Archive for May, 2011

Power chief hits out at nuclear boost

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The government’s support for a new generation of nuclear stations risks ‘damaging’ the electricity market, says Ian Marchant, head of Scottish and Southern Energy

Patient abuse uncovered at hospital

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

secret filming at Winterbourne ViewA support worker stands on a patient’s hand as she is restrained
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A specialist residential hospital in Bristol is being investigated by police after secret filming by BBC Panorama found a pattern of serious abuse.

Winterbourne View treats people with learning disabilities and autism.

Andrew McDonnell, a leading expert in working with adults with mental disabilities, labelled some of the examples captured on film “torture”.

The hospital’s owners, Castlebeck, have apologised unreservedly and suspended 13 employees.

During five weeks spent filming undercover, Panorama’s reporter captured footage of some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients being repeatedly pinned down, slapped, dragged into showers while fully clothed, taunted and teased.

The hospital is a privately owned, purpose-built, 24-bed facility and is taxpayer-funded.

“The families themselves do not know what goes on there”

Terry Bryan Former nurse at Winterbourne View

Mr McDonnell, a clinical psychologist who viewed the footage, told the programme that basic techniques for dealing with patients with challenging behaviour were ignored.

He said he was shocked by the treatment of vulnerable patients at the hands of those charged with their care.

After seeing footage of an 18-year-old patient named Simone being verbally abused and doused with cold water while fully clothed as a punishment, he said: “This is not a jail…people are not here to be punished.

“This is a therapeutic environment. Where’s the therapy in any of this? I would argue this is torture.”

Simone’s parents told the programme that she had told them she was being abused at the hospital, but they had assured her that it would not be allowed to happen.

“She told us, that she had been hit, her hair had been pulled and she’d been kicked – and I said no, this wouldn’t happen, they’re not allowed,” said the patient’s mother.

Professor Jim Mansell, from the University of Kent, is a government advisor on the use of physical restraint for those with developmental disabilities.

He said from the Panorama footage it appeared staff were “waiting to pounce on people and restrain them”.

“This is the worst kind of institutional care. It is the kind of thing that was prevalent at the end of the 60s and that led Britain to gradually close the large, long-stay institutions,” he added.

The programme decided to secret film after being approached by a former senior nurse at the hospital who was deeply concerned about the behaviour of some of the support workers caring for patients.

support worker and patient at Winterbourne ViewSecret filming caught patients being dragged and slapped by support workers

“I have seen a lot over 35 years but this I have never seen anything like this. It is the worst I have seen,” Mr Bryan told the programme.

“These are all peoples’ sons, daughters, parents, aunties, uncles. These are all people who have got families… the families themselves do not know what goes on there.”

Mr Bryan reported his concerns to both management at Winterbourne View and to the government regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) but his complaint was not taken up.

Ian Biggs, regional direction of the CQC for the southwest, said an opportunity to prevent abuse was missed when Mr Bryan’s complaints were not investigated.

“Had we acted at that time, as we have done now, we can act very quickly to cease that kind of treatment.

“We missed that chance and we are sorry for that and we’re doing everything we can now to make sure we’re responding properly.”

Winterbourne View’s owners, Castlebeck, have launched an internal investigation into their whistle-blower procedures and are reviewing the records of all of their 580 patients in 56 facilities.

The vulnerable patients filmed by Panorama have been moved to safety and the police notified.

The hospital charges taxpayers an average of £3,500 per patient per week and Castlebeck has an annual turnover of £90m.

Chief executive Lee Reed told the programme he was “ashamed” by what had happened.

“All I can do is unreservedly apologise to both the families and the vulnerable adults that have been involved in this and recommit to making sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Panorama’s Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed, BBC One, Tuesday, 31 May at 2100BST and then available to view in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Mancienne makes move to Hamburg

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne signs for German side Hamburg after passing a medical.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Pakistani journalist found dead

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Saleem Shahzad (2006)Saleem Shahzad wrote an article about al-Qaeda infiltration of Pakistan’s navy shortly before he disappeared

A Pakistani journalist who was feared abducted after he went missing on Sunday has been found dead, his family has confirmed.

Police said Saleem Shahzad’s body was found in a canal in Mandi Baha Uddin in Pakistan’s northern Gujarat district.

Earlier, Human Rights Watch researcher Ali Dayan Hasan said he had “credible information” that Mr Shahzad was in the custody of Pakistani intelligence.

He recently wrote an article about al-Qaeda infiltration in Pakistan’s navy.

It followed an attack earlier this month on the PNS Mehran base in the southern city of Karachi, the headquarters of the navy’s air wing, which embarrassed the military.

Shahzad’s family said he had disappeared after leaving his home in Islamabad on Sunday evening for an interview at a television station.

They immediately issued statements saying they feared for his safety.

“He told us that if anything happened to him, we should inform the media about the situation and threats”

Ali Dayan Hasan Human Rights Watch

Shahzad’s body was found in a canal in the Sarai Alamgir area of Mandi Baha Uddin, some 150km (93 miles) south-east of the capital.

The head of Margalla police station in Islamabad, Fayaz Tanoli, told the BBC that the local police force took photographs of the body and informed his officers on Monday that it might be Shahzad’s.

The photographs were shown to Shahzad’s brother-in-law, Hamza Amir, who identified the remains. Police said he had cuts to his face.

Relatives later travelled to Sarai Alamgir to confirm he was dead.

Mr Hasan of Human Rights Watch said Shahzad had recently complained about being threatened by the intelligence arm of the Pakistan military, the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI).

“He visited our office and informed us that the ISI had threatened him. He told us that if anything happened to him, we should inform the media about the situation and threats,” he told the AFP news agency.

“We can form an opinion after the investigation and a court verdict, but… in the past, the ISI has been involved in similar incidents.”

There has so far been no comment by the authorities on the allegation that Shahzad might have been in ISI custody prior to his death.

Shahzad, who had a wife and three children, worked for the Italian news agency Adnkronos and was Pakistan bureau chief for Asia Times Online.

Human rights groups recently called Pakistan the most dangerous place in the world for journalists to operate, saying they were under threat from Islamist militants but also Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Shell and Rosneft in talks about Arctic deal

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Peter Voser has held discussions with the Russian state oil champion and Igor Sechin, the energy tsar, on the exploration of blocs that had been originally earmarked for BP

Big crowds greet triumphant Swans

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Thousands of Swansea fans line the city’s streets to welcome home their promotion-winning heroes.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Reversing car kills elderly woman

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

An elderly woman dies after being hit by her husband’s car as he reversed at a golf club outside Glasgow, police have said.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Iron ore miners to reap gains from floods and firm buying

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Two important bulk commodities play crucial role as they feed into cost of steel and prices of goods from cars to washing machines

Closure of key US-Canada pipeline after leak lifts crude

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The pipeline glitch came as oil prices were already rising after renewed violence in Yemen, the Middle East oil producer

Kansai Electric to issue the first utility bonds since Japan quake

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Scale of the offering’s reception will act as a guide for other electricity companies that are keen to tap the debt market

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