27/09/2013 Midlands Today


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Good evening. Tonight: death rates following hip operations down by


nearly 100 patients a year at one of our biggest hospital trusts. The


work ethic has completely changed. We will hear why operating within


two days is a key reason for success.


More than 600 jobs to go at Warwickshire County Council as part


of £92 million of savings. Most of those have come from natural wastage


but I cannot rule out that there will be some compulsory


redundancies. The Prime Minister tells us why he is determined the


high—speed rail project will go ahead, despite doubts from Labour.


How a Warwickshire holiday home beat of the competition to win Britain's


biggest architecture prize. And will it be an award—winning


weekend for the weather? It is not looking too bad but will it be


broadly is at the ready? The full forecast later.


A remarkable turnaround at one of the region's biggest hospital


trusts, after a sharp rise in survival rates for hip surgery. Just


eight years ago, around one in five patients who went to the Heart of


England NHS Trust for hip surgery died. But major investment in


specialist care means that by last year that figure had been reduced to


less than one in 15. That means around 90 patients a year are now


walking out of hospital who previously would have died. Our


health correspondent, Michele Paduano, has this report.


She's made a textbook recovery and 77—year—old Pauline Poole is going


home today after just ten days. Women are more likely to break their


hips because they live longer and more and more are in their 80s and


90s. Once I had the accident, the next thing I release new, I was


waking up on the ward, operation over and done with and being looked


after by the lovely girls —— the next thing I really knew. Elderly


patients are often very sick. At Heart of England they had a terrible


survival rate so they've invested £2 million. That means five junior


doctors employed to monitor patients more closely and more specialists in


elderly care. The statistics are showing we are third from the bottom


out of 200 hospitals, so we had to change and people realised that. The


work ethic has completely changed. That has improved quite


considerably. So how have they changed the culture? They operate on


patients seven days a week and 85% of patients now have their operation


within two days. The monitoring ensures there are fewer


complications like infection. One of the major changes is operating at


the weekend. If a patient came in on a Thursday, they might not be


operated on until the following Monday. Weekend operating at


Heartlands has reduced deaths of patients admitted at the weekend by


two thirds. According to national statistics, the best hospital in our


region is New Cross in Wolverhampton with 4.3% overall mortality. The


George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton still has 10.4% of patients dying


and the Gloucester Royal's 11.1% is the highest. The Heart of England


NHS Trust isn't complacent. Good Hope's figures could improve and the


level of pressure sores in Heartlands is nearly twice the


national average. We have some work to do on pressure sores, that is


improving, it has improved successively. It is a consequence of


dealing with very frail people. But having one of the poorest


communities in the country on their doorstep, this turnaround is


impressive. I am joined now by our health


correspondent, Michele Paduano. A broken hip is so much more serious


for all the people than just a broken bone. —— for older people.


That is right and when they go to hospital, they are very frail. In


some of these operations they have to have a new ball joint and it can


be dangerous. In 2002, a quarter of all people who went to Good Hope


Hospital died from this operation. The change has been to render it ——


been tremendous. It is a shame there has to be a target but they target


has worked. The improvement at the weekend is staggering. Two thirds


less people died if they were operated on at the weekend. I'd Good


Hope it was a third less. More people die at weekends and over


holidays. We need to get into a culture where hospitals are working


seven days a week. Is there more that can be done to improve survival


rates? Some of these hospitals squeeze things down to the bones,


excuse the pun. Certain people are going with heart attacks and strokes


and almost incidentally breaking a hip as part of that process. Each


year the figures are getting better. Last year the people admitted to an


orthopaedic ward within four hours fell for the first time and that is


because of the winter pressures. If you have another bad winter, there


is always that possibility. Coming up later in the programme:


Transformed from a ruin into a luxury holiday home — a prestigious


award for an old Warwickshire castle.


