Defence Minister Linda Reynolds admitted to hospital amid Brittany Higgins rape allegation scandal


Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has taken medical leave and been admitted to hospital as a “precautionary measure”.

Senator Reynolds was due to address the National Press Club today, where she was expected to face questions about her handling of sexual allegations made by her former staffer, Brittany Higgins.

In a statement, Senator Reynolds said she was taking medical leave on the advice of her cardiologist, and that it related to a pre-existing medical condition.

The statement said Prime Minister Scott Morrison has phoned Senator Reynolds to “express his concern and sympathy”.

Ms Higgins plans to make a formal complaint to police today, alleging a male colleague raped her inside Senator Reynolds’s ministerial office in 2019.

Senator Reynolds has faced sustained pressure over her handling of the alleged rape complaint.

Ms Higgins said she hoped Senator Reynolds was “okay” and wished her “all the best for her recovery”.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne will act as Defence Minister until Senator Reynolds returns to work.

Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters at Parliament House that Ms Reynolds had taken the leave reluctantly.

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“Linda was desperate to appear before the National Press Club today, desperate to appear,” he said.

“It was only on the strongest medical advice that she took the reluctant decision not to do it.”

Linda Reynolds wiped tears from her eye during Question Time in the Senate chamber after facing questions about her handling of Brittany Higgins’s allegations.(AAP: Mike Tsikas)

Senator Reynolds was the defence industry minister when the alleged rape occurred in March 2019.

Mr Morrison promoted her to Cabinet and the senior defence portfolio after the 2019 election.

She has faced internal pressure within the Coalition in the last week, with some MPs and senators telling the ABC they thought she should resign or be sacked.

Mr Hunt said Senator Reynolds needed support as she received medical assistance.

“I think our compassion, our focus on the needs of others in this, the most intense environment in the country, is something that all of us need to bring to the forth,” he said.

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Lollipop man injured in hit-run remains in hospital while police hunt female driver



A school crossing supervisor is in hospital barely able to move after he was mowed down while working near a primary school in Melbourne’s north.

Jim Tzimas had just finished crossing a group of children and was removing flags before he was struck about 9am on Findon Road in Epping yesterday.

The collision caused the lollipop man to fall hard into the gutter and hit his head, with his hip and upper body also badly hurt.

The female driver of the small silver sedan stopped about 100-200 metres up the road and paused for 10 seconds before taking off again.
“We’re just angry … how can you leave a human being just lying there?,” Wife Vicki Tzimas said.
The 58-year-old’s daughter Elenni Tzimas said she couldn’t believe her father could be injured while working for the community.
“It’s a school crossing so I thought that was the safest place because people would be really slow for children crossing, and parents with their young children and babies in prams … it was really shocking to get that call.
“He’s such a funny person and so positive – it’s hard to imagine him like that (in the gutter).
“Its really difficult,” she said.


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Tom Parker heads back to hospital to continue cancer treatment after ditching vegan diet


Tom Parker shared an update with his followers as he underwent treatment for cancer at hospital.

The 32-year-old dad of two, who recently received his first Covid-19 vaccination, filmed himself as he underwent treatment on his stage four tumour.

His latest post came just over four months after The Wanted musician revealed to fans that he had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

In Tom’s latest social media post, that the musician shared with his 212,000 Instagram followers on Monday, the singer revealed that he was ‘all hooked up’ as he underwent his latest round of treatment.

Tom later returned home to his wife and two kids where he later spoke to fans about the changes he has recently made to his diet.

While Tom initially opted for a largely vegan diet, he has since decided to add some meat back into his diet.



Tom Parker updated fans as he received treatment for his cancer

“When we first found out I was diagnosed with a brain tumour, everyone was like well on it for me,” Tom said on his Instagram story.

“All the information and stuff, I mean, you should have seen some of the stuff I was eating.”

“For the first couple of months, I pretty much went vegan didn’t I? Like I was eating lentils and s***.



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He added: “Anyway, I’m not doing the vegan thing, I didn’t really enjoy it. I’ve added a bit of meat back to my diet, nowhere near as much.”

Just last month, Tom also shared his pleasure at learning that his tumour had shrunk significantly since beginning treatment last year.

