Category Archives: Death

Video: doctor speaks powerfully – “the humanity is being sucked out of our NHS” . . .

Lauren Gavaghan is a doctor, psychiatrist and well-known NHS campaigner. On Thursday evening she spoke movingly to a mass gathering of Labour NHS campaigners about the suffering and beauty she has seen in ten years of service in the NHS – and the vampiric effect of Tory government.

What she said was powerful, inspiring – and terrifying. She spoke of huge shortages, of the disrespect of the government toward patients and staff – and of the unnecessary and undignified deaths the under-resourcing of the NHS has caused. And she summed it up in one haunting phrase:

” The humanity is being sucked out of our NHS. ”

This video brings home the preciousness of the National Health Service that Labour built, the disaster imposed on it – and the awful prospect of its loss. Please watch and share:

Please click the link below, to watch the video of her speech, posted online by The Swawkbox, today:
Doctor speaks powerfully: ‘The Humanity is being sucked out of our NHS’

 

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Filed under 70th Anniversary of the NHS, Austerity, Budget Cuts, Changes, Choices, Collapse of the NHS, Death, Degraded Public Services, Deprivation, Divide and Rule, Economics, Funding Cuts, Government Spending, Health Issues, Hospital Waiting Lists, Human Rights, Humanity, Ideology, Impoverishment, Memories, NHS, Politics, Privatisation of Public Resources, Starvation of Resources, Tory Cuts, Tragedy, UK Government, Welfare Cuts

‘Deprivation of Liberty’ deaths soar by 56% in a single year . . .

The SKWAWKBOX reported this week on the shocking tripling of deaths – from 83 in 2011 to 252 in 2016 – among people detained under the Mental Health Act, as mental health and police services have been degraded under Tory government.

old person in care.png

A further shocking phenomenon is revealed by the government’s Coroners’ Statistics: an increase of fifty-six percent in the number of deaths under ‘Deprivation of Liberty’ (DoL) authorisations.

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) allows for organisations – hospitals, care homes and others – to apply for authorisation to deprive or restrict a person’s liberty on the grounds of their mental capacity if it is considered necessary for their safety. ‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards‘ (DoLS) exist to ensure – in theory – that a person is not unnecessarily deprived of any more of their liberty than is absolutely necessary for their safety. These only apply in England and Wales.

To read the rest of this story, please press this link:

Deprivation of Liberty deaths soar . . .

 

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Filed under Austerity, Budgets, Carers, Choices, Collapse of the NHS, Death, Degraded Public Services, Dementia, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, Disability Issues, Economics, Funding Cuts, Government Spending, Health Issues, Human Rights, Ideology, Liberty, Memory Loss, Mental Health Act, Mental Health Issues, Percentages, Politics, Private Sector, Starvation of Resources, Tory Cuts, Tragedy, UK

Conservative MPs accuse citizens of ‘scaremongering stories’ about experiences of Universal Credit.

Once again, Kitty Jones hits the nail on the head with this post:

via Conservative MPs accuse citizens of ‘scaremongering stories’ about experiences of Universal Credit.

I really don’t understand how so very many ordinary working – and non-working – people are being hoodwinked into voting for a party that are idealogically driven, and are all for the Elitist Rich?

This is a party who are driving poverty levels in the UK into the ground – to levels not seen since Victorian times!

The constant eroding of our Human Rights is barely being spoken of.

Our Economy is rapidly sliding down the drain, along with any of the Industries that had made the UK a leader in the past, and which are, once again, desperately needed, if we’re to build our country’s economic future on a firmer footing than the tory Tax Haven ideals.

The gap between the Very Rich, and the (so-called) undeserving Poor, has never been so wide.

Yet, where are the outcries about the gradual attrition of our hard-won Democracy – fought for by our grandparents, and their parents and grandparents before them – and bought on the backs of loss and pain?

All we need now, is for the terrors of the Work House to be brought back once again – something our forebears fought long and hard to abolish in the first place – and then we’ll see the completion of our lives being deliberately regressed back in time – where the Rich Elite have every bit of power, and the poor work for a pittance – and still starve!

