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Malcolm Underhill
 

Can we rely upon religious institutions to protect our children from sexual abuse?

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What is the answer to the question? Although a blog, with a question in its title, will usually proceed to have an examination of the evidence before providing an answer, I will start with the answer and explain my reasons. ...

Hope for Victims of Sexual Assault

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I may be accused of being biased and unrealistic, but I believe every victim survivor of sexual assault, whether abused as a child or assaulted when they were an adult, should receive full and fair compensation for what they were forced to endure and from...

Sex Offenders Change Name to Avoid Detection

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Whatever steps are taken by government, institutions, organisations and individuals, to prevent paedophiles getting access to children and young people, paedophiles will continue to look for ways in which they can circumvent the hurdles and barriers that we...

How to Stop Paedophiles

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I frequently point to the Soham tragedy of 2002 as a turning point on the issue of child protection, although changes were already in hand to improve the safeguarding of children, by undertaking a more comprehensive criminal records check of those having...

Drink Driving and Cycling Fatalities on the Rise

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Statistics published by the Government, this year, reveal a worrying rise in the number of drink-driving deaths and cycle fatalities on our roads. These figures demand that action be taken by the Government to understand the cause of these increases and take...

Are Victims of Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Losing Out?

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At the beginning of the lockdown, in March 2020, the pandemic brought every aspect of our lives to a stop. That included the criminal justice system, which ground to a halt. Although it was one of the first issues to be addressed by the Government, to ensure...

Increased Punishment for Paedophiles

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For well over 20 years there has been greater recognition of the crimes of paedophiles and the harm, sometimes lifelong, they can cause to children by their evil conduct. Gone are the days when society would turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the complaints of...

Online Safety Bill

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The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the proliferation of online child sexual abuse and the risk posed to children and young people as they engage with others across social media platforms. I have previously written about the work of the Internet Watch...

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

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This week, the 10 th -16 th May 2021, is Mental Health Awareness Week. This year the focus is upon #nature and particularly the restorative powers that nature has. As evidence of this evidence, the Mental Health Foundation published results showing that...

Tackling Child Sexual Abuse

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Go back a generation or so and you will find relatively little written about childhood sexual abuse. There was a time when these horrific crimes could be committed with impunity; the abusers facing little risk of being caught. Even if allegations of...

Do Not Forget The Children

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As a consequence of the murder of Sarah Everard there has been an outpouring of grief and anger. Part of that anger is directed towards politicians who have previously ignored the plight of women, failing to take steps to protect them from predatory men. The...

Delayed Medical Treatment Due to Covid-19

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Throughout the pandemic there has been a continuous flow of information and statistics in respect of the impact on the treatment for NHS patients. Covid 19 has forced the NHS to commit its resources to dealing with the consequences of the pandemic, meaning...

How Many Women Abuse Children?

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Over many years I have been pursuing men and women, to obtain child abuse compensation and justice for their victims. From my direct experience of helping those assaulted, and from a convicted sex offenders list , which I have compiled from media...

Online Child Sexual Abuse Danger

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I have previously reported upon the increase in the number of reports of child abuse images online, during the pandemic, although we now have further shocking figures that will cause alarm to all parents. There is very helpful advice on how to keep your...

Strangulation to become a Criminal Offence

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One of the terrible consequences of Covid lockdown is the reported increase in the level of domestic abuse. If there is a positive outcome to the shocking statistics that have emerged over the last year, it is the spotlight that has now been focused upon...

Can I get Compensation for Deep Fake Pornography?

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Much has been written about the advances in digital technology and its benefits but, perhaps, less consideration to the negatives, and to what action can be taken to stop deep fake pornography and whether compensation, financial redress, is available to...

Improvements demanded in maternity services at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

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Donna Ockenden, Chair of the Independent Maternity Review, has published her emerging findings report following a request made by the government that there be an “Independent review of the quality of investigations and implementation of their...

Queens Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital Maternity Service are Inadequate

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During the pandemic there has been extra strain put upon the NHS, with the concern that some patients may not be receiving the appropriate level of care and treatment. It is not clear to what extent Covid 19 has impacted upon maternity services at the Queens...

