#CSAInquiry #Scotland: Survivors have ‘NO TRUST LEFT’ & were left feeling ‘groomed’ by @ScotGov

22nd Feb 2017

Child abuse survivors left feeling ‘groomed’ by Scottish Government

SURVIVORS of child abuse say that continued failures by the Scottish Government have left them feeling “groomed” all over again.

In an interview with Good Morning Scotland, survivors groups say they “continue to be failed” by the government after a third member of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry panel resigned.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney

Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced yesterday he would not appoint a successor

They also said survivors feel there’s “no point” in engaging with the inquiry further because they feel the process has become too “legalistic” and they have been “denied” an opportunity for redress.

The inquiry is now being led solely by Supreme Court judge Lady Anne Smith.

Glenn Houston, who was the last original member of the board, stepped down from his role yesterday with immediate effect, due to a potential “conflict of interest”.

Alan Draper of Care Abuse Survivors Group says he is “concerned” over Mr Houston’s “commitment to the whole process” and that survivors have had “no announcement” from education secretary John Swinney as to why he feels Lady Smith should act alone.

Mr Houston’s departure follows the resignation of the inquiry’s original chairwoman, Lady Susan O’Brien and fellow panel member Michael Lamb.

Mr Draper said: “Glen Houston and Professor Lamb had expertise in the whole field of child protection, that expertise will now be missing. This limits the inquiry’s capacity to focus on the key issues. Survivors themselves are at the centre of the inquiry – it’s now too legalistic for us, it looks far too narrow.”

Groups also say survivors in Scotland are not given redress, compared to other inquiries in Northern Ireland and Australia.

Andy Lavery from White Flowers Alba said that less than 200 victims are now in contact with the inquiry out of an estimated 6000 that experienced abuse, because they face “no prospect of justice”.

What’s the point of the inquiry? It doesn’t mean anything if you’ve suffered abuse

Mr Lavery said: “This is a disgrace and it’s terribly sad. I don’t know anyone who wants to testify now.

“Northern Ireland had care and redress, but there’s none of that here. What’s the point of the inquiry? It doesn’t mean anything if you’ve suffered abuse. This isn’t right or equality. It isn’t justice in our 21st Century. We deserve honesty and we deserve parity with other enquiries. All John Swinney has got to do is assist Lady Smith – get the manual from Sydney [inquiry], get staff and get this up to speed. Let’s crack on with it but that means building trust. We need action, not getting groomed again.”

Susan O'Brien claims she was forced out

Susan O’Brien claims she was forced out

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, set up to focus on allegations of abuse in formal institutional care settings, is expected to last four years.

John Swinney argued it has a “very broad” remit which does not include redress, but that it was a “significant issue” he was examining with survivors groups.

He said: “The inquiry is doing exactly what it’s commissioned to do which is to pursue justice and accountability. If there is a question of redress that is also responsibility of the state. It’s why the government is legislating in Parliament the Limitation Bill, which removes legal obstacles for victims seeking due recourse for abuse that took place in the period after September 1964.”

He added that the appointment of Lady Smith as chairwoman was a “success” after the resignation of Lady Susan O’Brien – who quit over claims she made comments that were “offensive to survivors”.

Mr Swinney added: “When the previous chair resigned survivors groups wanted the inquiry to be led by a senior judge. That’s not a limitation – the inquiry has the ability to appoint assessors who can look at particular specialisms. I want survivors and the public to have confidence in the inquiry and there’s every reason why that should be case.”  https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/623408/child-abuse-survivors-left-feeling-groomed-by-scottish-government-after-inquiry-sees-third-resignation/  https://archive.is/OhyZr



A WEE ADDITION 

“Lady Susan O’Brien – who quit over claims she made comments that were offensive to survivors” 

THAT IS NOT THE TRUTH!  SWINNEY IS A DOWNRIGHT LIAR

PLEASE READ   Ms O’Brian’s letter of resignation https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/07/04/csa-chairwomans-letter-of-resignation-to-john-swinney/   https://archive.is/xncBq


wp-1487770492882.jpgChild abuse survivors’ groups have said they have “no trust left” in Scotland’s Child Abuse Inquiry.

White Flowers Alba and In Care Abuse Survivors Group both called for urgent answers from the Scottish government on the future of the inquiry.

The probe has been plagued by problems and all three original panel members have now resigned.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he understood the concerns but told the BBC the inquiry was gathering momentum.

Glen Houston resigned from the panel on Tuesday. He said his new appointments to the boards of two public sector organisations meant there was potentially a conflict of interest with his work on the abuse inquiry.

The other two original panel members, Susan O’Brien QC and Prof Michael Lamb, stood down within days of each other last year, complaining of government interference.

In July 2016, senior judge Lady Smith was appointed as the new chairwoman following Ms O’Brien’s resignation.

The spokesman for the survivors’ group White Flowers Alba, Andi Lavery, claimed there were fewer than 200 survivors now in contact with the inquiry and said there was “no trust left”.

“It’s an absolute disgrace and it’s so terribly sad. I don’t know anybody that’s left that wants to testify and we’re in contact with quite a number of survivors,” he told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme. At the end of the day, if you’re abused in Scotland you face no prospect of either justice, accountability or redress. But if you’re abused in Carlisle or Belfast, you face them in their inquiries. That’s not right, it’s not equality and it’s not justice.”

The inquiry was launched in October 2015 and charged with examining historical allegations of child abuse in residential accommodation in Scotland.

It is due to report in 2019.

Also speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Alan Draper, of the In Care Abuse Survivors Group, said survivors were concerned about the resignation of Mr Houston and the Scottish government’s decision not to replace him on the panel.

“It looks too legalistic to us. All we’ve got now is a High Court judge, QCs and solicitors involved in the inquiry team and no external expertise. This looks far too narrow,” Mr Draper said.

Failed in care

The group have also demanded that Mr Swinney tell them why the inquiry will not consider redress for victims.

Mr Draper told BBC Scotland: “We’ve continued to ask John Swinney that this be part of the remit. We’ve been denied this remit. What survivors tend to feel [is that] we were failed when we were in care. We continue to be failed by the Scottish government and we continue to be failed by the inquiry – why should we engage with it?”

But Mr Swinney insisted the inquiry had a “very broad remit” and would ensure justice was delivered to abuse survivors.

He also defended the decision not to appoint a successor to Mr Houston, saying that survivors’ groups had told him “very strongly” they wanted the inquiry to be led by a senior judge.

Pursue justice

The deputy first minister told the BBC that Lady Smith also had the ability to appoint assessors to “enhance the expertise of the inquiry. I completely understand the concern of survivors and I’ve engaged with survivors on a number of occasions since I took over responsibility of the Child Abuse Inquiry and I will continue to do so,” he said. The inquiry is gathering evidence, it’s gathering momentum, it’s gathering input from individuals who were the victims of abuse. So the inquiry in that respect is doing exactly what it was commissioned to do which is to pursue justice and accountability for the survivors of abuse.  On the question of redress, I acknowledge this to be a significant issue, but it’s an issue for the government to address in consultation with the survivors. It’s not for me to pass this to the inquiry.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-39052276   http://archive.is/sPzIz


Compensation hope for Scots Survivors of Institutional abuse

wp-1487723645335.jpg

A scheme to compensate victims of in-care child abuse is being considered by Scottish ministers for the first time.

After decades of campaigning by victims’ organisations, John Swinney has acknowledged that financial redress “could play a part in Scotland in the future”.

In a letter to a Holyrood committee, the deputy first minister said that it would be inappropriate to wait until the Scottish child abuse inquiry had been completed before progressing with a compensation scheme. He suggested that a further three-month consultation would be required before ministers could reach a final decision on redress.

There was cautious approval for Mr Swinney’s letter but one leading campaign group said it was considering withdrawing from the inquiry because of the resignation yesterday of a third member of its panel.

Glenn Houston, an expert in health and social care, was appointed when the inquiry was founded in October 2015. He said he was quitting because he had accepted positions on the boards of two public bodies and felt that conflicts of interest could arise.

Last summer two members of the inquiry, Susan O’Brien, QC, the first chairwoman, and Michael Lamb, a psychologist, both quit.

Ms O’Brien is now suing the government for £500,000 and Professor Lamb said that the inquiry was “doomed” because of political interference. 

“Survivors are considering withdrawing from this whole process until they are satisfied that survivors are placed at the centre of the inquiry”

The present chairwoman, Lady Smith, a high court judge, is the only remaining panel member. Mr Swinney pointed out that this was normal practice in Scotland, where public inquiries usually have only one adjudicator.

Mr Houston’s decision outraged Alan Draper, spokesman for Incas (In Care Abuse Survivors), who said that the inquiry had become “a process of failure”. He deplored its reliance on legal opinion, a factor that could deter abuse victims from coming forward.

Mr Draper said: “If Mr Houston was dissatisfied he should have the courage to say so. Accepting these two jobs implies he was looking for a way out. There is concern that the inquiry is dominated by the legal profession, without any balance from other professional groups who have a detailed knowledge of child abuse and its impact for survivors and their families. Survivors are considering withdrawing from this whole process until they are satisfied that survivors are placed at the centre of the inquiry. The inquiry is about the failure of the establishment to protect them from harm. This failure is continuing.”

However, Mr Swinney’s letter to the education and skills committee offered “a glimmer of hope”. Mr Draper said: “His words seem to indicate that redress is important. Worldwide there has been a move towards compensation but Scotland has been very slow.”

In his letter Mr Swinney noted that Lady Smith had specifically raised the possibility of a redress scheme when she made her opening statement to the inquiry. “We need to be mindful of the length of time some survivors have been waiting and that some survivors are elderly and frail,” he added.

His determination to have a formal consultation on redress prompted unease. Iain Gray, Labour’s education spokesman, welcomed the acknowledgement that survivors should not wait until the abuse inquiry was completed before compensation was paid but added: “This process is still being dragged out, especially considering how long survivors have been waiting.”

Under the terms of its remit, the Scottish inquiry is scheduled to conclude in 2019.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/compensation-hope-for-scots-victims-of-child-abuse-in-care-c5mpcv8ld  http://archive.is/reQOf



PREVIOUSLY…

  1. https://spidercatweb.blog/2017/02/21/bingo-its-a-full-house-as-the-third-scottish-child-abuse-inquiry-panel-member-resign/  https://archive.is/1U6ZT
  2. Former boss of child abuse probe sues Scottish Government for £500,000  https://archive.is/nnNmt
  3. CSA Inquiry Scotland: It’s 2 down 1 to go as Chairwoman quits  https://archive.is/4rDTg
  4. Scottish child abuse inquiry witnesses ‘deserve answers’
  5. Fresh controversy engulfs troubled Child Abuse Inquiry #CSA #Scotland
  6. #CSA Inquiry. #Survivors spell out fears to Swinney & give him “one last chance”
  7. John Swinney to meet with historic child abuse survivors #SCSAinquiry #CSA
  8. CSA inquiry row ‘centred on use of public cash’, says BIG FAT LIAR Swinney
  9. Lady Anne Mather Smith to Head #Scotland’s #CSAinquiry. Hmm…
  10. Lady Smith #ReleaseTheTape

*BINGO* It’s a FULL HOUSE as the third Scottish child abuse inquiry panel member resigns

21st Feb 2017

 

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has been hit by another resignation, leaving it with just one panel member.