Considering the thousands upon thousands of unnecessary deaths, due to the Tory-led DWP’s ideological attritions, which have created an ever-increasing result of Homelessness, which then leads on to Starvation, Chronic Ill Health, Disability, and then death, to so very many citizens of the UK – and all of this taking place under a very silent Mainstream Media (unless they are screaming that their Tory paymasters are being lied about, of course)!

These are things that were first introduced by the Tory-Lite Blairites, thus heralding the decomposition of an effective Opposition Party, and making it even harder for this new Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party, to fight against this pernicious, and machiavellian,  disease of tory greed and corruption!

The fact that, since the tories took power, and insisted on introducing their ‘made to fail’ Universal Credit,  it shows that we really have already reached the pits of despondency and despair!

So much for ‘scaremongering’ 😦

 

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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Budgets, Choices, Chronic Ill Health, Death, Democracy, Despair, Despondency, Disability, Divide and Rule, Economics, Government Spending, Health Issues, History, Homelessness, Human Rights, Ideology, Impoverishment, Industries, Low Wages, Murder, Politics, Starvation, Tax Haven, UK, Universal Credit, Welfare, Work House

The Hellish Ordeal of the DWP Experience . . .

I’v just read an article in the Morning Star, and it really reflects the way I felt, and behaved, while going through my changeover from DLA to PIP at the beginning of this year.

To add to the stress and strains, along with paranoia, I was also grieving, which made my mental health so bad, I completely stopped the crochet I love doing, which helps to keep me as relaxed as my pain allows, both physically and mentally.

It took a good 8 months, from the start of my assessment period, for me to get back a, rather fragile at times, peace.

Do follow this link to the article, and see if you’ve had the same experience, too:

The Hellish Ordeal of the DWP Experience

 

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Filed under Benefits, Changes, Crochet, Death, Depression, Disability, Disability Issues, DLA, DWP, Health Issues, Ill Health, PIP, Welfare

I, Daniel Blake . . .

Last night I was unable to sleep, because the pain in my body has become unbearable recently, and so I decided to watch a new DVD delivered to me yesterday, in order to get my mind off of the pain for a little while. The DVD is: ‘I, Daniel Blake’.

. . . and now I sit here, many hours later, with red eyes, and cheeks sore from the tears I shed watching it, while trying to put into words what I need to express after seeing it.

I wonder how anyone who has an iota of fellow feeling in them, can watch something like this, and not feel sad, or frustrated, and also totally furious, at our government – and the people they employ – who follow every machiavellian rule they can make up, without thinking of the consequences to the real people they are doing it all to, and I wonder, who can put people through all these kinds of hoops, purely for an ideology that seems to drive them into schemes that are making the poor even poorer – as the rich  get ever richer?

Ken Loach’s film has shown so clearly what is happening every single day here in the UK, and it is happening to too many people innocent of the accusations being thrown at them by their own government, as well as by their many right-wing media outlets.

. . . . and I’m one of those people. I, too, am Daniel Blake and, because of the injustices I saw in the film – while knowing they were just characters playing their parts, I also know they were based on real people going through the same, crazy, soul-destroying, routines – I want to tell you what is happening with me at the moment.

I’ve been worried for a couple of years now, about the changeover this government is making, from DLA to PIP, as I’d heard that so many people on Indefinite awards of DLA, like I am, have lost their benefits completely – including people with terminal cancer, or MS, or Parkinsons!

I have, unfortunately, developed many health problems over my life, which had basically starting from a messed up immune system, brought about by the Thalidomide tablets that my Mum took while she was around 6 months pregnant with me, as it was thought the tablet would ease the terrible morning sickness she continuously felt throughout this pregnancy. The tablets actually made Mum worse, so she didn’t take them as long as she might have but, unfortunately, she took them long enough that they affected the development of my immune system and so, although I was so very fortunate to have been born with all  of my limbs, I have been prone to bouts of ill health for most of my life, and this gradually worsened, to the point that, right now, everything wrong with me is based on a screwed-up immune system, and everything I suffer with is without a cure, and will only get worse, to the point of death – hence the Indefinite award.

