Tag Archives: England

Thursday funnies!

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h/t @CloydRivers

DCG

The joys of socialized healthcare: Children in Northern Ireland wait over a year for surgeries

government solve all problems

From BBC: Wearing pajamas and fluffy slippers, she treads carefully, held up on either side by a Turkish nurse.

Megan flew to Istanbul for private surgery late last year, having been told she faced long delays for an operation to fix the deformation of her spine, which was causing her problems breathing.

When the healthcare trust in Belfast told her parents it would be at least a year before she could have the procedure, they felt they had no choice but to fundraise for treatment.

Through the generosity of strangers, the money was raised – but surgery to insert four metal rods into her spine was painful and expensive, costing about £30,000.

Just a few days after treatment, 14-year-old Megan had to board a plane home to Northern Ireland. “But I was so happy, because I just wanted it over and done with, and to get back on the road to recovery,” she says.

For her mother, Karen Fleming, though, the upset and uncertainty still plays on her mind. And she is angry on behalf of dozens of other children still waiting for similar treatment. “It’s a shambles. It’s a mess,” she says.

“It’s no fault of the surgeons. It’s no fault of the nurses. But it’s awful. It’s just seeing your child in pain every day, knowing that you can’t help them. And the only way for a lot of families is to fundraise, or actually to remortgage your house.”

In Northern Ireland, targets say most patients should be seen within nine weeks and none should wait over 15 weeks.

Curvature of the spine:

Just a few miles away from Megan’s home in Carrickfergus, we visit 16-year-old Sophie Tanner in Belfast. She waited 20 months for the same operation, to correct curvature of the spine, before it was cancelled the day before surgery.

Her parents were delighted when Sophie was then offered the procedure in Stanmore hospital, in Middlesex.  It went well but took 14 hours instead of the eight it was supposed to. Nevertheless, the operation has taken the pressure off her heart and lungs and she has made a very good recovery.

But Sophie’s parents say having to wait as long as she did was unacceptable. “What most people in Northern Ireland want is the same treatment as the rest of the UK,” says her father, Eddie.

“We’re part of the UK, so we think that the waiting lists should be similar. We pay taxes. We pay National Insurance. We would expect the powers to be to make sure that places are pretty equal.

Surgeon: ‘We have no choice’

Spinal surgeon Niall Eames, in Belfast, says the health service is doing what it can to restructure itself and offer surgery faster. But in the short term he has no choice but to tell many children they need to expect long waits.

“Telling a child that they can’t have the operation when they need and want the operation – it’s completely inappropriate,” he says.

“Obviously it’s terrible for the patients. It’s awful for them. But equally for the healthcare people involved in the caring, the managers, the nurses, the consultants, the staff – it’s awful not being able to offer the treatment we know they require in a timely manner.”

New data from the Royal College of Surgeons shows the problem in Northern Ireland is getting worse.

At the end of 2017, there were more than 14,000 patients waiting over a year for treatment, with more than 3,000 waiting over two years.

In Northern Ireland that represents nearly one in 100 people.  By comparison there are about 1,800 people waiting over a year for surgery in England.

The Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Board, which runs the NHS, said: “The system is under huge pressure and the waiting times experienced by many patients continue to be unacceptable.

“There simply isn’t either the money or required staffing levels to sustain the current model of care.”

But the Department of Health in Northern Ireland said it had announced a £30 million investment in tackling hospital waiting lists in the current year. However, the money has not yet reached the frontline.

DCG

Guess what is responsible for this: London sees surge in knife attacks

saddiq khan

Wait until you read what the police blame this on…seriously.

From Fox News: London became a bit more like New York City in February, but it’s not a distinction to be proud of.

The city of Big Ben and the tube that sits on the Thames River overtook New York in murders for the first time in modern history as the British capital dealt with a surge in knife attacks.

The Sunday Times reports that 15 people were murdered in London, against 14 in New York. Both cities are very diverse with large populations: London has over 8.7 million residents to New York’s 8.5 million.

In March, according to the British publication, there had been 22 killings in London versus 21 in New York.

A massive decline in crime has helped to transform New York City: In 1990, of 2,245 people were murdered. Last year, however, that number dropped nearly 90 percent to 290 murders.

The total number of murders in London has fluctuated over the years, but it’s risen by 38 percent since 2014.

The Sunday Times reports that FBI data and crime studies show that since 1800 London has typically had a murder rate per person of between half and a 20th of New York’s.

