Tuesday, 21 July 2009

NHS to be swamped by 1m illegals

By GRAEME WILSON
Deputy Political Editor, The Sun

A MILLION illegal immigrants could benefit from proposals to let failed asylum seekers use the NHS, it was claimed last night.
The Government came under fire for unveiling plans to give free health care to thousands of asylum seekers AFTER their applications have been rejected.

Experts warned the decision to loosen the rules could give the green light to a million illegals already in Britain to use the NHS.

The decision was slipped out by ministers the day before Parliament breaks up for the summer.

Under current rules, asylum seekers get free healthcare while their application is being considered.

However, they lose this privilege if their asylum claims are rejected.

Under the new proposals, failed asylum seekers who have a "recognised barrier" to returning home - or who are surviving on state handouts - will get free NHS treatment.

Failed asylum seekers with kids and unaccompanied children will also be eligible.

Migrationwatch chairman Sir Andrew Green blasted the move last night. He said: "These proposals amount to an open door for one million illegal immigrants to get access to the NHS.

"It's little wonder that thousands are queuing up around Calais to get in."

But health minister Ann Keen insisted: "They strike the right balance between controlled access, the protection and promotion of wider public health, and ensuring that the healthcare needs of the most vulnerable groups are protected."

Monday, 13 July 2009

NHS advice to school children: "An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away"

By Daniel Martin
Last updated at 11:10 PM on 12th July 2009

The NHS is telling school pupils they have a 'right' to an enjoyable sex life and that it is good for their health.
A Health Service leaflet says experts concentrate too much on the need for safe sex and loving relationships, and not enough on the pleasure it can bring.
But family campaigners last night condemned the guidance, saying it encouraged underage sex and could increase rates of sexually-transmitted diseases.
Under the heading 'an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away', the leaflet says: 'Health promotion experts advocate five portions of fruit and veg a day and 30 minutes physical activity three times a week. What about sex or masturbation twice a week?'

The advice, which also claims regular sex is good for cardiovascular health, has been circulated to parents, teachers and youth workers.
It came to light just a week after it emerged that teenagers who took part in a £6million Government initiative to reduce teenage pregnancies were more than twice as likely to fall pregnant as other girls.
The scheme tried to persuade girls not to get pregnant by handing out condoms and teaching them about sex.
The NHS leaflet has been drawn up by Sheffield primary care trust and is entitled Pleasure.

About 40,000 teenagers become pregnant every year in the UK - the highest level in western Europe. More than half end in abortion.

Full article can be read in: Daily Mail

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Cruelty, neglect and a catalogue of blunders: stories from today's NHS

Hospital patients are repeatedly being exposed to cruelty, neglect and blunders at the hands of the health service, a report has warned.

By Laura Donnelly and Ian Johnston
Published: 9:00PM BST 04 Jul 2009

Britain's leading patient charity has drawn up a dossier detailing failings in health care which it says are suffered by thousands of people each year, with many left to die in pain or stripped of their basic dignity.

More than 5,000 people contacted the Patients Association's helplines last year because they or a relative had experienced poor medical care.

Medication errors and failures to act on vital information in medical records were also repeated.

The charity said it decided to draw up the report, detailing the experiences of more than a dozen patients, in order to highlight problems which have now become "endemic" across the NHS, as compassion is sacrificed to a targets culture.

Cases include:

– A woman who survived cancer for 40 years, who died from an infected bedsore which the hospital failed to treat;

– a dying leukaemia victim refused pain relief despite his cries;

– a former nurse who was mocked by hospital staff for being a "drama queen" when their rough handling opened painful wounds;

– a cancer sufferer who lost the will to live after being given a drug overdose.

The Sunday Telegraph is highlighting the cases as part of its campaign, Heal Our Hospitals, which is demanding an overhaul of NHS targets to ensure they improve the quality of patient care.

More than 4,950 people have signed a petition backing the campaign. Last week the Government promised to reform the target regime – but has so far only committed to discarding diktats which have already been met.

Katherine Murphy, from the Patients Association, said: "Our concern is that the very basics of dignity, care and compassion that should be at the heart of care are being forgotten, in a culture which is focused on targets, and bureaucracy.

"Each of these stories is desperately sad; every week we hear more tales of needless suffering, pain and anxiety and in many cases needless death.

"It is desperately urgent that those running hospitals, and those in Government, listen and learn from these experiences".

Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said some of the incidents described in the dossier were indefensible.

He said: "We will not defend nurses who behave in ways that are contrary to the principles and ethics on which nursing is founded.

"I do believe the vast majority of nurses are decent, highly skilled individuals, and most surveys of patient satisfaction back that up, but we have to face up to the fact that there are some who become inured to what patients are going through".

While individual nurses had to take personal responsibility for cruel comments, and a lack of sensitivity to patients, he warned that "a target-driven culture" had increased pressure on staff to deal with higher numbers of patients more quickly.

The Patient Association's report, Patients Not Numbers, will be published later this month.

To sign The Sunday Telegraph 'Heal our Hospitals' petition, click here.