Glenn Houston said he has accepted two other public appointments and resigned from the panel to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

He is the third original panel member to resign from the inquiry.

Susan O’Brien QC quit following claims she had made comments that were ‘’offensive’’ to survivors while professor Michael Lamb stepped down after saying the review is ‘’doomed’’ due to interference by ministers.

Ms O’Brien was replaced by senior judge Lady Smith, who will now lead the inquiry on her own.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is examining historical allegations of the abuse of children in care and has been taking statements from witnesses since last spring.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said a successor to Mr Houston will not be appointed and the inquiry will “take the same format” as every other public inquiry established in Scotland under the Inquiries Act 2005.

Mr Houston said: “Due to a change in priorities in my working life, last year I applied for positions as a non-executive director to the boards of two public-sector organisations, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the Disclosure and Barring Service. “I have now been successful in those applications and the appointments have been made. Lady Smith and I have discussed the potential that at some future time, a perception of conflict of interest may arise between these appointments and my work as a panel member on the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. After careful consideration of both the time commitment required to fulfil these new roles and the potential, however small, for perceptions to arise of conflict of interest, I have tendered my resignation to the inquiry. I remain fully supportive of its work, which I believe is on course to complete the important tasks which have been set for it, and I wish it very well for the future.”

Staff for the inquiry are said to be working to contact people in countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand who may have suffered abuse in Scotland, or after being sent abroad as part of past care arrangements.

At a preliminary hearing last month, Lady Smith stressed the inquiry is independent of government, police, prosecutors and other organisations.

The inquiry covers the period within memory of anyone who has suffered abuse, not beyond December 2014. Public hearings will begin on May 31.

Lady Smith said: “Mr Houston has made a valuable contribution to the work of the inquiry during his time as a panel member and I am very grateful to him for his support. “I fully understand his decision and wish him well in his new ventures.”

Mr Swinney said: “I want to thank Mr Houston for his service. I know this was not an easy decision for him to reach but he can be very proud of the contribution he has made to the establishment of the Child Abuse Inquiry and to ensuring its continuing progress. Following consideration of the matter, at this stage in the inquiry’s work, I have decided not to appoint a successor. Lady Smith will continue as chair of the inquiry and as sole panel member.”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/third-scottish-child-abuse-inquiry-panel-member-resigns-1-4372555  http://archive.is/l0mp6

Scottish Paedophilia: THE LIST of Institutions, Care Homes & Schools

HOW TO HOLD A #CSA INQUIRY: #UK STYLE


PREVIOUSLY…

  1. Former boss of child abuse probe sues Scottish Government for £500,000
  2. CSA Inquiry: Chairwoman’s Letter of Resignation to John Swinney
  3. CSA Inquiry Scotland: It’s 2 down 1 to go as Chairwoman quits
  4. Scottish child abuse inquiry witnesses ‘deserve answers’
  5. Fresh controversy engulfs troubled Child Abuse Inquiry #CSA #Scotland
  6. #CSA Inquiry. #Survivors spell out fears to Swinney & give him “one last chance”
  7. John Swinney to meet with historic child abuse survivors #SCSAinquiry #CSA
  8. CSA inquiry row ‘centred on use of public cash’, says BIG FAT LIAR Swinney
  9. Lady Anne Mather Smith to Head #Scotland’s #CSAinquiry. Hmm…
  10. Lady Smith #ReleaseTheTape

Compensation hopes fade for oldest child abuse victims

16th Feb 2017

20170216_225934The oldest survivors of child abuse in Scotland fear they are being denied any hope of winning compensation.

The Scottish Government is opening the way for hundreds of victims to seek damages through the courts but the change will not apply to cases pre-dating September 1964.

Ministers considered whether or not the so-called 1964 rule could be changed retrospectively but were advised doing so would contravene the European Convention of Human Rights.

Campaigners say the oldest survivors are dying out with no prospect of receiving justice.

Deputy first minister John Swinney has pledged to seek out a solution as quickly as possible.

Frank Docherty, of the In-Care Abuse Survivors charity, claims he suffered years of abuse at the hands of nuns at the Smyllum asylum in Lanark.

He said the experience was still raw despite the incidents taking place more than 60 years ago.

“You were brought up to revere these people and respect them,” he said.

“But they ridiculed you in front of the rest of [the children]. There are some things that never leave you. She made a habit of pulling you up during the day and saying ‘remember boy, what you’ve got to get before you go to bed’.”

Mr Docherty said four committee members had died in the past year without getting closure.

He added: “Why can Australia do it? Why can Ireland do it? And Canada? And yet here, they have got a cut-off date… The only way we can get back or hurt these people is money.”

The Scottish Government is searching for a solution to the 1964 impasse.

Northern Ireland’s child abuse inquiry has recommended a state-backed scheme which could provide compensation payments of up to £100,000, with contributions from institutions that ran the homes where abuse took place.

Asked if Scotland could follow Northern Ireland’s example, Mr Swinney said: “There is that possibility, certainly for the pre-1964 cases we’d have to consider something of that nature, because there’s no legal route for us to open up those cases any further than 1964.

“The government has moved very swiftly to take forward the various changes that we’re making. The historic child abuse inquiry has been established under this Government. The Limitation Bill is a big departure of legal principal. The Government has taken steps as quickly as possible. It is of an urgent nature. I readily acknowledge the fact that some survivors are worried that this takes time, but we will address that as quickly as we possibly can and come to conclusions based on the dialogue that we take forward.”

ScotParl 

Justice Committee Inquiries PDF

https://drive.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://www.parliament.scot/S5_JusticeCommittee/Inquiries/Police_Scotland.pdf

 

Holyrood’s justice committee is currently considering plans to remove the current time bar for bringing a civil court claim for damages within three years of the abuse taking place but it would not enable abuse survivors from before 1964 to seek redress in the civil courts.

MSPs were told on Thursday that the cost of removing the limit for victims of childhood abuse “may have been underestimated”.

Police Scotland warned the impact of the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill could be much higher than expected.

Financial documents published alongside the bill estimate the change in the law would result in about 2200 claims in the courts initially.

In a written submission to the committee, Police Scotland reiterated its support for the bill but added it estimated the force held at least 5000 files dating back to 1964 relating to reports of child abuse and neglect “within an institution or care setting or involving a person of public prominence”.

The force said the legislation was likely to have “significant resource (human and financial) implications” for the force and a “far-reaching impact” on individuals, groups and organisations.

The proposals are also supported by the Former Boys and Girls Abused in Quarriers Homes (FBGA), Scottish Human Rights Commission, Victim Support Scotland and the Law Society of Scotland.

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1380924-compensation-hopes-fade-for-oldest-child-abuse-victims/  http://archive.is/CUStl

Human Trafficking, Scotland. FOUR MORE SUSPECTS HELD IN SLOVAKIA

as always, links are in BLUE & archived in ORANGE

Feb 16th 2017

ukgyhjbgvFour more human trafficking suspects have been held in Slovakia amid a major probe after raids took place in Scotland.

Members of a suspected international human trafficking ring were arrested in the joint police raids in Glasgow last week which involved the Slovakian authorities and Europol.

Three men and two women were held and have now appeared in court in Glasgow in connection with trafficking offences and prostitution following the intelligence-led operation.

Officers from the specialist crime division searched a number of houses in Govanhill and arrested two women from Slovakia, aged 25 and 40, two Slovakian men, aged 28 and 58, and a 35-year-old Nepalese man.

Three potential victims were also found by police and brought to safety on Thursday during the raids at properties in Allison Street, Calder Street and Langside Road.

The four men arrested in Slovakia this week were aged 40, 30, 26 and 23 and are due to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Police Scotland detective inspector Stevie McMillan said: “This forms part of what is still very much a live and ongoing enquiry and we will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies, both in the UK and across Europe, to ensure anyone else who has been involved in this crime will be brought to justice.

“This is a significant development to ensure the individuals involved in this crime group cannot inflict the same misery and suffering upon other vulnerable victims.”

A statement from Europol said: “As a result of coordinated and joint operational activities, authorities from Slovakia and the United Kingdom, supported by Europol and Eurojust, have dismantled an organised criminal group involved in trafficking Slovak victims for the purposes of sham marriages and sexual exploitation. Last week, house searches were performed in Glasgow by Police Scotland. Europol specialists were deployed on the spot to support the national authorities. As a result, five suspects were arrested and detained in police custody. Sixteen women – potential victims of trafficking – were also identified and were offered care and assistance by a specialised NGO.”

It added: “A significant amount of evidence – numerous travel documents, computer equipment, mobile phones and cash – was seized during the operation and will be used for further investigation. Two days ago, the second phase of this coordinated operation took place in Trebisov, Slovakia, where four search warrants and four arrests were executed. The modus operandi of this organised criminal group was to recruit vulnerable women from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds by deception, promising them attractive and well-paid jobs abroad and then forcing them into sham marriages and prostitution.”  

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1380867-four-held-in-slovakia-amid-scots-human-trafficking-ring-probe/ http://archive.li/jFWr8

  1. Four more arrested following Govanhill sex trafficking raid  Glasgow Evening Times
  2. Four more people arrested over alleged human trafficking  The Scotsman
  3. Four more human trafficking suspects busted after cops smash Scottish Sun
  4. UPDATE – More arrests made in southside human trafficking case Kirkintilloch Herald

FEB 15th 2017

screenshot_20170216-013350Police in Slovakia have made a series of arrests in connection with an alleged human trafficking ring in Glasgow. Four people have been held in the eastern town of Trebišov following a major international investigation, according to Europol. The intergovernmental policing body said it had “dismantled” what it described as an organised criminal group involved in trafficking Slovak victims for sham marriages and sexual exploitation. The arrests in Slovakia on Monday followed series of raids last week in the Govanhill area of Glasgow, in which five people were arrested by Police Scotland in an operation which also involved officers from Europol, Glasgow City Council and Immigration Enforcement.

Europol, which described the investigation as “extensive and complex,” said 16 women were identified as potential victims of trafficking, adding that a “significant amount” of evidence had been seized.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

In a statement, Europol, which provided operational and analytical support to police in both Scotland and Slovakia, said:

“The modus operandi of this organised criminal group was to recruit vulnerable women from challenging socio-economic backgrounds by deception, promising them attractive and well-paid jobs abroad, and then forcing them into sham marriages and prostitution.” It added: “Europol actively supported this human trafficking operation and provided operational and analytical support to Slovakia and the United Kingdom throughout the investigation. Europol specialists in trafficking human beings delivered real-time cross-checks of the data gathered using a mobile office and data extraction device during the actions.”  The five arrested last week in Glasgow –

  • Vojtech Gombar, 58
  • Anil Wagle, 35
  • Jana Sandorova, 25
  • Sylvia Racova, 40
  • Adam Ratislav, 28

– all made private appearances at Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier this week on human trafficking charges. All five, from Glasgow, made no plea or declaration and were remanded in custody. They have been charged under the Asylum and Immigration Act for allegedly arranging for people to come to the UK with the intention of exploiting them. All of the accused, except Sandorova, also face charges of arranging travel to the country for the purposes of forcing people into prostitution. Gombar, Sandorova, Rocova and Ratislav have also been charged with keeping or managing or assisting in the management of a brothel.
http://www.scotsman.com/news/arrests-in-slovakia-over-alleged-scots-trafficking-ring-1-4367285 http://archive.is/oZp7w


Feb 14th 2017

Hundreds of sex trafficking victims helped in Glasgow  Glasgow Evening Times Feb 14th 2017

untitled

It comes after we reported on an alleged human trafficking ring which was was busted in Govanhill last week.