Femicide

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The prevalence of domestic abuse and domestic violence has been highlighted during the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown because of the increase in the number of reported cases, the vast majority of which are from women, being abused by their male partners. It is a...

Cycling Safety Tips For The Whole Family

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Whether it’s to boost your fitness, health or save some cash, cycling is a great way to blend fitness and fun at the same time. The number of people cycling has increased over the years. According to the Department of Transport (DPT: cycling statistics...

Catholic Church Criticised over Response to claims of Sexual Abuse

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The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has been criticised for its response to claims of childhood sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has recently published a report criticising the...

"Culture of Fear" in Gymnastics

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First published 13 July 2020 (updated 15 October 2020) The recent disclosure by prominent gymnasts may prompt a trickle of similar complaints, although if it follows the experience in other environments, it is far more likely that the...

E-Scooters may be legalised

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In the summer of 2020 we saw the rollout of the use of is scooters. It is still only permissible to use rental e-scooters on public roads, in a number of pilots across the country, although the Government’s Transport Committee is now recommending that...

Are Politicians listening to victim survivors of sexual assault?

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As a lawyer who specialises in helping victims of sexual assault it seems to me, over many years, that victim survivors are not dealt with fairly, are treated as inferior to the sexual offenders, and not given sufficient support. One such example is the...

Should tech bosses be jailed for failing to protect children from online abuse?

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Over the last six months I have talked about keeping children safe online , with the focus on protecting children. However, the NSPCC are now arguing for the technology companies to be accountable for allowing people to abuse children online, proposing...

Coronavirus ventilators

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At the beginning of the Coronavirus Covid 19 pandemic there was a fear that the NHS would be overwhelmed by patients, particularly those requiring ventilators to assist with their breathing. Thankfully, the worst forecasts were not realised, so, in terms of...

How Do We Protect Young Athletes From paedophiles?

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It is a sad truth that paedophiles are drawn to environments where there are children. Although a lot of work has been carried out over the last 20 years or so to protect children and young people, unfortunately those with wicked intent, still manage to...

More coronavirus funding to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

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(Updated 30.09.20) There is concern during the pandemic, that not only is there an increase in domestic and sexual violence, but it is proving more difficult for the victim survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault...

Road Fatalities on the Rise

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After decades of a reduction in the number of fatalities on Britain’s roads, recent statistics reveal that the number of fatalities may now be on the rise. There are likely to be a number of reasons for this, but whatever they are, road fatalities...

Coronavirus causes increased risks of assaults for sex workers

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Views on the health of sex workers may fall into two camps. There will be those who consider sex workers deserve whatever they get, even if that means being exposed to violent attacks; and those who will see sex workers, mostly women, as victims of social...

Can I make a child abuse compensation claim if the offender has been convicted?

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It takes courage and bravery to reveal you have been sexually assaulted, whether as an adult or when you were a child. It is even more of a challenge to provide a detailed account as to exactly what happened. It is therefore unsurprising that many...

Has COVID-19 affected your cancer treatment?

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We can all say we have been negatively impacted from Coronavirus, especially when it comes to our health. During the pandemic and the lockdown, since 23 rd March 2020, there have been patients who have either missed treatments, have had delayed or ...

Don't delay seeking medical care during the pandemic

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During the Covid 19 pandemic there has been an understandable reduction in the number of people seeking help from the NHS. Indeed, it was reported that the number of visits in England, to accident and emergency, were down by 29%. It was also reported by the...

What can i do if my cancer treatment was delayed due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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As we all know, due to the pandemic, many departments in hospitals have ceased from operating. Testing people for various health issues has ceased, non-emergency surgeries have all been put on hold as well as many other treatments. As the days go by, we hear...

Former football coach Barry Bennell found guilty of child sex abuse - UPDATED

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Barry Bennell, a former football coach who worked at top-level English clubs, including Manchester City and Leeds United, was found guilty in February 2018 of multiple sex offences against boys he coached in the 1980s. The 64-year-old, who now goes by the...

#YouAreNotAlone

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Victims of sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse can suffer long-term mental health problems, including depression and, in the worst cases suicide. Therefore, is important that once they have felt able to talk about what has happened to them, they...

