Saturday, 5 November 2016

Biggest annual rise in deaths for almost fifty years

"England and Wales has suffered the biggest annual rise in deaths for almost fifty years, according to new figures which last night prompted warnings of an urgent crisis in care of the elderly."

"Health experts last night called for an urgent investigation after statistics revealed a five per cent increase in mortality rates in just one year."

"Advisors to Public Health England (PHE) warned of a `strong and flashing` warning light, and said trends over the last four years suggest the rise in deaths may now be the highest since World War Two."

T"hey said the elderly were now bearing the brunt of a growing crisis in the NHS and cuts to social care, with women suffering the most."

"The preliminary data from the Office of National Statistics shows that in just one year, there were 5.4 per cent more deaths in England equating to almost 27,000 extra deaths."

"The year-on-year rise, to a total of 528,340 deaths, is the highest since 1968. There were more deaths last year than any year since 2003. Figures show that numbers of deaths have fallen steadily since the 70s, but that trend began to reverse in 2011..."

"Professor Danny Dorling, from Oxford University, an advisor to PHE on older age life expectancy, said: `When we look at 2015, we are not just looking at one bad year. We have seen excessive mortality - especially among women - since 2012. I suspect the largest factor here is cuts to social services - to meals on wheels, to visits to the elderly`..."

"Health officials said some of the spike in deaths last year might be explained by the failure of the flu vaccine last winter, which worked in just one in three cases."

There is no acknowledgement of the Liverpool Care Pathway or its equivalent still being practiced in hospitals and now in care homes too.

You`d think health officials would have mentioned it - they certainly know about it - rather than making excuses.

Deprivation of Liberty Standards are not working

"Last week, NHS Digital released figures showing that the backlog of referrals under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) regime had soared from 75,000 last year, to over 100,000 by April 2016 (101,750, to be exact).  These burgeoning figures come two years after the Supreme Court's ruling in Cheshire West [2014] UKSC 19, which clarified that the threshold for cases requiring DOLS authorisations was lower than had previously been thought - resulting in a ten-fold rise in applications."

"Local authorities have been struggling to meet their legal obligations since the ruling, and the growing backlog makes clear that they are no closer to grappling effectively with the problem. Today, Community Care magazine has reported that the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has proposed a plan to clear the backlog: use of an 'on the papers', desktop assessment - in other words, to assess without seeing the affected person. ADASS claim that a desktop assessment is `more proportionate` in certain cases, and they have proposed that only `low risk` cases should be suitable for this short-cut, including cases in which relatives do not object and there are no safeguarding concerns."

"This proposal is deeply concerning. How can an effective best interests assessment be undertaken without meeting the person?  ADASS's response to concerns that the desktop approach would remove a critical check and balance in the DOLS process has been to claim that it is better than the status quo - at the moment, many cases are not being assessed at all, in any way, because of the backlog."  

"But this is a wholly unsatisfactory response.  The current failure to conduct assessments, and the size of the backlog, shows a catastrophic, widespread failure on the part of local authorities to comply with their legal obligations. This is a failure which is seen at local level, but central Government must shoulder the lion's share of the blame.  The backlog results, in large part, from swingeing cuts to local authority budgets over the past number of years, and a failure on the part of central Government to respond to the Cheshire West judgment by ensuring local authorities have adequate resources to comply with their obligations to vulnerable individuals deprived of their liberty."

"This is a common theme for local authorities.  A decade ago, many local authorities under financial pressure who found it difficult to comply with their section 20, Children Act 1989 obligations to homeless children responded by attempting to curtail the circumstances in which they would provide such accommodation.  We can't be expected to provide accommodation for all of these children, and to fund the knock-on leaving care obligations, was the refrain; the money was not there. But in fact they could be expected to provide the accommodation. They were statutorily obliged to do so.  An exasperated House of Lords told them so - twice, in fact, as the message did not sink in the first time (R (M) v. LB of Hammersmith and Fulham [2008] UKHL 14 andR (G) v Southwark LB Council [2009] UKHL 26)." 