More than 600 jobs are to go at Warwickshire County Council as the


authority aims to save £92 million in the next four years. The council


says the cuts are due to a drop in government grants, inflation and an


ageing population. Our reporter Sarah Falkland is in Warwick for us


tonight. Sarah, do we know which departments will be hit by this?


They haven't given any great detail but they have said that no


department will be untouched. I would say it is looking extremely


likely tonight that Warwickshire fire service, which cost something


like £20 million a year to run, will merge with Hereford and Worcester


Fire and Rescue Service come it has been talked for five or six years.


Apart from that, jobs are the other big saving. They have already lost


1500 jobs in Warwickshire County Council. That is just in the last


couple of years. A lot of that with natural wastage. Now we are looking


at compulsory redundancies. We are looking at up to a maximum of 627


losses over the four—year period. Most of those, I hope, will come


from natural wastage but I cannot rule out that there will be some


compulsory redundancies over the four—year period. At this point I


can't quantify those. What has been the reaction to this announcement?


The unions have not said a lot, they are meeting with the council on


Monday. The leader of the Labour Party on the County Council is


concerned about social care. It eats up a whopping quarter of the £350


million budget that the County Council has. There is a ready talk


about looking after people in their homes for longer than putting them


into care homes. She's worried this is taking David Cameron's big


society idea one step too far. He seems to think this country can rely


on volunteers and when we start talking about volunteers to look


after elderly relatives and neighbours, I think things have got


to come to a halt. Does this level of cuts mean council tax in


Warwickshire will remain frozen? High as these cuts are, 92 million


is based on having a council tax rise of 2%. The council is keen to


hear what the bill say about these cuts and council tax levels. We


asked people, would they be prepared to pay more council tax if it meant


preserving council services? I would rather take the 2% rise and have


less cuts. Services are important. Council tax is better. I pay more as


it is. You have to be prepared to pay for the services that you want.


A 2% rise is probably a fairly small price to pay. The economy doesn't


work on frozen because you are forcing things and there will be a


big bubble afterwards. Give us an idea of when final decisions will be


made. Public consultation running over the next couple of months in


the autumn, a final decision in early Fabri next year. —— February


next to. A prolific burglar from Birmingham


has been jailed for 12 years for running over a West Midlands police


officer. 50—year—old Carl Anderson knocked down PC Peter McGinn as he


tried to escape following a burglary in Erdington in June. The


44—year—old police officer has undergone multiple operations for


serious leg injuries but he's hopeful of returning to duties


within two years. A statement was read on his behalf outside


Birmingham Crown Court. I am glad that Anderson pleaded guilty and


acknowledged his actions on the day, I am pleased that justice has been


concluded today and I can now concentrate on my recovery, which is


going to be a lengthy process. I would like to take this opportunity


to thank my wife, my family, friends and colleagues for all their help


and support. A coroner has criticised organisers


of a fell—running event after they failed to realise a competitor from


Staffordshire had fallen from a cliff and died. 63—year—old Brian


Belfield, from Leek, slipped down a mountain near Buttermere in the Lake


District in April last year and died of hypothermia. Cumbria's deputy


coroner Robert Chapman heard race officials had wrongly counted the


number of finishers and that their walkie—talkies had failed.


Union leaders have written a letter of no confidence in the governing


body of a Birmingham school where a boy threatened other children with a


knife. Concerned parents gathered at Saltley School this afternoon to


find out what action's going to be taken. The pupil had been


permanently excluded until governors reversed the decision. The school


says the incident was dealt with through due process, but the GMB


union says school support staff are concerned. Primarily we are


concerned about health and safety of our members but also the pupils


within the school. We want to seek assurances from the school, what


they are doing to protect our staff, our members and the pupils


within the environment that they look after on a day—to—day basis.


Promises of a review of High Speed Rail by an incoming Labour


government have been dismissed by the Conservative leader David


Cameron. The Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls told his party conference the


project could be scrapped if the estimated costs continued to rise.


