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

But Dr Alan Stevenson, brought in to reduce call-outs, sent back the ambulance after speaking to Ruth, an inquest heard.

He told her to call the out-of-hours line. Ruth, of Borth, West Wales, tried but had the wrong number.

Coroner Michael Howells in Aberystwyth said it was “a failure by the NHS”, that her death was “avoidable” and recorded she died of natural causes aggravated by neglect.

Source: The Sun