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Women from Ireland face ‘enormous additional burdens’ in going to UK for abortions


“This is not a good situation to force women into when what they need is care. It is deeply wrong,” says Ann Furedi, of PBAS, the British Pregnancy Advice Service

Women from Ireland having abortions in Britain face “enormous additional burdens” compared to British women, the chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advice Service, said yesterday.

The service is a registered charity and the largest abortion services provider in Britain.

Ann Furedi said she could not comment on the specifics of the case reported in yesterday’s Irish Times.

“The Irish women we see are absolutely the same as the British women we see, apart from the fact the Irish women have these enormous additional burdens,” she said.

“They have travel, transport, accommodation costs and the additional stress of having to travel to a different legal jurisdiction to get the care that they need at a time when they are feeling, frankly, pretty awful. I think people forget that.

Lowest emotional ebb

“To be imposing on women, at a time when they must be feeling at their lowest physical and emotional ebb, the need to organise travel, bundling themselves on to Ryanair flights, shleping about Britain, taking time off work, having to leave their families.

“This is not a good situation to force women into when what they need is care. It is deeply wrong,” she said.

More than 95 per cent of the service’s work is funded by the National Health Service in the UK. Women from outside Britain must pay to avail of its services privately. An abortion costs between £400 (€465) and £1,500 (€1,750) depending on how far the pregnancy has progressed.

She said that in the vast majority of cases her organisation’s abortion services are free to women resident in Britain.

Mara Clarke, the founder of the Abortion Support Network in London which provides support to women from Ireland seeking to access abortion, said the women the organisation helped were in “dire financial straits, making huge sacrifices to get the services they need”.

“Recently we helped a mother who fed her three children toast and sandwiches for a month to save the money to pay for an abortion for her raped 17-year-old daughter.

“We helped a woman who needed her car but sold it and cut off her landline to raise the money.

“These are not women with credit cards or overdrafts. These are women who already have nothing, who are going to loan sharks, who are not eating trying to get the money together.”

‘Well over 400’

Since the network was founded in 2008, she said the number of women seeking its help had grown constantly, from 66 the first year to about 200 the second, and she expected the number this year to be “well over 400”.

While nationally in Britain about 2 per cent of abortions were carried out later than 20 weeks’ gestation, about 8 per cent of the women supported by the network had late-term abortions.

“This is because they are raising the money and, of course, the later they have it the more expensive it is and more traumatic.”

labortionsupport.org.uk

via Women from Ireland face ‘enormous additional burdens’ in going to UK for abortions – Social Affairs & News from Ireland & Abroad | The Irish Times – Tue, Jul 23, 2013.

A&E departments urged to hide where stupid people can’t find them


images (4)

A&E departments have been told they could relieve significant pressure on their staff by hiding from the sort of people who get vacuum attachments stuck up their arses.

The College of Emergency Medicine claimed that unless something changes, A&E departments will soon be overrun by morons suffering with entirely preventable injuries.

A spokesperson explained, “We can handle broken limbs, falls, heart attacks and even the odd elderly tumble.”

“What we can’t handle is your pissed mate thinking he can jump over a moving car, or wondering whether the shampoo bottle would fit up his arse.”

“Some sort of IQ test before we let them in would be ideal, but possibly a bit impractical.”

“Maybe it would just be easier to hide the A&E department where stupid people would never go, like the library?”

A&E departments under pressure

Medical experts have said moving the A&E department where stupid people can’t find it would have a number of other benefits, beyond relieving pressure on overworked doctors and nurses.

Consultant Simon Williams told us, “This has the added benefit of weeding out the mentally weak, who might not survive whatever ridiculous self-inflicted injury they’ve suffered – and therefore help the rest of society indirectly.”

“Imagine a world where people who would put a light bulb up their arse don’t exist – this move could make that world a reality.”

via A&E departments urged to hide where stupid people can’t find them.

via A&E departments urged to hide where stupid people can’t find them.

UK – NHS competition rules to be changed


The government has agreed to re-write controversial rules on contracting out in the NHS in England.

The regulations were published three weeks ago to provide guidance on how the NHS reforms should be implemented.

But critics had argued they would open up many more services to competition from private companies and could disrupt services for patients.

Health Minister Norman Lamb told MPs the wording of the regulations had “inadvertently created confusion”.

He said there would be no privatisation of the NHS and that competition was only a means to improving services not an end in itself.

The regulations were drawn up as previous guidance on the issue was set to be rendered obsolete because it applied to organisations that were being scrapped on 1 April.

But after they were laid before parliament concerns were voiced that they broke previous assurances from ministers about the extent to which competition was going to be used.

Continue reading the main story

Analysis

Nick Triggle

Health correspondent

If you read the 12 pages of regulations 257 governing NHS procurement, the first thing that strikes you is the contradictory nature of the clauses.

On the one hand the document talks about contracts only being awarded without competition for reasons of “extreme urgency” and treating all providers equally particularly on the “basis of ownership”.