How to Keep Children Safe Online (update 20.09. 20)

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For the first few weeks following the government’s announcement of a coronavirus pandemic lockdown on 23 March 2020, not having to go to school, but staying at home, was a novelty and exciting children. Perhaps their parents too. Not...

Should Doctors be Responsible for their Actions during the Coronavirus Covid-19 Lockdown?

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The nation’s efforts are directed towards supporting professionals in the NHS, to enable them to treat patients diagnosed with Covid 19. To maximise our prospects of coping with the spread of the coronavirus, retired health workers and those training...

Does the government support for victims of child sexual abuse go far enough?

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The independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has produced an accountability and reparations report, in which it addresses the various avenues for redress and support which is currently available for the victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The...

Will paedophiles take advantage of the coronavirus crisis?

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When the government announced the early closure of schools following the coronavirus outbreak, the immediate concern was that standard safeguarding procedures could be forgotten about, leaving children vulnerable to exploitation to those who would mean to do...

Why does this man make me angry?

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This is Manish Shah. He’s done no direct harm to me and I’ve never met him. However, he makes me angry. He makes me angry for what he’s done to others, to countless women (the number of which we may never know), conducting unnecessary...

Why Do Victims Delay Reporting Sexual Abuse?

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The 2 nd August 2017 saw a case of alleged sexual abuse reported in the media. East London doctor, Manish Shah, a GP practicing in Romford, at the Mawney Medical Centre, was charged with sexual offences. Dr Shah was charged with counts of assault by...

Compensation from Islington Council

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Following many years of campaigning by Liz Davies and the Islington survivors network, the London Borough of Islington has had to accept that they are legally responsible for allowing an unknown number of children to be subjected to sexual, physical and...

Why I disagreed with Boris Johnson about Investigations into Childhood Sexual Abuse

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An ability to communicate well is important for all politicians, particularly those holding senior office, where every word will be analysed and dissected. On a number of occasions, Boris Johnson MP has caused offence by his language, appearing to lack...

Women Take Legal Action After Cancer Linked to their Breast Implants

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20 women have recently announced their plan to take legal action after developing cancer as a result of getting breast implants. Over 50 women in the UK, and hundreds across the globe, have been diagnosed with the rare form of breast cancer, referred to as...

Compensation Delays For Victims of Islington Child Abuse Scandal

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Those familiar with the many of accounts of physical, sexual, emotional abuse , and neglect within Islington’s children's homes, foster homes, and adoptive homes between the 1970s and 1990s will know how seeking justice for the victims has been...

Nearly 700 English Schools Referred to Health and Safety Body Due to Asbestos Concerns

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676 state-funded schools and academies in England have been referred to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to show that they are properly managing the risk of harmful exposure to asbestos in their buildings. These failings could...

Britain's Growing Health Inequality

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How Where You Live Can Affect Your Chances Of Effective Treatment When it comes to receiving healthcare, we take for granted that regardless of where you live in the UK, you will receive the same standard of care. Sadly, a new...

Getting Compensation For Female Genital Mutilation

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Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a scourge in the UK and one where its victims live in shame and secrecy. In 2017/18, figures show that FGM was listed in 1,960 social work assessments by councils, double that of the previous year. Leethen...

Understanding the Impact of a Concussion Following a Head Injury

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Concussion is often associated with blows to the head suffered in sports, but the potential causes are far broader. Falls, assaults, being hit by a moving object, motor vehicle accidents, and falling from a bicycle are just some of the many factors...

Brain Injury Awareness Week 2019

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May is a big month for Headway, the brain injury association. The 20th May 2019 marks the start of Brain Injury Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of brain injury in the UK; and during this period, on 24th May 2019, Headway will be celebrating...

Almost Half of Bowel Mesh Operations Were Unnecessary, NHS Trust Admits

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Nearly half of patients who had an artificial mesh surgically implanted into their pelvic floor at a Bristol hospital should have been offered an alternative treatment, North Bristol NHS Trust has revealed . The NHS trust has informed 57 patients who...

