Tag Archives: Hospitals

Coronavirus: Leisure venues to close for the foreseeable future as the government announces help for employees and business

Boris Johnson has announced that cafes, pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas and gyms are to close from tonight, to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

This should come as no surprise – operators of such venues were preparing to do so, if they haven’t already closed their doors.

Not only did they not want their establishments to be breeding-grounds for the spread of Covid-19; they knew that they absolutely didn’t want to turn people against them by appearing to be helping spread it.

And the simple fact is that people have been staying away in increasing numbers.

This Writer is chair of a local charity in Mid Wales and we were due to run a charity shop here for two weeks, starting last Saturday (March 14) – but we closed it down yesterday (March 19) for the reasons I mention above.

The biggest local hotel has seen a large amount of cancellations, including events and conferences.

One local pub didn’t open this week and the landlord of another had already announced his intention to close on Saturday.

All the local businesspeople have expressed concern about how they will keep going, as the measures announced by the government so far seemed not to apply to them. Odd, that…

Hopefully some of the new policies rolled out today may have changed that.

Employees will have 80 per cent of their wages paid by the government for the time being, up to £2,500 per month. This comes as a result of pressure on the Tories from unions, and should in turn take the pressure off our working people.

And business owners are getting measures to ease the burden on them while the crisis continues.

These are good policies, on the face of it – and, if we all accept and follow them, then the biggest fear as we go into enforced near-isolation, is about what to do with our time while we wait for the danger to pass.

Some of us will need to preserve our mental health very carefully.

As for others… well, to see how they pass their time, we’ll probably have to look at the register of births any time between nine months and a year from now.

The need was clear: after a decade of underfunding by the Tories, the National Health Service simply isn’t capable of handling an epidemic of the magnitude that coronavirus threatens.

Johnson tried to shrug his shoulders and tell us to expect a lot of deaths – and the response was disastrous for him.

So he had to find another solution and this is it. And on the face of it, it’s a good effort – albeit one that he had to be backed into.

But it might not save him – or us – because we don’t know how far the disease has spread while he was procrastinating and, with hospitals already running out of beds as cases multiply, we don’t know if even these measures will be enough to prevent a healthcare disaster.

Source: Coronavirus updates: Boris Johnson announces stricter new measures – BBC News

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‘Toxic’ culture led to dozens of deaths – of mothers and babies – at NHS trust

Mothers and babies died due to a “toxic” culture at an English NHS trust – according to a leaked report on what is being described as the largest maternity scandal in NHS history.

It seems substandard care at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust not only led to deaths but also caused permanent disability for some children.

Clinical errors were compounded by substandard follow-up investigations that failed to ensure lessons were learnt, while bereaved families were treated with “a distinct lack of kindness and respect”.

The report details clinical malpractice over nearly 40 years that led to the deaths of at least 42 babies and three mothers.

More than 50 children also suffered permanent brain damage after being deprived of oxygen during birth, and the investigation also identifed 47 other cases of substandard care.

More than 600 cases of clinical malpractice are now being examined, involving repeated failings by doctors, midwives and hospital bosses.

As hundreds of cases have yet to be checked, the list of casualties is likely to grow.

The leaked report identifies:

  • A long-term lack of informed consent for mothers choosing to deliver their babies in midwifery-led units – where risks can be higher if problems occur – which “continues to the present day”
  • A long-term lack of transparency, honesty and communication with families when things go wrong. This supported a culture that was “disrespectful” to families who had been “damaged” as a result
  • Failure to recognise serious incidents. Many families who had undergone horrific experiences were told they were the only ones and lessons would be learnt. The report said: “It is clear this is not correct”
  • A long-term failure to involve families in investigations that were often poor and described as “extremely brief” and “overly defensive of staff”
  • A lack of kindness and respect to parents and families with multiple examples of deceased babies given the wrong names in writing or referred to as “it”
  • Not sharing learning, meaning “repeated mistakes that are often similar from case to case”. Failure to learn was present from the earliest case of a neonatal death in 1979 to cases occurring at the end of 2017
  • A lack of support for families who have “experienced significant loss and tragedy”
  • A long-standing culture at the trust “that is toxic to improvement effort”

The new report is not the result of action by the NHS or the government, though.

