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Hello, welcome to Thursday's Look North.
Tonight, a new crisis for children's heart surgery in the North East.
NHS bosses have told doctors here that, if they want to continue
to operate, they may have to move the unit across the city.
Most of this will be down to local hospitals to work out and local
hospital trusts to work out how this might be achieved and,
if it can't be achieved, then we will have to take
Also tonight, a man's died after being found with serious
The North doctors working on a rapid test to diagnoses lift-threatening
And back on display in a new location -
the statue honouring a footballing legend.
Staying with sport, there's a new challenge for one
And for the next three days - Wearside is the place to spot some
of the best young tennis players in the world!
First tonight, BBC Look North has learned of a major crisis facing
The flagship Child and Adult Heart Surgery Unit may have to be moved
to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, if Newcastle is to continue
to provide children's heart surgery, including heart transplants.
NHS England says, in future, any hospital undertaking complex
children's heart surgery must be based on the same site of other
In Newcastle, they're at different sites.
Sharon Barbour has this exclusive report.
Undertaking complex heart surgery on a child -
sometimes on a tiny baby - is one of the most difficult
It's operating on a heart that can be as little as a walnut.
Making sure every surgeon has enough expertise and experience to do it
safely has been at the centre of a raging battle across
the country for the last 16 years, since the scandal of high death
The question being which hospitals can continue
Newcastle's Freeman Hospital has been at the centre of that debate,
but its battle for survival has been boosted by the fact
that it's one of the few in the country that undertakes
The most specialist skill of all, a skill that has seen them make
And nearly four years ago, after a huge
review of all units, it had right to continue.
But legal battles and campaigning by Leeds Hospital
supporters saw that decision scrapped.
So, more than ?6 million later, NHS England has today launched
a public consultation on the standards hospitals
have to reach to be able to continue complex surgery.
But for Newcastle, one of the standards is a major concern.
And that has major implications, because, for the whole
of the North East and Cumbria, heart surgery is at the Freeman
and specialist children's services is based on the other side
of the city, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.
The challenge of moving the entire children's and adult heart
surgery across to another hospital is enormous.
This will be down to local hospitals to work out and local hospital
trusts to work out how this might be achieved and, if it can't be
achieved, NHS England will need to know it can be achieved and we will
have to take the appropriate action accordingly. In terms of money there
is no additional money, so that has to be stated upfront. Newcastle
hospital staff are coming to terms with the enormity of the news and,
in a statement, told us... NHS England say they will give
Newcastle more time than anywhere That are significant questions
tonight. I possible will it be to move all of children's and adult's
surgery and transplanted to the RVI, or move all of the children's
specialist services from the RVI to the Freeman Hospital so they can all
be on the same site. It would take a huge amount of planning and time and
have a massive impact on both hospitals and will cost millions of
pounds. NHS England say they will give
Newcastle more time than anywhere else, but refused to be drawn on how
much they would be willing A public consultation has been
launched today and we'll ask -- will ask for months with no announcement
expected until next year. Mystery still surrounds
the discovery of a fatally-injured man in a Sunderland cemetery
early this morning. The victim, who hasn't yet been
named, died despite treatment by paramedics at the scene
and it's not known The police are appealing
for anyone who might have Bishopwearmouth cemetery
is Sunderland's biggest. And here, among its 80
acres of gravestones, a man lay dying in the freezing
hour before dawn. At 6.30, the police were called
by paramedics, who treated the badly-injured victim
at the scene, without success. Despite this being so close to the
city centre, and between two major roads, this can be a very solitary
even remote place. And with almost no lighting in that, it would have
been very dark early this morning. One local woman is especially
familiar with the 70s. And the bodies. I always look over my
shoulder. Someone is supposed to love those gates but they are always
open so you don't know who is going to be in there. So you don't feel
safe? Don't feel safe at all. Entrances to the cemetery
were sealed off, but one funeral did go ahead,
out of sight of the work This afternoon, a Home Office
pathologist came and went, but any information about the man,
or how he might have died, Police carried out house-to-house
enquiries and asked for anyone who might have any useful
information to come forward. Whoever he was, he died a violent
death in what should be a place Gerry Jackson,
BBC Look North, Sunderland. A Cumbrian police officer,
who's in prison awaiting sentence after admitting three child sex
offences, has been sacked and described as a disgrace
to his profession. PC Nick Pool tried to encourage
a 12-year-old girl to meet him for sex, not knowing the child
was an undercover police officer. Today at a special hearing,
Pool was instantly dismissed Cumbria's Ambulance Service has
expressed support for plans to downgrade maternity services
at the West Cumberland Hospital, despite raising serious
clinical concerns In a letter written in December,
the North West Ambulance Service Chief Executive said plans
to transfer more pregnant women from Whitehaven to Carlisle
were clinically unsafe Today, the Ambulance Trust confirmed
those concerns had been addressed and it now supports plans
for midwifery lead care. -- and it now supports plans
for midwifery-led care. But union representatives
say their members still have I was surprised and
I'm still unclear to what The fact of the matter
is there is an issue about high acute cases and the transfer
of those high acute cases from Whitehaven to Carlisle,
and these concerns, these matters, have still not been addressed
to our members' satisfaction. Northumbria Policeis one the forces
-- is one of the forces considered and satisfactory. More than 7000
offences including a year and rape not been dealt with correctly.
