In this issue... Talc Pleurodesis Liverpool NHS Trust fined for asbestos failings Sue Ryder Charity Profile

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1 Issue 9 May 2015 In this issue... Talc Pleurodesis Liverpool NHS Trust fined for asbestos failings Sue Ryder Charity Profile

2 Contents 2 Social Media Trending news 3 Shoulder Pain An early sign of mesothelioma? 4 Talc Pleurodesis An improved mesothelioma survival predictor? 5 Blog Liverpool NHS Trust fined for asbestos failings 6 Case Study Justice won against Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council 8 Armley The UK s Deadliest District - Part 8 9 Testimonials Charity Profile Sue Ryder 10 Benefit Entitlements Pension Credit 11 Treatment Centres Finding asbestos disease treatment centres across the UK Welcome Last month, The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act Asbestos Justice takes a further look into the case. Shoulder pain, although a common daily ache for many, could indicate early signs of mesothelioma. Read more on Dr Lorkowki s latest study on page 3. In addition, a new study by the University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy, found Talc Pleurodsesis to be a strong indicator in predicting mesothelioma survival rates (page 4). Last but certainly not least, we are proud to present Sue Ryder, a charity for people with life changing illnesses providing personalised support and care, on page 9. We sincerely hope you enjoy this month s issue. Thank you for reading and keep sharing! Helena Cameron Helena Cameron. Asbestos Justice Associate Director Social Media Who to Follow... Subscribe If you would like to subscribe to our FREE Justice newsletter, please Contribute If you would like to share your story with us, or contribute towards our next issue of Justice, please Twitter Sue Ryder We provide incredible hospice and neurological care. Keith Kelly Dartford Borough & Stone Parish Councillor, tweets are all mine and not the views of Dartford Borough Council nor Stone Parish Council.#asbestosawareness St Luke s Hospice St Luke s Hospice cares for more than three thousand people each year at home, in hospital and hospice from across Plymouth, South West Devon and East Cornwall. Facebook Pages Sue Ryder At Sue Ryder, we believe that life s a journey. And on that journey people can face huge challenges. We help people to live through life changing illnesses by providing personalised support and care. Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust Plymouth Hospitals is the largest hospital trust in the south west peninsula and is a teaching trust in partnership with the Peninsula Medical School. We provide services for patients at Derriford Hospital, the Royal Eye Infirmary and the Child Development Centre

3 Shoulder Pain An early sign of mesothelioma? At Asbestos Justice we are always alarmed to hear of the variety of debilitating symptoms our mesothelioma compensation clients suffer with. As well as significant shortness of breath, coughing, weight loss, tiredness, chest pain, our clients also often complain of shoulder pain. A new Polish study carried out has shown that the onset of shoulder pain can be seen as an early sign of the incurable asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma. The research carried out by Dr Lorkowski at the Central Clinical Hospital in Warsaw between 2006 and 2012 involved studying the medical records of 49 mesothelioma sufferers which showed that over 14% of patients complained of shoulder pain as their very first symptom of asbestos related mesothelioma. Initially, most sufferers advised that their shoulder pain was quite mild with an average severity on a medical scale of 1 to 10. However, 5 of the 7 patients who confirmed the onset of some form of shoulder pain also complained of restricted movement in their shoulders. One patient actually complained of very restricted movements affecting the shoulder which was describe as being at an advanced stage. 2 of the 7 patients were also found to be suffering with neuralgia, a stabbing or burning pain sensation that presents itself as a result of damaged nerves. Whilst the Polish experts reported that shoulder pain can often accompany early-stage mesothelioma, what is far from clear is why the pain arises in the first place. Pleural asbestos related mesothelioma develops on the thin membrane which surrounds the lungs and eventually restricts the sufferer s ability to breathe comfortably, igniting more common symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain and coughing. In relation to the shoulder pain, the medical team concluded that mesothelioma may have what is known as a pleiotropic effect on the body, which means that this can impact upon unrelated body systems such as the motor and nervous systems. Those who have been exposed to asbestos in the past will be wise to monitor their health and should any shoulder pain or other symptoms develop, we would advise reporting to a GP or medical practitioner for further guidance. If you or a family member have concerns over asbestos exposure, contact Asbestos Justice on for expert legal advice. 3

