Poison probe nurse is suspended

Rebecca Leighton: Nurse suspended for stealing drugs

Rebecca Leighton admitted removing medication

A nurse cleared of poisoning patients at a hospital have been suspended for 3 months after admitting stoning up from the location.

The decision came after a 3-day disciplinary hearing for Rebecca Leighton, 29, who worked at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

She was suspended from nursing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Ms Leighton spent six weeks in jail but was freed as there has been not enough evidence against her.

She was questioned in 2011 by police investigating the poisoning of twenty-two patients, eight of whom died.

The charges were later dropped but she admitted stealing drugs and drugs from the hospital. Police found packets of painkillers and opiate-based drugs at her home.

‘Trustworthy and reliable’

She is currently working at a care home in Stockport.

Sue Jackson, who runs the care home, told the hearing she has known Ms Leighton since she was an adolescent and took her on after she was sacked from Stepping Hill.

She said Ms Leighton have been trustworthy, reliable, creative and caring within the six months she has worked on the home.

Ms Jackson added Ms Leighton had thought seriously about her actions and deeply regretted them.

The hearing was told that in police interviews, Ms Leighton claimed staff regularly took drugs corresponding to the painkiller ibuprofen for his or her own use.

Her claim was rejected by Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.

It said: “We totally refute the false allegations, which have been raised on the hearing, concerning the habitual theft of medication by staff from our premises.

“These unfounded allegations were immediately investigated by our organisation once they were raised at Miss Leighton’s original disciplinary hearing in November 2011.

“The investigation found no evidence to back them up.”

Patient deaths

Twenty-two people suffered hypoglycaemic episodes after saline drips were allegedly sabotaged with insulin between June and July 2011 at Stepping Hill.

Eight of those victims – who were treated on acute care wards for seriously ill patients – have now died.

A second nurse who worked at the same wards, Victorino Chua, was later hung on suspicion of 3 counts of murder and 18 counts of causing grievous bodily harm.

He was further arrested on suspicion of tampering with medical records and was released on police bail.

Mr Chua was held over the deaths of Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Derek Weaver, 83.

Alleged poisoning victims William Dickson, 82, Linda McDonagh, 60, John Beeley, 73, Beryl Hope, 70, and Mary Cartwright, 89, are believed to have eventually died from natural causes.

Care cap to learn ‘one in eight’

Elderly care cap in England to profit ‘one in eight’

The cap on care costs in England is because of be introduced in 2016

The £72,000 cap on elderly care costs in England, as a result of be introduced in 2016, will benefit one in eight people, the govt. has said.

The revelation came because the government set out information about the way it will work.

It confirmed there could be a deferred payment scheme under which the local council would pay care fees and claim them back from the estate after death.

Labour said the main points does not help elderly and disabled people struggling to get the support they needed now.

Ministers say the cap on costs is an answer to the elderly care crisis, however the level at which the cap is being set is twice what was recommended, meaning the numbers benefiting should be restricted.

The modelling provided by the govt because it launched a consultation at the plans showed it was more likely to be four years after the implementation of the changes until the primary significant groups of these aged 65 and over would begin to hit the cap.

And because people tend to not live for terribly long after they have reached the extent of need that takes them over the cap, the particular numbers benefiting shall be inside the tens of thousands at any individual time.

‘Provide reassurances’

Care Minister Norman Lamb said the cap was never going to be the “panacea” for the issues facing the system.

But he said while the canopy was limited it can help provide reassurance across society.

As well as helping elderly people financially, it have been designed to encourage everyone to plot better for old age and persuade the insurance industry to develop more products to hide care costs.

“No-one desires to face an unknown future,” Mr Lamb said.

“This overhaul of how care is paid for gives people the understanding and peace of mind all of us deserve.”

Michelle Mitchell, of Age UK, said: “It’s important that the general public understands what costs are included under the cap and what impact the proposals may have.

“With a cap set at £72,000, it’s clear that just a relatively small percentage of older people will receive financial support consequently – namely people who have the best care needs for a large amount of time.”

As portion of the announcement, the govt also unveiled the volume persons are expected to contribute towards their “hotel costs” in care homes.

‘Funding crisis’

A figure of £12,000, so as to not count as spending towards the cap, have been recommend to pay for things along with the accommodation, food and bills.

Councils can also be asked to present those with care needs an annual “care account” that will see how much they have got paid towards the cap.

The aim of the deferred payments scheme is to prevent people having to sell their homes to pay for care – currently about 40,000 a year accomplish that.

The consultation at the details of the scheme will run until October 25.

Jamie Reed, shadow health minister, said other than helping those wanting support now, “ministers are offering false reassurances that older people don’t have to pay greater than £72,000 or sell their homes to pay for the prices of care.

“Greater than £1.8bn have been cut from local council budgets for older people’s social care since this government came to power. David Cameron has unleashed a funding crisis in social care. We must see immediate action to enhance the care system.”

Court action over NI abortion advice

Legal challenge over NI abortion guidelines

Thousands of ladies travel from Northern Ireland to the united kingdom every year for a termination

The High Court in Belfast is being asked to reserve the dep. of Health in Northern Ireland to publish abortion guidelines.

Unlike the remainder of the united kingdom abortion is just allowed in very restricted circumstances in Northern Ireland.

Guidelines for doctors were published in 2009, but withdrawn after a legal challenge.

The Department of Health said it may only issue guidance that’s compatible with the law .