I’m basically 100% housebound, and 95% bedbound, and was eventually sent the changeover form from the DWP, which arrived on 23rd December 2016, asking me to fill it in, and to send it back by 16th January, 2017, at the latest. With what I’ve recently learned about the processes put into place with the new PIP, I’ve no hope that I will get the equivalent of my DLA award with this new PIP award, and will be amazed if I’m fortunate enough to get anything at all.

Due to my illnesses, I have great trouble focusing on anything nowadays, let alone long, and very complicated, forms such as this one was. I sleep more than I’m awake, and the strong pain meds I have to take (or end up screaming with pain), leave me unable to formulate thoughts and ideas in the way that I used to be able to do, before my illnesses got as bad as they are now. I struggle a lot to find the words I need, as my short-term memory is badly affected, too, which makes it very difficult for me to be able to express how I feel, or how my ailments affect me, especially if I’m under any kind of stress – me, the calm, unflappable, total wordsmith, who used to read continuously, and delighted in learning something new every day – until my illnesses took all that away 😦

The day after I received the PIP form, the 24th December, 2016, I received news that my Mum was seriously ill in hospital, and wasn’t expected to live.

As you may imagine, this knocked me for six, especially as I’d only lost my Dad the previous year, and had been too ill to be able to travel the 365 miles between us, to go and pay my last respects to him. Anyway, from the moment I was told about Mum, I spent all the time I was able to, keeping in touch with my siblings, and trying to find out how Mum was – while desperately hoping, and praying, that she would rally – as she had done on previous occasions – but, on 1st January, 2017, Mum slipped away in her sleep and, once again, I faced the fact that I wasn’t well enough to be able to travel to say my goodbyes.

In those 10 days, I’d not been well enough to be able to try and even start to fill in the DLA-PIP form. The stress and grief I felt had seriously affected my already appalling health, and I was unable to think, or to understand, anything written in the form. I’d not been able to get hold of anyone at the DWP to explain my situation to, because I’d received the form the day before christmas eve, and so everyone was now on holiday, and there was nobody available locally to help me with the forms.

On 4th January, I finally managed to get somebody at the DWP, and explained my situation, and was given an extention of 14 days, until 30th January, to give me extra time to get the forms filled in.

A few days later, fortunately for me, our daughter came to visit and, over the next few weeks, she helped me with both my grief at losing Mum and, more importantly for my health, she helped me to fill in the forms, which wasn’t easy even with her help, especially as every question asked on the form made me have to face up to everything I had lost of myself, and the life I used to lead, at a time when grief and loss of my Mum was making me so depressed I could barely cope.

I think that, if the questions I was asked had had any real meaning, it might have been a little easier for me to do, but they were so formulaic, so loaded, so unreal to the life I actually have to live, that I couldn’t relate to them at all, and it took four different people to explain to me what the questions were actually trying to lead me to say, before I realised that they weren’t being asked to help me in any way, but I really felt as if they had been written, even designed, to trip me up in some  way – as if I were living a lie, and claiming these benefits unlawfully because, of course, everyone who claims benefits of any sort are lying through their teeth, right? Wrong!

Anyway, with lots of help, the form was filled in, and I stated at the end, written in red, bold, type – in the section asking if there was anything I wanted to tell them, about coming to a face-to-face assessment – that I wished for a Home Assessment, and for this assessment to be recorded. A friend then posted it all off for me, recorded delivery, and I checked online a few days later, and saw that it had been received. I then waited a couple of days, and phoned them up just to check, and reassure myelf, that they had actually got it – they had.

After I sent off the form, I looked through the paperwork again, and saw that, if I wanted a Home Assessment, then I needed a letter from my doctor, to prove that I was ill enough to need this!

I was fortunate that my Doctor was willing to do this for me, as he knows my many limitations well and so, on 6th February, a friend posted his letter for me, which included a cover note of my own, to the DWP then, on the 13th February, I phoned to check that it had arrived. To my horror, they said that it hadn’t, but that I was to ring back in a few days, in case it was waiting to be scanned, then uploaded onto their computer system. I waited another  week then, on 22nd February,  I phoned the DWP, to be reassured that my doctor’s letter had appeared on their system on the 14th February, which was a huge relief for me.

