Tag Archives: NHS

Advisers in Britain who help train teachers say using sex specific terms in the classroom is unfair to transgenders

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From Daily Mail: Children as young as seven are to be taught in schools to stop using the terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ – in case they discriminate against transgender pupils.

A guidebook for teachers, parents and pupils to be sent to schools around Britain advises against using language that suggests there are only two genders. It also condemns saying ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’.

Instead the book – described as ‘damaging’ by critics – offers a bewildering array of alternative terms to describe gender and sexuality. Children who think of themselves as being the gender with which they were born are described as ‘cisgender’. Other terms offered include ‘panromantic’, ‘intersex’ and ‘genderqueer’.

Title: Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? Author: CJ Atkinson Release date: 19/01/2017 Price: £8.99 Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Title: Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity?
Author: CJ Atkinson
Release date: 19/01/2017 Price: £8.99
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

The book – Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? – also features the use of hormone blockers by a fictional 12-year-old ‘transitioning’ from female to male in order to stop the onset of puberty. The treatment is controversially available to children on the NHS, as first revealed by The Mail on Sunday.

Billed by the publishers as ‘the first book to explain medical transitioning for children aged seven and above’, it is distributed by Educate & Celebrate, a Government-funded body that goes into primary and secondary schools to give lessons on ‘gender diversity.’

The organisation received £200,000 of taxpayer-funding from former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and is endorsed by Ofsted. Earlier this year, the watchdog described as ‘innovative and visionary’ their work educating staff and children on gender and sexuality.

But politicians and leading religious figures last night lambasted the advice to stop saying boys and girls as ‘damaging’.

The book follows Kit, a 12-year-old who is transitioning from female to male, and features illustrations that may appeal to young readers, including one of a ‘gender-neutral’ unicorn whose genitals are masked with a star. A key passage from the book advises that the use of ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ excludes transgender children – and reinforces the idea that there are behavioural differences between the sexes.

unicorn

Former Tory Party chairman Lord Tebbit said: ‘I think it is damaging to children to introduce uncertainty into their minds.’

Sir Anthony Seldon, the former Master of Wellington College, said: ‘We have to respect the feelings of everybody, including teachers and parents who want traditional modes followed.‘ And the Bishop of Chester, the Right Reverend Peter Forster, added: ‘This is likely to sow more confusion than clarity.’

As an alternative to using the terms ‘boys’ or ‘girls’, the book by C.J. Atkinson – a poet, academic and ‘trans advocate’ – suggests: ‘It may instead be preferable to group students into classes, or houses, or pupils.’ In another part of the book, Kit talks about his fictional school, explaining that when children in his class were split into groups they were divided by numbers or heights. Kit says: ‘This meant that when we were asked to do something, I didn’t feel that I was weird or different.’

Other labels in the book include ‘transman’, which describes a man who was born female but who identifies as male; ‘transwoman’, which indicates the opposite; and ‘panromantic’ – someone who has a ‘romantic attraction towards people of all gender identities’.

The book will be released by publishers Jessica Kingsley next month. Educate & Celebrate, which holds hundreds of workshops in schools, will send copies to the 120 ‘best practice’ schools with which it works. It expects hundreds more head teachers to buy the book.

Educate & Celebrate Founder Elly Barnes

Educate & Celebrate Founder Elly Barnes

Founder Elly Barnes, who was awarded the OBE for her contribution to education, equality and diversity, said the book was ‘much-needed’. She added: ‘Not everyone identifies as male or female – that is fact.’

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BBC targets children to promote the transgender propaganda

transgender-propaganda

From Daily Mail: The BBC has been accused of acting recklessly after targeting children as young as six with a programme about a schoolboy who takes sex-change drugs.

Parents are angry that the show, available on the CBBC website, features a transgender storyline inappropriate for their children.

bbc-transgender-show

And concerned campaigners said it could ‘sow the seeds of confusion’ in young minds. The programme, Just A Girl, depicts an 11-year-old’s struggle to get hormones that stunt puberty, making it easier to have sex-change surgery in the future.

One mother, writing on the Mumsnet website, said her daughter had become worried after seeing the video. She said her girl, who likes wearing boys’ clothes and playing football, had ‘asked me, anxiously, if that means she was a boy’.

Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘It beggars belief that the BBC is making this programme freely available to children as young as six. I entirely share the anger of parents who just want to let children be children.

‘It is completely inappropriate for such material to be on the CBBC website and I shall be writing to BBC bosses to demand they take it down as soon as possible.’

Former Culture Secretary Maria Miller voiced her concerns over the BBC tackling the subject in ‘an age-appropriate way’, saying such issues should be raised ‘where children can have support from parents’.

And Tory MP Julian Brazier said: ‘This programme is very disappointing and inappropriate. Children are very impressionable and this is going to confuse and worry them.

Family campaigner Norman Wells said: ‘It is irresponsible of the BBC to introduce impressionable children as young as six to the idea that they can choose to be something other than their biological sex.’

Just A Girl is the fictional video diary of a child who calls herself ‘Amy’ and dresses as a girl. It is hosted on the CBBC website, aimed at children aged between six and 12.

In the half-hour programme, Amy – played by an actress – reveals she was born a boy called Ben but has already started using puberty-halting drugs.

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Such hypothalamic blockers provoked a furore two years ago when The Mail on Sunday revealed an NHS clinic was willing to give them to children as young as nine.

Critics cited research claiming that most teenagers confused about their gender never go through with surgery, with many realising they are gay. The BBC row comes amid growing controversy over gender issues, fuelled by a number of high-profile cases.

In one, a Christian couple were threatened with having their 14-year-old daughter taken away because they oppose her plans to become a boy. In another, a seven-year-old boy was ordered to be removed from his mother’s care as ‘she was raising him as female’, causing him ‘a great deal of emotional harm’.

In Just A Girl, Amy says: ‘When I was born, Mum said Dad was so pleased that he had a boy to take to the football. But Mum knew I was different. She realised early on that I was born in the wrong body.’

She adds: ‘My Mum supported me when I did a PowerPoint presentation to my class about transitioning and that I wasn’t going to come to school in boys’ clothes any more, but girls’ clothes. I wasn’t Ben, I was Amy.’

Later Amy is shown telling a friend, Josh – a boy who wants to be recognised as a girl – that she is on hormone blockers, saying it took ‘ages’ to get them after ‘loads of tests and talks at the clinic’. ‘Once they realised I was trans for real, [I] got them,’ she says. In another entry, Amy tells viewers she has developed a crush on a boy called Liam, but confides: ‘Liam thinks I’m just a girl, but I’m not. I’m trans. And what’s he going to say if he finds out? Stop being my friend? Why? I’m still me, aren’t I?’

bbc-transgender-show2

Child psychotherapist Dr. Dilys Daws said the programme could confuse children. She said that, while it was natural for youngsters to wonder what it would be like to be the opposite sex, the BBC was irresponsible to feature the ‘extreme’ step of gender change for six-year-olds because they were too young to grapple with such issues.

The programme generated hundreds of comments on Mumsnet. One mother, who said her seven-year-old had watched the show, asked: ‘Am I being unreasonable to think this is an inappropriate topic for a young age group?’

Another replied: ‘Don’t think this is remotely suitable for a seven-year-old. To start suggesting that children can be transgender when they’re far too young to actually have a gender is reckless and damaging. A small boy who is told that he can become a girl may take this as meaning that sex changes are possible, that sometime in the future he’ll wake up with a girl’s body.’

Another user added: ‘I don’t think hormone therapy should be normalised any more than 12-year-olds drinking or doing recreational drugs should be normalised.’

Other critics slammed the BBC. Mr Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said: ‘The more we promote the idea that a boy can be born into a girl’s body and a girl can be born into a boy’s body, and that drugs and surgery can put things right, the more children will become utterly confused. Respecting and preserving a child’s birth sex should be seen as a child protection issue.

But some parents on Mumsnet were more positive. One wrote: ‘I don’t believe there is “too young” for stuff like this. The earlier you teach your children that everyone is different and that nobody is “normal” the better.’

Dr .Polly Carmichael, a clinical psychologist specialising in transgender children, said: ‘Raising awareness of these issues is the best way to challenge stigma and discrimination associated with identity issues. Programmes like Just A Girl can contribute to a healthy and informed public discussion.

