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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Fife care home worker warned after medication mistake

May 30 2014

A St Andrews care home worker has been given an official warning after leaving a resident without pain relief for 12 hours. Elizabeth Santos, who was acting deputy manager at the Bupa-run Balnacarron Care Home at the time, was found to have committed misconduct by the Scottish Social Services Council. However, the council said Ms Santos had since been praised for “exemplary” work and there was no real risk of the mistake being repeated. The council’s recently published report detailed how she failed to give a service user two Zomorph tablets and signed documentation to record the morphine drug had, in fact, been administered. In doing so, she breached Bupa’s policies for administration of medication. “Social service workers, in whom service users, their carers and the public place their trust and confidence, are required to operate within frameworks of individual and organisational responsibility, accountability and practice governance, in order to ensure that the practice of social service workers is, and continues to be, competent, lawful, effective and safe,” the report stated. “By her behaviour, she failed to work cooperatively and to follow her employer’s procedures for the safe administration of medication, therefore placing the service user at risk of harm.” Ms Santos was issued with a warning, which will stay on her registration for three years. The council listed 11 factors in her favour. These included previous good history and the fact she accepted responsibility for the error. The council stated: “In relation to her failure to administer, she states that she was a senior down and that the day had been particularly busy with visits and unwell residents. “These statements are backed up by her manager. Both her and her manager indicate that a lack of managerial control and guidance may have had a part to play. “A clinical practice teacher also confirms that her work on a recent course was ‘of an exemplary standard and observed practice was exemplary’.” A spokeswoman for the home said: “As soon as we identified this mistake we reported it to the Scottish Social Services Council and disciplined the individual. “As an extra precaution we have carried out further medication training for staff in the home.”

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km


‘At best neglectful, at worst…abusive’ — St Andrews care worker sanctioned following investigation

March 6 2018

A St Andrews care worker has had a condition placed on his registration after the Scottish Social Services Council ruled his fitness to practice had been impaired. Andrew Bull, who worked as a care assistant at Bupa’s Balnacarron home, has been ordered to submit a “substantial reflective account” to the SSSC covering the need to follow proper policies and procedures following a number of allegations made in relation to his conduct in 2015. He has also been told to complete two specialist qualifications within the next six months. At a disciplinary hearing, the SSSC heard how on September 7 2015 Mr Bull failed to wash a resident and failed to apply cream to the resident’s skin, causing the person distress. He then falsely told colleagues that he had washed the resident when he had not. Mr Bull also appeared in relation to another incident on August 27 2015, when he failed to assist another resident with her personal care, failed to help her into her night clothes and left her sitting on her bed in the dark, again causing her distress. The SSSC heard how Mr Bull told a resident on July 15 2015 “you do not have to tell me my job, I already know how to do it”, or words to that effect. In its ruling, the SSSC described Mr Bull’s conduct as “at best neglectful behaviour and at worst could be seen as abusive” and opted to impose conditions on his registration. “There is a possibility that the behaviour would be repeated if you were to gain employment in the future and there is a need to protect vulnerable service users from not receiving appropriate personal care which would place them at an acute risk of harm,” it told Mr Bull. “A reasonable person would be concerned by the repetition of the behaviour despite this being addressed with you and the limited insight you have shown. “Taking all of the above into consideration the public would expect the SSSC to mark your behaviour in some way to reaffirm clear standards of conduct. “It should be noted that you have not worked in the sector for very long and it is conceivable that you still have a lot to learn. “Your behaviour would appear to be remediable through reflection and further training.” When making its decision, the SSSC said it was concerned about a potential “pattern of behaviour” and “an element of dishonesty”, but noted that Mr Bull had showed some insight into his behaviour and had co-operated and engaged with the SSSC investigation. Joan Elliott, Managing Director for Bupa Care Homes, said: “The wellbeing of our residents is our top priority. "We dismissed Mr Bull as soon as we became aware of his actions. "His behaviour was unacceptable and wouldn’t be tolerated in any of our homes.”

