Tag Archives: NHS

Hospital moved RAF sergeant over fears his uniform would upset patients

Multiculturalism is to blame, of course.


The Guardian: A hospital has apologised after an injured RAF sergeant was moved out of a hospital waiting room because staff thought his uniform would upset other patients.

Aircraft engineer Sgt. Mark Prendeville, 38, was taken to accident and emergency 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 sergeant, 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 Sun reported.

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

A number of veterans and military figures have spoken out against Prendeville’s treatment.

Former chief of the air staff Sir Michael Graydon described the incident as disappointing. “I would have thought, regardless of whether he had his uniform on or not, it was more important to deal with the situation, which was the chap had something very unpleasant happen to him, and he should be dealt with immediately,” he said. “Moving him to other rooms in the danger of offending people strikes me of getting the priorities absolutely wrong.”

Former RAF navigator Flt Lt John Nichol said he was appalled, and told the newspaper: “This is horrifying, you should be treated differently for wearing a uniform, you should be lauded because you’re wearing uniform, you should be celebrated for wearing uniform.”

A spokesman for East Kent University hospitals NHS foundation trust apologised to Prendeville for “any embarrassment”. “A member of the armed forces in uniform attended our A&E and was asked by a member of staff if he wanted to sit inside the department rather than the waiting room,” he told the Sun.

“This employee was acting in good faith because previously, there had been an altercation between a member of the public and a different member of the armed forces in uniform.”

Prendeville was training at RAF Manston, Kent, when the accident happened on Wednesday.


Culture of Death: Healthy woman commits suicide because she doesn’t want to become a “burden”

Gill Pharaoh and her husband

Gill Pharaoh and her husband

Daily Mail: A healthy former nurse chose to end her life at a Swiss suicide clinic because she did not want to become a burden on her family or the NHS. Gill Pharaoh, 75, was not suffering from a terminal illness but decided she did not want to depend on others by becoming frail in old age.

The former palliative nurse, from north London, travelled to the Dignitas-style Lifecircle clinic in Basel for her assisted suicide on July 21. She travelled there with her husband, John, and spent the evening before her death having a ‘tranquil’ meal on the banks of the Rhine.

In a blog post two months before she died, Mrs. Pharaoh explained why she had chosen to die.  ‘Until I was seventy I was very fit and able to fully participate in any activity I wanted to do. I felt I could still be busy and useful and fairly productive. Then I had a severe attack of Shingles and it all changed. At seventy five I am told I look ok and I take no medication.

‘However, I feel my life is complete and I am ready to die. My family are well and happy – their lives are full and busy. I can no longer walk the distances I used to enjoy so the happy hours spent exploring the streets of London are just a memory now.’

The mother-of-two explained that she did not want to become an ‘old lady blocking beds in a hospital ward’. She wrote: ‘I have had to make my exit while I am in my right mind and capable of doing so without too much assistance, because I am afraid of compromising the people around me whom I love.’

‘I have had to do this outside my home, and without telling too many people for the same reason. I have written my goodbyes and tidied my life and hope I have managed to exit as unobtrusively as possible. I have always held a donor card but that will be redundant now.

‘If I could have booked my death quite openly, I could have had a party before I died, in the way that people have done, and continue to do, in Switzerland and other places. ‘In which case, perhaps any of my body parts that could be reused could be collected immediately. I could also be sure that I will never be an old lady blocking beds in a hospital ward. This would save the NHS a fortune.

Speaking to the Sunday Times weeks before her death, Mrs. Pharaoh said she wanted to end her life because she knew how frail she was becoming. ‘I have looked after people who are old, on and off, all my life. I have always said, “I am not getting old. I do not think old age is fun”.

‘I know that I have gone just over the hill now. It is not going to start getting better. I do not want people to remember me as a sort of old lady hobbling up the road with a trolley.’

Mrs. Pharaoh spent her last day with her husband, John, dining by the Rhine in Basel. He said it was ‘enjoyable’ and that he chose not to spoil their last evening together by being ’emotional and heavy’.

Before her journey to Switzerland, Mrs. Pharaoh told her children, Mark and Caron, who did not find it easy to cope. She said: ‘It is not his [John’s] choice at all and my kids are backing me, although it is not their choice. My daughter is a nurse and she said, “Intellectually, I know where you are coming from but emotionally, I am finding it really hard”, and I know she is.’

Yes, best to off yourself to save NHS a fortune…so their employees can retire with six-figure pensions.

