19/09/2013 Midlands Today


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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today with Joanne Malin and Nick Owen. The


headlines tonight: Hospitals across the region in special measures are


to get help from staff working in successful medical centres. A main


should see real changes in their hospital in a matter of months.


We'll be hearing from the boss of a hospital in Birmingham who's sending


her staff to help others raise standards. Also tonight: The


Birmingham pub bombings — former IRA commander Martin McGuiness says he


"sympathises" with the families of the victims. My heart goes out to


all the victims of the conflict. The controversial high speed train line


is the only way forward, claims the boss of Network Rail. We are pushing


an existing infrastructure well beyond what it was ever designed


for, like driving a motor way up and A road.


After two broken bones, a fight to get fit ready for a shot at a world


title for Wolverhampton's Olympic medal—winning gymnast. And there is


the potential for it to warm up quite nicely over the weekend.


Good evening. Managers from the giant Queen Elizabeth Hospital in


Birmingham are to lend their expertise to failing trusts to try


to transform standards. It's part of an NHS plan across the country to


turn around hospitals in special measures. The plan mirrors the


"super—heads" scheme which is credited with turning around


under—performing schools. Critics argue though that the real cause of


failure is under—staffing, not poor management. George Eliot Hospital in


Nuneaton has struggled for years. An investigation into death rates found


problems. Too few staff out of hours, patients being shifted around


the hospital and no real sense of leadership to put things right. So


it is looking to this hospital for ideas. At the Queen Elizabeth in


Birmingham, nurses check how the ward is doing each day. A computer


system keeps track of everything from infection rates to medication.


Hello, Mr Jones. The chief executive years says most NHS staff want to


get things right for patients. But that hospitals labelled as failing,


that sense of ambition is lost. People get a sense of helplessness


and hopelessness. But we have seen a really good examples of good care.


The Queen Elizabeth is seeing more patients from outside Birmingham,


patients voting with their feet to go to a good hospital. Helping


improve Nuneaton could improve pressures here. And under these


contracts bring a little extra money back. But hospitals are big and


complicated. Experts warn it can be hard to change a legacy. Many


hospitals have long history of struggling to balance the books,


achieve high—quality care for patients. It will be a long haul to


turn these hospitals around. It would be unrealistic to expect any


turnaround team to achieve quick results. We need to be honest with


the public, that it takes three to five years to turn around a failing


hospital. But I am not going to wait that long, and I think members of


the public should see real changes in their hospital in a matter of


months. Ministers now they have to show these 11 hospitals how the


improved. The NHS is under massive financial pressure. It is possible


that in the next few years, more hospitals may get into difficulties.


At its best, the NHS is world—class, but there has also been


increasing interest in why some hospitals are better than others.


Labour says management solutions will not help close that gap and the


real answer lies in more nurses on the ward.


The Queens Hospital in Burton and the George Eliot in Nuneaton were


amongst those identified as having "fundamental breaches of care".


They'll now be under the guidance of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in


Birmingham. Earlier, I spoke to the Chief Executive of the QE, Dame


Julie Moore, who explained exactly what will be happening. We have come


up with quite a few ways that we can help the George Eliot Hospital. One


of the things that we will be doing is getting some of their staff to


work, their clinical staff, doctors, sisters, so we can learn. The second


thing is by use of our information system so we understand what happens


deep inside award down to patient care level. We are going to see if


we can roll that system out. Is there any danger this is going to


drain? I will not let that happen because nothing must suffer. We can


attract very high calibre managers. We have already got a very small


team of people to undertake this kind of work because we foresaw this


coming. There are also other people that we have gotten the trust who


can be used. It is not going to be a huge drain on people. So far, I make


a lot of telephone calls, but George Eliot stuff coming over to the QED.


Jeremy Hunt says we should see improvements quite quickly. That is


quite ambitious, are you happy with that? I am happy with a few months.


We can start to see some improvements quite rapidly. One of


the problems is we have labelled these hospitals as failure and I do


not believe they are. We can talk about struggling trusts, there is a


variety of reasons why these trusts are struggling. Adding a label can


lead to a loss of morale and confidence. We need to make staff


say they can make the improvements they want to. Thank you.


Meanwhile a key proposal of administrators brought in to decide


the future of Stafford hospitals being questioned tonight. They want


to stop babies being born there because there are not enough births


to maintain a safe and efficient maternity service. But a report to


be released tomorrow suggests the figures that decision was based on,


are inaccurate. Our health correspondent Michele Paduano has


this exclusive report. The last public meeting in Cannock.