Yet it also makes it clear that any changes need to ensure services are being provided in an integrated way and not against the best interests of patients.

It is hardly surprising this has caused confusion and concern. In less than a month’s time arguably the biggest overhaul in the history of the NHS will go live.

Ministers claim it is more cock-up than conspiracy. If that is so it begs the question how the regulations managed to make it to parliament drafted in the way they were given the controversy over the reforms as a whole.

Read more from Nick

‘Utter chaos’

Last week more than 1,000 doctors have written to the Daily Telegraph claiming the legislation makes “virtually every part” of the NHS open to private firms.

Then over the weekend the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges said it could cause “dangerous” fragmentation of health services.

Labour had also managed to secure a debate on the issue in the Lords. It was due to take place later in the month.

Mr Lamb acknowledged the concerns, but said it was a matter of the regulations being badly drafted rather than an intention to ramp up the use of competition.

He added: “I have listened to people’s concerns and my department is acting quickly to improve the drafting so that there can be no doubt that the regulations go no further than the previous set of principles and rules inherited from the previous Labour government.”

But shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the changingof the regulations represented a “humiliating retreat”.

“In less than four weeks’ time new GP commissioners take control and yet today there is complete confusion about the job they are being asked to do.

“Coalition policy on competition in the NHS is in utter chaos.”

If you read the 12 pages of regulations 257 governing NHS procurement, the first thing that strikes you is the contradictory nature of the clauses.

On the one hand the document talks about contracts only being awarded without competition for reasons of “extreme urgency” and treating all providers equally particularly on the “basis of ownership”.

Yet it also makes it clear that any changes need to ensure services are being provided in an integrated way and not against the best interests of patients.

It is hardly surprising this has caused confusion and concern. In less than a month’s time arguably the biggest overhaul in the history of the NHS will go live.

Ministers claim it is more cock-up than conspiracy. If that is so it begs the question how the regulations managed to make it to parliament drafted in the way they were given the controversy over the reforms as a whole.

via BBC News – NHS competition rules to be changed.

via BBC News – NHS competition rules to be changed.

The Office of Fair Trading accuses GSK of ‘pay-for-delay’ deals to protect drug


Big Pharma up to dodgy tricks again

The pharmaceutical companies are no strangers to skulduggery and market manipulation. They are behind the biggest marketing scam on the planet; namely, creating a multi-billion dollar global market for a completely useless product on the back of junk science and manufactured fanaticism. The parallels with the AGW scam are  inescapable

Considering Seroxat’s shady history I’d have thought they would be happy to be shot of it…and then I remembered how much profit it makes them!

The suppression of unfavorable research findings on Paxil (Seroxat) by GSK — and the legal discovery process that uncovered it — is the subject of Alison Bass’s 2008 book Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial.

The Office of Fair Trading has said it had found evidence that the FTSE100 pharmaceutical giant made “substantial payments” to Alpharma, Generics UK and Norton Healthcare which it claims were used to stop them releasing version of its paroxetine anti-depressant drug.

In a “statement of objections” released on Friday, the anti-trust watchdog alleged that the agreements “infringed competition law” which in turn hits National Health Service costs.

Ann Pope, Senior Director of Services, Infrastructure and Public Markets at the OFT, said: “The introduction of generic medicines can lead to strong competition on price, which can drive savings for the NHS, to the benefit of patients and, ultimately, taxpayers. It is therefore particularly important that the OFT fully investigates concerns that independent generic entry may have been delayed in this case.”

Ms Pope said the allegation were not confirmed but are being investigated.

The OFT maintains that the three generic companies were each attempting to supply a generic paroxetine product in competition to GSK’s branded version of the drug called Seroxat.

It is alleged that GSK approached the firms and accused them of infringing on its patents on the drug which was at the time one of its best sellers. The disputes were resolved by a series of agreements.

“The OFT’s provisional view is that these agreements included substantial payments from GSK to the generic companies in return for their commitment to delay their plans to supply paroxetine independently,” the OFT said.

“The OFT considers that if companies act to delay the potential emergence of generic competition the NHS may be denied significant cost savings.”

In an emailed comment a spokesman said GSK had just received the OFT objections and needed “time to carefully review it”.

However, he said the allegations related to events that occurred between 2001 and 2004 that the European Commission had already investigated and “concluded its enquiry with no further action”.

The spokesman said: “GSK supports fair competition and we strongly believe that we acted within the law, as the holder of valid patents for paroxetine, in entering the agreements under investigation. These arrangements actually resulted in generic versions of paroxetine entering the market before GSK’s patents had expired.”

He added: “We have cooperated fully with the Office of Fair Trading in this investigation, which covers activities that happened between 2001 and 2004. The paroxetine supply agreements under investigation were terminated in 2004.”

via OFT accuses GSK of ‘pay-for-delay’ deals to protect drug – Telegraph.

via OFT accuses GSK of ‘pay-for-delay’ deals to protect drug – Telegraph.