But, as he prepared for his party conference in Manchester, the Prime


Minister reaffirmed his strong support for it. He was talking to


our political editor, Patrick Burns, who joins us now. He's still


confident about it despite Labour's doubts? I think after the events of


the past few days, David Cameron is, if anything, even more determined


than ever. He was cataloguing the considerable economic advantages to


parts of the country like ours. I think he feels that intriguingly, if


push comes to shove, even Labour themselves would not turn their


backs on this project. We need to build a new railway line. The West


Coast mainline is full. The only question for us is do we build


another Victorian style railway, or do we build one of these new


high—speed ones. Of course it costs a lot of money but we will be


spending three times as much in the next Parliament on other transport


schemes, including rail schemes, as we will on HS2. It is not taking up


all the budget and it is vital for our economic future. Ed Balls's


speech was attacked, what have local MPs had to say? A Black Country


Labour MP who chairs the all—party business select committee, I put it


to him that Labour's intervention would deter important investment in


potential high—speed rail projects. He said if anything was likely to


deter investors, it is the coalition's handling of this. The


current government has totally failed in its bid to convince the


country that it is the best way to spend this amount of money.


Secondly, the costs have escalated. What the Labour Party is saying is


yes, we are still committed to this. Certainly in the West Midlands,


leaders and members of Parliament are. We can't give the operators and


open cheque. What else did you talk to David Cameron about? It was a


wide—ranging interview, we touched on acute services at Stafford


Hospital. And all those marginal seat and the issues which David


Cameron thinks will cut through at the next general election, welfare


reform, education reform and the improving condition, he says, of the


economy generally. And you can see Patrick's interview


with the Prime Minister in full in this weekend's Sunday Politics from


11:00am here on BBC One. This is our top story tonight: death


rates following hip operations drop by nearly 100 patients a year by


operating within two days. Your detailed weather forecast to


come shortly. Also in tonight's programme,


drumming up support for Stoke — season tickets back on sale after a


dip in crowd numbers. And recreating the trial of the


Prince of Poisoners — one of the country's most notorious villains.


It may be getting on for 1,000 years old, but a manor house in


Warwickshire has landed the country's top prize for contemporary


architecture. The transformation of Astley Castle, near Nuneaton, into a


modern holiday home has won its designers the coveted Stirling


Prize. The award was presented to architects firm Witherford Watson


Mann at a ceremony in London last night. Being recognised early is one


of the most important things about these awards. It allows you to


communicate your ideas. It may not translate into huge business


improvement but it is certainly really important to get ideas out


there. Supporters of the restoration project have gathered at Astley


Castle tonight to celebrate the award. Our reporter Joanne Writtle


has joined them. Joanne, how important is this prize to people


there in North Warwickshire? It is a cause of huge celebration. This


award is a bit like the Oscars of British architecture. How beautiful


it is. They are all having a huge party. Let's chat to one or two of


the locals who have gathered here. Sharon is housekeeper here, she


lives in the village. Tell me what you do. We maintain and get it ready


for the guests. Meet and greet them sometimes. We meet lovely people. A


wonderful place to work. What about Leonard. You have lived in Astley


all your life, you have had lots of celebrations, what has happened in


the past? The wedding receptions for a brother and four sisters. And it


was wonderful. Always had great times in Astley, lived here all my


life. That is when it was a hotel in the 50s. The Landmark trust lets


this out as a holiday home and a short time ago, a group of eight


friends staying here from Herefordshire and Bristol, let me


disturb their dinner progressions to give me a quick tour of what is now


their award—winning holiday house we have this wonderful staircase and


on that floor, and open space. This wonderful large room which would


have been the grand Hall in medieval times, it has been transformed into


a modern living area. Very exciting to be in such a grand and


award—winning plays. A medieval castle with a difference. It's only.


How about that? We are joined by Caroline Standford, historian from


the Landmark trust. Congratulations. In 1978 this was a scene of ruins


after a fire what would have happened if you did not take it on?


Had the Landmark trust not stepped in, it would have fallen away and


become unrecognisable, despite being grade to listed. —— two listed.