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Benefits mother-of-four let her kids go hungry to pay for foreign boob job – but now wants NHS to pay for ANOTHER operation after surgery was botched

Gibson: Selfish mom

Gibson: Selfish mom

DailyMail: An unemployed mother-of-four who let her children go hungry so she could pay £4,000 ($6,349 US) for a boob job in Poland is asking the British taxpayer to fork out £5,000 ($7,936 US) for a new one after her surgery left her with wonky breasts.

Naica Gibson stopped buying food for her kids at the end of the month so she could put away almost a third of her benefit cash to fund the surgery on her ‘sagging’ 38D bust. The single-mother even refused to pay for clothes, school trips and days out from the children’s London home for two years as she saved up to go under the knife, saying she ‘had to cut back on pretty much everything. I missed meals as well as them.’

But after her Polish plastic surgeon allegedly left her with one boob bigger than the other – she’s now desperate for another. This time though, she’s wanting it on the NHS for free. The 31-year-old told The Sun: ‘I’m from England and deserve the treatment if I need it. I don’t see anything wrong in using my benefits for a boob job.

Naica has said she can’t even bear to look at her breasts, which have been left covered in scars by two trips to Poland paid for by her benefits cash. She was required to keep her newly boosted bosom wrapped in bandages for weeks after two operations – her initial boob job and a second to tweak them – and relied on a daily cocktail of painkillers to numb the after-effects of her surgeries. However, ever since unravelling them she’s been repulsed by what she claims is a noticeable disproportion in their sizes – an issue which can now only be fixed with pricey corrective surgery.

But instead of scrimping on food once more, Naica – who says she can’t work because she has to look after her four childrenis this time going to the NHS, asking the taxpayer to foot the £5,000 bill. She said that despite being a mother, she still seeks to look her best, and because her attempts to do so have gone wrong it is now up to the NHS to help her.

Selfish mom of four children

Selfish mom of four children

The saving process for the boob job that she thought would restore her chest back to its youthful glory was a lengthy one for Naica, who lives with her four children – aged between one and 14, from two different fathers – in a three-bedroom townhouse in Tottenham, North London.

She is reportedly paid a total of £1,357 ($2,154 US) every month in tax credits, income support, child benefit, housing allowance and council tax, all from the public purse. Her saving plan saw her put away £100 every week. However, she admitted by the end of the month she’d have ‘no money left for the kids,’ at which point she’d take them to their gran’s house for their dinner. ‘I was determined to get my dream boob job no matter what, even if it meant cutting back on things for the kids,’ she said.

Despite initially planning on paying for an op in the UK, Naica – who has been on benefits all her adult life – couldn’t help but be tempted by the considerably cheaper surgery available in Poland after being blown away by Harley Street prices, where similar procedures start at around £8,500.

After months searching Google for ‘cheap places for cosmetic surgery’, Naica found one surgeon claiming to have given boob jobs to some of the cast from hit reality TV show, Geordie Shore. In January this year, after two years of saving, she paid the £4,250 she’d put away for her operation and travel costs.

However, on her way home she said she realized her boobs weren’t a natural shape and were already becoming extremely firm. She returned to Poland in February, going under the knife again. But her bad luck continued, with her dream breasts quickly becoming a total nightmare. They picked-up an infection on her second flight back home, and required almost immediate hospital treatment when she touched back down in the capital. She said: ‘All I could think was all those missed meals for nothing. I just wanted them fixed.’

Gibson just wants what SHE WANTS...

Gibson just wants what SHE WANTS…

Doctors have since told her she requires corrective surgery to re-do her boobs. She’s now waiting to speak to a GP to be given the green light for her third op, but this time paid for by the NHS.

Roger Goss, co-director of campaign group Patient Concern, blasted Naica’s cheek. He said: ‘This is simply not right. It gives the NHS a bad name, which it doesn’t deserve. Money used on Naica’s operation would make a massive difference to patients and save lives.’

Andy Silvester, campaign director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘This is yet another example of how badly our benefit system needs to be reformed. It’s sheer madness. It was her choice to use her benefits for her surgery, and unless there’s a clear medical reason for the NHS to step in it should be for her to pay for any adjustments.’

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It pays to work for UK government: Number of NHS fat cats retiring on six-figure pensions soars 700% in just five years


Daily Mail: The number of health service fat cats retiring on millionaire pensions has soared 700 per cent in the past five years. Despite the worst NHS funding crisis in a generation, six-figure payouts were made to 143 executives last year, compared with just 18 in the year 2009/2010.

The number of employees given bumper pension pots of more than £75,000 ($118,023 US) also quadrupled in the same time frame. Meanwhile, the number of £50,000-plus retirement deals has more than doubled, despite a £30billion ($47,209,500,000 US) funding blackhole. The extraordinary packages, mainly being handed out to boardroom big hitters, would pay for nearly 23,000 frontline nurses.

