Man in wheelchair left on Snowdon
Rescuers had to help a man in a wheelchair down Snowdon after a group of people who had carried him there left him on his own during the ascent.
The six martial arts enthusiasts were taking part in a fundraising record attempt and had carried the man up Llanberis Path.
They decided to leave him before they reached the peak, and were too tired when they returned to carry him down.
They called out mountain rescuers, who criticised the group's actions.
Llanberis mountain rescue team carried the 31-year-old man, who they said was cold, from the foot of Allt Moses to the mountain railway, and put him on a train to the foot of the mountain.
The group from Coventry had been attempting to see how many martial arts enthusiasts could climb the mountain at one time.
They were carrying the man as part of the attempt, but abandoned the effort when the hike along the path became too tough.
The rescue team said the call-out on Saturday could have been avoided if the party had turned around with the wheelchair instead of continuing the ascent.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Man in wheelchair left on Snowdon
A research study carried out by patient information website; www.patient.co.uk and the charity SignHealth shows that more than half of deaf and hard of hearing people fine it difficult to communicate with their GP.
Some of the main issues raised by the 525 people who answered the survey were:
- 56 per cent of people said their hearing difficulties had led to poor communication, either when booking an appointment or at the GP consultation.
- 30 per cent said they had experienced communication problems when discussing their health – leading to missed symptoms, confusion about medication or running out of time at the consultation.
- 8 per cent of people said they experienced difficult to resolve communication problems on every surgery visit
- 37 per cent said they had had difficulties because staff - both GPs and practice staff – did not consistently face them when speaking
- 35 per cent said they had missed appointments because they had not heard their name being called
The survey showed that it was not just profoundly deaf patients who experience problems. (11% of the people who answered the survey were profoundly deaf). The remaining 64% said they were moderately deaf – yet they reported the same problems as the profoundly deaf people.
The survey also shows the many simple things that surgeries could do to improve communication. These include:
- Staff remembering to face patients when speaking (cited by 84 per cent of respondents); many people reported loss of communication when GPs turned to look at computer screens, for example
- Giving out printed information to support a consultation; only 11 per cent of patients said their surgeries did this, yet 64 per cent said it would be helpful; free patient information leaflets are available to all GP surgeries from www.patient.co.uk, which is accessed through surgery computer software
- Having display screens to announce consultations or fetching the patient from the waiting room (cited by 57 per cent of respondents).
Additional services are available for GPs – including the easy-to-use SignTranslate online interpreting service, developed by the SignHealth charity. The service links a British Sign Language interpreter, via a web-cam, to the live consultation – helping both GP and deaf patient to ensure clear communication.
Steve Powell, Chief Executive of SignHealth, said: “This is a timely survey that reveals the breadth and depth of problems faced by deaf patients across the
Press Release, 18th October 2009
A number of the new ramps have been put in throughout the city and across the county as part of a government drive under the Disability and Discrimination Act.
As part of the act, Norfolk County Council was allocated £10m to provide raised kerbs at all bus stops to help the easy transition of passengers, whether in wheelchairs, prams, or pushchairs, from the pavement to the bus.
But the Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group (NNTAG) say that money is being wasted because a lack of enforcement at the special stops, particularly on residential estates, means that many of them are blocked and buses are unable to reach them.
John Peacock, chairman of the NNTAG, said: "While many of the new bus stop ramps on main and secondary roads are equipped with 'Bus Stop Clearway' Traffic Regulation Orders to prevent illegal stopping and parking, such preventative measures appear not to be provided on most residential estates in the county.
"This is leading to many stops being blocked or obstructed by parked cars which then makes the stop useless and a waste of money. It is also discriminating against people with disabilities, the very reason the stops were installed in the first place."
Mr Peacock called on the local authorities to clamp down on the illegal parking and help give clear signals to motorists at the stops that buses must take priority.
The stance has won the support of the Norwich Access Group, part of the Norwich Coalition of Disabled People. George Saunders, chairman of the group, said: "Any illegal parking should be enforced from our point of view, particularly in places like bus stops where they've got the raised kerbs and disabled bays in car parks. It inconvenient and prevents people from using the facilities."
So far about 2,500 raised kerb stops have been installed out of a total of 5,000 which need to be in place by 2017.
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said although the authority did not have the enforcement power, that falls into the remit of Norwich City Council, they would encourage people not to block these ramps.
He said: "We have a programme of bus stop improvement to provide easy boarding at stops throughout Norfolk, so it is frustrating if inconsiderate motorists are parking in front of them. We would urge people to be more considerate and not park in any way that obstructs their use."
A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council, said: "The council takes illegal parking very seriously, and we will enforce against people parking in marked bus stops whenever we become aware of this.