4 Talc Pleurodesis An improved mesothelioma survival predictor? At Asbestos Justice we commonly find that our mesothelioma clients are often referred by their treating medical teams for a procedure known as a Talc Pleurodesis (TP). TP is often used by medical experts to prevent the build up of fluid that is present in patients who suffer with asbestos related mesothelioma. Build up of this fluid is known as a pleural effusion and this is often drained. Post drainage, the space between the thin membrane layers known as the pleura is filled with talc. This acts as a chemical irritant which results in inflammation and fibrosis. In turn, this then closes off the pleural cavity to restrict the fluid s ability to collect there, thus, hopefully, increasing lung expansion and reducing restriction on the lungs. It is thought that a patient s response to the procedure could be an improved predictor of survival when compared to identifying the subtype or stage of the incurable asbestos disease, according to Annals of Thoracic Surgery. The recently published Italian study, prepared by Ottavio Rena and a number of pathologists and thoracic surgeons involved the review of 172 mesothelioma sufferers who underwent what is often considered to be a painful and uncomfortable procedure. Amazingly, the study reported that 146 of the 172 mesothelioma sufferers reviewed had complete expansion of their lungs when they were discharged from hospital following their TP. Unfortunately, such positive affects did not persist for as many as 3 months later, only 85 patients were found to have fully expanded lungs. The average survival for all patients who were reviewed totalled 11 and a half months. The author of the study based at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy stated:- Persistent lung expansion after pleural talc poudrage and absence of fluid recurrence is demonstrated to be a stronger factor in predicting survival than clinical stage and other clinical variables. Whilst persistent lung expansion was noted to be the greatest predictor of outcomes for the mesothelioma patients, many other factors were also found to play a role in survival. Sufferers with the non-epithelioid form of mesothelioma, later stage cancer, higher platelet counts and poorer overall health had the shortest prognosis. In cases where mesothelioma clients have undergone TP, this often results in an inflation of the value of a mesothelioma compensation claim. Awards for sufferers who have undergone TP are usually higher than those who did not undergo the surgery due to the added pain and suffering associated with the procedure. If you, a family member or colleague are concerned about asbestos exposure, contact Asbestos Justice on for expert legal advice

5 Liverpool NHS Trust Fined for asbestos failings Last month an NHS Trust in Liverpool was fined for breaches of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act at Work etc. Act They were ordered to pay costs of 696 along with a fine of 10,000. The case was heard at Liverpool Magistrate s Court and it was found that the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust had failed to act following a survey of offices at Derwent House on London Road. Following the hearing, Imran Siddiqui, a HSE Inspector said; The survey, which was carried out in 2006, identified an area in the basement of the offices which may have contained asbestos. It was recommended that the area be properly assessed. This was not done, despite the area regularly being visited by workers in order to access patient records. In January 2013, an NHS Trust health and safety manager became aware of damage to an unused goods lift in the basement. The lift doors were found to contain asbestos, causing risk to anyone accessing the basement whilst carrying out their work duties. Following the discovery of asbestos in the lift doors, a further survey was carried out and asbestos fibres were found in several different areas of the office basement. The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety Around 4,000 people die every year as a result of breathing in asbestos fibres, making it the biggest single cause of work related deaths in the UK. The Trust, in line with the 2006 survey, should have assumed asbestos was present in an area of the basement and taken appropriate action to make it safe for people working there. Instead, workers were allowed to regularly visit the basement to access patient files increasing the risk of exposure to the potentially deadly fibres. If you are concerned that a building contains asbestos you should contact a licensed asbestos contractor who will deal with any asbestos in the appropriate way. Do not disturb any suspected asbestos as this can release fibres into the air. If you, a family member or colleague are concerned over asbestos exposure, contact Asbestos Justice on for expert legal advice. 5

