28/11/2011 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today, with Nick Owen and Suzanne Virdee.


The headlines tonight: Higher death rates than expected at


seven hospitals in the region, says a new report. We believe that this


is not an unsafe hospital that does not have a worse-than-average


mortality ratio. Hundreds line the streets of


Lichfield to welcome the Mercians home from Afghanistan. It really


does mean a lot to the soldiers to know their efforts are really


appreciated. And tributes from former team mates


to the Wales football manager Gary Speed, who died at the weekend.


It's horrible to think of the lives he's been a big part of and he's


not going to be there for them any Good evening and welcome to the


start of the week here on Midlands Today, from the BBC. Tonight, seven


hospitals across the region have higher death rates than expected,


according to a new report. The figures from the health research


group Dr Foster compare health care nationwide. No hospitals in the


region feature amongst the top performers. Near the bottom is


Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, where there were 112 deaths


for every 100 expected. After surgery, that rose to 146 patient


deaths. University Hospital North Staffordshire was even worse. There,


116 patients died for every 100 expected. And after surgery it, too,


had 146 deaths for every 100 expected. Our health correspondent,


Michele Paduano, reports. The family of Wellesley Lewis can


never forgive New Cross Hospital. The 76-year-old was admitted on


Christmas Eve nearly three years ago with a suspected aortic


aneurysm but it was dismissed as back pain. When the aneurysm burst,


a lack of staff meant he never made it to the operating theatre. His


wife never got to share with him her MBE for charity work.


received a very poor treatment. No treatment at all. As for myself, I


wasn't even taken into consideration as a family, a wife,


that something serious like this was happening and I couldn't even


say goodbye. New Cross Hospital's ability to operate on abdominal


aortic aneurysms is questioned in the latest Dr Foster report. The


hospital's high death rate is greatest among the elderly and at


weekends, when fewer staff are available. The plans we have got to


increase clinical staff across the organisation, to make sure services


are delivering a cross seven days as much as the five of the working


week, we will be looking to make sure all patients are managed in


the way we expect them to be. hospital's chief executive, David


Loughton, has described his Accident & Emergency buildings as


not fit for purpose. A new one is in the pipeline. But from Thursday,


any patients that present in Stafford overnight will either come


here or go to Stoke-on-Trent. University Hospital North


Staffordshire was highlighted as a poor performer in three categories,


with more deaths than expected among low-risk patients and


following surgery. We believe this is not an unsafe hospital, that


does not have a worse than average mortality ratio. I would stress


already, this year the ratio was better than average and we expect


it to continue to do so. Stafford Hospital performed well this time.


It has already transferred some of its high-risk patients, and is


about to close Accident & Emergency overnight for safety reasons.


Hospital pressure group Cure the NHS believe in co-operation with


other centres but is now concerned. We want reassurances from them,


from the NHS and Wolverhampton, that they will be able to take


those cases from Stafford and look after them safely and appropriately.


There is a question over that at the moment. Although West Midlands


hospitals perform badly nationally, the hospital death rate has fallen


20% over the past ten years. Let's talk now to Roger Taylor,


who's the Director of Research for the organisation which wrote this


report. A good evening to you. Thank you for talking to us. Some


shocking statistics coming out, such as one hospital having higher


death at the weekends because there are not enough staff. Were you


shocked? In a way, they didn't, because people have suspected for a


long time this is the case and it has been discussed in previous


reports and policy documents, which suggested that lack of doctors'


out-of-hours may be a problem and a cause of higher than necessary


death-rate. What is surprising is that it has taken us so long to


establish this. We collected the data from hospitals about the


number of doctors present in a hospital at night and at weekends,


and what we found his exactly what people have suspected for a long


time but not known. It makes a difference. If you have more senior


doctors in the hospital at weekends, it makes a difference. Why are


there not enough, then? No hospital is going to be able to provide


every possible service 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the


most experienced consultants. that down to money? Yes. But what


we have to do is be honest about what hospitals can do really well


and where they might need help or to work with other hospitals to


make sure they are covering patients all day, every day. So


there his work to do in terms of how we organise care services.


