We are an independent registered charity with cross party support at the House of Commons and European Parliament. We were founded by Molly Maher and Nigel Griffiths, MP. CO-Gas Safety was launched at the House of Commons on the 25th January 1995 to work to try to reduce accidents from Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and other gas dangers. We lobby for changes, which will help to achieve this. We also help and advise victims whenever we can.
Stephanie Trotter became involved through meeting Molly Maher, who had lost her son, Gary, through CO poisoning in Tenerife. Molly’s daughter, Sheree was confined to a wheelchair, as a result of the same incident. Stephanie had been campaigning for children’s activity holiday centres to be licensed. (Her son, Alex, was injured at one and had to have an operation for a clot on the brain. Luckily he recovered completely and now has a 2:1 degree from Southampton University (Philosophy).
Stephanie is a barrister, who has practised and has also lectured at the Inns of Court School of Law for nine years, (postgraduate course – final year of the Bar Exams). Please note that Stephanie has worked for CO-Gas Safety as a full time volunteer since it was launched in 1995.
Stephanie knew nothing about CO poisoning when she started and the charity had no funding for the first year. Hardly any bodies would talk to us or help us, so she learned from the victims and their families. The same stories recurred again and again. Quite quickly, she had compiled a list of aims and objectives that were prepared in February 1995 for our constitution. It is depressing to read these now and find that so few are fulfilled and so many are still extremely urgent. However, there is now a European Standard for CO alarms (EN50291), and more or less, registration for individual gas operatives. We have also published our own data of CO deaths and incidents. But there are still objectives that are unfulfilled, for example that landlords be licensed, and/or required to service appliances or at least have them tested for combustion gasses and records made and kept and given to the tenant and that no household be supplied with gas, without proof of service.
Our greatest achievements so far are:-
1. Pushed for and achieved a British and European Standard for both CO alarms and flue gas analysers.
2. Publication of our data. An average of about 30 deaths and about 300 near misses every year from accidental CO poisoning. We now have nine full years of data of CO incidents from all fuels from 1995. However, we are sure that these figures are the tip of an iceberg for many reasons.
3. Raised awareness of the dangers of CO from solid fuel and the importance of servicing solid fuel appliances and chimney sweeping of all appliances. (Solid fuel and chimney sweeping were and probably still are, very neglected.)
4. Given help, advice and support to hundreds of injured people and bereaved families, at no expense to them. (But we are too small to do more than scratch the surface of this need.)
5. Helped to persuade the Chief Medical Officer and the Department of Health to send out a special letter to GPs about CO poisoning.
6. Our draft Fuel Safety Bill – helped to show that it could be done.
7. Persuaded Coronation Street (Granada TV) to run a CO story.
8. MP Fraser Kemp’s Ten Minute Rule bill on Fuel Safety. This passed its First Reading with flying colours. The bill informed Parliament of the importance of action to stop CO.
9. Held a Conference at the House of Commons with over 200 delegates. Opened by Kim Howells MP, Minister for Consumer Affairs. Chaired by Nigel Griffiths MP and supported by Fraser Kemp MP, SFA (Solid Fuel Association) and others.
10. Presented a petition to Tony Blair PM at 10 Downing Street containing around 3000 signatures which were collected by CO Awareness (Wales) and Susan Woodford and Christopher Twiner, (parents of Laura Twiner, who died from CO aged just two years).
11. Lobbied for HSE to undertake a Fundamental Review into Gas Safety – done in 1999 –2000.
12. Lobbied for representation on the HSE Gas Safety Sub Committee with regard to the Recommendations to be published by the HSE in mid July 2000 – in fact published early August.
13. Attended stakeholder workshop held on 11th September 2000. Invitations only to those, who had made submissions to the main discussion document. CO-Gas Safety appeared to be the only consumer group to attend.
14. Wrote to Lord Whitty, DETR Minister and Kim Howells MP, Consumer Affairs Minister DTI, Bill Callaghan, Chair of HSE and Jenny Bacon (now ex Director General of HSE ) to object to failure to invite those who had responded to the small consumer document to the meeting on 11.09.00.
15. Investigated a DETR risk assessment of certain concrete flue liners.
16. Lobbied for and obtained a meeting with Lord Whitty on 14th February 2001 to express grave concern about the lack of implementation of the recommendations made by the DETR risk assessment of certain concrete flue liners, the dangers of death from the lack of further research and warnings and a discussion on the HSE Gas Safety Review. (Nine representatives from CO-Gas Safety attended and many more wanted to attend but numbers were restricted.)
17. After much lobbying, writing of letters and numerous telephone calls, finally in July 2001, gained a place on two of the five HSE work groups (implementing the Recommendations).
18. Acquired the funding (funding from Centrica to match our DoH funding for three years) for an office and achieved this in summer 2002.
19. Acquired the funding (funding from Centrica to match our DoH funding for three years).for a database and a website HYPERLINK “http://www.co-gassafety.co.uk” www.co-gassafety.co.uk in Autumn 2002.
20. After over three years of constant requests finally won a place for CO-Gas Safety on the HSC Gas Safety Sub-Committee in November 2003. This committee consists of 63% industry and only 5.5% consumer representation (and this consumer representation is one body, Energywatch, a Government appointed body). CO-Gas Safety had been refused membership by the senior HSC committee, the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Substances. We took this issue up with Bill Callaghan, Chair of HSC and with David Eves, Deputy Director General of HSE and Consumer Champion. We also wrote to the Minister about it. Finally after a second application at the second (so far) open meeting of the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Substances in September 2003, we were later given notice that we would be allowed to become a member of the GSSC. (Please note that these open meetings were instigated largely as a result of the campaigning by the recently late and great Alan Dalton.) However, although we are officially a member of the GSSC, there have been no meetings whatsoever since we were appointed.
21. Persuaded the fuel industry and others such as CO detector manufacturers to undertake a sponsored walk for us in the Isle of Wight in June 2004 to raise funds half for the charity and half to pay for a practice nurse to become expert in CO and advice to victims.
22. Held a very successful 10 Year Anniversary Event of the founding of CO-Gas Safety at the House of Commons January 25th 2005.
23. CO-Gas Safety and Stephanie Trotter were presented with a Gas Safety Award at the Inaugural CORGI Awards by CORGI in June 2005.
24. Arranged a sponsored walk with 35 participants along the Purbeck Way, October 2005.
25. Managed to obtain a meeting with Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Minister responsible for the Health and Safety Commission (sadly only through a friend of Stephanie Trotter’s).
PLEASE NOTE THAT FROM ABOUT THIS POINT THE CHARITY DECIDED TO PUBLISH MORE DETAILS OF ITS WORK AS IT SEEMED OBVIOUS AFTER 11 YEARS THAT EVEN THE MOST VITAL CHANGES WERE NOT GOING TO BE MADE BY GOVERNMENT OR INDUSTRY.
26. In February 2006, CO-Gas Safety took part in the HSE’s new Gas Safety Stakeholder Forum and co-operated fully with the new Fundamental Review being undertaken by Frontline Consultants.
27. In March 2006, CO-Gas Safety managed to obtain a meeting with the CORGI Trust and gave a presentation. Sadly nothing has come of this so far.
28. CO-Gas Safety was invited to take part in OFGEM’s Vulnerable Customer Consultation, although we were not invited to take part in the entire review despite vigorous lobbying to that effect.
29. CO-Gas Safety met with William Gillis, CEO of National Energy Action (NEA).
30. Had a meeting with Duncan Sedgwick CEO of the Energy Retail Association – trade association of the largest gas suppliers. We tried to persuade ERA to allow us a meeting with the members and wanted to take some victims to meet those members but this was refused. However, we did at least obtain a meeting between Duncan Sedgwick and three directors of CO-Gas Safety and were told about the inquiry see 32.
31. Obtained a three year DoH grant of £34,000 per year April 2006.
32. Invited to give and gave evidence at the House of Commons to the inquiry undertaken by the All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group on July 4th 2006 and submitted written evidence to the same inquiry.
33. Met with Joel Penrose of PACE Consulting (Consultants for CORGI’s review of research done into gas safety).
34. Submitted a filled in Questionnaire and evidence to HSE’s new Fundamental Review being undertaken by Frontline Consultants.
35. Met with Jane Lovell of Masimo, a company which manufactures equipment which tests for carboxyhaemoglobin in a non-invasive way. Jane came to our office and showed us this piece of equipment.
36. Met with Michael Knowles of OFGEM to endeavour to persuade him that all customers are vulnerable to CO and that the gas emergency service should carry and use equipment to identify appliances which could be omitting CO as recommended by the HSE Fundamental Review of 2000. And further to point out that the levy (also recommended in 2000) had not materialized and that is should now be implemented as there was no mention in the recommendations of the levy being merely voluntary.
37. Meeting with Chris Bielby and numerous directors and supporters in London in August 2006.
38. Attended the Second Seminar on Vulnerable Customers as part of the OFGEM Supply Licence Review. Please note we have only been invited to meetings concerning vulnerable customers e.g. Elderly, disabled yet everyone is vulnerable to CO.
39. Attended the HSE’s second stakeholder forum with various victims and supporters.
40. Submitted our stage 2 application for funding to Section 64 of the Department of Health for a salary for a replacement for Stephanie.
41. On hearing of the tragedy of the two deaths of the children in Corfu at half term 2006, telephoned the hospital in Corfu to try to persuade the medics to test the bodies for CO and to treat the adults, who were extremely ill. Also telephoned and emailed where I could, Thomas Cooke, the family, the Local Authority where the family lived, the police, the Foreign Office and anyone else I could think of. Contacted the family and sent a list of lawyers and gas experts and they chose Harry Rogers to be their gas expert to undertake the investigation in Corfu.
42. Stephanie attended a meeting with NAPIT in central London
43. Stephanie attended the CORGI awards October 2006 with Lynn Griffiths of CO-Awareness and Leigh Greenham of CoGDEM. Stephanie was delighted to be there to support Stacey Rodgers of the Dominic Rodgers Trust, who won Gas Safety award 2006. Stephanie was also able to take the opportunity to attend the Installer Live exhibition at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.
44. As part of CO Awareness Week, CO-Gas Safety organized a Press Conference on 5th December 2006 at the House of Lords, which was attended by over 120 people, including Lord Hunt, Minister responsible for the Health and Safety Executive (who stayed throughout), CO victims, MPs, industry, CORGI, other interested parties and of course, the media, (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines etc). This was followed by a balloon release in Vincent Square in memory of those who’ve died from accidental CO poisoning since the HSC made its recommendations in 2000. CO-Gas Safety is particularly grateful to the brave parents of Bobby and Christi Shepherd, the two children who died of CO poisoning while on holiday in Corfu, for attending and taking part. The main TV News programmes that evening all featured the two statements, one read by Bobby and Christi’s father, Neil Shepherd, and the other by Paul Wood, the husband of Sharon Wood, the mother of the children.
45. Stephanie Trotter received an OBE in the 2007 New Year Honours’ list.
46. Stephanie and various other directors attended the “open” meeting on 9th January 2007 at Rose Court at which the recommendations made by the HSE were voted on and passed by the HSC. Neither CO- Gas Safety nor any other attendees were allowed to speak at this meeting.
47. CO-Gas Safety had a meeting on 11th January 2007 with Avril Adams at HSE to discuss the HSE document already voted on by the HSC.
48. Stephanie Trotter was interviewed by BBC Wales (Radio) on 25th January.
49. CO-Gas Safety meeting (Stephanie, Marcus Weatherby, Don Neal) with Jonathan Rees, deputy Chief Executive HSE on 29th January and open letters sent to the Commissioners asking them to reconsider their decision made on 9th January.
50. Meeting with Chris Pierce of Fireco.
51. Attended and assisted with adjournment debate by Colin Breed MP on 7th February 2007 House of Commons.
52. Stephanie Trotter attended Stacey Rodgers’ event at Huddersfield on 12th February 2007 – this was very well attended and meeting addressed by Barry Sheerman MP.
53. Submitted further document to Ofgem as part of their Supply Licence Review, end of February 2007.
54. Had a meeting with Lord McKenzie the Minister responsible for the Health and Safety Commission and Executive in March 2007. Very well attended by Colin Breed MP, Desmond Swayne MP, Molly Maher, Paul Overton, Jonathan Kane, Stacey Rodgers, Cath Rawnsley-Pemberton and Mike Shanley
55. Attended a meeting at HSE in March 2007.
56. Attended a stakeholders meeting HSE meeting April 2007.
57. Attended an APPGSG meeting at the House of Commons in April 2007.
58.. Stephanie Trotter decided that despite the HSC’s recommendations in 2000 that there be a levy on the gas suppliers to pay for publicity and for research, it was obvious this would not be implemented nor would industry do anything meaningful in a voluntary fashion. Therefore an alternative cost effective way of raising awareness had to be found. Stephanie Trotter decided in 2006 on a schools poster competition to raise awareness and put materials together to make this possible.
59. Heather Tomlinson, a teacher who had recently lost her beloved son Edward, very kindly took over the organization of a pilot schools poster project assisted by Stephanie. This was invaluable to the success of the poster competition and Stephanie will always be grateful to Heather and her husband Howard for their generous time and hard work.
60. Stephanie with other directors attended a meeting at Ofgem in April 2007. This has led to a great deal of detailed correspondence in an attempt to ascertain exactly what Ofgem’s powers are and to find out whether or not the HSC’s recommendations made in 2000 had been put to Ofgem and discussed.
61. Stephanie pushed for support for a schools poster competition and undertook a great deal of research.
62. Stephanie conferred with the Yorkshire police with regard to the Corfu tragedy.
63. Stephanie attended a play ‘Live and learn’ inspired by Stacey Rodgers in Huddersfield in May 2007.
64. Stephanie made a presentation to the officials group of an interdepartmental group on CO set up by Lord Hunt HSE with some CO victims.
65. Stephanie contacted by COCAA and applied for membership of the steering committee of COCAA June 2007. No response was forthcoming but we were ultimately refused. There was no representative of either victims or consumers on the steering group of COCAA for some time until Stacey Rodgers was appointed.
66. In June 2007 Stephanie and Paul Overton attended the CORGI Map Event at which CORGI gave out some data on deaths and injuries compiled by HSE and CORGI installers. Our data going back to 1995, with names of the dead and attempts made to check every death with the Coroner concerned were completely ignored.
67. Stephanie attended a one day investigative journalist course.
68. Stephanie attended an APPGSG meeting in July 2007 (24th).
69. Attended a meeting with Lord McKenzie with other directors of the charity on July 25th 2007.
70. Stephanie attempted to build on promises to sponsor our UK wide schools poster competition and liaised with Eve Cooper of CORGI, who kindly agreed to give the competition as much publicity as she could manage. Competition details apparently sent by Eve by email to all CORGI inspectors and installers.