The BBC said: ‘Just A Girl is about a fictional transgender character trying to make sense of the world, deal with bullying and work out how to keep her friends, which are universal themes that many children relate to, and which has had a positive response from our audience. CBBC aims to reflect true life, providing content that mirrors the lives of as many UK children as possible.

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College offers young people money to have sex on camera

Haven’t kids had enough sex education by college to know the benefits of using a condom?

Dog eyeroll

Via NY Post: A school in England is making some people hot under the collar — by offering to pay young couples to have sex on camera.

Coventry University is searching for volunteers ages 18 to 25 who are willing to be filmed making whoopee in “natural settings,” including inside a car, and be paid the equivalent of $488 to do so, according to UK media.

Filmmakers for the government-funded project called “Chance2Change” said it will promote the message that using a condom “does not kill the mood,” the Daily Mail reported.

Margaret Morrissey, chairman of a group called Parents Outloud, said students who sign up to appear in the videos may be “jeopardizing” their future. “They are offending the intelligence of their students by thinking they need educational videos such as this,” Morrissey told The Telegraph.

good-idea

“With the nature of the internet, these videos could stay in circulation for years. Any students taking part in them could jeopardize future employment prospects,” she said.

Project leader Dr. Katie Newby insisted the film will feature real couples in “loving, consensual relationships and be tastefully shot.”

More from Daily Mail:

Dr. Newby said: ‘The videos, which will be tastefully shot and feature genuine couples, are designed to be available to over-18s at the point at which they are requesting free STI self-testing kits from a website.

‘Other aspects of the intervention include allowing users to test out a range of different condoms to identify their preferred one, a condom ordering service, providing a free product for carrying condoms in, and other videos featuring young people talking about condom use.

‘We believe that someone who is seeking STI testing is likely to be particularly receptive to the messages around condom use, and we hope to convince them that condoms needn’t be awkward, embarrassing or an obstacle to enjoyable sex.’

Dr. Newby said that, despite the well-known risks of unprotected sex, the NHS still spends £620million per year treating sexually-transmitted illnesses. 

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Rising of patients seriously hurt by NHS blunders: More than 6,000 incidents were recorded last year

NHS

From Daily Mail: A patient is treated by the NHS every 90 minutes following a serious medical blunder. More than 6,000 incidents involving accidental cuts, punctures, perforations or haemorrhages were logged last year – three times the rate of 2005.

Campaigners say that poor training and inadequate staffing levels explain the mistakes. Senior doctors have warned the cash-strapped NHS is heading into an ‘extremely difficult autumn’. Hospitals have been told to cancel thousands of non-urgent procedures. The medical blunders make the financial pressures worse by extending hospital stays and encouraging compensation payouts.

The figures released earlier in the week reveal 6,082 incidents of patients needing NHS treatment following a blunder in English hospitals last year.  This compares with 2,193 ten years ago, according to NHS Digital, the official health statistics unit. The bill for compensation stood at £1.48billion last year, a 27 per cent increase on 2014, accounts for the NHS Litigation Authority show.

Katherine Murphy of the Patients Association said: ‘With all the systems and procedures that are in place within the NHS, how are such basic, avoidable mistakes still happening? It is a disgrace that such incidents are increasing. There is clearly a lack of learning across the NHS, or even within individual trusts. These patients have been very badly let down by poor processes and utter carelessness. We call for the Government and Royal Colleges to take steps to address this alarming rise.’

Andrew Goddard, registrar at the Royal College of Physicians, last week warned that a funding and staffing crisis is putting huge pressure on doctors. ‘Physicians are facing rota gaps, consultants acting down into trainee positions, inability to recruit to posts in key specialties due to a lack of trainees, and difficulties in covering day-to-day services,’ he said. ‘We’re heading into an extremely difficult autumn.’

The Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health has also warned of staffing shortages, raising concerns that children’s care is ‘increasingly compromised’.

nhs

The paediatric workforce is at ‘breaking point’ it said in a report, with more than half of units failing to meet staffing standards. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has repeatedly called for a new culture of transparency to increase safety in an era of fewer resources.

Last year he launched what he called a ‘reformation’ in the culture of the health service, claiming he wanted to make British people the ‘most powerful patients in the world’.

He encouraged every member of staff – from cleaners up to consultants – to blow the whistle when they see evidence of poor care, in a bid to halt the annual toll of 10,000 avoidable deaths in English hospitals.

