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the programme tonight: Patients spending too long in A&E.
The hospitals where more than one in ten waited longer than four hours.
More on that and the rest of the day's news with Janine Machin.
Finding the right formula - a Cambridge MP argues for science to
be pushed up the Government's agenda.
The fitness instructor from Haverill jailed after attacking a judge in
court. And, hidden history - the Bronze Age
boats preserved for posterity in wetland just outside Peterborough.
Good evening. First tonight, the hospital Accident and Emergency
departments where more than one in ten patients aren't being dealt with
quickly enough. Two of our hospitals are falling significantly short of
Government targets for A&E waiting times.95% of people should be seen
within four hours, but in one week last month, figures from NHS England
show that only 88.5% of patients were seen in time at the Queen
Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn and it was a similar figure in
Kettering, where only 88.3% of patients were seen within four
hours. Earlier I spoke to the Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter.
Kettering General Hospital has spent the last 12 months almost constantly
in the headlines. The future of the hospital was the focus of the last
year's by-election, but it is their performance which has butted in the
spotlight. Last year, it was put on red alert after a damning report by
the health care regulator, which highlighted the hospital's
persistent failure to meet waiting time targets and criticised
financial management. These latest figures again show Kettering has
fallen way below the target for A&E waiting times. The hospital is not
doing enough. We have still got this problem. The hospital does realise
it has more to do and it has made its top priority. It has political
support from MPs. They are trying to get extra investment into the A&E.
The management here at Kettering General Hospital did not want to
speak to us today, but did provide us with a statement in which they
say they are embarking on a transformation programme. They say
they are working closely with local GPs to find better ways to refer
patients to the hospital without using a and E. They also say they
are looking at better ways to move patients through the hospital and to
make the A&E department itself more efficient. Bosses also hope this
place, the urgent care centre, will play its part in reducing waiting
times. Many believe the pressure on A&E departments will only be
relieved when the public realise there are alternatives. Now we know
that most practices, pharmacies, have all set themselves up to be
able to give people advice at the right level, and is much more timely
and convenient, and more friendly. Kettering is by no means alone in
its struggle to meet targets. Kings Lynn is also ranked as one of the
poorest performing hospitals in the country. We have not given patients
as good an experience as they should have had. However, I know that we
provide safe care and that we endeavour every day to make sure
that patients get treatment as quickly as possible. These figures
reflect the last week in May. In that time, Northampton General
scored 98%. But, figures over the first quarter of this year, showed
that Northampton failed to meet targets. It is better news here
where it has cut waiting times. Nationally, the A&E performers is
said to be the worst in nine years. I asked Dan Poulter what the
government put that figure down to. What we know from these figures is
that the NHS has had a difficult winter. We have had problems with
flu and bouts of difficult weather, which has made it difficult for
staff to get into work, and also has meant that older people have been
falling over, having breaks and bumps and strains. That has put a
lot of pressure on them. Having said that, the last five weeks back
contract and ten 1-macro is performing well and back on target.
At Kettering general, they say that they have seen the number of people
visiting A&E double over the last 20 years. That is not down to one bad
winter. You has to wonder whether the service has been underfunded for
too long. The current government is committed to putting more money into
the NHS, but in Kettering there has been a considerable population
growth. The big challenge for the NHS has been this increase of 1
million additional patients. A lot of those patients are frail, elderly
people with complex medical needs. A lot of discharge without any
treatment because a lot of young families find it difficult to access
GPs in the evening and end up turning up at A&E. Part of the
solution is to address this problem and have wider access to GPs, and
more GPs in the NHS in years going ahead. It is also about having a
more joined up approach for older people and making sure we are better
able to look after older people with complex needs. Is there a danger
here that the message we are giving to the members of the public is that
accident and emergency departments are struggling so please don't turn
up there, we have had problems with ambulance response times throughout
the region, we know that the out of hours GP service is not functioning
as well as it should, nor is the nonemergency 111 line. Is there a
danger that people will die because they simply don't know what to do?
What we do know is that when people turn up at A&E, medical
professionals always look after the patients in front of them and
prioritise the sickest patients first. Thanks to action that I took
and Norman Lamb the social care minister has taken, we now have a
thorough review of the and events service and we will see some
improvements and additional resources put into the front line.
