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coming to you tonight live from Stafford. The headlines: Sweeping
changes announced at Stafford Hospital - critical care and
maternity services are to go. We are doing this because services
will become unsafe if no changes are made.
What next for health care in the town? We'll be hearing from
campaigners who fought to save their hospital. We are going to have
mothers and babies dying. How you can you have an A&E without critical
care? Also delight, the mother and her partner who murdered -- also
tonight, the parents who starved Daniel pelka to death. I have never
faced a case like this. Saving on landfill, the commercial
waste from Birmingham being used to fuel a cement mix -- works in
Warwickshire. And although it didn't look very
much like it today, we're on the brink of some hot and humid weather.
Good evening from the centre of Stafford, where local people are
tonight trying to comprehend the scale of sweeping changes
recommended this afternoon for their local hospital. In a nutshell, the
administrators say that the hospital trust will be dissolved, with
critical care, maternity and paediatric services cut at Stafford.
Cannock Chase Hospital is largely unaffected. This is what the
administrators said this afternoon. Think of the package that we are now
offering. In many areas, the services are enhanced. For reasons
of clinical safety, in one or two areas of relatively small volume, we
are recommending, on safety grounds, that those sick people go
to a larger regional Hospital where they will be cared for most safely.
More than 50,000 people signed a petition to save Stafford Hospital -
the same number of protesters took part in a march and rally in April
in the square where I'm standing tonight.
So what's the reaction been to today's news? Our Staffordshire
reporter Liz Copper has been finding out.
In this play centre on the outskirts of Stafford, young families were
taking in views of the planned changes. -- row taking in news.
James was born at Stafford Hospital, and so was his mum, who is expecting
her second baby at the end of this year. My son was born here two years
ago, and he was born really quickly. If this one is born really -- just
as quick, it will be a worry to get there on time. Many agreed with
those views. My children were born in Stafford Hospital, and my
grandchildren as well. So I really do not know what the future is going
to hold, and I fear for the people of Stafford. Pregnant ladies in
Stafford, if they need to go in an ambulance straight to hospital, how
far will they have to go? It will put them at health risk, I think it
is a real terrible shame. Following developments from their
headquarters in a shop, members of the support Stafford Hospital
campaign. Critical care? How can you have an A&E without critical care?
You cannot. The fight starts today. This is just a recommendation. And
believe me, the group will carry on fighting and we will not give up. A
micro-rich to the hospital have been decorated with ribbons. It is a
high-profile crusade to stop cuts. The administrators say without major
change, the future of local parents -- patient safety is at stake.
Earlier this year 30,000 protesters marched through the centre of
Stafford, and it looks like the further protests will follow. The
leader of the County Council has called for the Government to port
all care and social care in Staffordshire in the hands of a
single NHS Trust. Our biggest fear is that the fragile the already
fragile framework in Staffordshire. The worst thing that could happen is
that they are fractured and put to other hospitals outside the
country. Families have until October to comment on these plans. Everyone
with a stake in Stafford Hospital's future is being urged to take part
in that process. Joining me now are two nurses at
Stafford Hospital, Heather Gough and Mark Savile. They spoke out on
Midlands Today in June about the problems circling around the
hospital. What is your reaction to did a's
News? I think it is bittersweet. Very relieved for the A&E department
that we are going to continue. As long as that is a sustained
continuation of services. My fear would be that if we were allowed to
die slowly, I hope that will not happen. For paediatrics and
maternity ethic it is a disaster. I am a sixth generation native of
Stafford, and to think there will be no more babies born in Stafford is a
sad day for this town and for Staffordshire. Maternity services
are excellent in our hospital, and paediatric services work well as
well, so I think to take them away from the people of Stafford is an
absolute disaster for the public. I am sure there will be a lot of
opposition to that. What are your feelings? It is no time for nurses
and doctors to have a voice. It is time for the staff to speak up. --
wrote it is now time. -- it is no time. It is a call for nurses to
halt what is really the downsizing of the NHS. Don't you think it is
better than you expected, because of what has not happened to A&E?