Many of the 16 women who were previously recovered by police were supported by TARA. In the most extreme cases women, typically Nigerian, Vietnamese, Albanian and Chinese, have escaped from their abusers not even knowing what country they are in, never mind how to get help.

TARA staff warn the figures are “just the tip of the iceberg”, with an estimated 1300 victims of trafficking and modern slavery thought to be in Scotland at any one time.

The organisation, which is run by Glasgow City Council and funded by the Scottish Government, was initially set up in 2004 to help victims from Glasgow, but due to the surge in demand for help they expanded to cover the whole of Scotland in 2007.

Survivors, who range between 16-years-old and their late 50s, have told of how they were raped, beaten and abused by their traffickers and warned if they fled they would be hunted down and killed, while others have had threats to their families and children back home. 

They thought they were moving abroad to start a better life, only to find out they were being forced into prostitution, and sham marriage.

Bronagh Andrew, TARA’s coordinator, explained: “Once here, women will be told what’s going to happen to them. They may refuse and are subject to sexual assaults, physical assaults, they have been raped. Women talk about being forced to watch pornography so they know how to behave with the people who are paying for sex.” 

Bronagh explained one woman she helped had jumped out of a car in Glasgow’s city centre in a desperate attempt to escape her abusers.

She had no clue where she was and no idea how to get help.

Bronagh said: “Years ago we had a young woman who escaped from a car in traffic lights and it was a Subway sandwich shop she ran into. She thought she was in Toronto. If you don’t even know what part of the world you’re in, you don’t have English as your language then taking a step through the door is scary. Traffickers may have told you over months that they will find you, they’ll kill you, they’ll kill your family or you’ll be put in jail. You don’t even know where to tell the police or how to tell them where you’ve been. It’s a real challenge.”

MEMBERS of the public are being urged to help spot the signs of trafficking, which are often difficult to detect due to victims being constantly moved around.

In some cases, residents may complain to their local councillors about men ringing their doorbells late at night, or hearing footsteps constantly in a neighbours home but never seeing anyone leave.

Bronagh said: “These women are hiding in plain sight. People are seeing them but they are not identifying them. It’s in the traffickers interest that they are not identified, so we want to improve awareness. People don’t know what to do. Quite often people will think something is a bit off about a situation, but they won’t want to call the police and say ‘I hear footsteps upstairs but I never see anyone.’ or ‘I think something gives me the creeps about upstairs.”

For the women who do manage to escape, the journey to recovery and getting their lives back is a long and painful one, with often complex challenges requiring months or years of work.

They suffer post-traumatic stress, have flashbacks, headaches and unexplained body pains as a result of the weeks, months or sometimes years of abuse they have endured.

OFTEN victims are in their late stages of pregnancy or have complex physical or mental health problems when they come to TARA, having been turfed out of brothels as they would draw too much attention in their condition. 

“Women come to us in the late stages of pregnancy and who have had no antenatal care, no treatment at all and no access to services,” said Bronagh.

“We have had women who have had their children taken in to the next room by the traffickers when a punter arrives, and they can hear their child screaming. They’re expected to have sex in those conditions. It is used as a tool to keep her under control.”

The long road to recovery is helped by TARA, who typically support victims for 12-18 months once they are referred.

“What we find is that when women get out of that situation, the majority don’t return back into prostitution,” said Bronagh.

“While there’s a lot of stuff they have to get over, they show amazing resilience and strength. They want to do what they thought they would be coming here to do. Most of them make a claim for asylum and they can fully access services and education here, which they make the most of.”

If you want to report suspicions about trafficking or need help, contact uk Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700, Police Scotland   on 101, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/15092827.Hundreds_of_sex_trafficking_victims_helped_in_Glasgow/   https://archive.is/KamzF 


Feb 13th 2017

ooi

tri

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1380642-three-men-and-two-women-charged-with-human-trafficking/  http://archive.li/TQBiX 


Feb 10th 2017

kjhttp://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/765643/police-crime-human-trafficking-arrest-glasgow-scotland  https://archive.is/MTE4l

7.png

http://www.glasgowsouthandeastwoodextra.co.uk/news/crime/southside-arrests-over-human-trafficking-ring-1-4363012  https://archive.is/ELNDR

Feb 5th 2017

wp-1486970051523.jpg wp-1486970085434.jpg

IN FULL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4193914/Former-Freemason-caught-child-sex-sting-police.html


31st Jan 2017

Sold into slavery at age of six, the Vietnamese boy freed after he was arrested on a hash farm in Lanarkshire

A Vietnamese human trafficking victim forced to work in a Scottish cannabis farm has given a searing insight into the hell of being enslaved.

He was one of an estimated 3000 Vietnamese children in forced labour in the UK, a number of which end up in nail bars and illegal cannabis farms across Scotland.

Yesterday, it emerged that a Vietnamese teenager had been found cowering in bushes in Dumbarton after fleeing human traffickers. The 16-year-old had been smuggled through Russia to Scotland, where police believe he was to be used by a crime gang, possibly in a cannabis farm.

His experiences reflect those of Dinh, who was trafficked from the age of six, brutalised, locked in a house and used as slave labour before he was arrested and imprisoned at Polmont Young Offenders Institution.

The youngster was forced to work on a hash farm

Like many trafficked children, Dinh was reared in slavery and told by his captors he would die if he escaped.

He said: “They told me if I were to be captured by the police, the police would imprison me in dark rooms and give me very little food. And the room would be very cold and over time I might die from starvation.”

His earliest memory of Vietnam is a vague recollection of hugging a woman, possibly his mother, in his home village before being taken by a man he calls his uncle and trafficked to Europe.

Dinh said: “We arrived at a place where there was snow and white people. Later, I knew it was Europe.”

Like most smuggled children, he didn’t even know which country he was in. They were picked up at the airport and joined a group of other Vietnamese who were being smuggled. They were taken to a different house each day where, despite being only a small child, he was used as a household slave. Sometimes they slept rough in forests and covered great distances, climbing mountains and hiding in lorries.

He said: “Once, when I was walking too slowly because I was too small and weak, someone pointed a gun at me and made me fall off the mountain. I broke my leg and someone took care of my wound. I was taken to a doctor to get treated.”

When his leg healed, his nomadic life resumed and he often saw a number of other children who told him they were being forced to work to pay off the debt to the smugglers.

He said: “I had to do chores such as cooking, carrying buckets of water or finding firewood to keep us warm. I was made by adults to go into shops to steal food or anything that they wanted.”

Dinh was taken by lorry to the UK when he was 10 and imprisoned in a house in London, used by a trafficking ring.

It was seven months before he was allowed outside in an escorted visit to a park. He remembers feeling a mixture of joy and fear that he would be picked up by police.

He felt a combination of joy and fear about being picked up by the police

Being raised in this captivity, Dinh believed it was normal that he should have to work for food and shelter with no access to play or an education. After being abandoned by his uncle, he was smuggled to France to search for him.

Although he was brutal, he was the only “family” Dinh knew.

In his search, he was picked up by a Vietnamese man called Phat who promised to help if he worked as his household servant for a year in the UK. But when there was no sign of his uncle, Dinh escaped and was forced to sleep rough in parks and public toilets, scavenging bins for food. Some Vietnamese gave him the odd night of shelter but he was often forced to sleep in the cold. Then he met a Vietnamese couple who told him that, in exchange for housework, they would help him find his uncle. They gave him to a friend, who again filled his head with the empty promise of help. The man took Dinh to a house in England to grow illegal cannabis he was told was medicinal.

After a few months, he was moved to another cannabis farm in South Lanarkshire.

Dinh said: “During that time, they said I should not go out because the police would arrest me. They said they were valuable medical plants so if other people knew about them, they would try to steal them.”

His masters would call him and give him orders and he slept in the corner of the living room on the floor.  His job was to mix plant food to water the plants, trimming off the leaves or installing the electrical wiring. One morning at 7am, the house was raided and a terrified Dinh was arrested and taken to the police station.

He had no idea what crime he had committed.

Dinh said: “I didn’t know they were cannabis plants until I was in prison.”

Although he was a victim and not a criminal, he was sent to Polmont Young Offenders for nine months. This was perhaps the worst period of all.

He said: “I was staying in one cell all the time. I was really irritated all the time and felt like I was going crazy. I didn’t understand anything about the legal system. I felt very angry and sometimes I wondered why I was being kept in prison with criminals and murderers, if I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Fortunately, he was helped by Scottish charity The Aberlour Childcare Trust.

He was given an advocate from their guardianship service, who work with children and young people who arrive in Scotland unaccompanied and separated from their families.

Through the charity, he was recognised as a victim and released.

He said: “I hope to raise awareness that young people like me didn’t do illegal things on purpose. We are not criminals.”

In Scotland, the Lord Advocate has since insisted that children like Dinh should be helped, not placed in jail.

In England, many like him are still imprisoned.

Aberlour have been an enormous support to Dinh and he now attends college and describes himself as happy.

He said: “Only now am I aware of how terrible it was what happened to me at a very young age. Before getting out of prison and having a new life, I thought it was normal. I gradually realised it really was the life of a slave.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/sold-slavery-age-six-vietnamese-9741352  https://archive.is/S0qdd


20 Oct 2016

Nail bar slaves found in biggest trafficking swoop

ONE of the biggest single crackdowns on human traffickers operating in Scotland has seen police identify 11 potential victims – including six children – working in nail bars.

Around 430 police officers raided hundreds of firms including farms, car washes, beauty bars and food production factories as part of a national day of action to coincide with World Anti-Slavery Day.

A teenage boy was discovered working in one nail bar in Edinburgh and an illegal immigrant was also found working in another within the Capital.

Several minors – including a teenage girl – were identified in premises in Livingston and received care from social workers after the operation.

One person has been detained for human trafficking offences and two others arrested for immigration offences by Police Scotland, with an additional 12 arrested by Immigration Enforcement.

Also in Edinburgh a Latvian man was arrested for drugs offences under an International Arrest Warrant. The alleged human traffickers are believed to originate from Iran, Vietnam, Albania, Turkey and Iraq.

Police were supported on the raids by 50 colleagues from HM Revenue and Customs, Immigration Enforcement, British Transport Police (BTP) and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

Shook Tang, of Migrant Help Scotland said a number of the alleged victims of trafficking, including a Vietnamese man found working in a nail bar had been referred to the charity for assistance with accommodation.

“It is common to see Vietnamese people who have been trafficked to work in cannabis cultivation, but we also see mainly girls brought to work in nail bars,” she said.

