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let-up. Thank you. That is all from the BBC News at Six. Goodbye. Now
Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: A partial
victory for Stafford Hospital campaigners, as some services are
retained but others downgraded. We came here today and they said the
administrators said they had listened to the community, but there
is nothing there in what they are offering.
We'll be asking how it will all work, and the impact it'll have on
neighbouring hospitals. We've spent the day inside the busy
University Hospital of North Staffordshire. Will it be able to
take up the slack from Stafford? A sharp fall in jobless figures with
26,000 fewer out of work, but Birmingham is still the worst city
for unemployment in the country. It is wet and windy, and Stoke City is
hoping to make it a miserable night for Manchester United.
And we may have seen plenty of rain today, but could this be the scene
across us by tomorrow? Full details coming up in the forecast later.
Good evening. Stafford Hospital is being taken over, but some key
services will stay. It's a partial victory for thousands who marched to
save it, although not everyone's happy. Administrators needed more
time to come up with their proposals, such was the strength of
public opinion. They're now recommending a downgraded maternity
unit instead of complete closure. A stays, although it won't be 24
hours. Other services will be scaled back ` with complicated procedures
taking place elsewhere and Stafford used for recuperation and recovery.
The hospital's been trying to rebuild confidence since the scandal
over dreadful neglect and poor care was uncovered five years ago. It's
not quite the end of the story, though ` the Health Secretary still
has to give his approval, and that won't happen until next February at
the earliest. Here's our health correspondent Michele Paduano.
This is what all the fuss is about, babies and children, where they are
born and how they are treated. In the future half of all Stafford
babies will still be born in Stafford. For these mums, today's
improvements are not good enough. There is still some hope there, we
do still have some services, but you cannot guarantee that you will not
have complications if you are giving birth, and to have to go elsewhere
would disrupt so many lives. It is good not `` not good enough for
people with critically ill children. What are they supposed to do? The
Trust Special Administrators said they had listened to the concerns,
and 95% of all patient care will be in Stafford. What we have done I
believe successfully is to provide Stafford and Cannock with a period
of stability, at least four years, when they can work with local health
care commissioners and can address the issues that exist here and also
elsewhere. Stafford Hospital will get ?90 million in subsidy over four
years, and ?40 million refurbishment. A further ?130
million will be spent on improving maternity and accident and emergency
services in Walsall, Stockton Wolverhampton. This will fund a
proportion of our new A department which we have recently started the
preliminary construction. We will also have to build an extension to
our existing maternity units to be able to cope with the consultant
deliveries. Back in Stafford politicians across the spectrum are
not happy. We are going to lobby very hard now, the Secretary of
State for health, because that is where we have to take the fight to.
And my colleagues in all parties have been fighting very hard for
this in the last year or so, and we will carry on. We came in here and
the administrators said they had listened to the community, then we
listen to the detail of what they are offering and there is nothing
there. Most babies are not going to be born in Stafford. Our money's had
to be served elsewhere for new hospitals that could be built here.
`` going to be set. `` great to be sent. At the end of for years, the
hospital will study ?15 million in the red.
The people of the town have been living with this for years, will
they be happy with this delight? There are people out there who
clearly think that services should move elsewhere because they will be
safer there, but they were absent today, one reason being that there
has been such a groundswell of opinion against the hospital. Let us
talk to one of the campaigners. How do you feel about what happened
today? I am very disappointed. It has been made and we have had
concessions made to us, but I think it is a bit of a fudge. We are told
we will get midwife led eternity. 50% of the people could still be
seen at Stafford Hospital, in reality `` but they have spent a
huge amount in subsidy on this, you must realise change has to take
place? We fully agree with that, we know
there has to be a partnership. Specialised services have to be
elsewhere at a larger hospital. We will support integration, we are not
against that. Tomorrow you are seeing one of the Prime Minister's
special advisers. What are you going to say? I think we will have a frank
discussion. We have to look at how the board is going to be formed
between us and UHNS. Clearly people here are not happy, but Jeremy Hunt
has not got out of this political messages yet.