A&E nurse I saw a small victory today, but I also see a huge battle
on the horizon. We really have to fight now. You spoke movingly about
the morale and hospital -- in the hospital. How are things at the
moment? Following the march, the staff were... It was twice around
the world in distance, for one mile, and everybody walked to the
hospital from here. It was just incredible, and it linked the morale
so much. The patients coming into A&E now, the approach to us is
different, because they are supporting us and they know we are
here for them. Every A&E department still has its problems and still has
difficult times, but we are doing our best in difficult circumstances
even today. What do you feel happens now? Obviously this is not the end
of the road from all the various decisions that have been announced
today. Yes, there is a consultation process now. I think that finishes
at the end of December. I think what needs to happen now is people need
to be heard, people need to have an opinion, people need to fight.
you very much for talking to us tonight.
At seven o'clock tonight, just around the corner from here, more
than 200 people are expected at a public meeting to consider today's
announcement. It's been organised by Stafford's Conservative MP Jeremy
Lefroy, who joins me now. Mr Lefroy, your reaction to today's news?
think it is mixed. There are some very good things, because first of
all -- which first of all Stafford will be -- remain an acute district
Hospital. We will retain our A&E and acute services will remain. But as
has been pointed out, maternity and paediatrics will be cut. I will be
fighting that. I think it is vital that we continue to have, for
children born in Stafford, local parents need that service to be
available locally. That seems to be the real headline about maternity
services. Yes, what we must not forget is that a few months ago we
were looking at losing our A&E and acute services. We have had a big
step forward on that. Do you feel people have listened to you? Yes, I
think the march had a big impact. The administrators had a real --
made a real effort to change their plans. But we need to find ways of
persuading them and also the national Government, that is my job
as member of Parliament, I have to take the fight to the Government.
Ultimately the consultation goes back to the administrators, and
finally to the Secretary of State. I have already made it clear to the
Secretary of State and the Prime Minister himself that we have --
need maternity and associated paediatrics here in Stafford. I have
to say the Prime Minister, who fought a similar battle over his own
hospital in Banbury, understood that. This is critical for you
politically. I am concerned about the people. Yes, but it will
translate to the ballot box. At the moment by only concern is about
getting that is -- with this right for the people of Stafford. This is
about 20, 30, 40 years. I will not be here, but people would need those
services. What is your assessment of the mood of people in the town?
think firstly people seem relieved that the hospital is not going to
close, but they want to continue the fight for maternity and paediatrics,
and I would add critical care, which still is there but at level two. I
would like to see that as part of the national infrastructure, so that
is another aspect we will be taking up strongly in the consultation --
consultation. Some A nurse who was struck off the nursing register
after she lied about waiting times in Accident and Emergency at
Stafford Hospital has resigned from her post.
Other news associated with the hospital.
Tracy White, seen here in the orange top was disciplined by a Nursing and
Midwifery Council panel last week. She'd been working as a manager at
the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
We'll have more from Stafford later in the programme. Now though, it's
back to Mary in the studio for a look at the rest of the day's news.
A mother and her partner have been found guilty of murdering her
for-year-old son Daniel pelka. A jury at Birmingham Crown Court
convicted Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek after hearing that
the child was subjected to months of cruelty. The boy's murder, which
occurred weeks after teaching staff saw him with bruising and back --
black eyes, is the subject of a serious case review. The pair will
be sentenced on Friday. This report contains details some viewers might
The desperate cries of a mother pleading for help to save her son.
But the reality was, this was the final attempt by Magdelena Luczak
and Mariusz Krezolek took on the authorities about Daniel. He had
been subjected in fact to unbelievable cruelty for six
unbelievable cruelty for six months. This was a pre-medicated,
preplanned and prolonged murder of this little boy, and it was teamwork
between both stepfather and mother that work very well together to
achieve Daniel's death. Daniel started school in September 2011. By
the time of his death his body was likened to that of a concentration
camp victim. Police who investigated Daniel's story remain baffled as to
the adult -- adult systematic motivation for torturing him.
turned Daniel from a beautiful bright eyed little boy into a bag of
bones, basically. And sort of broke him in so many ways. Daniel's final
hours were spent alone on your insult mattress docked in a room
with no handle, no missed -- escape. But in the months after his death,
official agencies were aware of the family. The persons responsible were
very cunning, very response -- plausible. The mother was very
convincing and told a number of lies to conceal what was happening to
Daniel. Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek moved around the area
regularly. Both Warwickshire and West Midlands Police were called out
to the couple to investigate allegations of domestic violence.