Inside it is ultramodern, did you preserve any of the original


features? Sadly it was so far gone that there was nothing left of the


internal features to restore in a conventional sense. We have kept as


much as we can but nothing to restore. Who is one of the most


famous residents? Elizabeth would feel was the White Queen and lived


here in the middle of the 15th century were just before she married


Edward IV and became the White Queen of England. People here tonight can


feel like their own king and queen of their own castle just for the


day. Thank you. Dan's here with the sport. And


concern at Stoke City about falling attendances?


They are trying to do something about it. For many fans, Stoke


City's impressive start to the season has raised eyebrows. If they


beat Norwich on Sunday it will be their best ever start in the Premier


League but their home crowd is down by 7% and the club is determined to


win back the hearts and minds of their fans.


Something was missing from the last home game at the Brit. Not just


goals but a full compliment of Stoke City supporters, because the gate


was 2,000 down on the same game last season. The Britannia Stadium has or


has been a fortress, loud and proud of its reputation as the Potters'


12th man. When 2000 Stoke City fans fail to renew their season tickets


in the summer, the alarm bells started ringing. Chief executive


Tony Scholes hates to see hundreds of empty seats. It's costing the


club thousands of pounds. So when Stoke fans told him they wouldn't


pay good money to watch uninspiring football, he cut the price of season


tickets to tempt them back. These have been pretty austere times in


the potteries, is football feeling the pinch? We are very aware of that


and our pricing reflects the fact that we are in difficult environment


at the moment, and we live in an area that is not the wealthiest. We


haven't put the prices up since we got promoted to the Premier League.


The Britannia is not thought any more, why is that? I suppose it is


down to price. Change the style of football which you would have


thought would be more attractive to watch. I don't know why they are not


coming. Are you getting value for money? I think so. They are one of


the cheapest in the Premier League will stop a friend of mine went to


the Emirates and it was over £40 for a ticket. Mark Hughes' job is to


make Stoke City more watchable. But he knows money's too tight to


mention for many fans, So he'll never take their loyalty for


granted. I think people are encouraged by what they are seeing


and the way we are playing. We think that will add a few to the crowd.


Are you a big fan of Sunday lunchtime football? Not


particularly, only when you win. Watching football doesn't get much


cheaper than this. But if Stoke beat Norwich on Sunday, it'll be their


best ever start in the Premier League. And 2,000 Potters fans may


well tempted to reconsider their decision.


England's netball team take on South Africa in front of a sell—out crowd


at the University of Worcester tonight. It's a vital part of their


preparations for next summer's Commonwealth Games where they're


aiming to win gold. But these players have to combine sporting


excellence with holding down a full—time job. Nick Clitheroe


reports. Six in the morning and England's


captain Pamela Cookey is meeting up with her team—mates for the first


training session of a long day. It is very early in the morning.


Sometimes it is good, you get out of bed and have to get on with it. You


don't how hard you are working sometimes. If I don't put my all


into it, the girls will wonder why. Sometimes you are tired and you are


struggling but you have to help each other get through. Although she's


from Birmingham, Pamela has moved to Bath, where the national team are


based, to pursue her sporting dream. There's not enough money in the


sport to be a full—time professional, so once training


finishes it's off to her day job at an aerospace company. England have


won Commonwealth bronze in the last two games but recent performances


have seen them set their sights even higher for Glasgow next year. We


actually want more, we want to come away with a different medal, and


that is driving force. The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, we


are aiming for the final, that is where we want to be. I definitely


think we are in a position to challenge for the gold medal.


For Pamela that means when her fellow workers head home at the end


of the day she's back in they gym for more training. But it will all


be worth it if there's a gold medal hanging round her neck next summer.


Decent crowds expected at the netball — let's hope the numbers


pick up at Stoke. Elsewhere this weekend it's Manchester versus the


Midlands. In the Premier League tomorrow Aston Villa are at home to


Manchester City while West Bromwich Albion are at Manchester United.