Compensation For the Failure to Diagnose Cancer

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For victims of medical negligence, the costs can extend far beyond money. Some may have the length of their life significantly shortened, or be left with life-long disability; but what happens when a medical error causes loss of fertility in a young...

What did Hillingdon Council know about Levi Bellfield?

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Levi Bellfield is the notorious killer, known for the murders of Amelie Delgrange, Marshall McDonnell, the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy and the murder of Milly Dowler. Those crimes did not take place in the London Borough of Hillingdon, but Levi Bellfield...

Are Hospital Delays Putting Patients at Risk?

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Whether you need emergency care, an outpatient procedure or treatment such as chemotherapy for cancer, getting the right medical care at the right time is often critical to protecting a patient’s health and achieving the best long-term outcome. Any...

NHS Admits Wrong Metal Plates Used to Fix Bone Fractures

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The wrong type of metal plates were surgically implanted into a number of patients to treat broken bones, the NHS has admitted. Patients at an unnamed NHS trust were found to have been given flexible plates meant for reconstruction rather than rigid plates...

Almost Two Thirds of Female Prisoners Have Signs of Brain Injury, Research Shows

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Nearly two-thirds of prisoners at a women’s jail were found by researchers to have signs of brain injury, suggesting they may have suffered a traumatic head injury at some point in their lives. Of 173 female prisoners surveyed...

Unsafe Medical Implants Given to UK Patients

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Unsafe medical devices that have not been adequately tested have been routinely used in patients in the UK, throughout the EU and around the world, a new investigation has uncovered. Devices including pacemakers, hip and knee replacements, and spinal rods...

Victim Personal statement

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It was once the case that following conviction of an offender, the courts would, when it came to sentencing, only take account of the nature of the offence and the individual before them. However, for many years now the courts have also taking account of the...

Brain Injury Victims and the Criminal Justice System

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Suffering a traumatic brain injury can have a serious impact on a person’s physical and mental abilities, as well as potentially causing profound changes to their personality. While in most cases these issues are relatively minor and...

Unsafe Syringes Used in NHS for Many Years

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Only four days after the Gosport Hospital independent inquiry report [1] was released on the inappropriate administration of opioid drugs which reduced the lifespan of patients, a whistleblower close to the inquiry raised a new alert. Speaking...

Ex-football coach Bob Higgins was a 'predatory paedophile' exposed by charity helpline

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A former football coach for a number of professional clubs is on trial, accused of being “a serial abuser of young teenage boys’. Bob Higgins, 65, is being prosecuted for 50 counts of indecent assault at Salisbury Crown Court –...

Is the law about to change to make upskirting a crime?

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Women protected from Upskirting Upskirting, now defined as ‘…the practice of taking a photograph up a person’s skirt or clothes without their consent.’ Following a public outcry the...

Rochdale Authorities' Response to Evidence of Child Abuse was "Careless and Wholly Inadequate" Inquiry Finds

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Authorities in Rochdale failed in their response to evidence of child abuse, at the council-run Knowl View Residential School , a new report has found. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) report into historic abuse at the...

Computer Glitch Causes 450,000 Women To Miss Final Routine Breast Cancer Screening

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Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, has launched an urgent independent inquiry after revelations that up to 270 women may have died after being affected by a 2009 computer error that caused 450,000 women to miss crucial breast cancer screenings [1] . The...

Update: Epilepsy Drug now banned during pregnancy

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In January 2018, we wrote about the epilepsy drug, sodium valproate , which had been linked to 20,000 cases of catastrophic disabilities in children in the UK. At the time, MP Norman Lamb referred to the situation as an “extraordinary...

Shocking extent of sexual abuse in UK boarding schools revealed in new documentary

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The true scale of sexual abuse in UK boarding schools has been exposed in a new ITV documentary that has revealed hundreds of people are accused of abusing children in some of the UK’s leading private schools. The documentary, part of...

Oxfam sex abuse scandal widens following reports of abuse in charity shops

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The Oxfam sex abuse scandal has taken a new turn following reports that teenage volunteers in the charity’s UK shops have been abused. The charity's former head of safeguarding, Helen Evans, revealed that staff working in Oxfam’s charity...