6 Case Study Justice won against Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council Asbestos Justice recently settled a claim for a client who sadly lost her husband to asbestos related mesothelioma on 13th March Mr. J served his apprenticeship as a painter and decorator with his local council which eventually came to be known as Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. The apprenticeship lasted a full five years. He worked on a full-time basis for the council and regularly came into contact with asbestos during the course of his work. Part of his work involved having to prepare surfaces before painting them, some of which contained asbestos within them for fireproofing purposes. These included prefab panels, ceiling tiles and guttering. The Mr. J had regular cause to use sand paper to sand the surfaces down before painting them. This resulted in much asbestos dust being released into the atmosphere which he could not help but inhale. During the early part of his working life he also had regular cause to mix raw asbestos powder with water in a bucket to be applied as a form of fireproofed coating to ceilings in the main or which was mixed directly with floor paint which he would then use for coating floors and other surfaces. As he poured the raw asbestos powder into the bucket, a vast amount of asbestos dust would be released into the atmosphere which he inhaled.he would use a stick to mix the coating into a paste like mixture which he would then spread onto the ceilings of the council houses and buildings he worked on. It was used in this way to create a nice finish on the ceilings and to fireproof the ceilings. It was common for him to use asbestos during his apprenticeship as he was given the dirty jobs to do as a youngster. He would be covered from head to toe in asbestos dust by the end of the working day. During the course of his apprenticeship with the council, Mr. J worked mainly on post Second World War council houses and asbestos manufactured prefabricated houses. Not only did he experience exposure directly as a result of the work he carried out he would also be present next to others on occasion who were in the process of cutting up asbestos insulation boards and panels. They would sometimes be working in the same areas as Mr. J as he attended to his preparation and painting duties. As the other workers, which included joiners and labourers, cut through the boards and panels, some asbestos dust would be released into the atmosphere which he and his colleagues inhaled when nearby. He would also be required to brush down all surfaces prior to painting which resulted in him coming into close contact with asbestos dust. Workers around Mr. J used hand saws in those days to do the sawing and the asbestos dust and debris would cover the floor which Mr. J and his colleagues would walk through throughout the course of the working day which resulted in him breathing in the harmful fibres once more. Mr. J also regularly sanded down asbestos guttering, fascias and soffits before painting this. When sanding the guttering, some asbestos dust would be released into the atmosphere which he inhaled. Further exposure to asbestos 1988/89 to 1994/95 Mr. J was not only exposed to asbestos during the early part of his working life, he also suffered exposure to asbestos during the latter phases of his career and this case highlights how workers could still come into contact with asbestos to this day when encountering old buildings and structures which have a legacy of asbestos within their own construction. During this period of time Mr. J worked for Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council as a full-time painter and decorator and this work brought him into regular contact with asbestos materials. Whilst Mr. J was employed in the Highways department, it was common for his work to crossover with work in the Building Section. The two painting roles were essentially inter-related and as a result Mr. J was asked on numerous occasions to cover painting jobs in the Building Section when there was a shortage of staff due to sickness or when larger contracts had to be completed. Invaluable Family Witness Appeal Helpful evidence has provided by Mr. J s son who could recall his father working on tall ships when they visited the river Mersey. He worked for many weeks on the old dock buildings in Wallasey sanding and painting the huge warehouse doors and panels. Mr. J informed his son of the amount of asbestos panels that had been used to repair the old doors and he used to be covered in dust every evening. This could be seen in his hair, eyebrows and nostrils. He advised that it was from the asbestos sheeting. He would have to sand down these huge surface areas down which resulted in the asbestos dust covering him from head to toe. He inhaled the asbestos dust on a daily basis on this contract. On many occasions, during conversations around the dinner table, he would inform his family of where he had been sent to work that day as resource cover. Most of these work places involved the preparation and painting of old schools or buildings. He often mentioned the

7 word asbestos. Many of the schools and buildings he worked on have now been demolished and new modern buildings stand in their place. Mr. J s son remembers his father working at the following locations for the council when he had cause to sand down the asbestos made surfaces himself :- Mr. J also had cause to work on houses which were council owned prefab houses, which had asbestos present within their construction. Mr. J would have to rub down the asbestos materials before they could be painted. He would use sanding paper to do this and the whole process was time consuming. As a result of doing this work he regularly breathed in harmful amounts of asbestos dust which came from the asbestos panels. Schools : Liscard primary School, Leasowe School, Manor Lane School, St Georges School, Caldy Old School, Schools in West Kirkby, Upton, Moreton and Hoylake During the early part of this second period with the council he also had regular cause to scrape old Artex off walls and ceilings. As he scraped or prepared these textured surfaces, a vast amount of asbestos dust would be released into the atmosphere which he inhaled. On some occasions he would be covered from head to toe in asbestos dust by the end of the working day when completing the Artexing preparation and painting work. Colleges and Housing Estates Withens Lane College, Leasowe Estate, Other Buildings Wallasey Dock Warehouse Buildings, Wallasey Council Offices, Wallasey and Birkenhead Town Halls. Mr. J s son did not recall his father ever being supplied with adequate respiratory protection by the council nor was he ever made aware of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos. This was one of the first cases to encounter problems caused by HMRC s change of policy in refusing to disclose deceased persons work histories without sight of a court order. It is hoped that this case will place others on notice of the dangers of working with asbestos materials in the painting and decorating industry where workers may encounter a legacy of asbestos materials on older sites. White asbestos was not banned in the UK until 1999 and therefore in theory, painters and decorators and other workers may be subjected to asbestos exposure on buildings built prior to the year At Asbestos Justice, we prepared the relevant application to the court which resulted in the work history being disclosed by HMRC. This acted as evidence of Mr. J s employment with the council during the latter period and after some debate, the council eventually agreed to settle the claim for the widow s benefit for a sum of 145, Image credit: Wallasey Town by Rept0n1x. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons Source and Credit: Asbestorama (Flickr) 7