On that same 22nd February, I had also received a letter from Capita (Capita do the assessments for the DWP in my area), dated 7th February.  The letter basically told me that they had received my form, and were now looking at my claim, and that someone would contact me about arranging an assessment for me. I didn’t do anything about it that day, as I was too unwell to cope with any more phone calls then, 2 days later, on 24th February, I had 2 more letters from Capita dropped in my letterbox. The first, dated 13th February, telling me that they had looked at my application for PIP, and that they had arranged an assessment in my nearest large town, 14 miles away, to be done on 2nd March. The 2nd letter, dated 21st February, and also arriving on 24th, was a reminder of the appointment.

I phoned Capita straight away, and explained to the lady who answered that I had just that day received the two letters, and asked her why they had made an appointment away from my home, after I’d already requested a home visit. I explained about the doctor’s letter taking time to be shown on the DWP’s computer, then asked, once again, for a Home Assessment. The lady said straight away, ‘Well, I can cancel this appointment, but you do realise that you are only allowed one cancelation, don’t you?’ I pointed out that I had only just that day received both the letters they had sent me, so hadn’t even known an appointment had already been made – and that I had clearly requested a Home Assessment on my form – but the lady was adamant that this would be the only cancellation I would be allowed, so I had to accept this, and go to the appointment already made for me, or risk having my money stopped immediately I didn’t turn up.

As I had no choice, I had to cancel the appointment, and the lady assured me I would hear from someone within 2-3 days, letting me know when the new appointment would be. While she was on the phone, I made sure to ask her if recording the home assessment was permitted and, after she had gone away to check, she told me it was, but that they would only allow cassette tapes to be used, and that I would have to tape 2 identical copies at the same time, one for me, and one for the assessor. I would be allowed to use ordinary cassette tapes, or even the micro tapes used for dictaphones, but I was not allowed to use any kind of digital recording.

Fortunately, I’d seen this written on a website, so had already bought 2 identical recorders, and the tapes to go with them, so am prepared for that, at least.

I hadn’t heard from Capita by Thursday, 2nd March, so I phoned them to see what was happening. Nothing was happening!

Once again I had to tell the person I spoke to what had already been discussed and, fortunately, he then wrote in my notes that I wished for a Home Assessment – he then promised I’d be hearing, by letter, to let me know the date of the assessment . . .

I’ll be letting you know what happens next . . . .

________________________________________

12-03-17. 3.41 am.

Thought I’d let you know that my home assessment is due on 21st March, at 11.45 am. I just hope that I’m actually awake, and my brain is in working mode when the assessor gets here! 😦

 

 

 

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Filed under Benefits, Changes, Daughters, Death, Disability, DLA, DWP, Ill Health, PIP

Between December 2011 & February 2014, at least 2,380 sick and disabled people have died after losing their entitlement to sickness benefit, and being declared Fit for Work . . .

I’ve just read an email from the Britain Isn’t Eating Blog, and followed a link from there, to an article by the World Socialist Web Site, which tells us about the true figures of those who have died because of New Labour, the Tories, and the Liberal Democrat’s governmental Reforms.

It truly sickens me that they can see these sort of figures, which amount to roughly 90 people every month dying uneccessarily, and yet they still push forward for even more detrimental cuts!

It also sickens me that they refer to the money paid out to those unfortunate enough to be so ill/disabled as ‘Welfare‘ and  ‘Benefits‘, giving the British public the idea that this is a ‘something-for-nothing’ payment when, in fact, it should be referred to as Social Security, due to the fact that most of those claiming it have worked, or have family who do so, and have paid into the system –  a country-wide system that was set up to help those who got into difficulties either through ill health, accident, or disability!

Until the people of this country wake up, and tell the government ‘Enough!’, there will be even more deaths over the next few months, or even years – and shame on those who don’t question what is being done in their own names as, what the government seem to forever forget the minute they come into power, is that they are public servants, there to serve the British Public, not to lord it over us all, gathering as much wealth and power to themselves as they can, and leaving ever more families being driven into destitution and homelessness by their policies!

