Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Charlie Gard will be allowed to die

"In its decision in the case of Gard and Others v. the United Kingdom (application no. 39793/17) today the European Court of Human Rights has by a majority endorsed in substance the approach by the domestic courts and thus declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final."

"Consequently, the Court also considered that it was appropriate to lift the interim measure under Rule 39 of its Rules of Court. The case concerned Charlie Gard, a baby suffering from a rare and fatal genetic disease. In February 2017, the treating hospital sought a declaration from the domestic courts as to whether it would be lawful to withdraw artificial ventilation and provide Charlie with palliative care. Charlie’s parents also asked the courts to consider whether it would be in the best interests of their son to undergo experimental treatment in the U.S.A.. The domestic courts concluded that it would be lawful for the hospital to withdraw life sustaining treatment because it was likely that Charlie would suffer significant harm if his present suffering was prolonged without any realistic prospect of improvement, and the experimental therapy would be of no effective benefit."{"itemid":["003-5768362-7332860"]}

Gun Lessons

"For children, the highlight of school trips to meet the police is usually getting the chance to sit in a panda car and turn on the siren and blue flashing lights."

"But for this class of seven and eight-year-olds, posing with machine guns on a mock police firing range proved the most memorable - not to mention controversial - part of their school trip."

"The laughing Year Three children were pictured lined up at the range, their replica pistols and machine guns aimed at drawings of `terrorist` targets on boards yards away."

"But the decision to hand children toy guns for `target practice` at the West Midlands Police firearms training centre has divided opinion among parents and social media users. The youngsters from Kings Norton Primary School in Birmingham were invited to the training centre in the city last week after writing to the force to thank officers for keeping them safe."

"The letters followed a class discussion about recent terror attacks in Manchester and London and the role of the emergency services."

"One father, who only wanted to give his fist name, David said: `The police even put out a press release entitled `Ready,!`"

"Well that sends out the wrong message in my Book. It glamorises guns and makes shooting terrorists nothing more than a game.`"

[Daily Mail, Tuesday June 27 2017]

Scepticism grows about official death toll

Coroner Wilcox is reported in the Guardian as describing the "complexity of identifying victims as inquests open and scepticism about the official death toll grows."

"`Paulos, one of the youngest of the victims so far, lived with his family on the 18th floor and was found on the 13th floor`, Wilcox said. He was identified by dental records and his preliminary cause of death was given as inhalation of fire fumes."

"The hearing came as the estimated death toll remained at 79, a number authorities have consistently said is likely to rise."

"Let`s have a look at what local residents have been saying to the UK Column. [19 June 2017] They say that more than 50 children are dead. They say that local schools are actually closed and this makes it very difficult for parents and the community to actually find out what has happened with children, or numbers of children, who may have died. Local people are saying that they believe the total death toll is now over 300. And they believe that many if not most of those who have died are in fact Muslims."

"The authorities are still not admitting or clarifying the scale of the disaster and on Sunday 18 June 2017 hundreds were on the streets locally, many dressed in their Sunday best in respect, but there was no media reporting..."

7 days of action

7daysofaction worked with Elaine James and Chris Hatton from Lancaster University to write the report a Trade in People.

"The first thing we noticed was the amounts of money that were being spent. In total in 2015/16 it was estimated that £ 477.4 million was spent on keeping approximately 2500 people with learning disabilities in hospital..."

"On average a person who has been in hospital for 5 years will generate £950,000 in income for an independent sector organisation, although significantly higher levels of income are possible."

"We believe that the interplay between the public and private sectors has had an enormous impact on people’s ability to get home and has played an important role in the emerging development of what is effectively a trade in people."

Monday, 26 June 2017

Review says there was no immediate investigation into death

AN INVESTIGATION into a York man’s death after suffering a seizure in supported living accommodation has raised a series of major concerns.

An independent review was ordered by City of York Council into the circumstances surrounding the death of Danny Tozer on September 22, 2015, at York Hospital, a day after he suffered an epileptic fit at a house in Bishopthorpe run by the charity Mencap.

The review reported that Danny, an autistic man of 36 with a severe learning disability and uncontrolled epilepsy, had a seizure in his bedroom while the door was shut, followed by a cardiac arrest and brain damage.

It said his parents, Rosemary and Tim, believed it was a preventable death, which had come after they had raised many concerns about the quality of his care, which was commissioned by the council and the NHS...

In its findings, the review noted there was no immediate investigation by Mencap after Danny’s death, and it was difficult to state with accuracy exactly what occurred on that morning.

`There was no immediate investigation.` This follows a familiar pattern which indicates that to certain authorities some lives are worth less than others. But if Mencap, whose vision is a world where people with a learning disability are valued equally, listened to and included - or so they say - can dismiss a young man`s death so easily, who are the learning disabled and their families to trust ?

Charity will have largest facility in Europe

This is very bad news for young people and their families.

"A charity is set to build Europe`s largest mental health facility for young people in Northampton."

"St Andrew`s the UK`s leading charity providing specialist NHS care, has received planning approval to construct a new residential building for young people with mental illness, autism and learning difficulties in Northampton."

"Designed by P+HS Architects, the new building on Cliftonville Road, which will cost £45 million, will bring together adolescent services at St Andrew`s on one site and will be the largest facility of its kind in Europe."

"It will provide care to young people from across the United Kingdom, and alongside 110 residential beds, it will include a school, sports and therapy areas, and a number of landscaped courtyards."