With the trust running Stafford and Cannock hospitals dissolved, Cannock
will be taken over by Wolverhampton. Stafford Hospital, which is far
bigger, will be run by the University Hospital of North
Staffordshire which covers Stoke on Trent. So will it be able to take up
the slack? Our Staffordshire reporter Liz Copper has been finding
out. Brandon is three and will be in
hospital for Christmas. He's one of more than 11,000 patients treated in
the Children's Centre here every year. The changes announced today
could see many more children coming here. Parents have concerns over the
effect for families. It is not brilliant for the parents if they
have to travel and travel, but if it is best for the child that is what
has to be done. There was plenty of festive fun
today on the children's ward, but nevertheless lingering worries about
what the New Year will bring once children will no longer be admitted
for overnight stays in Stafford. I have six children, and I have had to
travel from that which today to hear. But I can't imagine having to
do that with an ill child. The planned changes were among the
most controversial book forward. The question now is, how big an overall
impact will the new arrangements have?
This is the unit where children are assessed. It's busy, but doctors
believe they'll be able to cope with more patients. I think we are
ideally placed to absorb more work because we have become consultant
led down here. We probably have more consultant time on the shop floor
than anywhere else in region actually.
And patients across the region are being reassured the new plans will
lead to better overall care across Staffordshire ` and increased travel
times won't be a serious problem. There is a trade`off between coming
to really high quality services where you have 40 or 50 paediatric
specialists for exam will on the ward we are on now, compared to
three in Stafford. There is this trade`off between accessing a full
range of services when you have a sick child, and that is very
traumatic for patients `` parents. Whilst these changes won't satisfy
everyone, there is now at least a measure of certainty as plans for
shaping the future of health care across Staffordshire become clearer.
Joining us now from our studio in London is the Conservative MP for
Stafford Jeremy Lefroy. Good evening, Mr Lefroy. So Stafford
Hospital is being downgraded, but some services retained ` good news?
I think it is mixed. I was this boot saying some services, `` would
dispute some services, we are talking about a large number of
services being maintained. At the beginning of the year we were told
there would be no A or maternity or paediatrics and many other
services. We have come a long way. It will have on A, there will
according to the TSA's report be midwife led maternity, and we will
be part of a university hospital with a secure future. But
particularly there is a big but over services with children and mothers
and families. The community have done a tremendous job in getting us
to where we are now, but we have further to go because we have to
make the case that our children deserve to have a 20 four sevenths
service where they can stay in unless they have to be transferred.
But as the case I have been making to Jeremy Hunt this afternoon. What
sort of vibes did you get from him? He has to make the final decision,
he cannot tell me at this stage, but I shall firstly be making the case
to monitor because they have too make the case to the Secretary of
State. `` they have to make the case. And also we need to look at
the proposals for maternity. I still believe we need a consultant led
maternity service, I think the numbers justify that. And we need to
look at one or two other areas like the proposals for critical care. I
think we have moved a step forward today, but not a large enough step
at all. Plenty more to come before 7:00.
The problems for ex`servicemen facing the prospect of being
homeless for Christmas. There's been a sharp fall in
unemployment in the region although Birmingham remains the city with the
highest rate in the country. Across the West Midlands, the number of
jobless fell by 26,000 over the last quarter. It means there are now
240,000 people out of work here ` or 8.8% of the working population. Ben
Godfrey has been to Wolverhampton, to look at a scheme helping people
find jobs when English isn't their first language.
Bhupinder Mary wants to return to work now her daughter's older. If
only it were that easy. After four years without a job, she says she's
facing too many hurdles. The main problem is the language, and
experience. It is hard. It is very difficult for us.
She's not alone. For these Asian and Eastern European job`seekers,
Wolverhampton doesn't feel like a land of opportunity.
So they've joined the Park Village Employability Scheme. They get jobs
advice ` nothing new there. But what makes it different is that they'll
design the sort of training opportunities their community needs.
Here in Park Village, changing perceptions is the first challenge.
9% of the working age population is currently claiming job`seeker's
allowance, but it is also about well`being, in an area where women
live to an average age of 79, four men it is just 73. My husband has
not worked since he left school. All the Government plans, and what they
plan to do, the job centres are full of people anyway so I don't see how
that can help. I have had a couple of temporary contracts, but nothing
big. Nothing I can hold on to. There is nothing in Wolverhampton. 30
years after I left school, people are leaving school in this day and
age when they cannot live `` read or write. What is going on?
Asia Jodin has a masters degree from Poland's top university. She moved
to Wolverhampton to be near family, but says she's failed to find a job
to match her skills. I don't want to go to the factory every day. I have
a Masters degree, I had a good job over there in Poland, and I want to
carry on having a better life, and also for my future children I want
to set the example. Dozens of residents have signed up
to the scheme, which hopes to coach them into employment within three
months. Our business correspondent Peter
Plisner is here now. Encouraging figures, Peter ` why do you think
they've gone down? The fact is more jobs are being created. If you look
at the West Midlands, construction jobs are up, and manufacturing is
slightly down, and nationally the art up so that could be a blip.