Northumbria is required to improve, although several other forces are
named as worst performers for accurate recording.
-- Northumbria Police has been named on a list of forces failing
to record thousands of offences - some of them violent crimes.
Workington MP Sue Hayman has been appointed as Labour's new shadow
The move is part of a reshuffle announced in the last hour triggered
by a dispute over the party's strategy on Brexit.
Last night, Newcastle Central's Chi Onwurah joined her fellow Tyneside
MP Catherine McKinnell and York's Rachael Maskell
by opposing Article 50 legislation that paves the way for the UK's
Their concern about Brexit is shared by EU nationals
living in this region - who say they face
Our political correspondent Luke Walton has more.
It was a night when the UK moved closer to the EU exit.
But though the bill to trigger Article 50 passed
by a huge majority, more Labour MPs came out
in opposition, in defiance of their party leader.
Frontbencher and Tynesider chi Onwurah went from supporting
the legislation on the second reading to voting
responding to what she says is Government belligerence.
They didn't except one amendment and it is absolutely clear from what
they are saying that this isn't about the result of the referendum,
this is about the Tory party's plan for Britain to become sort of, some
sort of tax haven, which is bad for the North East.
Another Labour rebel was Rachel Maskell, who resigned
from the Shadow Cabinet to make her stand.
She's represents York - a constituency that voted Remain -
as, narrowly at least, did Newcastle, and Newcastle North's
Catherine McKinnell also opposed the Brexit bill,
accusing ministers of failing to consult.
I believe that the only way the government can secure the best
possible deal for all regions, but particularly I speak for the North
these, which have so much to lose from a bad deal, is by properly
engaging with those on the ground about what we need.
But with the most of the region and the country voting Brexit,
a leading Teesside leave campaigner says his Government's approach
We've had that referendum, the British people have voted,
Parliament must respect that result and delivered on the instructions
they been given from that referendum.
and anti-Brexit campaigner, recent events are less welcome.
Originally from Spain, he says he and other EU nationals
This is in order to protect the status of EU nationals, that
amendment, was defeated and this, in suspense, confirms our status as
bargaining chips. Beyond the legal uncertainty, it has produced a
feeling of being unwanted, of being somehow is Beck Theatre in a show in
which -- being a spectator in which you are the protagonists but do not
have a say. It was hailed the referendum
to end the EU argument, but as Brexit moves closer,
passions on both sides of this The Business and Energy Secretary
has reaffirmed the government's commitment to a new nuclear power
station in West Cumbria, despite uncertainty about the future
of the Moorside project. Greg Clark has been visiting
a nuclear engineering firm near Egremont today,
ahead of the Copeland by-election. He said he'd held talks with
Toshiba, one of the companies behind Toshiba is part of a consortium,
NuGen, as you know. We are very clear, very determined,
that we want to see a new generation of nuclear new-build,
including here in Moorside. I visited the site myself before
Christmas and it's something Well, Labour says it's also
committed to the nuclear And you can see a full list
of candidates in the Copeland Now, meningitis and sepsis
claim many young lives. But research has been ongoing
for more than ten years to try to find a way of diagnosing
the infections quickly A lot of progress has been made,
but the next stage of that international research will involve
testing samples from children who attend the emergency department
at the Great North Children's Alison Freeman has
been to find out more. A normal, happy family,
but just months ago, though, when twins Nancy and Rita were only
four days old, they started suffering from extremely high
temperatures and were eventually admitted to hospital
with suspected meningitis. Seeing our girls just stacked full
of different troops and things -- Seeing our girls just stacked
full of different tubes and things like that and it's really awful
to think back to that. But we didn't actually know
what was happening and they didn't In fact, they were remaining exactly
the same and they were treating them with so many different types
of antibiotics, cos they didn't They did know whether it was
bacterial meningitis Tests to determine which type
of meningitis patients have - bacterial or viral -
currently take days. Whilst James and Rachel
waited for the results, the twin baby girls were treated
with a large amount of antibiotics, but it turned out they had
the viral strain, Fortunately, though,
they still made a full recovery. At the microbiology lab
at the Freeman Hospital, they regularly test samples to work
out which infections patients have. But research is ongoing to find
a way to speed up that test We still have children dying
from sepsis from meningitis, from other bacterial infections,
despite vaccinations That means that we still need
to carry on our work to try and recognise it earlier when we can
treat it more easily and avoid people, you know,
dying when they come in late. As part of the research, parents of
children with early symptoms who go to the Greek not children's hospital
I going to be asked for samples, something that Rachel and James hope
people will agree to as early diagnosis would have helped them to
understand what they're twins were going through. With them not
responding to the antibiotics, we started to wonder what the problem
was, how long this would go on for, how many weeks we would be
potentially be in there, and whilst it would still have been
frightening, there would be an element of control that I think we
would have felt, knowing what they were dealing with.