Following an MRI scan, the musician was told that he was responding well to treatment and vowed to continue fighting.

He wrote: “I had an MRI scan on Tuesday and my results today were a significant reduction to the tumour and I am responding well to treatment.



Tom later shared a tender moment with his wife as he spoke to fans about his latest diet
Tom later shared a tender moment with his wife as he spoke to fans about his latest diet changes

“Everyday I’m keeping on the fight to shrink this b******!”

Tom continued: “I can’t thank our wonderful NHS enough. You’re all having a tough time out there but we appreciate the work you are all doing on the front line.”

Tom and his wife Kelsey welcomed their son Bodhi in October, shortly after learning of his devastating cancer diagnosis.



Tom revealed he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2020
Tom revealed he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2020



Tom told fans he’s getting there ‘day by day’

The couple, who also share one year old Aurelia, have been sharing lots of adorable updates as they enjoy some precious family moments with their newborn.

In his January post, he also had nothing but praise for his wife.

Tom wrote: “To my amazing wife @being_kelsey who has literally been my rock. My babies- I fight for you every second of every day.

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Prince William says Prince Philip is ‘OK’ as the Duke of Edinburgh spends a sixth night in hospital


Prince William says his grandfather Prince Philip is “OK”, despite the 99-year-old spending a sixth night in hospital.

The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to hospital early last week as a precautionary measure after feeling ill.

His condition was not related to COVID-19.

“Yes, he’s OK, they’re keeping an eye on him,” Prince William said on a visit to a vaccination centre in eastern England.

Royal reporters said he delivered his message with a wink.

The duke was admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London after feeling unwell, Buckingham Palace said, and was kept in over the weekend for further observation.

Britain’s Prince William spent time with staff and volunteers during his visit to the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange Vaccination Centre.(AP: Arthur Edwards)

A royal source said doctors had been acting out of an “abundance of caution” and that Prince Philip was in good spirits.

Heir to the throne Prince Charles paid a brief visit to his father on Saturday, although there has been no official update on his condition since last week.

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Prince Charles has visited his father, Prince Philip, in hospital.

Prince Philip, who retired from official engagements in 2017, spent four nights at the same hospital at the end of 2019 while being treated for a pre-existing condition.

The duke and the Queen have been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London, during England’s current coronavirus lockdown.

The couple received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination in early January.

The royal household is planning celebrations to mark the duke’s 100th birthday on June 10, coronavirus restrictions permitting.

The Queen performed her first face-to-face event of the year last Thursday, when she knighted a royal aide during a private and socially distanced ceremony at Windsor.

She and Prince Philip marked their 73rd wedding anniversary last November by sharing a photograph of themselves opening a card from three of their great-grandchildren.

Reuters

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Hospital staffing levels to be reviewed after complaints



After horrific stories involving violence towards nursing staff and patients was revealed in state parliament and in a new report into hospital security, the Local Health District said it is investigating staffing levels.

On Thursday February 18, 2021, Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones confirmed they will review the recommendations in the Anderson report into security at NSW hospitals.

“We look forward to working with the NSW Ministry of Health on implementing supported recommendations across hospitals in our District,” Mr Jones said.

“Hospital wards are staffed in accordance with the staffing requirements contained within the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award with the consent of the NSW Nurses’ Association.”

Mr Jones said the NNSWLHD has recently increased the nursing hours per patient day from five to six at several facilities.

“Casino District Hospital and Maclean District Hospital received this extra boost in 2020, while two inpatient units at each of The Tweed Hospital, Lismore Base Hospital and Grafton Base Hospital will receive the extra allocations in March this year,” he said.

“The award provides an agreed method for determining the number of nurses required to provide direct clinical care in general inpatient wards, palliative care units, rehabilitation units and adult acute mental health inpatient units across NSW.”

Mr Jones said the NNSWLHD, like all local health districts, uses this method rather than ratios as it provides flexibility in staffing and allows services to more closely align with patients’ needs.

“It allows flexibility to allocate nursing hours in a way that matches the busiest times and patient needs,” he said.

“Between mid-2012 and mid-2020, the NNSWLHD increased its workforce by an additional 1008 full time equivalent staff – an increase of 26.7 per cent – including 171 more doctors, 367 more nurses and midwives and 121 more allied health staff.”