"We would urge anyone experiencing problems with cars preventing buses from stopping to contact us as soon as possible so we can investigate."
SOUTH West artists will benefit from the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Project, Unlimited, the UK's largest programme celebrating arts, culture and sport by disabled and deaf people.
The £3million, three-year programme provides disabled and deaf artists with an opportunity to develop new work for the world stage.
The project will: · Enable talented disabled and deaf artists to create exciting, quality new work across all disciplines leading up to and including the Olympic and Paralympic Games with awards of £25-50,000 as part of Unlimited Commissions.
· Unlimited Presents will bring new audiences to disability arts through major pieces of new work showcased at arts festivals, venues and London 2012 events.
. Provide resources and training to foster young talent and develop skills across the sector through Unlimited Talent, forging new partnerships between disability and mainstream arts organisations.
· Unlimited International will support collaboration between the artists in the UK and other countries, showcase new work around the world, and promote a global debate amongst young people about disability rights.
· Unlimited will leave a lasting legacy of high quality new work, increased confidence and momentum in the sector.
Somerst County Gazette, 16th october 2009
A soldier from Somerset who lost both legs and his right arm while serving in Afghanistan has been subjected to cruel taunts over his injuries.
Sapper Matthew Weston, 20, from Taunton, stepped on a bomb while on patrol in Helmand Province on 29 June.
While he was being treated at Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham his mother took him out shopping where they encountered a group of "boisterous" youths.
Rena Weston, 40, said: "They shouted he's lost something... like his legs".
Speaking from the family home Mrs Weston said: "They were laughing at what they thought was a very funny statement to make.
"We continued around the corner and I put my arms around Matthew and said, 'are you okay love?'
"He just went silent. Then he said, 'I suppose I had better get used to it for the rest of my life.'
"I don't think anyone, no matter what their disability, should be treated like that," said Mrs Weston.
Since the incident Sapper Weston has finished his treatment at Selly Oak hospital.
"He's determined to stay in the Army," said Mrs Weston.
"He has trialled with the 2012 Paralympics shooting team and he's going to receive coaching and possibly be in the team, which will be a great boost for Matthew.
"We have got no choice. We have got to get on with it."
A mother who got thousands of pounds a year in benefits after forcing her son to fake illnesses is facing jail.
The 35-year-old from Devon, who cannot be named, even forced her healthy son to have surgery and use a wheelchair.
She admitted perverting the course of justice and child cruelty against her eight-year-old son, who is now in foster care.
The mother has been told by the judge at Exeter Crown Court that she faces jail at sentencing in the new year.
The scam started after the poorly newborn boy was put in a special baby care unit.
But his mother continued to pretend her son was ill for the next six-and-a-half years.
She once told a paediatrician that he could never keep his food down and he had surgery to install a tube into his stomach.
After that he was put in a wheelchair.
The case came to light after she took samples of her son's blood to a hospital.
Medics suspected that she had laced his food with sugar to get them artificially high.
Police said she was claiming up to £20,000 a year in disability living allowances and a Motability car.
Det Con Mark Uren, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said after the case: "She is a cruel, manipulative, evil mother who constantly lied to the medical professionals that her son was the most ill child in Britain.
"She is a calculated, manipulative woman."
Newport City Council has installed an emergency charging point for electric wheelchair and scooter users at the library in John Frost Square.
The charging point is the first to be installed by a council in the UK and was donated by Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff, thanks to campaigning from Newport group Disabled Open Opportunity Ringland Social (D.O.O.R.S.)
The new charger point will allow users of mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs to recharge the battery while they are out in the city centre.
Founder of DOORS Bernard Allen said: "We would like to say thank you to Councillors John Fortey, Richard White and Hugh Clark, who have all helped to push this forward. This is a wonderful thing for disabled people in Newport it will allow them much more freedom."
Cllr Richard White, Cllr Mike Hamiliton, Cllr John Fortey, Cllr Hugh Clark and Cllr Peter HC Davies were all present at the installation.
Cllr John Fortey said: "I hope this service will prove to be extremely beneficial to those who need it. It will allow them to spend time in the city centre without the worry that their electric wheelchair or scooter will break down, so they can enjoy the facilities Newport city centre has to offer for longer."
Newport City Council, 12th October 2009
By Karen Davis
SOUTHEND Council is inviting voluntary and community organisations to apply now for next year's grants.
Groups are being asked to submit their applications for funding for the financial year starting Thursday, April 1 2010.
In 2009/10, the council gave nearly £562,000 worth of grants to 28 local voluntary and community groups.
Funding ranged from £350 to £180,840 and covered a wide range of activities, services and projects such as the Homeless Action Resource Project (HARP), Trust Links - supporting those with mental health issues and their carers, DIAL - the Disability Advice Network, and Essex Racial Equality Council.