"Similarly, ADASS's pragmatic solution - despite its well-meaning motivation - does not ensure that local authorities comply with their legal obligations under DOLS. A desktop review is not a meaningful best interests assessment.  A central principle of DOLS and the wider Mental Capacity Act regime is that assessments should be person-centred and consider the unique situation of each individual. A desktop process, without meeting the person, can hardly be said to be person-centred.  What ADASS is proposing will also suffer from the `squeaky wheel gets the most oil` problem - those with articulate relatives raising objections will be properly assessed, whereas others are more likely to have only a cursory, paper review.  Risks and concerns will undoubtedly be missed.  ADASS should be calling on central Government to urgently address the funding deficit which has placed local authorities in this invidious position, and calling on local authorities to comply with their clear legal obligations to some of the most vulnerable in society."                              

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Technologies for Preventative Healthcare

Data analytics

So now technology is to be used to predict frailty. No thought is given to treating the sick, just making predictions. This is similar to hunting for the 1% of 65 year-olds with dementia - no cure, just find them.

All the better, the researchers believe, to manage the population who might require medical assistance some time in the future. How about getting them to talk about where they would prefer to die or offering them `assisted dying` instead?

It`s where prediction science is leading.

The Last Photograph

The above photograph shows Mrs E Kilbride on her last day of freedom at the Eaglesham wind farm where she was enjoying a trip away from the care home she hated. Two days later it was alleged by social workers that the GP who worked for the care home had judged Mrs Kilbride to lack capacity to make her own decisions. In their wisdom the professionals decided on Mrs Kilbride`s behalf not to take her for her hospital appointment and in five weeks she was dead. Those five weeks must have been the most wretched of Mrs Kilbride`s life because she was not allowed to see her visitor, got no more fresh air and exercise, and had no further contact with the outside world.

In the meantime all of her wordly goods were taken away from her leaving Mrs Kilbride with not a single memory of her former life. Most people would judge such treatment of a vulnerable elderly person as inhumane and cruel. Not the carers involved with Mrs Kilbride who claimed that they worked in Mrs Kilbride`s best interests.

Community care - adult care blog

This is a true story which is a sign of the times. It reveals how the notion of `best interests` can be abused by professionals to justify the utmost cruelty and turn reality on its head. Actually it is about power and the abuse of power and an agenda that at the moment only a few can see. This is a wake up call.

To begin the story click HERE

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

From early dementia diagnosis to end of life care

The worlds first G8 dementia summit was held in London on 11 December 2013, where the alarming statement was made that dementia affects an estimated 35 million people worldwide, a figure set to almost double every 20 years. The summit brought together ministers, researchers, pharmaceutical companies and charities...[1]

At a meeting later in Switzerland, March 2015, called Global Action Against Dementia, Jeremy Hunt made the even more alarming statement: "What we need to do today is to bring the world together to fight dementia. We have to do that because it is a global threat." [2]

"The Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that the first national Dementia Research Institute (DRI) in the UK is to be led by the MRC."

"The DRI, which will bring together world leading expertise in discovery science in the fight against dementia, is set to receive up to £150m in funding and be fully functional by 2020." [3]

So this is getting serious. Is this good news for dementia sufferers and their families? Probably not, not when world leaders, charities and the big pharmaceutical companies are getting together and there is more money to be made in the management of dementia than in the cure.

Scotland has its own National Dementia Strategy which will be published later this year in 2016. [4] In Proposal for Scotlands National Dementia Strategy 2016-19, the Scottish Government says it will "continue to focus on its national and local human-rights based approach to improving dementia diagnosis rates..".So they see the early diagnosis of dementia as a human right. But what does that really mean? [5]

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act allows those with a dementia diagnosis to be stripped of their capacity and hence all their human rights along with that diagnosis.. It allows social services to make decisions in the incapacitated adult`s `best interests`.  As documented here in the case of Mrs E Kilbride, it means adults may be transported against their will to a care home, followed by the loss of their home, possessions and savings.

But it is even worse than that:

The government wants to prevent avoidable hospitalisation of people with dementia because cure and treatment is for others, not for the demented. There should be a greater focus on `anticipatory` planning, that is, anticipating - predicting death - and responding accordingly. No anxiety about the Liverpool Care Pathway, or any of the other equally bad pathways, is demonstrated here.


Monday, 7 March 2016

The dementia scam

"UK Column News is worth looking at because it reports on the government`s intention that dementia statistics should rise to two million by 2050."

"They want two million people to be diagnosed as dementia sufferers by 2050."

"They want GPs to increase the diagnosis. They are going to make it easier and more profitable for GPs to diagnose people with dementia. "

"Of course, once (people) have been diagnosed with dementia, their property can be taken from them, or literally stolen in some cases."