There is a lot that parts of the country, particularly the Midlands,


might be able to learn from other parts of the country. We have seen


in London a very successful reorganisation of stroke services,


where, instead of having 24 hospitals all trying to treat


strokes and some doing it well and others poorly, now we have just


eight hospitals which are the specialist stroke hospitals, and


the other hospitals make sure the patients get to the places where


the kit is available and doctors can diagnose them. Thank you for


making those points. Coming up later tonight, promising


a better start in life for the poorest children. A new scheme on


trial in Birmingham. Hundreds of well-wishers lined the


streets of Lichfield to welcome back soldiers from the Mercian


Regiment from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The 3rd Battalion, The


Staffords returned to their base last month. Their homecoming has


been tinged with sadness following the loss of Private Gareth


Bellingham, from Stoke-on-Trent, the only member of the battalion


killed on this tour of duty. Here's our Staffordshire reporter, Liz


Copper. A salute for The Staffords. These


parades are proud occasions. I've got a little daughter here to see


me today. I have been away for much of her life so it will be good to


see her and my family who have supported me through the tour.


are happy but you want to shed a tear because you see the crowds and


they have turned out, not because they know who you are but because


they are proud of what you have done. It is great to be home in one


plays. This is one of seven home- coming marches across Staffordshire


and the Black Country this week. These soldiers are now based in


Germany, so these parades are a chance to maintain the strong links


with the towns and cities where the regiments still recruits. Following


the parade, there was reflection on the battalion's achievements during


its tour of duty in Afghanistan. Inside Lichfield Cathedral, a


service of thanksgiving and remembrance. Let us remember before


God those who have died for their country in conflict. Private Gareth


Bellingham, Mercian Regiment, and Private Matthew Hazel Gowland.


is the highest accolade I could ever give him. To be proud of what


he did. And have pride for all the rest of the regiment that went out


there as well. They are doing a And with the laying of a wreath,


tributes to the Mercians' valour. As you all go, first to Tamworth,


Burton and Walsall, and then back to a cold north German winter, you


go with our thanks and you take back with you our enormous pride in


what you have done. This was a service of very public recognition


for the servicemen and women who've risked their lives for their


Businesses in Birmingham and the Black Country which were targeted


during the summer riots have welcomed calls to overhaul the


compensation process. An independent panel is recommending


that century-old laws are reformed to speed up payouts from a Home


Office fund. The Wolverhampton Jeweller EV Beckett was trashed in


August and the owners are still waiting for �8,000 in damages.


need to get on with our business. So far, it is not too bad. But


after Christmas we do not know what will happen. We have had three a


month before we started working again so we could do with some


compensation to help us along. Unions are accusing Birmingham City


Council of trying to sabotage a march through the city during


Wednesday's Day of Action. They claim they're suddenly being told


they'll be billed for thousands of pounds if the march goes ahead. We


can go live to our political reporter, Susana Mendonca. What's


this all about? Birmingham City Council has told the TUC that if it


wants to march through the city centre, it will have to pay �8,000.


They did say they could have taken a cheaper option and reed at �5,000,


but the TUC is incensed at this. They say it is significantly more


than they have paid in the past. Previously, it was in the region of


�200. The council says that if it lets the TUC off, other groups


would want to march off Reeve. There will be thousands of people


in these marches taking place was that the councils will be making


hundreds of thousands of pounds from the wages we do not claim on


the day, so it is a bit rich for them to make us pay twice for


democracy in Britain. What happens if they turn up anyway?


understand that thousands of people will turn up and it all the unions


are saying their members are going to Lionel st 4 11:30am. We could be


up -- we could end up with a situation where, without or with


permission, members do March. At the inquiry into the Stafford


Hospital scandal, there's been fierce criticism of the Care


Quality Commission, the watchdog body set up to spot failing


hospitals. A board member-turned- whistleblower said the commission


lacked a coherent strategy and that robust debate and discussion was


discouraged. The people at the top, she claimed, were overly concerned


with their reputations and their jobs. Giles Latcham was at the


hearing. Strong stuff today, Giles? It was. The inquiry was all but


over. They were into their closing statements when they were contacted


by two extra witnesses. So this session was organised today to hear


from two people at the Care Quality Commission, both under degrees of


pressure but both determined to share their concerns about the


commission and to become, in effect, whistleblowers.


Amanda Pollard on the left and Kay Sheldon on the right, ready to go


public with their concerns about the Care Quality Commission. Ready


to testify at the inquiry into the scandal of Stafford Hospital, where


hundreds died needless deaths over a four-year period because of


appalling standards of care. Kay Sheldon is a non-executive board


member of the commission but she said board members were never asked


to vote on issues before them. She said members were not really able


to challenge anything that's fundamental. She also criticised


the commission's chief executive, Cynthia Bower, and its chairman,


for devising a strategy led by reputation management and personal


survival. Kay Sheldon said to challenge decisions was to be seen


as disloyal. People were afraid to put their heads above the parapet,


she said. The evidence is important because it goes to the heart of the


culture of the organisation charged with preventing another scandal


like Stafford. A little chink is starting to knock it into the NHS,


so we can start to repair the culture, where we stopped to put


the front I'm back in control, and those at the very top who need to


be down at the bottom are starting In her evidence, Amanda Pollard, an


Inspector for the Commission spoke of an organisation with "no clear


inspirational leadership" where decisions were taken "shooting from


the hip" and staff "weren't listened to". A year after this


inquiry began, it is finally nearing its conclusion.


