29/09/2010

Other UK News In Brief

Four Jailed Attempting To Defraud Vulnerable

Four men have been jailed at Maidstone Crown Court after attempting to defraud vulnerable elderly people of thousands of pounds. The scam was identified following an operation by the Met's London Crime Squad in conjunction with Trading Standards Regional Fraud Unit (Scambusters). The defendants all pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation when they appeared at the court during an earlier hearing. Peter Gilheney, 27, from Romford, was sentenced to a total of seven years imprisonment while James Casey, 30, from Potters Bar, was sentenced to two years. Both Patrick O'Driscoll, 36, from Potters Bar and Francis Dunne, 24, from London, were sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment. They were arrested by the Met's London Crime Squad who had carried out an undercover investigation after receiving intelligence that the gang were targeting the homes of elderly vulnerable people, falsely claiming that they required urgent and expensive repair work to their properties.

Hazard Healthcheck To Benefit West Yorkshire Workers

More than 500 businesses in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield will be the focus of an intensive two-week safety push when the Health and Safety Executive joins forces with local councils to carry out a hazard healthcheck. Twenty-four workers were fatally injured at work and 2,840 received major injuries in the Yorkshire & Humber region during 2008/09. From Monday 4 October HSE and local authority inspectors will be visiting businesses to see first-hand what health and safety practices are in place to protect employees and to ensure that relevant legislation is being followed. John Rowe, a Principal Inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, said: “This targeted inspection campaign involves HSE and local councils working together to really make a difference. Companies will be given the support and advice they need to turn their workplaces into safer, healthier working environments for the benefit of their employees and members if the public. However, we won’t hesitate to take enforcement action should we come across any significant safety breaches putting people at real risk.”

Swine Flu Patients Benefited From Tamiflu, Says Study

A study in China has concluded that healthy people who caught swine flu during the 2009 pandemic may have been protected against developing pneumonia by taking the antiviral drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir). The researchers show that oseltamivir treatment was associated with shorter duration of fever and viral RNA shedding (the period when a virus is contagious), although they stress that their findings should be interpreted with caution. In 2009, pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus spread rapidly, resulting in millions of cases and over 18,000 deaths in over 200 countries. Trials carried out on seasonal flu viruses have shown that taking antiviral drugs within 48 hours of symptom onset can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms, and possibly the risk of complications. However, the extent to which antivirals may benefit otherwise healthy individuals with mild 2009 H1N1 infection, remains unknown. Researchers encourage the continuing investigation into the effectiveness of antiviral treatment “to allow for improvement both in clinical treatment and public health guidance.”

(BMcN)


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