Mr. Hunt has repeatedly urged doctors to take the same approach to safety as the aviation industry. He has pledged that those who own up to blunders will get legal protection – the same system as that used among airlines.

NHS staff will be protected from prosecution based on their own evidence although they could still face sanctions if guilty of malpractice or negligence.

The new system involves the creation of the independent Healthcare Accident Investigation Branch, which starts work this autumn.

Safety campaigners said the first thing the unit must do is launch a review of why problems are rising so fast.

Peter Walsh, of the charity Action Against Medical Accidents, said more complex procedures and better reporting of incidents may partly explain the rise, but would not account for the figures trebling. He said: ‘I suspect inadequate staffing and increased pressure at work are also factors.

I also know there is a lot of concern among surgeons that the training they get is not as thorough and adequate as used to be the case. There is not as much time spent on technical skills. Of course it is a known risk of surgery that these things happen, but that doesn’t make it OK and much of the time they are really bad errors that are perfectly avoidable.’

One of the most common mistakes we hear of during laparoscopic surgery is perforation of the bowel. This is very, very serious and can be fatal if not repaired very quickly. The increase in incidents is very worrying and there needs to be an investigation to get to the bottom of it.

You can read the rest of the story here.

See also:

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More than 33,000 people died needlessly over the past few years because of shocking flaws in NHS treatment

Ain’t government run health care grand?

nhs

From the Daily Mail: More than 33,000 people died needlessly over ten years because of poor care after a heart attack, a major study has found.

Nine out of ten patients do not receive the correct treatment after an attack, it revealed. Shockingly, the researchers warned that the true number of needless deaths could be twice as high as their estimate. Doctors said the findings were ‘unacceptable’ and needed urgent attention across the NHS.

The failure to stick to international treatment guidelines contributes to a quarter of heart attack deaths in England and Wales, which experts say could be easily avoided.

The researchers estimate that one patient dies needlessly every month in every hospital in England and Wales because of poor care – including failing to give patients certain drugs and not ordering crucial scans.

Someone suffers a heart attack every three minutes in the UK, with nearly 200 people of working age dying every week. Treatment has improved rapidly in recent years, with the development of 24/7 acute cardiac units meaning patients are fast-tracked to expert teams.

NHS

But the new study reveals the treatment of patients after an attack is falling woefully short. The researchers analysed 390,000 cases of the most common type of heart attack – called a non-ST elevation heart attack or NSTEMI – in 247 hospitals in England and Wales between 2003 and 2013.

For each case they checked whether the patient had been given 13 treatments – including scans, drugs and medical advice – recommended in international guidelines. They found that in 87 per cent of cases, patients did not receive at least one of the interventions.

Doctors often failed to give patients anti-cholesterol statin drugs or anti-clotting drugs, which are proven to drastically reduce the risk of a repeat attack.

They missed out crucial scans, which can pick up further hidden problems, and they neglected to advise patients about the best way to change their lifestyle, including how to improve their diet and stop smoking. The researchers from the University of Leeds and University College London wrote in the European Heart Journal: ‘We found that if all patients during the study period had received the investigations and treatments for which they were eligible… around 33,000 deaths may have been prevented. This equates to over a quarter of all NSTEMI deaths, or about one avoidable death per month per hospital over the last decade.’

The team used data from the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP) and said: ‘We speculate that MINAP captures less than half of all NSTEMI in England and Wales. Consequently, the number of preventable deaths that we report will be underestimated.’

They concluded: ‘We clearly show that, across a modern healthcare system such as in the UK, there are substantial opportunities to improve outcomes through relatively simple measures.’

Read the whole story here.

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Brighton Council ‘Proud’ Of Asking Kids To Choose Gender

Madness.

serious

From Sky News: Brighton and Hove City Council wrote to thousands of parents asking them to confirm their primary school places this week. It wrote to parents urging them to support their child’s choice of “gender identity” and asked them to leave the form blank if the child had “another gender identity” altogether.

Brighton and Hove City Council reportedly wrote: “We recognise that not all children and young people identify with the gender they were assigned at birth or may identify as a gender other than male or female, however the current systems (set nationally) only record gender as male or female. Please support your child to choose the gender they most identify with. Or if they have another gender identity please leave this blank and discuss with your child’s school.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told The Sun the letter was “utterly ridiculous”. He said: “Schools should be teaching kids to read and write, not prompting them to consider gender swaps.”