Questions over the roles of agencies remain unanswered. Education
officials investigated Daniel's poor school attendance. The NHS were told
he had an eating disorder. Health visitors visited the home but never
saw him. And the deceit of an underlying eating problem was
repeated to teachers. They were told not to allow Daniel any extra food.
They complied, and reprimanded Daniel when he scavenged for food in
bins. Little Heath primary school refused to speak to journalists, but
issued this video to the media. Daniel remembered -- will be
remembered by all who knew him. His death has had a devastating impact
on our community. Daniel's birth father told the court he had split
up with Magdelena Luczak in 2008 and returned to his native Poland. He
never saw his son again. He says he hates those responsible but feels
his son at least is no longer suffering. I think as a small
innocent boy, I think he has gone up there to heaven, and I think... It
is hard to talk about it. The death of the schoolboy has stunned
Coventry's Polish community, who have said prayers for the boy they
never knew. The whole congregation was in shock that something like
this could have happened on our doorstep. While child murders are
rare, they always prompt questions about how adults can hurt those they
are supposed to care for. The public protection unit of West Midlands
Police have investigated the deaths of dozens of children over the last
five years, sadly Daniel's story is yet another to be added to the list
of innocent victims. Five men have been jailed for 53
years for their part in a plot that resulted in bonds being planted in
homes in the Staffordshire Rowlands. They were found guilty of charges
relating to the conspiracy or to cause explosions on making threats
to kill, and were jailed for between five and 16 years each. No one was
hurt by the bombs at three addresses last August.
The return of a direct rail link between Shropshire and London has
been blocked, after the office for rail regulation reflects -- rejected
virgin's appeal to operate a new train service. Virgin had planned to
start services as early as December. Business leaders had been
campaigning for a return of the service, which was stopped in
January 2011. The websites of more than 260 payday
loan firms have been blocked from computers in libraries in Sandwell.
The borough council has taken the decision because it believes the
interest the firms charge is too high. It's urging residents to seek
advice and help elsewhere. All 350 computers at 19 libraries in the
area have been now been modified. The Government has announced were
�37 million of funding for new charging points for electric cars
will be spent. Worcestershire is to get �450,000, while Dudley will
benefit from �150,000. We have new models coming on stream for all the
major manufacturers, and there is demand out there for these
vehicles. We have to make sure the infrastructure is in place, because
one of the innovations if you like from the public will be, can I
charge my car? You cannot have that cars being sold without the points
being there to charge The criteria to apply to buy one of Stoke on
Trent's so-called "one pound houses" has been relaxed after a lack of
suitable candidates. Them on.
Current guidelines mean applicants must live in the area and not earn a
joint income of more than �30,000. Under the new rules, applicants who
work in the city but don't live there will be considered. So far 600
people have applied for the offer, but fewer than 35 were deemed
suitable. Commercial waste collected from
across Birmingham is being used to fuel a kiln at a cement works in
Warwickshire. The waste, which would normally go to landfill, is instead
being turned into Climafuel - which is an alternative to coal. Bob
Hockenhull reports. It is a dirty business saving the planet, but here
at this factory metals and plastics are removed and what is left is
creating an alternative fuel to coal. It is a fluffy material, but
it mainly contains small bits of contaminated polythene, and
cardboard, Stech style is, that sort of material -- textiles. This
material has now been shredded, and it is that which is destined to go
in the kilns in rugby. Temperatures of 1400 Celsius must be generated in
the kiln before -- to heat up the chocolate clay used to make cement.
Traditionally, Cole has been burned to achieve this.
It is very, very effective, and we are now running at a substitution
level of 65%. We are hoping to get 85% very soon. This lorry has just
pulled in from the -- Birmingham full of the alternative fuel. And
maybe soon it will not just be supplied from Birmingham. At the top
of the cement works there is a view of land next to the site where a new
ClimaFuel site could soon be built. Subject to planning permission it
will be up and running next year. For neither, there is 100,000 tonnes
of industrial waste being delivered to create the alternative fuel.