Managing directors I have spoken to so their order books are full and
they are optimistic about the year ahead. `` they say that their order
books are full. But Birmingham is still the work `` the worst in the
country. Yes, 16.5% of the population are unemployed, the
highest in the UK, but we have some of the worst blackspots for
unemployment, places like Hodge Hill, and Ladywood. More than 20% of
the population there is unemployed. There has been lots about this
so`called skills gap, and a lot is being done to address it.
Detectives are searching for a beggar who attacked a 25`year`old
man in Birmingham, blinding him in one eye.
It happened at Spices restaurant on the Soho Road in Handsworth. The
offender, who was captured on CCTV, asked for a cigarette and money.
When he was refused, he stabbed the victim in the eye with an unknown
weapon. Our top story tonight. A partial victory for Stafford
Hospital campaigners, as some services are retained but others
downgraded. A full weather forecast to come soon
from Shefali ` not too cheerful, I'm afraid, and also in tonight's
programme, what these Stoke City legends make of the Potters' chances
in tonight's cup tie against Manchester United. I can't wait for
these fans to get some pleasure, to get some success.
And our top Christmas tip ` from a team who don't believe in throwing
away anything that could bring some festive fun!
Servicemen and women can sometimes find it hard adjusting to civilian
life after a military career. A small proportion end up on the
streets. Joanne Writtle has been talking to a former Royal Marine
who's trying to help, and to an ex`soldier who's been sleeping on
friends' sofas since leaving the Army six years ago.
Life in the Armed Forces. Disciplined, often tough, and for a
few, I've can remain harsh after they have said goodbye to military
life. Chris Pursehouse served with the
Royal Artillery for six years. But he's been homeless, sofa surfing,
since he came out in 2007 ` unable to settle. In pubs I have to sit in
a place where I can see the front door and the exit and see who is
coming in and going out. For the last few weeks Chris has
been living in a hostel for homeless men in Wolverhampton.
It's run by the P3 charity. Jim Corry is a case worker for those on
the streets. He's helped hundreds this year. A few have been
ex`servicemen. Probably about six or seven this year. A number of
reasons. Some have just come out of the Army, obviously looking for
accommodation support. Maybe they have been out of the Army for a
number of years but going through relationship work done. Some are
suffering from post`dramatic stress. `` post`traumatic stress.
22 miles away in Telford, ex`Royal Marine Steve Wood has a room for a
homeless ex`soldier. He's also offering to help sort out red tape
for benefit payments. Don't you think we owe them a hand out now and
again? I think they deserve it. People have stepped up to bat to
protect our liberty. It's a two`bedroom house. The other
room is taken by a man medically discharged from the army. He's not
prepared to discuss the details, and wants to remain anonymous. When I
try and get a job, and say I have been discharged from the Army, I
struggle getting a job. The national charity veterans' aide says
homelessness amongst ex`soldiers is a small but constant problem, but
stresses that most veterans make a successful transition to civilian
life. Back in Wolverhampton, ex`gunner
Chris is being helped by workers at the hostel. He's just completed a
course with the security industry. And despite everything, he doesn't
regret joining the Army. I would recommend it to anyone. It is one of
those things I am glad I did. When you are old and grey, you can sit
down and say, yes, we did this and all that sort of thing.
Football, and Stoke City are hoping to make it through to the semifinals
of the League Cup tonight but they'll have to do it the hard way.
Their visitors Manchester United are a team rebuilding after the
departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, but they still represent the toughest of
opposition. Nick Clitheroe is at the Britannia
Stadium. Realistically, what are Stoke's chances, Nick?
Well, Manchester United are finding life difficult now Sir Alex has
gone, and Stoke have already pushed them hard in the Premier League once
this season. But they might need some of the spirit of 1972 if
they're to make through ` as Ian Winter has been finding out.
March 1972, Stoke City winning at Wembley for the first time. Today,
Terry Conroy is 67 and lucky to be alive. Two years ago he survived a
massive heart attack, and now on Doctor's orders, he joins his
team`mate for their weekly walk around the lakes. They are never
short of good company, in coding England goalkeeper Gordon Banks. ``
including. When the boys of medicine to two
went to Wembley, their opponents were Manchester United. We perhaps,
Manchester United having a bit of a dip. `` we perhaps caught. If we can
overcome United, we can maybe go old `` all the way.
