Month: July 2019

A healthcare regulator has decided that a notoriou

first_imgA healthcare regulator has decided that a notorious benefits assessor will not face any disciplinary action over allegations of dishonesty, even though his former employer admitted that he lied in an assessment report.Paramedic Alan Barham still faces being struck off for comments he made to an undercover reporter while working for the government contractor Capita, which were aired in a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary last April.But the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which is investigating Barham’s actions, has decided that separate allegations that he lied in a report he wrote after assessing a disabled woman’s eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP) will not be dealt with by a disciplinary hearing.The conclusions reached by the council will add to concerns that regulators are failing to act when they receive complaints from disabled people that healthcare professionals have written dishonest reports after carrying out face-to-face PIP assessments.Following a two-month investigation, Disability News Service (DNS) has collected scores of cases of disabled people who claim that PIP assessors like Barham lied repeatedly in reports produced for the Department for Work and Pensions.Undercover footage from the Dispatches programme (pictured) showed Barham admitting that he sometimes completed his PIP assessment reports before even meeting the claimants.He also told an undercover reporter that he could usually “completely dismiss” what he was told by PIP claimants, and made offensive comments about an overweight claimant who was unable to carry out her own personal care.After watching the programme, two disabled people who had been assessed by Barham lodged complaints about his behaviour, based both on the documentary and on reports that he had written following face-to-face assessments of their entitlement to PIP.An HCPC investigating committee has now concluded that the comments Barham made in the documentary are serious enough for him to be found guilty of “misconduct and/or lack of competence” if a disciplinary panel finds them proven.But the committee has also decided that allegations about the two PIP assessments carried out by Barham – which were not part of the documentary – are not serious enough to merit findings of misconduct and/or lack of competence, even though Capita has already concluded that Barham lied in one of the assessment reports.The committee concluded that the allegations concerning lying and other failings in assessments “could be considered to fall short of the expected standards of a Paramedic” but “do not, in the Panel’s view, constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence”.David Nicholls, from Northampton, the husband of one of the PIP claimants, has told DNS of his anger and frustration at the way HCPC has dealt with the case.DNS has seen Capita’s response to his complaint about the assessment report Barham wrote following an assessment of his wife, Jacqueline, in March last year, a month before the Dispatches documentary was screened.As a result of the assessment, she was found ineligible for PIP.It was only after the documentary was aired and DWP agreed to allow her to be reassessed that she was granted the enhanced rate for both the daily living and mobility components of PIP.In the response to the Nicholls complaint about Barham, a Capita senior complaint handler wrote: “You stated that you disagree with the content of your assessment report and that you believe [Barham] had made inaccurate assumptions and had lied in his report…“Based on the outcome of my investigation, I uphold this element of your complaint.”In his report, Barham repeatedly stated that what he was told by Jacqueline Nicholls was not backed up by the tests he carried out during the assessment.But David Nicholls said Barham had ignored the impact of his wife’s brain injury on both her physical and mental functioning, including her seizures, her confusion when asked too many questions, the lack of feeling in parts of her body, her memory problems, and her tendency to get lost when on her own.Barham reported instead that she could plan and follow routes, understand complex written information without any help, and make her own budgeting decisions.Nicholls said: “He has misled people with the findings in his report in the worst possible way.“His assessment gave no consideration to brain injury at all. Jacquie could not take it in.”He said that the effect of dishonest assessors like Barham on disabled people was “devastating”.He said he was “very upset” by the HCPC decision, which he said showed that it was “letting down any person who feels they have been badly treated or assessed.“It sends out the message that no matter what your assessor does or says, they will get away with it. They will be protected and never seen to be at fault.”An HCPC spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that complaints against Alan Barham are currently being investigated through our fitness to practice process and an allegation pertaining to these matters has been referred to the conduct and competence committee.“However, due to the ongoing nature of the investigation and our duty of confidentiality to all parties involved it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.“Once the matter is listed for final hearing the full details of the public allegation will be published on our website four weeks prior to the hearing date.”She later added: “I can confirm to you that [the Dispatches claims] are the only allegations going forward to the final hearing, they are now the only two allegations in the public domain.  “Essentially, this means [the allegations concerning the two PIP assessments] will not be further considered.“However as this is a private document stemming from an independent panel decision we cannot provide any further comment on the reasoning behind this.”DNS has approached Barham for a comment, but he had not replied by noon today (Thursday).last_img read more