71.Stephanie attended a Carbon Monoxide Awareness Alliance meeting on 14th August 2007 and sent in our part for a report for Lord McKenzie being compiled by EnergyPR for COCAA.
72. Stephanie compiled a booklet to explain the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to avoid CO and other products of combustion. Worked with an artist, John O’Leary, who was poisoned by CO and who kindly supplied excellent illustrations to us free. John O’Leary is a children’s illustrator.
73. Stephanie updated the report sent to EnergyPR, (see 69 above).
74. Stephanie finally managed to get the schools poster competition put out on TeacherNet and put in the first email to schools send by the Department of Children Schools & Families to all schools on 11th September. This was sheer Hell and without the support of Barry Sheerman MP (who had kindly obtained the support of Lord Adonis) this would not have been possible at all.
75. Stephanie contacted Dr. Bruce Gillis in the USA about his DNA testing for exposure to toxins.
76. Stephanie attended CORGI Installer Live at Coventry and took part in an interview panel. Also attended the CORGI Trust AGM (although not asked. However, Stephanie considered that CO-Gas Safety was a stakeholder and CORGI was on CO-Safety’s board of reference).
77. Stephanie, her husband and Don Neal, another director attended a theatrical event called ‘Clouds’ organized in memory of Ed Tomlinson and half proceeds raised to be for CO-Gas Safety.
78. Stephanie attended a fringe event organized by CORGI and the All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group (APPGSG) during the Labour party conference in Bournemouth.
79. Stephanie organised awards and attendance of two child heroes to attend event for CO Awareness week at the House of Lords on 15.10.07 to launch CO-Gas Safety’s School Poster Competition to raise awareness of the dangers of CO.
80. Stephanie.attended an event on 16.10.07 at the House of Commons organized by CORGI for CO Awareness week.
81. Directors attended a meeting at Ofgem on 18.10.07 to discuss the gas emergency service.
82. Stephanie attended an event in Huddersfield organized by Kirklees and the Dominic Rodgers Trust on 19.10.07.
83. Stephanie attended an event in Edinburgh on 23.10.07 at the Scottish Parliament organized by CORGI.
84. Molly Maher and Stephanie had a meeting on 25.10.07 with Nigel Dumbrell of the CORGI Trust at CO-Gas Safety office in Claygate.
85.Stephanie attended a meeting of COCAA on 07.11.07 in Leicester.
86. Paul Overton appointed as a director.
87. Held our AGM on 11.12.07 at the House of Commons (room kindly arranged by Colin Breed MP). Meeting well attended and plans discussed for 2008 and beyond.
88. Stephanie arranged a meeting with the CORGI Trust in January 2008 but sadly this was postponed.
89. Stephanie attended a COCAA meeting on Feb. 6th 2008 at which we asked for more support for our Schools Poster Competition and offered to put the COCAA logo on if more support was forthcoming. No support was forthcoming.
90. Attended ERA meeting on research by UCL on 13th February 2008.
91. With Jonathan Kane, met Alan Ball of Plumbing Trade Supplies on 20th February 2008 and he kindly agreed to advertise the schools poster competition in all the PTS stores and hand out a leaflet to CORGI installers about the competition.
92. CORGI has promised to add a small item to its email newsletter about the competition in April 2008.
93. Stephanie obtained the emails of all the schools in the UK and emailed them about the competition in March 2008.
94. Meeting with the CORGI Trust and Colin Breed MP on 10th March 2008 at the House of Commons attended by Stephanie and other directors.
95. Meeting with Capita (seeking to become the franchisee registering gas installers) on 3rd April 2008 at our office in Claygate attended by Stephanie and Paul..
96. With other directors attended an All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety (APPGS) meeting on 23rd April 2008 and made several contributions.
97. Harry Rogers, our gas expert and expert court witness, kindly attended an Ofgem meeting on 24th April 2008 to discuss the Gas Emergency Service having and using equipment to test appliances for CO.
98. Stephanie Trotter travelled to Harrogate on 24th April 2008 to open the National Association of Chimney Sweeps Trade Show and stayed until Sunday 27th April 2008.
Stephanie used the opportunity to publicise the CO-Gas Safety Schools Poster Competition to raise awareness of CO.
99. Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton attended a COCAA meeting on 7th May 2008.
100. Stephanie Trotter attended an Ofgem meeting on 13th May 2008 to further discuss the Gas Emergency Service having and using equipment to test appliances for CO. She also had a meeting on the same day with Alan Keene MP, who is MP for Hounslow where a recent death has occurred and where there is some controversy over very long flue pipes being used in a block of flats in which the death occurred. Alan Keene MP kindly agreed to persuade his local schools to take part in the Schools Poster Competition.
101. Paul Overton kindly attended a Guild of Master Sweeps AGM on 16th May 2008 and made many helpful contacts. He also used the opportunity to publicise the CO-Gas Safety Schools Poster Competition to raise awareness of CO.
102. Stephanie Trotter attended a Hearth and Home Exhibition in Harrogate on 9th June 2008 to publicise the schools poster competition. A raffle was very kindly held to raise funds to help pay for the poster competition.
103. Stephanie Trotter contacted many fire stations to raise awareness of the poster competition.
104. Stephanie was contacted by Linda McAvan MEP about a meeting at the European Parliament on the 3rd July 2008. Tried to persuade our gas expert and expert court witness Harry Rodgers to attend but the time granted by the Parliament to hear him was only 7 minutes and due to the cost and effort and short notice, sadly this was not possible. Stephanie Trotter was too busy arranging the press event on the 7th July at the House of Lords.
105. Ed Balls MP, Secretary of State for Children Schools and Families and the Corfu parents kindly agreed to attend a press event at the House of Lords on the 7th July 2008 to publicise the poster competition. Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay kindly booked the Moses Room for the charity. Stephanie Trotter made all the arrangements for this event, including telephoning all the members of the APPGSG and the 121 MPs who signed Colin Breed’s EDM 1032 dated 2007, asking the MPs to attend and to try to put something in their local papers about the poster competition. The event was well attended and there were several TV cameras and the Press Association. As well as the Corfu parents and their new babies, Ed Balls MP, Lord McKenzie, Minister responsible for the Health and Safety Commission also attended. The Corfu parents gave many TV interviews and Stephanie Trotter gave an interview on TV’s Channel 5 News. Stephanie Trotter received many interesting inquiries and contacts as a result of this event.
106. Continued to press HSC on the matter of compiling names of the dead having heard that the Data Protection Act does not apply to dead people. Continued to make the point that unless the HSC collects and keeps basic facts such as name of the deceased, place and date of death it is impossible to keep accurate data and that it seems that CO-Gas Safety’s data is the best in the UK. Please note that we collect accidental deaths and injuries as a result of carbon monoxide and other gas dangers from all fuel not just gas. In our opinion, Government should have better data than that collected by a tiny charity.
107. Gathered and compiled evidence with regard to medical treatment (or rather the lack of it) for victims of fuel poisoning and submitted this to the All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group with regard to a meeting (looking at the medical side) on the 15th July 2008.
108. Attended the APPGSG meeting on the 15th July 2008 with Paul Overton and Jonathan Kane. Before meeting matrix prepared for meeting criticized with regard to the other toxins.
109. Attended a COCAA meeting on 6th August 2008.
110. Attended a meeting with Citigate with regard to a possible proposal by Lloyds Pharmacy to work together on the Schools Poster Competition. This was attended by Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter.
111. Stephanie Trotter filled in the form for the first part of an application to the DoH for funding which had to be in by 5th September 2008.
112. Stephanie Trotter attended the Installer Live event in Coventry and was on the panel with regard to gas safety.
113. Paul Overton attended an Ofgem meeting on the 18th September 2008 to discuss the Emergency Service having and using equipment to test appliances for CO.
114. Paul Overton attended a sponsored walk for the Dominic Rodgers Trust on Sunday 21st September 2008.
115. Harry Rogers attended a fringe event organized by CORGI at the Labour Party Conference on Monday 22nd September 2008.
116. On the 6th October Stephanie attended the trial of Mr. Jilbert charged with manslaughter by gross negligence of Angela Pinkney aged 35. Angela had received numerous visits from British Gas installers in the 8-9 months before she died. She had also visited A & E in Oxford the day before she died, was kept overnight and was released on the day of her death and told to go home and lie down. The prosecution offered no evidence. It was impossible to prove an action of negligence against a particular CORGI registered installer and that this negligence had caused the death. However, in our opinion, it is outrageous that a person, who does all the right things, still died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The Coroner stated that he would be writing a letter to British Gas Services suggesting improvements to their systems and in particular that at the conclusion of all visits by British Gas engineers, safety checks should be carried out and that a measurement of the combustion gasses be made.
117. Meeting with Capita on 04.11.08. Anne Robinson, who is to head the new Gas Safe Trust said she was impressed with our Schools Poster Competition. No offers were made in support however,
118. Meeting with Mike Hancock MP and Alan Keen MP 13.01.09.
119. 20.01.09 Prize giving event at the House of Commons attended by Ed Balls MP, Secretary of State for Children, Schools & Families and the Corfu parents and other bereaved parents such as the Littlewoods and Paul Overton. Very successful event with about 100 attendees.
120. Meeting at Ofgem attended 27.01.09 with regard to the Gas Emergency Service.
121. Meeting in Coventry of COCAA. 16.03.09
122. 23.03.09 Meeting with Ian Taylor MP to seek his support for the Schools Poster Competition. Paul also attended.
123 Stephanie attended with Paul Overton the 12th Annual Conference on Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution Research 20-21 April 2009 at Cranfield University.
124. 05.05.09 Meeting with Lord McKenzie. CO-Awareness also present. As CO-Awareness wanted to take up much of the meeting with a request for research into CO alarms in the field, CO-Gas Safety agreed to send Lord McKenzie our evidence about the other toxins by email, which we did on the 12.05.09.Mike Hancock MP, Alan Keen MP, Molly Maher, Don Neal, Jonathan Kane also attended.
125. 14.05.09 COCAA meeting attended.
126. Huge efforts were made by Stephanie Trotter since the death in January 2008 to contact the family of Dallas Smith aged just three, who died in a room with a gas appliance but apparently no CO found in the body. Local paper contacted but refused to publish our letter offering free advice and support and asking for the family to contact us. Local paper also refused paid for advertisement asking family to contact us. Coroner did not want to pass our name on either. In June contacted local post office, which was very helpful and put up a message on their noticeboard.
127. 18.06.09 meeting at Ofgem attended.
128. Meeting of Peter Brown of the HSE attended on 30.06.09. Peter Brown has taken over from Les Philpott. Paul Overton, Stephanie Trotter and Jonathan Kane attended.
129. Meeting about funding application at DoH attended by Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter 21.07.09.
130. Meeting with Stephen Hadley and Charlie of PP2 Pumps, concerned gas installers attended by Stephanie Trotter 28.07.09.
130. Stephanie tried again (successfully) to put in paid for advertisements in local paper to ask family of Dallas Smith to contact us. Put in three advertisements and final one was seen by the mother’s godfather. He alerted the family and Claire Smith telephoned Stephanie and after a day or two accepted our free offer of legal representation, which she had already had to arrange as time was running out.
131. Travelled to Oldham on Sunday 16th August for the inquest which was to be on Monday 17th. Stephanie was supported by Stephen Hadley, Kevin Barr (both concerned gas installers) and Harry Rogers, independent gas expert court witness. Thankfully an adjournment was obtained until November 11th.
132. Meeting with Judith Hackitt Chair of the Health and Safety Executive and Geoffrey Podger Chief Executive of the HSE and Peter Brown, Head of Work Environment, Radiation and Gas on 29th September 2009. Attended by ,Jonathan Kane, Director of Kane International and CO-Gas Safety, Paul Overton, father of Katie Overton, who died of CO in 2003 and Director of CO-Gas Safety, Molly Maher, mother of two CO victims & Vice President and Director of CO-Gas Safety, Stephanie Trotter, President & Director of CO-Gas Safety and Stephen Hadley, concerned gas installer. Topics discussed were
(a). Lack of implementation of the recommendations made by HSC in 2000 (levy for publicity and research and equipment to test appliances for CO).
(i) Continued lack of awareness of the dangers of CO.
(ii) DoH algorithm re testing appliances for CO – failure to provide test for appliances for GPs, yet misleading advice that there is such a test.
(iii) Impact of the lack of action from HSE on Ofgem.
No obligation on Ofgem unless HSE insists or suppliers all agree.
(There is no obligation on Ofgem or anyone else to treat CO alarm alerts as fire brigade would respond to smoke alarm alerts.)
(iv) Emergency Service Providers (ESPs) do not even have equipment for their own safety, except Scotia Gas.
(v) There is no feedback from registered installer responding to ESP callouts, nor is there any data on repeat visits to the same properties.
(b). Hidden flues.
(c). Landlords gas safety certificates – should be changed to service or at least the CO should be measured and recorded. Landlords should be licensed.
(d). Gas Safe Register – e.g. charity not yet operational, funding of £1.7 million will surely be clawed back and risk of fees being put up.
Enforcement powers for inspectors.
What should replace ACS?
(e). HSE data – CO-Gas Safety’s is better but surely it shouldn’t be? Especially as now not even funded by DoH.
(f). Cookers – why are they not in the Building Regs? 6 deaths re grills.
(g). Other toxins. Urgent need for action on this.
(h). Lack of help for victims. Lack of action on CO generally.
The meeting was good but I think it is fair to say that nothing came of it.
133. Meeting at the Gas Safe Register event in London. Stephanie was asked and gave a short talk.
134. 13.10.09 Meeting with Centrica. Stephanie had tried to obtain a meeting with Sam Laidlaw, the CEO principally about the other toxins. This meeting was refused but at least Sam Laidlaw signed a letter stating that he had received Stephanie’s letter about the other toxins (with references from the Internet). Meeting was therefore with Charlotte Grezo, Head of Social Corporate Responsibility and Chris Bielby, Head of Integrity, British Gas, Jonathan Kane, Director of CO-Gas Safety, Paul Overton, Father of Katie Overton, who died aged 11 of CO and Director of CO-Gas Safety, Stephanie Trotter, President & Director of CO-Gas Safety and Stephen Hadley, concerned registered gas installer.
135. 19.10.09. Stephanie travelled to Manchester for conference with barrister with regard to the death of Dallas Smith. Harry Rogers also attended.
136. 23.10.09 Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter attended Gareth Hughes’ bankruptcy hearing. Gareth has refused to pay tax to a government which continues to fail to deal with the fuel toxins.
