FOI Friday: Alcoholics refused transplants, council staff chasing lonely hearts, neglected pets and patients in the wrong hospital beds

FOIFRIDAYLOGOAlcoholics refused liver transplants < Birmingham Mail

Eight Birmingham patients denied liver transplants because they could not convince doctors they would stop boozing after the life-saving surgery later died, shock figures have revealed.

In the last five years, 12 patients with alcohol-induced liver disease at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust were turned down for a new organ as they could not show that they would abstain from alcohol once they left hospital.

Now eight of those patients – two of which were in their 30s – have since died, according to the figures obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Council officers seeking out lonely hearts websites < Chroniclelive

Lonely hearts working on computers at a North council have racked up more than 14,000 hits on dating websites in six months.

Staff at Sunderland City Council made the hits on Match.com, Plenty of Fish and OKCupid from staff computers between January and July this year.

According to the data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, there were 14,635 hits to the three sites.

The Council said personal use of the internet was permitted providing it took place in an employee’s own time.

Pet neglect in Scotland revealed < Evening Times, Glasgow

Figures released from Police Scotland showed officers investigated 55 cases during 2013 and more than 300 in six years.

The figures, covering the Glasgow area from 2008 to 2013, showed an average of 55 cases each year, and exactly 55 in 2013.

Of the 2013 cases, 36 resulted in court cases and 19 were unresolved. No details of the cases have been revealed but a Scottish SPCA spokeswoman confirmed that one of the most recent to reach court involved a bearded dragon with its tail hacked off by a knife.

Pauper funerals on the rise in Wales < BBC Wales

More than 500 people have had pauper’s funerals in Wales in the last five years, costing more than £500,000.

An 18-year-old was among those who had a funeral funded by a local authority, BBC Wales has learned.

The funerals are carried out when a person died without relatives or the family is unable to pay.

How many would-be police officers fail the fitness test? < Dundee Courier

Police Scotland have revealed that 46% of applicants to join the service in its first full year failed to pass the fitness test.

Men up to the age of 29 have to be able to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes and women in 14 minutes, or an equivalent “bleep” shuttle run test against the clock.

Up to the age of 45, men have to be able to run 1.5 miles in 13 minutes and women in 16 minutes.

Postcode-level mortgage data from the Financial Conduct Authority < Huddersfield Examiner

First-time buyers in Huddersfield were among the most likely in the UK to put down a small deposit when buying a home in 2013.

One in 14 first time buyers (7.2%) in the HD postcode buy homes with a 90-95% Loan To Value mortgage in 2013, one of the highest rates in the UK.

The figures, released through a Freedom of Information request to the Financial Conduct Authority, also show first time buyers in the HX postcode were 3.6 times more likely to take out a 95%+ Loan To Value mortgage in 2013 compared to the rate for all local buyers, 0.3% compared to 0.08%, the biggest difference in the UK.

Police ask for street lights to be switched back on < Nuneaton News

POLICE have demanded that street lights be switched back on in communities across Nuneaton and Bedworth almost 40 times since the controversial switch-off.

The Nuneaton News can reveal, through details given following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, that Warwickshire Police Force has made 39 requests to Warwickshire County Council to turn lampposts back on over the past year-and-a-half.According to the FOI information, the lights have been switched on for police incidents 39 times from February 1, 2013 and August 24 this year.

The FOI response from the county council states:

“These incidents have been for selected roads where police have asked us to return lights on for specific incidents.”

How effective are parish councillors? < Oldham Evening Chronicle

A year-long survey of official meetings of Saddleworth Parish Council has revealed attendance saints and sinners among councillors.
Only six of the 20 members showed up to all 11 full council meetings over the year, while eight recorded single figure attendance. Councillor Lesley Schofield made only two appearances at full council meetings in the year to May.

How many people caught speeding through roadworks? < Northants Telegraph

An astonishing 10,500 motorists have been caught speeding through the A14 roadworks near Kettering since work began in January.

The top speed recorded was 94mph – 54mph above the 40mph temporary limit between Junctions 7 and 9.

Average speed cameras recorded the BMW driver doing more than double the speed limit in July.

The cameras have been installed by contractors working on the road widening project to help keep workers safe and enforce the speed limit.

Patients kept on the wrong wards < Lancashire Evening Post

Dozens of medical patients have been moved on to non-medical wards at hospitals in central Lancashire – because of bed shortages.

Data uncovered through a Freedom of Information request shows that over the past four years 154 patients at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust were moved to non-medical wards.

Figures also show that in the past five years 382 elective operations were cancelled on the day of surgery or after admission for surgery for non-clinical reasons.

Chances of siblings being kept together in foster care are slim < Mansfield Chad

Nearly 80 per cent of children placed into foster care in Derbyshire in the last year were split from their siblings, figures show.

A Freedom of Information request by the charity Action for Children revealed 79 per cent of siblings placed by Derbyshire County Council had to be separated.

Between April 2013 and March 2014, the council placed 47 sibling groups into foster care, which involved 96 individual children.

Rates of child abductions < Manchester Evening News

Greater Manchester had nearly twice the national average rate of child abductions and kidnappings last year, the M.E.N. can reveal.

Police investigated 46 abductions and 20 kidnappings of children across the region between April 2013 and March this year.

The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act by charity Parents and Abducted Children Together (PACT), show that in 2013/14, GMP recorded 2.4 incidents of the crimes for every 100,000 people. The national average is 1.3.

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