Connect with us

Main News

Pregnant women face new lone birth ordeal as NHS bans partners again amid rising coronavirus rates

Published

on

pregnant women face new lone birth ordeal as nhs bans partners again amid rising coronavirus rates

Pregnant women are facing the renewed prospect of having to give birth alone, as dozens of hospitals look to reintroduce draconian visitor restrictions amid rising coronavirus rates.

About half of NHS trusts are considering fresh restrictions on partners attending antenatal appointments, during parts of labour, and after the baby has been born, according to figures released by a Freedom of Information request.

At least one trust has already done so, with Liverpool Women’s Hospital announcing on Friday that it had made ‘the difficult decision to temporarily stop antenatal and postnatal visiting’ due to ‘the growing seriousness of the Covid-19 situation’.

Pregnant women are facing the renewed prospect of having to give birth alone, as dozens of hospitals look to reintroduce draconian visitor restrictions (file photo)

Pregnant women are facing the renewed prospect of having to give birth alone, as dozens of hospitals look to reintroduce draconian visitor restrictions (file photo)

Last night, Tory MP Alicia Kearns, who has campaigned alongside The Mail on Sunday to have restrictions eased, urged hospital bosses to reconsider and put ‘humanity’ first. 

Ms Kearns, who is pregnant, said: ‘I am deeply concerned NHS trusts will claw back the rights we have won from women and their partners, and the progress we have seen since the campaign launched.

‘If 15 people from different households can attend weddings in Tier 3, how can NHS trusts prevent one person – from the same household or bubble – from supporting a pregnant woman during her scans and all stages of labour? Especially given women in their third trimester are largely shielding.’

Ms Kearns said evidence proved ‘mothers and babies are worse off clinically when we keep partners away’, while it had been shown in at least one hospital during the lockdown that birth partners could be permitted without triggering outbreaks. 

She added: ‘I urge NHS trusts to put humanity and clinical outcomes at the heart of their maternity rules.’

Public health doctors Sebastian Walsh, Rebecca West and Fiona Simmons-Jones asked English hospital trusts what their restrictions were on birth partners at the end of August – and if they had any ‘firm plans’ to change them in the event of a second wave.

A nurse pictured in May this year taking a video of a newborn baby in the maternity ward at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey to send to parents due to restricted visiting hours (file photo)

A nurse pictured in May this year taking a video of a newborn baby in the maternity ward at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey to send to parents due to restricted visiting hours (file photo)

Of 127 trusts that provide maternity services, 81 replied. Of those, 17 (21 per cent) said they would reimpose restrictions in the event of rising virus rates. If this is indicative of those that did not reply, at least 25 English trusts are highly likely to reimpose restrictions.

Just over half (43) said they would review their policy in the event of rising rates – prompting fears from Dr Walsh that many more trusts will put in fresh restrictions.

‘There is a significant risk now that all the hard work over the last few months to start rolling these restrictions back, could get toppled very quickly in a domino effect,’ he said.

‘A lot of trusts are not sure what to do, and if they see another reimposing restrictions they could follow their lead.’

Dr Walsh said restrictions on many visitors were needed to cut the risk of hospital outbreaks, but ‘blanket bans’ failed to recognise the significance of birth. Visiting a patient having a routine operation was ‘not the same as when your child is being born’, he added.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Main News

Met Police apologise to black mother after officers made ‘racist assumptions’ when she was attacked

Published

on

By

met police apologise to black mother after officers made racist assumptions when she was attacked

A black woman who was punched to the ground and stamped on by a gang of seven white men has claimed police made ‘racist assumptions’ about her and fellow victims – sparking a renewed investigation into the vile attack.

Niyad Farah, 38, who is of Somali heritage and was born in Wales but moved to London 13 years ago, was with two friends when the men launched their assault outside a 24-hour convenience store in north west London on December 22 last year.

The gang shouted racist abuse before physically attacking them, and the police categorised it as racially motivated grievous bodily harm with intent – just one down from murder. 

Ms Farah, who works for a charity that helps ex-prisoners, was kicked unconscious in the attack and taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where she was treated for head injuries and extensive bruising. 