137.27.10.09 Meeting with Lord Mogg of Ofgem. Jonathan Kane, Paul Overton and Stephanie attended.
138. 05.11.09 Meeting at the Health Protection Agency for a seminar about CO. In 2008 CO-Gas Safety was not allowed to attend because it was not a health professional yet we learned in 2009 that others such as CoGDEM had been allowed to attend. The seminar was very good but depressingly CO-Gas Safety (Paul and Stephanie) seemed to know more than those present about the dangers and the problems with CO. An example was given of a Tandoori restaurant with a flat above. The lady in the flat was frequently woken in the night by her CO alarm. It took 8 months to find that the CO was coming from the Tandoori oven, which was left on at night but with the ventilation turned off. SHE COULD HAVE DIED. Stephanie pointed out that the main problem was that the gas emergency service, despite having a duty to make safe from CO had no equipment to test appliances for CO. Stephanie reminded the seminar that the HSC (now HSE) had IN 2000 recommended that the Gas Emergency Service carry and use equipment to test appliances for CO.
139. Meeting with Frank Brehany of Holiday Travel Watch. CO-Gas Safety and Holiday Travel Watch have much in common and suffer the same problems, lack of funding, too much to do, poor service by lawyers for our victims and too little publicity by the media.
140. Meeting at Logic Certification. CO-Gas Safety is the consumer representative. CMDDA1 discussed (new course for gas installers for fumes investigation). This course is still not being taught and the charity has been lobbying for this course to be introduced since at least 2000 if not 1996.
141. Meeting in Brussels organised by Linda McAvan MEP about the need for a European Directive on gas, fire and hygiene in tourist accommodation. Attended by Stephanie Trotter and Molly Maher. We lobbied that this directive be not restricted to tourist accommodation. Many useful contacts were made.
142.19.11.09 Conference on the future of energy. As the conference organisers kindly offered us two free places Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter attended. The scientists (mostly outdoor air experts) were well aware of fuel toxins affecting air quality outdoors but seemed unaware of the higher dangers the same toxins could give rise to indoors, in a confined space (e.g. a kitchen).
143. 26.11.09. Open day at the Gas Safe Register. Stephanie Trotter attended and was impressed by the openness and efficiency of the staff and operation.
144. 30.11.09 Meeting with Lord McKenzie attended by CO-Awareness and CO-Gas Safety. Attendees from CO-Gas Safety were Desmond Swayne MP. Paul Overton, Molly Maher, Don Neal, Jonathan Kane and Stephanie Trotter. Topicsdiscussed were
1. CO detector research project (CO Awareness)
Recommendations from the HSE domestic gas safety review in 2000
(CO Gas Safety)
Concerns about other toxins in fuels (CO Gas Safety)
Victim support, including collection of incident data and response
CO Awareness in the travel industry (CO Gas Safety)
Proposals to combine all CO victim support groups (including CO-Gas Safety & CO Awareness) under one umbrella organisation (CO Awareness)
145. 01.12.09. AGM. Well attend by Stephanie Trotter, President & Director, Don Neal, Director, Paul Overton, Director, Donna of Holmes & Co, Jonathan Kane, Director, Baroness Maddock, Patron, Ruth Bessant on behalf of Desmond Swayne MP.
146. Charity informed that the applications for DoH funding had both got through the first hurdles. Two detailed further applications prepared by Stephanie and had to be returned by the middle of January 2010.
147. Arrangements made for the event on the 26.01.10 mainly by Stephanie. Invitations sent out, room checked, data updated, press pack prepared and printed, press release done, prizes prepared, presentations ordered and prepared etc. etc. etc.
148.26.01.10 Prize giving event at House of Lords attended by about 100 people. Event also marked the 15th anniversary of the charity. We had hoped there would be no need for the charity after three to five years. Sadly we consider that the need still exists because government has done almost nothing. Industry is beginning to take action but it is far too little and concentrates on marketing of servicing and alarms It is not that the charity disagrees, but much more needs to be done.. CSI (holiday safety) and CO-Gas Safety were the first charities on gas safety. Four more have been set up (two by victims and two by industry) and yet so little has been achieved.
149. Due to the imminent appearance of Harry Rogers at the Corfu trial in Corfu, yellow booklet first prepared by Molly Maher in 2000, was vetted and 50 ordered to be printed by Stephanie.
150. Much work done by Stephanie as a result of contact with many victims and families of victims both with regard to CO, other toxins and ill effects from natural gas.
151. March 2010 updated the website and launched new one.
152. Interview with regard to my application to become a trustee of the new Gas Safe Charity.
153. March 2010 attended a COCAA meeting in Coventry.
154. April 2010. Attended five day inquest of Dallas Smith aged three, who died in a house full of gas appliances in Oldham. The house was part of a terrace with a house on each side full of gas appliances. Stephanie was told was told by the Coroner, that Dallas had raised levels of toxins (arsenic, barium and nickel and especially manganese – 15 times the higher levels). The inquest has now been held (April 2010) and the verdict was death by natural causes. The manganese was explained by contamination and post mortem distribution, although we have been told that there is only research on post mortem distribution with regard to drugs, not heavy metals.
155. April 2010 attended a demonstration to support Dr. Myhill, who has helped many victims.
156. May 2010 met Richard Griffiths (brother of Paul Griffiths who sadly died of CO).
157. May 2010 Meeting at the Gas Safe Register at their office in Basingstoke.
158. May 2010 Meeting with someone, who wanted to volunteer to help the charity.
159. June 2010 Meeting with Pete Eldridge of the Gas Safe Register. Paul Overton and Jonathan Kane also attended.
160. June 2010 wrote to all the new Ministers and to Sam Laidlaw CEO of Centrica (British Gas) asking for meetings.
161. June 2010 meeting with Charlie Mullin CEO and Karl Plunkett of Pimlico Plumbers. Meeting also attended by Paul Overton and Jonathan Kane. Worked on suggested change to the law on the landlord’s gas safety check. Proposed change ‘Person undertaking the check must either undertake a service according to manufacturer’s instructions or, following procedures outlined in BS7967 part 4, use Flue Gas Analysers meeting EN50379 to measure the combustion gasses for PPM (Parts Per Million) of CO and also the CO/CO2 ratio.’ Pimlico now publicly support our efforts to change the law.
162. July 2010 attended re-launch of the All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group of MPs. Gave a speech. This was also attended by directors Molly Maher, Paul Overton and Jonathan Kane as well as a representative of Mike Hancock MP, our Lib. Dem director and now a co-chair of the APPGSG.
163. August 2010 meeting with a solicitor from Linder Myers. CO-Gas Safety finds it very difficult to find the right lawyers for victims.
164. August 2010. Visit to someone who lives in the Isle of Wight, who was poisoned by pesticides to share experiences of the treatment by the medics of those poisoned by fuel toxins. Paul Overton also attended.
165. August 2010 prepared 14 Parliamentary Questions for Barry Sheerman MP to ask. Most of these were prepared and sent to Barry in 2008 but an added question was relevant to the treatment of those, who have been poisoned and arose from the meeting with the person, who lives in the Isle of Wight (see 164 above).
166. September 2010 Attended Gas Safe Charity launch with Molly Maher and Don Neal.
167. September 2010. Prepared applications for awards by the Gas Industry Safety Group (GISG). Stephanie Trotter.
168. September 2010. Prepared application for funds to the Gas Safe Charity. Stephanie Trotter.
169. September 2010. Attended a meeting at Ofgem to discuss the
Gas Distribution Price Control Review 2 (GDPRCR2). Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton
170. September 2010. Prepared response to GDPRCR2. Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton.
171. September 2010. Updated the website, ‘what we’ve done so far’. Stephanie Trotter.
172. September 2010 Wrote to the new Minister Chris Grayling MP, Minister for the HSE asking for a meeting.
173. October 2010 Attended a Gas Safety Trust event at which it was revealed that the GST had only found 4 deaths in 2010. Molly Maher and Paul Overton also attend.
174. November 2010 Attended a Gas Safe Register event. Molly Maher and Paul Overton also attended.
175. November 2010 Attended a meeting with British Gas (Steve Giblin and Bob Kerr). Paul Overton and Jonathan Kane also attended.
176. November 2010. Had a meeting with Robin Dahlberg member of the HSE board. Stephanie Trotter and Jonathan Kane attended.
177. November 2010 Attended a HPA (Health Protection Agency) conference about CO in Sheffield. Stephanie Trotter.
178. November 2010 Attended an All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group meeting also attended by Chris Grayling, MP Minister for the HSE. Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton attended.
179. November 2010. Meeting with Mrs. Sestili who has suffered poisoning.
180. November 2010. Attended GISG (Gas Industry Safety Group) awards dinner. Jonathan Kane, Stephanie Trotter, Molly Maher and Paul Overton attended.
181. November 2010. Meeting with the Samuels (bereaved parents). Stephanie Trotter and Jonathan Kane attended.
182. November 2010. Ofgem meeting. Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton attended.
183. November 2010. Gas Safe Charity presentation by CO-Gas Safety. Stephanie Trotter, Paul Overton and Jonathan Kane attended.
184. December 2010. CO-Gas Safety’s AGM. Attended by Don Neal, Paul Overton, Stephanie Trotter, OBE, Terry of Holmes and Co and Holly Farrow on behalf of Andrew Rosindell MP.
185. December 2010. Preparation for prize giving at the House of Lords including preparation of data over 15 years and charts showing analysis of data and press pack.
186. January 2011. Prize giving event at the House of Lords. Great success with over 100 people attending.
187. January 2011. Ofgem meeting. Attended by Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter.
188. February 2011 Stephanie Trotter OBE gave a talk at Carshalton and Kingston College.
189. March 2011. Meeting with Lord Hunt to discuss lack of progress in persuading Government to take action and funding problems. Jonathan Kane, Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter attended.
190. April 2011. Worked with Rob Aiers of carbonmonoxidekills.com to help him launch e-newsletter about CO. Lord Hunt wrote a forward.
191. April 2011. Meeting with Mark Elliott of Scotia Gas. Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter attended.
192. April 2011. Attended a conference ‘Health and Safety Reform’ and made some useful contacts. Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton.
193. May 2011. Attended a Consumer Safety International event at the House of Lords, chaired by Nigel Griffiths and attended by Lord Hunt and Baroness Finlay. Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter attended.
194. June 2011. Attended Ofgem meeting on the duties of the Emergency Service. Stephanie and Paul
195. June 2011. Meeting with Phil Bentley of British Gas. Bob Kerr also attended. Jonathan Kane, Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton attended.
196. June 2011. Heard from Les Philpott of the Gas Safe Charity that although our application for funding could not yet be granted but that that the GSC would be willing to fund a statistician to examine our data.
197. June 2011. Statisticians sought and talked to.
197. July 2011. Meeting with Colin Connor of the HSE kindly also attended by Lord Hunt. It seems there is no keenness from HSE to act in the ways we would like them to act to save lives. Stephanie Trotter, Paul Overton and Jonathan Kane.
198. 13th July 2011. Meeting at the All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group attended by Baroness Finlay, who gave a speech and Barry Sheerman, MP one of the co-chairs of the APPGSG, who also gave a speech. Baroness Finlay is chairing an inquiry into low level CO poisoning and nearly died of CO herself. There was shock expressed at the meeting at the fact that there is no need to test gas appliances after the meter has been exchanged for a Smart meter and disappointment and disbelief were expressed at the loss of this opportunity. Stephanie Trotter, Jonathan Kane and Paul Overton attended.
199. 25th July. Meeting at the All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group for the victims and victim groups to give evidence. Paul Overton gave evidence and sadly was the only victim present as neither Molly Maher, Stacey Rodgers nor Vikki Courtman (who had been asked) could attend. Baroness Finlay attended but sadly had to leave just before Stephanie Trotter gave evidence. However, Stephanie will be submitting written evidence to the APPGSG by the end of Friday 29th and just hopes that Baroness Finlay and the MPs, who are co-chairs of the group and the members of the group (also MPs) will read it.
200. July 2011. Worked hard to update the website.
201. August 2011. Scotia Gas Event at the Oval. The unveiling of ‘Hit CO for 6’ attended by Stephanie Trotter and also kindly Stacey Rodgers of the Dominic Rodgers Trust. Scotia Gas is to be congratulated for its initiative.
202. More statisticians sought and finally found. Worked to prepare for the validation.
203. Prepared accounts for accountant.
204. September Ofgem meeting to ascertain powers of Ofgem with regard to gas emergency service and levy although levy unlikely to be something Ofgem can do. Meeting attended by Jonathan Kane, Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter. Ofgem introduced Kobina Hughes, solicitor for Ofgem and discussions with him were more helpful. An opinion on Ofgem’s powers will be given to us soon.
205. Meeting with Alison Gowers on the 26th September cancelled the Thursday before the following Monday meeting as Alison Gowers could not attend, was not in Dr. Maynard’s job and was more interested in outdoor air. Meeting sought with Chief Medical Officer particularly in view of DH’s findings extrapolated from a small amount of data that 4,000 people were diagnosed with CO by A & E and about 50 deaths in England alone.
206. Funding urgently sought.
207. Another All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group meeting on 31.10.11. Speeches were by Baroness Finlay and Paul Johnston, CEO of the Gas Safe Register. Paul Johnston stated that it was good that in the last few years there had been data from the Gas Safety Trust, which could be used. After the meeting
I put it to Paul Johnston that CO-Gas Safety’s data had been collected since 1995 and published since 1996.
298. Meeting on the 8th November with Department of Environment and Climate Change about smart meters. Attended by Stephanie Trotter, Paul Overton and Jonathan Kane. We lobbied for tests to be undertaken before and after installation of smart meters, not only for gas safety but also for carbon monoxide.
299. Health Protection Agency event in Horsham, Surrey was attended by Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton on 22.11.11. We were shocked that most of the environmental health officers attending the meeting were unaware of the fact that the gas emergency service does not carry or use equipment to test gas appliances for CO. A particular toxicologist we’ve known for many years from the HPA attended and was the main person running the conference.
300. Meeting of All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group on 28.11.11. This was a meeting into raising awareness of the medical profession into CO. It was chaired by Barry Sheerman MP and he kindly allowed Stephanie Trotter to ask many questions. Speakers were Dr Simon Clarke, Frimley Park Hospital, Vikki Courtman, CO Angels, Andrew Humber, London Ambulance Service and Dr Ed Walker, CO Awareness. Andrew Humber has undertaken a further study but this has not yet been released which is a great shame.
301. CO-Gas Safety’s AGM on 29.11.11. The future of the charity was discussed and also a new Labour party MP was discussed.
302. Meeting of All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group on 19.12.11 attended by Stephanie Trotter and Jonathan Kane. Before the meeting Kane and Trotter had a meeting with Chris Bielby, chairman of the Gas Safety Trust and the Gas Industry Safety Group. We talked about the fact that the Gas Safety Trust had claimed that its data was the ‘official data’ when HSE had confirmed that it was not. This was something Trotter put in writing to Bielby in Aril 2011. Trotter also asked Bielby to conduct a mystery shopper experiment to see how difficult it was for an ordinary person to obtain a test of gas appliances for CO in order to identify which appliance was emitting CO. Bielby agreed to do this. Both Kane and Trotter followed up this meeting with emails. Trotter’s email contained instructions with regard to how to conduct the mystery shopper experiment. Obviously Bielby with his contacts had found this easy to do. However, we wanted him to find an ordinary person and see how difficult it was then without his contacts in the industry.