8 Armley - The UK s Deadliest District (Part 8) The Turner Brothers In 1871, three brothers called John, Robert and Samuel Turner formed The Turner Brothers. Their factory was the world s first and largest asbestos factory based in Spotland, Rochdale. By 1879, they had become the UK s first factory to weave asbestos into cloth. This ultimately led to the company s change in name to Turner Brothers Asbestos Company. In 1920, the Turner Brothers merged with 4 asbestos manufacturers; J. W. Roberts Ltd, Turner Brothers Asbestos Company Ltd, Newalls Insulation Company Ltd and Washington Chemical Company Ltd. The merge formed Turner & Newell and by 1925 they became a public company. The following year T&N began showing an interest in the asbestos mine at Havelock in Bulembu based in the Kingdom of Swaziland, South Africa. This mining site was finally acquired and operated from in 1939 up until 2001 when it fell into liquidation. Unfortunately many workers in the mine had begun to experience painful sickness in their lungs. Further investigation showed that workers weren t given full protection whilst working in the mines. In 1931, J. W. Roberts began to develop T&N s largest and most successful export; Sprayed Limpet Asbestos. This was made by mixing crocidolite with a binding agent and then pressure sprayed onto various surfaces to improve sound insulation qualities. Many buildings such as schools, churches and even the London Underground were showered with sprayed limpet asbestos. The building used for testing the limpet spray still stands today, derelict, behind the J. W. Roberts factory. Their luck came when they took over operation of the Bell Mine in Thethford, Quebec, Canada in Two years following, T&N acquired US Company Keasbey and Mattison, Pennsylvania. They became T&N s main distributors of Sprayed Limpet Asbestos throughout the US until they fell into liquidation in uks-deadliest-town

9 Testimonials Mesothelioma Testimonial I tragically lost my husband to asbestos related mesothelioma. He came into contact with asbestos when working in the garage trade. Another legal team rejected my case due to being unable to locate insurers for the garage. James Cameron successfully pursued an insurer after gathering evidence from people that worked at the garage at the time. I cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work. I have had a brilliant outcome to my case and feel sure you can continue to help families like my own who have lost a loved one and need legal advice and guidance. Keep up your brilliant work. Mrs. T. Asbestosis Testimonial Thank you for my damages cheque which arrived today. May I express again how greatly impressed I have been with the expeditious and sympathetic way you have dealt with my claim. My wife and I could not be more grateful. We were particularly impressed with your personal interest and caring approach throughout. I do not see how it could be possible for you to improve your level of service which was of the highest order and I would be more than happy to recommend Asbestos Justice to anyone else who has the misfortune of being diagnosed with asbestosis. Mr. R, Bristol. We provide incredible hospice and neurological care for people facing a frightening, life-changing diagnosis. It s not just expert medical care we provide. It s the emotional support and practical things we take care of too. We do whatever we can to be a safety net for our patients and their loved ones. Not only do we treat more conditions than any other UK charity in our hospices, neurological care centres and out in the community; we also campaign to improve the lives of people living with them. We see the person, not the condition, taking time to understand the small things that help that person live the fullest life they can. One in four of us are affected by conditions such as cancer; heart failure; dementia; acquired brain injury; multiple sclerosis; Huntington s disease and motor neurone disease. Whether it s volunteering, running a fundraising event or making a donation, we need your support so we can be there for people at the most difficult time of their lives. At Sue Ryder we re passionate about giving people the care they want. That is why we: push the boundaries do the right thing make our future together Some people believe that once you have a lifechanging illness, there s little left. We don t. We believe it s the beginning of a new stage of life. A challenging one, true. Our care is personal We start with the person as an individual with their strengths, characteristics, preferences and aspirations. Then we help them to be at the centre of the process of identifying their needs. We do this, so they re enabled to make choices about how and when they re supported to live their lives. We are local We re in local communities across the country. We re concentrating our resources so we can find innovative ways to support people. Offering them choices about where they can receive their care. This can be in our residential centres, day centres or day clinics, in the community or in people s own homes. We re also joining up our community of supporters, shops and volunteers to make our presence stronger than it s ever been before. Website: Full credit to Sue Ryder 9