There is nothing to lose, the pressure is off both teams. The odds


against them both winning, 66—to one, it perhaps says it all.


Before I go, don't forget we're looking for nominations for our BBC


Midlands Unsung Sporting Hero Award. We're looking for an individual or


pair aged 16 or over who give their time on a voluntary basis to help


others to participate in sport. You can download a nomination form on


the BBC Sport website or you can ring 0845 308 8000 and we'll send


one to you. pair aged 16 or over who give their


time on a Calls cost up to 5p a minute from a landline, but may be


more from mobiles. can download a nomination form on


The closing date is October 14th. A Stafford Threatre Company has


taken over the town's former Crown Court to recreate the trial of one


of the county's most notorious villains. Rugeley doctor William


Palmer is thought to have killed at least 15 people in the mid—19th


century. He was finally convicted for the murder of a close friend in


1856. Laura May McMullen has been to see Victorian justice in action.


June 1856 and the trial of Dr William Palmer gripped the nation.


Are you guilty or not guilty? Not guilty. He was tried for the murder


of his friend John Parsons Cook, but it's alleged the doctor — also known


as the Rugeley Poisoner — killed at least 15 people, including his wife


and children. Now, his trial has been recreated by a Staffordshire


theatre company with members of the audience making up the jury. We have


done this four times. It seems a very popular one. Whether Stafford


people are more morbid than others, who knows? I suppose he was one of


the first mass murderers in British history and until that time, he


probably killed more people than anybody. His trial was due to take


place in this courtroom in Stafford, but such was his notoriety it was


moved to the Old Bailey in London. It is fascinating. I was on the jury


last time I was here, some years ago. It is interesting to see the


history of what happened. I live in Rugeley, it is more interesting than


it would be for other people. In 1856, it was the custom to make a


death mask after someone had been executed. After studying his cast


the phrenologist said "the head was altogether the worst kind". William


Palmer, you have been found guilty of the heinous crime of murder. More


than 30,000 people gathered outside Stafford Prison to witness the


hanging of one of history's most notorious villains.


How very grizzly. Can we squeeze more sunshine out of


the last days of September? Rebecca has the forecast.


Yes, we can, but it is a bit of a North—South divide. It will be


pleasant for pretty much all of us. We will have strong winds to content


with. It will be generally dry, with the sun coming out at times but also


with temperatures above average for the time of year so feeling very


pleasant. It is because of this area of hide pressure to the east of us


are managing to keep weather fronts at bay but also keeping things


settled. We have had a good day with good spells of sunshine. Still a


little to come through late afternoon. Overnight we will see


largely clear skies. The cloud will start to fill in but it will be a


dry night for most of us. Under that cloud the temperatures will manage


to stay just into double figures but it will still be colder in rural


spots and a chilly night to come. It means Saturday will start off dry


and bright for most. Strong easterly winds so we will get breaks and


sunshine. Further South we will see the cloud thicken and we can't rule


out the odd shower across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.


They will blow through. Temperatures getting up to 18 or 19. Where the


sun is out they could get into the low 20s. More sunshine to come


through the afternoon, a few more showers but they will blow through


quickly and it will be a similar picture to tonight. A few clear


spells but temperatures managing to just stay into double figures.


Sunday is a very similar picture to Saturday. Dry and bright with good


spells of sunshine. The winds are picking up so that will take the


edge off temperatures. Still 18 or 19 so not too bad. The high pressure


is sitting with us as we move through Sunday into Monday. Perhaps


more cloud by Tuesday. For late September it is not looking too bad.


More sunshine left in last few days of September?


Let's recap tonight's top stories: The BBC has learnt that uncertainty


about who was in charge of responding to the attack on a Kenyan


shopping centre may have helped gunmen to prolong the siege.


And death rates following hip operations down by nearly 100


patients a year by operating within two days.


We'll be back at 10:00pm. Have a great weekend. Goodbye.


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