U.K. roundup

Meals-on-wheels officials in Gloucestershire were preparing to distribute to elderly clients paper napkins printed with tips on how to avoid being a crime victim, but paused the initiative after being warned that no safety assessment had been made of the possible choking hazard should pensioners insert the napkins into their mouths; the distribution eventually went forward, but critics said the episode encouraged the portrayal of aged persons as senile (Martin Wainwright, “No napkins … elderly might eat them”, The Guardian, Apr. 13). The Royal Chesterfield hospital is locked in a longstanding battle with claims-chasers who prowl its accident and emergency facilities promoting no-win, no-fee legal practices. Said a spokesman: “They have been approaching patients, asking them how they came about their injuries, was it their fault and if they want to sue. We have had several complaints from patients. These people are also handing out official-looking leaflets with an NHS-type logo which makes it look as if the hospital is endorsing their actions.” (Nick Britten, “Hospital lawyers target ‘ambulance chasers'”, Daily Telegraph, Apr. 14). Until recently a number of Scottish prisons provided inmates with chamberpots rather than in-cell toilets for overnight use; the practice has now been ruled a human rights violation and taxpayers are on the hook for compensation claims that some see rising as high as £100 million. (Hamish MacDonell and John Robertson, “Slopping-out prisoners ‘to sue for £100m'”, The Scotsman, Feb. 11; Kirsty Scott, “Slopping out judged a breach of human rights”, The Guardian, Apr. 27, 2004). And the newsletter of the Association of Lloyd’s Members, serving participants in the venerable London insurance market, will be reprinting with credit occasional items from this website (after having asked our permission, which we were happy to grant).

Comments are closed.