Waste that if it were not for this project, would be polluting the
planet by being sent to landfill sites.
Now back to Nick, in the centre of Stafford with tonight's main story.
Welcome Baxter Stafford. This afternoon it was recommended that
afternoon it was recommended that the mid Staffordshire NHS Trust is
dissolved, and critical care amended, maternity and paediatric
services cut at Stafford. Kaneko Hospital will retain all current
services and to -- could take on extra surgery cases. This evening a
public meeting is taking place down the road. That is where we find my
the road. That is where we find my colleague. What is the There is a
lot of anger here, I have been speaking to some of the several
hundred people who have come through the doors already. They are
expecting upwards of 400 here tonight. They are saying they have
the utmost faith in the hospital and the staff of that hospital, but it
is not the hospital it was, in fact it is now one of the best in the
West Midlands is not in the whole country. I have with me the leader
of Stafford Borough Council. Obstetrics to go, paediatrics to go
but edited to go, and the dissolution of the trust. How do you
respond? -- maternity to go. I think these are very disappointing moves.
The simple fact is, there is a lot of anger among the community, when
our basic services are taking -- taken away. But it could have been
far worse, A&E for example was touted to go. Yes, obviously the
fact we still have the continuing is a good proposal. Some of the other
proposals made are quite acceptable, but as a package as a whole, you
have got some good bits but the majority of it is disadvantaged to
the local people. These recommendations. Where does it go
now from your point of view? We have to make as big a noise as we in the
consultation. It starts next Tuesday, and only administrators
will come in with the final recommendation to the Secretary of
State, and we can lobby the Secretary of State as well. Health
campaigners in Lewisham today turning round an earlier decision.
You can go to age additional review -- judicial review. Yes, I am not
ruling that out at all. The public consultation runs until October. It
will probably provoke a lot of comments.
I am joined now by our health correspondent. What is the standout
development today? The key issue is that there will not be any babies
born in Stafford at all, and that is the hardest to come to terms with,
because if you look at the evidence and run travel times to hospitals,
there is a correlation between travel times and safety for babies.
There is also enough consultants in this part of the world, so it is
more difficult for them to argue there is a problem in that
particular area. What about the political implications? Clearly if
you look back to Kidderminster in the 1990s, what happened there led
to the unseating of the local MP, and Richard Taylor was brought in.
Labour tonight are making hay about the fact that services are being
closed in this part of the world, and I understand also that Richard
Taylor's party is talking to somebody in this part of the world
about standing against the sitting MP. What are the implications for
other hospitals? We heard about problems in Worcestershire and
Shropshire for instance. Most of the hospitals in our region are
struggling with finances, and basically Stafford is the
blueprint, it has gone first. They are hoping that what has been done
here, all the work that has been put into getting this right will go on
elsewhere. We are only seeing Cheltenham going back from 24 hours
service to a 14 hour service. We are likely to see this in other
Let us talk about the weather now. It is a sign of things improving,
but tomorrow there will be a huge transformation. It is hotting up
very nicely indeed. But it is going to be brief, it is with us tomorrow
and then gone by Friday. So although it is a small burst of heat, it will
be nonetheless very effective and could produce the hottest day of the
year so far particularly for the south-east of the country.
Meanwhile, let's talk about rain. There has been plenty of this week,
we had the deluge on Saturday night and then thunderstorms ever since,
and also today's rain. Taking a look at the figures there, the
measurements don't really reflect too much rain. I suspect that is
because the thunderstorms have been very localised, but the rain today
probably makes up most of those figures. The wettest part in the
region was Coleshill in Warwickshire with around one inch of rain. The
rain for the moment for the time being is right in the north of the
region, and that will clear. Once it does, the air behind it is very
warming. Right now, this evening, we are looking at heavy outbreaks of
rain still across the northern fringes of the region, but once that
has cleared by tonight, it is looking much drier. We will see that
interest as well through river valleys and through the hilltops by
dawn. Temperatures down to only 17 Celsius for most places, so it will
be fit and very warm night, and that humidity already beginning to
increase. -- wrote it will be a very warm night. Tomorrow morning it will
be dry, sunny and very warm, temperatures into higher 20s. It
will be humoured as well. Tomorrow night, increasing cloud, producing