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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today with Suzanne Virdee and Nick Owen.
The headlines tonight: Costing the NHS �100,000 - the illegal
immigrant who has spent more than a year in hospital. When they are
ready for discharge they should be sent back to their country of
residence. Children as young as three are
being given drugs to treat hyperactivity. It was like he was
sleepwalking. He had dark circles under his eyes. His behaviour was
wonderful but it did not look like him. 8000 on their way to
Birmingham for the Lib Dem conference. It is claimed it will
generate �12 million for the city. And the world's best gymnasts head
to the Potteries. Good evening. Welcome to Friday's
Midlands Today from the BBC. Tonight: Calls to deport an illegal
immigrant who has spent over a year in hospital, costing the NHS more
than �100,000. The patient was well enough to leave hospital last
August but needed nursing care and had nowhere to go. The result - he
has been living at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley ever since. The
issue has been raised in Parliament and border officials say he will be
leaving the country soon. Joanne Writtle reports.
Russells Hall Hospital serves 400,000 people in the Dudley area.
The illegal immigrant from Pakistan has been here for 13 months, even
though he could have been discharged in August last year.
Margot James, the local MP, raised the matter in the House of Commons.
I am not arguing that an illegal immigrant should not have emergency
care if they have a crisis, but when that care is finished and they
are ready for discharge they should be sent back to their country of
residence because they have no entitlement to remain.
The hospital released a statement, saying Our patient needed acute
hospital care when admitted into hospital with complex medical
conditions, and was medically fit to be discharged in August 2010,
but required ongoing nursing care. The NHS is a national, not an
international, health service and we will not tolerate its abuse,
which is why arrangements for removal have been made in this
complex case. That nursing care would usually be
provided in the community, in the patient's or more a nursing home,
for example. The people we spoke to in Dudley gave a mixed reaction.
They should at least try to help him somehow. If the NHS should be
used for residents of here. We pay the taxes. If he is an illegal
immigrant they should send him back. A spokeswoman for the UK Border
The Border agency has been working on the matter for nine months now
and says it hopes to arrange for the man to return to Pakistan as
soon as possible. Let's talk did Joanne now. Any news
of when this patient will be deported?
Tonight Margot James has told us that she understands he will be
flown back to Pakistan towards the end of next week. When the matter
was raised in the House of Commons, Damian Green, the Immigration
Minister, said that an airline had been found to fly the man back home.
He also said that care and reception arrangements had been
made to ensure his removal from the country went smoothly.
Why has it taken so long? Well, there have been lengthy
negotiations between the UK Border agency and Pakistan International
Airlines. The immigration removal centre was not equipped, it turns
out, to provide the medical care needed. Apparently, all immigration
removal centres are equipped to deal with short-term cases and
medical emergencies, but not the type of care required by this man.
In addition, a doctor here advised the UK Border agency that the man
would need at least one medical escort to fly and that he would
need to travel lying down on a stretcher. All in all, be described
it as a highly complex case. -- they describe it. Later in the
programme: Ben Rich is here with all the weekend weather news. Well,
the weather calmed down briefly in midweek, but now it is turning
unsettled again, just in time for the weekend. Join me for all the
details of a blustery, showery outlook later in the programme.
A new group's been set up by the Government to find out what caused
last month's riots in Birmingham and other cities in England. The
Independent Riots, Communities and Victims Panel launched a website
today, and it is also sending thousands of letters to areas
affected by trouble. Earlier I spoke to the panel's chairman,
Darra Singh, and asked him who they wanted to hear from.
We want to hear from as wide a range of people as possible -
shopkeepers, businesses, residents who have been affected. We also
want to hear from those in neighbouring areas who may not have
had a direct impact but who have views. We want to hear from people
who work with the police or local councils in the voluntary sector.
As wide a range of people as possible. If you want to give us
your views, we want to hear from you. What do you what to achieve by
this? We have a very clear remit. We are a panel that has been set up
to look at the grassroots experience and to take views from
local communities and victims. We will be talking directly to
affected areas through a range of visits. We hope to find out the
motivations of people who rioted and while riots happened in some
areas and not others, and what businessmen and women thought of
the support they had and what we can learn for the future.
The Home Affairs Select Committee is also investigating the riots.
They have already been to Birmingham to collect information.
How well you're investigation differ? We will be complementary.