An activist is seeking election onto Labours ruli

first_imgAn activist is seeking election onto Labour’s ruling national body as part of a campaign to improve the representation of disabled people throughout the party.Sarah Taylor is one of two disabled members of the new Project 125 campaign who are seeking election to Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), which oversees the party’s policy-making process.She said it was “ludicrous” that there were no disabled members of the NEC and its equality committee.Project 125 is seeking to improve the participation and representation of disabled people at all levels of the party, and aims to persuade Labour to select 125 disabled parliamentary candidates to fight the next general election.They say that because 20 per cent of the population are disabled people, the party should select 125 disabled candidates, roughly 20 per cent of Westminster seats. At present, the campaign says, just 0.8 per cent of Labour MPs identify as disabled people.Project 125 is linked to the separate Disability Equality Act Labour (DEAL) campaign, which is pushing the party to implement the Equality Act 2010 in how it treats disabled party members.Taylor (pictured) and fellow Project 125 campaigner Nicola Morrison secured enough support from local Labour constituency parties (CLPs) – Taylor was nominated by 11 local parties and Morrison by seven – to stand as candidates in the NEC election among party members.The election is being held because members agreed at the party’s annual conference in Brighton in September to add three more constituency representatives to the NEC, which currently has 40 members.But the conference also saw calls from DEAL members and others for the party to end years of “blatant discrimination” against its own disabled members, while there were also complaints about “inexcusable” access failings at the conference.Taylor, a former nurse, from Norwich, told Disability News Service (DNS) that Labour was “the party of equality” and its aim was to help disabled people “have a more equal life” and address discrimination.But she said: “I don’t know how we can do that if we haven’t got disabled party members throughout the party.”She said her message to party members deciding who to vote onto the NEC was: “It’s our party, let us in.“Let us be part of it, let us represent ourselves and let us work with all of the Labour party members to actually pursue greater equality for all Labour party members.“We are the party of equality, we are better than all the other parties on that already, but we could be better still.”And she warned that if there were no disabled people on the NEC, the party could not say – as shadow chancellor John McDonnell has promised – that disabled people and their organisations will “go into government just as much as we do”, and that they will “determine” and “implement” the next Labour government’s disability policies.Taylor said: “The fact that 18 CLPs have nominated us between us really does show that the message is getting out there.”But Project 125 is not just about ensuring disabled people are represented in positions within the party, and selected as candidates, she said, but also about ensuring they can participate at the grassroots level.She said it was “the most empowering thing in the world” when her local party makes the reasonable adjustments necessary for her to meet voters on the doorstep.Because of her health condition, she has to carry an emergency injection with her at all times, cannot be left on her own, and needs to take regular breaks.She said: “It’s great, and I feel really good and I feel valued [when those adjustments are made], but when it’s not done well and you’re left stranded on your own, which is quite dangerous, it’s very demoralising.”On occasions, she has been told the local party cannot accommodate her and that she should make phone calls instead, which she said makes her feel “quite worthless”.Taylor said she does not believe discrimination in the party is “widespread”, although “there are cases where people in the party do feel they have been discriminated against because of their disability and that is something we have to take seriously as well”.Many of the problems can be solved by better policies, education and training within the party, she believes.In her pitch to party members, she says: “Despite often having great skills, Labour Party members with disabilities are not equally represented when it comes to positions within the party both locally and nationally and are often excluded and undervalued.”Taylor told DNS that she does not believe she will find it hard to secure votes on a platform that is criticising the party about its attitude to disability.She said Labour was going through a period of “positive change” and the leadership was “encouraging people to become more involved and represent themselves and be part of that positive change.”Voting for the election closes at noon on 12 January 2018.last_img read more