The toxicologist mentioned above in 299 from the HPA was present at the APPGSG meeting. Stephanie Trotter put it to this person that the problem with the Helpline idea was the extreme difficulty in obtaining a registered gas installer who could go out and test gas appliances for CO. People need to know where the possible CO is coming from and if there is CO, how many parts per million in writing for their GP. The toxicologist stated that the gas emergency service would do this and Trotter disagreed. Stephanie Trotter had just been talking to Garry Farnhill of Northern Gas Networks about this issue and so she went and asked him to speak to the toxicologist about this and left them to talk. Garry confirmed later to Stephanie Trotter that he has told the toxicologist that indeed the gas emergency service had no equipment to test gas appliances for CO. An HPA public health scientist, who also attended the HPA conference from the HPA was also present during this conversation. Trotter is horrified that the HPA still doesn’t accept the situation that people cannot obtain a test of gas appliances for CO as this was something CO-Gas Safety identified as a need within a few weeks of its launch in 1995. The Health and Safety Commission (now Executive) also recommended that the gas emergency service carry and use equipment to test appliances for CO, but this has not been implemented. Also the toxicologist was at the HPA conference at which this point was made. Also, Trotter has corresponded frequently with this toxicologist about the difficulty of obtaining a test of appliances for CO and the impact this has on the Algorithm which HPA designed for GPs.
Afterwards Stephanie Trotter and Jonathan Kane had a meeting with Paul Johnston CEO of the Gas Safe Register particularly to discuss smart metering and particularly to ask the Gas Safe Register if it would consider at least expressing an opinion in writing to the energy suppliers, DECC, Ofgem and HSE that those employees undertaking smart meter exchanges should all be fitted with Personal Alarm Monitors for CO (PAMs) and should also test gas appliances for CO both before and after the exchange and if there is CO, provide the parts per million of CO in writing to the responsible person and the consumer affected. Also if CO is found before exchange then the appliance and the gas should be turned off leaving the consumer safe. The charity also considers that the gas pressure should be tested before the meter is exchanged and the correct procedure followed because that too can affect safety.
Stephanie Trotter also put it to Paul Johnston that he should not ignore CO-Gas Safety’s data. Discussion then followed about the accuracy of CO-Gas Safety’s data. Stephanie Trotter made the point that the Gas Safety Trust’s data had been criticised by Straight Statistics see http://www.straightstatistics.org/article/carbon-monoxide-killer-no-official-record but had praised CO-Gas Safety’s data.
303. During the late Autumn Dr. Carolyn Craggs, a statistician, related with us with regard to our data on deaths and injuries from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.
304. Considerable preparations were made by Stephanie Trotter with regard to our prize giving event on the 31st January 2012.
305. Stephanie Trotter continued to relate with and support victims.
306. Stephanie Trotter prepared the new press pack and made all the arrangements with regard to the event at the House of Lords on the 31.01.12.
307. An All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group meeting on the 25th January was attended by Paul Overton and Stephanie Trotter. Speakers were Steve Brown of Ofgem, Colin Connor of the HSE and Brian Martin of the DCLG. Steve Brown stated that the CO groups had influenced the Ofgem meetings with the GDNs (i.e. emergency service providers) and that progress was being made. The CO groups which had attended were almost entirely CO-Gas Safety (Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton) and occasionally The Dominic Rodgers Trust on the telephone. Brian Martin stated that the reason the building regulations had only required CO alarms for solid fuel appliances was because there are more deaths from solid fuel so the use of CO alarms was not justified for other fuels, such as gas. Baroness Finlay objected on the grounds that there are no automatic tests on dead bodies so we just don’t know how many deaths there are with regard to each fuel. Stephanie Trotter and Paul Overton supported her in this contention. Paul Overton then stated that it was so odd that CO-Gas Safety’s data was completely ignored when it was the most extensive, covering CO incidents from all fuels and the most checked, as we write to every Coroner with regard to every death, which is not done by any other body.
308. Successful event at the House of Lords on 31st January with regard to our prizegiving and the revealing our latest data.We have recorded 622 deaths and 4,148 near misses. We are convinced that these are the tip of an iceberg. At the event at the House of Lords Baroness Maddock, Lord Hunt and Denis Kerby from Scotia Gas Networks all spoke.
309. Meeting with Robert Flanagan, toxicologist on the 9th February.
310. Supported a Wales & West Utilities film promotion about CO in Cardiff on 24th February 2012.
311. Dr. Craggs sent her report to the Gas Safe Charity on the 10th April 2012.
312. APPGSG meeting on the 19th April.
313. Attended a Health and Safety Conference in London on the 26th April 2012.
314. Meeting with Eon about Smart metering also on the 26th April.
315. Interviewed I think by Sky News about barbecue death.
316. Interviewed by Daybreak TV programme about barbecue dangers.
317. Attended an APPGSG meeting on 2nd May 2012. Baroness Finlay urged all the victim groups to work together.
318. Prepared a press release about deaths and injuries from barbecues in tents based on our data. This was signed and supported by CO-Gas Safety, www.co-gassafety.co.uk,
the Katie Haines Memorial Trust http://katiehaines.com/,
the Dominic Rodgers Trust,
Mark Pratten, Crew Manager, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Prevention Team Bodmin Community Fire Station email@example.com, CoGDEM, www.cogdem.org.uk/
Frank Brehany – Consumer Director – HolidayTravelWatch – www.holidaytravelwatch.net,
Martin Ling MSc. Cert Ed. MIFireE, Fire Safety Consultant
Toby Shea, Director – international BBQ Network , President – British BBQ Society
All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group www.policyconnect.org.uk/appgsg/
319. Meeting at Ofgem on 29th May 2012
330. Attended CO-Awareness’ launch of their leaflet and poster about the dangers of barbecues etc. on 10th July at the House of Commons.
321. Attended an APPGSG meeting about the leisure industry on 12th July 2012. The Gas Safety Trust had done some research and gave a presentation with data. One of the deaths was in the wrong year and was from a generator not a barbecue. CO-Awareness unable to attend due to lack of funds.
322. Gave an interview on Meridian radio about carbon monoxide.
322. Sent emails on 26.07.12 about the need for funding for a nation wide safety campaign about CO to Chris Bielby as chair of the Gas Safety Trust and the Gas Industry Safety Group, copied to the members of the APPGSG. Also with regard to correction of the data used by the GST. Received no reply. Was offered a telephone conference on the 8th August which Jonathan Kane and Stephanie Trotter accepted.
323. 8th August 2012, telephone conference with Chris Bielby. Stephanie Trotter offered a meeting with the Gas Safety Trust trustees to ask the trustees to commit some of their £4 million to prime time TV warnings. Notes of this conference were made by Kane and Trotter and sent to Bielby. However, later Chris Bielby told us he did not wish these notes to be sent out.
324. Trotter asked John Arnold if Baroness Finlay had asked the big retailers (the big 6 suppliers) for funding to raise awareness of the dangers of CO. Trotter also asked (email dated 16th August) why Baroness Finlay had not mentioned the levy on the gas suppliers to pay for raising awareness and for research in the recommendations made by the Health and Safety Commission in 2000, in her recommendatons made on behalf of the APPGSG.
325. We received notice in August that the APPGSG would be changing its name to APPCOG. We responded by cautioning that this would be restrictive with regard to the other toxins in the products of combustion and indeed with regard to an explosion such as Ronan Point.
326. We also received a request from John Arnold of Policy Connect on behalf of the APPCOG, to supply our data for the last two years from APPCOG. We explained that although we would try this might not be possible by the early autumn as our data processing officer had retired. However, we had found a new person and we hoped to produce the data in the form of constituencies etc. We also explained that we were still waiting to hear if our data was to be funded by the Gas Safe Charity. We also asked if Baroness Finlay had asked the gas suppliers for funding to pay for prime time TV warnings and I copied this to Baroness Finlay (16.08.12 to which I attached the original HSC recommendations about the levy for publicity and that the gas emergency service should carry and use equipment to test gas appliances and 03.09.12).
327. Tweeted Dr. Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, about depression and she tweeted back and she kindly offered a meeting. We met on the 4th September 2012. Dr. Gerada agreed that prime time TV warnings was a good idea and suggested a meeting at their new office to be held at the same time as our event in January. She further suggested that Baroness Finlay could invite all the CEOs of the suppliers etc. and ask them for funding for a campaign for TV warnings. This was much appreciated. Sadly Baroness Finlay seemed unable to be sure of managing a whole day on any possible dates in January so we fixed our poster competition prize giving and revelation of our latest data for 22nd January 2013 at the House of Lords.
328. Stephanie Trotter went to Coventry on the 11th September for an HPA conference to give a talk on CO. Sadly we had to pay £95.00 to attend, as well as travel expenses to get there. Talk went well but in a small room, so not many people sadly. We find it very hard to understand why the speakers were all charged to attend this meeting.
329. 25th September 2012 meeting with British Gas at Stephanie’s husband’s office, Bates Wells & Braithwaite in the city. It seems there were no other offices BG could use. Helpful meeting attended by Stephanie Trotter, Jonathan Kane and Baschea Walsh, CO victim. Prime time TV warnings, landlords’ duties, smart metering, flues in voids, poster competition, gas emergency service, CMDDA1 and helpline all discussed. Need for testing appliances for CO discussed. Useful meeting but we are awaiting action points by BG.
330 Sent email dated 04.10.12 warning John Arnold of Policy Connect for APPCOG that we might not be able to supply the data in time and had he asked the Gas Safety Trust for this data. We also asked if Baroness Finlay could write to the Gas Safe Charity asking them for funding for the data on our behalf.
331. Received letter from Chris Bielby dated 08.10.12 stating that we had been refused a meeting with the Gas Safety Trust to discuss CO-Gas Safety’s funding which was NOT what I wanted to discuss with the trustees. I wanted to discuss the Gas Safety Trust starting a fund to pay for prime time TV warnings as I had asked in July 2012. See point 334.
332. 15th October 2012 All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group meeting. First there was a meeting of the victim charity groups attended by attended by Stephanie Trotter and Jonathan Kane for CO-Gas Safety. Also present were Gordon and Avril Samuel, (CO victim, Katie Haines’ parents) Richard Haines (Katie Haines’ husband) for the Katie Haines Memorial Trust and Stacey Rodgers of the Dominic Rodgers Trust. At this meeting various matters were discussed including the need for the All Fuels Group to be a legal person, which could make an agreeement with various parties including the victim charities. Such a written agreement is recommended by the Charities Commission but is not possible if the All Fuels Group is only a talking shop and not a legal person. Stephanie Trotter pointed out that she had sat on various similar committees since 1997 and they had all failed, in her opinion, due to the fact that they were not legal persons and due to lack of funds to take real action, such as prime time TV warnings. The Samuels then showed a very good film they had had made about the dangers of CO and asked us all to alert people to it. Then there was the steering group attended by Richard Haines on behalf of the charity victim groups. Then there was a general meeting with wine etc. from 4.00 until 6.00 p.m. addressed by Barry Sheerman MP and Baroness Finlay.
333. Alerted all our email contacts (over 2,000) about the film made by the Samuels. Had many responses which took up a huge amount of time but it was really good to hear from so many people.
334. Wrote to Chris Bielby (23rd October) stating that we wanted to see the Gas Safety Trust about the Trust using some of their millions to pay for prime time TV warnings and hopefully, get the ball rolling so others such as the wealthy gas suppliers with huge profits, would also provide funding for a properly set up and sustained campaing.
335. Advised various victims.
336. Prepared for the AGM on the 30th October.
337. AGM held 30.10.12. Baroness Maddock thanked for being our patron for all these years. Appointment of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath as our new patron. Lord Hunt was a Minister for the HSE and also a Health Minister. Wrote the minutes.
338. 06.11.12 APPCOG meeting about Ostriches re CO.
339. 20.11.12 Meeting with Barry Sheerman MP. Also present was Fergus Moffat from MP Mike Hancock’s office and Gordon Samuel from the Katies Haines Memorial Trust, John Arnold and Visaly from Policy Connect. Action points were agreed namely that Barry would seek a meeting with Judith Hackitt Chair of the HSE, write to the CEOs of the fuel companies and invite them to a meeting and appoint a new Lib. Dem co-chair as Mike Hancock MP is still very ill.
340. Meeting with Colemans solicitors between Holiday Travel Watch and ourselves. Jonathan Kane and Stephanie Trotter attended with Frank Brehany. Colemans was the solicitors’ firm Frank chose to help victims of travel disasters when he had 60 firms bidding for his work. We have recommended Colemans and been pleased with their work but have not yet received any funding from them although we may do in the future.
341. Work with HTW, the KHMT, CSI and CO-Awareness and the Dominic Rodgers Trust to try to find a name to call the victim charity sub-group.
342. Work with HTW, KHMT and the Dominic Rodgers Trust to agree some suggested amendments to the Energy Bill that hopefully APPCOG can put forward.
343. 29.11.12 APPCOG meeting. Northern Gas Networks. Discussion afterwards, particularly with Stacey of suggested amendments to the Energy Bill. HTW, KHMT, the Dominic Rodgers Trust and Mark Pratten all now seem to have given us their comments and these suggestions are now put in writing.
344. 10.12.12 Meeting with Roland Johns, ex British Gas who has offered to help us design material for teaching those aspiring to be registered gas installers about CO. It seems there is no agreed training material and the deaht of Matthew Nixon in December 2010 has alerted us to this problem. Matthew was aged 22, a registered gas installer and apprenticed in the gas industry from the age of 16. Yet he died of CO from a petrol generator used in a bedroom to power his tools.
345. Work on the suggested amendments made into a briefing note for Don Foster MP, Minister for the DLG.
346. 18.12.12 Meeting with Don Foster MP, Minister for the DLG. Also present were Baroness Finlay, Gordon Lishman, Barry Sheerman MP, Jason Mc Cartney, John Arnold and Visaly and others from Policy Connect, and Gordon Samuel. Don Foster MP not keen on changing the building regulations to align with the changes brought in to N. Ireland but he was keen on publicity about CO. After the meeting I gave him our briefing note.
347. Work on the event at the House of Lords. Sending out invitations (early December) and doing all the many tasks related to this event. Started to prepare the press pack.
