Friday, 6 November 2009

Education-Education; Police nags; Mont less; Picture this; And Pachyderm peril. Plus Serious and sensitive.





Before the off something serious and sensitive: and yes I can do serious and sensitive.

I was contacted by a nice young lady yesterday, here is her email:

Hello,

I'm working on a programme for Channel 4 on palliative / end-of-life care. We started looking into it around the time The Patient's Association came out with a report detailing bad quality of care and a lot of it seemed to happen with people at the end-of-life stage. We started looking into it more and found that while there are some of the best palliative care specialists in the world working in this country, that expertise does not necessarily filter down to more general staff and care. Lack of training coupled with a lack of resources seems to mean that a fair number of people are suffering at the end of their lives.

We want to make a film where we follow a number of people in end-of-life care.

Here is a brief explanation of what we're working on:

Hardcash Productions is in the initial stages of research into making a programme on palliative care for the terminally ill in the UK for Channel Four. Hardcash is a leading independent television company specialising in documentaries and current affairs documentaries. Our website
www.hardcashproductions.com, gives details of our recent work.

We are looking at issues of care, pain management, specialist training, and communication between medical staff and both the terminally ill themselves and their families. Our plan at this stage is to look at these issues through a small number of personal case histories – ones that are on-going. We would like to speak to patients, carers and family members who are in palliative / end-of-life care at the moment, whose stories would potentially illustrate the issues we mentioned above.

Finally, I should tell you that we have a consultant on this programme who is an expert in palliative care, we understand how sensitive this issue is and we will absolutely handle it with the utmost care.

So please ask around to see if anyone you know currently in palliative / end-of-life care would be interested in telling their story to us. It would initially just be for a confidential chat. We could take it further later on if they feel comfortable enough to do so
.

I'm keen to speak with someone familiar with this issue at Angus Dei. A doctor named Rita Pal directed me to your site.

Could we have a chat?

My contact details are below.

Kind regards,
Caroline

Caroline Marsden
Hardcash Productions for Channel 4
020 7253 2782 (office)
07931 303 318 (mobile)
caroline@hardcashproductions.com


We did have a chat but my experience of the “palliative care” that ‘M’ received is not relevant because it was over four years ago and things “have changed” since then (I wish), however if anyone out there is interested in participating contact Caroline through the above info, or you can leave your contact details with me and I will pass them on.

This is not something I would normally do but I feel that this type of programme is necessary to either show that end of life care is “palliative” or is substandard; after all it is something we will all need.

Anyway, back to ‘normal’.

BF3 on firework night, I don’t have to worry about the cat because she is stone deaf and likes to sit on the battlements to watch the pyrotechnics uttering the feline equivalent of “Oooh and Aaaah” unlike DD who has to fortify her mud hut to protect her house guests.

There is a plethora of my type of ‘news’ today so I have picked my favourites.





First up:







Adolf Hitler was a German football coach, say one in 20 children.

And one in six youngsters said they thought Auschwitz was a Second World War theme park while one in 20 said the Holocaust was a celebration at the end of the war.

The survey for a veterans' charity also found one in 10 thought the SS stood for Enid Blyton's Secret Seven, and one in 12 believed the Blitz was a European clean-up operation following the Second World War.

Scottish-based charity Erskine, which provides nursing and medical care for veterans, said it would now take part in a nationwide scheme to educate schoolchildren about the two world conflicts.

The charity questioned 2,000 children between the ages of nine and 15 about their knowledge of the key people and events of the two wars.

While a quarter admitted they did not think about the soldiers who died in the conflicts, and 40 per cent said they did not know when Remembrance Day was, 70 per cent of all those surveyed said they wanted to learn more about the two wars in school.

So what are kids being taught in history classes?










Hertfordshire police is keen to boost special constables in the countryside, and said that those who already own horses should be able to use them as transport.

It is the first in the country to promote such a scheme but believes it could catch on if successful.

Insp George Holland, who came up with the plan, said it would help cut down on carbon emissions and encourage farmers and gamekeepers to sign up as special constables.
Speaking to Police Review magazine, he said: "The thinking behind allowing the use of their own horses is that it is not only environmentally friendly but there are also lots of people who otherwise would have not been interested in joining who might now be."

He said that it was “ridiculous” that many of the current officers are not from a countryside background, despite Hertfordshire being 80 per cent rural and said the new officers would “provide a better service to rural areas”

He said: "There are very few people in the force from a rural background - and that is ridiculous.

"We anticipate that it will provide a genuinely better service to rural people and boost their confidence that the police really do care and are dealing with issues that matter to them."

Insp Holland said that the new initiative hope to attract “community members such as gamekeepers, horse riders and farmers” as they are familiar with the countryside and could be key in helping solve crimes in the area.

The force already has already recruited 14 dedicated “country cops” who are due to start their new jobs next week, but plan to sign up another 16 officers by the New Year.

One officer, who did not want to be named, said the new squad had been dubbed the 'Bumpkin Bobbies'.

He said: "It's fantastic that we're getting a new team of officers on horseback who can trot all over the countryside solving crimes.

Good idea?









The snow-capped Alpine giant Mont Blanc has shrunk by 18 inches in two years, experts said on Thursday following an official survey.