CLUB legend Paul Wellens has announced his retirem

first_imgCLUB legend Paul Wellens has announced his retirement from Rugby League.Simply one of the greatest players in the history of St.Helens R.F.C. and the sport, he has been an integral part of the Club’s success over the last 20 seasons.Mr St Helens has played 495 times for the Saints, scoring 1,005 points and collected a whole host of personal accolades.As well as being part of Saints trophy laden success of recent times he won Man of Steel in 2006 to go alongside the Players’ Player of the Year and Rugby League Writers’ Player of the Year in the same season.In 2007 and 2008, he also took home the Lance Todd trophy in Saints’ Wembley successes over Catalans and Hull FC respectively.Representative honours total 31 for Great Britain and England with four for Lancashire.“I’ve had an ongoing hip problem for around 12 months and tried my hardest to battle on through,” he said. “I had injections last year to get through it – which was more than worth its while when you consider what we achieved – but in the early stages of this year I started to struggle with it again and that culminated with me leaving the field at Wigan on Good Friday.“I knew something was substantially wrong there and I want the fans to know I have exhausted every angle possible in trying to find a way to get fit and playing. I still feel I can offer a lot to the club if my body would allow me to but sadly I can’t.“It is the nature of the sport; I made my debut at 18 and played until 35 so in the grand scheme of things I can’t grumble.“I will now have substantial surgery on my hip as it is having an effect on my quality of life. Small things like being able to kick a football around with my son, I can’t do that so I have to get it right and focus on the next stage of my life.”He continued: “I’ve had a great career and I’m proud of my durability and longevity. I have had some luck with injuries but I’ve also had a really good record with the amount of games I have played. It’s frustrating as I am used to playing but I have not been able to do that.“I have a great relationship with Eamonn McManus, Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham. They have been patient with me through this and I am looking forward to further working with them.“I’ve had a really good career and last season was a real highlight. I have met some great people, had great experiences and been in an environment which challenges me. I have played in a great town with great people.“I’d like to thank my family who have been a huge support to me and in particular my parents who have been a constant source of support and my wife Rachel. When you go through tough times like this, or go on tour, she bears the brunt of it and looks after our kids. A lot of people make sacrifices to do what I do.“I’d like to thank my teammates who have made my career very special. Win, lose or draw the people you meet, the people you play with make it special and they are friends for life.“Finally, I’d like to thank the supporters as without them we wouldn’t have a club. They have been phenomenal with me. In my career I have always done my best and I think the St Helens people appreciate that.“They don’t mind losing providing we try our best and I have always been very mindful of that when I pull on the Red V.”Paul made his debut against Halifax in 1998 and first captained the club in 2011.The pinnacle of that came in 2014 when the image of the then 34-year-old on his knees at the final whistle in the Grand Final spoke volumes for the man – and the fans too.Expected to be an observer with Jonny Lomax and co ahead of him in the 2014 squad, he played in a number of positions and emotionally captained Saints to Grand Final glory – after playing in the halves with Mark Flanagan for the majority of the match.Wellens is a true Champion and will no doubt be part of the club for years to come.Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus said: “Paul goes down as one of the greatest players and leaders in the history of the Club. He has won every honour in the game, and more, during his staggering seventeen years of success and the Saints.“In particular, I would point out his captaincy years. He assumed this at a very challenging time for the Club when we had lost a number of world class players who had either retired or had left the Club and at a time when we had the disruption of a year playing at Widnes and a then move to a new home in St Helens.“He drove the team and the Club forward and into a new era which started with a remarkable Grand Final win against the odds at Old Trafford last year. The emotion etched on his face at the end of that triumph will forever be remembered.“I’m sure that Paul will be integral to the future success of the Club in his new coaching career.”last_img read more

Local woman gives thanks to Good Samaritans that came to her aid

first_img “It seemed like I flew down, but somebody up there was looking out over me,” Joyce Ennis said.It started as a typical Monday for Joyce Ennis. She was going to grab one of her favorite meals, but while walking up the steps to the restaurant she fell.  Not only did she fall, she also broke several bones.“I felt very blessed that they stayed with me until the ambulance got here,” Ennis said.Related Article: Pender Co. beach towns trading gifts, coupons for a bucket of trashA group of construction workers who were eating lunch ran to her rescue. They sat with her until the ambulance arrived. A moment Ennis and her son are thankful for.“I’ll be forever grateful. I don’t care if he just shaded the sun out of her eyes, for him to care enough as another human being to comfort my mom, I’m just very grateful,” Ennis’s son Brian Reichert said.Reichert wanted to do more to thank the guys who helped his mom.“I finally got a hold of Jerry’s number and started crying, like I’m about to do now, but for somebody to be that kind and compassionate those are things that matter,” Reichert said.Jerry Meeks said he did not think twice about checking on her.“I just wanted to make her feel comfortable, that somebody was there with her that she was going to be fine,” Meeks said.An unfortunate event that was a lesson for everyone.“Don’t be scared to step in and help out. We need more of it in the world. I mean we need people with compassion that want to help out,” Meeks said.Ennis broke several bones and is still recovering. Her family and her rescuers enjoyed lunch together Wednesday. From now on Joyce said she’ll be taking the ramp instead of the stairs. SNEADS FERRY, NC (WWAY) — Some workmen are getting a big thank you from a woman they rescued.The 86-year-old woman took a fall which landed her into the hospital the group of men took care of her until an ambulance arrived. Wednesday she wanted to show them how much their help means.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Foster love the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