The main recommendations of the Anderson Report were:

• Adoption of an adherence to the principle that “security is everyone’s business”

• The “designing out of risk” where practicable

• The expansion of the Patient Experience in Emergency Departments program

• An expansion of diversionary programs away from the emergency department where appropriate, for patients who do not need to attend the emergency department and alternative care measures are available

• A focus on de-escalation rather than the concept of ‘moving forward’ as the first response

• A comprehensive range of measures around deterrence

• Communicating legislative base for security staff

• Better co-ordinated and prepared hospital security

• An understanding of, and commitment to, the policy that security staff are part of the clinical management team

• Above all, the absolute necessity for sound leadership and governance of the safety and security of the District/Network.



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Prince Philip admitted to London hospital after feeling unwell


LONDON – Britain’s 99-year-old Prince Philip has been admitted to a London hospital after feeling unwell, Buckingham Palace said Wednesday.

The palace said the husband of Queen Elizabeth II was admitted to the private King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday evening.

It called the admission “a precautionary measure” taken on the advice of Philip’s doctor. The palace said he is expected to remain for a few days of “observation and rest.”

His illness is not related to COVID-19. The queen and Philip were vaccinated against the coronavirus in early January.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, retired from public duties in 2017 and rarely appears in public.

During England’s current coronavirus lockdown, he has been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen.

Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

A former naval officer and keen polo player, Philip enjoyed robust health well into old age but has had a number of health issues in recent years.

In 2011, he was rushed to a hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains and treated for a blocked coronary artery. In 2017, he spent two nights in the King Edward VII hospital and was hospitalized for 10 days in 2018 for a hip replacement.

Philip was last hospitalized in December 2019, spending four nights in the King Edward VII Hospital for what the palace said was planned treatment of a pre-existing condition.

He was forced to give up driving at the age of 97, after smashing into a car while driving a Land Rover near Sandringham estate in January 2019. Philip needed help to get out of the Land Rover but wasn’t injured. A woman in the other vehicle suffered a broken wrist.

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Prince Philip, 99, admitted to hospital as a ‘precautionary measure’


The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, has been admitted to hospital as a “precautionary measure”, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The 99-year-old was taken to King Edward VII hospital in London on Tuesday night.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said the prince was admitted on the advice of his doctor after feeling unwell.

He is expected to remain there “for a few days of observation and rest”.

It is understood the Duke was taken to hospital by car and walked into the hospital unaided, and his illness is not related to COVID-19.

He and the Queen have been staying at Windsor Castle, just outside of London, during the pandemic, and both received their COVID-19 vaccinations in early January.

Prince Philip was previously admitted to the same hospital just before Christmas in 2019 for treatment for a pre-existing condition, where he remained for several days.

The prince, who turns 100 in June, retired from public life in August 2017 but occasionally makes appearances at royal engagements.

In June last year Buckingham Palace released a photo of the Queen and the Duke at Windsor Castle to mark his 99th birthday.

This photo of the Queen and Prince Philip was released in June 2020 to mark the Duke’s 99th birthday.(Twitter: The Royal Family)

He spent Christmas of 2011 in hospital after an operation to clear a blocked artery and he missed the end of celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60th year on the throne in 2012 after being hospitalised with a bladder infection.

In 2013, the Greek-born former naval officer underwent “an exploratory operation following abdominal investigations”.

He was admitted to hospital in 2017 for treatment for an infection, also arising from a pre-existing condition, and last year spent 10 days in hospital for hip-replacement surgery.

In January 2019, Prince Philip was unhurt when his Land Rover flipped after a collision with another car near Sandringham.

He gave up his driving licence after police gave him a warning for driving without wearing a seatbelt.

ABC/Reuters

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Patients forced to take taxis to hospital during medical emergencies


As ramping issues continue throughout Adelaide, the ambulance union says patients have been forced to catch taxis to hospitals.

The Ambulance Employees Association (AEA) has revealed there were 15 emergency, “potentially life-threatening” cases waiting for an ambulance at about 6:00pm on Tuesday, with no ambulances available to send.

Three cases waited more than 90 minutes for assistance.