Niyad Farah, 38, who is of Somali heritage and was born in Wales but moved to London 13 years ago, was with two friends when a group of seven white men launched their racist assault outside a 24-hour convenience store in north west London on December 22 last year

Niyad Farah, 38, who is of Somali heritage and was born in Wales but moved to London 13 years ago, was with two friends when a group of seven white men launched their racist assault outside a 24-hour convenience store in north west London on December 22 last year

Ms Farah, who works for a charity that helps ex-prisoners, was kicked unconscious in the attack and taken to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, where she was treated for head injuries and extensive bruising (pictured)

Ms Farah, who works for a charity that helps ex-prisoners, was kicked unconscious in the attack and taken to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, where she was treated for head injuries and extensive bruising (pictured)

Ms Farah, who works for a charity that helps ex-prisoners, was kicked unconscious in the attack and taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where she was treated for head injuries and extensive bruising (pictured)

She claims that while she was being questioned in hospital, a constable asked her if she was ‘buying anything off’ her attackers and appeared to think this was a drugs deal gone wrong.

Ms Farah approached BBC Newsnight in January alleging the Met’s investigation had been seriously flawed and accused the police of making racist assumptions about her and her friends. 

The Metropolitan Police has now reopened the investigation and apologised to the victims, following a probe by the programme.

Ms Farah told Newsnight she was punched to the ground and dragged into a doorway next to the shop.

Ms Farah claims that while she was being questioned in hospital, a constable asked her if she was 'buying anything off' her attackers and appeared to think this was a drugs deal gone wrong

Ms Farah claims that while she was being questioned in hospital, a constable asked her if she was ‘buying anything off’ her attackers and appeared to think this was a drugs deal gone wrong

‘I was like being stamped on… I was just curled up on the floor,’ she recalled.

‘I was thinking, “My son’s not going to have a mum.” And… I’m going to be dead.’ 

In a report airing tonight (Wednesday 21 October), BBC Newsnight found that officers failed to recover CCTV, find witnesses, or even to take statements from the victims. 

The Met denies racist assumptions were made about the victims, but has apologised for failing the women and said its investigation is being reviewed ‘to ensure that we identify any organisational learning’. 

Newsnight asked a senior former police officer to review the case. Robert Quick has 32 years of experience investigating violent crime. 

Ms Farah approached BBC Newsnight in January alleging the Met's investigation had been seriously flawed and accused the police of making racist assumptions about her and her friends. Pictured after the attack

Ms Farah approached BBC Newsnight in January alleging the Met’s investigation had been seriously flawed and accused the police of making racist assumptions about her and her friends. Pictured after the attack

Police categorised the attack as racially motivated grievous bodily harm with intent – just one down from murder. Pictured: Ms Farah's head wound

Police categorised the attack as racially motivated grievous bodily harm with intent – just one down from murder. Pictured: Ms Farah’s head wound

He is former head of specialist operations at the Met, and before that was Chief Constable of Surrey Police.

Mr Quick told the programme that if the constable had asked whether the women were buying drugs from their attackers, ‘that does imply the officers at the scene were working on some sort of assumption that they either knew the perpetrators or were in some way engaging with them, maybe buying drugs or whatever’. 

‘If that’s true, then that’s inexcusable,’ he added. ‘The police absolutely have a duty to be objective and not to jump to conclusions.’

The women believe racist assumptions undermined the police investigation but the Met denies the claim.

In a statement, the Met said: ‘This line of questioning should not be considered as an officer making any assumptions or doubting the account given by a victim, and we refute any suggestion that this is what happened in this case. 

Ms Farah (pictured) and the other women believe racist assumptions undermined the police investigation but the Met denies the claim

Ms Farah (pictured) and the other women believe racist assumptions undermined the police investigation but the Met denies the claim

Ms Farah (pictured) and the other women believe racist assumptions undermined the police investigation but the Met denies the claim

‘Our officers always keep an open mind as to the circumstances of any attack and must build an understanding of the facts.

‘From a very early stage, this was treated as a serious racially aggravated assault committed by people unknown to the victims.’

Beyond this question, Newsnight’s investigation found that the police investigation was hampered by a series of serious, basic mistakes.

For nearly two weeks after the attack, no effort was made to recover CCTV, no witness statements were taken, even from the three women who had been attacked, and no effort was made to trace a dark-coloured van associated with the men.

By the time the police tried to recover CCTV from shops in Kilburn Lane in early January, footage had been recycled – overwritten by new material.

In a report airing tonight (Wednesday 21 October), BBC Newsnight found that officers failed to recover CCTV, find witnesses, or even to take statements from the victims. Pictured: Ms Farah now

In a report airing tonight (Wednesday 21 October), BBC Newsnight found that officers failed to recover CCTV, find witnesses, or even to take statements from the victims. Pictured: Ms Farah now

Ms Farah said she was angry that the Met failed to take a statement from her until February – two months after the attack. 

No statements from the other two women attacked – both witnesses – have ever been taken.