See Finola Moss`s blog: New Gold Rush: forced residential care

Also see Sara Ryan`s blog: The mystery of Loring Hall and the CQC*

*CQC Care Quality Commission

Children`s ward in Livingston to close

"A children's hospital ward is to close in two weeks - just a year after an independent review recommended it stayed open."

"The inpatient ward at St John’s hospital, Livingston, will stop accepting patients on July 7 onwards, NHS Lothian has confirmed."

"But the move has sparked fury among campaigners and locals who say sick kids will now be forced to travel over 20 miles to Edinburgh."

"The staff member added: `This will force families to travel into Edinburgh with a sick child and be far away from home. This could be problematic for those who rely on public transport`."

"`The staff were happy to provide cover and it’s just lies to say the issue is staffing problems when we have a full rota`."

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Tower block survivors to be moved on

23 June 2017

"Today residents of Grenfell Tower were given eviction notices by the local council to vacate their temporary accommodation in Kensington, in a move described as ‘barbaric’ by Radical Housing Network."

"Residents of Grenfell Tower who had been staying at the Holiday Inn, Kensington, were told today that they were to be separated and moved by 4pm to other temporary hotel accommodation across London, in places such as in Heathrow, Lambeth, Southwark and north London. Following intervention by legal observers, most of the residents have been moved together to a hotel in Westminster."

"Pilgrim Tucker, a community organiser working with the Grenfell Action Group and liaising with residents at the hotel, said:"
"It’s beyond disgusting that after all these people have been through losing their neighbours and watching their homes burn to the ground authorities are prepared to tell them that they have hours to pick up their bags and move to some unknown destination, separated from their friends and neighbours. It makes you wonder if anything’s been learned from the Grenfell catastrophe."


"Commenting on the Metropolitan Police statement on the Grenfell Tower investigation, a spokesperson for the Radical Housing Network said:"
"From the council’s estate management organisation failing to respond to repeated resident complaints, to the reported delaying of a fire safety review by government ministers, it’s clear that a culture of negligence existed at all levels. Those responsible must be held to account. In particular, Kensington & Chelsea council leader Nick Paget-Brown must answer questions on what appear to be multiple failings by his local authority and its privately contracted service providers."


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Sharing the public sector pie

The relationships and networking going on between councils, charities, central government and the private sector is quite astonishing as the hasty retreat of Sir Derek Myers from Shelter exemplifies:


"Two board members of the housing charity Shelter, including its chairman Sir Derek Myers, have resigned amid reports of internal disquiet over the organisation’s allegedly muted response to the Grenfell Tower fire."

"Myers is a former chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council, which owns Grenfell Tower, while trustee Tony Rice is chairman of Xerxes Equity, the sole shareholder in Omnis Exteriors the company that sold the cladding used in the tower."

"On Friday afternoon, Shelter confirmed the pair had resigned from the board but offered no reasons for their departure..."

"Asked subsequently to explain the joint resignations, a Shelter spokesperson said: "The trustees decided to step away from their roles in the interests of the charity. They would not want there to be any unnecessary distraction from the work we are doing to help people affected by the Grenfell fire..."

"Myers is a qualified social worker and respected former local government manager who jointly ran Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham councils between 2011 and 2013. Until recently he led the government intervention team running Rotherham council in the wake of the child abuse scandal."

Sir Derek Myers speaks on behalf of the Service Transformation Challenge Panel -- very new world order -- which is transforming public service delivery.

"In most of the places we found some form of transformation happening," he said. When asked what were the panel`s key recommendations on transformation he added: "Well we do think that this emphasis on being thoughtful about those people who`ve got complexities - or sometimes called high demand, those households who one way or another take a slightly larger slice of the public sector pie than others - we think those are the people who both deserve a joined up approach but also it`s in everybody`s interest that we move those households to a position where they are less demanding, more independent, more self-sufficient and so on."

"So we think however you analyse this you come back to: Where are we spending the money and how can we spend that money more smartly?"


No thought that spending more smartly can cost lives.

Not only that but anybody who watched UK Column on Friday 23 June 2017 will have heard Brian Gerrish talking about the millions of pounds that councils across the country have been stashing away under the radar. So where is this piece of the public sector pie going when it is not providing much needed services?

See also 

English school inspections are changing

[Greg Ashman]

"I never like to criticise individual schools and, in this case, I’m quite hesitant to offer praise. However, I think it is in the wider public interest to draw attention to Michaela Community School, not least because if Aussie teachers have heard of it at all, it is likely to be through one of the online witch hunts or feverish blog posts that hurl abuse at the school."

"Why does Michaela provoke such a reaction? Under the headship of Katherine Birbalsingh, Michaela is an avowedly traditional school with high expectations for all of its students. It teaches a knowledge-based curriculum and eschews the silly gimmicks that many schools pursue. It also happens to be a Free School. Let’s face it, Michaela needs independence because local bureaucrats would never allow a school like that to exist."

"The English schools’ inspectorate, Ofsted, have now visited Michaela and released their first report on the school. Ofsted used to be a student-centred inquisition, promoting progressive teaching methods. However, it has reformed in recent years and no longer enforces a particular teaching style. It also shows signs of taking behaviour much more seriously as an issue."

Here are a few quotes from the Ofsted report:

Here`s a quote from Amanda Spielman the new head of Ofsted which indicates her wide vision for education in England.


Here`s a few quotes from her admirers hoping, no doubt, that this is going to be the end of the tyranny of progressive education.