We will want to learn from the information that the Home Affairs
Select Committee have already received. However, we are
independent of government and we will build on that and speak to
local communities and victims directly, as well as visiting areas
that did not have riots to understand what they didn't have
done in the past that has helped. And that report is due out next
March. Tributes have continued to come in
for a soldier from Shropshire who was killed in a shooting incident
at an army firing range in Kent. Fusilier Dean Griffiths, from
Market Drayton, served with the 1st Battalion the Royal Welsh. The 21-
year-old father-to-be was described by his family as caring and fun-
loving. They head of his former school today extended her sympathy
to the Griffiths family. An investigation into what happened is
under way. Thousands of Birmingham city
council workers are to go on strike again next week in protest over new
contracts. Members of Unison last walked out in June over plans to
withdraw a range of shift bonuses and allowances. The union claims
some workers could lose up to �6,000 a year as a result. The one-
day strike is due to take place on Wednesday.
The owner of a 4x4 who drove his vehicle up Snowdon has appeared
before magistrates, charged with dangerous driving. Craig Williams
from Cheltenham is also charged with driving on moorland, common
land or land not used as a road. He was released on unconditional bail
after failing to enter a plea. He will appear again next month.
A leading educational psychologist says children as young as three are
being given drugs to treat hyperactivity. Dave Traxson works
with children in the West Midlands who have been diagnosed with
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. He claims at least 100
children under six are being prescribed drugs such as Ritalin to
alter their behaviour. Holly Lewis has this report.
Sarah from Lichfield was at her wits end when her nine-year-old son
was prescribed Ritalin. She soon regretted her decision. It was like
he was drug-induced, it was like he was sleepwalking. He had black
circles under his eyes. Yes, his behaviour was wonderful but it did
not look like him. You could see that there was something else.
This educational psychologist believes only 20% of the children
in the West Midlands to take psychotropic drugs should have been
prescribed them. And he is alarmed by the age of some of the patients.
The area we are most concerned about his prescribing these strong
stimulants for children under six. The reason for that is that their
brains have not finished developing at that stage and we are putting a
toxic compound into a child's developing brain. Guidelines issued
by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence state that drug
treatment is not recommended for pre-school children. For month --
Ford youngsters with moderate condition -- symptoms, behavioural
therapy should be tried first. Sarah took her son of Ritalin and
found a parenting course helped her cope with his behaviour. The
Association of Educational psychologists is calling for a
Government review into the prescription of powerful drugs for
prescription of powerful drugs for prescription of powerful drugs for
children. Our health correspondent, Michele Paduano, joins us now. If
the National Institute for Clinical Excellence say children under six
shouldn't be prescribed these drugs, how come it's happening at all?
medicines are not actually licensed to be used for children who are six
years of age and under. There are serious side-effects and it does
affect their growth. Like all good rules, there are exceptions. The
person who drew up the rules says that, in extreme cases and with the
consent of the family, it can be used, but only in specialist
centres. Our drugs such as Ritalin Mrs
Ardely a bad thing? Both the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the
National Institute for Clinical Excellence say that they work in
the short-term. It is a bit more sketchy in the long term. They
should only be used in extreme cases and in conjunction with other
therapies and with education going on with the families. Like all
things, medicine suffers from fashion and worries about cost. It
is about getting it right for the children. Plans for a �14 million
expansion to the Potteries shopping centre in Stoke-on-Trent went on
show today. The project involves a mix of shops,
restaurants and a cinema. 100 jobs could be created during
construction, almost 200 once it is complete. If approved, building
work would begin next year, with facilities opening in 2014.
80% of businessmen in Coventry and Warwickshire say they are
optimistic about their prospects for growth, despite the fragile
economy. They were polled at today's Chamber of Commerce
conference in a week that saw inflation and unemployment increase.
One speaker, Lord Digby Jones, called for more encouragement for
entrepreneurs. The nation has paid itself money it has never earned
four years. What we have got to do, of course, is ensure that we put in
the foundations for long-term, sustainable wealth creation. It is
only business that generates taxation, or only business creates
wealth and makes money that employs people.
The Liberal Democrat conference begins at the ICC in Birmingham
tomorrow. Around 8000 delegates, exhibitors and journalists are
expected to attend the five-day event. Marketing Birmingham claim
it will give a �12 million boost to the city's economy.
The conference comes at a difficult time for the coalition government
and also for the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition which runs Birmingham
City Council. Party time again in Birmingham. The
Tories' coalition partners are turning the place she other this
year. Even the Conservative leader of Birmingham City Council is happy.
It is a coup for the City of Birmingham. Here, like at
Westminster, the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems are more than just
good friends. The rule in a coalition known as the city
council's progressive partnership. After winning seven elections
together, they make Nick Clegg and David Cameron look like newly weds.
But it has been a thorny year since the Westminster knot was tied in
the Downing Street Rose Garden. And, much like the Deputy Prime Minister,
Birmingham City Council's deputy leader, Paul Tilsley, enters his
party's first autumn conference in the city with some battle scars. A
poor set of local election results has put Birmingham's progressive
partnership on the rocks, according to some. Given the pattern of seats
that are going to go out in 2012, the runes seem to be cast that it's
going to put that coalition in serious danger, particularly given
that very slim majority they have at the moment.