Mr Quick told Newsnight the Met’s response had been ‘woeful’, adding:  ‘This was an attack of extreme violence… and it was about compounded by racial motivation, the evidence of which is clear. It had the potential to really impact on community confidence.’

In response to Newsnight’s investigation, the Metropolitan Police has apologised to the women. A spokesperson said the incident ‘should have been escalated and prioritised at an earlier stage’.

The Met said: ‘There was a delay in the necessary follow-up enquiries being made just after the incident, and this hindered the subsequent investigation.

‘This shouldn’t have happened, and we are sorry for letting the victims in this case down. This was an appalling attack which should have been investigated with greater urgency.’

Watch the full story on BBC Newsnight, BBC Two at 10:45pm tonight, and after that on BBC iPlayer.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Main News

Marrying a man I had never met ruined my love life

Published

on

By

marrying a man i had never met ruined my love life

Halfway through her marriage ceremony to a man she had never set eyes on before, Emma Rathbone was struck by a singular realisation. 

‘It suddenly hit me that if we didn’t work, I would be a divorcee for life,’ she recalls.

Obvious on paper, you may think — and in this case an altogether more likely outcome given that she had chosen to wed a complete stranger.

Five years on, Emma is indeed a divorcee — or will be once she and her estranged husband, James Ord-Hume, get around to the paperwork.

Both were among the first participants in the very first series of Channel 4’s Married At First Sight.

Now in its sixth year and on air again, the show’s unique selling point is sending down the aisle couples who have never previously clapped eyes on each other but have been matched by ‘experts’. 

Emma Rathbone (pictured) and her estrangers husband James Ord-Hume were among the first participants in the very first series of Channel 4's Married At First Sight

Emma Rathbone (pictured) and her estrangers husband James Ord-Hume were among the first participants in the very first series of Channel 4’s Married At First Sight

They then have six weeks to decide whether to make a go of the marriage or separate.

Unsurprisingly, critics have long felt that the show cheapens the institution of marriage, despite attempts by programme makers to cast it as a ‘ground-breaking social experiment’ to see whether science could help couples find lasting love.

The answer to that question would seem to be a resounding ‘no’, given that none of the 12 couples who have taken part in the past four series is still together.

In total, the relationship between Emma, a 38-year-old hotel manager from London, and university administrator James Ord-Hume, now 39, lasted a mere eight-and-a-half months from the moment they set eyes on each other on their wedding day.

However, its legacy has lasted much longer — certainly for Emma, who remains single, and confides that she has struggled to shrug off the stigma of her decision to take part in the show.

‘A lot of men have been put off when they find out,’ she says. ‘There’s definitely a stigma there and some have refused to meet me after they’ve found out.

‘Sometimes I feel I can’t win. If I am open about it, some men don’t give me a chance, but keeping it secret until further down the line can be damaging too. I had no idea about the long-term effects. When you are taking part, you are not thinking about ten years down the line.’

Five years on, with 40 not far off and her biological clock ticking, Emma has now registered with a fertility clinic ‘just in case’ and plans to use a sperm donor in a bid to ensure she realises her long-held dream of motherhood — something she admits she never would have predicted.

‘It wasn’t my life goal to be single and childless at 38,’ she says. ‘The older you become, you kind of feel like you’re being left on the shelf.

‘This wasn’t in the plan, but I am where I am and I am trying to make the best of it.’

You have to admire her candour and lack of self-pity, but it is certainly a timely warning of the perils of placing your personal life in the public domain. 

As Emma points out, the reality of TV catch-up services and repeats, not to mention the internet, means that her part in the show is impossible to escape.

The show's unique selling point is sending down the aisle couples who have never previously see each other. Pictured: Emma and James on their wedding day

The show’s unique selling point is sending down the aisle couples who have never previously see each other. Pictured: Emma and James on their wedding day

The pair were among thousands to apply to take part in the first series of the show in 2014

The pair were among thousands to apply to take part in the first series of the show in 2014

‘I still get people coming up to me in the street asking me about it to this day,’ she says.

Emma and James were among thousands to apply to take part in the first series in 2014, lured by the promise of a gold-plated matchmaking service, including having your DNA sampled, being extensively interviewed by a psychologist and taking a test of 500 questions.

The one thing absent, of course, is the guarantee of physical attraction. But Emma insists that, far from seeing it as a gimmick, she was intrigued by the idea.

‘I had already tried lots of other ways of meeting men — internet dating, being fixed up by friends — and none of them had worked,’ she says. ‘Admittedly, this was a bit wild, but I was looking for love and I thought this could be my chance. That’s why I did it.’

