The awful treatment of my terminally ill uncle.

By Mike Ashworth | September 30, 2014

This is an email sent by my sister to Adult Care Services in Bury regarding the treatment of my Uncle, who is terminally ill with cancer, at Burrswood House Nursing Home in Bury, which is owned by Bupa.

I have removed some of the names and replaced with x’s

Dear Sir / Madam

I am writing to you with concerns about the standard of care for my uncle David xxxxxx, aged 64, who is a resident in Burrswood House Nursing Home, Newton Street, Bury. He is terminally ill with cancer which has spread to his bones, chest, abdomen and liver.

When we visited on Sunday afternoon his bed was unmade, the nurse call buzzer was out of his reach, his clothes were unclean, his toilet room was filthy and he had not been shaved for days but all that paled into insignificance due to the level of pain he was in. He was in so much pain that he was crying and asking for a knife to stab himself as he could not stand it.

I spoke to the nurse named xxxxx who took the time to explain and discuss his analgesia with me and assured me it would be reviewed on Monday and indeed his GP visited yesterday and increased his morphine. I believe he also added in a relaxant. I am grateful for that but it is still not good enough as he is not being cared for.

He went to this home for 24 hour nursing / palliative care and to find him in such a state was heart-breaking. I was so upset about his level of pain and distress that I didn’t take it up with xxxxx re the other concerns.

I made his bed and tried to make him comfortable and tried to occupy his mind to try to take his focus off the pain he was in.

Carers were passing and must surely have noticed his bed was unmade? It was quarter past 2pm when we arrived to find him lying dishevelled on a bed with just a crumpled sheet at the bottom and not covering the mattress which meant he was lying on the mattress itself.

He has a close friend named xxx who is his former partner and she visits him regularly. She visited him later on Sunday (after we’d left) and also yesterday, and she spoke to xxxxx as well about his room being a mess, his bed unmade, David not receiving the care he needs and was informed that his level of care was being upped. It is totally unsatisfactory for this only to be done when concerns are raised – if he was being cared for properly his needs should be reassessed frequently and his care plan amended accordingly. xxx had to shave him on Sunday evening and she told me he had not been shaved since the Wednesday. This is neglect!

I had hoped that finding my uncle in such a state was an isolated incident but after speaking to xxx I find that she has regularly found his room a mess, his bed unmade and his care standards lacking. xxx has often had to give the care that the nursing home staff should have provided.

I have emailed a complaint to the Nursing Home earlier today and have flagged up my concerns with the Care Quality Commission but since then xxx has visited him again and found him totally naked! She had to wash him, dress him, shave him and make his bed yet again!

Last week, David telephoned my mother, his sister, in great distress to say he had been shouting for a nurse for a long time and could not reach his buzzer and no-one was coming. He had phoned my mum to ask if she could ring the home to tell them he needed attention. My mum rang the home but it was some time before she got an answer and he was still left in distress while this was happening. The nurse told my mum she was going to go to him – but you can appreciate that all this is really upsetting for his family and friends.

Today we find out that two of his friends visited him recently and were really shocked to find him in the state he was in and they told xxx they believed he should be moved.

We do not live locally, I live in St Helens and so does my mum and my brother. My mum is almost 86 and unable to travel via public transport to visit David.

We are all very upset that our loved one, a dying man, is being left in such distress and without the care he needs. We feel he should be moved somewhere where he can be cared for appropriately such as the Hospice.

Topics: greater manchester, lancashire, manchester, Society | No Comments »

What’s Going On In The Middle East

By Mike Ashworth | September 27, 2014

Confused? No need to be…..


Topics: politics, Society | No Comments »

James Coburn and The Rum Bastards Trailer

By Mike Ashworth | September 24, 2014

New trailer for forthcoming film James Coburn and The rum Bastards.

The trailer features lots of awesome northerners such as JB Barrington, Dave Spikey, Shaun Ryder, John Cooper Clarke, Clint Boon, Bez, Rick Witter, Neil Bell.

James Coburn and the Rum Bastards is a rockumentary about a fictional punk band that met in Strangeways prison in the 1980s. Their story is told through a succession of interviews, from the fictional band members and other fictional characters to established artists such as Clint Boon and John Cooper Clarke.

Film will be released early 2015.


Topics: Arts and Entertainment, manchester, north-west | No Comments »

Litter Enforcement Team Hit The Town Centre

By Mike Ashworth | September 11, 2014

The double standards exhibited by St Helens Council are astonishing.

Today I witnessed two gentleman in Church Street issue a lady with a fine for putting the butt of her cigarette on the floor after smoking.

Where else was she to put it? The cigarette tray on the bin in Church Street outside Boots was full and the bin that was damaged by a delivery vehicle months ago has never been replaced.