“We also see some Chinese people, usually brought for domestic work or other labour exploitation. Some people who have been trafficked end up working as fishermen. Their documents are kept by gangmasters, to control them and prevent them going out. They are also financially controlled as well, paid as little as £1 or £2 an hour and kept locked up. “

Some come into the country thinking they are coming for an apprenticeship but when they get here it is a different story

It is understood those from outside the EU will be given financial help to support themselves while submitting an application for asylum, or helped to return to their home country.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Houston of Police Scotland described human trafficking as a “sickening trade in vulnerable people”.

He said: “It is happening now, in Scotland, to adults and children. Victims are being trafficked into and around the country, usually for the purposes of labour or sexual exploitation. We will ensure Scotland is a hostile environment to this kind of exploitation.”

Police Scotland said it is working closely with health and social care workers to help people who are discovered as a result of anti-slavery and human trafficking work.

Ian Tyldesley, assistant director for Immigration Enforcement in Scotland, said: “Modern slavery is a barbaric crime which destroys the lives of some of the most vulnerable and law enforcement has an essential role to play in eradicating this abuse from our society.”

Matt Forde, national head of service at NSPCC Scotland said trafficked children are often subjected to the “most traumatic physical, sexual and emotional abuse”.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “In relation to charges, we seek to remove anyone caught committing immigration offences. Our inquiries are continuing.”

Officers also moved to raise awareness of trafficking in transport hubs, ports and railway stations in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Tam Baillie, Children and Young People Commissioner said: “I am pleased to see we are now identifying those responsible for the misery caused by human trafficking. It shows we have improved our awareness and understanding that this exploitation is happening here in Scotland and the arrests send out a signal it will not be tolerated. We need to continue to be vigilant in our efforts to respond to any signs in local areas where there are children and adults who may be victims.”  http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14812061.Nail_bar_slaves_found_in_biggest_trafficking_swoop/  https://archive.is/azLF8

 

Scottish tax haven firms behind child abuse website  https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/09/25/scots-firms-fronting-global-child-porn-websites/ https://archive.is/Vcx4J

 

Visit me in Twitterland

W I L D C A T    

 

Scotland has to wake up to reality of Female Genital Mutilation #FGM

6th Feb 2017


wp-1486478769754.jpg
COMPLACENCY makes us a safe haven where this terrible crime can continue unchecked, writes Brian Monteith

You may not know and you may not care, but today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
Some readers will already be alert to the repugnant and highly dangerous practice, some will become so after reading articles that will appear today, and others will have an innate skepticism towards “international days” – seeing it as yet another PR manipulation by hectoring public health bullies and so quickly turn the page.
 
If you are in the last category I urge you to resist the temptation to move on, as Female Genital Mutilation or FGM as it is now widely known, should concern everyone, man or woman, mother or father, sister or brother – for like all forms of child abuse it is a threat to the whole community.

Very few of us do not have a sister or a cousin or a niece or granddaughter whom we would never wish to see subjected to such a crime. If we have an ounce of humanity in us we should all want to ensure that no one, including those we do not know, could be maimed for life by this barbaric practice. 

When a young girl as young as three is “cut” – often with a razor blade, sometimes with a shard of glass – it is not just the immediate pain and psychological shock that is abhorrent but the ongoing consequences that will stay with that girl as she journeys from infancy through childhood, puberty and into adulthood. The procedure is itself life threatening, running the risk of a fatal uncontrollable heamorrhage, it can lead to many diseases from HIV through to septicemia as well as repeated urinary infections and of course the loss of any physical sensation from making love. 

The four types of FGM involve the partial or complete destruction of the external female genitalia or other sexual organs for non-medical reasons. These extend from removal of portions of the clitoris and labia, to their complete removal, and even the stitching up of the vagina, save for a small aperture to allow urination and menstruation. This is then repeatedly cut and resewn to enable intercourse and childbirth. 

All are heinous and form part of a wider catalogue of honour based crimes, for the motive behind why adults (including mothers) seek out and encourage FGM is to protect the reputation and beliefs of their own girls or those of the wider family.

Writing on her blog, Sam Preston, a training director specialising in safeguarding children reveals, “Shockingly, an estimated 570,000 UK resident girls and young women have been cut so clearly FGM remains a British safeguarding priority. You wouldn’t look the other way at knife or gun crime and FGM is no different. It’s a violent crime, an abuse and defilement of human rights resulting in long standing physical and emotional difficulties.” 

If over half a million girls have been subjected to FGM in the UK how many have suffered such an appalling fate in Scotland and is enough being done about it? More worryingly, is there any basis for the reports that families from the rest of the UK travel to Scotland where the practice is believed to be easier to procure due to a more complacent attitude? 

Since devolution our interventions or laws have tended to come at least two years after introduction in the rest of the UK. FGM became unlawful in the whole UK by virtue of the Female Circumcision Act 1985 and was followed by the Prohibition of Female genital mutilation Act in 2003, with its Scottish equivalent in 2005. This second act extended the protection to girls being taken out of the country and made it a crime to know and not report of such foreign procurement

In England mandatory reporting by schoolteachers, social workers and related professionals of any signs or reasons to believe that FGM is a risk or has taken place was introduced on 31st October 2015. Signs of intent to procure FGM include parents seeking school permission to take their girls to countries such as Egypt where the practice can be performed, girls having bleeding or constantly seeking teachers’ permission to go to the toilet. There is, as yet, no sign of such a mandatory requirement being introduced in Scotland and so Scotland remains a weak if not the weakest place for safeguarding young girls from FGM. 

Not all aspects of our cultures are good, but fortunately cultures of regions, countries and communities change and evolve. In Scotland we have sought to counter the heavy drinking wife-beating machismo of male culture, and with some success. Likewise we need to see FGM in its cultural context if we are to be successful in ending it, just passing laws criminalising the practice will not be enough. Female Genital Mutilation is culturally based amongst mostly Muslim majority countries in North Africa and Western Asia such as Somalia. That FGM has never been part of the culture of the majority of the World’s Muslims provides an opportunity for programmes within the migrant and Muslim communities to help change cultural attitudes here in Scotland and the UK. 

As an example we need only turn to the true story, made into a must-see documentary, of how young Maasai tribesmen who formed a cricket team and travelled to play at the Lords went home and managed to convince their elders that the practice of FGM must stop. It is from within our own migrant communities that such persuasion must come. 

As Sam Preston argues, “We cannot afford to sit back and wait on daughters reporting their families to the authorities, this is something that just will not happen.” 

It is the very reason that after more than thirty years and many prosecutions there has not been one successful conviction for FGM in Britain. 

Scotland needs to catch up. 

Mandatory reporting should be on Nicola Sturgeon’s to do list if she can draw herself back to doing her day job.  http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/brian-monteith-scotland-has-to-wake-up-to-reality-of-fgm-abuse-1-4358653  https://archive.is/5Jykj


MY OPINION

Gonnae keep it short!

We NEED to stop this before it gets outta hand, cause it will only get worse. It will be a lot easier to put an end to it now than it will in 5, 10, 20 years time – by which point it could be a MAJOR problem!


Feb 2017

Serious Crime Act 2015 Factsheet – female genital mutilation https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/416323/Fact_sheet_-_FGM_-_Act.pdf

Female Genital Mutilation – Sandyford PDF dec 2016


nspcc.org.uk statistics

nn.JPGPrevalence of FGM in England and Wales: national and local estimates (PDF).n(FGM) enhanced dataset April 2015 to March 2016, experimental statistics (PDF)nn.pngMulti-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation (PDF)

Former boss of child abuse probe sues Scottish Government for £500,000

Former boss of child abuse probe sues Scottish Government for £500,000 over claims she was forced to quit  30th January 2017, 7:31 pm

Susan O’Brien QC’s legal team claim her resignation came as Holyrood forces were attempting to have her SACKED

THE former boss of a child abuse investigation is suing the Scottish Government for £500,000 over claims they forced her to quit.

Former chair Susan O’Brien QC stood down saying ministerial interference meant the probe wasn’t able to work independently.he inquiry into historical abuse has been dogged by controversy and saw Ms O’Brien quit last July

The inquiry into historical abuse has been dogged by controversy and saw Ms O’Brien quit last July

Ms O’Brien’s legal team claim her resignation came as Holyrood forces were attempting to have her SACKED, we can reveal.

The highly respected lawyer says they had earlier threatened to remove her which they called “the nuclear option”.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry into historical abuse has been dogged by controversy and saw Ms O’Brien quit last July.

For the first time we can reveal details of papers lodged with the Court of Session.

They reveal a psychologist complained that Ms O’Brien made two inappropriate comments at a training session.

Dr Claire Fyvie of The Rivers Centre in Edinburgh claimed her comments were offensive to survivors and she was unfit for the role. But other survivor groups didn’t agree.

Ms O’Brien insists that her first comment was merely repeating the views of a survivor and were not her own.

And in the second instance she was referring to a newspaper story of a criminal case which had been misunderstood.

Dr Fyvie withdrew support for the inquiry following the comments.

She wrote to the inquiry stating: “My concerns lie almost entirely with the Chair of the Inquiry, Ms Susan O’Brien QC, and with the attitudes and beliefs she appears to hold with regard to survivors of child abuse.”

But Ms O’Brien points out that it took 11 weeks for the complaint actually to be made.

The Scottish Government then made moves to have her contract terminated.

They told her: “You can now no longer command the confidence of those for whose benefit the inquiry was established.

“If it became publicly known that you had made those remarks, then your position would be untenable.”

But her fellow panel members Professor Michael Lamb and Glen Houston both opposed her removal.

During a meeting with Deputy First Minister John Swinney they gave Ms O’Brien their full backing.

Professor Lamb stated he believed the government’s move to sack the chair compromised the independence of the inquiry.He later quit citing these reasons.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney

Deputy First Minister John Swinney

But First Minster Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament: “We don’t accept Prof Lamb’s comments about the independence of the Inquiry.”

Neither Ms Sturgeon nor Mr Swinney asked Prof Lamb to explain the concerns he had before rejecting his comments.

Ms O’Brien stated the inquiry failed to even speak to Prof Lamb about his concerns.

She said this was “the last straw” and soon afterwards also stood down.

The legal paperwork states: “She (Ms O’Brien) considered that she had a duty to inform the public that the Inquiry’s independence was being actively undermined by the defenders (Scottish Government).”

Ms O’Brien also claims that ministers had no legal right to remove her from the role.

She is seeking £500,000 to cover loss in earnings and damage to her reputation.

The Scottish Government then moves to have her contract terminated

The inquiry is now being headed up by Supreme Court judge Lady Smith.

Many survivor groups have welcomed her appointment.

But others have questioned whether a serving judge is best to investigate the courts as the Inquiry’s remit requires.

The Inquiry’s Preliminary Hearing is due to take place at Parliament House in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

This choice of location has been slammed by critics as inappropriate.

They say the last time many survivors will have been there was to have their abuse cases dismissed.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said:
 
“Ministers have acted appropriately at all times to exercise the responsibilities that the Inquiries Act 2005 and other relevant legislation places on them and continue to be committed to the independence of the Inquiry.

