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Last month, The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. 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 Signature

 

Helena Cameron. Asbestos Justice Associate Director


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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 Hospital 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 Infi rmary and the Child Development Centre.

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St Luke’s Hospice (@StLukesPlymouth)
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.

Keith Kelly (@CllrKeithKelly)
Dartford Borough & Stone Parish Councillor, tweets are all mine and not the views of Dartford Borough Council nor Stone Parish Council.#asbestosawareness

Sue Ryder (@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.


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Shoulder Pain

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 0800 038 6767 for expert legal advice.


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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.

See more testimonials here.


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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 0800 038 6767 for expert legal advice.


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Royal Hospital main entrance

Last month an NHS Trust in Liverpool was fined for breaches of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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.

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 at Work etc. Act 1974. They were ordered to pay costs of £696 along with a fine of £10,000.

Following the hearing, Imran Siddiqui, a HSE Inspector said;

“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.


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Asbestos Justice recently settled a claim for a client who sadly lost her husband to asbestos related mesothelioma on 13th March 2013.

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 5 years. He worked on a full-time basis for the council and did come into contact with asbestos during the course of his work.

Asbestos Exposure at 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. 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.

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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 fibers 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. 

Read the full story here.

 


 

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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 sight 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 1934. 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 1963.

Read the full story here.


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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 0800 038 6767.

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 £148.35 if you are single or £226.50 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 £16.80 if you are single and £20.70 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 your or your partner must be aged 65 or over and you must live together. There is not 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 £10,000.00

The following are not included when the Pension Service assess 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:- click here

Alternatively, you can call the Pension Service helpline on 0845 60 60 265 from Monday to Friday between 8:00am and 6:00pm.


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If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, finding the right help can be difficult. Our advice is to speak to your own treating medical team to consider the best available treatment options available to you, including Trials as there are many other specialist hospitals providing the same specialist service.

To help your search, we have compiled a list of treatment and trial centres below based in the UK for asbestos disease.

treatment centres DPS


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For expert advice & guidance on all asbestos matters, please contact Helena Cameron on 0800 038 6767.

www.asbestosjustice.co.uk 

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