The judicial review within the High Court have been sought by the Family Planning Association (FPA) which was campaigning for greater than a decade for guidelines to be issued at the law on abortion.

After previous legal action by the charity, the dep. of Health in Stormont issued a 20-page document in 2009 containing guidance for health professionals at the termination of pregnancy in Northern Ireland.

It was withdrawn here year after a successful legal challenge by anti-abortion campaigners brought about a ruling that sections on counselling and conscientious objection must be rewritten.

At the High Court on Wednesday, the FPA is anticipated to argue the dep. of Health is failing in its legal obligations by not issuing revised guidance.

The chief executive of the FPA, Audrey Simpson, said the judicial review was an try to get clarity.

“It’s crucial for the medical profession if you want to know for once and for all who they could provide an abortion for and who they can not. And the girls will know what rights they have got in accessing a termination of pregnancy in Northern Ireland.”

The Department of Health has said it’s committed to preparing advice, but that won’t be issued until the Health Minister Edwin Poots is excited it’s “fit for purpose”.

Sensitive issue

Abortion remains a sensitive issue everywhere, but is significantly more controversial in Northern Ireland. The outlet of a Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast last year caused demonstrations and scrutiny by a committee inside the Northern Ireland Assembly.

For that reason it truly is quite possible that any guidance could face further legal challenges.

The Society for the security of the Unborn Child (Spuc) said in a press release: “By taking this legal action the FPA has demonstrated a growing frustration at its own loss of success in winning support for its agenda. Despite its efforts abortion in Northern Ireland remains a criminal offence.

“In seeking to force the dept of Health to publish guidelines the FPA is basically trying to medicalise the difficulty of abortion. The law, however, is perfectly clear and requires no guidance.

“Besides, any guidance which literally reflected the law does not be acceptable to the FPA since it refuses to recognise the constraints inside the current law. “

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said its members were working from the sooner draft guidelines, described by government officials as having “no status”.

The college said it hoped the judicial review “will result in more clarity for professionals and higher handle women residing on this component of the uk”.

Republic of eire

There are some parallels between the legal battle in Northern Ireland and the controversy within the Republic of eire, where abortion is much more restricted and is purely permitted if there’s a “real and substantial” risk to the woman’s life.

The European Court of Human Rights said in a 2010 judgement that there have been no clear criteria in Ireland to use to the case of anyone woman. Just like the UK, Ireland is signed as much as the ecu Convention on Human Rights.

The death of Savita Halappanavar in a hospital in Galway in October last year hit the headlines world wide and reignited the controversy. Her family said she asked for a termination when she began miscarrying but was refused, a choice they argued brought about her death several days later.

An inquest into the death of the 31-year-old dentist is because of be held in April.

After taking advice from an authority panel the Irish government has said it’s drafting legislation to deal with the ecu ruling and expects to be capable of publish that during the following couple of months.

‘Lung cancer secrets’ to be probed

‘Lung cancer secrets’ to be probed

The study, implemented at six research centres, might be one of the vital largest of its kind

Scientists across Britain are to map the genes of the tumours of 850 lung cancer patients in a bid to know more concerning the deadly disease.

The £14m research at six centres aims to determine how lung cancers become proof against treatment; they’re the commonest reason for UK cancer death.

The study will trace how lung tumours develop and evolve over nine years.

Some 42,000 individuals are diagnosed with lung cancer within the UK yearly, with about 35,000 deaths from the disease.

Scientific progress has lagged behind that made for other cancers – only 9% of patients survive beyond five years.

Researchers in London, Leicester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and Aberdeen, will create a genetic profile of every patient’s tumour to review how the cancer changes and evades treatment.

Patients with non-small-cell lung cancer patients, which make up about 78% of lung cancers diagnosed in England and Wales, could be recruited.

‘Better understanding’

Lead researcher Prof Charlie Swanton, of Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute and University College London, said success in treating lung cancer have been difficult to gain, but his team hoped to alter that.

He told BBC News: “The foremost hope can be a better understanding of ways non-small-cell lung cancer changes and adapts over the years.

“And by understanding the way it changes and adapts through the years, i’m hoping we’ll get a smarter insight into developing better therapeutics to forestall those changes and adaptations from happening.”

In one of several largest studies of its kind, scientists will analyse genetic changes inside lung cancers of hundreds of patients from diagnosis and throughout treatment.

This will involve sequencing billions of letters of DNA – the equivalent of greater than 65,000 human genomes.

Scientists hope they are going to be in a position to identify common genetic mutations which might be targeted by drugs at different stages of the disease.

Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said research into lung cancer have been underfunded compared with other cancers, which was why the charity was now making it a research priority.

“Typically we’re diagnosing lung cancer patients very, very late,” he said.

“Wherein time their cancers are already very advanced, they’ve often already spread round the body and sometimes that suggests that those patients are too ill to head onto a clinical study or for us to get access to a sample in their tumour on which we are able to then do research.

‘Smoking myth’

“Having access to that sample is necessary for us with a view to understand the disease.”

Dr Kumar said it was a myth that lung cancer was only a smoker’s disease as two out of 10 lung cancers were unrelated to smoking.

“We mustn’t take our eyes off smoking,” he told BBC News. “We all know that smoking causes 1 / 4 of all cancer deaths not only lung cancer – of all cancer deaths.

“So this can be a problem that also must be tackled. Nonetheless it is incorrect to think that each one lung cancer is brought on by smoking.”

Some 42,000 individuals are diagnosed with lung cancer inside the UK once a year, with about 35,000 deaths from the disease.