The Lib-Dems lost seven seats in May, leaving him with 24. Their
Tory partners saw their seats fall by six to 39, giving the progress
of partnership a total now of the 63 seats but Labour became the
largest single party in Birmingham with 55 seats. Another six would
win them back overall control next year. Or will it? Most of the
Jeremiahs had us lasting eight months, let alone eight years, and
part of that has to be Paul Tilsley's leadership, his ability
to carry a Lib Dem party. All food for thought as the Lib Dem party
guests gather to swap notes this weekend.
And our political editor, Patrick Burns, joins us from outside the
ICC now. Patrick, what will be the things to watch out for over the
next few days? Certainly, a big highlight will be
tomorrow. A proud moment for Paul Tilsley because he will formally
welcome his party to his home town for the conference. And yet,
paradoxically, we are also heard that the Labour group are extremely
confident. They think it is a mathematical near certainty that
they will have an overall majority for themselves up the May's
elections. There is a big march and rally being money -- organised by
the TUC which they say could drop to 30,000 people are in support of
their campaign for justice, jobs and growth. As we have been hearing,
Younis and have organised a strike on Wednesday to coincide with Nick
Clegg's speech to conference. The riots are another big theme. There
are likely to be protests against the Liberal Democrats on Monday.
Some people say that they have reneged on their agreement to
defend police numbers. I am joined by the MP for Yardley. As one of
the architects of the progressive partnership, are you resigned, as
Labour say that you should be, to losing power in the City? I think
we have done a very good job. If Labour had the won their general
election, the protests would be bigger. We would face deeper cuts
of Labour won power. But people do not like the medicine. If you look
around the world, the governing parties are suffering. We have
managed to be more effective in dealing with its of the cuts will
be less in the long term. People do not necessarily recognise that.
It does seem that you're party is bearing the full brunt of any
Government unpopularity that is going. There are some very serious
problems and we have to fix them. We have to deal with the deficit,
otherwise you end up with a situation like Greece. Effectively,
there is a Labour Party in power there.
You were in evidence since the immediate aftermath of the riots,
but there has been criticised -- criticism from Lord Heseltine about
the degree of local political leadership at that time of crisis.
As a specific criticism about Birmingham? I did not see that...
He compared leaders unfavourably against Boris Johnson in London.
What did he actually achieve? discussed.
One thing we can all agree on, of course, is that Birmingham is now
firmly established in this merry- go-round of party conference cities.
Back to you. And a reminder that the Politics Show returns this
Sunday, live from the conference at 1:35pm. That's here on BBC 1.
Still to come this evening: Molly's legacy - the little girl still
helping others, despite losing her own fight against cancer.
And that's after the sport with Dan. Stoke City flew home from Kiev in
the wee small hours of the morning. Birmingham City got to bed a little
earlier after their Europa League exertions. But neither team will
have much of a breather before they are off again, in opposite
directions, this weekend. Ian Winter reports. Of all the famous
sights that Kiev has to offer, one sight will live forever in the
memory of those who travelled east from the Potteries - the sight of
Cameron Jerome scoring his first goal for Stoke City, a goal that
made the long trip worthwhile for 400 travelling fans, and a goal
which came so close to winning the game. But Dynamo Kiev spoiled the
Potters' party with a late equaliser in stoppage time. A
disappointing finale but plenty of positives for Tony Pulis. I am
absolutely delighted with the players, he said. Obviously we are
paid sick that we have conceded late on, but it is still a very
good point. At St Andrews, Birmingham City
found Braga too hot to handle. Last season they beat Liverpool on the
way to the Europa League final, and they were 2-0 up inside the hour
mark. Then Marlon King capped an impressive display by scoring his
first goal for the Blues. And today manager Chris Hughton was full of
praise for his performance. He is a good player and it is good to have
him back. What was he like in the dressing room afterwards? I think
he was delighted to have his goal bus-stop he was also placed to come
through 90 minutes. He has been more and more desperate to get back
training and playing and I think it showed last night. But two minutes
from time, Braga wrapped it up at 3-1, leaving the Blues with food
for thought before they meet again in Portugal in November. Between
them, Chris Hughton and Tony Pulis made a total of 14 changes for last
night's Europa League games. And no wonder. On Sunday Stoke head north
to Sunderland and Birmingham travel south to Southampton.
And to keep in touch with how your side gets on over the weekend tune
into your BBC local radio station where they will have all the team
news, match commentary and post- match reaction.