You're watching Thursday's Look North, plenty more coming up.
Sport with Jeff, plus taking to the saddle for a very special cause.
Why a mother of two is training to become a jockey despite having
And we're hanging on to that chilly feel over the next couple of days,
and there's even some snow in the forecast.
Joanne Ford knows all about facing challenges.
She's a mother of two from Bedale, who was diagnosed with
cervical cancer 20 years ago, and more recently had major surgery
to rebuild part of her spine after a riding accident.
Despite all that, she's now training for a charity race day in York
She's got five months to learn how to become a jockey before racing
in front of thousands of people in June.
Carla Fowler has been to find out how the training's going.
Joanne Ford has been selected by national charity
Macmillan Cancer Support to be one of 12 riders competing
in their big charity race day on June the 17th in York.
Between now and then, each rider faces gruelling daily training.
They've had to find a racehorse, a professional trainer and pledged
Until I came here for the first time, and I rode for my first two
days, I had no idea how fit you really do need to be.
I was in agony on the Saturday morning.
Um, I struggled to walk down the stairs forwards!
And now, two or three weeks in, it's really sunk in
how fit these people are, how fit you need to be.
I need the experience, I need to learn, it's very different
from any riding I've ever done before.
Some of these horses are worth six figures and Jo has
to pass a jockey test in May to make her insurable to race.
She's fought cancer twice and, seven years ago, had major back
surgery when she was told she'd never ride again.
In just five months, Jo will take part in the oldest
and biggest charity race day in the world.
Last year, just short of half a million pounds
She's got to learn how to race a thoroughbred at York in front
She's got to be jockey fit, she has to pass the assessment
at Doncaster that jockeys have to pass.
She's got to source her own racehorse to race and we're also
challenging her to raise as much money as possible
And this North Yorkshire racing yard has the right form to put Jo
in the lead on race day, having trained the Macmillan
We've done the same thing for the last few years.
I think it's a really good cause and, if there's anything we can do
to help with it all, I'm happy to go along with it.
Obviously, she could ride when she'd come to start with,
which is a big help, but changing from riding
normally to riding short and like a jockey is, um...
It's a big difference, though, but she's definitely
improving every day, which is good.
It takes nerves of steel to ride a racehorse as an amateur,
but Jo's battles with cancer and surgery have given hope them.
but Jo's battles with cancer and surgery have given her them.
She's getting ready to make the ride of her life.
Carla Fowler, BBC Look North, Richmond.
Anyone on a horse is brave, but that's incredible, isn't it?
Now, he was Ashington's favourite son.
Working down the pit in the morning and, after quick bath,
would head to St James' Park to score goals for Newcastle United.
And today, the bronze statue of footballing legend Jackie Milburn
was officially unveiled at a new location in his home town,
Two generations down the line, Jackie's granddaughter,
and his great-grandchildren were on hand to help
Proud moments, of course, but it seems, when you're
still at primary school, being related to a footballing
legend isn't as easy as it might seem.
What do the other kids say at school, then?
They say, "Is he really?" And they don't believe us!
I know! They don't believe us!
I asked them and they say, "Is he really?"
And then they just don't believe her!
His goals helped Newcastle lift the FA Cup three times in the '50s.
He left his indelible mark on Ashington, Newcastle United
and the whole of the footballing world, as much for his humility
and grace as for his undoubted prowess on the pitch.
He worked at the pit on a Saturday morning.
He'd come out of the pit, had a cigarette, got the bus to
Newcastle and played for Newcastle, knocked a few goals in, came home,
went to bed for a shift on Sunday night.
That's the type of character we're talking about -
I know everybody says that about
their grandparents, but he was just amazing.
Even going to the video shop, that was on the bridge there,
Without fail, it had to be the same movie every week,
and apple pies and ice cream and little songs he used to sing
Are you proud of him? BOTH: Yeah!
Why are you proud of him? Because, um...
Well, he played very well at football.
He scored lots of goals and he did very, very well.