Including January, London still has fewer murders so far this year — 45 against 55 — and its total in 2017 was also lower. But the gap has narrowed in recent years.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said websites and mobile phone applications such as YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram were partially to blame for the bloodshed, the Evening Standard reports.

Fatal stabbings in England and Wales are now at their highest levels since 2011, rising by 12 per cent in the year ending December 2017.

DCG

Whistleblowers silenced for trying to expose UK’s worst child abuse sex scandal perpetrated by Muslims

operation chalice

Scumbags arrested/jailed during Operation Chalice

From Daily Mirror: Two whistleblowers were punished for trying to expose Britain’s worst child abuse scandal which affected up to 1,000 girls for 40 years, the Mirror can reveal today (this was published March 12).

A Labour MP last night joined calls for a public inquiry after girls as young as 11 were lured from families to be drugged, beaten and raped in an epidemic that, say victims, continues today. Three were murdered and two others died in tragedies linked to the scandal.

As our case histories show, many were ignored after reporting rapes to police.

But, despite similar high-profile cases in Rochdale and Rotherham, authorities in Telford ­did nothing for years to stop the horrific abuse network exposed yesterday by The Sunday Mirror.

Hundreds of victims have been failed. Police even told one victim they had destroyed evidence of her rape claim after they tried to contact her.

A council-commissioned report told how social workers knew of the child sex crimes in the late 90s. And in 2016, whistle blowing police chaplain Keith Osmund-Smith was suspended after passing papers to the Mirror.

We asked police what was done about allegations of abuse in the 150-page report and they said they had not been ­properly logged.

A second whistleblower employed by Axis Counselling – a charity helping sex abuse victims – was forced to leave her post after speaking out.

Notes of her disciplinary meeting show officials admitted she had done nothing wrong but feared funding from authorities would be cut if she kept expressing views about the lack of action over the scandal by the council and police.

The majority of Axis Counselling’s funding comes from West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion – who has opposed calls from an MP and the Sunday Mirror for a Rotherham-style inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Telford.

In September 2016, Tory MP for Telford, Lucy Allan, called for an inquiry after an abuse victim told her that many of the worst offenders had not been ­prosecuted and still lived in the area. The same month, Tory Campion and nine others on the Labour-run council wrote to Home Secretary Amber Rudd, saying the inquiry was not necessary.

The whistleblowers’ concerns came on top of complaints from victims who were ignored or treated like criminals.

Becky Watson, 13, died in a car crash described as a “prank”. But she had suffered two years of abuse by an Asian grooming gang. Her mum Torron Watson said she repeatedly told police Becky was being abused and named suspects. But, she said: “Girls like Becky were treated like criminals.”

In another case, Lucy Lowe, 16, was killed with her mum Eileen and 17-year-old sister Sarah in a house fire set by her abuser Azhar Ali Mehmood, 44.

Cabbie Mehmood targeted Lucy in 1997 and she was just 14 when she gave birth to his daughter. He was jailed in 2001 for murdering Lucy, her mum Eileen and 17-year-old sister Sarah.

But he was never arrested or charged over child sex crimes concerning his illegal relationship with the schoolgirl.

Vicky Round, a friend of Becky, was abused by the same gang who got her hooked on crack at 12 and heroin by 14. She died at 20 of a drugs ­incident. Sister Emma said: “Those who made her life hell still walk the streets.”

Police probe Operation Chalice, identified at least 100 potential victims between 2007 and 2009 – but just nine were jailed and the case was closed.

Among them were: Mubarek Ali, 34, jailed for 14 years, and brother Ahdel, 27, for 18. They were both convicted of a string of horrific child sex crimes at Worcester crown court in 2012.

Police said there could have been as many as 200 abusers. But Professor Liz Kelly, of London Metropolitan University’s Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, estimated the number of victims, based on our investigation, as up to 1,000.

Freedom of Information Act papers revealed two predatory paedophiles had begun targeting girls from a local children’s home in 1981.

Today we can also reveal officers were allegedly told as early as 1996 about one of the key players who is said to have made thousands grooming girls and selling them for sex. One victim gave so much evidence to police in 2010 that officers launched a probe, called Operation Thesis, around her evidence. But this led to no prosecutions.

When the victim last year asked for her police files to understand why nobody had faced justice, the officer handling her request admitted she had “expressed concerns” to a senior detective.

He also played a leading role in Operation Chalice. He sent an officer to the victim’s home who allegedly tried to discourage her. When files were provided months later, the first disk was unreadable.

Whistleblower Chaplain Osmund-Smith has returned to work. Police said: “An internal ­investigation was carried out and made a number of recommendations which we have worked with him to address.”

