The final report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry was published on Wednesday 6 February 2013. Please use the links to access the executive summary and a full copy of the report, along with the Chairman’s public statement on the day.
Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Local Involvement Networks [LINks] have commissioned independent research to explore the experiences and views of midwives practising in these areas.
It is essential that a full range of voices from the midwifery frontline are heard in this research project, you can contribute your experiences and opinions by taking part in a short telephone interview.
Please contact the research team directly at email@example.com or by ringing Karen Garry at Merida Associates on 01384 375799 to arrange a convenient time.
Please click here to see the dedicated blog
The Health and Wellbeing Strategy is required by the Health and Social Care
Act 2012. It is part of the roadmap of getting to shared understanding of what
we need to commission.
This is your opportunity to comment on the priorities and actions set out in the draft strategy and to let us know how you may be able to help achieve these outcomes.
You may respond in three ways:
- Complete the online form
- Send a completed electronic copy of the document below to Birmingham.Phi@nhs.net
- Send a completed paper copy of the document below to: Kulwant Ghaleigh, Information and Intelligence, Birmingham Public Health, Gee House, Holborn Hill, Aston, Birmingham, B7 5JR
The consultation runs until 7th September 2012
It’s the bug that afflicts ‘cat ladies’ around the world
Age: First described in 1908, but who knows?
Appearance: To the naked eye, invisible.
What is it? It’s a parasitic protozoa of the order eucoccidiorida.
I’ll ask again, but this time I want a different answer – what is it? It’s a bug you get from contaminated food, most commonly undercooked meat. Or occasionally from ingesting cat faeces.
Ew. What are the symptoms? Usually there aren’t any. Between a third and a half of the world’s population is infected with T gondii, and most of them don’t even know it.
Which also means most of the uninfected don’t know they aren’t. True.
No symptoms, loads of people have it – what’s the problem? The infection, Toxoplasmosis, can cause serious, even life-threatening illness in those with weakened immune systems. Pregnant women are advised not to handle cat litter for this reason.
Sounds like a sensible precaution, and easier than abstaining from soft cheese. Nobody misses handling cat litter. Anything else? Possibly. A recent study involving 45,000 Danish women showed that those with T gondii antibodies had an increased risk of killing themselves later in life.
Why women? No reason, except that the study used blood tests from newborns to determine if the antibodies were present in the mother at birth.
So we’re talking about a possible predictive association between an extremely common infection and an increased risk of suicide which, though established by a study using women, is not necessarily restricted by gender? How could you possibly encapsulate such a complex finding in a newspaper headline? “‘Cat ladies’ more likely to commit suicide, scientists claim”. That’s how the Telegraph did it.
Neat. I particularly like the the implication that “cat ladies” – shorthand for lonely, past-it singletons – have got their own disease. It’s clever, especially when they only used women who had given birth in the study, and no cats were involved.
Do say: “It’s possible that severe depression merely makes contamination more likely – we just don’t know.”
Don’t say: “Meat-eating men at risk from suicide bug, says study.”
Student says her dreams of being an actor were ruined by excessive height caused by undiagnosed tumour
A woman who says her life and dreams of being an actor were ruined after she grew to a height of 1.96 metres (6ft 5in) because of an undiagnosed tumour is suing the NHS for £2m.
Kate Woodward, 20, says the problem with her pituitary gland, which went untreated between October 2001 and September 2005, also caused problems with her back, knees and teeth.
Woodward says her size has left her unable to buy clothes or shoes on the high street and “marked her out as a freak”.
She has abandoned plans to be a performer and is now studying for a degree in screenwriting and producing, and hopes to get a job at the BBC.
Her counsel, Stephen Grime QC, told the high court in London that it was a very rare and tragic case. The judge, Mr Justice Baker, is assessing compensation.
Grime said a failure to diagnose Woodward’s pituitary tumour when she was a girl led to excessive growth, bone abnormality and many psychological consequences.
“We say it is a case where you should approach the matter on the basis that her life has been ruined,” he said. “Not taken away, not completely ruined, not in the same category as a brain damaged tetraplegic, but in a whole series of ways her life has been grievously affected.”
He said she endured unpleasant treatment and still needs regular injections. He said the condition had disrupted her childhood, schooling and friendships. “She has had to give up the idea of being a performer herself, which was a childhood ambition. She was one of those precocious youngsters who, even before secondary school, was writing scripts and performing in front of her family.
“The likelihood is she would have wanted to have some kind of performing career. That is now gone.”
He added: “She is acutely conscious of her size and she feels it has marked her out as a freak.”
Woodward, whose family now live in Sidmouth, Devon has brought proceedings over treatment at St James’s University hospital and Leeds general infirmary when they lived in the city.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust has admitted clinical negligence but disputes the amount of damages due, arguing for an award of just under £700,000.
Woodward told the judge she wanted her future treatment to be provided privately.
She said: “I don’t really want to be with the NHS any more because of what they have done to me. They have lost my trust.
“My plan was to do acting and writing together, so if I could get my face on TV, it would be an extra way to get into the writing business.”
The hearing, which is expected to last five days, was adjourned until Wednesday.
A third person is reported to have died following the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Edinburgh.
Justice secretary says government has no intention of changing law and problem will not be solved by decriminalisation
Britain is “plainly losing the war on drugs” and may even be going backwards, the justice secretary, Ken Clarke, has acknowledged to MPs.
But he insisted this was no reason for despair and politicians had to keep on trying to curb a problem that would not be solved by decriminalisation.
Clarke was giving evidence to the Commons home affairs select committee inquiry into drugs, before which Richard Branson, Russell Brand and other high-profile figures have made the case for reforming Britain’s 40-year-old drug laws.
The justice secretary made clear to MPs on Tuesday that “the government has no intention whatsoever of changing the criminal law on drugs”, adding he was strongly opposed to decriminalisation as it would encourage more youngsters to experiment.
Clarke had been invited by the Tory MP James Clappinson to give the committee the benefit of his experience in government on how he thought the drugs problem ought to be tackled.
“I have not reached the stage of that blinding insight about exactly how we are going to improve our record, is the honest truth,” he said. “We have been engaged in a war on drugs for more than 30 years. We are plainly losing it. We have not achieved very much progress. The same problems come round and round.
“But I do not despair – we keep trying every method we can to get on top of what’s one of the worst social problems for the country and the biggest single cause of crime.”
He acknowledged the existing criminal law was not working.
“We are all disappointed by the fact that, far from making progress, it could be argued we are going backwards at times. But my own personal view is that I would be worried about losing the deterrent effect of criminalisation of youngsters who start experimenting … One thing that does put them off is that they would get into trouble with the police.”
The justice secretary resisted the committee’s suggestions that the government might need to appoint a “drugs tsar” to co-ordinate the approach across Whitehall, saying that departments now worked together on the drugs strategy much more smoothly than they used to.
He recalled when he tried as health secretary in the late 1980s to get some co-ordinated effort to tackle the drug problem but said his ministerial colleagues had not “taken the blindest bit of notice” of him.