Monthly Archives: March 2012

The doctor and nurses putting lives at risk because they can’t speak English

Growing numbers of the NHS’s medical and nursing staff come from overseas, and their English is so poor they cannot communicate effectively with patients


By John Naish

When Jan Middleton woke in her hospital bed at 2am, she feared immediately that her life was in grave danger.

She had already undergone an operation to remove a brain tumour but had been readmitted after developing a serious post-surgical infection.

So when she woke in the middle of the night to discover the infection had spread, causing new lesions to open up on her face, Ms Middleton, 54, realised she needed help quickly.

‘It was terrifying, and made worse by the fact that I had been told the brain infection put me at a high risk of meningitis and stroke,’ she says.

‘I told the nurse, an Asian lady, that she needed to call the on-duty doctor straight away.

‘But her English was extremely poor. She kept repeating, “What you saying to me? I don’t understand. Your English not good.” ’

After trying for half an hour to get through to the nurse, Ms Middleton was exhausted — and very scared.

In desperation, she pulled out her mobile phone to dial 999 for help.

‘I was on the tenth floor of the hospital. I couldn’t get down to A&E on the ground floor on my own,’ she explained.

Care show gives elderly visitors more information on the services available

The Elderly Care Show

9:10am Saturday 31st March 2012 in Bradford By Claire Lomax

 Paul and Barbara Hargreaves are given a demonstration of a new Toyota car

The Elderly Care Show – an exhibition showcasing the best in care available to elderly people opened its doors for the first time yesterday in Bradford.

The free, two-day event at the Abundant Life Conference Centre in Wapping Road, Bradford, continues today, from 10am to 5pm.

The Elderly Care Show is a not-for-profit organisation and features exhibitions, seminars and a networking tea lounge, and is run in association with the Telegraph and Argus.

Exhibitors include the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK, nursing home groups and suppliers, health organsiations such as Nuffield Health and Bradford Teaching Hospitals, Rimmingtons Pharmacy and carers’ organisations.

Speakers on Friday included Gerry Sutcliffe MP, Anna Jackson of the Carers’ Resource, and Barbara Craven who runs Extend seated exercise.

ME is often dismissed – but sufferers like Emily Collingridge are dying

How many young people have to die before ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ merits properly funded biomedical research?


ME sufferers such as Lynn Gilderdale, pictured, and Emily Collingridge have died as a result of the disease. Photograph: David Cairns/Rex Features

On Sunday 18 March, Emily Collingridge, a beautiful 30-year-old activist and author, died after she was apparently no longer able to struggle against the chronic illness that had afflicted her since she was six. Major news organisations have all but ignored her death – the death of a noteworthy campaigner while suffering from the very condition she tried to persuade the world actually existed – just as they continually ignore so many important stories about the illness she had.

That illness is a neurological condition called myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME. There are many who think it is not real and many others, even within the medical profession, who think it is a psychological condition best treated with enforced exercise, which only worsens its effects. Even those doctors and lay people who acknowledge the illness often refer to it by the ridiculous name “chronic fatigue syndrome”, which is almost as damaging to ME sufferers as the symptoms we suffer.