Archives for December 2008

Should the NHS pay for botched plastic surgery?

Melanie Grant - One Show team | 12:02 UK time, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

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Lucy Siegle's been investigating the rising trend of people travelling abroad to get cheap cosmetic surgery, now dubbed Surgery Safaris.

Discount prices are the main pull but according to The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) nearly a quarter of their surgeons have treated such patients with complications, after having surgery abroad.


Is surgery something worth scrimping on?


Lucy met two ladies, who have both had very different experiences from a Surgery Safari.


Sharon Whitehead was estatic after her recent breast reduction in Tunisia, and feels that for her this was the only option. However Dawn Cracknell's tummy tuck for under £3,000 in the Czech Republic, had very different results. She was left in excruciating pain and a life threatening blod clot.


Dawn is now waiting for another operation, this time with the NHS in the UK, treating her post-procedure complications.


So what happens when things go wrong?


Professor Simon Kay a Consultant Plastic Surgeon from Leeds General expressed his concerns to Lucy about aftercare for patients. He believes when patients experience post surgery complications from an operation abroad, more often than not, it's the NHS that has to pick up the tab.


Is this extra cost and pressure something, the already overstretched NHS, should be footing? Won't everyone else suffer as a result?


Some argue that the people who really are disadvantaged by these returning botch jobs, are the patients who need cosmetic surgery for medical reasons for example, burns victims, people with disfigurements and those needing reconstructive surgery after cancer.


Should those who go abroad to cut the costs of plastic surgery be made to shoulder the costs when things go wrong?

Should the police carry stun guns?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 18:09 UK time, Monday, 15 December 2008

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Our police are one of the few in the world who don't regularly carry guns. But in potentially life threatening situations they still need to regain control and stop dangerous behaviour in its tracks.


After trials of 50,000-volt Taser stun guns, the Home Office has recently announced plans to put up £8million worth of funding to introduce 10,000 more of the stun guns for use in all police forces throughout England and Wales. Up until now only specially trained firearms officers could use them - but the funding means that soon up to 30,000 officers on the beat could be trained in their use.


Anita Rani followed up on the announcement. The police representatives she spoke to are keen on their introduction - as they believe the stun guns are effective in violent situations and that the weapon has "a very very low risk of injury".


But Amnesty International are sceptical of the scheme - their research suggests that more than three hundred people have died in America as a result of being Tasered. They say that they are worried about handing out potentially lethal electro shock weapons to non specialist officers because that's when misuse is likely to happen.


Should the police carry stun guns? Have your say below.

Is there a problem with children?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:12 UK time, Thursday, 11 December 2008

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All year we've been subjected to horrendous stories about the abuse, neglect of and general lawlessness of young people. Statistics suggest we've never had a more negative view of children than we do today.


Half of the 2,021 adults interviewed recently by YouGov for Barnado's felt that children were increasingly a danger to others.


About 54% of the adults questioned thought that British children were "beginning to behave like animals".


More than a third of those surveyed also agreed that "it feels like the streets are infested" with children, while 43% said something had to be done to protect adults.


For The One Show, Anita Rani has been to see some of the major children's organisations - some of whom think society as a whole radically needs to rethink its attitude and behaviour towards children.


Barnardo's has spoken out and blamed the media for whipping up hostility to children.


But the Daily Mail's Stephen Glover questioned whether the media encourages older people to hate children. He told Anita that the "gap between children and adults is wider now than it has been."


And "The family is much less strong in this country than it was 25 or 50 years ago... there are lots of causes... too easy divorce... too much promiscuity... these are things that are chipping away at the unity of the family."

See also: 11 Million - the website of the Children's Commissioner for England (external website).


Do you believe that children are "beginning to behave like animals"? What causes our negative view of children? Or are children the same as they've ever been? Have your say in the comment box, below.

Should police chase targets before criminals?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 14:53 UK time, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

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Funding for the police is higher than ever before and most crime rates are actually down. But public confidence in the forces is down too, according to surveys, and it's the law-abiding who most often feel coppers are no longer on their side.


Police at workHelen Newlove, widow of the murdered Gary Newlove believes it's the police system of trying to hit "targets" that is to blame. She feels the police should have been there for the earlier problems in their neighbourhood (though she does not fault them for their response on the night of Gary's death).


Helen: "It's the system they have in place, it's all targeted and they need to be more of a public service, not run as a business. We need the police to be there for us."


For The One Show, Justin Rowlatt looked at a response to public dissatisfaction with the police. Four forces; Leicestershire, Surrey, Staffordshire and West Midlands are involved in a pilot scheme to try to raise public confidence, named "Common Sense Policing". It essentially means that police are no longer are compelled to make arrests for every crime they come across. Supporters believe it cuts red tape and frees the police up to tackle more important crimes.