“It would be inappropriate to comment any further on this matter since court proceedings are live.”  https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/511395/former-boss-of-child-abuse-probe-sues-scottish-government-for-500000-over-claims-she-was-forced-to-quit/

 

MOSSAD IN SCOTLAND: ISRAEL SPIES ON SNP #Aangirfan

MOSSAD IN SCOTLAND:  ISRAEL SPIES ON SNP

The SNP has used its first official visit to Israel and Palestine to underline its support for a two-state solution to the conflict. Depute leader Angus Robertson MP said the…
EVENINGEXPRESS.CO.UK

The SNP (Scottish National Party) has made its first official visit to Israel.

The visit was led by depute leader Angus Robertson MP.

“Mr Robertson, the party’s Westminster leader, was accompanied on the week-long visit by Kirsten Oswald MP, whose constituency is home to more than half of Scotland’s Jewish community…”

eveningexpress.co.uk.

In 2016 a group calling itself SNP Friends of Peace in the Middle East was established by a former Israeli soldier, Sammy Stein.

A leading member of the Scottish Jewish community last year called it a front group for the interests of the Israeli government.”

Israeli embassy spies on Scottish National Party.

SNP activist Andy Murray was banned from entering Israel soon after meeting Israeli embassy agent Shai Masot.
Israel has many groups in Scotland.Their job is apparently to spread disinformation.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

The Israel Project

At just 31, Danny Lewin was the first victim of 9/11. His Israeli Special Forces training told him that something wasn’t right aboard American Airlines flight 1

See more 

ISRAEL AND ITS FRIENDS DID 9 11.9 11 WAS DONE BY ISRAEL AND ITS FRIENDS.

Below is what we wrote in 2012:

AN ‘INDEPENDENT’ SCOTLAND WOULD NOT BE INDEPENDENT

It would appear that there is a cunning plan to give Scotland a sort of ‘fake’ independence.The idea is that the Scots will be given as much independence as the North American Indians, the Australian Aborigines or the good people of Diego Garcia.

In the UK parliament, in 2012, Angus Robertson is the Scottish National Party leader and the spokesman on Foreign affairs and Defence.

(Angus Robertson is currently the Deputy Leader of the SNP)

He and his colleagues supported the ‘no-fly’ zone over Libya, which involved the bombing of Libya and the killing of civilians.


Herr Robertson

Robertson was born in London and his mother is German.

Robertson speaks fluent German. (Angus Robertson – Wikipedia)

He worked as a foreign and diplomatic correspondent in Central Europe for the BBC.

The BBC is believed to be run by MI6 and is believed to employ people from MI6 as foreign and diplomatic correspondents.

Robertson is a participant in the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme.

This gives Members of Parliament ‘experience of the armed forces’.

It is sponsored by arms manufacturers.


Robertson

Robertson has confirmed that an ‘independent’ Scotland would join UN and Nato-led military operations abroad, if sanctioned by the UN.

(Independent Scotland could join Nato, say SNP sources)

Scottish National Party (SNP) sources say that the SNP is scrapping opposition to Nato membership.

An ‘independent’ Scotland could thus be a tool of the Pentagon.


Alex Salmond

SNP leader Alex Salmond is suggesting that an ‘independent’ Scotland would:

1. Keep sterling and the Bank of England as its central bank, by forming a currency union with the rest of the UK.

2. Keep the monarchy.

3. Keep the BBC as a Scottish broadcaster.

Military analysts believe an independent Scotland may have to retain Trident nuclear weapons as a price for defence co-operation with the UK.

(Independent Scotland could join Nato, say SNP sources)

So, an ‘independent’ Scotland would not really be independent.


Rupert Murdoch is supporting Salmond.

This explains why the SNP government in Edinburgh has:

1. Defended the guilty verdict in the ‘rigged’ Lockerbie trial

2. Appeared to be part of the cover-up in the Hollie Greig child-abuse case

3. Appeared to support the establishment of al Qaeda in Libya.

4. Appeared to turn a blind eye to CIA rendition flights.

5. Obtained the warm support of Rupert Murdoch!

​Record reveals ministers unease over blood scandal payouts

wp-1483237879434.jpgrecord reveals ministers unease over blood scandal payouts

Ministers considered fighting early compensation claims by victims of contaminated blood in the courts, historic Cabinet documents have shown.

The newly-declassified papers from 2001 show the then Scottish Executive feared paying out up to £20m to people affected by the scandal.

Last year an inquiry concluded about 3,000 Scots had contracted hepatitis C or HIV through contaminated NHS blood.

The Scottish government has agreed financial support for those affected.

The documents released by the National Records of Scotland under the 15-year rule show ministers feared making payouts to 400 patients who received contaminated blood between the 1970s and 1991 because they thought it would create a precedent for compensation and lead to “immense future difficulties”.

Susan Deacon, health minister at the time, said defending the claims would mean the Executive would look “unsympathetic” but she said her “inclination” was for court action because of the wider implications.

‘English judgement’

Ms Deacon considered the issue in a note for the Scottish Cabinet in April 2001.

That was the month after the High Court in England found in favour of a number of people who had been infected with blood supplied by the National Blood Authority.

The English cases were brought under 1987 consumer protection legislation but could have had a bearing on 24 cases in Scotland being taken forward on grounds of negligence, the note said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health in England, despite “strong pressure” from the health minister and her officials, had chosen not to appeal.

“The English judgment will obviously carry some weight,” the note states.

“There could be significant additional cases waiting in the wings – we estimate that more than 400 people in total are likely to have been infected with Hepatitis C through blood transfusions or haemophilia treatment.

“If we were to decide to settle with 24 of the current claimants who were infected after March 1988 – and in respect of whom, following the English judgment, absolutely liability (sic) could be deemed to apply under the Consumer Protection Act, then the cost could be in the region of £1.25m + costs.

“A worse-case scenario (sic) involving compensation to around 400 people might cost us £20m.

“There would be enough variation in the circumstances of all these people for this outcome to be unlikely.

“The danger, of course, if we get that far down the track, will be of having created a broader precedent for compensation, which could cause immense future difficulties right across the NHS.

“That is why I regard the Department for Health decision not to appeal the present case as being particularly regrettable.”

‘Look unsympathetic’

The note continued: “In relation to the current Scottish claims, the choice is between letting the cases proceed through the courts and defending them, or offering settlement to the 24 cases which are analogous to those decided in England.

“I need more information and a better assessment of what is going on in England before taking a final decision on this.

“However at present my inclination is that because of the wider potential implications of the case, and not withstanding that we will look unsympathetic, we ought to defend the cases in court.”

The Scottish Executive later came under pressure from the Scottish Parliament’s health committee to give financial support to all those affected by contaminated blood, arguing there was a “moral right” to it.

Papers show that in August 2001 it was announced NHS Scotland had been instructed to begin talks with lawyers of claimants, aimed at settling valid legal actions with “faster, fairer settlements”.

The Scottish government set up the Penrose Inquiry in 2009 to establish whether the authorities did enough to protect people from becoming infected and to warn them once the risks were known.

Lord Penrose concluded in 2015 it was unlikely any individual or institution would be held criminally liable as a result of the scandal.

Victims have been offered payouts of between £20,000 and £50,000. However, many have argued these are insufficient given that, even if victims had survived the conditions they contracted, they could not get life insurance or a mortgage and many were unable to work.

Earlier this year, the Scottish government pledged an extra £20m of support over three years for those affected. SOURCE http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-38478291


More on this story

Related Internet links

#ChildSexAbuse inquiry to hold first hearing in new year. #Scotland #SCSAinquiry

Inquiry chair: Lady Smith
capture

Child abuse inquiry to hold first hearing in new year 22 Dec 2016

A date has been fixed for Scotland’s initial hearing of allegations of abuse of children in care.

The first sitting of the Scottish Inquiry into Historical Abuse of Children in Care is scheduled for the new year.

The preliminary hearing will take place at Parliament House in Edinburgh on January 31.

It will include an update on current investigations and set out how evidence will be taken. No witnesses will be called.

Chaired by Lady Smith, the inquiry will take four years and identify the extent of abuse and any systemic failures.

During the hearing, Lady Smith is expected to explain the inquiry’s approach to its work and set out how people can participate.

The announcement comes after the Scottish government resisted calls to have the inquiry extended to include child abuse allegations in Scottish football.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said extending the inquiry further would render it “completely unwieldy” while Deputy First Minister John Swinney said survivors groups did not want the current inquiry’s timescale extended.

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has since announced that it is to launch a review into abuse in football.

Earlier this month former Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill asked: “How many public inquiries does there need to be? And does a formal inquiry properly address the wider aspects of what went wrong in our society?”

He wrote in The Herald that a commission might be a “better course of action” which could “listen and learn”.

Mr MacAskill added: “It could allow for individuals to detail the suffering they experienced and the effects it had upon them. For organisations to atone for failures without fear of it being viewed as an admission to be used against them. It would be able to range far and wide and listen to all who want to have their say on what happened to them. It would be free to look at the wider faults in our society, that turned a blind eye to what was happening and a deaf ear to the cries. It, too, would be complex but I fear formal legal inquiries will be both restrictive and the source of endless rancour.”

He said “collectively” children had been let down, adding: ” Prosecutions there must be. But equally there must be a mechanism for listening to victims long ignored so we can address what went wrong in our society.

Police Scotland has received 109 referrals involving cases of child sexual abuse in football since a helpline was set up a month ago.

The force has now established a major inquiry team to deal with the referrals.

They have come via the children’s charity NSPCC, the SFA and directly to police.

The force said it was unable to say how many individuals were affected until they had examined each referral.

It said every complainer was being spoken to by trained officers from the Child Protection Unit.

The SFA said it was “imperative that we take the necessary time and guidance” to ensure its review complemented the work of Police Scotland.

It said it has taken initial steps towards establishing an appropriate scope and terms of reference for the review.

And it pledged to ensure “organisational learning and development” is at the forefront of its responsibilities as the governing body for the national game”.

It added: “The initial scoping phase will take place with involvement from all stakeholders into the new year, and once established we will comment further at the appropriate time”.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: “Police Scotland has reaffirmed that it is the investigatory authority regarding reports of child sexual abuse in football. It is therefore crucial to draw the distinction between their ongoing investigation and what lessons football can learn from historic allegations.”  SOURCE

SNP TURNS on Sturgeon: Salmond’s ex-chief says ‘coward’ party DOES NOT help #Scotland

SNP TURNS on Sturgeon: Salmond’s ex-chief says ‘coward’ party does NOT help Scotland

uyuy.png

 

 

Maggie Mellon: An open letter to John Swinney on #NamedPerson #no2np

wp-1481284227840.jpg

DEAR John Swinney,

You have asked for engagement on the future of the Named Person following the ruling of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled the information sharing provisions unlawful and also cautioned that parental or child consent to share personal information should not be obtained by the threat of any possible consequences.

Read more – Swinney defends Named Person scheme in wake of Supreme Court ruling

Your decision to decline to engage with anyone who had opposed the Named Person law in principle and not just in part means you intend to rely mainly on the advice and suggestions of those who advocated for what was at the very least a badly drafted law, and who mistakenly advised that it was both legal and in accord with the government’s stated intentions.