Not everyone was impressed. Emma’s parents, Elizabeth and Roger, who run a plant and machinery firm from their home in Cheshire, took a while to warm up to the idea of their daughter marrying a stranger, and Roger declined to attend the February 2015 wedding, though he came round to James after meeting him.

At first, the match looked promising. Emma and James hit it off and chose to remain married beyond the initial six-week deadline set by Channel 4, after which they would have to fund their own divorce if the marriage didn’t work out.

The couple had some good times, including a mini-break to Barcelona, Sunday lunches with Emma’s family and days out to Brighton.

Yet there was no getting away from the fact that James and Emma simply did not fancy each other.

‘There’s no algorithm for chemistry,’ as Emma wryly puts it now, and after a heart-to-heart in November 2015 the couple decided to separate.

‘It was very amicable, which helped, and both of us still had our own flats,’ she says. Nonetheless, the experience was undoubtedly bruising.

‘It wasn’t a game for me. I had hoped to find a husband and the father of my children, and now I had to face the fact that, however amicable, I would always have a failed marriage behind me,’ she says.

What she didn’t envisage was the extent to which taking part in the show would loom over her life once she started dating again.

The first hurdle came when she uploaded her profile on to two online dating sites in March 2016.

‘You’re asked to put if you’re single or divorced. I didn’t really want to describe myself as a divorcee as then it leads to a million questions. It’s hard enough meeting people online as it is, so I just said single,’ she says.

‘But that leads to the tricky question of when exactly you do tell people. You want to build up rapport, but people feel you have let them down by not being open with them. It’s not an easy thing to put out there: ‘Oh, by the way, I married a stranger on TV.’

‘I got caught out quite early on when I was on a date and I was recognised by someone walking past who came up and said, ‘You’re that girl who got married on TV.’

‘My date was a bit dumbstruck and asked why I hadn’t told him. I said I’d been coming to it but he was clearly put out. We went on another date but it was a bit awkward and after that he ceased contact.’

Another prospective date cancelled before they’d even met after his sister spotted Emma’s profile picture and told him who she was.

‘He messaged me saying there was no point in meeting as we’d got off to a bad start, that I’d lied to him from the beginning. It was a bit upsetting. He didn’t even know me,’ says Emma.

One prospective match sent her a message cancelling their meeting while Emma was already waiting for him.

‘I told him I was already in the pub and he said, ‘I’ve just seen who you are online and I don’t think it’s worth it, so I’m not bothering.’

‘Then he blocked me from contacting him again.’

In those relationships that did last beyond a few dates, Emma says that she struggled to reveal her back story.

‘I saw one guy for two months and never told him. In the end, we split up because we wanted different things — he didn’t want kids, I did — but it was lingering in the back of my mind when I was with him.’

One man to whom she decided to reveal the truth on the third date spent the rest of the evening Googling her while she sat paralysed with embarrassment. Again, it didn’t go anywhere.

Of course, such are the murky waters of the modern dating game that it is impossible to predict whether the dates would have worked out regardless, but Emma knows that her unorthodox relationship CV has not helped.

‘I have spoken to a couple of other girls who were on the show as well and they have found the same thing — that it hangs over you,’ she says.

Meanwhile, she has had to watch as, one after another, her friends have married and started families. As the youngest of six, Emma has found herself the only child not to have settled down.

‘I’m the only sibling in the family who has gone a bit AWOL. At Christmas, you do get asked, ‘Still single?’ ‘

You certainly can’t accuse Emma, who in the flesh is sparky and fun, of not trying.

Her valiant attempts to meet a life partner will sound familiar to many single thirtysomething women in particular.

Apart from online dating, she has determinedly attempted to meet people locally by joining sports clubs and even organising neighbourhood socials.

‘It’s not for want of trying,’ she says. ‘I’ve had some good dates and I’ve had men who have wanted to take things further — but I am fussy and I won’t settle.

‘It has definitely been a hard road. And Covid has made things especially difficult.’

She is now planning to visit a fertility clinic in the new year and start the process of becoming a single mother with donor sperm.

‘It’s daunting, of course, but children are something I’ve wanted for a long time, and while this is no guarantee, if it doesn’t work out then at least I can tell myself I tried.’

She admits her parents have mixed feelings. ‘They are not particularly happy about it, but I said to them it’s either this or potentially I don’t have any at all.

‘If I don’t do it and I wait and Mr Right never comes along, then it could mean I’ve missed my chance for ever.’ 

Men, of course, are not afflicted with the same time pressures around procreation, so it is perhaps poignant that James is the one to have found lasting love again, having apparently been able to shake off his appearance on the show.