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Filed under Accident, Austerity, Benefits, Death, Disability, Disability Issues, DLA, DWP, ESA, Government Spending, Health Issues, Housing Benefits, Ill Health, Illness, Impoverishment, Murder, PIP, Politics, Rhetoric, Social Security, Welfare

A Few More of My Crocheted Pieces

It’s been a while since I posted about my crochet, probably because I’ve been so busy either trying to finish Crochet-a-longs, or CALs as they’re known as in the crochet world, and also because I’ve been desperately trying to learn what I could about British Politics – I’m not sure whether to laugh, or cry, that I’ve become involved right at this time, but I’m going to persevere, which means doing an awful lot of reading!

Fortunately, there are some wonderful Bloggers around, that lay out what’s happening, and what it means for us all, so I’m now slowly begining to understand where the UK stands politically – and, boy, it’s frighteneing!

Anyhoo, I thought I’d get away from that for one evening, and continue showing you all the things I’ve been crocheting over the last year or so – I believe my last post about it was on May 3rd – here’s a link: A Few More of My Offerings

The last project I showed you was  two shrugs I’d made for the daughter of a friend but, after that, I went through another awful patch of ill health, and so couldn’t do any crocheting 😦


The next project I finished, was a Wrap, designed by a wonderful crochet designer called Annelies Baes. You can get the pattern free at this link: Flight of Fancy.

The CAL was called Scheepjes Flight of Fancy Wrap, and it was done in weekly increments. I started the project on 10th June, and finished it on 1st September.

I was really taken with the wonderful yarn used here, by a company called Scheepjeswol . With this CAL, I was using one of their yarns, called Scheepjes Linen Soft , which comprised of 47% Cotton, 27% Linen, and 26% Acrylic, which made for a strong, and durable, yarn to use.

Here’s the Project page I created on Ravelry, which gives you the details: My Flights of Fancy Wrap The colours used were gorgeous, and reminded me of peacock feather, which I love 🙂

Here’s my finished project, which I gifted to a dear friend:

2015-09-01 - Scheepjes Flight of Fancy Wrap CAL - Start-10th June


The next project I made, was finished on 19th September, and was something that I made for my daughter to give to a friend. Her friend loved kooky presents, especially if they had something to do with the body, so I crocheted her two seperately coloured, and sized, eyes – including the optic nerves, too 🙂

I had come across the pattern by chance, at this link: Crocheted Eyeball by crochetninja, and just loved the idea of it – and making it was fun, too 🙂

I used various yarns from my stash for this, mainly acrylics, if I remember true 🙂

2015-09-17 -The Eyes Have It

I’m told the recipient loved them 🙂


My next project took me a bit of time, as my health was becoming quite dicey again, and I was still working on another CAL, too.

A friend was making up a package to send over to her grandchildren, a young girl and boy, and I offered to make them something. I showed my friend some of my patterns, and she found the one she wanted among one of my favourite Amigurumi Designers – Moji Moji Design or Janine Holmes, using her real name 🙂

Janine had recently released a new design, called Katie the Caterpillar – so how could I resist? Lol

I started making the two caterpillars, and managed to finish them by October 12th, just in time for them to be shipped to their new owners in the USA 🙂

2015-10-12 - Suzanne's Caterpillars
I used acrylic yarn from my stash again, and I think a lot of it was Red Heart yarn, as I had so much of it in my stash. I used the same colours in both, but just used them in opposite ways, as you can see in the pic. That way, we hoped the children wouldn’t fight over which one owned which caterpillar 🙂

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My next project, was the CAL I had started on August 2nd. I didn’t actually finish this until October 31st. This was another Scheepjswol CAL, designed by another amazing Designer that I love: Julie Yeager.

The design was called: Summer Mosaic Afghan, and you can buy the pattern from Ravelry, using the link provided 🙂

This time, the yarn used was Scheepjes Stonewashed XL, a wonderfully soft, but strong, mixture of 70% Cotton, 30% Acrylic.

Here’s the link to my Ravelry Project Page, and the colours and amounts used for it: My Summer Mosaic Afghan.