I am asking that you do consider this letter despite my opposition to the law in its entirety.

I have worked with children and families for over 40 years in a range of paid and voluntary employments and I have absolutely no pecuniary, political, or career considerations in taking the stand that I have, and in offering this advice.

The solution to the problem facing the government seems to me to be quite simple. That is, that any new arrangements should be in line with the government’s own stated aims for the law and for the pilot schemes operating. One of the problems that the government has had with ‘selling’ the Named Person provision is that most of the explanations given by government and its supporters were not reflected in the legislation.

Simply put, instead of a voluntary service at parents’ request which would make service providers accountable to citizens, the legislation instead set out arrangements which made citizens accountable to service providers.

I have worked with children and families for over 40 years in a range of paid and voluntary employments and I have absolutely no pecuniary, political, or career considerations in taking the stand that I have, and in offering this advice.
The solution is therefore quite simple – make any provision in line with the stated aims.

Here is what the government website says:

“Most children and young people get all the help and support they need from their parent(s), wider family and community, but sometimes, perhaps unexpectedly, they may need a bit of extra help.

“Many parents say that when they need help it’s not available and they don’t know who to go to. The Named Person ensures that there is someone who is responsible for helping them get the support they need if and when they need it.

“Children and young people from birth to 18, or beyond if still in school, and their parents will have access to a Named Person to help them get the support they need.

Read more – Nicky MacCrimmon: Here’s how the Named Person scheme really works

“A Named Person will be a clear point of contact if a child, young person or their parents want information or advice, or if they want to talk about any worries and seek support.”

These intentions make it clear that any revised scheme should be voluntary, not compulsory. The government has always insisted that the law was developed in response to parents’ requests. It is true that parents of children with special needs have been asking for many years to have a single point of contact within the services that are meant to be helping them.

However, what was created by the legislation, and what has been happening in practice was not a point of contact for parents and families, but about them. This difference between the legislation and the government’s explanations of it has caused much confusion and at the same time has allowed services to avoid accountability rather than be held accountable.

Instead, many parents report feeling that they feel that it is they who are being held to account by service providers often on the basis of flawed and subjective judgements.

The prevailing understanding among service providers seems to be that it is parents and not services which need to be improved. Parents report being warned that their child’s Named Person will be informed of their child’s lateness to school, or of any failure to keep health appointments.

Many parents report feeling that they feel that it is they who are being held to account by service providers often on the basis of flawed and subjective judgements.
These are public messages to all parents, apparently motivated by the idea that this behaviour will somehow improve family wellbeing. On the contrary, it is not only intimidating, it is also infuriating.

The vast majority of parents are usually much keener to defend and promote their children’s wellbeing than any service provider. Many parents have also discovered that private and confidential information about their intimate personal and family lives have been shared quite unnecessarily among a range of strangers.

This damages trust, and means that parents and children become reluctant to risk asking for help, as they fear the consequences. We now have the dangerous situation that ‘professionals’ or ‘child concern’ meetings are being held about children without their parents’ knowledge.

This is continuing to happen despite the Supreme Court ruling. It seems that the practice and the unfortunate culture that the Named Person powers encouraged, have become established.

The excuse that this is in any way connected to child protection does not wash as there are already very adequate laws to protect children from risk of, or actual, significant harm.

The prevailing understanding among service providers seems to be that it is parents and not services which need to be improved.
‘Improving wellbeing’ is not a legitimate reason to act without consent, and should never have led to what is in effect an effort at the compulsory risk management of every family in the country.

In other countries which have attempted this whole-population risk management, the impact has been to increase the number of unnecessary and intrusive investigations, and also to increase the number of children in care.

This is not prevention, it is investment in all the wrong things at a time when family support services are closing. This growing culture of blame and monitoring needs to be replaced by a practice based on transparency, respect and trust.

If there is a need for additional legislation to improve the wellbeing of children, I suggest that would be with the explicit aim of ensuring the accountability of service providers to families – and not of families to service providers.

The excuse that this is in any way connected to child protection does not wash as there are already very adequate laws to protect children from risk of, or actual, significant harm.
Legislation which meets the Supreme Court ruling and also the government’s stated intentions could be drafted to include the following points:

– Service providers will meet the needs of children and their families in a preventive and supportive way, without unnecessary intrusion, duplication, disproportionate bureaucracy, or ‘cost shunting’ onto each other, or onto parents.

– Service providers will ensure that parents and children have access to advocacy and support to help them hold service providers to account.

– If the government remains determined to continue to use the rather Orwellian title of ‘Named Person’ it should be made clear that their purpose would be to act as advocates for children’s best interests within services. This would be guaranteed by ensuring that any such persons should be supervised and regulated independently in order to avoid any actual or apparent conflict of interest between their primary duty to children and families and any duties to their employers.

– Where service providers in consultation with parents in their area agree that their accountability to children and families will be best achieved by the provision of a ‘Named Person’ from within their staff, they will ensure that any such staff are suitably qualified and trained, understand and respect human rights, child development, and family life.

– Parents will be offered choice and will be able to keep the same trusted advocate across time and services. Advocates will have sufficient authority to ensure the cooperation of their own and other services in agreeing and meeting need.

– Parents of children with special or additional needs, or parents who themselves need practical and other supports as a result of disability or illness, should be key partners in the evaluation and management of any such service. There should be a review of any such arrangements at least every three years, and a national comparison of approval ratings, and other outcome measures.

These suggestions seem to me to describe the service that the government wants the Named Person role to provide, and would provide necessary safeguards which will promote trust and respect between families and service providers.

Yours sincerely,

Maggie Mellon

SOURCE

Being ignored by #JohnSwinney during his 3months of “intense engagement?” You can still make your voice heard #no2np

Hi,

John Swinney is ignoring you – but you can still be heard!

As you know, back in September Deputy First Minister John Swinney started a period of ‘engagement’ on the future of the Named Person scheme.

If you’ve been engaged with, you’re one of the lucky few! As far as we can tell, the ‘engagement’ has mainly been between the Government and people who agree with them. So parents have been left out of the loop.

You’re not alone. Swinney wouldn’t let NO2NP ‘engage’ either.

But here is your chance to make your views known.

The Government sent us their ‘engagement’ document which we have made available here. It asks questions around information sharing, consent and safeguards. We suggest politely making one or two of the points below in your own words.

You can email your response to: DFMCSE@gov.scot

We’re told that the ‘engagement process’ ends on Wednesday 14 December, so please get your thoughts in before then.
Regards,  The NO2NP Team  Get in touch via the NO2NP Website

Suggestions:

    • Say you object in principle to giving state officials statutory duties to police the wellbeing of children and monitor parenting against Government targets.
    • If the Government is going to amend the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act anyway, it should take the chance to revisit the idea of every child in Scotland having a Named Person regardless of whether they need or want one. Instead, it should be a voluntary single point of contact for those who want to use it to help them access services – something FOR families, not ABOUT them. This should be written on the face of the Act.
    • If they are amending the Act, it should make clear the right to decline to have a Named Person at all and to ignore a Named Person’s advice even when it has been sought. It must be made clear in the law that parents will not get a black mark against them for exercising these rights.
    • Families have a right to informed consent if agencies want to share their personal information. Parents should not be asked to sign vague blanket consent forms to authorise the sharing of private information on them and their children. Practitioners must make clear to parents what info they want to share, with whom, and why.
    • The UK Data Protection Act 1998 has information sharing provisions that are familiar to practitioners. They strike a balance between the privacy of families and sharing information where genuinely necessary. The Scottish Government should simply point to the Data Protection Act to set the terms under which information can be shared. As the Supreme Court made clear, any new law has to satisfy the Data Protection Act anyway. The Government has failed once already. Trying to come up with a new balance will just confuse matters again.
    • The Government should make it explicit that everyday parenting decisions – like what TV children watch – are matters solely for parents and not to be second-guessed by officials. The Supreme Court said some of the SHANARRI indicators the Government tried to use to define their ‘wellbeing’ test are “notably vague”. Many parents have found that this means judging ordinary parenting. Wellbeing has no universally accepted or legally robust definition, so assessments are based on the subjective views of individual officials. 
    • The Government keeps saying the Supreme Court judgment does not require current policy to change. But this assumes the current practices of local authorities are lawful. Considering local authorities were acting on ICO advice which has now been withdrawn, the Government should be far more concerned about whether local authorities have been breaking the law on information sharing.

NO2NP opposes the Scottish Government’s plan to assign a ‘Named Person’ to every child in Scotland because it undermines families and diverts resources away from children who need them.

 

CocpWlsWIAAft8l

Scottish School Standards Slump In DAMNING Pisa Survey 

STANDARDS of reading and science in Scottish schools are declining while performance in mathematics is stagnating, according to a major international survey.

The 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) concluded that Scotland’s performance was now “average” compared to other developed countries in all three disciplines.

In 2000, when Scotland first took part in the OECD survey of 15-year-olds, its performance in reading, science and maths were all above average. heraldscotland

A humiliating blow for Sturgeon as support for Scottish #Indy FALLS LOWER than in 2014 #IndyRef

Support for Scottish independence falls to LOWER level than it received in 2014 referendum in humiliating blow for Nicola Sturgeon

  • Support for Scottish independence drops to 44 per cent in latest poll 

  • Backing separation is now lower than vote share in 2014 indy referendum 

  • Embarrassing for Nicola Sturgeon who hoped Brexit would boost support for independence  

Support for Scottish independence has fallen to 44 per cent – falling below the level the Yes vote received in the 2014 referendum for the first time.

It deals a major blow to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who had hoped June’s Brexit vote would boost support for separation after a majority of Scots backed remaining in the EU. Threats of Scottish independence were also used as part of the Remain’s Project Fear campaign in an attempt to deter voters from backing Brexit. 

But today’s poll – published to coincide with St Andrew’s Day – is further evidence of the doom-laden warnings backfiring. 

The survey of Scottish voters, conducted by YouGov for The Times over the last five days, found support for independence had fallen from 46 per cent in August to 44 per cent, with 56 per cent saying they would vote for Scotland to remain part of the UK in a referendum.

In the September 2014 referendum 45 per cent backed separation. 

The survey also shows that less than a third (31 per cent) want the Scottish government to push for a second referendum in the next couple of years. 

More than half (56 per cent) think that it should campaign for another vote, while just six in ten ‘Yes’ voters in 2014 now want Scottish ministers to demand a second referendum on separation. 

Today’s poll is embarrassing for the SNP, which launched a three-month ‘National Conversation’ in September that aimed to contact 2 million voters in an attempt to drum up support for independence. 

The three months have passed and yet 82 per cent of respondents in today’s poll said they had not been approached to take part in the ‘National Conversation’ survey. 

Polling expert Professor John Curtice said the poll showed the SNP’s tactic of linking the EU vote to Scottish independence had backfired. 

The SNP is also losing support, the survey shows, with 48 per cent saying they would vote for the party – down from 52 per cent in August. 

Labour continues to spiral downwards, with just 15 per cent of respondents saying they would vote for the party, led in Scotland by Kezia Dugdale.

The Tories appear to be picking up support from the two parties, with 25 per cent saying they would vote for Ruth Davidson’s party in a Holyrood election – up four points from August. 