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Angus & The Mearns

‘No pleasure’ in jail sentence for elderly nurse’s benefit claims

August 18 2017

A 76-year-old Angus woman has been jailed for claiming more than £35,000 in unemployment benefits while working as a nurse for nine years. BUPA nurse Pearl McCreath from Arbroath was caught claiming a total of £35,773 after “intelligence” that she was working post-retirement was fed to the Department for Work and Pensions. Forfar Sheriff Court heard the grandmother was “terrified” of going to prison and was still working shifts at a care home to pay back the money accrued between 2005 and 2014. A sheriff said he took “no pleasure” in jailing her for seven months. Depute fiscal Michael Swinney said: “The accused had been claiming pension credit, housing benefit and tax credits while working as a nurse with a private firm. “There was an investigation carried out, which came about via intelligence received on August 19 2014, that the accused was in paid employment.” Defence agent Robin Beattie said there were “exceptional circumstances” to keep the pensioner out of prison. “She’s never done anything remotely criminal in her life,” he said. “She has four children and grandchildren, and is very much a family person. “She is still working for BUPA, one shift per month in a care home, and she can’t really do any more. “She’s terrified of custody. “Her biggest concern is she’s waiting on two surgeries for hip replacements and is worried about how lying in a different bed would affect her pain.” Sheriff Gregor Murray said McCreath’s solicitor had done “very well” to field the case in a summary court, where the level of fraud would normally be an indictment matter with a higher maximum sentence. He imposed a seven-month sentence, reduced from 10 months due to an early plea. “Sentencing you gives me no pleasure whatsoever,” he said. “You are someone who in your 77th year has never come to the court’s attention. “However, with the sums involved in this case, it is nigh on impossible to persuade any judge, anywhere, that anything other than a custodial sentence is possible.” McCreath, of Brechin Road, admitted obtaining £25,773 in housing and council tax benefits from Angus Council between October 10 2005 and September 7 2014, while working for BUPA. She also admitted obtaining £10,000 in pension credit from the Department for Work and Pensions between October 14 2005 and August 31 2014.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk


How Mary, Margaret and Jean went out of fashion

April 2 2015

A new survey has revealed how names have gone in and out of fashion in Scotland. It was revealed last year that Jack and Emily are now the most popular names for baby boys and girls in Scotland, while less common names chosen by parents included Spartacus, Diesel and Thor. But Bupa Care Services has now carried out a survey of residents in its care homes to find out what names were the most popular in earlier generations. Research conducted across 27 Bupa care homes in Scotland found Mary and John are the most popular names among its residents. Other bygone names that figure on the Bupa list include Abraham, Euphemia, Gertrude, Williamina and Magdelena. Mary and John did not figure in the top 10 names in 2014. Tim Ellis, chief executive of National Records of Scotland,said: "This research shows yet again how fascinating the issue of personal identity is for us all, and the value of information about Scotland's people and history. "It's now 160 years since civil registration of births began in Scotland and I'm delighted that National Records of Scotland's recent release of information about baby names has stimulated this additional interest. "We have now released comprehensive statistical information on first names registered in Scotland back to 1974, and will be looking to extend the release of data back to 1855 later this year." Kirsty Dace, area director of Bupa Care Homes Scotland,said: “It’s fantastic to have an insight to the many names of all of our residents across Scotland as it provides a real picture to the naming habits of yesteryear. “The findings provide the most telling example of our changing times and to what is now considered old-fashioned when it comes to a first name." The Bupa research reviewed more than 2500 names across all of its care homes within Scotland. Most popular names in Bupa Care Homes: Men 1. John 2. James 3. Robert 4. Alexander 5. Andrew Women 1. Mary 2. Margaret 3. Elizabeth 4. Catherine 5. Jean Most popular baby names 2014: Boys 1. Jack 2. James 3. Lewis 4. Oliver 5. Logan Girls 1. Emily 2. Sophie 3. Olivia 4. Isla 5. Jessica

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

Business news

Bupa bid to cut costs paying off

August 8 2013

Private medical group Bupa hailed an “encouraging” improvement in its UK arm after action to slash costs and lower medical fees helped more than double half-year profits. The organisation employs 33,000 staff in the UK and has four major Scottish centres, including a facility at Glenrothes. It posted a leap in UK underlying profits to £59.2 million in the six months to June 30 from £26.4m a year earlier, reversing a decline in its domestic business, which saw earnings slump 22% in 2012. Customer numbers fell by 3% to 2.8 million in the UK. Revenues remained flat at £1.3 billion. However, the healthcare provider said efforts to tackle rising costs were starting to pay off as it negotiated lower fees with hospitals and doctors and introduced telephone-based support for patients to discuss treatment options. The group also slashed costs and cut jobs as part of restructuring which saw its UK administration teams combined. It said trading had remained tough in care home business Bupa Care Services, and it had faced higher energy and wage costs. Bupa, which makes more than 70% of its revenues overseas, saw profits fall by 15% to £218m in the period.