So a day of sudden drama, some emotion, at one point, K Sheldon


recalled how her own mental health have been called into question by a


senior figure at the care quality commission. I should say that that


statement put out tonight includes comments from three of her fellow


directors, who say they do not support her evidence, and they


think the commission's leadership has been positive. The report


should be part -- published next March.


Cuts to rural bus services are being directly blamed for job


losses. One woman who lives in a Warwickshire village says she's


been forced to quit her job. Tina Mitten used to catch the bus from


Baddesley Ensor near Nuneaton to take her to work at Birmingham


Airport. But that route's been scrapped and she says other public


transport is too expensive. Tina gave up her job in July and she's


still unemployed. I want to work. I loved the job I was doing at the


airport, and that has all gone. The practicality of it is, I have a


mortgage to pay. And how do I pay the mortgage?


And there's more on that in Inside Lots more ahead, including the


teenage talent making big inroads into the highly traditional world


of folk music. And a timely reminder this week,


with December around the corner, A revolutionary way of giving the


poorest children a better start in life is being tested out in


Birmingham and could be rolled out across 400 schools in the UK.


Families and Schools Together - or FAST for short - aims to forge


closer bonds between parents, teachers and children. Sarah


Falkland's been finding out. It sounds like the kind of fun you


get at summer camp in America. But this is Saltley, one of


Birmingham's most deprived areas. And families here at Adderly's


children's centre are taking part in a very British programme that's


enjoying remarkable success. One of the biggest factors in how well a


child does at school is how engaged their parents are. So we know that


relationships within families are important and it really helps when


parents are confident and comfortable coming into the school


and talking to teachers. It works by forging close bonds - every week


starts with one family bringing in a home-cooked meal for everyone,


then there's a series of planned activities. Every week, that


parents and children to do around and do a scrabble session, they get


an identical piece of white paper, and they have to create something,


it is all very psychological. At the end, the parents ask the


children what they have done, and why. Yours is looking beautiful. 84


cent of teachers in America who took part in the FAST programme


with 10,000 children, reported improvements in their academic


performance. Save The Children are now funding programmes at 400 UK


schools. Parents start connecting with each other, they start


recognising, speaking to us in a more social occasion, and it starts


to deepen as the weeks go by. It becomes easier to talk about the


issues, if you need any support. this day and age, because everyone


is busy, not many people have the chance to take five minutes out and


talk. These programme that really helps gel parents together. It is


good, I spend more time to spend with my daughter, get to know the


teachers better. And also to meet other parents, it is really good.


The eight-week programme here is nearly at an end. Families are


encouraged to do follows ups for another two years. All in hope that


ultimately their children will get a better grades and a better start


in life. Time for the sport now.


Footballers right across the region have been paying tribute to Gary


Speed, the manager of Wales who was found dead at home yesterday


morning. The Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish said his blood ran


cold when he heard the devastating news. And Dave Edwards of Wolves


told me he was deeply shocked to lose his role model.


Dave Edwards still can't quite take it in. On Saturday lunchtime,


before Wolves' game at Chelsea, he'd watched Gary Speed on Football


Focus. Then 24 hours later, his brother rang to ask if he'd heard


the tragic news. His role model, mentor, and manager of Wales had


been found dead at the age of 42. It is much more than football, this


issue, and I think as a person, a husband and father, it is horrible


to think of the lives he has been a big part of, and he is not going to


be there anymore. Dave Edwards loves playing for Wales. The


Shropshire lad has already won 23 caps. And was hoping to play a key


role in helping Gary Speed reach the next World Cup finals. He had


such a great passion for the World Cup in Brazil, it is all he talked


about in our team meetings, that was the place we were going to be


heading. Yesterday, Edwards was in shock as he watched the moving


tribute to Gary Speed at Swansea. Everyone in the ground was visibly


moved, and none more so than Shay Given, the Aston Villa goalkeeper,


who'd been one of Speed's best mates from their days at Newcastle


United. He was extremely upset, he had some problem with the tears in


his eyes at the beginning of the game, with the minutes' silence


that turned into applause. James Collins and Germaine Jenas were


affected. These guys were very upset. It was devastating news for


the whole of football, and certainly for Gary Speed's family.