The new height of the tallest peak in western Europe, which lies on the three-way border between France, Italy and Switzerland, is 15,782.3 feet, just over half that of Nepal's Everest.

The volume of snow and ice coating the summit has also dropped by about a tenth, topographer Bernard Dupont said, adding that this could not be linked directly to the effects of climate change.

Mr Dupont said climate change indicators could only truly be measured on a scale of 30 years or more and that ice temperatures and precipitation levels further down the mountain, at around 9,800 feet, would be a better guide.

The expedition, which included the mayor of Annecy, the French town that is a candidate for the Winter Olympics, also found that the highest point on the mountain had shifted 85 feet closer to Italy but remained in France.

Maps, reference guides and school books will be updated accordingly.

Even the mountains are trying to emigrate.










Organisers of a Guy Fawkes Night party in Devon claim health and safety officials have forced them to watch a film of a bonfire rather than the real thing.

The event, dubbed 'non fire night', at Ilfracombe Rugby Club will see about 2,000 revellers hold sparklers and gather around a big screen showing footage of a bonfire.

Recorded images of a roaring real fire will be projected onto the 16ft by 12ft screen mounted on a scaffolding stand - at a cost of £300.

Organisers say they were put off having a real fire by the 'mountain' of paperwork and regulations set by council chiefs, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Officials at the authority said that to have a real fire they would require five qualified fire marshals and metal barricades to keep people at a safe distance.

The non-fire night will also involve giant heaters, lighting and a smoke machine to give the crowd the taste of a real bonfire night.

Sounds of crackling wood will also be broadcast on loudspeakers and £2,500 fireworks will be fired into the air.

"Certain regulations make it difficult for us to have a real bonfire. It is not really a financially viable option," said club captain Leo Cooper, 25.

"The bonfire is often the focal point so we decided to have a big screen that would do the same job."

But local resident Amy Collins, 26, complained: "The whole point of Guy Fawkes Night is to watch and smell a real bonfire. I doubt Guy Fawkes would have been able to blow up Parliament with virtual gunpowder."

Personally I would rather see virtual fireworks; at least you could turn the sound down.


And finally:








Only from over the what not in Oklahoma:

A couple driving home from church nearly slammed into a giant pachyderm that had escaped from a nearby circus late Wednesday. "Didn't have time to hit the brakes. The elephant blended in with the road," driver Bill Carpenter said Thursday. "At the very last second I said 'elephant!"'

Carpenter, 68, said he swerved his SUV at the last second and ended up sideswiping the 29-year-old female elephant on U.S. 81 in Enid, about 80 miles (129 kilometres)north of Oklahoma City.

"So help me Hanna, had I hit that elephant, not swerved, it would have knocked it off its legs, and it would have landed right on top of us," he said. "We'd have been history."

The couple, who own a wheat farm, weren't injured. But the 8-foot, 4,500-pound (2.4-meter, 2,040-kilogram) elephant was being examined Thursday for a broken tusk and a leg wound. A local veterinarian said it appeared to have escaped major injury.

"I thought this can't be happening. Out here you could hit a deer or a cow, but this can't be happening. The good Lord was with us," Carpenter said. The elephant's tusk punched through the side of the SUV, tearing up sheet metal.

After sideswiping the elephant, his wife, Deena, flagged some people down and used their cell phone to call police.

"The dispatcher didn't believe her: 'You hit a what?"' he said. "I told my wife, I don't know whether to cry or laugh."

Enid veterinarian Dr. Dwight Olson said the elephant was hiding in some bushes just off the highway when he arrived shortly after the accident. Handlers from the circus were able to calm it down, and Olson cleaned the leg wound and gave it some pain killer.

The elephant was taken Thursday to the veterinary school at Oklahoma State University for a follow-up exam.

"I don't believe there's a broken bone, but I don't have an X-ray room big enough to examine it," Olson said.

The elephant had escaped from the Family Fun Circus at the Garfield County Fairgrounds earlier Wednesday after something spooked it while it was being loaded into a truck with another elephant, Olson said.

David Sacks, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said late Thursday the elephant is owned by the same license holder of two elephants that escaped after getting spooked by a tornado in WaKeeney, Kansas, last year. The license holder is Doug Terranova, Sacks said.

A booking agent for the circus, Rachael Bellman, said she was unaware of the incident, and a telephone message left with circus officials wasn't immediately returned.


The quote “The elephant blended in with the road," has got to be the best this year.


Angus

AnglishLit

Angus Dei-NHS-THE OTHER SIDE

Angus Dei politico





2 comments:

James Higham said...

So what are kids being taught in history classes?

This is one of the issues, Angus, which cuts across party lines and has been going on since the late 60s in western schools.

It indicates the presence of another force, independent of party and it's been written on so many times by so many people.

It is concerned with replacing things like heritage and history with ideology.

There is no doubt that ignorance is increasing - it always was there and was commented on by Douglas Adams, Evelyn Waugh and many others in the academic area, so it's not new but it does seem to be on the increase.

Hence the charge of schools "dumbing down". I think I'll post on this.

Dedene said...

Angus, you had quite a intense and stressful profession. I appreciate you passing on the woman's request.

I just heard about Mont Blanc last night on the news. The french would be mortified if the peak drifted over into Italy.