It appears to me that the two gentleman were making many notes about the littering in Church Street probably so they can work out how much money can be raised from this when more cuts come through in the next financial year.

Walk a few minutes to outside Town Hall and its a completely different story however… 5 litter bins within a stonesthrow of the building.

So you have to ask,  do they want to have a litter free environment (many bins outside town hall would suggest yes) or do they want to have a nice revenue stream from fining people £50 as the lady was today, when no places to dispose of litter are available.

It should also be noted that the two gentleman below, aside from wearing a top with a logo on had no other official ID, paperwork or anything  on display via a lanyard or similar.


The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 makes it an offence for a person, who an enforcement officer proposes to give a fixed penalty notice to, to fail to give their name and address when required to do so, or for them to give false or inaccurate name or address details.

If you refuse to give your details I understand they have the power to detain you until a police officer arrives.

The two gentleman would have been better employed approaching people who had just littered, telling them what they’d just done, and asking them to remedy the problem by picking up the litter and taking it with them. Unless of course they are employees of Xfor, who many Councils are using to “enforce” the littering policy.

Disclaimer. I hate litter as much as next person however I aslo loath double standards and councils who place obstacles in the way of litter prevention.

Update: I was in town earlier and thought I’d ahve a chat with one of the guys, the fellow on the right in the photo as it goes. The moment I stopped to chat to him one of the other “enforcement” team joined him, perhaps they thought I was going to kick off, who knows. What I can tell you is this. I’m a big lad, yet I felt a little intimadted by their demeanour. Now imagine if that were women they were approaching? Interestingly I and my friend have only observed them giving “tickets” to women, not men, not young groups of lads etc.

Also, the fine is not £50 it is £75. It is £50 if you pay it within 10 days I believe.

The chap I spoke to said everyone in St Helens knows about this “zero tolerance” policy. It’s been in the paper, on social media. Really? I asked a few people and nobody recalls hearing about it.

He said that he’d much prefer not to have to do this and instead for the town to be free of litter. Hmmmm, i’m not convinced, it’s a fantastic revenue stream for the council. If they issue 30 tickets a day, thats over £800,000 per year. Nice!




Topics: merseyside, north-west, politics, Society, st helens | No Comments »

The Council’s Focus

By Mike Ashworth | September 9, 2014

Today I noted that St Helens Council are flying the Scottish Flag, the Saltire, above the town hall. Time and care and attention has been taken to do this.



Within a stonesthrow of the Town Hall in Hardshaw Street we have this eyesore (and it smells).


I find it rather disappointing that the Politics of Scotland are deemed a greater importance than the streets of our Town Centre, especially as the Council have recently introduced new teams to deal with rubbish.

Topics: merseyside, north-west, politics, Society, st helens | No Comments »

Littering in St Helens

By Mike Ashworth | August 7, 2014

Following on from the news story yesterday where it was announced that people who litter will be fined I’ve been thinking about how this might pan out.

I suspect that many of the people who litter many not be in a position to pay a fine, so rather than makes their lives more of a misery, or the taxpayer footing the bill for their inability to pay, I have a solution.

They can work off the fine by giving x hours to the town on a voluntary basis.

“What will they be doing” I hear you thinking.

Picking up litter, that’s what they’ll be doing.


Topics: merseyside, north-west, Society, st helens | No Comments »

Headlines you never hear in the news

By Mike Ashworth | August 6, 2014

“200 killed today when atheist rebels took heavy shelling from agnostic stronghold in the north”

Doug Stanhope

Topics: Fun, Society | No Comments »

Wardens to hit St Helens litterbugs with fines.

By Mike Ashworth | August 6, 2014

Story in St Helens Star today.

Environmental wardens with the power to fine litterbugs on the spot will start patrolling the borough later this month.

The wardens are being introduced as part of a drive by St Helens Council to bring tougher sanctions on those leaving litter and dog fouling.

The size of the fines is not yet determined but it is believed they could amount to £60.

As the Star reported last week, a staggering £1.8million was spent by the council last year on clearing up dropped litter in the borough. The Star’s mailbag and email accounts have also been bulging with readers complaints over the amount of litter being dropped in the town centre and at beauty spots across the borough.

The town centre remains a hot topic of debate and a common concern is that street rubbish that builds throughout the day leaves it appearing dirty by the evening.

Remainder of story here


I have no problem with things that might reduce amount of litter dropped however the Council are also culpable in this matter. They removed a litter bin from an area of Town Centre where lots of peopel stop to eat etc, resulting in more litter. This was reported to them in June and I received an email from the Council acknowledging receipt of the report. Still nothing has been done.

I got in touch with Council Leader Barrie Grunewald and Cllr Seve Gomez-Aspron and was told the following.









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