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the programme tonight: They were taken away for safety, but will
children's services ever return to Bedford Hospital?
Now the public are to have their say.
I am concerned with the consultation, that we may not have
an option to bring these services back.
That and the rest of the top stories now.
Charged with manslaughter - after a fight over a supermarket parking
space, Alan Watts appears in court. He's on a salary of more than
�66,000, so why has this Cambridgeshire MP taken on a second
big-paying job? And, from the electronic wizardry of
Cambridge minds to the gadgets in your homes - we meet the company
with multi-million pound exports Good evening. We begin tonight with
fears that children's services may never return to Bedford Hospital.
All overnight stays and emergency care for under 19s were suspended
last month after concerns about safety and staffing levels. Parents
have been forced to take their children to neighbouring hospitals
instead. But some have complained of long delays. Now they're to have
their say over the future of local services. Anna Todd reports.
Last week, baby Victor spent the night in children's A&E at Milton
Keynes Hospital. His family say he was admitted at 11pm, but not seen
until 5am the next day. They say staff were struggling to cope with
an influx of patients from the Bedford area. People forced out of
town as their own hospital is no longer providing emergency care for
children. You pray nothing happens, but things do happen and things go
wrong, and I would like the security to have the hospital nearby that I
could take my child to, rather than having to take him out of Bedford
into Milton Keynes, or even Luton or Dunstable. It is different dealing
with young children than adults, which is my field. Children go down
the tubes far quicker than adults do. They bounce back quicker, but
they go off quicker. You have got a limited amount of time in which to
catch them. But in June, paediatric inpatient Asian services were
suspended at Bedford Hospital due to a lack of junior doctors. Milton
Keynes hospital has agreed to take the extra patients. Yesterday, its
medical director told BBC it was unlikely the services would return
to Bedford, but today, the chief executive refuted that claim.
entitled to his view. From a Milton Keynes perspective, we are clear
that we want to fully participate in the consultation process, and we
would like the right answer to involve evolve over the next few
months. The hospital trust said the current changes are interim and that
they are working hard to bring them back in a safe and sustainable way,
but they say no decisions will be made until there has been a full
public consultation, due to start in the autumn. That needs to start as
soon as possible. One of the options it to be to bring the services back
safely. I am concerned that there is already talk about them never coming
back again, and that is not acceptable. Meanwhile, Milton Keynes
hospital insists baby Victor was clinically safe throughout his stay.
They say, having taken on more senior doctors and nurses, they are
well able to cope with the extra workload. The Bedfordshire Clinical
Commissioning Group decides where and how people in the county can be
treated. It's led by Dr Paul Hassan, who
joins us now. The hospital says it's working hard to bring these services
back. Why do you feel a consultation is necessary?
I think what we have seen is that the services as they were were no
longer safe or sustainable. We want on with our public to understand
what safe and sustainable services mean. In a town as large as Bedford
it would be ridiculous to consider that there wouldn't be paediatric
services, but we need to go through with the families, with the
children, with the public, and with all the other people involved in the
provision of the services arm how we provide, sorry, how we commission a
provider of safe, high-quality and sustainable services which,
unfortunately, we have not had, up which is why the services were
taken, why the GMC took the junior doctors away from the hospital.
Having the idea of merging hospital services in your neighbourhood been
around for a couple of years, and some people feel it is an easy way
of getting rid of services? It would be an easy way of getting rid of
services if it was going to happen. As a local GP, I have no views - we
have no queues at all about how providers of services, the
hospitals, should arrange themselves. What we want to do with
our public is commission the highest possible quality of services for our
public, and the consultation that we are starting over the next week or
so is designed to involve everybody in drawing up the various options
that there will be in order to do this. Many thank you for your time.
A jury's been told that a man accused of murdering a Milton Keynes
teenager 13 years ago was linked to the case after a sexual assault on
another woman. Restaurant worker Shahidul Ahmed from Bletchley was
arrested in 2010 after his DNA was matched to that found at the scene
where Rachel Manning's body was discovered. Our reporter Neil
Bradford was in court. So, the court heard details of how Mr Ahmed became
a suspect? That's right. It was two years after Rachel Manning's murder
when the 41-year-old was arrested. His DNA was entered onto the
national database and it was found to match a sample taken from a
steering lock found near the scene will stop it was used to eat Rachel
Manning around the head of wobbly after she had been strangled -- to
eat Rachel Manning around the head. She went missing after attending a
fancy dress party. Her boyfriend he was with her that night was
subsequently convicted of her murder, but his conviction was
quashed in 2008. The jury here at Luton Crown Court must decide
whether this restaurant Walker -- workup was responsible for her
murder. Other than the DNA, what is the prosecution's case? The jury
heard that there was also a hair found on Rachel Manning's clothing,
which was probably belonging to Shahidul Ahmed. The DNA and that
hair, the prosecutor says, formed the five banks of the case. The
others are that Shahidul Ahmed knows the local area particularly well,
and also he sold his car just eight days after Rachel Manning's murder.