The revelations, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, come after it emerged that NHS bosses were given pay rises worth £35million last year. Some executives earned more than £1million. Even at hospitals with the worst standards of care directors enjoyed pay packages worth up to £5,000 a day. The average chief executive in England now takes home £185,255 in salary alone, far higher than the Prime Minister’s £142,500 pay.

Taxpayers are also being shafted by a wave of NHS bosses who are exploiting a pension loophole to cash in their retirement pots early. Some are ‘retiring’ for just 24 hours to maximise their entitlement – before returning to their posts full-time on the same huge salary as before. The provision was originally put in place to help lower-paid nurses who should be allowed to continue working part-time, in case they struggle on just their pension. But it has now become a lucrative loophole exploited by highly-paid executives. Others are being paid through personal service companies – a common tax avoidance tactic.

After the information was published by the NHS Pension Scheme, Unite’s Barrie Brown said health visitors, paramedics and school nurses could only dream of such a high sum, with the average NHS pension is just £6,000 for men – and even less for women.

‘Our members are now expected to work longer, pay more and receive less pension with the new NHS pension scheme the Government implemented on April 1,’ he said. ‘Senior staff who receive these very high pensions can opt to retire early with reduced but very good pensions. The majority of staff who prop up the NHS wouldn’t have that option.’

Hospital campaigner Sam Zair, whose 89-year-old mother Bernice was failed by the NHS, last night hit out at the huge payments. Mrs. Zair, a dementia sufferer, had been admitted to hospital with a water infection but died of pneumonia after allegedly being left on a mattress on the hospital floor.

County Councillor Mr. Zair, of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, said: ‘It is an absolutely obscene amount of money being paid out to people at the top of the NHS. It just goes to show that the money going into the NHS is not going where it is needed most. I wonder whether patient care is secondary to these people.

Chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance campaigner Jonathan Isaby said the money could have paid for an army of nursing staff. ‘Pensions of this extraordinary size are a thing of the past in the private sector because they’re totally unaffordable,’ he said. ‘Taxpayers shouldn’t be picking up the tab for lucrative pensions at a time when we’re trying to reduce a £90 billion deficit. Every single penny of taxpayers’ money spent on the NHS needs to go into front-line services and patient care, not lining the pockets of retirees.Clearly the NHS needs to wake up and smell the coffee.’

Liz Emerson, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation think-tank, said the new Tory Government needs to cap ‘unsustainable’ pensions. She said the increase in six-figure sums ‘dispels the myth that we are all in it together’. ‘The current public sector pension liability is almost £1.7 trillion in the red,’ she said. ‘Young private sector workers, overburdened by student debt, high rents and poor pay, may well start to question why they should have to shoulder the burden of these over-generous fat-cat pensions.’

Labour shadow health minister Jamie Reed said a probe is needed ‘to ensure fairness from bottom to top in the NHS’. A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘It is vital that every penny of taxpayers’ money is spent to achieve the best outcomes for patients. The Government has already made significant reforms to the NHS pension scheme to save £800m a year. This includes linking pensions to career average earnings, rather than final salary and a higher retirement age.


Now we know why NHS has been doing this (gotta pay for these fat-cat pensions some how):


In the UK, GPs ‘too busy to see your child’

Children used as NHS propaganda during the 2012 London Olympics Ceremony

Children used as NHS propaganda during the 2012 London Olympics Ceremony

Daily Mail: Thousands of children are being taken to casualty needlessly because their GPs are prioritising adults, a report shows. Some parents no longer feel they can take sick youngsters to their local surgery so they end up being treated as ‘second-class citizens’ in hospital. More than 8,000 ‘potentially avoidable’ extra admissions for conditions such as asthma and diabetes have been logged every year since doctors were allowed to opt out of evening and weekend work.

Out-of-hours care was handed to private firms, NHS trusts and GP co-operatives under a 2004 contract that primarily rewarded the care of chronically ill adults. These changes have ‘squeezed out’ the care of children, according to researchers from Imperial College London.

They said parents were finding it hard to get daytime appointments for their youngsters because GPs were overloaded with adult patients. Confidence in out-of-hours services has also fallen.

Sonia Saxena, a GP and lead author of the study, suggested parents ‘may be getting the message’ from doctors that general practice was not now a place to take a child. ‘They have been squeezed out,’ she said. ‘Consulting rates have gone up for adults but remained the same for children.