Voters in Scotland think Theresa May is doing a much better job than Jeremy Corbyn. 

Just over a third of respondents said she is doing well as Prime Minister, while six in ten think Mr Corbyn is doing a bad job as Labour leader.  Just one in four voters think Ms Dugdale is doing a good job leading the Labour party, while nearly double (46 per cent) think Ms Davidson is doing well leading the Scottish Tories. Ms Davidson replaced Ms Dugdale as the official opposition to Ms Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament in May’s elections.  

Labour’s only Scottish MP Ian Murray told MailOnline: ‘As this new poll shows, the last thing Scotland needs or wants is another divisive independence referendum. 

‘Scotland’s economy is already fragile, and yet more uncertainty will only exacerbate this. It is time the SNP stopped obsessing about the constitution and instead focused on governing Scotland, creating jobs and improving life for ordinary working families. 

‘Not one new law has been introduced in the Scottish parliament since the SNP were re-elected in May. They need to get on with their day job. That is why Scottish Labour will vote against any independence Bill in the Scottish Parliament.’ 

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: ‘The standout finding in this poll is the increasing opposition to another referendum on independence, and the drop in support for independence itself — now lower than at any time since the 2104 referendum. ‘On the day the SNP finish their so-called listening exercise on independence, it is now time they finally paid heed to what Scotland is saying — ‘no’ to a second referendum, and ‘no’ to more division, more uncertainty, and more rancour.’  SOURCE

Fears local NHS boards could be scrapped “by stealth”

Fears local NHS boards could be scrapped “by stealth” Oct 7th 2016

Capture.PNG

 

The Scottish Government has been accused of trying to scrap health boards “by stealth” behind “closed doors”.

Fears have been raised that NHS Orkney and Shetland could be on a hit list of bodies to be mothballed.

The SNP want to “examine the number, structure and regulation of health boards” – a move which some have said could lead to the current 14 NHS boards being reduced to as few as three.

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur led a debate in parliament yesterday calling on the Scottish Government to rule out scrapping the northern isles boards.

Health Minister Maureen Watt only said “there are no firm proposals on the table”, but insisted the administration was “committed to services being delivered locally”.

Speaking after the debate, Mr McArthur said: “The Royal College of Nursing Scotland has claimed that little or no engagement has yet taken place on the government’s stated intention – leading to a perception that change is being introduced by stealth, by a government talking behind closed doors. This debate was an opportunity for SNP ministers to address that criticism, be upfront about their intentions and reassure island communities that local control over health and care services will be protected. Instead, the health minister argued that the government has ‘no firm plans’ for health boards, but yet in the same breath questions their need. If alarm bells weren’t ringing before, they surely will be now.”

He was supported by the Scottish Conservatives, who criticised the lack of clarity on the plans during the debate.

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron said: “The Conservatives are sceptical about the possible creation of super-health boards that would be run on a regional basis – if that turns out to be the case. l say ‘if’ because all of us here are somewhat shooting in the dark, as we do not know what the proposals are.”

Ms Watt admitted to the chamber that “there are no firm proposals on the table yet”.

But she added: “We are committed to services being delivered locally where possible, and we know that our islands’ healthcare services are experienced in serving the unique needs of their populations. The NHS staff on the islands should rightly be proud of their delivery of those excellent services. As MSPs have said, healthcare professionals know their populations and their needs. That is precisely our direction of travel.” pressandjournal

#NHS #Highland in apology over care of woman who died from brain tumour

November 23, 2016

NHS Highland in apology over care of woman who died from brain tumour

A health board has apologised after a woman died from a brain tumour six days before an MRI scan.

An investigation by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) found several failings in NHS Highland’s handling of the case.

The health board said it was “truly sorry” and would be writing to the woman’s family to offer its “sincere apologies”.

The woman, who had physical disabilities, learning difficulties, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome and asthma, first complained of headaches in December 2013.

She had surgery to remove a nasal ulcer on February 12, 2014 and a CT scan carried out that July showed no abnormality of her sinuses.

From July 30, 2014 onwards, the woman, referred to as Ms A, attended her medical practice on a number of occasions complaining of vomiting and headaches

In August that year, Ms A’s mother contacted NHS 24 several times with concerns about her headaches and vomiting.

She was admitted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness with abdominal pain on August 12, 2014 and was diagnosed with occipital nerve compression.

Following her discharge from hospital, Ms A was given an appointment for an MRI scan on September 8, but she died at home on September 2.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was a haemangioblastoma, a tumour of the central nervous system within the brain.

One of the Ombudsman’s advisers, a GP, found the practice failed to recognise the significance of “red flag signs” that could have indicated a brain tumour and the need for urgent referral from July 30, 2014 onwards.

Another adviser, a neurosurgeon, said there is “no doubt that if the tumour had been discovered in July or early August, it would have been operable”.

The neurosurgeon also said the tumour was benign and curable, and if Ms A had been operated on there would have been a 90% chance of a full recovery.

It found the practice did not provide a reasonable standard of care in relation to the examination and referral of Ms A’s headache symptoms, and the board’s out-of-hours service failed to provide Ms A with appropriate care and treatment.SPSO launched its investigation following a complaint made on behalf of Ms A’s parents.

Regarding Ms A’s admission to hospital, the Ombudsman found failings in relation to the neurological examination recorded and a failure to review a CT scan of her sinuses.

SPSO was also critical of the way the board handled the complaint and its “lack of focus on their failings and ways to improve their services”.

The Ombudsman made several recommendations, including that the board and practice should apologise to the family.

An NHS Highland spokesman said: “We are truly sorry for the standards in the care and treatment provided to this patient and will be writing to the family offering our sincere apologies. We accept the findings of the report and it has been shared with staff and senior managers. We will also be conducting a significant adverse event review, which will be chaired by a senior doctor. This will involve analysing the clinical care and treatment provided in order to learn and implement improvements in our practice. The family will also be kept up to date on this process.”

READ MORE 

 

The Horror of SNP’s NHS Scandal: E Coli Sepsis KILLS NEWBORN.

The baby died in Caithness General Hospital

Maternity overhaul urged after baby’s ‘avoidable’ death  18 November 2016

An inquiry was launched after a newborn died at Caithness General Hospital in September 2015.

Maternity care at a hospital where a newborn baby died should be led by midwives, an inquiry has concluded.

The child died in the maternity unit of Caithness General Hospital in September 2015 in what doctors described as “potentially avoidable circumstances”.

An inquiry launched by NHS Highland following the newborn’s death published its findings on Friday.

It concluded mothers would be safer if maternity care was led by midwives, supported by specialist doctors at Raigmore Hospital.

At the moment, it is run by consultants without the support of local paediatricians.

Investigators reported: “In practice, this creates a structural driver for inappropriate care as obstetric services can be provided for mothers, but an equivalent service cannot be provided for their babies. The low volume of deliveries also makes it very difficult for obstetricians to maintain adequate exposure to key procedures and maintain competence. Staff in the maternity unit are dedicated and hard-working and nothing in this report is intended to be a direct criticism of the staff. We believe that this is a structural issue.”

NHS Highland’s report did not elaborate on the circumstances which led to the child’s death.

A significant adverse event review published earlier this year revealed the baby died of E Coli sepsis after becoming unwell during the first 24 hours of its life.

Director of public health Hugo van Woerden, who led the inquiry, said: “I hope the findings show that there are ways of providing a safer service in Caithness and significantly reduce something similar ever happening again. But at the same time it should also be possible to make sure that the vast majority of antenatal, gynaecological care and community paediatrics are still provided locally. While the board has still to take a decision, I would like to reassure local women who may already be pregnant or thinking about starting a family, that since October last year Caithness General has in effect been acting as community maternity unit. The model works well in other parts of Highland and has proven to be safer.”

The NHS Highland board will consider the findings of the inquiry into Caithness General  later this month.  STV


Health bosses forced to apologise following death of newborn baby in Highland hospital March 19th  2016

The girl died of the e.coli sepsis infection just 40 hours after being born at Caithness General Hospital in Wick.

The tragedy in September sparked a major review, and prompted NHS Highland to lower the threshold for sending expectant mothers to the more advanced paediatric facilities at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

And now, a new report has revealed the details of the tragic circumstances of the baby’s death for the first time – and acknowledges that a different plan or delivery of care could have prevented the incident.

Eight recommendations have been made in the Significant Adverse Event Review (SAER) report, and health bosses will also be apologising to the girl’s family.

The baby was described as being “floppy” and having difficulty breathing when she was born, and was later making a “grunting” noise while having difficulty feeding.

Neonatal care at Caithness General Hospital is provided by the midwifery team, in contact with staff at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

Caithness General does not have alternative staff with neonatal training, and the report found that this led to a delay in IV access, provision of IV fluids, IV dextrose and IV antibiotics.

The external review group, from NHS Borders, concluded that it would “never be possible to say whether earlier antibiotic treatment would have altered the eventual outcome”, but it added that “this possibility can’t be ruled out”.

The report continued: “It would appear that the midwives in Caithness and the medical staff in Raigmore involved in the care were conscientiously considering the best way forward and trying to make the most appropriate plan. With the benefit of hindsight however antibiotics, in accordance with guidelines, could have been started anywhere up to 26 hours prior to the time of the first dose, and more reasonably perhaps 16 hours before.”

NHS Highland has already implemented some of the recommendations in full or in part.

Medical director Dr Rod Harvey said: “This extremely sad case had a devastating outcome for the family concerned. We are determined to do all we can to ensure that something like it does not happen again. Some of the overall deficiencies in the process of care were identified and a series of measures have been identified to minimise or prevent as far as possible a similar tragedy recurring. We are determined to embrace these measures in full and have already made a number of changes.”

Steps will also be taken to minimise the chances of an infant requiring neonatal paediatric support being delivered at Caithness General.

NHS Highland has put in place interim measures – including a temporary restriction on deliveries undertaken there – until a decision on the final configuration of maternity services there is made.

Efforts are also being made to improve the detection and management of unwell new-born babies at the hospital.

The report called for further information regarding the safety of neonatal care at Caithness General.

A public health-led review of the service, supported by expertise external to NHS Highland, will be undertaken to inform the future configuration of maternity services at the hospital.

Dr Jean Turner, chief executive of Scotland Patients Association, said: “This is a terrible tragedy. They need to really figure out what kind of safe maternity services they can provide at Wick. It is a very long journey from Wick to Inverness. The important thing is communication and being able to be aware that somebody like a young baby is ill, and being able to get the right kind of help very quickly. This is very sad and it won’t bring the child back. It may or may not have been able to have been avoided. You can’t bring babies back but you can try to make sure that all that could be done was done and it won’t happen again.”

The SAER report has been shared with the family concerned.