Everyone who has played him or, Cross Inn knows how good a guy he


is, and you have to play the match, but everyone thinks of his family


and children. This evening, Dave Edwards is one of many who'll need


time to reflect on their own personal memories of Gary Speed. He


seemed the perfect role model of a footballer, it is just sheer


disbelief in the game. Very subdued mood at the Wolds training ground,


sadness in the face of Dave Jones. We have done a full interview with


him on how Facebook page. It has also been a sad day for some of his


team-mates. Two key members of the Wales squad under Gary Speed, and


also, James Collins. Perhaps this reaction from a Jenas, summing up


the mood. On Twitter, he said, hard to play football today. He was the


best professional I have ever played with. I'm devastated, my


thoughts are with his family. Scans have revealed that Zoltan


Gera suffered a serious knee injury during Saturday's home game with


Tottenham. He'll have further tests this week. Stoke City warned --


warmed up for the Europa League match against Dynamo Kiev by


beating Blackburn 3-1. Coventry City's miserable run in the


Championship continued on Saturday. Their 2-1 defeat was their eighth


without a win. But the one plus point was a goal for midfielder


Gary Gardner on his debut. He was signed on a month's loan from Aston


Villa on Thursday and headed his first goal after just nine minutes.


Nikola Zigic scored a late equaliser for Birmingham City who


drew 2-2 at Blackpool to edge closer to the play-offs. And


Cheltenham Town remain third in League Two. They beat Oxford 3-1,


their seventh straight away win. And you can see all the goals from


your team in the football league on the BBC Sport website. If you fancy


watching some of the Olympic football tournament next summer,


the tickets go on sale from 11am tomorrow. Thank you.


Now, folk music to me brings to mind Arran sweaters, beards and


sandals and perhaps a hand cupped around one ear. I am not


stereotyping at all! But a teenager from the Black Country is hoping to


change all that. 18-year-old Sunjay Brayne is one of


four artists nominated for the highly-regarded BBC Radio 2 Young


Folk Award. Ben Sidwell's been to He may only be 18, but Sunjay


Brayne is already causing quite a stir in the book world. The


teenager is the only English artist at to make the final of BBC Radio


2's young folk award. It is fantastic, I cannot really describe


in words. But it is... It is great to get the recognition, you know.


Blues and folk roots may not be the sort of music most teenagers are


into. But Sunjay's in gritters have all come from listening to his dad.


When I was younger, I wanted to emulate him, he played guitar every


night, and I wanted to be like dad, I want a guitar. So he got me a


guitar for Christmas and I started playing. He toured the what he knew,


which was rock'n'roll, and I moved on to blues and folk. A Sunjay is


just a two monster in a AIT course at -- it into a course about the


music business. The course has been set up for people like Sunjay, who


are ready to go out into the industry. He has a good following


already. Among the prizes for the winner is a session on BBC Radio 2


as well as a chance to perform at three of the major folk festivals


in the country next year. But possibly more important for Sunjay,


it is a chance to increase his profile and kick-start his career.


Sunjay will find that if he has won in February. -- will find out.


No sandals, knows what! I was role. A pattern unfolding involving winds


and rain, and a drop in temperatures. It has all been


driven on by a series of low pressures, you will notice


initially, the winds are being sucked in from the south-west. It


will get cold as the week goes on. We will see the initial stages of


this change taking place tonight, where things turn a bit wet and


windy up. -- windier. As the rain moves across to the east later on,


it will become patchier. A dry end to the night, mostly, but we have a


lot of cloud. If anything, the temperatures are not dropping at


all, they are the same as today's values. Through the night, they may


gradually start to lift. By the morning tomorrow, a fairly mild


start the day, but windy, and then we get the next band of rain coming


through from the West. This one will be a bit heavy and last much


of the day. Quite a windy day tomorrow, with gusts of around 45


mph. The Met Office has issued a yellow alert for speeds around 55


miles per hour for the north-west of the region. It will be much


clearer the evening, with some showers to follow, a bit colder,


but enough of a breeze to prevent a A look at tonight's main headlines:


A multi-billion pound plan to get Britain's economy moving - but


there are questions over where the money is going to come from.


And seven hospitals across the region are found to have higher


than expected death rates and poorer emergency care at weekends.


Finally, just time to tell you about a report coming up here in


half an hour on Inside Out. Our Environment Correspondent David


Gregory has spent the past year filming native red kites and


following the battle of a Shropshire man trying to encourage


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