Audio taken from the metropolitan ambulance dispatch channel at 8:30pm on Tuesday stated several “uncovered” cases — where an ambulance was not on the way — in suburbs including Blackwood, Belair, Seacliff, Norwood, St Marys, Oaklands Park and Morphett Vale.

AEA industrial officer Leah Watkins said the audio was only a snippet from the metropolitan south channel, with the metropolitan north channel reporting similar circumstances.

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“These are all of the cases that we did not have an ambulance for at that time.

“The metropolitan north channel, at that time, also had priority twos uncovered at Woodville North, Hindmarsh, a vehicle accident in the city, and an overdose at Stepney.”

Ms Watkins said ambulances were ramped at hospitals or already at other jobs, while other non-emergency crews were responding to other emergencies.

“Patients were finding their own way to hospital — some via taxi,” she said.

“We were simply completely inundated and unable to cope.”

While the AEA is not aware of how long the patients were left waiting, it said they deserved “better”.

A spokesperson for the State Government said it was working on the issues within the system, and patient flow had played a part in the delays.

“Ambulance ramping is unacceptable, and the government is actively working to address the situation,” the spokesperson said.

“Ambulance ramping is a whole-of-system issue.

“If patients are not flowing through our hospitals, ambulances are less able to transfer patients into Emergency Departments.”

The spokesperson said patient flow had impacted response times on Tuesday evening.

“Our hospitals had problems with patient flow yesterday and when our ambulance service had a busy night, ramping occurred,” the spokesperson said.

“We are rolling out a range of initiatives to ease pressure on our Emergency Departments, such as priority care centres and mental health co-responders and working with our hospitals to improve patient flow.”

Ambulance staff feeling ‘demoralised’

The issue is repeatedly putting lives at risk, Ms Watkins said.

“One of them was having chest pains at Seacliff — that could have been someone having an active heart attack, and every minute they’re not receiving treatment is an increased risk of mortality.

“Cyclists — plural — at Blackwood, hit by a car, with no ambulance to send.

Ms Watkins criticised the State Government’s handling of continued ambulance issues, reiterating that last night was not just a “surge”.

She said response times for the ambulance service have been deteriorating “for years”.

“Increasingly, over several months ago, we started hearing priority two cases waiting with no ambulance to be sent,” she said.

“The number of cases slowly started to increase from five to seven, up to ten — we hit 10 and we thought that was bad … now 20 (has) been the record.

Staff have reported they feel “demoralised, exhausted, exasperated” and “at the end of their tether”.

The AEA also claims “a significant number of those” staff are seeking jobs elsewhere within the ambulance service, because they feel “destroyed by this situation”.

Shadow Health Minister Chris Picton said this was “a shocking situation”, and took aim at cuts to the state’s healthcare system.

“This keeps getting worse, in terms of the ramping situations and delays to ambulances,” he said.

“Just the other day, we saw a report released by the government that at the end of last year, there were two deaths associated with ambulances not being able to get to people on time.

“There were 38 cases where there were significant issues or risks of adverse incidents.”

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Prince Philip admitted to hospital in London


The palace did not not disclose the Duke’s medical issue.

Several British royal reporters claimed his illness was not coronavirus-related and said he was driven to the hospital and walked in.

The Queen remains at Windsor Castle, where she has been shielding since the coronavirus pandemic forced her and Prince Philip out of Buckingham Palace last year.

Prince Philip was last seen at the castle in July 2020 for a ceremony. He was photographed with the Queen in November last year to mark the couple’s 73rd wedding anniversary.

Prince Philip and the Queen, 94, received their first COVID-19 vaccination in mid-January.

He retired from public life in 2017.

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Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall carried on with a pre-scheduled visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Wednesday despite Prince Philip’s admission.

The royal family is bracing for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle to break their silence in their first interview since they quit Britain’s royal family. The interview, with American television icon Oprah Winfrey, will be broadcast on March 7.

“Winfrey will speak with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from stepping into life as a royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to how she is handling life under intense public pressure,” CBS said in a statement.

The interview has not been recorded and Prince Philip’s hospitalisation could mean it is delayed.

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Prince Philip, 99, in hospital 'as a precaution'



The Duke of Edinburgh was taken to hospital on Tuesday evening after feeling unwell, Buckingham Palace says.

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