Recommendations made in the report

  • There should be an active statement recognising that this is an extremely sad case, and with a clearly devastating outcome for the family.
  • Steps are taken to minimise the probability that an infant requiring neonatal paediatric support is delivered in Caithness General Hospital.
  • Steps are taken to improve the detection of and management of the unwell neonate in Caithness General Hospital.
  • Develop multi-disciplinary education and training matrix for all key clinicians in Caithness General Hospital.
  • Develop a mutually agreed “escalation of concerns plan” to be utilised if there is doubt about opinion or advice.
  • All contacts regarding any neonates must be direct from midwife to paediatric consultant or when available, advanced neonatal nurse practitioner.
  • A public health-led review of the safety of the neonatal care service, supported by expertise external to NHS Highland, must be undertaken to inform the future configuration of maternity services in Caithness General Hospital.
  • A formal apology should be made to the family and ongoing communication and support should be made available to them.

READ MORE 

Council backs protesters on new look at maternity care

20161123_151411.jpg20161123_185610.jpg


23 September 2016

Baby’s head sliced open during caesarean section as doctors take 24 HOURS to stitch up wound 

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES. Emma Edwards is furious after her daughter Karmen was left with a one-and-a-half inch scar, 

A surgeon accidentally sliced a baby’s head during a caesarean section leaving the infant with a huge scar after doctors took 24 hours to stitch up the wound.

Emma Edwards’ daughter Karmen has been left with a one-and-a-half-inch scar between her eye and ear as a result of the blunder which is now being probed by health chiefs.

The mum said a locum doctor who made the incision claimed she had not been told that Emma was in labour as she performed the procedure.

Emma has been left traumatised by the incident which had been followed by a series of upsetting delays to the operation.

And she was also put through an agonising 24 hour wait for a plastic surgeon to come and stitch her newborn’s wound.Emma with her daughter Karmen 

 

The 21-year-old said the mistake could have had far more serious consequences – and claimed the care she and her baby received had been a “disaster from the start to the end”.

She was initially booked into Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for a caesarean section on the morning of Thursday June 16 because of the large size of her baby in scans.

Emma travelled from her home in Wick, Caithness, the day before with her partner, George McPhee, 26.

She said: “We went to the hospital on Thursday morning, about 8am. The hours kept passing and kept passing. Eventually at 5pm they said ‘we can’t do it because there are too many emergencies’. Then they promised me it would be first thing on Friday morning, so we stayed overnight again. Nobody came to me until about 12pm that day, then they cancelled again. It was just a disaster from the start to the end.”

The family returned to Wick on the Friday night before having to travel back to Inverness on the Sunday evening so she could have her baby on the Monday morning.

But at 3am her waters broke, and she went to Raigmore three hours later.

She added: “When I went in I passed on to the midwife that my waters had broken at 3am and I was in a lot of pain, I was contracting, but they didn’t look me over. At 10am I was ready. I went down for my section and everything was fine until after they delivered the baby. They rushed her off to SCBU (special care baby unit) because they had cut her head. The surgeon came and spoke to me afterwards and said that it happened because I hadn’t told anyone that my waters had broken and was in labour, but I checked my medical records and it said that I had explained that. There’s a maternity unit right on my front doorstep but they just can’t do anything. My family had to travel down on the Thursday and then they had to travel back and then down again. It’s expensive. They want a meeting to speak about what happened. They’re launching an investigation into the surgeon because she doesn’t work for NHS Highland. She was a locum.”

The cut on the baby’s head was not stitched up until the following day because the hospital had to wait for a plastic surgeon to arrive from Aberdeen.

A health board spokesman said an internal investigation is being carried out into the incident.

He said: “NHS Highland does not comment on individual cases. We are carrying out an internal investigation into this incident.”

Details of the blunder emerged amid an ongoing controversy over expectant mums from Caithness having to travel more than 100 miles to Inverness to give birth.

The threshold for sending mothers to Raigmore was lowered last year after a baby girl died of the E.coli sepsis infection just 40 hours after being born at Caithness General Hospital in Wick.

A recent study of almost 900 women who underwent C-sections showed that between 1.5 per cent to 1.9 per cent of the infants experienced cuts.

Nicola Sinclair, secretary of the Caithness Health Action Team campaign group, said it was a “distressing” case which “highlights the dangers of cutting services to remote areas”. MIRROR

VIDEO: Baby’s head sliced open during birth


READ MORE 

Police Scotland under fire over STRIP SEARCHING CHILDREN

jh.PNGPolice Scotland under fire over strip searching of children Nov 20th 2016

POLICE Scotland is at the centre of a row over the strip-searching of children. The force is unable to say how many children have been asked to remove their clothes, unlike in England where statistics have been published.

Tam Baillie, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner in Scotland, said he was “very concerned” at the lack of data for this “very intrusive” procedure.

The organisation Together, an alliance of children’s rights groups, recently published a far-reaching review into a range of issues facing young people. A little-noticed section in the 198-page report stated that some of the organisation’s members had expressed “concern” about strip-searching of children by police.

According to Police Scotland operating procedures, a strip-search involves the staged removal of all clothing, followed by a visual, external examination of the body. It is different to an “intimate” body cavity search which must only take place either with the individual’s consent or under a sheriff’s warrant.

A draft code of practice on the Scottish Government website also states: “If necessary, the detainee may be required to hold their arms in the air or to stand with their legs apart and bend forward so a visual examination may be made of the genital and anal areas provided no physical contact is made with a body orifice.”

However, while the code sets out how strip-searches should be carried out, the force’s poor recording procedures mean it is difficult to establish the extent of the practice on children.

In its report, Together noted that the single force was asked for the number of strip-searches on children over a number of years, but Police Scotland declined the request on the grounds of cost.

It was argued that the lack of a Scotland-wide system for logging custodies meant that trying to extract age data would exceed the cost threshold under Freedom of Information.

By contrast, in 2014 the Metropolitan Police revealed more than 4,500 children, some as young as 10, had been strip-searched over five years.

As part of its recommendations, Together urged the force to provide “regular reports” to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) about strip-searching for “the purpose of evaluating and monitoring”.

The organisation said that the data should be released publicly so as to ensure “openness and transparency”. It added: “As a matter of principle, children should not be subject to strip-searching unless absolutely necessary, and then, it should be conducted in line with recognised international best practice.”

In a stop and search report commissioned by the SPA, the authors relayed a story about normal frisks being upgraded to strip-searches: “One 40-year-old, female Glasgow resident who has been regularly stopped since she was 29 years old said that she is rarely asked to consent and that ‘if you say no you are taken to the station for a strip-search’. This is similar to an incident described to us by a Dundee resident who did not give consent and so was taken to a police station and strip-searched.”

Baillie said: “Strip-searching is, by its nature, a very intrusive procedure and should only be used in the most serious circumstances and always be regulated by strict safeguards. I am very concerned that Police Scotland is unable to produce data on the numbers of children and young people subject to this practice.”

Liam McArthur, a Liberal Democrat MSP, said: “It was recently revealed that thousands of children have been strip-searched by police in England and Wales. Police Scotland needs to explain whether it has any plans to start collating data on strip-searches. Was it set to be recorded on the new integrated custody IT systems before the £60 million programme collapsed? Making this information available would be a sensible step towards reassuring children’s charities, professionals and the public that the use of strip-searches is appropriate and proportionate.”

John Finnie MSP, a former police officer and the Scottish Greens’ justice spokesperson, said: “It should be expected that the extreme circumstances which would lead to children being strip-searched should occur so infrequently that the figures should be easily recorded and published. It’s therefore unfortunate that there has been an issue in obtaining figures from Police Scotland because without them there’s no way of understanding how widespread this practice is. Sensibly, Together recommends that regular reports, with detailed figures on the strip-searching of children, should be sent to the Scottish Police Authority, a recommendation that Greens wholeheartedly support.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We are aware of the Together Scotland report and will consider the recommendations. We recently published our new approach to children and young people which defines how we will keep Scotland’s one million children and young people safe. Police Scotland will imminently complete the rollout of a new national custody recording system which will allow for this information to be collated. Due to different systems in use across the country, a figure could not be provided, as stated in the report.”  The Herald

 

Highland councillor expelled from SNP group

pj-smc-040512-03-01-xl

A Highland councillor was last night pondering his future after being expelled by the SNP group.

Five months after a temporary suspension for “an internal matter,” Inverness member Allan Duffy was yesterday (WED) ejected altogether.

Group leader Maxine Smith said he would be obliged to relinquish his party membership.

While considering an appeal to party headquarters, Councillor Duffy said he was keen to stand at next year’s council elections, possibly on an independent ticket.

The 40-year-old ex soldier and father-of-three joined the SNP after an 11-year spell in the Army in 2008. He was elected four years later to serve the Inverness West ward.

Ms Smith said: “Over an extended period of time, councillor Duffy has failed to meet the expectations of an SNP councillor. As a consequence, he’s been expelled from the group. Allan has had every opportunity to carry out his duties giving due regard to his position as an SNP councillor. On several occasions this has been brought into question. This ultimately resulted in the group unanimously agreeing that Allan was not carrying out his work as we or the party would expect.”

She added that she was “saddened that this has had to happen” and that she bore him no malice.

Mr Duffy said he had been accused of not attending a licensing committee and a number of community council meetings despite offering apologies in advance.

He added that the group had opted to “discipline” him rather than support him through a difficult period of his personal life.

Ms Smith insisted that the group had “fully supported him through it.”

The expulsion leaves the council with a minority 32-member independent administration and opposition comprising 18 SNP, 13 Liberal Democrats, seven Labour, six Highland Alliance and four non-aligned members. SOURCE


Highland councillor expelled from SNP group | North Star

A HIGHLAND councillor has been ousted from the Scottish National Party’s  group but insists he has been unfairly penalised.

Allan Duffy, who represents the Inverness West ward, was expelled by group leader Maxine Smith yesterday due to “failing to meet expectations”.

Cllr Duffy, who was elected in 2012, said he was accused of failing to submit apologies for a meeting but insisted he did so in the form of a text to cllr Smith.

“I was called in for a disciplinary meeting which I attended today,” he said.

“I was given a chance to say my piece and I considered toeing the party line and apologising but I haven’t done anything to apologise for. I told them if they wanted to keep me in the group fine but if not, fine, kick me out, and here we are.”

This is the second time cllr Duffy has been removed from the group this year, although neither he or cllr Smith would comment on the reasons from the previous removal in June.

Cllr Duffy said he felt penalised by some members of the party: “I have been through some difficult personal circumstances in the last year and a half and my behaviour has not been perfect during that time but I feel like they have disciplined me instead of supporting me. There have also been issues I wanted to speak up on but was told not to because my opinions were not in line with party policy, even if they were in the best interest of my constituents.”

Group leader Cllr Maxine Smith said Cllr Duffy had 'failed to meet the expectations of an SNP councillor'.

Group leader Cllr Maxine Smith said Cllr Duffy had ‘failed to meet the expectations of an SNP councillor’.

Cllr Smith, who represents the Cromarty Firth ward, confirmed the expulsion in a statement which read: “Over an extended period of time councillor Allan Duffy has failed to meet the expectations of an SNP councillor. As a consequence he has been expelled from the SNP council group.”

Cllr Duffy will serve as a non-aligned member until the local government elections in May, where he will contest his seat as an independent.

“My priority is to work for my constituents and act in their best interests while continuing to campaign for independence, which many of my constituents are in favour of,” I believe I will be able to do that better as I can vote based on what my ward needs without facing a party whip.”

This brings the number of SNP councillors to 18 out of 80 overall.