Can cost little benefits from the changes so there were not many


people here. Those who were were still worried about maternity


services at Stafford Hospital. I was talking to a new mum and she said


there is not enough births at Stafford Hospital to sustain the


service. Is that correct? The report refers to 1800 babies being born in


Stafford, not enough to keep maternity services there. Leaked


figures I received today suggest 2400 babies were born in Stafford


last year. That is more than were born in either Redditch. At the


moment 2500 births is considered enough. Ideally, a lot more,


thousands more because the whole direction of travel is towards


consultant obstetricians. Fully qualified obstetricians on the floor


of the delivery suite, as many hours a day as possible. This woman is


worried about the travel risks. A former intensive care nurse who


needs oxygen, she is meeting with trust administrators next week. I am


beyond surprised, I am indignant with rage. Having asked the


professor had he done any risk assessments to find out he actually


hadn't. This person has a particular model of risk assessment. We have


done a far more robust risk assessment. Campaigners are planning


another march a week on Saturday. We are very there —— very nearly there.


I think we're in a different position. With the administrators


trying to sort out an effective and sound health care, the public


mauling is over. Coming up later in the programme:


School's back, but not for some. We meet the children still waiting for


the builders to finish. A former IRA commander turned


politician has offered his sympathy to the families of those killed in


the Birmingham pub bombings nearly 40 years ago. Martin McGuinness said


"his heart goes out" to campaigners calling for justice for the 21


victims. He was visiting England to give a lecture on peace and


reconciliation. But protestors say, until he names the men who bombed


Birmingham, his hands are stained with blood. Giles Latcham reports.


Dignified but determined, a gathering outside a peace Centre in


Warrington last night set up in memory of two boys killed by the


IRA. The focus of their anger, a man who once lived by the bomb and the


bullet. The reception I received your was exceptional. Martin


McGuinness had been invited to give a lecture. The brother of the


18—year—old victim of the Birmingham pub bombings says it is immoral. If


he wants to lord it on the stage, he should be begging for forgiveness.


He should be giving out the names of perpetrators. Martin McGuinness was


a senior IRA figure when two IRA bombs exploded in Birmingham in


1974. In the carnage 21 people died, among them Maxine Hambleton, at 18


the youngest of the victims. Six men were jailed, but there are


convictions were subsequently quashed. What did he have to say to


the protesters outside? I will be the last to criticise them, my heart


goes out to all the victims of the conflict. What we have to do is


continue with our work so that we can continue to move away from


conflict and move forward. This woman was so badly injured that


night that a priest read her rights. In recent years, she has met former


IRA men as part of a reconciliation project. She understands the call


for justice — but the desire too to move on. We have got to talk,


violence will not get us anywhere. Midlands police are assessing


whether a new investigation is viable.


Plans for a new £27 million hospital for Shropshire have been scrapped.


The Shropshire Community Health Trust has already bought the land


for the proposed new hospital in Ludlow — but now says it can't


afford the running costs. A teenager's appeared in court


charged with the murder of a Birmingham college student


16—year—old Azim Azam from Billesley was stabbed near a bus stop in


Moseley on Monday. This morning a 17—year—old from Kings Heath, who


can't be named because of his age, was remanded in custody and will


appear in court again next week. The UK Independence Party leader


Nigel Farage has denied claims by a West Midlands Member of the European


Parliament that his leadership style is "totalitarian". Mike Nattrass


resigned from UKIP last week after failing to get on the list of


candidates to fight next year's European elections. He described


those who'd been selected as 'cronies' of the leader. But, on the


eve of his party conference in London, Mr Farage dismissed


allegations he interferes with candidate selection. It is


balderdash. When I stood to be the leader of UKIP for the second time I


said I was not greeted with I had done before. I would rather lead the


party politically and not manage it or run it on a daily basis. I have


accented myself totally from the procedure. I have had nothing to do


with it. And you can see that interview in full on this weekend's


Sunday Politics, now back in its regular morning slot of 11am here on


BBC One. And there'll also be an interview with the Labour Leader Ed


Miliband. The man in charge of Britain's


railways said today there's no alternative to building the


controversial 40 billion pound high speed rail line. Network Rail Chief


Executive, David Higgins, says HS2 is the only realistic option to


increase capacity on our congested rail system.