348. 08.01.13 Meeting of the sub-group under the All Fuels Action Forum that sits alongside (whatever that means) the APPCOG. Code of Governance for the AFAF presented and we were asked to agree it. Stephanie Trotter pointed out that this was the first time she had seen it and the directors hadn’t seen it so could this be approved at another meeting? Discussion about the legal status of the AFAF. Stephanie asked why both the Gas Safety Trust and the Gas Safe Charity were on the steering committee (yet the other small victim charities were put in a sub-group)? Expressed a concern that most on the steering committee were industry. Decision made to call the sub-group ‘CO+SAVi’. Request by Stephanie to discuss the Energy Bill but suggestion made that we discuss via email and Gordon Samuel asked that we discuss it with the Gas Safety Trust and Gas Safe Charity at another meeting at which they would be present. Gas Safety Trust and Gas Safe Charity attended and gave presentations.
Requests to GSC and GST
DK summed up the requests of the group and asked if GL and CB could write to JA with the answers to these:
The group wanted the charities to carry out research and awareness-raising, with
The scale of research and awareness-raising to be as high as possible, and with industry to contribute.
Additionally, they wanted GST and GSC to work with people who can help with identifying areas to research and what kind of awareness-raising would be most effective, and requested that CO+SAVi be the focus group for their initiatives.
The group requested open access to research that the industry has paid for.
The group would like a focus on improving products – e.g. efficiency of equipment, the information delivered with it, etc.
DK also mentioned ST’s concern about the terms and conditions of the charities, and requested that if any such condition exists, that it be deleted. This was finally removed in May 2013.
349. House of Lords event. Our prizegiving and revelation of another year of data.
Prizes to the winners
Winners of the 2011-12 Competition
North of England
Rhys Michael Carley-Jones. Age at entry 11
School: Abbey Gates Primary School, Nottingham
Teacher: Paul Summers
MP for the School, Mark Spencer, MP
South of England
Sabah Hafeez. Age at entry 11.
School: Courthouse Junior, Maidenhead
Teacher: Tricia Stephenson
MP for the School, Theresa May, MP, Home Secretary
Winner for Scotland
Erin McLaren. Age at entry 11
School Coupar Angus, Perthshire
Teacher: Pamela Canning
MP for the School Pete Wishart, MP MSP for the School John Swinney, MSP
Alex Dowman. Age at entry 11.
School: Sheffield High School, Junior
Teacher: Sarah Groombridge
MP for the school, Paul Blomfield MP
Speeches see website
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
Roland Wessling, victim,
Mark Oliver, Wales and West Utilities and
Barry Sheerman MP, Co chair of APPCOG
Gary Barnes, Scotia Gas Networks
Roland Johns gave a very short presentation about the material he is working on with Stephanie to provide to training colleges for registered gas installers.
Very successful event attended by about 100 people.
Eleanor Turner very kindly attended and played the harp to entertain the attendees.
Our thanks to all who attended and to our sponsors who were:-
Scotia Gas Networks, which is very kindly sponsoring the competition for Scotland and the South and also paying for our event at the House of Lords. SGN also kindly paid for our advertorial about the competition in First News.
Wales & West Utilities which is kindly sponsoring the competition in Wales and paying for the press packs
Northern Gas Networks which is kindly sponsoring the North of England for the first time.
Honeywell which has kindly supplied us with alarms to EN 50291 this year.
Also thank you to those who have generously given to us throughout our 18 years and in particular:- Kane International – which has kept us going generally.
350. 25.01.13 Meeting between Jonathan Kane and Stephanie Trotter to discuss matters generally. Agreed that amendments shoul be professionally drafted.
351. 06.02.13 Meeting with Frank Brehany to discuss CO-Gas Safety applying for EU funding. The problem is that we need members from other EU countries and there seem to be no other similar organisations to CO-Gas Safety.
352. 21.02.13 Meeting by Jonathan Kane, Stephanie Trotter with Adrian McConnell to discuss Gas Safety Trust and particularly the term and condition that stated that terms and conditions could be changed at any time without prior notification. Adrian kindly stated that he would put this to the trustees. Jonathan Kane also asked why the GST couldn’t fund CO-Gas Safety to do the data because we had done this since 1995, we covered all fuels, had a good relationship with the Coroners and mainly victims on our board. GST has none of these.
353. 25.02.13 Interview by BBC News South West.
354. 26.02.13 Meeting with Karl McCartney MP (Roland Johns’ MP) to discuss our proposed amendments to the Energy Bill. Stephanie hoped to persuade Karl to put down the amendments if APPCOG refused.
355. 14.02.13 Meeting between Stephanie, Barry Sheerman MP and Lord Hunt to discuss the amendments to the Energy Bill. Barry Sheerman MP promised to put down the levy at least.
356. 18.04.13 Meeting of the CO+SAVi Group. Amendments to the Energy Bill were unanimously supported. KHMT kindly offered and paid for half of the costs of drafting the amendments professionally.
357. Lobbied for the amendments to be put down in the House of Commons.
358. 07.05.13 ITN interview of Stephanie Trotter about Beko cookers and the deaths that have occurred due to the fact that the grill doors can be shut and then carbon monoxide builds up.
359. 08.05.13 Meeting between Frank Brehany and Gareth Hughes and Stephanie Trotter to discuss the amendments and other matters.
360. 17.05.13 Trip to Brancaster School very kindly arranged by Ros Piggot of Air Testing to present prizes to those who had painted posters for the CO-Gas Safety Schools Poster competition.
361. 30.05.13 Meeting with Roland Johns to discuss the material he and Stephanie had drafted for training colleges about carbon monoxide.
362. Two amendments were put down in the House of Commons. One by Barry Sheerman MP on meter exchanges including smart meters and one by Mike Hancock MP about the levy on the fuel industry to pay for raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. They were not debated although Barry did say a few words about smart meters.
363.30.05.13 Meeting with Roland Johns to discuss the material he and Stephanie Trotter have put together for training colleges about CO.
364. 04.06.13 APPCOG Holiday Safety meeting. Chris Bielby suggested that there be a repository for material such as the posters by CO-Awareness to warn about camping dangers. Stephanie Trotter supported this idea and congratulated CB for suggesting this. Signage was discussed and the words used.
365 12.06.13 APPCOG meeting about social housing. Stephanie Trotter attended and was impressed by the landlords who had provided CO alarms. Many sounded and qualified gas investigators were used. Cookers were often the cause. Stephanie Trotter suggested changing to electric cookers to cut down on poisoning and expensive investigations.
366. 18.06.13 Received Baroness Finlay’s amendments. Members of CO+SAVi wished for a joint response to be made. Stephanie Trotter compiled these and sent for approval. These were then sent to Baroness Finlay and later Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (26.06.13).
367. Meeting of CO+SAVi 25.06.13
Amendments to the Energy Bill were discussed. Also code of governance. Roland Wessling gave a presentation of his research projects. It was decided that he would attend the steering group meeting on the 2nd July in order to make a presentation to the Steering committee. Questions were asked about who advised Baroness Finlay with regard to her amendments.
368. 02.07.13 Baroness Finlay put down her amendments at the House of Lords.
369. 11.07.13 IGEM conference in Derby. Excellent conference. Awareness discussed and all seemed to us to be in favour of prime time TV public health warnings. The other toxins were discussed.
370. 16.07.13 APPCOG meeting on landlords (private).
371 Numerous applications for funding for our data particularly to the Gas Safety Trust. All have been refused for various reasons The Gas Safe Charity has decided as a policy not to undertake research leaving this to the Gas Safety Trust. The Gas Safety Trust have decided to do their own data collection and cover all fuels but they have said this before some years ago and so far, not done this. It also seems such a waste to reinvent the wheel. CO-Gas Safety also considers it important that a victim based organisation is involved in this work. The GST has no victims that we know about on its board. Nor does the GSC as far as we know.
372. 01.08.13 Meeting with National Grid with Jeremy Bending and Steve Holliday.
This was to ask for funding for CO-Gas Safety’s data on unintentional death and injury from carbon monoxide since 1995. We tried to point out that CO-Gas Safety’s data:-
1. Has been collected since 1995.
2. Has some kind of report, or Coroner’s letter to support every entry.
3. Collects CO incidents and deaths from ALL Fuels.
4. Tries to check every death with the Coroner concerned and most now help.
5. Publishes the names of the dead on the Internet for anyone to check.
6. Is the only data to have been validated by a statistician, Dr. Craggs.
7. Has had almost 18 years of input from a victim based organisation that simply seeks the truth.
8. Has a form on our website for the Coroner to fill up after the inquest and which we encourage them to look at before the inquest in order to think about what evidence they need to call at the inquest (e.g. was there a CO alarm and was it to EN 50291, was it in date and did it work?).
No other body does all this.
We know that our data is only the tip of an iceberg. One reason is that GPs almost never diagnose CO and another is that there is no automatic testing of dead bodies for CO, even in cases of unexplained deaths. There are estimated to be 3,500 unexplained deaths between the ages of 16 and 64 in the UK every year (Killer with no name, New Scientist December 4th 2004).
National Grid declined to assist with our data but were happy to support our schools poster competition to raise awareness of the dangers and were happy to provide a donation towards the charity generally. This is very good news as we now have the support of all four gas emergency service providers!
373. 05.09.13 Move of CO-Gas Safety from Lorien, Common Lane, Claygate to Priory Cottage South, Priory Road, Seaview, Isle of Wight PO34 5BU due to Stephanie moving house. However, we still have a flat in Guildford for work events in London.
374. 08.10.13 CO+SAVi meeting. This was a very constructive meeting with Roland Wessling in the Chair and Steve Miller, Vice-Chair elect of the Steering Group attending. Minutes will be approved at the next meeing on the 8th January.
375. 24.10.13 Meeting with Frank Brehany.
376. Late October to early November 2013. Lobbied Gas Safe Register to make it clearer and easier for consumers to find a registered gas installer qualified under CMDDA1. Wrote two emails about the topic to Russell Kramer pointing out that most consumers don’t know what to ask for and certainly don’t realise they have to do an advanced search and look for ‘fumes investigation’ and then contact the firm to find out who if any of that firm’s employees hold the qualification CMDDA1.
377. 04.11.13 Meeting with Blue Watch. Stephanie urged Blue Watch to only validate appliances that have been serviced and chimneys and flues swept.
378. 05.11.13 Meeting between Stephanie and Colemans’ solicitors.
379. 06.11.13 Attended John O’Leary’s art exhibition in the Barbican library. Excellent show and very enjoyable. John O’Leary is an illustrator and paper engineer. His help with our schools poster competition and course about CO for registered gas installers has been invaluable to the charity and its work.
380. 12.11.13 Trip to Derby to meet those instructors attending the BPEC’s first course as worked on by Roland Johns and Stephhanie Trotter. Course was well attended and the feedback was excellent. The discussion concluded that the crux of the issue is there is a lack of information for those training to be registered gas installers on CO from fuels other than gas.
381. 20.11.13 Meeting with Public Health England to discuss our data. Excellent meeting and PHE seemed very impressed with our data which they would like to have to start the database recommended by Baroness Finlay. Our problem is that we still have no secure funding for our data to continue. Both PHE and CO-Gas Safety agree that there needs to be some body which is in charge of the data and this body needs to have equal representatives from victims and from others, such as industry and government. CO-Gas Safety’s data from 1995 is now extremely valuable and the CO-Gas Safety directors are willing to give this data to such a central body provided the charity can still continue to collect, collate and publish data on an ongoing basis. To do this it needs funding.
382. 26.11.14 AGM held. Paul and I had dinner with Kevin McMahon an interested registered gas installer.
383. 27.11.13 Stephanie Trotter attended an event of John and Irma O’Leary’s.
384. 20.01.14 John Trotter took some data boxes from Docusave to Devon for Beverley Squire, our database officer.
385. 08.01.14 CO+SAVi meeting.
386. 28.01.14. Very successful House of Lords event. Best ever. Speeches by Lord Hunt, Baroness Finlay, Roland Wessling, Eileen Brown of Northern Gas Networks and Stephanie Trotter see http://www.co-gassafety.co.uk/postercomp_speeches.html. Prizes presented by Mark Oliver of Wales & West Utilities. Help provided by Danielle Royce and Cerys Canning from Wales & West Utilities was invaluable.
387. 04.02.14 Meeting with Mike Penning MP, DWP Minister, responsible for the HSE and the disabled, attended by Stephanie Trotter, Jonathan Kane and Frank Brehany of Holiday Travel Watch. Very successful meeting.
388. Offered support to family of Zane Gbangbola through the police, PHE, HSE, Kwasi Kwateng MP for the death of this child during the floods. Pleaded with all concerned for a cause of death as suspected this might be CO from a generator. No result. Lobbied for warnings about the use of generators in the floods. This seemed to have some effect.
389. March. Applied for funding both a small grant for a computer and a large grant to fund our data collection, collation and publication to the Gas Safe Charity. This was refused.
390.March. Arranged for advertorial with First News to publicise the schools poster competition. Kindly sponsored by Honeywell.
391. 04.04.14 Made a presentation about our data to the Gas Industry Safety Group. Very successful and they agreed that the data must be funded.
392. 08.04.14 Attended the Spring Social of APPCOG. Later lobbied to be allowed to be at a meeting on April 24th between the suppliers and the gas emergency service providers and Barry Sheerman MP etc. Suggested that there should be something explaining exactly what CO is and how to prevent it and something from the victim groups. Worked on a power point presentation to be sent to Haley Bowcock of Policy Connect. Haley agreed that we could at least do this. Will our power point presentation be shown? Why is there no room for a representative of CO+SAVi? Avril Samuel of the Katie Haines Memorial Trust is attending but she is attending only as the KHMT.
393. Was contacted by the Gbangbola family referred to us by Inquest.
394. Attended a CO+SAVi meeting 02.05.14.
395. Attended an APPCOG meeting on 12.05.14 discussing whether a home MOT would be the answer. This seemed slightly premature compared with proper prime time TV warnings and would also fail to warn about barbecues and generators.
396. 16.05.14 Submission made to the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group when asked to submit evidence see under heading ‘The All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group’ or see here.
397. Presentation to the Gas Safety Trust on 20.05.14 to ask for funding for our data collecting, collating and publication. Stephanie Trotter made a presentation supported by victim Helga Hyams, Jonathan Kane (Director) and Roland Johns, (Board of Reference and ex British Gas investigator & Trainer. Felt this had not been very well received although a few questions were at least asked about near misses. However, was told that the GST intends to do its own data and be the one stop shop for CO. Later heard that our application had been refused.
398. Started the process for Dr. Craggs to undertake a review of the data. Dr Craggs visited our database officer Beverley Squires for two days in May.
399.. Met with David Butler of Phoenix Gas (N. Ireland) 06.06.14.
400. TV interview for South today 16.07.14.
401.Training courses for Scotia Gas Apprentices
Roland Johns (retired British Gas Investigator & trainer and consultant trainer) has run the BPEC certificated CO Awareness Workshop with 40 SGN apprentices (10 at each event) and the course is now part of their training programme.