It seems the scandal would have remained secret if not for the actions of a family the trust had mistreated.

The Stanton-Davies family had lost a baby daughter in 2009 after midwives failed to monitor her condition – among myriad other failures.

They had to fight for an inquest. Once it proved their daughter’s fate had been avoidable, the family challenged the NHS to re-examine its investigation of the circumstances of the child’s death.

That review revealed systemic failings which enabled the family, with the parents of a second baby, to persuade then-Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to order an investigation in 2017.

The scale of this scandal is huge – and can only increase.

At this point, This Writer can only echo the words of mother Rhiannon Davies, whose determination to find out why her daughter died has taken matters this far:

“How has this been tolerated for so long? It is horrific.”

Source: NHS Trust’s ‘toxic’ culture led to mother and baby deaths | Central – ITV News

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American firms should run hospitals for profit after Brexit, says group supported by Trade minister

Sell-off: The report calling for NHS hospitals to be sold off to private American firms, was edited by Eurosceptic Tory MEP Daniel Hannan.

At last the plan to sell off the NHS to private companies is out in the open, after years of being denied.

This think tank, the Initiative for Free Trade, should probably be thanked for allowing naked greed to get the better of tact and giving the game away too soon.

It is an organisation that has the support of International Trade minister Liam Fox, so you can be sure that it will be Conservative Party policy in the near future.

Mr Fox has already come out in support of forcing the people of the United Kingdom to eat chlorinated chicken – another move supported by the IFT.

And it turns out the report was written by another Conservative – Eurosceptic MEP Daniel Hannan.

So there you have it. It seems Brexit is being supported by the Conservatives as the excuse they need to fully privatise the National Health Service – or at least, the profitable parts of it.

They have tricked us into voting away our international reputation, our rights, our economy, and now – it seems – our health service.

Ministers should allow American healthcare companies to compete with the NHS to run hospitals as part of a free-trade pact after Brexit, a think tank recommends.

The Initiative for Free Trade (IFT) said that Britain should also end its ban on imports of products such as chlorinated chicken and accept American environmental and food safety regulations as equivalent to those in the UK.

The moves, it claimed, would help clear the way for a UK-US trade deal that would “rewrite the rules” of global commerce and allow Britain to take advantage of trade freedoms offered by Brexit. The IFT has received backing from Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, and Boris Johnson.

Source: Let American firms run hospitals, urges free trade group | News | The Times

Hospitals bosses forced to pay £50 each to Tories for access to Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt: He must be very happy at this sick bit of manipulation.

This is disgusting moneygrubbing from the Conservatives.

Rather than hold proper discussions on the future of the NHS in Gloucestershire with its bosses during a visit by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt forced them to donate £50 each to the Tory Party, in order to talk with him at a fundraising dinner.

It was a donation to the Conservatives, no matter what the NHS bosses considered it to be.

That allows the Tories – and their opponents – to imply support for them where none exists, which could harm the professional integrity of the individuals concerned.

Despicable.

Two Gloucestershire NHS bosses paid £50 each to attend a fundraising dinner for the Conservative party and to meet Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Peter Lachecki, chairman of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Deborah Lee, chief executive of the trust, confirmed they attended the dinner at the Hallmark Hotel in Matson in November.

Both Mr Lackecki and Ms Lee say they covered the cost of the event themselves and say they do not regard the £50 as a donation to the Tory party.

Mr Hunt visited Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in November and gave a presentation on patient safety for more than 100 front line staff.

But the hospitals trust says there was no time for Mr Lachecki and Ms Lee to have an informal discussion with Mr Hunt.

Source: Hospitals bosses paid £50 each to have dinner with Jeremy Hunt


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