The council will decide grant allocations for the financial year 2010/11 according to the following priorities:
* For services the Council would have to provide if the sector were unable to.
* Information and advice service provision.
* Children and Young People.
* Community Cohesion and Engagement.
* Community Safety.
* Culture and Leisure.
* Health and social well-being.
When groups apply for grants, they must clearly show in their application how they meet these priorities.
To be considered for a grant award, groups must be:
* groups that are non-statutory organisations.
* groups that are formally constituted.
* Groups that operate in the not-for-profit sector.
* Groups that are clearly able to demonstrate their ability, through a grant award, to deliver benefit to the community within the grant year and to sustain their activities.
* Groups whose activities benefit residents of Southend.
Anyone interested in applying for a grant should view the application pack on the council's website at www.southend.gov.uk to see if they are eligible.
The council will be running a Community Chest programme aimed at small-scale projects within Southend.
This fund has a total budget of £10,000 and applications of up to £2,000 will be considered.
The Annual and Community Chest programmes close at 5pm on Friday, December 18.
No applications received after this date will be considered.
The council's In-Year grants programme will also continue during 2010/11.
This fund is for pump-priming new groups, emergency matters for established groups and for special events that promote community cohesion and well-being in Southend.
Application packs for all the above programmes are available by visiting www.southend.gov.uk or by calling Kelly Defriend on 01702 215000, extension 4812.
Yellow Advertiser, 15th October 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Phytopharm is backing up its lead therapy for Parkinson's with promising data from both a non-human primate study and a small human safety trial. And the indication that the drug could go on to become the first disease-modifying therapy in an $11 billion market lit a fire under its share price.
Testing oral Cogane in macaque monkeys over 18 months, researchers recorded a remarkable 43 percent drop in disability. And the small human trial with 28 volunteers offered proof of safety and tolerability. "At last for people living with the condition here is an innovative, prospective treatment for Parkinson's which shows real promise," said Tom Isaacs of the Cure Parkinson's Trust.
"Today's impressive clinical and pre-clinical data demonstrate the potential for Cogane to become the first disease-modifying therapy in the fast growing $11 billion Parkinson's disease market," noted analyst Paul Cuddon at KBC Peel Hunt. "Cogane was safe and demonstrated encouraging pharmacokinetics in humans, as well impressive efficacy in the gold standard primate model of Parkinson's disease."
The raves inspired investors to push up the value of the UK biotech's shares by 67 percent. And some of the analysts like Cuddon expect it to go much higher, especially as a Phase II study is expected to start delivering results in the second quarter of next year. CEO Sandy Morrison said Phytopharm plans to "move rapidly to a proof-of-concept clinical study."
Read more: http://www.fiercebiotech.com/story/phytopharm-demonstrates-promise-parkinsons-drug/2009-10-14#ixzz0UzLAHSTa
Hornets launch Every Player Counts campaign to bring disabled players from across Watford into the game
The community arm of Watford Football Club is set to help disabled people get into the game after launching its Every Player Counts campaign.
Funding was provided by the Football Pools, the Hertfordshire FA and Total UK, who donated £60,000, £45,000 and £25,000 respectively.
As part of the scheme, the trust will deliver a three-year scheme to develop football opportunities for people with disabilities, to help develop players, provide opportunities for general participation and offer the chance to pursue a career in the sport.
The donation from Total, based in Clarendon Road, follows the recent two-year extension agreement of its sponsorship of the trust.
Claire Elliot, CSR, sponsorship and events executive for Total UK, said: "We are very excited about the Every Player Counts campaign and are delighted to be able to help with the funding of such a deserving project.
"The trust works towards being at the heart of the community and Total is proud to be working with them to achieve this. We also look forward to implementing more exciting new community projects in the future."
Watford Observer, 13th October 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
As promised, I have written more extensively about the head prosecutor in the UK decriminalizing inter-familial assisted suicide. From my piece in the current Weekly Standard:
On July 4, 1995, Myrna Lebov, age 52, committed suicide in her Manhattan apartment. The case generated national headlines when her husband, George Delury, announced that he had assisted Lebov’s suicide at her request because she was suffering the debilitations of progressive multiple sclerosis.
Delury became an instant celebrity. He was acclaimed as a dedicated husband willing to risk jail to help his beloved wife achieve her desired end. The assisted-suicide movement set up a defense fund and renewed calls for legalization. Delury made numerous television appearances and was invited to speak to a convention of the American Psychiatric Association. He signed a deal for a book, later published under the title But What If She Wants to Die?
Why bring this up now?