The dates were: 27 Aug and 16 Sept 2014 Portchester, 28 Aug and 17 Sept 2014 Burgess Hill.
This went very well and hopefully we will be able to add more about this soon.
CO-Gas Safety is very grateful to Gary Barnes, Director of Corporate Services, Scotia Gas Networks for allowing Roland Johns to provide this training about CO and we congratulate SGN on showing in such a practical way that they take CO seriously and wish to protect their employees.
402. Attended meeting of the Gas Safe Register to mark Gas Safety Week on 09.09.14.The Gas Safe Register had used our hero idea and told me about this in May but they also used our poster idea although it was only open to children close to registered installers and applauded the registered installer and his work rather than raise awareness generally.
403. Met Roland Wessling of Cranfield University with Frank Brehany of Holiday Travel Watch on 19.09.14. Purpose of discussion was that Roland wants to use CO-Gas Safety’s data but it seems that although Roland has funding to undertake his research there is no chance of any funding to continue our data collection, collation and publication. Our further concern is that it seems that no thought has been given to how data collected into a central repository is to be controlled either input or output and who would be apppointed to do this. Our concern is to ensure that a victim based organisation continues to have the freedom to publish the data and suggest vital safety improvements from study of the data and that data will not be controlled by any industry dominated body.
404. On the 23rd September 2014 as a result of being alerted by retired fire fighter Tom Mills, Stephanie Trotter investigated a website selling generators which featured a film showing generators being used in a living room and kitchen.
Tom had tried to persuade the manufacturer to change the film but with no result.
Stephanie Trotter alerted the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group and Myles Platt of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service about this. Then she telephoned the manufacturer and asked for the name of the person who answered the phone and his email address. Luckily it was a small company. She then explained the situation. The person Stephanie spoke to accepted that the film showed the generators being used indoors but was dismissive and stated that there was a warning which flashed up and anyway nobody would use generators indoors. Stephanie stated that she would look again but she was sure there were no warnings and anyway, why show generators being used indoors?
Stephanie then watched the film again and no warnings flashed up. Stephanie then wrote an email (23.09.14) pointing out that if anyone died as a direct result of using their generator indoors then the person she spoke to and the company could be charged and found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence. The warnings were attached to the film within an hour.
Stephanie alerted Baroness Finlay who suggested contacting HSE. Stephanie was then very busy attending the Coroners’ conference but on the 29.09.14 she alerted HSE about Kiam and this video and they assured her in an email dated 07.10.14 that Trading Standards was already in talks with Kiam and that the video would be changed.
Update November 2014 Stephanie has watched the film again and it’s completely different and shows the generators being used outdoors.
CO-Gas Safety is very grateful to Tom Mills for alerting us and for the support we received from Myles Platt on behalf of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association
405. Meeting with Frank Brehany to discuss the future of gas safety on 24.09.14.
406. Review of the notepaper and MEPs changed because some were no longer MEPs.
407. Over the summer our database has undergone a complete review and transfer from paper files to a computerised system which makes accessibility much easier. Dr. Craggs wrote a full report and validated our latest data.
408. Attended the Coroners’ Conference on the 25th and 26th September 2014 at the invitation of the President Peter Dean, Suffolk Coroner. Gave a press pack, hand-out specifically for Coroners and a quiz about CO with answers on the back to each Coroner and was allowed to set up a table and to address the meeting for five minutes. CO-Gas Safety is extremely grateful for this opportunity and also for the meals we were provided with.
Photo taken at the Coroners’ Conference showing CO-Gas Safety material
From left to right, Ian Arrow, Senior Coroner for South Devon and Martin Fleming Senior Coroner for West Yorkshire West who kindly agreed to grace the table of CO-Gas Safety at the Coroners’ conference in Suffolk, Autumn 2014.
CO-Gas Safety is also very grateful to the President of the Coroners’ Society, Peter Dean for allowing the charity to attend and to give a short address to the conference.
409. On 4th October 2014 Stephanie Trotter attended a walk to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide in memory of a girl who died of CO. The walk arranged by the sister of a girl who died of carbon monoxide poisoning and in whose memory we walked Pen-Y-Fan.
On Saturday 4th October 30 people walked to the top of south Wales’s tallest mountain, Pen-Y-Fan an 886m mountain situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park in south Wales. . This included two 20 month olds, (well they were carried for some of it!) a five year old and a seven year old. The walk was aimed to raise awareness of carbon monoxide and was organised by a girl who lost her sister last year to the carbon monoxide poisoning.
She and all of her family wish to raise awareness so no other family has to go through what they are going through right now. There will be many more events in the future.
Thanks to the huge efforts by friends and family £1,000 was raised for the charity.
Mark Aylett, a chimney sweep from Loughborough and member of the Guild of Master Sweeps did the walk in costume after driving three hours to reach the start and another three hours back afterwards.
Stephanie said, ‘The family gave us a fantastic welcome and organised the walk brilliantly. We were so lucky with the weather which was cool and sunny. Mark helped me so much by his conversation which distracted from my aching legs! His chimney brush attracted many questions from other walkers and we were able to raise awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning and the importance of chimney sweeping, all the way up and down. Scotia Gas Networks was the first emergency service provider to equip their First Call Operators with Personal Alarm Monitors for CO. They are also always willing to talk to us about continued safety improvements and we greatly value that partnership.’
On the peak – Stephanie Trotter on the left and Mark Aylett on the right.
410. 15.10.14 Meeting with Dr Tim Ballard at the Royal College of GPs with a victim who had been poisoned for over 6 years along with her family. Very good meeting and hopefully progress made although the medical side is so diffcult due to the danger of false negatives from testing the blood or breath of survivors. Testing appliances is amore reliable method but very difficult due to the lack of a list of registered gas installers who are qualified under CMDDA1 and the cost of using an independent court witness who is a gas expert.
411.. 21.10.10 Supported Kye and Nicole Gbangbola re taking their petition to Chertsey Council.
412. 23.10.14 Radio Berkshire to talk about CO and students.
413. 04.11.14 Submitted CO-Gas Safety’s response with regard to smart meters to the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee.
414. 06.11.14 Meeting with Gasfuse a cut off system for gas bottles.
4126.96.36.199 Meeting with Susan Scotcher of Kingston University to review films about CO made by students. The three best films will soon be put on Facebook and people will be invited to vote on the best film. CO-Gas Safety is very grateful to Susan and to Kingston university for this help.
416. Supported a petition to change the law with regard to the right of entry by landlords in social housing to make their rights of entry the same as those of a Local Authorty.
417. 21.11.14 Stephanie Trotter sent Activity report to Haley Bowcock of Policy Connect of APPCOG.for the All Fuels Action Forum.
418. 25.11.14 AGM of CO-Gas Safety. Attended by directors and accountants.
419. 26.11.14 Meeting with Gary Barnes to discuss many issues. Attended by Stephanie Trotter and Jonathan Kane.
4188.8.131.52 Stephanie Trotter supported Kye Gbangbola’s petition to the Environment agency.
421. 30.11.14 Stephanie Trotter submitted a response to the EU re the Reach legislation querying why all fuels were excluded from the Reach legislation and how that came about.
422. Requested Public Health England to inspect our database and a date arranged for January.
423. Stephanie Trotter tried to help victims obtain someone qualified under CMDDA1 and found this again was difficult. Raised this again with the Gas Safe Register.
424. End of November submitted a response to an EU document about tourism safety, mainly fire and CO. Supported the submission by Holiday Travel Watch and also suggested that children’s activity holiday centres should be licensed throughout the EU as they were in England & Wales.
425. Sent out invitations to our event at the House of Lords 27th January 2015.
426. Noted the sad death of Tom Henson aged 25, registered gas installer from carbon monoxide it seems from a disposable barbecue
in September 2014. Offered free help and advice to the family through the Grimsby Telegraph and through the Coroner.
427. Made a presentation for an application for funding for our data to the GDNs (Gas Emergency Service providers) on 16th December 2014 and also for our event at the House of Lords in January and for our press packs for that event and for our schools poster competition. Jonathan Kane and Stephanie Trotter attended and also a victim who gave a very good short talk about her experiences of being poisoned, being unable to prove this to her doctor, husband and to social services, which was concerned about her children who were also poisoned. The meeting was very amicable with expressions of gratitude by Stephanie Trotter to the GDNs for their support and understanding of the issues from the point of view of victims. A promise of funding for the press packs and the 20th anniversary event was kindly made by the GDNs and the outlookseems extremely good with regard to the poster competition although a few further details need to be worked out. The GDNs will come back to CO-Gas Safety with regard to the details and also with regard to the funding for the data collection, collation and publication.
428. 18.12.14 It was announced that the CPS has dropped any possible charges against the supplier of the pump which was an alleged possible cause of the alleged carbon monoxide poisoning of Zane Gbangbola although Kye and Nicole Gbangbola have always maintained that Zane died and Kye was paralysed by hydrogen cyanide from a landfill site. See
On the same day attended the Council at Spelthorne where Kye and Nicole presented a petition to the Council asking for the Council to test the landfill site. Kye spoke very persuasively and powerfully. The Council dismissed the petition. Kye and Nicole’s supporters expressed their disgust in the public gallery by holding up placards stating ‘TEST’. There seems every reason that the Council should test the landfill site as a matter of urgency, not only to find out the cause of Zane’s death but to check the landfill site in order to protect the health and safety of Chertsey residents in case of future flooding.
The members of the public who attended this meeting left feeling that there had been a disregard tor safety and for the feelings of those people who attended the meeting who were mostly residents of Chertsey. It did not feel a good day for democracy and surely in such a situation where further flooding could occur and residents injured or killed there seems no reason why the elected members of the Council continued to refuse to test the landfill site. This issue will not go away.
429. Stephanie undertook a huge amount of preparation for the 20th anniversary.
430 19.01.15 Stephanie attended an APPCOG meeting ‘From awareness to action’. Baroness Finlay kindly allowed us to view the Executive summary to enable us to comment in our press pack 2015.
431. 22.01.15 Stephanie had a meeting with Lord Hunt and Belinda about her poisoning and about the 20th anniversary event.
432. 27.01.15 20th anniversary event of CO-Gas Safety at the House of Lords. Well over 100 people atttended. See speeches etc.
433. 29.01.15 Gas Safety Trust Portal event. Stephanie attended. There seemed to be portals but not much data if any in the portals.
434. 24.02.15 Stephanie gave a talk about CO to the Public Policy Exchange.
435.25.02.15 Stephanie had a meeting with Frank Brehany Holiday Travel Watch.
436.26.02.15 Stephanie attended the premier of the film ‘A Dark Reflection’ about cabin air quality. John and Stephanie Trotter had privately supported the making of this film in a very small way. Excellent film about a safety issue which involves carbon monoxide poisoning in aeroplane cabins.
437. 27.04.15 Stephanie gave a radio interview about the Corfu tragedy – LBC.
438. 11.05.15 Stephanie travelled to Wakefield to attend the Corfu inquest. Stayed for three days. Gave a TV interview to BBC Look North.
439. 26.05.15 Stephanie gave a radio interview with Dubai Eye about how to protect against CO when travelling.
440. 28.05.15 Meeting with Energy UK with CEO Lawrence Slade and Lesley McCloed. The Corfu case was discussed and the need to raise awareness. Jonathan Kane, Stephanie and Belinda attended.
441. 23.06.15 Meeting with Frank Brehany, Holiday Travel Watch.
442. In November 2014 Stephanie heard a very good interview on Radio 4’s Life Scientific with our Cheif Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies. She has been trying to obtain a meeting with her ever since. So far no success but surely Dame Sally should not ignore such a medical issue that affects so many people?
443. John O’Leary has judged the 2014-15 schools poster competition and Stephanie has notified the winners and is sending out the prizes.
444. Stephanie had a long discussion with John O’Leary about the future of the poster competition and what the GDNs had proposed.
445. 03.07.15 Stephanie updated the new flyer and power point presentation for the competition 2015-16 and asked Richard to put them on the website after running them past SGN to make sure the logo was correct. .
446. Stephanie prepared the first draft of a submission to the Coroner in the Corfu case and sent this to the work group, Belinda and Frank Brehany. Stephanie has also worked on a protocol of what should happen after a CO incident abroad on a package holiday and what the tour operator and others should do. Stephanie sent this protocol to the same people as the submission.
447. 29.07.15 Attended a BPEC interview for the Life Award. We did not win this award but we did receive the assurance that BPEC would work with us and we are invited to attend the ceremony on the 16th October.
448. 17.07.15 Attended the AGM of the Guild of Master Sweeps which was a great occasion. Chimney sweeping is often overlooked but is a vital safety precaution. The Guild was incredibly welcoming and raised £1,000 for the charity.
449. 21.07.15 Attended a meeting with Mary Creagh MP to talk about CO particularly with regard to tourists.
450. 30.07.15 Stephanie sent the final version of the submission to the Coroner in the Corfu case to HM Coroner Mr. David Hinchliff and receipt was acknowledged.
451 30.07.15 Stephanie sent the final version of the submission to the Coroner in the Corfu case to HM Coroner Mr. David Hinchliff and receipt was acknowledged
452.Worked on a new leaflet about CO with John O’Leary.
453. Worked on a new website which is now more iPad friendly.
454. Worked on a brief for Lord Hunt for the new Regulations on smoke and CO alarms. Also arranged for people to attend the debate and support Lord Hunt and Baroness Finlay.
455. 06.08.15 Met Sue Westwood-Ruttledge, a CO victi
456. 01.09.15 GDN meeting in London. John O’Leary kindly attended with me.
457. 07.09.15 Attended debate to support Lord Hunt. This was well attended by victims including Sue Westwood-Ruttledge and Belinda Goldsmid. We met Mark Cashin of CFOE there and exchanged contact details. Regulations were not approved so were referred to the whole house where a week later they were approved.
458.08.09.15 With Belinda we attended the House of Commons to meet Michael Tomlinson MP but he could not make it. However, his researcher Vivian Alle-Dean met us and we put our views across to her.
459. Arranged an advert with the Registered Gas Installer Magazine for September, October and November and December.
460. Worked on the Flyer and the Rules again and corresponded with Danielle Royce to refine them both.
461. 21.09.15 Received the recommendations from the Coroner in the Corfu case.
462. Worked on a protocol for solicitors and sent this to Colemans. This protocol would also help victims.
463. Worked on the new data.
464. Worked on some new research ideas.
465. 05.10.15 Interviewed by BBC Look North about the Coroner’s recommendations in the Corfu inquest. Also had a conversation with David Hinchliff the Coroner about the tragedy and how a similar tragedy could be prevented.
466. 06.10.15 Received an invitation from John Noble of Thomas Cook to work with the company on prevention. Responded that we would be glad to do so.