Some of the world's best gymnasts are heading to Stoke-on-Trent this
weekend for the Men's British Artistic Championships. It is an
opportunity for those hoping to make the 2012 Olympics to finesse
their performances, among them, Wolverhampton's Kristian Thomas,
whose sights are set on a medal next year. Ben Godfrey caught up
with him at training camp. Kristian Thomas took up gymnastics
at the age of five, training near his home in Wednesfield. This week
I joined him at the National Sports Centre in Lilleshall. The 22 year-
old is now captain of the Great Britain men's team. I have to thank
my brother because he was always the one who was climbing everywhere.
My mum to come to a leisure centre. I can't remember where it was but
it was local. And little brother followed. Aside from this weekend's
British championships, Kristian's focus is next month's World
Championships in Tokyo, where Team GB has a chance to secure a place
at London 2012. My main job is to go there, put my hand up, do clean
routines that I have been doing in preparation already. Kristian's
training with gymnastics elite. There is World and European
champion Beth Tweddle and Lewis Smith, a bronze medallist at the
Beijing Olympics. Kristian brings a calmness to our team and I think he
has had an incredibly strong year this year. I would think he thinks
he is in a pretty good place. He came 6th in last year's world
champions as. He knows he has to go all-out to if he has a hope of
getting a lumbago. I have plenty of inspiration from the other athletes
around. Ask Kristian which apparatus he prefers and he says he
is an all-rounder, but then, when you spend 30 years a week in the
gym, you've got the Olympics in your sights. Ben Godfrey, BBC
Midlands Today, Shropshire. Definitely a case of do not try
that at home! Imperial Commander is a tough horse
racing with a tendon injury. We need a new Local Hero.
This is a really compelling story. She was the little girl who
captured hearts during her fight against cancer. Molly Ollerenshaw
helped hundreds of other children when she narrated a cartoon to
explain what it's like to undergo radiotherapy. Sadly, she died
earlier this year, but, as Sarah Falkland explains, her legacy will
live on. When the last film Moray he had --
she had already been diagnosed with a third tumour and time was running
out. But that did not stop her pitting her heart and soul into a
cartoon made by the makers of Wallace and Gromit. In her short
life, Molly had countless radiotherapy sessions. She was the
perfect choice to help other children will become her feet --
their fears. Molly's animation was sold on to hospitals around the
world and the profits from it have helped to pay for this. It's a
tomotherapy machine - the first high-definition one in the country.
It allows doctors to target tumours more precisely. Molly's mum has
come to see it. Four rows, it is about moving forward and trying to
find positives from that dreadful situation. We can never bring Molly
backed this up of course we would want to see her and bring her back
and have a for every second. If we cannot do that they want to do
something that makes a difference for other people. The machine cost
�2 million. It means Birmingham's Elisabeth Hospital is the only one
in Europe to have two of them. The risk of zapping healthy tissue is
now extremely low. It is the difference between an accuracy of
five mm and an accuracy of 2 mm. Each year 1,500 children in the UK
are diagnosed with cancer. The Queen Elizabeth is the second
largest centre in the country for radiotherapy treatment in children.
Typically, around 80 children are treated each year. In the end, no
machines could save Molly, but the one she has helped to pay for will
start saving lives in November. What an incredible achievement. �2
million she has raised. It must give so much strength to her family.
The summer's music festivals are still going on. Some big names at
Henley in Arden tomorrow afternoon and evening, including Bev Bevan
and The Move, but the weather's all It is looking very mixed. We are
expecting a bit of sunshine and some rain. There will be blustery
showers and the wind will be a feature. There will be good sunny
spells in between. For most of us it is fairly pleasant this evening.
Later in the night the showers fling themselves in from the south-
west. There could be the odd rumble of thunder mix them. This is how
things look tomorrow - low pressure up to the north. This is not going
anywhere fast. It is throwing showers in from the West. That is
not a bad direction from us -- for us. A bit of shelter from the Welsh
hills could mean that some of us do not see too many showers. Shares
could be heavy and thundery tomorrow. It will be much cooler
with highs of 16 or 17 Celsius. If you're going to any of the football
matches, there will be some showers at Aston Villa versus Newcastle.
The showers will fade away tomorrow evening. It will be dry for a time.
Later in the night we see the persistent rain starting to make
its way through Staffordshire. That will move south through all parts
of the region on Sunday. There will probably be more showers on Sunday
than on Saturday. The weekend is mixed and changeable - some sunny
spells and showers, the showers heaviest on Sunday. It stays
changeable as we go into next week. Not the best weekend forecast.
The main headlines: All four of the trapped miners in Wales have now
been found dead. Costing the NHS �100,000 - the
illegal immigrant who spent more than a year in hospital.