Had Delury acted in England or Wales today–rather than in New York in 1995–he almost surely would not have been prosecuted. Even though assisted suicide remains a crime in the U.K., newly published British guidelines have effectively decriminalized some categories of assisted suicide by instructing local prosecutors when bringing charges in such deaths is to be deemed “not in the public interest.”
Some might say that is what should have happened in the Delury case. But in that matter, truth seeped through the cracks of the compassion disinformation campaign. Perhaps because he was planning to write a book about his wife’s death, Delury had kept a diary. Rather than revealing a depth of love and selflessness, it instead showed vividly that Delury put Lebov out of his misery:
The diary showed that Lebov did not have an unwavering and long-stated desire to die, as Delury had claimed. Rather, as often happens with people struggling with debilitating illnesses, her mood waxed and waned. One day she would be suicidal–but the next day she was engaged in life. Delury, moreover, encouraged his wife to kill herself, or as he put it, “to decide to quit.” He researched her antidepressant medication to see if it could kill her, and when she took less than the prescribed amount, which in itself could cause depression, he stashed the surplus until he had enough for a poisonous brew.
That wasn’t all. When Delury’s book came out–after double jeopardy attached, he admitted smothering her with a plastic bag.
Now, consider the Delury/Lebov case in light of the UK decriminalization:
Thanks to the assisted suicide guidelines, potential Myrna -Lebovs in Britain are now at the mercy of future George Delurys. And those Delurys know full well that, so long as they don’t keep inculpating diaries, they will have little trouble convincing prosecutors that their motive was compassion, a claim readily believed in a society so fearful and disdainful of disability. Such are the consequences of the state prosecutor’s decision that protecting the dying and infirm from assisted suicide is no longer in the public interest.
Finally, add in a UK coroner’s inquest in the Kerrie Woolterton case concluding that doctors were right to stand by and let her die from swallowing anti freeze because she wrote a note refusing treatment, and you have a perfect storm of abandonment.
Culture of death, Wesley? What culture of death?
One of David Cameron's recent pledges has been to "reassess 2.6 million people on Incapacity Benefit to see if they are fit for work" this is an interesting development given that:
a) it was Conservative Governments who were responsible for moving thousands of people onto IB in the first place and;
b) the numbers of people claiming have been falling under Labour, in part due to more disabled people moving into jobs.
In fact you could argue that Cameron is giving his support to the Government's existing policies his rhetoric is not dissimilar to much of what Labour has had to say about those on incapacity benefits and the introduction and ongoing roll out of Employment and Support Allowance will, for better of for worse, probably lead to the same 'reassessment' that Cameron is committing to.
But although the differences between Tory and Labour welfare policy may be slim, they do exist the Conservatives are more likely to publicly blame people in poverty for their own predicament, and consequently favour even greater benefits conditionality and place much less emphasis on support for claimants as a means to enable them to move into work (convenient given the Tories are committing to sweeping public spending cuts).
As the Government points out, 90% of people claiming incapacity benefits would very much like to have a job and as neither party is completely ready to acknowledge, enabling this to happen isn't cheap. It would require massive investment in areas including Access to Work (a scheme which helps employers meet any extra costs involved in employing a disabled person, and has always been under-funded); enabling disabled people to improve their skills; ensuring public transport is fully accessible; providing disabled people with flexible working options; and ensuring that all disabled people have full access to appropriate rehabilitation and treatment services.
And the realities of discrimination against disabled people also need to be acknowledged. For example, a CIPD survey found that 33% of employers said that they deliberately exclude people with a history of long-term sickness or incapacity when recruiting staff; 45 per cent thought disabled people would be less reliable and 43 per cent thought that people who had been claiming Incapacity Benefit would be less productive.
But challenging discrimination and supporting disabled people into jobs isn't the Conservative plan as their 'welfare policy agenda' makes clear. In addition to maintaining Labour's model of contracting out welfare to work services (although cuts in these budgets would surely be on the cards if we had a Tory administration) the plan outlines the following measures:
- People who refuse to join a return to work programme will lose the right to claim out of work benefits until they do.
- People who refuse to accept reasonable job offers could lose the right to claim out of work benefits for three years.
- Time limits will be applied to out of work benefit claims, so that people who claim for more than two years out of three will be required to work for the dole on community work programmes
There are many reasons why these sanctions would not work the evidence on the existing sanctions regime suggests it is ineffective as a means to move people into sustainable jobs. But there is another key reason this policy would be doomed to failure the Conservatives have made no committments on tackling unemployment. Attempting to move people off benefits into work while cutting budgets that are invested in reducing unemployment would be a ridiculous and unworkable strategy. But the inevitable failure of Conservative policies would be little solace for the unemployed people who would find themselves attacked by them.
Touch Stone Blog, 2nd October 2009