The incentivised scheme aimed at improving quality of care provided mainly to adults possibly detracted focused care from children. We have clear evidence that the unintended consequences have been that children whose care was not prioritised have had to turn to the emergency services, which in many cases results in poorer health outcomes in children and waste in the health system.’

The Imperial researchers studied data on 7.8 million unplanned hospital admissions among under-15s from 2000 to 2012. They said the GP contract changes had led to an eight per cent increase in short-stay admission rates for children with chronic conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy and asthma. This was equivalent to 8,500 additional short-stay hospital admissions a year. This was significant because these were children with ‘primary care sensitive’ conditions – where better GP care is seen as vital.

This 8 per cent rise was over and above the 3 per cent annual increase, according to the study published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine and funded by the National Institute for Health Research. Avoidable admissions are expensive for the NHS, costing up to £500 a child compared with £30 for a GP consultation.

Dr. Saxena called for a rebalancing of financial incentives and better ways of working, including more telephone access to GPs. She said children risked being treated as ‘second-class citizens’.

However, Maureen Baker, who chairs the Royal College of GPs, insisted there was no evidence of a causal link between out-of-hours GP access and hospital admissions.

She said: ‘Any increase is most likely due to some hospital doctors taking a more cautious approach to admitting children for overnight observation, a response to pressure to meet the A&E four-hour target, and a lack of ability to discharge patients back into the community. It is a myth that GPs do not work outside of normal working hours – and in an emergency patients will always have access to a family doctor.’

Professor Baker said her college wanted 8,000 more GPs in England to combat severe shortages as well as a bigger share of the overall NHS budget.

Dr. Richard Vautrey, who is deputy chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, said: ‘This research ignores the important fact that since 2004 there has been a substantial increase in pressure on the NHS from rising patient demand, falling resources and staff shortages that have particularly affected general practice. GPs see and treat large numbers of children every day and are experts in this area. The GP contract does focus on ensuring good standards of care for children with asthma. It is a key part of the care GPs deliver and unlikely to be an explanation for the changes in hospital admissions seen in this research.’

A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘The 2004 GP contract broke the personal link between doctor and patient, piled on red tape and put huge pressure on A&Es. By 2020, we’ll ensure everyone can see a family doctor seven days a week, empowering hard-working GPs as the cornerstone of the NHS.’

Last month a damning report showed that care standards were far worse in areas where GPs had opted out of evening and weekend work. Locum doctors provided by private firms were more likely to turn up late, less trusted and offered a ‘very poor’ overall service, according to the study.



Over 75? NHS wants you to sign a Do Not Resuscitate order


Daily Mail: Doctors are being told to ask all patients over 75 if they will agree to a ‘do not resuscitate’ order. New NHS guidelines urge GPs to draw up end-of-life plans for over-75s, as well as younger patients suffering from cancer, dementia, heart disease or serious lung conditions.

They are also being told to ask whether the patient wants doctors to try to resuscitate them if their health suddenly deteriorates.

The NHS says the guidance will improve patients’ end-of-life care, but medical professionals say it is ‘blatantly wrong’ and will frighten the elderly into thinking they are being ‘written off’.

In some surgeries, nurses are cold-calling patients over 75 or with long-term conditions and asking them over the phone if they have ‘thought about resuscitation’. Other patients have spoken of the shock of going in for a routine check-up and being asked about resuscitation.

The extraordinary new guidance has been brought in despite the outcry over the use of ‘do not resuscitate’ orders under the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).  The discredited pathway was scrapped last year after the Mail revealed that doctors were placing ‘DNR’ notices on patients without their knowledge and depriving them of food and fluids.

The guidelines – which also recommend patients should be asked if they want to die at home – have been drawn up by experts advising NHS England, the organisation which runs the health service. One expert said the guidance was ‘the thin end of the wedge of assisted suicide’.

Professor Patrick Pullicino, who spearheaded the campaign against the LCP, said: ‘What is most blatantly wrong is trying to get someone to agree to a ‘do not resuscitate’ order before they are even sick. For somebody who is perfectly well, or has got a mild or not a serious illness, that would be totally out of place.’

Roy Lilley, a health policy analyst and former NHS trust chairman, said: ‘It will give some older people the impression that no-one wants to bother with them. It looks as though they’re being told: ‘You’re old, how do you want to die because you’re in the way’. It’s a very clunky thing to do – it’s completely unnecessary.’

Roger Goss, of Patient Concern, said: ‘There will be some people who will be put out, disconcerted and think they are not going to get the best available care. They might think this is a way of saving money for the NHS. Other patients will be prepared to talk about it and think it sensible.’