"The UK Column mentions the document Prime Minister`s Challenge on Dementia 2020 in which they don`t talk about curing dementia; they don`t talk about research into dementia; they are talking about living with dementia... What they are doing here is creating a revenue stream for private corporations that will work in the pharmaceutical industry and health care and so on - because what they are going to have is people who are living on a long term basis with dementia .... They are putting sixty million pounds a year into this."

Thursday, 25 February 2016

The global trend towards assisted suicide

Assisted Suicide: From The UK Column News
Alex Thomson discusses assisted suicide, which seems to have become policy in many more countries ...
Posted by UK Column on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Charities shared elderly lady`s contact details

"The FRSB found that out of 1,442 charities that participated in its investigation 99 had her in their database. Each sent her an average of six mailings per year, totalling 466 mailings in one year. "

FRSB believes that its sample is unlikely to represent the true amount of mailings she received, and that she was actually being sent around 2,800. "
"Some 24 charities had shared her contact details with others, but just 21 could confirm that they had permission to do so. Seventy charities had obtained her data from a third party, such as another charity or commercial list supplier. "

"In most cases permission was assumed and the charity expected her to contact them if she wanted to be removed from their database. "

"Just 14 of the 99 charities provided an opt-out box on every piece of communication, ten included it on the first piece of communication, two included a tick-box once a year, 56 provided contact information and 16 had no opt-out options at all. "

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Grandma B`s future is going to be determined by secret Court of Protection

On 20 July 2015, Grandma B was brought to HMP Hull to visit her loyal son and carer Peter. Her face was bruised and she showed signs of neglect. She is also badly traumatised after her abusers have stripped her of her assets and unceremoniously deposited her in a home against her wishes, instead of allowing her to spend her remaining years in her own home. York social services has not allowed Grandma B to contact her loyal son since then, which is emotional abuse. She was too confused to be able to say exactly where she is being held, but believes she is in a home in the York area. Can anybody help find out where she is ?

Posted By: Andy Peacher October 6, 2015

Ramping up palliative care in Scotland

"More than 10,000 Scots who could benefit from palliative care towards the end of their life die each year without receiving it, a report has suggested."

"Professor David Clark, of Glasgow University, said an estimated 40,000 people in Scotland could benefit from the specialist form of care."

"However, the report, produced for Holyrood's Health Committee, claims about a quarter of the group might not receive it."

"Projections based on data from England suggest an estimated 10,600 people in Scotland die each year without receiving any palliative care."

"It said that "reliable studies" looking at the need for palliative care estimated that "in rich countries around 82% of all people who die would benefit from palliative care" - with this equating to about 40,000 people a year in Scotland."

"The report stated: "In England, slightly less robust estimates have been produced which indicate the numbers that might currently be receiving palliative care."

"These have been used to form estimates of those who might benefit from but are currently not receiving palliative care, giving an estimate for Scotland of 10,600 people who die each year without receiving palliative care."

"Palliative care aims to prevent and alleviate suffering caused by life-limiting illnesses, particularly towards the end of life. The UK was the first county in the world to recognise it as being a specialist field in medicine in 1987." [And many elderly have died/been killed before their time ever since.]

"Duncan McNeil, convener of the Health and Sport Committee, said MSPs had heard "anecdotally there are serious deficits in the quality of palliative care being provided for in Scotland" when they were considering the issue of assisted suicide." [So he is interested in assisted suicide as well as the palliative death pathway? That figures.]

"Deputy convener Bob Doris said: "The provision of end-of-life care is not one that is going to go away as our population ages and more and more people need care at the end of life." [All life ends. It always has. So what difference should an ageing population make? Really what this means is that people are living too long and something needs to be done about it.]

"The Scottish Government is already looking into this area as they prepare to publish their framework for action on palliative and end of life care. We hope that this research and our inquiry findings will provide some helpful insight to this."

"Health secretary Shona Robison said: "I welcome Professor David Clark's contribution to this important debate. This Government is absolutely committed to ensuring that palliative and end of life care is delivered to the highest standards, in every situation, right across the country..."  My 96 year old father died on the morning after his birthday having spent the evening with his family. We were all laughing as he recounted some of his best stories. He passed away peacefully without anybody`s assistance.

Death takes care of itself. It`s the living who sometimes need help.