Council Leader Warren Morgan defended the letter, tweeting: “I’m proud my council is leading on #Trans work. If it helps even one kid be themselves or tackle bullying, then headlines don’t matter.”

Cllr Emma Daniel, head of Brighton’s equalities committee, said she was aware of “concerns” over the wording. She told Sky News: “For most parents, the form’s straightforward, you just tick male or female, as you normally would. Or a very small minority of parents, they have children who are struggling with their gender identity – it’s really important that they can access our schools safely, get their education like anyone else, and feel fine about that.

“So all we’ve done is put a guidance note on there for the families that that applies to.”

Excerpt from the Brighton & Hove Trans Needs Assessment, 2015

Excerpt from the Brighton & Hove Trans Needs Assessment, 2015

Due to all the negative press they’ve received, the Council issued a statement:

“You may have seen reports in the media about our pupil registration form, which we have sent out this week to parents who have applied for school places.

We would like to make it clear that parents and carers are not being asked to speak with their child about their gender or gender identity. We will be reviewing the wording of our form to see whether we can in future make this clearer.

For the vast majority of families stating their child’s gender as male or female is very straightforward. We have put some additional text in the form this year that we hoped would help the small number of families who will struggle to respond to the question about gender and encouraging these families to speak with their child’s school. This was in response to calls from families, young people and schools to show an inclusive approach to gender.

There are increasing numbers of children and young people nationally identifying as Trans. Many Trans people nationally report having been bullied when they were at school. By acknowledging the range of gender identities in our school communities we are helping ensure schools are safe spaces for everyone. “

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Cancer drugs taken by more than 12,000 patients a year may be axed in NHS funding crisis

Remember the Opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games which included children celebrating the role of the National Health Service (NHS) in British society? Wonder if any of those kids will be sorry if they need cancer treatments in the future?

Children used as NHS propaganda during the 2012 London Olympics Ceremony

Children used as NHS propaganda during the 2012 London Olympics Ceremony

Cancer drugs taken by more than 12,000 people a year are set to be axed, under NHS plans approved yesterday, reports the Daily Mail.

Medicines rationing body National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (quite an ironic acronym, don’t you think?) is to reassess all 47 cancer treatments currently available via the Cancer Drugs Fund. Of these, 23 drugs have previously been refused by the regulator and experts fear that they will be again.

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The move – which experts warn will set cancer treatment ‘back by a generation’ – is part of a massive shake-up of the £400million fund, which has repeatedly overspent its budget due to overwhelming demand.

NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, who drew up the plans, said pharmaceutical companies could easily make the drugs available by simply dropping their price. But critics say the proposals are too rigid for the state of modern medicine, and will lead to patients missing out.

The Cancer Drugs Fund was launched in 2010 to pay for medicines not routinely approved by NICE. Initially its budget was capped at £175million a year, but this rose to £416million as demand grew, with patients paying the price of subsequent cutbacks. Now control of the drugs are to be handed back to NICE – which employs a tough cost-benefit threshold – in a bid to rein in spending.

Cancer charities said the decision means uncertainty for thousands of patients.

NICE has not updated its rules for drug evaluation since 2001.

Decisions are based on a ‘quality-adjusted life year’ score, by which the cost is calculated of giving patients an extra ‘quality’ year of life. If that score is deemed to be above £30,000, or £50,000 for seriously ill patients, the drug is not funded.But critics say that this system has not moved with the times, with targeted, gene-based drugs now often costing in excess of £70,000 a year.

Some 23 of the 47 treatments currently on the Cancer Drugs Fund have been judged not to be cost effective by NICE either in draft or final guidance in the past.

It is estimated that 12,026 patients would receive these treatments in 2015/16, were no changes to be made. Another 10,000 patients are already to miss out due to previous cutbacks made last year.

Officials insisted that any patient already taking a treatment available on the Cancer Drugs Fund will continue to receive their medicine. Funding will also continue for new patients, but only until NICE has a chance to re-assess the drugs.

Read the whole story here.

Ain’t socialized health care grand?

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