Monday, December 05, 2005

Media Update

The Scotsman - Medical errors harm one Scot every hour
"The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), show that last year alone a total of almost 56,000 patients were injured in hospitals, an astonishing 32,000 of them in slips and falls."

Daily Telegraph - General may be questioned over body armour death
"Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that a British officer was told that six members of the Royal Military Police were trapped by an Iraqi mob in Majar Al Kabir were still alive when reinforcements reached the town, but a rescue mission was aborted because the situation was regarded as too dangerous."

Daily Telegraph - Tate and bile as Stuckists round on arts elite
From papers disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, the Tate has admitted that it has acquired works by at least six trustees while they were serving on the galleries' board since 1997. Whitehall says that such work should rarely be acquired to prevent "the perception of a conflict of interest"."

Daily Telegraph - Shortage of aircraft leaves the Paras without wings
"The Ministry of Defence refused to give the numbers of paratroopers who had passed the two-week course in the past year, suggesting that The Daily Telegraph request them under the Freedom of Information Act."

The Guardian - Cross-party MPs push for total smoking ban
"It also emerged last week that 90% of respondents to a government consultation on smoking opposed a partial ban. This only emerged after Cancer Research UK got hold of the findings under the Freedom of Information Act. "

The Guardian - Hit squads to tackle £900m NHS deficit
"The health secretary Patricia Hewitt yesterday ordered budgetary hit squads into the 50 highest overspending health authorities and trusts in England to halt an escalating financial crisis that threatens the stability of the NHS. In response to an application from the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act, she released confidential returns forecasting a collective overspend of £623m by the end of the financial year. A quarter of all the country's trusts are forecasting deficits that total £948m."

Hospital Doctor - Trust refuses to reveal spending
"Hospital Doctor understands Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust has paid McKinsey & Co millions of pounds since appointing it in May 2004 to support its 'Delivering Excellence' efficiency drive. Hospital Doctor asked the trust, under the Freedom of Information Act, to reveal how much it had paid McKinsey over the past two years. It refused, saying both parties' commercial interests would be prejudiced."

Local News

Surreyonline - Plans for 2,500 homes have cost you £67,000
"The cost of drawing up the rejected draft development plans for 2,500 houses and a relief road in East Grinstead is going to cost council taxpayers a whopping £67,000, the Observer can exclusively reveal. "

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner - Call for council to act faster over travellers
"In September the Examiner exclusively revealed the cost to the taxpayer of cleaning up after travellers.Figures released by the council under the Freedom of Information Act showed it has cost £75,000 in the last five years."

West Midlands Express and Star - Street is worst for burglaries
"A Stourbridge street has topped the list of burglary hotspots in the Dudley Borough, according to police figures. Claycroft Place in Lye has suffered more burglaries than anywhere else in Dudley causing a nightmare for residents. The street, made up of a row of flats just off Lye High Street, is regularly targeted by burglars according to the police figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. "

Serious about news (Bedfordshire) - Paramedics' discipline record slumps badly
"Following a Freedom of Information request from Bedfordshire on Sunday to the service, we can reveal between September 2004 and September 2005 there were ten disciplinaries. Five members of staff where handed first written warnings, while the other five were given a final written warning."

Herts and Essex online - Takeaways: the good, the bad and the ugly
"THE shocking work practices discovered by hygiene inspectors at takeaways in Hertford and Ware can be exclusively revealed by the Mercury today (Friday, 02 December). Dirty kitchens, out-of-date food, an absence of soap and hot water for staff to wash their hands and chickens defrosting in the washing-up sink — these were the horrors contained in environmental health reports we obtained under the Freedom of Information Act."


The Herald (Scotland) US soldiers’ families allege loan discrimination by HSBC
"HSBC stands accused of "defrauding" US military personnel, some of whom are on duty in Iraq, by overcharging them on high interest loans, according to a study out today from a leading US-based human rights group."

Index on Censorship -Does the US ban visitors whose ideas it dislikes?
"The American Association of University Professors, the PEN American Center and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit to compel the Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security and the CIA to release documents that will shed light on their strategy. The suit follows the failure of these agencies to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that the ACLU filed in March for records concerning the exclusion of foreign scholars and intellectuals from the United States under Section 411 of the USA PATRIOT Act. "

International news
Fiji Times - Bill will shatter secrecy
"FREEDOM of Information legislation will change the culture of secrecy in Fiji, Solicitor-General Nainendra Nand believes. Mr Nand said how well the legislation worked would depend on those who administered it. He said Cabinet had approved in principle the Freedom of Information Bill last month and it would now be given to stakeholders for comments."

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