Nurse staffing levels “critical”, says INMO · TheJournal.ie


NURSE STAFFING LEVELS in Ireland are “critical” compared to the UK, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said today.

It has published comparative figures on staffing levels in Ireland compared to their UK counterparts, and say they have also drawn together international evidence that confirms a reduction in nurse staffing levels “negatively affects patient care in terms of higher mortality rates, increased adverse events such as patient falls, medication and transfusion errors, and delays in treatment.”

It also found that inadequate staffing is associated with longer lengths of stay and increased rates of readmission, both of which lead to increased healthcare costs. It says that this research “showed that poor staffing levels increase the risk of burnout amongst nurses which in turn increases the risk of poorer patient care”.

The figures show that in elderly care wards in Ireland, there were 121.87 less total care hours available on the ward per week, compared to the UK. On medical wards, there was 131.25 less hours per week in comparison, while in surgical wards there was a deficit of 225 total care hours compared to the UK.

Admissions and assessment units had two less staff on at every part of the day compared to their equivalent in the UK.

Standards

Speaking today, INMO General Secretary, Liam Doran said that all of this evidence, coupled with the inquiry into deaths at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust which found that the period investigated was characterised by cuts in staff and changes in skills ratios, “cannot be left unchallenged”.

He said:

Our members, without exception, are under unbearable pressure striving to provide safe practice and safe care to their patients/clients.

It is now time for the Minister for Health and the Government to take stock, look at the evidence which confirms our staffing levels are unacceptably low and to acknowledge that where there are poor staffing levels, patients suffer. They must, once and for all, lift the recruitment ban on frontline staff and put the ‘health’ back into the health service.

Doran said that the INMO will now be seeking an early meeting with the Oireachtas Committee on Health to present to them the results of this comparative study, together with the international research findings of the value of a registered nurse.

It will call upon them to initiate a process leading to safe nurse patient ratios in all areas of the Irish health care system.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Fianna Fáil Social Protection Spokesperson Willie O’Dea raised the report, and asked the Tánaiste if he was going to organise risk assessments for these staffing levels.

via Nurse staffing levels “critical”, says INMO · TheJournal.ie.

via Nurse staffing levels “critical”, says INMO · TheJournal.ie.

Reilly- Like He Hasn’t A Primary Care In The World


James Reilly at government buildings holding the expert group report on the need for new abortion legislation, which was published yesterday.

‘You didn’t really think I’d read it, did ye? Hahahahaha’

Looks like he puts away 100 Carrolls and a case of Powers a day.

But then one of the prerequisites for being Minister for Health is that you cannot run 10 yards without serious risk of a coronary?

via Like He Hasn’t A Primary Care In The World | Broadsheet.ie.

via Like He Hasn’t A Primary Care In The World | Broadsheet.ie.

‘Appalling’ lack of care at mental hospital


Mental health inspectors have expressed extreme concern for the welfare of residents at a facility who have been deprived of essential therapies and are showing signs of severe institutionalised behaviour.

Inspectors from the Mental Health Commission found there was an “appalling” lack of therapy for residents with intellectual disabilities at St Senan’s Hospital in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.  Co Wexford.

Overall, they found the hospital could not in its present condition provide a suitable environment for the care and treatment of people with mental illness or an intellectual disability. The hospital, opened in 1870, is home to 43 residents. About 13 have intellectual disabilities. It is due to close by March 2013.

Inspectors reserved their harshest criticism over the care and treatment of residents with intellectual disabilities.

Vulnerable group

It said they were a very vulnerable group, most of whom were not able to communicate their needs and they were accommodated in very poor conditions.

“It was evident from observing the residents that maladaptive behaviours, self-stimulation, institutionalisation and withdrawal were prevalent, all issues that could be addressed by providing appropriate therapies and an appropriate environment,” inspectors found.

However, inspectors said they were impressed with the community mental health teams and the provision of a recovery-orientated service in the South Wexford sector. It is planned that residents at St Senan’s will be transferred to community-based care next year.

There was also criticism of conditions at the Waterford Regional Hospital’s department of psychiatry.

‘Counter-therapeutic’

Inspectors described conditions at the busy acute unit – which provides inpatient care for Waterford and parts of Wexford and Kilkenny – as unsuitable and counter-therapeutic.

They welcomed the fact that building work was under way to provide an expanded unit with enhanced facilities.

But there was concern at the under-resourcing of mental health teams, which was affecting the provision of care.

“There was no provision of therapeutic activities in the acute area within the unit. No activities were available to residents other than watching television from their beds,” according to the report.

via ‘Appalling’ lack of care at mental hospital – The Irish Times – Fri, Nov 23, 2012.

via ‘Appalling’ lack of care at mental hospital – The Irish Times – Fri, Nov 23, 2012.

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