first_img “The children who come to us have been through revolving doors. Often times, 10, 15, even 20, sometimes 25 placements of abuse and neglect,” Faircloth said. “We work with these children through therapeutic needs because of the traumas they’ve had in their life”.Shannette Cunningham is a foster parent involved with B&GH. She said she went through extensive training to make sure she was ready to take in foster children. As of now, Cunningham has fostered five children and adopted three, in addition to her two biological children.“I fell in love with them,” Cunningham said about adopting the children she fostered. “We had a bond, a special bond. I hated to see them go somewhere else”.Related Article: Need for foster parents high across the Cape FearThe community-based services at B&GH include family foster care, therapeutic foster care, adoptions and more.Donna Yalch, the President for community-based services said they are currently looking for foster parents.“The opioid crisis in the state of North Carolina has really made the number of children in foster care go up,” Yalch said. “We need people who have a heart for kids, who are willing to open their home and their heart to take care of these kids”.If you want to get involved, call 877-211-5322. You can also visit the website for the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina to learn more. COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — In the heart of Lake Waccamaw, there is a 140-acre campus working to provide residential and community-based services for vulnerable children in our area.The Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina began serving children who were often victims of abuse and neglect in 1954. When it began, the program focused on providing food, clothing and shelter. Gary Faircloth, President and CEO, said B&GH has now evolved.- Advertisement – last_img read more

CALL Deputies responded multiple times to Topsail students home before arrest

first_imgBryce Sheehan (Photo: PCSO) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The woman who called the Pender County Sheriff’s Office about a post her child made online wanted to speak to a deputy on the phone, instead of having one come to her house, according to the recording of the call.The mother of Bryce Sheehan, who was arrested and charged on Tuesday with bringing a weapon on campus, called the sheriff’s office and asked a deputy to give her a call.- Advertisement – “I don’t know if I need to make a report, but I’d like to go over with them something that somebody just sent me about one of my children,” Sheehan’s mother said.The person who answered the phone at the sheriff’s office asks for the address. Sheehan’s mother then says she doesn’t want them coming to her house.“Unless they feel they need to of course because my neighbors are already up in arms about, because you all have already been over here multiple times,” Sheehan’s mother explains.Related Article: Governor announces reward in soldier’s 2017 shooting deathThe sheriff’s office asked if this was in reference to what someone said to her child.“No, it’s about a posting my child made and several other adults saw it and forwarded it to me,” she said.That post was a picture of a gun Bryce Sheehan posted on Instagram, according to the sheriff’s office.While we don’t know what Sheehan’s mother said to the deputy who returned her call, the sheriff’s office previously said the call alerted them that a student from Topsail High may be on the way to the campus with a gun.Topsail High, Middle and Elementary Schools went on lockdown.Sheriff deputies rushed to the school and say they found Sheehan, 18, in his car with a knife strapped to his leg and three other knives on him.Sheehan was involuntarily committed a week before his arrest, according to the district attorney’s office.He is being evaluated at a psychiatric hospital in Butner to see if he can stand trial. According to the motion filed in court, Sheehan suffers an ongoing brain injury and was on suicide watch at the jail.No weapons ever made their way inside the school.According to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, deputies have responded to Sheehan’s house four times since November.On November 21, a deputy responded twice to the home. The first time was in reference to skipping school and the other call related to a disturbance where family members were threatened.Deputies responded again on May 24 for an 18-year-old male causing a disturbance.The final time was on Tuesday, when Sheehan’s mother made the call to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office.last_img read more

Pender Humane Society dedicated to helping homeless and unwanted animals

first_imgBURGAW, NC (WWAY) — The Pender Humane Society (PHS) is committed to helping homeless and unwanted animals find permanent homes.Originally chartered in the 1970’s, PHS remained mostly inactive until it was rechartered in 1997.- Advertisement – A no-kill rescue shelter, PHS focuses on the welfare and care of animals no longer wanted by their owners.The rescue not only receives abandoned animals from Pender County Animal Services but also neighboring counties including Bladen and Columbus.Currently, the PHS shelter does not have a lot of animals for adoption because they’ve had so many adoptions.Related Article: Burgaw Police remind you to lock your car after numerous break-ins“We just have three puppies whose mother was found dead and they had been in a foster home until just this week, we have 7 cats and 6 dogs,” said PHS President Gloria Johnson. “We’d like to come to a day where there are no adoptable animals at our shelter or any other place.”When someone comes to the shelter to adopt, staff members consult with the applicant’s veterinarian and conduct a home visit. They want to ensure the applicant will be a responsible dog or cat owner, and that the adoptee will be properly cared for. If someone adopts an animal and it does not work out, the pet is welcomed to come back to the shelter.During Hurricane Florence last September, Johnson said the organization’s dedicated staff and volunteers kept the facility open.“When you consider that the town of Burgaw was underwater and we are located around two miles from there, our workers were able to get there just about every day,” she said.The PHS shelter is located at 1407 Highway 53 West in Burgaw.Volunteers also staff For Our Furry Friends (FOFF), a thrift store which celebrates its 15th year of operation this month.“People get to donate, they get to shop and the store is able to donate $10,000-$15,000 a year to make up the difference the shelter does not make with its fundraising and supporters,” Johnson said.The FOFF thrift store is located at 102 U.S. Highway 117 South, Burgaw.For questions about the shelter or thrift store, call 901-259-7022 or check out their website.last_img read more