This was a pattern I loved, with a yarn I fell in love with, too. I made this CAL for Mr Night Owl, and it was fun and games trying to crochet it, where, and when, he wouldn’t see it all, as I wanted it to be a surprise for him, for our wedding anniversary that year. It was a couple of weeks late, but he forgave me when he saw it 🙂

2015-10-31 - Summer Mosaic Afghan


I have to admit to being totally exhausted by the time I finished the Afghan, and it wasn’t until almost mid-November before I took up my crochet hooks again, and that was because I had received my first box, from a company called Little Box of Crochet.

I’d come across them via my monthly crochet magazine, and the story behind their starting caught my attention, so I decided to subscribe for 6 months, to see whether I would enjoy it.

The first Box came with everything needed to make my first Little Box Project, and this was 3 different types of toadstools:

  • The first was Aminita Muscaria, or Fly Agaric. I finished this on November 10th.
  • The second was Stropharia Aeruginosa, or Verdigris Agaric. I finished this on December 12th.
  • The third was Hygrocybe Persistens, or Wax Cap. I finished this on January 15th, 2016.

 

2016-01-15 - LBC - Fly Agaric, Verdigris Agaric & Wax Cap

These were designed by Kate Bruning, of Greedy for Colour, and were made using Scheepjes Stonewashed, with a small amount of silver yarn to give them a christmassy feel – and enough to make them into tree decorations if I’d wanted to 🙂



My next project was one I made for fun. My husband, and a good friend of his, have a running joke about Wood Nymphs – and, no, I’m not getting into that, as it would take an entire new post of it’s own! Lol

Anyway, we had been invited over to his house for a meal and, as a joke, I decided to make him a Wood Nymph hat, and this was the result:

2015-11-18 - Wood Nymph Hat!

I had found some Red Heart Camouflage yarn in my stash, and so added some flowers and bells to it, then made it a caveat that he had to wear the hat whenever he went hunting! 🙂
I don’t know why, but he tells me he hasn’t been hunting ever since! Lol


On the 19th of November, my Dad died.

I was devastated, as I was too ill to travel the 360-odd miles needed, to get back to my family home, to attend his funeral.

I really didn’t know what to do with myself, and felt helpless that I couldn’t say my goodbyes to him, nor comfort my Mum the way I wanted to. I spoke a lot to Mum on the phone and, wonderful woman that she is, a few days after Dad’s death, she suggested that I crochet something that reminds me of him, and send it to her, so she could put it in the coffin with him, and so that I knew there was something of mine with Dad in his rest.

My first thoughts were of his being Irish, and that special humour he had, that every Irish person I’ve met seems to be born with, and so I decided to crochet symbols of his Irishness – one for me, one for Mr Night Owl, and one for our daughter.

I looked through all my thousands of patterns, and settled on a combination Shamrock/Four-leaved Clover for myself, a Leprechaun for hubby, as he’s as mischeivous as one himself, and a Pot-o-gold, with rainbow, for our daughter, as she has always been our symbol of wealth, happiness and joy.

A week had gone by this time, and I worried about getting them done in time for the funeral, but I managed to  finish them, one each day, by the 29th, where I then quickly packed them up, and a friend sent them, post-haste, to my Mum. Fortunately, they got there in time, and that’s where they lay now, keeping my Dad, that funny, chronic, joker company.



I have to admit to finding it hard to concentrate after that but, in early December my Little Box of Crochet, for that month, arrived. Purely for distraction, I decided to give it a try, and the design came from Heather Collins, whose Blog, Pink Milk, was one of the favourites of the Little Box team, and was something that caught my fancy, too, and so I thought I’d give it a go.

The pattern, this time, was for a wonderful pair of Wristers, made with Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino. As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew I had to make these for my daughter 🙂

Fortunately, we have the same size hands, so I was able to make them to fit her easily. I also made her a second pair, but this time with yarn from my stash, in Black and White, as she loves monochrome, too, but more to my own design 🙂

I finished making them on the 5th and 6th of December 🙂

I’ll tell you about the rest in another blog 🙂

 

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Filed under Crochet, Daughters, Death, Disasters, Family, Friendship, Health Issues, Humour, Memories, Politics