Psychiatry gets biggest chunk of NHS budget but can't cure anything
£8.5 billion investment from the NHS budget, mental health services
have been condemned for appalling conditions, neglect of the
elderly, and a string of violent murders committed by patients
released from psychiatric hospitals into the community.
Out of an NHS budget of £80.1 billion, spending on mental health
amounted to £8.5 billion in 2005 to 06, just over 10% of the annual
budget. Apart from miscellaneous spending, mental health received
the largest portion of funding and has done for the last 3 years,
according to figures obtained from the Department of Health.
But while more and
more funding has been poured into the mental health system, the
results do not reflect the investment and are a colossal waste, says
the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), an international
psychiatric watchdog. CCHR points to a catalogue of failures
that have been highlighted in damning reports, revealing not only
degrading conditions, but also a string of high profile cases where
patients released from psychiatric hospitals have murdered friends,
family members, or innocent member of the public.
In December last year, a report condemned the treatment of John
Barrett who murdered Denis Finnegan in September 2004. Decisions
made by Barrett’s consultant psychiatrist Dr Gill Mezey were
described by the inquiry as “seriously flawed.” And in
January this year, Vivian Gamor murdered her children after being
released from Homerton Hospital in East London. Gamor had been
released after psychiatrists concluded she did not pose a risk to
herself or others.
While psychiatrists maintain their treatments relieve symptoms for
sufferers, the psychiatric industry has been criticised for failing
to cure its patients. In collusion with pharmaceutical companies,
it’s been accused of disease mongering, manufacturing so-called
mental ‘disorders’ to sell expensive drugs.
Brian Daniels, national spokesperson for CCHR in the UK says
psychiatry is not interested in finding causes and curing people.
“Psychiatry is a profit-driven industry. It deals only with
symptoms rather than causes because that’s where the money is. If
psychiatry were ever to cure its patients, it would go out of
business. The complete lack of cures in the psychiatric
profession means the NHS budget will continue to rise, until the
government realises there are no results and that the money is being
· July 2003:- Mark Corner murdered prostitutes Hanane Parry and
Pauline Stephens after receiving psychiatric treatment under the
Mersey Care NHS Trust
· July 2004:- John Hampson murdered Derek Brotherton after receiving
psychiatric treatment while under the care of Bradford District Care
· September 2004:- John Barrett murdered Denis Finnegan after
receiving psychiatric treatment at Springfield Hospital
· February 2006:- Andrew Howlett murdered Michael Gallagher after
receiving psychiatric treatment at the South London and Maudsley
· April 2006:- Gordon Coltart murdered Andrew Robinson after
receiving psychiatric treatment
· January 2007:- Vivian Gamor murdered her children after receiving
psychiatric treatment at Homerton Hospital in East London
Motorists at risk after loophole discovered in many data check
motorists who believe they have discovered all there is to know
about their car's history could be in for a surprise after a
deficiency was discovered in many data checking services.
Details of vehicles that have been stolen and recovered may not
always be disclosed, leaving buyers in the dark about possible major
problems. mycarcheck.com, which is the only vehicle data
checking company to routinely share information with the public on
stolen recovered cars, believes it is important that motorists are
given all the information available.
"All data suppliers take the Police stolen marker off a
vehicle when it is recovered but we always inform our customers that
the vehicle has been stolen and recovered. The information is
available and the implications for the buyer are potentially
disastrous. We feel people have a right to know." said Roger
Powell, General Manager of mycarcheck.com. "Was it
damaged for example? Obviously it wasn't a total loss but
nevertheless the consumer has the right to know what they are about
to put their family into. If it's been stolen then it's more
than likely the car was taken with a key because more than 85% of
cars are these days. Where are all the keys? If someone buys a
car that they are aware has been stolen in the past at least they
would know to change the vehicle's security."
Another problem, according to mycarcheck.com, could arise if the
vehicle has been in the hand of criminals who might have used it to
commit offences or left something in it. It could have been used to
carry drugs or firearms. Identity theft is also a major
problem. Often, when thieves steal cars some of them just change the
number plates but others will change the numbers stamped under the
"The car might look fine but if the police stop you and look
at the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and it looks as though it
has been tampered with there could be a lot of explaining to do,"
said Mr Powell.
Around 175,000 cars are stolen and recovered in the UK each year,
many of them having suffered some degree of damage.
One man who fell foul
of the information loophole contacted mycarcheck.com for help after
he found that despite being told by two other leading vehicle data
checking companies that his car was ok it turned out to have been
stolen. The motorist had recently bought a car at auction for
£6,800. He paid additional auction fees of £265 which included the
cost of a vehicle history check, which was carried out by the
auction house using both Experian, which supplies the RAC, and HPI
data. As far as the buyer was concerned the car had been checked and
he thought he had been told all there was to know. However,
out of curiosity, he decided to carry out a check with
mycarcheck.com on his phone and was 'dismayed' to discover
the vehicle he had just bought had been stolen, damaged and
recovered before being put up for auction.
"I was upset if I'd known the history of the car I certainly
would not have bought it, especially at the price I paid,"
Phil Swift, a former policeman turned leading insurance investigator
with Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA) said it was alarming that
only 1 data company routinely informs customers if a car has been
stolen and recovered. "As a member of the public you
have a right to know whether your car's been stolen and recovered.
If it is the case then there's a hole in your car's history which
you can't account for. It may have been in criminal possession
for a day or 6 months but, your car's been used by somebody who
wasn't registered as its user. It was taken by a criminal and you've
no idea what it was used for."
McDONALD’S IN SOUTHPORT GETS A FACELIFT
AS PART of
McDonald’s commitment to the high street, it has invested £150,000
in the refurbishment of its Southport restaurant. The
re-imaging is part of a £30 million programme which will see over
100 of McDonald’s city centre stores given a facelift, consisting of
a new trendy look and a striking green facia. The design, with new
colours – khaki, lime, orange and russet – in a vibrant mixture of
geometrics, lines and swooshes has been created for McDonald’s by
world famous French Designer, Philippe Avanzi. There are comfortable
easy-chairs and stools, drop down lighting and a whole new feel.
A favourite in the area, the Eastbank Street restaurant has been at
the current site since 1982. The refurbishment happened due to
popular demand and customer feedback. The design emphasis has been
contemporary and style led with a view to making the interior eye
catching and fun.
Andrea Edwards, McDonald’s Operations Manager in Southport, says:-
“Myself and the forty staff employed in this restaurant are
delighted with the new look and we hope that customers will be
impressed. In today’s retail market many big businesses are moving
out of town centres and into retail parks. McDonald’s remains
commited to the high street and is invesiting in its central
Also the doormen at the Eastbank
Street take-a-way will remain as a way of keeping customers and
staff feeling safer.