But there are opposing voices. Criminologist Elaine Campbell told Justin that she is worried about the fairness of the scheme - that it gives the police on the streets too much discretionary power. That it allows the police "to be judge and jury on a street level basis".


What do you think? Should the "Common Sense Policing" scheme be rolled out across the country? Was policing better when officers had more discretionary powers? Add your comment.

Is it ever right to wear real fur?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 13:21 UK time, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

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Despite continual protests from campaigners, sales of animal fur have risen.

It remains fashion's biggest taboo but whether we like it or not, fur can be seen on fashion catwalks around the world and is being worn by the rich and famous.


Are our attitudes changing? Is it ever right to wear real fur?

Adrian and Christine like to read out comments that feature your first name and location - so please add this info to your comments. Thank you.

Are we living in a surveillance society?

Justin Rowlatt - | 17:48 UK time, Monday, 8 December 2008

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On tonight's programme I report on how the Police are using cars rigged with cameras and other high-tech gear to catch thieves. It seems to work - car crime in West Yorkshire fell by a fifth during the six months it was being tried out.


I reckon most people would reckon it was a pretty reasonable way to get convictions for often very persistent criminals and it is just one way that the Police are making use of new technology.


You've probably heard of Automatic Number Plate Recognition - cameras that can read number plates and then check them against Police databases to see if the cars are wanted for any reason.  Again, it sounds pretty innocuous doesn't it?


What I didn't realise was just how widespread the technology is.  A couple of weeks ago I was filming with the Police for another One Show item.  The patrol car we were in had a camera fixed to the rear window.  It turns out it was also part of the ANPR system. 


Sure enough, within a couple of minutes we'd clocked a couple of cars driving without tax.  What astonished me was that all the data it collects goes back to the databases and is stored for 5 years.  And I mean all the data - every single car!


And what's more there are now thousands of ANPR capable cameras.  Most of our towns and cities now have ANPR cameras on all main roads. When the network is complete it will record up to 50m number plates a day.


Think what that means.  Every time you pass one of these cameras there is a record.  If you drive from Leicester to Manchester, say, you might pass tens or even hundreds of them.


There's no question that this is really powerful technology for the police.  A number of murders have been solved because they could show that the murderer was near where the victim was picked up or where the body was dumped. 


The question is whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Do you think technology like this means we are living in a surveillance society, that Big Brother is watching us?  Alternatively do you think that anything that can help the Police catch murderers and other criminals has to be worth having?


I think it is a really tough call, please tell us what you think.
Are we living in a surveillance society?

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In debt? Is sale and rent back the answer?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:09 UK time, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

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For The One Show, Dom Littlewood has been looking at sale and rent back firms.

They offer financially-troubled homeowners an alternative to repossession. The idea is that you sell your house and then rent it back from the new owners - so you never actually have to leave your home behind.


But Dom found that sale and rent back can be a costly business, and it seems that The Office of Fair Trading agrees with him. They've accused rogue firms of exploiting vulnerable householders and taking advantage of a serious lack of regulation.


Dom met Susan Tanner. The sale and rent back deal she thought would save her family home from repossession went badly wrong. She believes that she was taken advantage of when she needed help the most, as the firm subtracted thousands in fees and a "security deposit". And then, after selling her home and renting it back, Mrs Tanner worst fears came true as her home was repossessed because the new owners couldn't keep up the mortgage repayments.


Throughout that painful process Susan Tanner thought she was dealing with a company called Home Assured Ltd. Turned out it was actually its director who'd bought her house. The company haven't responded to our many requests for them to explain themselves. They're now being investigated by Trading Standards - and Susan is taking legal action against the director and the company.


Dom's warning: "With repossession looming over so many households a sale and rent back provider might seem like the answer to your prayers. Don't rush into it. Before you sign your house away speak to a debt charity or your mortgage provider because you could end up with virtually nothing."


See also: There's a list of recommendations for homeowners considering a sale and rent back scheme on the BBC news website.


Other sources of consumer advice include:
Citizens Advice Bureau and the government's Consumer Direct.


Has a sale and rent back deal worked for you? What are your experiences? Click here to add your comment.

Is A&E a drop-in for drinkers?

Melanie Grant - One Show team | 15:33 UK time, Monday, 1 December 2008

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When most of us are winding down ready for the weekend, the country's emergency services are gearing up for the busiest time of the week.


While they're trained to deal with life and death situations, come the weekend, a large proportion of their time is likely to be spent dealing with cases that are alcohol-related.


Anita Rani spent 24 hours with Leicester's emergency service workers. She witnessed some of the challenges they face and saw just how stretched they can become.


At the A&E department in the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Anita met Adam, who after a few beers and a fall, couldn't fully recall what had actually happened to him.


While on the streets with Leicestershire Constabulary's own violence and disorder unit, Anita saw how officers try to stop trouble before it starts.


Is Britain's boozing culture draining the resources out of our emergency services? Do the Brits need alcohol to have a good time?

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