And so, after a brief spell out the limelight,
"Wor Jackie" is back where he rightfully belongs -
at the heart of his home town - where his memory is
Jim Knight, BBC Look North, Ashington.
Well said, girls. Great granddaughter is there, telling it
like it is. Absolutely! And you've got sport? Yes, and going back to St
James' Park. We'll kick-off with news
of the departure of one of Newcastle Ivory Coast international,
Chieck Tiote, has left The 30-year-old has joined Chinese
second-tier side Beijing Enterprises But he'll always be remembered,
though, for his dramatic equaliser in the 4-4 draw at home to Arsenal,
completing the Magpies' Not a bad way to score your
only goal for the club! Now, in the months
following an Olympic Games, you always tend to find a steady
stream of GB boxers leaving the amateur ranks
and turning professional. The latest to follow that path
is Sunderland's Josh Kelly, who's signed a contract
with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing. Kelly, who's 22, reached the last 16
in the welterweight division at Rio last summer before losing
to the eventual gold He'll make his pro debut in Glasgow
on the 15th of April. Some of the best young tennis
players in the world began From tomorrow until Sunday,
the Sunderland Tennis Centre in Silksworth will be hosting
the finals of the European It's a girls' tournament and you can
expect to see one or two of them And you think you could beat
any 12 year-old girl? This tournament has already been
a stepping stone for some of the top The likes of former world number one
Caroline Wozniacki and Wimbledon champions Petra Kivitova
and Maria Sharapova. Maybe, one day soon,
we'll see this young I want to be a professional
tennis player, This event is regarded
as the biggest and best junior tennis team event in the world,
so the eight teams we have playing for the next three days are
the best eight teams These players, some of these
will certainly become household names and we'll see them on TV
in the future for definite. Sadly, the Brits didn't
make it to Silksworth. With no seeding at this age level,
they drew the highly-fancied Swiss in the semifinals
and lost on a tie-break. So who'll be the favourites
to lift the trophy on Sunday? It's going to be tough and anyone
can win it this year, I would say. Russia is probably always
the big favourite, so... The opening ceremony
is at 9.30 tomorrow morning. Catch the rising
stars while you can. And sadly, no matter how much we
practice, we will never be as good as that.
Speak for yourself! LAUGHTER No, I am a long way off.
Time for the weather Web Owain. Loving the hair!
Will you have to read a hat later? It does not do well under a hat.
Changes over the next couple of days. It was cold today, a couple of
wintry showers, we needed to wrap up. Those showers in the story
overnight, cold, cloudy, some brightness today but looking at the
satellite image, you could never say that, Best practice across Cumbria,
elsewhere like someone has just cover the whole of the UK with a
sheet. Being levels of cloud. Looking ahead towards tonight, going
back to the map, wintry showers continuing, mainly across the East,
Cumbria still catching a breather, largely dry, you can see it is all
looking very blue. Temperatures falling close to, if not below
freezing, pretty much across the board. Those showers, mainly as
sleet or snow on higher levels, falling to lower levels as rain.
First thing tomorrow morning, it is going to be chilly, yes, fairly
cloudy, I gained Cumbria the best deal here, as far as bright spells
are concerned. A few showers, falling as sleet or snow on the
hills, and in towards Cumbria, this brightness does tend to stick
around, throughout the morning and into the afternoon, but all we have
to do is drag further east and it is cloudy, still some showers, but that
said, al lot of dry weather around. Looking at the temperatures,
anywhere from zero to about three or four Celsius. If you are heading out
and about, you will need the hat and the scarf. Tomorrow night, we hang
onto that easterly breeze, very cold wind, starting to strengthen and, on
that, some jeans, dusting of snow on high ground but likely to fall to
low levels. -- one that, some change. Looking at the pressure
chart, it is actually quite quiet, high pressure in charge, mostly
settled, this weather front spoiling the party a little, bringing those
showers, it is quite weak, so wintry showers, as I've said, mainly on
High Ground but not exclusively, possibly on local levels and towards
the Cumbrian Fells by Saturday afternoon. Clearly cloudy, breezy,
cold, I think we could wake up with a dusting of snow potentially to
lower levels at times and temperatures in Saturday down to 45
Celsius but with that added wind chill, you will really feel the cold
if you are heading out. --. To four or five Celsius. This weekend, less
cold, rain at times, some one error just getting to us towards Sunday,
-- some warm air. Until then, we will need to wrap up.
You will need a new jumper. That is it from us. Good night.
OK, everyone, have you got your bamboo sticks?
If you just paint what you want to paint,
I've turned around, my painting washes away.
..and take on The Big Painting Challenge.
Remember, you're not painting a pond.
Before I met you, I was a civilised woman.