In terms of reforming the NHS and improving the delivery of
high-quality care, there is no silver bullet. It will take a number
of years to get our servers where we needed to be, which is making sure
we keep people better supported in their homes, in their communities,
so they don't have to turn up to A&E in a state of great distress.
Britain will "sabotage its future" if it doesn't boost investment in
science, according to a Cambridge MP. In a special Commons debate
Julian Huppert called on the Government to ring-fence a budget
for science projects in order to protect the industry.
Launched on a Russian rocket only yesterday, another communication
satellites built in Stevenage. Silverstone is not only the home of
Formula one, but it is also a hub of technology and innovation. And,
Cambridge, with Alnwick University receiving more EU funding than any
other in the country. Tonight, Cambridge's MP will call for more
money for scientific research in this region. Nobody when they
started work on the World Wide Web or the like would have known where
that would lead, but all of these are transformational William dollar
issues which have made a huge difference for the whole of the East
of England. This Institute in Cambridge is a biotech world leader.
They say the MP has a point. problem we have at the moment is
that the funding for the last spending review gave a flat line
funding over a certain period of time. Inflation in the machines were
used to carry out research is gradually eroding that sum of
money. The government's technology strategy board invested �26.4
million in the last year. That reached 1450 organisations. They say
the result was a �184 million boost to the local economy. In terms of
the big names, they don't come much bigger than that. That is
Microsoft's new European headquarters here in Cambridge.
Soon, another global pharmaceutical company will move their headquarters
here, creating 600 new jobs. So, do we need more government money? If
you have a mobile phone, chances are one of this company's chips is in
it. They say investment and education are key. Part of it is the
government creating the right environment for technology
companies, and also education. We are very keen to see the next
generation of engineers, the next generation of entrepreneurs capable
of coming up with innovative ideas. This high-tech centre has a first
for knowledge and innovation, but that can cost.
A new Chief Constable is about to be named for Bedfordshire. Colette Paul
has been selected by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner to
take over the force. Today, the Police and Crime Panel has been
putting her through her paces, as our home affairs correspondent Sally
Chidzoy reports. Colette Paul, the current Deputy
Chief Constable of South Wales and Beds police and crime commission
once her to be his next Chief Constable. First, they had to face
the new Police and Crime Panel of councillors before his toys can be
confirmed and she can get to work. Colette Paul is a former
Metropolitan Police and CID detective. The meeting ran late into
the afternoon. It is not quite a grilling, but members of the police
and crime panel are asking Colette Paul a number of questions right
now. She said she has worked around the world and had extensive
experience of dealing with diverse communities. When asked what she
would bring to all neighbourhoods in Beds, she said she would have an
effective rural crime strategy. When asked what would be her biggest
challenge, she replied operational and that she was aware of all the
shootings in looting and I would be a critical piece of work. There have
been ten shootings in Luton so far this year as police work to stem the
violence. The police and crime panel has the power to veto the implements
of a Chief Constable, but that is unlikely to happen. She spoke for a
while, but has real challenge will be on delivery. She has got some
challenges in Luton, and also the pressures of finances that overture
is facing. -- Beds. She awaits official confirmation that she has
got the job. A man has been charged with
preventing the burial of two men whose bodies were found in ditches
in remote parts of Cambridgeshire. Leslie Layton, from Orton Goldhay in
Peterborough, has been charged in connection with the deaths of Kevin
Lee and John Chapman. He's due to appear before Peterborough
magistrates tomorrow. Two other men and a woman have already been
charged in relation to both the deaths, as well as that of a third
man, Lukasz Slaboszewski. Police investigating a shooting in
Luton have arrested a 21-year-old man. The shooting happened on
Fountain's Road on May fifth. Today's arrest is the third in
connection with the incident. One man has already been charged with
attempted murder and a firearms offence in connection with the case.
A fitness instructor from Haverhill who attacked a judge, knocking off
his wig, has been jailed for 18 months for contempt of court. Paul
Graham assaulted Judge John Devaux at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.
Today, his behaviour was described as insulting and intimidating.
I think it says that the judge is saying, "you can't do this, and if
you do, it is a very slippery slope in respect of respect for the law in
this country" . He has to send out this powerful message that this