Higher speeds, more capacity and economic growth — that's the promise


from high speed rail and today saw another major conference — this time


designed to transform the way people think about the project. Amongst the


hard hitters invited to speak — the head of Network Rail who maintains


that UK plc simply can't do without High Speed Rail. We are pushing an


existing infrastructure well beyond what it was ever designed for. We


have got freight trains, commuter trains, high—speed, all winning it


out. We will create jobs and opportunities.


Today's conference follows the launch of a major government


campaign highlighting the growth potential of the HS2. One of the


leading supporters of the project it's time to big up the benefits all


over again. What if you or a motorist? It gets lorries off roads.


What if you are a commuter? It frees up capacity for more services and


more seats. There are an awful lot of benefits that have not been


grasped. The conference has been taking place just yards from one of


the proposed HS2 stations. It has been taking place at a time when


there has been a summer of negative stories about the project, and some


are questioning whether it will ever happen. At the end of June the


Department for Transport increased it's estimate of the cost of HS2


from 33 to more than £42 billion. Then in August the Institute of


Economic Affairs said the cost could be as high as 80 billion. Later in


the month the Institute of Directors describe the project as "one grand


folly" then earlier this month the Public Accounts Committee said the


Government had "not yet presented a convincing strategic case" for HS2.


This summer, the number of people who have started to agree with what


we have been saying all along for three and a half years has reached


enormous levels. It is time for the government to stop and think again.


But that seems unlikely. A special bill designed to clear the way for


HS2 is expected to be debated in parliament at the end of this year.


And Peter joins us now from a site close to HS2 in the centre of


Birmingham. Where do we go next for this scheme? There is still a long


way to go. Public consultations, two are underway at the moment. One of


them has had to be rerun as the result of a judicial review. Phase


two is underway, that is due to end in January next year. Phase two


goals from the West Midlands to Manchester. We have got a hybrid


build due to begin at the end of the year. And with the Parliamentary


Bill finally give the go—ahead for HS2? It should do. But there is no


public enquiry into HS2. The hybrid build process completely replaces


that. But of the public want to have a say they can petition Parliament.


There will be scrutiny by various committees in both houses, it all


takes time. Royal assent for the hybrid bid is due in 2015. We have a


general election in May, so that'll have to happen otherwise the scheme


could be delayed. Thank you. Our top story tonight: Hospitals


across the region in special measures to get help from staff


working in successful medical centres.


Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly from Shefali. Also in


tonight's programme: Why this Olympic medal winning gymnast


believes getting more youngsters into the sport is his real success.


And the theatre company that's heading for the hills in Shropshire


for a unique performance. Pupils at a primary school in the


Black Country still haven't been allowed to start the new term


because of delays to building work. Contractors at Brandhall Primary in


Oldbury have been working on upgrading the school's heating


system and removing asbestos. But the work's overrun and for parents


the extra childcare costs are mounting up.


Half past eight in the morning, and the school run would usually be a


hive of activity. Ready to go back to school? But at Brandhall Primary


in Oldbury, just the reception and year six pupils trickle through the


gates. The school is still closed until Monday due to building work


overrunning. Nobody knows the ins and outs, especially as parents. We


have been kept in the dark. I feel for parents to have to take more


time off work to subsidise the school. They have been standing


about, they have not kept up to the schedule. Pupils in Year one to Year


five are two weeks late returning for the new term. A total of 280


children have been affected. It's also been a huge inconvenience to


parents having to find and fund extra childcare. Sarah Bradley has


recently moved and was aiming to start redecorating. Her plans have


been scuppered because her daughter has to stay at home. I haven't had a


home work plan at all. We have had to go out and buy things for her to


learn. It is really awkward her being at home. Instead of school.


Parents are now being reassured the school gates will be open for every


pupil this coming Monday morning. Parents will not be compensated. I


am a parent myself and I would be angry if my children could not go


back to school on time. Parents are now being reassured the school gates


will be opened this coming Monday morning.


Sport now and winning Olympic medals in London last year made stars of


Britain's male gymnasts. The team were invited to Buckingham Palace


and Louis Smith went on to win Strictly Come Dancing. But the


euphoria didn't last long for Wolverhampton's Kristian Thomas


who's faced a tough battle to overcome injury in time for a shot


at the world title. Nick Clitheroe reports from Shropshire.