18th Century house in Mqabba vandalized

first_img SharePrint Credit: Julia Farrugia PortelliCredit: Julia Farrugia Portelli According to a social media post by Labour MP Julia Farrugia Portelli, an 18th Century house in Mqabba has been supposedly vandalized by what looks like a dark liquid.According to the police, a report was made at 6.30AM this morning and an investigation is still on-going.The building is understood to be part of Vincenti Tower, a structure that was built in 1726 by Fra Orfeo de Vincenzo, a Prior of the Order of St. John.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Apples iPhone wouldnt even exist if it were not for Us says

first_imgAdvertisement Samsung has launched its most scathing attack yet on Apple’s iPhone, claiming that without its patents and technology the iPhone couldn’t have shifted a single unit. Apple has repeatedly accused Samsung of ‘slavishly’ copying the design of its iProducts, which has seen several Galaxy devices temporarily suspended from sale in various countries.“Samsung has been researching and developing mobile telecommunications technology since at least as early as 1991 and invented much of the technology for today‘s smartphones. Indeed, Apple, which sold its first iPhone nearly twenty years after Samsung started developing mobile phone technology, could not have sold a single iPhone without the benefit of Samsung‘s patented technology.” Samsung revealed in a trial brief.[related-posts] – Advertisement – Samsung said Apple is in no place to complain when its iPhone’s design was originally borrowed from its rivals, including Sony.“For good measure, Apple seeks to exclude Samsung from the market, based on its complaints that Samsung has used the very same public domain design concepts that Apple borrowed from other competitors, including Sony, to develop the iPhone.”The concepts Samsung is referring to are CAD mock-ups created by Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori, who had been asked to create a “Sony-like” device based on a 2006 Businessweek interview Apple SVP Tony Fadell had circulated to Steve Jobs and Jonny Ive.In the article, Sony designers Takashi Ashida and Yujin Morisawa talked about a device with minimal ornamentation, fewer buttons and rounded corners, which served as the inspiration for Nishibori’s design.Ironically, despite senior Apple designer Richard Howarth disparagingly claiming that the design “looks old”, it ended up being the basis for the iPhone 4 four years later.Although technically Apple did not rip off Sony, the point Samsung is trying to make is that the almighty iPhone design was not plucked out of thin air and was clearly influenced by a competitor’s idea.“Samsung has used the very same public domain design concepts that Apple borrowed from other competitors, including Sony, to develop the iPhone,” argued Samsung.Credit: USwitchlast_img read more

Confirmed Rwanda bans Telexfree operations

first_imgAdvertisement The government of Rwanda has banned operations of P.L.I Telexfree Rwanda Ltd, a multi-level Internet marketing Service Company, citing fears of money laundering in the country.“Basing on the investigation report carried out by the National Bank of Rwanda in conjunction with the Ministry of Trade Industry of February 19, 2014 on the operations of P.L.I Telexfree Rwanda Ltd, which concluded that P.L.I Telexfree Rwanda Ltd activities are similar to that of a pyramid scheme which can easily be a channel to jeopardize the financial sector and facilitate Money Laundering” read a statement from the ministry. – Advertisement – The 14 year old Company has been involved in raising the excitement of enabling people be hired (as Promoters) and start getting paid on average $100 every week for 52 weeks, for posting daily adverts on the internet.The same Telexfree frenzy has also reportedly hit Uganda in the recent months with many people attracted by the simplicity of its work.Telexfree arrived in Rwanda in the Second Quarter of 2013, whereby it was fully and duly registered within RDB since 12 June 2013 with the affiliate name “PLI TelexFree (Rwanda) Ltd”.The company offices are located in Remera (opposite Giporoso Bus Station occupying the last floor of that entire building harboring Viva Supermarket.Christian Rushema, the Authorized Promoter earlier on had said that the company was proudly in Rwanda to open its operations helping the Rwandan people to take first steps towards achieving the Vision 2020.A Brazilian court of Acre State has also previously suspended TelexFree operations, for running fraudulent investment operations in that country and it is also under investigations in some states in the US.Credit: Rwanda Eyelast_img read more