When they met in the Premier league in October, Stoke were not overawed,
and twice they took the lead. OK, so United one, but the old Potters
legends believe it will be a different story with home advantage
tonight. Two for stock. Two goals to 14
Stoke. What would it mean if/when to get to Wembley again? `` Stoke. I
cannot wait for the fans to get some pleasure and some success. So the
League Cup has good memories for Stoke City, and beating United this
evening would be just the tonic for Terry and Dennis and thousands like
them. The big clubs often field weakened
teams in this competition. Does that give Stoke a fighting chance
tonight? The way this season has started for David Moyes, I don't
think he can take any risks. He needs some silverware in the
sideboard this season, and I think he is going to play a fairly strong
team tonight. Mark Hughes hasn't found it too easy
at Stoke since replacing Tony Pulis in the summer. How important is this
competition for him? Obviously he has had to come in and try and keep
that place in the Premier league for Stoke City, while changing the style
as well and trying to play a bit more passing football. That has
proved that. It is taking time to adjust. But I think there have been
signs in the last few weeks but he is starting to find a system that is
going to help. But of course they have a big game against Aston Villa
at the weekend, so if they can get through tonight that will give them
a boost for that. One thing is for certain, nobody is much greater in
job it tonight with the weather. `` enjoy it.
It's that time of year when many of our streets are shining with
Christmas decorations and lights. Some are truly spectacular, while
others bring us festive cheer in the most unexpected places. We sent Bob
Hockenhull to meet workers in Birmingham who've put a lot of time
and effort into their display ` but really they wouldn't mind at all if
you called it rubbish. A recycling tip on a bleak December
day. Not everyone's idea of a winter wonderland. But the Lifford Lane
centre at Kings Norton in Birmingham has been transformed ` thanks to
everyone's Christmas cast`offs. Every single one has been recovered
from what would otherwise have been thrown away. The condition of some
of the material that gets thrown away is suitable for reuse.
The waste controller has entered into the spirit of things too,
there's seasonal tunes blasting out all day ` and even a nod to other
religions. It's turned a traditional tip into a Christmas hit for the
regular users. They love it. They actually bring the children down to
see it. They turn up without any waste, just to see the display.
The staff are amazed at what people throw away. Some of these figures
are in pretty good condition. But what some have dismissed as rubbish
have now approved an opportunity to create up perfect Christmas scene in
the most unlikely of places. `` a perfect Christmas scene.
Around 150 figures destined for destruction have been saved so far `
causing delight and a little despair. All this stuff is usable,
and you see people throwing stories away, it is quite ashamed. I wish I
could queue for longer, but they are so efficient you get through
quickly. You feel you are going to somewhere happy. Because the music
is happy. You just want to dance! Who'd have thought a load of old
rubbish could lift Christmas spirits so high?
Let's find out how the weather's looking ` here's Shefali who has
some very scary`looking arrows on her weather map today.
Tonight's headlines from I could tell you was shocked by
yesterday's chart, but it is indicative of what is going out
there at the moment. A trampoline was blown onto the tracks at
Smethwick, causing delays. Tomorrow it is quite a different story. Some
snow is on the way, on higher and lower levels. We are unclear how
much we are going to get. But it would lead to a covering on most
areas. Before then, some rain to content with. When you see these
bright green and yellow patches, you have to be wary where rain is
concerned. Also that squeeze on the isobars indicates strong wind. We
can see that in close up right now on the chart. There is a ferocity to
everything going on tonight, but it is moving along very quickly,
because it is being pushed along a 50 mph gusts. Where we do get the
torrential garden `` downpours, we could see an inch of rain. But a
quieter end to the night, and with clearer skies temperatures will drop
to one or three Celsius. At this area is going to be very cold,
digging into the region by tomorrow morning. `` but this area. I think
it is good to be the worst that will get the accumulations most of all to
begin with, because that is where the snow will linger. `` I think it
is going to be the West. Then it starts to move eastwards through
tomorrow evening, temperatures rising to five to 527 Celsius. ``
five two seven Celsius. As for the rest of the week, we have dry
conditions on Friday, rain setting in for Saturday but milder by them
as well. as
Tonight's headlines from the BBC. Sentenced to 35 years, the rock star
Ian Watkins is jailed for a string of horrific sex attacks on children.
A partial victory for Stafford Hospital campaigners, as some
services are retained but others downgraded.
See you later at 10pm. Goodbye.