467. 14.10.15 Received invitation from Mary Creagh MP to attend an event at the House of Commons on the 16th November 2015.
468. On the 14th October drove to Derby and stayed overnight to attend the event and presentation at BPEC which was extremely enjoyable and inspiring and concerned awards to people who had improved lives hugely for example in Africa by providing clean water.
469. On the 28th October 2015 met Frank Brehany and we went to the Cabinet office to deliver another letter based on the letter that Frank had sent in 2012 asking for Public Information Films about CO. We eventually managed to leave the letter with someone from the office and were promised a proper response. As of February 2016 we are still waiting.
470. Stephanie Trotter and Belinda Goldsmid met some researchers with a view to undertaking research into fumes from barbecue fuel and lighters.
471. Stephanie Trotter, Gavin Evans from Colemans and Belinda Goldsmid attended the launch of the Safer Tourism Foundation at the House of Commons on the 16th November 2015.
472. Stephanie Trotter and Belinda Goldsmid attended a meeting about smart meters 17.11.15.
473. Stephanie Trotter attended an ABTA meeting held by Linda MacAvan MEP in Brussels.
474. Stephanie Trotter attended a select committee in order to lobby on 01.12.15. 474. Stephanie Trotter attended a PIR (Pre Inquest Review) to support the Gbangbola family on 07.12.15.
475. Stephanie Trotter and John O’Leary attended the Gas Distribution Networks meeting on the 15.12.15. The competition was discussed and the need for publicity and for summer prize giving events.
476. Stephanie Trotter and Frank Brehany attended a meeting on 18.12.15 with Energy UK. Sue Westwood-Ruttledge was going to attend but had had an accident the day before so could not attend. Stephanie gave a 15 minute presentation and asked for funding to pay for for prime time TV warnings and funding for CO-Gas Safety to be set up professionally with paid people to continue its valuable work of data collection, collation and publication and victim support and lobbying for safety improvements.
477. Stephanie worked on the press pack 2016.
478. 19.01.16 Attended a select committee at the House of Commons.
479. 18.01.16 Stephanie Trotter, Jonathan Kane and Frank Brehany of Holiday Travel Watch met Peter Fankhauser and Alice Macandrew of Thomas Cook.<
480. 21.01.16 Met Tom Woolley in London. Tom is an Irish architect and someone in Ireland recommended me to him and he is keen to help. He has kindly introduced Margaret Ritchie MP to us.
481. 26.01.16 Collected new 2016 press packs from Prontaprint.
483. 02.02.16 Appointment with USA lawyers Vititoe Law Group to have a telephone conference at their expense due to a leak of natural gas in California. Interesting conversation.
484. 08.02.16 Attended a memorial event for Zane Gbangbola.
485. 09.02.16 Meeting with Margaret Ritchie MP who has kindly agreed to be our SDLP MP and perhaps find us a Lib Dem and Labour MP now Rosie Cooper MP has resigned.
486. 16.02.16 Meeting with Dr Jayne Donegan.
487. 22.02.16 Stephanie Trotter and Jonathan Kane had a meeting with the Chief Coroner, His Honour Judge Peter Thornton attended by Trotter, Frank Brehany, Jonathan Kane and Beverley Squire, database officer.
488. 20.03.16 Drafted petition asking for prime time TV warnings about carbon monoxide.
489. 25.04.16 Stephanie Trotter attended a two hour APPCOG event ‘CO in the domestic environment’. Had asked that our one minute film could be shown http://www.co-gassafety.co.uk/one-survivors-story/ but this was declined due to lack of time.
490. 11.05.16 Stephanie Trotter attended an APPCOG meeting concentrating on CO dangers abroad. Mark Dingley who had sadly lost his daughter Francesca to CO in China while she was teaching EFL gave a very moving speech and advocated prime time TV warnings about CO. This was echoed by other survivors. Stephanie had a further meeting with Frank Brehany and Mark Dingley afterwards.
491. Stephanie Trotter met Roland Johns to discuss the training course and courses Roland provides.
The courses Roland has given in 2015-16 are:-
18 Aug 2015 for SGN at Portchester. FCO (First Call Operative) apprentices
19 Aug 2015 for SGN at Burgess Hill. FCO apprentices
25 Jan 2016 for NGN at Leeds. Employees and Community Groups
01 April 2016 for NGN at Leeds. Employees and Community Groups
05 May 2016 for NGN at Newcastle. Employees and Community Groups
06 July 2016 for SGN at East Croydon. FCO apprentices
27 July 2016 for SGN at Linlithgow. FCO apprentices
17 August 2016 for SGN at Linlithgow. FCO apprentices
14 October 2016 for SGN at East Croydon. FCO apprentices
492. 07.06.16 Stephanie gave a short talk about CO at Vision an architects’ conference.
493.07.06.16 Stephanie was interviewed by Russian TV about the Gbangbola inquest and said that she was ashamed that the family was not given Legal Aid for the inquest as LA can be granted if the inquest is in the public interest, which it clearly is.
494.01.06.16 Stephanie attended a conference at Brussels presided over by Linda McAvan MEP. At this she saw an excellent film warning about carbon monoxide made with funding from the Regulator in N. Ireland. On the 4th June she wrote to Ofgem asking for a meeting to do the same in England and Wales.
495. 13.06.16 Attended the first day of the Zane Gbangbola inquest.
496. 14.06.16 Stephanie with her husband John attended the Faculty of Public Health conference for two days in Brighton. Many good contacts were made. Stephanie was interviewed for local radio.
497. 27.06.16 Stephanie attended the judging of the competition with John O’Leary and again on 11.07.16.
498. Stephanie sent a further letter by special delivery to Mamcop about smart meters and the need for Personal Alarm Monitors for CO for meter changers.
499. 14.07.16 Stephanie gave a talk about CO to the Local Authority managers of Coroners introduced by His Honour Judge Peter Thornton, the Chief Coroner.
500. 18.07.16 Stephanie attended the official last day of evidence given at the Zane Gbangbola inquest. There was a further day due to more evidence being called.
501. 02.08.16 Stephanie met John McNally MP who thought he had been poisoned by CO but probably was poisoned by exposure to a leak of natural gas. Belinda attended too. Very interesting meeting particularly that John’s wife attended and was a health visitor. She said that she recalled families who had been ill just as Belinda’s families had been and perhaps CO was an explanation.
502. 09.08.16 Stephanie attended a judging session with John O’Leary for the finalist for the competition.
503. Stephanie appointed some new trustees of CO-Gas Safety. These are Irma O’Leary, artist and CO survivor, Jim Lambeth, solid fuel and Sue Westwood, franchisor and CO survivor. Stephanie is delighted to have been joined by such dedicated and helpful people.
504. 05.09.16 Stephanie Trotter attended the last day of the Zane Gbangbola inquest.
505. Stephanie Trotter attended the Coroner’s judgement and conclusions of the Zane Gbangbola inquest which were read out in courtThe Coroner found that Zane a healthy seven year old had died of carbon monoxide poisoning although only 8% of carboxyhaemoglobin was found in his blood and this stays stable on death. During the following days Stephanie worked on a submission to the Coroner to assist him with his Rule 28 duty with regard to actions to prevent future deaths. Stephanie gave some background about the charity and its work since 1995 and a request for prime time TV warnings about CO to cover all fuels, all appliances and all types of accommodation. Stephanie also made some suggestions with regard to the hire of petrol pumps and warnings etc.
With regard to the 8% CO Stephanie commented:-
‘In over 21 years of work this is highly unusual. The only case that comes near it was 9% resulting in a plane crash. I am trying to get hold of the air accident report. Your finding of 8% causing death is horrific in that if you look up http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2085044-overview heavy smokers apparently have 10-15% in their blood (and the relevant document was enclosed). However, if 8% in the blood can kill then CO is much more lethal than even we realised.’
506.13.09.16 Stephanie Trotter attended the launch of gas safety week at the House of Commons. Before this event there was a prize giving for the winners of the CO awareness competition. The Gas Distribution Networks which have taken over CO-Gas Safety’s schools poster competition (run by the charity from 2006-16) which they have now changed to a CO Awareness competition so that not only posters but also poems, songs, performances and virtually anything can be entered. Initially there was only room for one representative of CO-Gas Safety so Stephanie gave her place to John O’Leary, without which the competition would not have happened as John did all the illustrations for the power point presentation which went to the teachers to inform the pupils about CO.
At the launch a new film by the Katie Haines Memorial Trust was shown. Gordon Samuel gave an excellent and moving speech. He also asked for prime time TV warnings about CO.
Barry Sheerman MP thanked the Katie Haines Memorial Trust and agreed that prime time TV warnings were needed.
Barry Sheerman MP did kindly recognise the work done by CO-Gas Safety.
507. 19.09.16 Stephanie Trotter went to Amsterdam with Jonathan Kane and met Albert de Vries MP of the Dutch Labour party and also Peter van Veen, a civil servant of the Building Minister to urge the Dutch government to register gas engineers in the Netherlands.
508. 22.09.16 Stephanie Trotter and Frank Brehany of Holiday Travel Watch met Belinda Phipps to discuss the Safer Tourism Foundation.
509. 22.09.16 Stephanie Trotter and Frank Brehany of Holiday Travel Watch met with Ben Kuchta to discuss his cut off system and gas safety in general.
510.07.10.16 Stephanie Trotter met Beverley Squires and Jennifer Wood in Portsmouth to discuss the database.
511. 12.10.16 Stephanie Trotter attended an APPCOG meeting at the House of Commons at which our one minute film of Sue Westwood was shown. Sadly the screen was tiny and dark and could hardly be seen. Other survivors attended including Belinda Goldsmid, Dina Gkitziou and Yvonne Yanney. They all spoke well.
512. 13.10.17 Stephanie Trotter met another survivor Olivia Murray.
513. 24.10.16 Stephanie Trotter, Jonathan Kane, Ben Kuchta and Roland Johns met Barry Sheerman at his office at the Houses of Parliament.
1.Introductions and reminder of what CO-Gas Safety does.
2.Awareness – Energy UK and Ofgem
3.Victim support – the need for it and the lack of it.
Stephanie Trotter sent some notes to Richard Denham of Policy Connect and Barry Sheerman MP and is hoping that some action will result.
514.03.11.16 Roland Johns and Stephanie Trotter met Paul Hellier and Midhat Talibu at UCL and were given a tour of the laboratories. We discussed research.
515. 04.11.16 Stephanie Trotter attended the opening of Kane’s new factory in Welwyn Garden City. Met many interesting people. Was introduced to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark. Jonathan Kane made the point that smart meter installers should wear Personal Alarm Monitors for CO and Stephanie made the point that there were no prime time TV warnings about CO.
516. 25.11.16 Submitted entries to the H & V Awards.
517. 28.11.16 Stephanie Trotter attended a meeting organised by APPCOG with HSE to discuss the review of Capita and the Gas Safe Register. Stephanie starts to prepare a submission to HSE.
518. 23.12.16 We heard very good news from Holland regarding mandatory registration of installers.
519. During December Stephanie continued to prepare a submission to HSE as well as the press pack 2017.
520. 09.01.17 Stephanie sent the submission from CO-Gas Safety to HSE re Gas Safe Register and gas safety generally.
521. During December and January Stephanie prepared Press Pack 2017 and arranged for it to be printed. The Guild of Master Sweeps will hand out copies at their AGM later in the year.
522. 17.01.17 Stephanie attended a meeting with Adrian McConnell and Jonathan Kane.
523. 18.01.17 Stephanie attended a meeting with npower’s Matthew Cole with Jonathan Kane and Frank Brehany.
524. 26.01.17 Stephanie attended a Sickel Cell event for the Gbangbola family.
525. 01.02.17 Stephanie and Frank Brehany attended a meeting with Michael Tomlinson MP.to discuss his private members’ bill about safer tourism.
526. 10.02.17 Stephanie attended a meeting with Kathy Atkinson of the Safer Tourism Foundation and Sophie Duggan and lunch with Sophie afterwards.
527. 15.02.17 Stephanie attended the Healthy Homes Conference with Belinda Goldsmith (victim).
528. 22.02.17 Stephanie attended a meeting with Margot James MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy along with Gordon Lishman of the Gas Safe Charity and John McNally MP.
529. 23.02.17 Stephanie made a trip to Bedfont with Olivia Murray (victim) to try to persuade Bedfont to test people especially those in the street to compare with the 8% carbooxyhaemoglobin which Zane had when he died.
530. 06.03.17 Stephanie made a presentation to the H and V Awards with John O’Leary (re our poster competition) and Tom Bell of Northern Gas Networks (re the course Roland Johns created to teach registered gas installers about CO from all fuels) for the safety initiative award.
531. 08.03.17 Stephanie attended the H & V Awards party with Olivia Murray (victim).
532. 10.03.17 Stephanie made an H & V News Awards presentation with Tom Bell of Northern Gas Networks (re the course Roland Johns created to teach registered gas installers about CO from all fuels).
533. 20.04.17 Stephanie attended the H & V Awards dinner with Adrian McConnell and Roland Johns. CO-Gas Safety won Safety Initiative of the Year 2017!
534. 24.04.17 Stephanie had a meeting with Sophie Duggan.
535. 04.05.17 Stephanie had a meeting with npower with Matthew Cole and Amy Archer and their head of PR Zoe Melarkey and Ridaa Husain. We felt this was a very positive meeting with Zoe obviously moved by Sue Westwood’s film.
537.05.05.17 Stephanie organised a meeting with Beverley Squire and Jenny Wood in Portsmouth about the database. Very helpful and informative for all concerned.
539. 23.05.17 Kamal Trivedi travelled to the Isle of Wight to see Stephanie to explain his new product for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning particularly in rented properties.
540. 06.06.17 Stephanie attended the judging event for the GDNs with John O’Leary and then had lunch and a catch up with Frank Brehany.
541. 08.06.17 Stephanie had a meeting with Jonathan and Sophie Duggan to discuss research and funding proposal.
542. 13.06.17 Stephanie finally obtained a meeting with Ofgem after asking for this since June 2016. She had wanted to see the CEO but Attendees were to be:-
Kersti Berge, Partner, RIIO Networks and Head of Ofgem in Scotland
Anthony Pygram, Partner for Consumers and this includes responsibility for domestic suppliers,
Pete Wightman, who works with Kirsti on the gas networks side
Jonathan Kane of Kane International, director/trustee CO-Gas Safety
Stephanie Trotter, OBE, president & director/trustee CO-Gas Safety
Sue Westwood, director/trustee CO-Gas Safety
Frank Brehany, CEO of Holiday Travel Watch interested organisation which has worked with CO-Gas Safety on CO holiday issues for about 20 years.
However, neither Sue nor Frank could make it. Interesting discussions but it seemed to boil down to Ofgem having no power over the suppliers and re the GDNs, Ofgem had decided on RIIO and the discretionary fund and nothing was going to change their views.