Finally, his previous conviction for sexual assault mean they believe he
is capable of this crime. The trial continues.
A man has been in court this morning charged with manslaughter after a
grandfather died following an argument in a supermarket car park.
Alan Watts, who is 65 and from Biggleswade, will be sent to Crown
Court for trial. Emma Baugh has the details.
Charged yesterday morning and leaving court today on a brief
appearance to face a single charge of manslaughter. Alan Watts spoke
only to confirm his name in a very short hearing which lasted less than
five minutes. He was released on bail with a number of conditions,
that he must surrender his passport, that he must not drive or visit the
Asda store in Biggleswade. It was less than two weeks ago that the
supermarket car park is reportedly became the scene of a dispute
between Alan Watts and another man. It was here on Saturday, August
three that the argument was reported to have taken place in the disabled
parking area. A 64-year-old man Brian Holmes, was later found to
have serious head injuries and he died in hospital the following day.
Brian Holmes was a grandfather who lived in a nearby town. His family
said he had just been given the all clear from cancer. Little is known
about the details of what happened, and police have appealed for
witnesses. Alan Watts will now appear in court in Luton before the
end of the month. He will then face a Crown Court trial.
The debate over whether MPs should have second jobs re-ingnited today.
Sir Jim Paice who represents South East Cambridgeshire has landed a job
as the Chairman of First Milk, the UK's largest farmer-owned dairy. The
former Agriculture Minister begins the role in October. It'll only be
one day a week, but will constituents support him?
I would say it is impossible. On one county has got to look after the
people, but he has also got to look after the shareholders, and the two
don't tally at all. I think it is a conflict of interest. How can you
concentrate on two things? He has obviously got good commercial
knowledge and experience which justifies his position. The chances
are he will do a very good job. I don't see how it can compromise
things. Jim Paice has already announced he'll step down as an MP
at the next General Election in 2015. So, why didn't he wait until
then to take up a new role? I asked him this afternoon.
Well, things don't always work on a precise timetable. It is not too
years, it is only 14 or 15 months. Even so, it does mean there will be
an overlap. It is a very part-time role that I am taking on. I am
certainly still intending to look after my constituents to the best of
my ability, as I have always done. But not everyone agrees that MPs
should have second jobs. Ed Miliband raised it very recently. People want
to put a stop to what you are doing. I think that is outrageous, and I
think Ed Miliband is entirely wrong. I don't think the general public in
this country want a professional political class with no contact with
the rest of the country. There are people practising as GPs, several
practising dentists, there are still people doing some teaching - they
never get criticised. Either you can do something else and be an MP or
you can't. You mentioned salaries. Your predecessor in 2009 was on
�120,000 a year. What will your salary he? I am not prepared to go
into that. And I will take up the position, I will make the necessary
declarations to the register of members interest in parliament, but
I can tell you it is a lot less than that. They constituents we spoke to
today are quite angry. You can't make comments like that. I don't
know how many you have spoken to. Did you go out... Whether they are
one, two or five, they are still your constituents and they said this
should not be happen happening. Well, no MP gets 100% support from
all their constituents. It is not surprising that you will find some
constituents who don't like what the MP is doing.
One thing the company says it likes about you and why they wanted you
for the job, it quotes your considerable list of contacts. Do
you feel you are profiteering from your former role as a minister is to
mark no, I do not believe I am profiteering from any former role.
As a minister, I gained wide knowledge of the dairy industry.
Coming from a farming background, I had good knowledge anyway. I
passionately believe in the concept of Corporation. This is a business
owned by farmers. It is not some big big public plc. If I can provide
them with the leadership that they seek, then I shall be very pleased.
Sir Jim Paice. Plans to create an extra 500 places
for schools in Bedfordshire have been approved today. The council
granted permission to three schools, to create new places from 2014. The
council says it wants to ensure there are places for all local
children at local schools and the population in Marston and Ampthill