The second whistleblower won an out-of-court settlement on a no fault basis. Axis Counselling declined to comment.

Read the whole disgusting story here.

DCG

Raising a generation of snowflakes: British headmaster bans students from touching snow on school grounds

snowball fight

From Yahoo: A British headmaster is defending his controversial decision to ban students from touching snow on school grounds, the Telegraph reports.

“The rules are don’t touch the snow,” Ges Smith of the Jo Richardson Community School in Dagenham, England, explained during an appearance on the Good Morning Britain talk show. “If you don’t touch the snow, you’re not going to throw [a snowball].”

Smith claimed that the ban protected the school from potential lawsuits, citing a “duty of care issue.”

“It only takes one student, one piece of grit, one stone in a snowball in an eye, with an injury and we change our view,” he insisted as hosts Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan accused him of being overprotective.

Smith added that playing in the snow — which has blanketed much of the U.K. in a winter storm dubbed “The Beast From the East” — made children wet and “unfit for school.”

Viewers have blasted the ban as an extreme effort to spoil children’s fun, with one commenter calling Smith a “snowflake.”

Read the original Telegraph story here.

DCG

NHS care: Woman requests female doctor, met by pre-op transgender medic with stubble & a beard

male nurse

From Daily Mail: A woman who asked to be seen by a female nurse when she went for a smear test was ’embarrassed’ when she was allocated a person with ‘stubble and a beard’.

Upon being called in for the procedure (pap smear), the patient said she was ‘distressed’ to discover that the nurse was biologically male. When she pointed out the mistake, the nurse responded that their gender was not male and that they were transsexual. 

In the end, the patient decided not to go ahead with the intimate procedure and complained to the NHS

She told The Sunday Times that it was ‘weird where somebody says to you “my gender is not male” and you think: “well, what does that even mean? You’re clearly a man!”‘

The patient described the nurse as having an ‘obviously male appearance…close-cropped hair, a male facial appearance and voice, large number of tattoos and facial stubble.’

The woman received an apology from the NHS following the incident at a clinic in North West London NHS Foundation on September 16 last year.

In her letter of complaint she wrote that, when booking the appointment, she had requested a female nurse or practitioner. She added: ‘People who are not comfortable about this are presented as bigots and this is kind of how I was made to feel about it.’

The patient emphasised that her complaint was not in relation to the nurse’s appearance or gender status.

It comes as equalities minister and education secretary Justine Greening said she was considering proposals that would allow people to legally change their gender without being diagnosed by a doctor.  

Ms. Greening was last week said to be getting cold feet about self-certification after a consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act was delayed.

James Caspian, a psychotherapist who works specialises in working with transgender people, said scenarios similar to that the patient who went for a smear test experienced would become more common is self-certification went ahead. He argued that politicians had not thought through the implications of such a move. 

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘We apologised to this patient for the recording error and because the staff member accepted they didn’t manage the situation appropriately or professionally; the patient needed to feel listened to.

‘Trust policy for all services is to consider seriously all requests for clinicians of a particular gender; it allows patients to feel more supported; we will deny a request if we believe it to be sexually motivated or where there might be a risk to a member of staff, but we will always explain ourselves.’

NHS guidelines say its transgender employees receive equal treatment and protection from discrimination at work but does not go into specifics about procedures.

The national census will ask every home in England and Wales if a transgender person lives there.  The question, likely to be in the 2021 census, will be the first official attempt to count people who say they were born in the wrong sex.

DCG

British singer would push a button to kill Trump for the safety of humanity

morrissey

Good luck getting through Customs on your next visit to the USA.

From Fox News: Morrissey said if he was given the chance to kill President Trump, he would take it for the “safety of humanity.”

The former Smiths frontman told the German publication der Spiegel that he would not hesitate to kill Trump if presented with a button that would kill the president.

“I would [push it], for the safety of humanity,” Morrissey told the German outlet according to a translation of the interview by the Washington Times. “It has nothing to do with my personal opinion of his face or his family, but in the interest of humanity I would push.”

The 58-year-old also said he believes Trump won the election because of the media.

“The American media helped Trump, yes, they first created it,” he said. “Whether they criticize him or laugh at him, he does not care, he just wants to see his picture and his name. The American media have shot themselves in the leg.”

Morrissey also said he was shocked Trump won and he now has “no faith” in the political system.

“He grabs after everything like a little child. He is not a leader. He is vermin,” he said of Trump.

DCG