Stephanie spent a good deal of time preparing notes and sending documents promised at the meeting and sent these on the 19th June.
543. 20.06.17 Stephanie had a meeting with Adrian McConnell and Jonathan Kane to discuss funding applications.
544. 29.06.17 Stephanie attended the prize giving at Portcullis House of the primary schools awareness competition now run by the GDNs. This was enjoyed by all.
545. 24.08.17 Stephanie had a meeting with Paul Hellier of UCL, Adrian McConnell and Sophie Duggan to discuss possible research and funding applications. Stephanie prepared two funding applications.
546. 01.09.17 Stephanie read that Eddie Hughes MP was putting a ten minute rule bill about carbon monoxide and CO alarms and she wrote to him offering help and background documents. This involved quite a lot of communication and work with Eddie’s researcher.
547. 09.09.17 Stephanie had a meeting with the two database officers in Portsmouth to discuss the database and press pack 2018.
548. 13.09.17 Stephanie attended the launch of Gas Safety Week at the House of Commons where she met Eddie Hughes MP. Eddie Hughes MP gave a speech in support of his ten minute rule bill and thanked CO-Gas Safety and Stephanie and mentioned CO-Gas Safety’s one minute film about Sue Westwood’s experience of being poisoned by CO. The bill passed the first reading. Second reading is to be on the 19th January 2018. Hansard can be read at https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-09-13/debates/7A87C6A4-39BD-4181-98E5-22609C032B50/CarbonMonoxide(DetectionAndSafety)
549. 15.09.17 Stephanie received a letter from Adrian McConnell dated 13.09.16 in which both funding applications to the GDNs for £2,000 were refused. 13.09.17 Stephanie Trotter attended launch of Gas Safety Week.
550. 09.10.17 Meeting of Stephanie Trotter with Richard Bruce and Frank Brehany
551. 10.10.17 Meeting of Stephanie Trotter with database officers in Portsmouth.
552. 11.10.17 Stephanie Trotter attended an APPCOG meeting of the medical committee.
553. 16.10.17 Meeting of Stephanie Trotter and Irma O’Leary with Eddie Hughes MP.
553. 20.10.17 Meeting at Imperial with Stephanie Trotter, Jenny Wood and Beverley Squire with Fred Piel to inspect and discuss database.
554. 24.10.17 Meeting of Stephanie Trotter and Jonathan Kane with Lord Hunt. Lord Hunt kindly agreed to send letters drafted by Stephanie.
555. 30.10.17 Meeting of Stephanie Trotter and Roland Johns with Mike Flower and Laura Ayres re Eddie Hughes’s bill.
556. 07.11.17 Stephanie Trotter attended an APPCOG meeting.
557. 14.11.17 Stephanie Trotter had a meeting with Bob Seely MP with Paul Overton in order to request Bob’s help for MP Eddie Hughes’ bill. Bob later assured Stephanie of his support.
558. 21.11.17 Stephanie attended the IGEM CO conference.
559. 28.11.17 Stephanie attended the National Energy Action report launch.
560. 11.12.17 Stephanie attended the Utility Awards with her husband having been invited by the GDNs.
561. 13.12.17 Stephanie organised and attended a meeting between Ofgem and the GDNs with Paul Overton and Frank Brehany present. The cost of a PR campaign to raise awareness was discussed but was not met with approval. Sadly the person responsible for consumer issues at Ofgem Anthony Pygram did not attend. CO-Gas Safety argued that cost of prime time TV warnings in N. Ireland was less than £500,000 and that although this might be some millions if upscaled to England, Scotland and Wales this would still save lives and preserve health and be well worth doing. Sadly CO-Gas Safety’s arguments did not seem to prevail. Incredible when smart meters cost billions!
562. 11.01.18 Meeting with Wates the builders between Stephanie, Olivia Murray and Jim Lambeth.
563. 17.01.18 Meeting with Ian McCluskey of IGEM and Barry Matthews of OPGO with Stephanie and Paul Overton to discuss GETSI.
564. Work undertaken on the press pack 2018. 565. 24.01.18 BEIS meeting re smart meters meeting Stephanie with Paul Overton and John Courtney with Ian McKenzie. Officials seemed to refuse to consider risks of CO poisoning to meter changers despite the provision of PAMs to First Call Operators.
566. Press pack 2018 completed and published. Most were sent to the Guild of Master Sweeps to hand out at their conference.
567. 14.03.18 Stephanie attended an IGEM lecture 568. 20.03.18 Meeting with Jenny Wood to discuss the database in Portsmouth.
569. 26.03.18 Meeting with Eddie Hughes MP with Irma O’Leary and housing civil servants & pick up of New Law Journal with Stephanie’s article in it on the way there.
570. 25.04.18 Meeting with the Chief Coroner with Stephanie, Jenny Wood, Beverley Squire and Olivia Murray. Very helpful meeting and need to collect more data discussed. Stephanie thanked the Chief Coroner for his help and his time. A great deal more further work and thought has been undertaken on the data.
571. 02.05.18 Meeting with Dr Ben Croxford, Stpehanie, Jos Bell, Albert Donnay with Paul Overton.
572. 24.05.18 Stephanie had a meeting with Frank Brehany and then visited a Council tenant.
573.25.05.18 Attended the judging of the CO-Awareness awards with John O’Leary.
574. 25.05.18 In the afternoon Stephanie attended a meeting with Matt Cole of npower, Ben Kuchta representing Registered Gas Engineers and Amy Archer our PR person. Meeting was attended by Audrey Gallacher of Energy UK and Laura Parkes PR of npower. This seemed to be a very helpful and productive meeting.
575. 28.06.18 Stephanie attended the prize giving event at Portcullis House in the Attlee suite. Very happy, successful and well organised event. Tom Bell told Stephanie that he’d given the CO-Gas Safety course on CO to some refugees and many had lost people they knew to CO. Stephanie also chatted to Emmi Isham the PR for Cadent who has invented ‘Safety Seymour’ a teddy bear to teach primary school children about CO. Stephanie raised the issue of getting in touch with the United Nations and the need to raise awareness of CO in refugee camps. She then tried all possible contacts such as our patron Lord Hunt. Barry Sheerman MP suggested Stephanie would like to send more PQs which Stephanie did after the prize giving. Stephanie contacted Phil Burrows and Tom Bell about the United Nations and also asked Tom to write up the talk he gave. Phil Burrows agreed to see whether he could interest his PR people in such a project. Stephanie was delighted.
576. After numerous emails starting in January 2018 we finally managed to obtain a meeting with Georgina Bailey of APPCOG about GETSI and also about Eddie Hughes’ bill and landlords’ duties and CO generally. This has been fixed for the 2nd August. Roland Johns and Paul Overton are planning to attend with Stephanie. Stephanie has been working on an Agenda.
577. Throughout the year (from last August) Stephanie has been working to help a Council tenant. This tenant has been paying rent but is without central heating and hot water for around a year. This is the first such case that has dragged on – usually it is enough to write to the MP concerned and perhaps have a chat with the Council and things are resolved at least on the gas safety front. This has taken up a lot of time and Stephanie has persisted because there may still be outstanding safety issues with the meter and the gas pipes although the meter has been capped. Stephanie has received real support from one gas installer who is qualified under CMDDA 1 and is very grateful.
578. 02.08.18 Meeting with Oona Muirhead and Georgina Bailey of Policy Connect on the 2nd August with Stephanie Trotter and Roland Johns about several issues but mainly our difficulty with regard to obtaining any input into GETSI. Oona welcomed the input of Roland Johns. Stephanie also put forward that the panel was very unrepresentative being only men of a certain age and no representatives from ordinary gas engineers, CO victims. women or LBGT. We queried why Roland Johns was not on the panel but in our opinion, didn’t seem to receive a satisfactory response or explanation.
Also discussed was the policy of the Gas Safe Register for consumers with regard to tenants namely 8.2.Please see https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/media/2376/consumer-policy-our-services-explained_v61.pdf and for tenants see 8.2 which says the following:-
‘If you are a tenant, we will seek permission from your landlord before undertaking our investigation. However, if you do not wish to engage your landlord, we will only be ableto conduct a visual inspection of the installation. Whilst we accept your request this will limit the extent and effectiveness of our investigation into your complaint. Note: Where we identify gas related safety defects we may be obliged to inform your landlord or their agent, where known.’ This policy alerts landlords to the fact that tenants may be being poisoned by CO and the result is that the appliance is (in the experience of CO-Gas Safety) often either repaired or taken to the dump which means that the tenant has no proof of CO. What is more many registered gas installers seem to interpret the Gas Safe Register’s policy as applying to them as well. The problem with this is that less proof of CO means that there appears to be less cases of CO than there actually might be and therefore Government and industry are led to assume that CO is a small issue whereas the charity considers CO to be an issue and health problem that affects a very large number of people.
579. After the meeting Roland Johns sent his course (for registered gas engineers on carbon monoxide from all fuels) to Georgina Bailey and Oona Muirhead. CO-Gas Safety was not invited to provide input but followed up the meeting on the 2nd August by sending some input, by sending several emails to Oona and Georgina. The charity also forwarded correspondence sent to the CEO of the Gas Safe Register dated 22.05.18.
580. Sue Westwood, CO victim and CO-Gas Safety trustee kindly attended the launch of Gas Safety week on behalf of the charity on the 12th September. Stephanie was unable to attend.
580. 09.10.18 Jennifer Wood attended a meeting at Western Power and distributed quite a number of our press packs.
581. Stephanie’s article about the silent killer and how to prevent it was published in Gi magazine in September.
582. 20.09.18 Stephanie met Beverley Squires and Jennifer Wood CO-Gas Safety’s database officers in Portsmouth. We discussed various issues and particularly an inititive to further inspect our database.
583. During September and October Stephanie helped a number of CO victims and wrote to the COmed group about their predicament which is that they can’t seem to find any medical help. Stephanie wrote to Isabella Myers of COmed asking for help for these victims. A response was received and sent out on 20.11.18.
584. Stephanie wrote an update for the Registered Gas Engineer. This is intended to be published in December.
585. On 12th October Stephanie agreed to the charity and its data being mentioned by Fred Piel of Imperial in an application to the Gas Safety Trust for a collaboration between Imperial College London (SAHSU), Public Health England and CO Gas Safety (Stephanie Trotter).
586. Stephanie was invited to give evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deaths Abroad and Consular Services on the 16th October. Stephanie alerted Frank Brehany, who used to run Holiday Travel Watch for many years and both attended. Sadly the MP Hannah Bardell was held up in Scotland but both Frank and Stephanie spent two hours talking to Hannah’s researchers.
587. Stephanie had a good telephone conversation with Dr. Ray Perrin on 25th October.
588. On the 12th November, Stephanie had a telephone conference with HSE. Paul Overton and Ben Kuchta were also kindly on the line and joined in the conversation. The HSE was represented by Lyndsey Baldwin, Policy Advisor, Manufacturing and Utilities and John Rowe, Head of Manufacturing and Utilities Unit and one other Oonagh Newcomen . The main purpose seemed to be to persuade CO-Gas Safety to stop from making Freedom of Information requests as we were told we had made nine in one year. However, the HSE kindly stated it will provide much of the information requested proactively in future, which is good and to everyone’s benefit.
Meanwhile the charity expressed its concern about the Gas Safe Register’s policy with regard to landlords and tenants see 578 above.
Stephanie also asked if the charity could have a meeting with someone at HSE responsible for smart meters. Ben Kuchta supported Stephanie’s concerns about smart meter changes and said that too many appliances are being marked ‘At Risk’ or ‘Immediately Dangerous’ because the operatives don’t have the experience or equipment to test them. Paul Overton asked the HSE to contact the Registered Gas Engineer magazine and suggest that meter changers buy their own Personal Alarm Monitor for CO if their employers would not do this.
Stephanie asked what happened to the RIDDOR notices and whether these could be made available for research purposes? John Rowe of HSE seemed to offer them to CO-Gas Safety on an ongoing basis. Stephanie said CO-Gas Safety would be delighted to have RIDDOR notices in future, provided the charity had the funding to process them.
589. Stephanie and Frank Brehany had a meeting with Thomas Cook on the 13th November to discuss how they now help victims for example, Kelly Ormerod (after her parents died suddenly in Egypt of an unknown cause while on a TC holiday). The charity had hoped that Thomas Cook would be keen to show that it now had policies and protocols that allowed independent people or charities to assist victims such as Kelly. However, it seemed that more that needs to be done. The difficulty is in obtaining lists of such independent people, experts, charities and/or lawyers to be provided to distressed families at the earliest possible point, in particular to ensure that evidence can be preserved. The charity is indebted to Harry Rogers, expert gas engineer and independent court witness who at the family’s expense, went to Corfu in 2006 to investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragic deaths of Christi and Bobby Shepherd. In the charity’s opinion, without Harry’s action, as well as the courage, determination and resources of the parents, the facts of the case would never have emerged.
590. Stephanie prepared the review of the year 2017-18 – our year for our accountant is from 01.08. to 31.07. While preparing this review Stephanie asked our database officer to provide a report on the database.
CO-Gas Safety Database of Incidents – improvements in 2017-2018
During this period the database has continued to be improved. We have continued to monitor the press and other sources to ensure that we are informed of as many accidental carbon monoxide-related deaths as possible, both recent and historical cases.
This year we have contacted every Coronial Office in England and Wales to enquire about any relevant recent fatalities, in case there have been any not brought to our attention by the media. We are also confident that we now have documentation for all possible cases in Scotland and Northern Ireland that the authorities still hold records for.
We currently have some form of official confirmation (Coronial documents, appliance or incident inspection reports, death certificate etc) of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning for over 90% of the fatalities that we hold on our database. This includes deaths of UK citizens overseas and so is a figure of which we are proud. The remaining cases have sufficient press coverage of the incident or inquest, to give us no doubt that they fall within our remit.
There has been significant work done this year to more thoroughly document the cases of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning of UK citizens whilst overseas. This has resulted in the removal of four victims from the database (2 whose UK inquest could not ascertain CO poisoning beyond doubt and 2 who we suspect were never repatriated to the UK and thus we cannot locate relevant documentation. Since their deaths date back to the early stages of CO-Gas Safety’s existence, little hope remains of being able to confirm such cases abroad and we therefore prefer to remove them than jeopardise the integrity of our data.)
Our research methods and documentation have improved to the extent that we now hold blood test results showing the level of carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb, an indicator of CO poisoning) for over 45% of all the victims we include in our database. This rises to 79% of all the accidental carbon monoxide fatalities we are aware of that took place over the last ten years (01/09/2008 – 31/08/2018).
Details such as this, alongside greater information regarding CO alarms, appliance details and servicing/installation information will continue to be sought in the coming year for more recent cases, so that we may learn as much as we can from each tragedy.