A ‘do not resuscitate’ order is meant to stop a patient suffering unnecessarily where their lives are likely to be extended for only a short period of time. Resuscitation can be traumatic and cause broken ribs or damage to organs, including the spleen. Doctors estimate that only 10 to 15 per cent of patients are brought back to life and some suffer permanent brain damage.

But asking patients to make such a decision when they may have many years to live will prompt concerns that the NHS is writing them off. In some parts of England, practice nurses have been instructed to cold-call patients and fill out an advance care plan for them over the phone.

Ruth Nicholls, a palliative care nurse in the South East, told how her brother-in-law, who has a heart condition, was contacted immediately after he had a hospital appointment.

In an interview with Nursing Times, she said: ‘He came back from an outpatient appointment having not had very good news and later that afternoon got a phone call from one of the practice nurses at his GP surgery.

‘She said: ‘Hello, we’re ringing all our patients with chronic conditions to see how you are and whether you have thought about resuscitation. This conversation was absolutely out of nowhere. My brother-in-law was shocked and my sister was distraught.

She also said an elderly patient was asked about resuscitation by a district nurse he had never met during a routine visit. ‘One of the first questions he was asked was whether he wanted to be resuscitated,’ she said. ‘People are being left in great distress.’

The controversial Liverpool Care Pathway was phased out last year following harrowing reports that patients were being left so dehydrated they were left to suck on wet sponges given by relatives because nurses had banned water.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel

No doubt Ezekiel Emanuel is thrilled with this:  He declared his desire to die at age 75 (and is a chief architect of Obamacare).

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Midwives carry out abortions in shake-up which prompts fury from pro-life groups

unborn baby

DailyMail: Midwives have been given the green light to take the main role in performing abortions.

New Department of Health rules say for the first time that midwives and nurses may “participate in the termination”. The controversial guidelines were last night condemned by MPs and anti-abortion campaigners.

Crossbench peer Lord Alton said: “It is particularly perverse that midwives, who do the beautiful work of helping babies into the world will now be called upon to end the lives of children they might otherwise work to save.”

Tory MP Fiona Bruce said the new rules would ‘allow abortions to be administered by nurses or midwives instead of doctors’. She added: ‘This is a clear liberalisation of abortion law which people do not want. Moreover, I do not believe that it is what Parliament intended.’

Under previous guidelines, midwives and nurses could undertake “certain actions” in help to terminate unwanted pregnancies. But the new rules go much further and state clearly that a “nurse or midwife may administer the drugs used for medical abortions”.

The new guidance, which also rules out abortions carried out on the grounds of sex alone, comes at a time of controversy over abortion law, which allows nearly 200,000 terminations to be performed in England and Wales each year. About a fifth of pregnancies end in abortion.

The 1967 law which governs abortion says that two doctors must approve the termination and the procedure must be conducted by a doctor.

In 1981, the courts gave approval for nurses to be involved, and Whitehall guidance restated the principle in 1999.

But the new rules for the first time say that a doctor needs only to approve and begin a termination. The bulk of the procedure can be carried out by nurses.

The move follows pressure from the Royal College of Nursing and abortion providers, who believe the law should be changed to allow nurses full control of abortion induced by drugs or some other techniques.

Labour MP Jim Dobbin, the co-chairman of the all-party Parliamentary Pro-life Group, said: “We simply cannot trust the Department of Health on abortion.

They take every opportunity to make life easier for the abortion industry, even on legally contentious grounds. The Abortion Act is crystal clear that a qualified doctor is the only person able to perform an abortion.”

“Not satisfied with this, the department is now making nurses and midwives accomplices to the tragic taking of innocent human life. We are looking at a judicial review to challenge the legality of this appalling decision.”

Pro-choice organisations say that over the past 20 years nurses have taken over many of the clinical functions once reserved for doctors and so the law should be liberalized to allow them to take over the lead role in abortion.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the biggest abortion provider, BPAS, said: “We think nurses are the best people to deliver early abortions. Abortions should be carried out by people who are clinically qualified to do it, including nurses.”

The Department of Health said the new guidelines made no difference to the law and merely clarified the existing rules.

Dr. Michael Scott, a consultant psychologist and critic of abortion law, believes the new guidance is designed to free up funds in the NHS. “Nurses would be cheaper than doctors,” he said. “One can see that from a purely economic point of view, the government is moving in that direction.”

Dr. Tony Cole, chairman of the Medical Ethics Alliance, added: “Midwifery is one of the most life-enhancing fields in the whole of medicine and to ask midwives to carry out these death sentences is obscene. It is a betrayal of what midwives are for.”