It's only when you get this close to world class gymnasts that you


realise the combination of grace and power required to reach the top of


the sport. That only comes with hours of hard work in the gym at


Lilleshall's National Sports Centre. But Kristian Thomas is relishing


being back in training because his post—Olympic year has been disrupted


by a broken leg and a broken heel. I suppose there is two ways that you


can look at it. You can get a bit down in the dumps and not do much


for a few months or do what I did and say I can't use my leg that I


can use my upper body. I can progress on other skills and other


apparat is. They call Kristian the rock of the British team. It was his


job to keep his nerve in London when the pressure was on and guide the


team to that medal. His temperament is exceptional and he is very good


under pressure. You will always get 100% from him. And the admiration of


his team—mates has carried over to the wider public. More than a year


on people are still stopping him to offer their congratulations. Even


when I go to my local gymnasium, I still have parents come up to me and


say their children have gotten into the sport. It is really special.


Kristian and his team—mates are off to the World Championships in


Belgium later this month. Next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow


is another major target. It's hard work in the gym today that will pay


off in those competitions. Amazing courage to come back from a


broken leg and a broken wrist. I always feel the same with


footballers. Let's talk about the glorious Shropshire countryside. The


experiences of women who live and work in the county's hill country


are bring brought to life in a unique way. Poetry and theatre are


being combined with one of my favourite pastimes, a brisk walk in


the rolling hills. Our arts reporter Satnam Rana put on her walking boots


to find out more. Stunning views of the Shropshire


Hills in Stiperstones, an area of outstanding natural beauty and now


the setting for In This Place. Cotton grasses, sphagnum mosses. I


think it has given me more satisfaction than anything in my


life. It's a piece of audio theatre recounting the stories of 20 women


who are connected to the landscape, and you experience through


headphones. We didn't even have to speak. It was like we had found a


playground. You feel this rising feeling in your chest. It is like


being children. We really wanted to find a way of celebrating and


interrogating the role that women have in shaping the local landscape.


We didn't want this material to sit in archives. The idea came that we


could find a creative response to it and do it as a walk were people


could experience the landscape for themselves. The project has been


developed out of oral histories captured by a local archivist.


Amongst the contributors, Fiona, who works for the Wildlife Trust. It is


such a precious thing and a special thing to me. It is lovely to share


it with other people and to tell them about these experiences and


hope that they are going to get something out of it and have some of


these experiences themselves. The hour long walk also incorporates


visual art by local sculptur Sophia Clist. She has made a visual arts


trail, she has cast a mould of her own hands out of compost,


biodegradable, which represents women having a tactile relationship


with the Earth. Countryside and land has been part of what people have


been doing since the beginning, working their way across it to get


somewhere. From Nipstone Quick through expansive fields and hidden


woodland this is a unique theatrical experience. There is something quite


Zen like about listening to the stories. Put them next to this


beautiful, rough, raw landscape, and this is theatre and nature working


together. The beautiful Shropshire hills. Fabulous, it looks quite


nice. Stand—by for some even better news on weather front. There is good


news for the weekend. The sunshine burst forth eventually today, which


made a world of difference. Sunshine is going to be key to us getting the


weekend we want. Now that today is out of the way, we have got this


ridge of high pressure building, getting into a fully fledged area of


high pressure over the weekend, giving a scam, settled conditions


but also a lot of cloud. It will be warmer if the sunshine breaks


through, more likely on Sunday the further east you are. This evening,


we have got that Sun across, drier conditions as well. Starry skies,


temperatures will drop. Down to about seven Celsius. You can see


this bank of clouds starting to filter in from the North, holding


temperatures at around ten or 11 Celsius. Tomorrow we have got much


calmer conditions, that will peck temperatures back to perhaps only 17


or 18 Celsius in the south of the region. Not particularly impressive,


but at least it will be dry tomorrow and we will see some brightness by


the afternoon. Moving on to tomorrow evening, again we have got some


cloud which will hold temperatures up to nine or 10 Celsius tomorrow


night. It is a largely dry picture. As we head into the weekend, it is


Saturday that is going to be fairly cloudy. Sunday is probably the


sunniest day. Temperatures on Saturday, 17 to 19 Celsius, average


for the time of year. If the sun pops through, temperatures will rise


to 20 or 21 Celsius. It will be warm into the start of next week as well.


Thank you. Let's recap tonight's top stories: A


crackdown is ordered on pension schemes that offer poor value to


millions of savers. And NHS managers from Birmingham are


parachuted in to help struggling hospitals in the region. We'll be


back at 10pm with more about why staff at the Queen Elizabeth


Hospital in Birmingham are being sent to help raise standards at


hospitals in Nuneaton and Burton—on Trent. Have a great evening.




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