He is now engaged to a new partner, although he and Emma will need to get divorced officially before he can marry her.

‘We just didn’t get around to it. Life happened and as it didn’t stop me from going on dates and as I’ve not really been in a position to get married again, there hasn’t been that urgency. I guess James will need to get around to it though.’

Since the couple have no joint assets, it should at least be relatively straightforward. The pair remain friends, exchanging messages on WhatsApp and meeting for the occasional drink.

‘We were actually meant to go out a while ago, but I got tied up with work, so a couple of my mates met up with him instead,’ she says.

Emma has even met James’s fiancee. ‘She was very relaxed,’ she says. ‘She knew that James and I weren’t madly in love with each other.’

The million-dollar question, of course, is where Emma’s life would be if she had not taken part in this ‘ground-breaking experiment’. Would she have found the long-term happiness she yearns for?

‘It’s impossible to know, isn’t it? But it’s hard not to wonder if that was my chance,’ she says.

It’s a chance that, astonishingly, many others still seem willing to take: 7,000 people applied to take part in the latest series, which is on TV at the moment.

We are yet to discover what becomes of the latest batch of hopefuls. Given past form, bookmakers would put long odds on longevity.

Emma has a warning for anyone else thinking of applying to take part.

‘Think carefully,’ she says. ‘And be prepared for what might come next.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Main News

UEFA claim breakaway league would be ‘boring’

Published

on

By

uefa claim breakaway league would be boring

UEFA and FIFA are at loggerheads over the threat of a breakaway European league, which resurfaced on Tuesday.

Reports in Spain claimed that a new competition, involving both Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and potentially Tottenham had moved a step closer, with investment banks in talks. The new league would, in all likelihood, replace the Champions League.

But UEFA sources were quick to dismiss the ‘boring’ idea, pointing out a legal framework would make it impossible to get off the ground. FIFA, who have been linked with the breakaway, did not deny the validity of the reports.

Reports in Spain labelled Manchester United as playing a key part in these fresh discussions

Reports in Spain labelled Manchester United as playing a key part in these fresh discussions

34618224 8859559 image a 25 1603201860158

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the other English side that are reportedly pushing for the league

Instead, they declined to comment ‘on speculation which comes up every now and then’ before diplomatically adding that ‘institutional structures and regulatory frameworks are well in place’.

A UEFA spokesman said: ‘The UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has made it clear on many occasions that UEFA strongly opposes a Super League. 

‘The principles of solidarity, of promotion, relegation and open leagues are non- negotiable. It is what makes European football work and the Champions League the best sports competition in the world.

‘UEFA and clubs are committed to build on such strength, not destroy it to create a Super League of 10, 12, even 24 clubs, which would inevitably become boring.’

JP Morgan, a bank that Sky News linked later with the proposed league, also declined to comment.

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is likely to comment on the matter during a conference call with investors when the club announce quarterly financial figures on Wednesday.

The idea of a breakaway has always been pursued by some major clubs, including Real Madrid

The idea of a breakaway has always been pursued by some major clubs, including Real Madrid 

Sources at Old Trafford have disclosed Woodward is also likely to address the furore surrounding Project Big Picture, last week’s failed bid by United and Liverpool to grab control of Premier League decision-making and dictate where revenues are directed.

The idea of a breakaway league has long been pursued by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Under the latest proposals, 18 clubs would be involved, with prize money of up to £913 million, according to Spanish news site Vozpopuli. UEFA insiders believe the plans — and the timing of the leak — are designed to increase the pressure on the European competition organiser over changes to the Champions League in 2024, over which talks are due to take place in the coming weeks.

The Premier League, who declined to comment, are thought to hold a similar view. A source at one of the Big Six clubs said talks were ongoing.

 

 

 

Lionel Messi's Barcelona would join them in a competition among Europe's elite teams

Lionel Messi’s Barcelona would join them in a competition among Europe’s elite teams

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher reacted to the major story, writing 'Oh f*** off'

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher reacted to the major story, writing ‘Oh f*** off’

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville also weighed in instantly to call for an independent regulator

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville also weighed in instantly to call for an independent regulator

 

Current Champions League holders Bayern Munich would likely lead German representatives

Current Champions League holders Bayern Munich would likely lead German representatives

Arsenal and Manchester City are seen as other English candidates to include in the league

Arsenal and Manchester City are seen as other English candidates to include in the league

 

 

Paris Saint-Germain are likely to have been quizzed on possible inclusion in the new league

Paris Saint-Germain are likely to have been quizzed on possible inclusion in the new league

Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus would expect to lead any Italian representation in the league

Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus would expect to lead any Italian representation in the league

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.