Victims still looking for justice over historic child abuse in Islington children's homes

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Islington Council has appointed a top Queen’s Counsel to investigate former Mayor Sandy Marks’ links to historic child abuse that took place in local children’s homes and the council from the 1970s through to the 1990s. Sarah Morgan QC...

New study shows a third of theatre workers have been sexually harassed

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Sexual harassment and bullying are “ingrained into the theatre culture” according to a new study carried out by The Stage . A poll of theatre professionals and students shows 43% have experiencing bullying and 31% have been sexually harassed...

Epilepsy Drug Sodium Valproate And Birth Defects - A Devastating Scandal

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Sodium Valproate, also known as Epilim, Episenta, Epival, and Convulex (as valproic acid), has been linked to catastrophic disabilities in around 20,000 children in the UK. MP Norman Lamb has called the situation an “extraordinary scandal”[1]. ...

Why NHS delays could lead to a rise in clinical negligence claims

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This winter has seen the National Health Service under perhaps the heaviest pressure ever, with NHS bosses ordering hospitals to cancel tens of thousands of operations and outpatient appointments in an effort to free up capacity to cope with demand on...

St Paul's Girls' School is Latest to Face Historic Sexual Abuse Claims

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One of the UK’s leading independent schools – St Paul’s Girls’ School – has received claims of historic sexual abuse after asking ex-pupils to share stories of sexual harassment related to the recent popular #metoo social...

Contaminated Blood Scandal Victims Will Now Sue Government

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Over 500 victims of the NHS contaminated blood scandal have been given leave to seek compensation from the government [1] . The claimants are a mix of survivors and relatives of those who died after being given infected blood products. More than...

Risk of Need for Hysterectomy After Insertion of Sterilisation Device Essure

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An investigation by the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show has found a number of women underwent hysterectomies to remove a sterilisation device, Essure , used on the NHS. Laura Linkson, who was fitted with the Essure device in 2013, told the BBC...

Four Ex-Teachers At Christ's Hospital School Charged With Historic Sex Abuse Offences

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The community of Horsham, West Sussex is in shock after it was announced yesterday that four former teachers at Christ’s Hospital School have been charged with historic sexual abuse of pupils. The incidents took place between 1980 and 1996. Gary...

Child Abuse Compensation Claims Against GPs and Other Medical Professionals

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The BBC has recently reported on child abuse claims made against a Shropshire GP who died 17 years ago. [1] Hospitals, GP surgeries and medical centres are places upon which we all rely, often at times of weakness or vulnerability, when seeking...

Could Modern Medicine Have Saved Abraham Lincoln?

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Abraham Lincoln was the first US President to be assassinated, drawing his last breath at 7.20 am, on 15 th April 1865. He died from a traumatic brain injury caused by a bullet, shot from almost point blank range as he watched a performance of Our...

When Childbirth Goes Tragically Wrong

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There are few women who do not fear childbirth, after all, less than 200 years ago giving birth constituted a major threat to a woman’s life. Childbirth, however, remains highly dangerous for women in developing countries [1] . Thanks to...

Time to stop burying head in the sand over chronic traumatic encephalopathy

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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease, found in athletes, military veterans and others exposed to repetitive brain trauma. Previously known as “punch drunk syndrome” and linked only to...

Will a Cycle Helmet Protect Your Head In an Accident?

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“Cool kids wear lids.” “Protect your head or end up dead.” “Keep calm and helmet on.” These are just some of the catchy slogans associated with promoting cycle helmets. Those in favour of making...

New Research Changes The Way We Understand Memory

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Extraordinary new research has been conducted into how memories are made and stored. The findings, which contradict what scientists have believed for decades about how memories are made, could help doctors treat those suffering from severe brain...

What Support Is Available For Children Who Suffer Abuse?

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Nine in ten children who are abused will develop a mental illness by the time they are 18[1]. And a staggering 70-80% of female victims report that as a result of their experiences, they have engaged in (or are still engaged in) substance...

Overburdened NHS Sometimes Fails To Diagnose Minor Head Injuries

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This week is Road Safety Week and IBB Claims is proud to be a supporter of this event, which aims to inspire communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages throughout the country. Road traffic accidents...