10 Benefit Entitlements There are numerous state benefits which you may be able to claim if your asbestos related disease was caused whilst in employment. For Expert advice call Pension Credit What is it? Pension Credit comes in two different forms, Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Guarantee Credit This can be awarded to people who are living in Great Britain and are over the age of 60 and tops up weekly income if it is below if you are single or for couples. Savings Credit This can be awarded to people who are living in Great Britain, are over the age of 65 and have made some provision to their retirement, for instance, a second pension or savings. You can receive weekly amounts of up to if you are single and if you have a partner. You may well receive more if you are a carer for a person who suffers with an asbestos related illness. Am I eligible to claim and how is Pension Credit calculated? In order to qualify to receive Guarantee Credit you must live in Great Britain and you or your partner must have reached pension credit qualifying age. The relevant age has gradually gone up to 66 in line with the increase in State Pension age. In order to qualify to receive Savings Credit, either you or your partner must be aged 65 or over, or you must live together. There is no requirement for you to be married or in a civil partnership. If you move to live abroad, you will not be eligible to claim Pension Credit. The Pension Service will look into your income figures which will include reference to the following:- State Pension Other social security benefits including Carer s Allowance Your savings and investments worth over 10, The following are not included when the Pension Service assesses your Pension Credit application:- Attendance Allowance Disability Living Allowance Housing Benefit Christmas Bonus Council tax benefit How to Claim You will need your National Insurance number details when applying along with your bank or building society account details as well as details of your income to include any savings or investments. You can claim backdated Pension Credit for up to 3 months. You can complete the relevant form, PC1 online or send this through the post. The following link will help:- dg_ pdf Alternatively, you can call the Pension Service helpline on from Monday to Friday between 8:00am and 6:00pm. Credit:

11 Treatment Centres If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, finding the right help can be difficult. We advise speaking to your own medical team when considering the most appropriate treatment options. There are many specialist hospitals and treatment centres providing specialist services. To help begin your search, we have compiled a list of treatment and trial centres for asbestos diseases. Christie Hospital NHS Trust 550 Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX. Telephone: The Christie Hospital NHS Trust is the largest single-site cancer treatment centre in Europe, and offers services including diagnosis, treatment and general care for cancer patients, as well as cancer education. Website: Papworth Hospital Papworth Everard, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 8RE. Telephone: Papworth Hospital is the largest international specialist Cardiothoracic (heart and lung) hospital in the UK and includes the country s main heart and lung transplant centre. Also provides a Mesothelioma support service. Website: Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital Aldermaston Road, Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NA. Telephone: Centre for specialist treatment of Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Home to Consultant Colorectal Surgeon Dr. Faheez Mohamed and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (chemo bath). Website: The Royal Marsden Hospital Fulham Road, London, Greater London SW3 6JJ. Telephone: The Royal Marsden, together with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), is designated as the UK s only National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) dedicated solely to cancer. Provides both trials and treatments. Website: Contact form online Glenfield Hospital Groby Road, Leicester, Leicestershire. LE3 9QP Telephone: Respiratory and Cardiothoracic Centre, Mesothelioma Centre and home to Mesothelioma UK and Professor Dean Fennell. The specialist lung cancer centre has excellent lung cancer survival rates and an extremely active research programme. Website: Derriford Hospital Derriford Rd, Plymouth, Devon PL6 8DH Telephone: Derriford Hospital is a large teaching hospital in Plymouth. It is one of three hospitals approved to conduct Mesothelioma trials. Website: Contact form online Guy s Hospital St. Thomas Street, London, Greater London SE1 9RT. Telephone: Guy s Hospital offers some of the top cancer specialists in the country, the very latest state-of-the-art facilities and pioneering treatments, thanks to their extensive research programmes. Website: St. Bartholomew s Hospital West Smithfield, London, Greater London EC1A 7BE. Telephone: St. Bartholomew s Hospital (Barts), is a leading, internationally renowned teaching hospital based in the City of London. It is the centre for Mesothelioma research (UK wide). Home to Dr. Rudd and Jeremy Steele (Chairman of Mesothelioma UK). Website: Contact form online 11

12 Asbestos Justice, Douglas House, 117 Foregate Street Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1HE Rest assured, you re in safe hands. Keep in touch on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Connect with us on LinkedIn: Asbestos Justice is a trading style of Oliver & Co Solicitors Ltd Douglas House, 117 Foregate Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1HE. Telephone

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