Keeping Our Children Safe On The Road

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Road Safety Week commences this week. Organised every year by Brake (the leading UK road safety charity), this is the UK’s biggest road safety event, supported by thousands of schools, organisations and communities each year. IBB...

Government Announces New Birth Injuries Compensation Scheme

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Families of children who have suffered birth injuries may find claiming compensation easier under a new scheme announced by Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. The new Rapid Resolution and Redress Scheme, which is out for consultation, would investigate...

The Terrifying Trend of Online Child Grooming

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The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Children (NSPCC) has warned parents that the internet can be a playground for paedophiles. The warning comes after it was revealed that counselling sessions for young people worried about...

Could Your Doctor Have Missed Your Bowel Cancer Symptoms?

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A new study by the British Journal of cancer released last week reported that one in five ‘red flag’ symptoms that indicate the presence of bowel cancer have been missed by GPs [1] . The study also found that 16% of patients presenting...

Child birth and injury to mother and baby: Is compensation available?

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Most expectant mothers fear labour to some degree. Thanks to advances in maternity healthcare over the last 100 or so years, in most cases, both mother and child emerge from childbirth relatively unscathed. Some women require a little more...

The Ultimate Betrayal

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There is no greater betrayal to a child than an abusive parent. The one person who is supposed to love and protect you, not only fails to perform this fundamental parental task, but is the deliberate cause of harm. According to the National Society...

Traumatic Brain Injury In Childhood Can Lead To Early Death

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(Source: https://blog.soton.ac.uk/comp6044/2010/11/28/psychology-biology-of-behaviour/) Children who receive a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are 72% more likely to die before the age of 41, a new study has shown[1]. Research published in the Public...

Child Abuse Inquiry Loses Another Head

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On 4 th August 2016, the Independent Inquiry Into Child Abuse ( IIICA ) , set up by then Home Secretary, Theresa May has lost its third head in two years. Former New Zealand High Court Judge, Dame Lowell Goddard QC resigned curtly and abruptly,...

Shoddy Dentists, Ruined Teeth

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A recent report in The Times has thrown light onto a number of dental practitioners who are setting up as ‘cosmetic’ dentists, despite having no formal training 1 . They are ruining lives and appearance and coining in the cash. Jonathan Green,...

Anti-ageing Procedures and Medical Negligence

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There are not many of us who have the confidence and aplomb of Mary Beard or Mary Berry; women who happily show of their grey hair and wrinkles. Most of us would like to wind the clock back a bit; be it through cosmetic surgery or non-surgical...

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

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Dealing with a Botched Hair Transplant What do Gordon Ramsey and James Nesbit have in common, apart from being rich, famous and regulars on the television? Both men have had hair transplants . At around...

Stolen Childhoods: Surviving Following a Childhood in a Cult

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If you are in immediate danger, please call 999. Child abuse linked to exorcism and witchcraft accusations is on the rise in Britain. According to figures obtained by the BBC, The Metropolitan Police said there were 60 crimes linked to faith in London...

The BBC and Hollywood Paedophilia Controversy: How did the abusers get away with it?

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Put yourself in the mind of a paedophile. To commit acts that provide your main source of sexual gratification, your need two things; access to a lot of children and an environment which provides you with the time and opportunity to select the weakest...

The UN Peacekeepers Child Abuse Scandal

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“Sometimes when I’m alone with my baby, I think about killing him. He reminds me of the man who raped me.” [1] It is one of the biggest scandals the United Nations (UN) has faced in decades. Women and children from conflict zones...

Louis Theroux Documentary 'A Different Brain' Touches Hearts

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Throngs of people took to Twitter on Sunday, 15 th May to express their appreciation for Louis Theroux’s latest documentary on people living with the long-term effects of a brain injury. Fans were not the only ones impressed. A review featured...

Should We Take The Tackle Out Of School Rugby?

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On 1 st March 2016, 70 health professionals, academics and doctors wrote an open letter to ministers of health, education, and sport, and the chief medical officers and children's commissioners in the four nations of the UK, as well as the Republic of...