The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: The new mum
whose identity was stolen, by a pregnant woman who conned hospital
staff. I booked myself in for the appointment. They said, you've had
your baby. I said I haven't. Walsall Hospital say they have tightened up
procedures so it can't happdn again. Also tonight: Plugging the gap, the
Gloucestershire firm helping electric cars travel further.
The average charge time is `bout 20 minutes and the average timd that
people stop is actually abott 2 minutes.
Hand the NHS helpline over to doctors, a local GP says thdy could
provide a better service. The five`year`old girl donating her
locks to help children with cancer. And it's been a glorious dax with
plenty of sunshine. High prdssure's still in charge but will we be as
lucky tomorrow? I'll have your full forecast later on.
Good evening. A Black Country mother has told the BBC how a formdr school
friend stole her identity to cover up the birth of her own babx. Kay
Costin's personal details wdre used by another woman who'd alre`dy had
three children taken into c`re. The first Kay and Michael Costin
knew that something was wrong, was when a midwife came to the door
asking to see their baby. B`by Breah had not been born yet and it left
them bewildered as to what was happening. I went in to see the
midwife and they said yes, xou came into the hospital, had a baby and
left. But I said, it is not me. I said that she is not booked into
that hospital, she is booked into City Hospital. When they re`lised
that Kay's identity had been stolen Michael's psoriasis increasdd
through stress. When Breah was born, they couldn't even register the
birth because the other babx had been registered in Kay's nale. When
it happened, we checked everything. We checked our bank, to see if
anything had been taken. We watched what we throw away that we were
double`checking. We were making sure that our locks were doubled up for
quite awhile. It was quite stressful a while. The mother who gavd birth
at Walsall manor had three children in care. No`one wanted to bd
interviewed but a statement said a process of formal identific`tion of
women presenting without thdir notes has been introduced. Police say the
imposter was identified on the evening of August the 31st. She was
picked up in the early hours of September the 2nd. 24`year`old woman
was questioned but no chargds were pursued. It was distressing. It was
really hard. Who has got my information? Who is out there
pretending to be me? This f`mily still does not know how the identity
theft could have taken placd. They were just pleased to have found out
from the BBC what had happened. And Michele is here now. Sedm
extraordinarys. How could this have happened?
It is still not completely clear. The hospital letter that was leaked
to us suggested the information came from social media. Having s`id that,
the families say they use F`cebook but they haven't got all thd details
on the summer when the hosphtals took few details on they should have
done or whether or not this person did know them and took detahls from
elsewhere, we simply don't know We don't know who that particular
individual is. Can we be sure it won't happen
again? We can never be sure. A desperate
woman is going to be very ddvious in terms of trying to be able to find a
way to have the baby. The hospital has written this letter to convey to
everyone what might happen hn future. What they are going to do as
well is ensure that anyone who comes in, if they don't have
identification, they will not be allowed to leave the hospit`l until
they've shown IDE. Hopefullx, it cannot possible dash happen in the
future. Coming up later in the programme:
The Cheltenham festival gets underway, but local hope Thd New One
has to settle for third in the Champion Hurdle.
More and more electric cars are being seen on our roads, but they
are limited in how far they can travel. A Gloucestershire fhrm is
installing a network of raphd charging stations which will make it
possible for them to go further In the last two years the numbdr of
electric cars sold in the UK rose by more than 130%. There are around
5,000 chargers across the country, but until now long journeys have
been limited because of the low capacity of batteries. A new network
of 100 rapid chargers means drivers can top up their vehicle in the time
it takes to stop for a coffde and a sandwich.
Get an electric car and you'll soon be suffering from something called
range anxiety. The dictionary defines it as the fear that a
vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination. Basically it
means drivers are worried the car will run out of juice. And ht gets
worse the further you travel, so much so that many electric car users
simply don't make long journeys But now there's a possibe soluthon.
Rapid charge stations, like this one at a motorway service area hn
Worcestershire. It's claimed they can charge up in just half `n hour
or the same time as it takes to have a coffee and a cake! This Nhssan
electric car has two sockets, one for a normal charge and another for
a rapid charge. So let's pltg it in and find out if the claims `re true.
Swipe your card press a few buttons and the charging begins. Tile for a
break. Half an hour later, is the car fully
charged? Almost. When we st`rted, we had a range of 20 miles. Now it is
up to 68 miles. The company that's installing the new chargers says
it's helping the technology evolve further. The average charge time is
about 20 minutes and the avdrage time that people stop in a service
station is 28 minutes, according to the service data providers. There is
a good match there. That me`ns that you can charge your car up `nd get
on your way without a probldm. That's music to the ears of Carolyn
Hay. It makes long journey hs much more accessible. Just stop `t a
service station on the way `nd that's it, I can go wherever I can
go wherever they want to. Most journeys in electric cars are still
short and there are now scores of town centre chargers around the
region. But charging isn't `lway easy. Across the UK there are
several networks, all require different cards. And then you'll
need a variety of cables too depending on what system thd charger
users. For electric car users compatibility is still a problem.
There are one or two standards at the moment but that is argu`bly too
many. It would be nice to h`ve one standard for all vehicles and then
they would be compatibility across everything. For existing and future
electric car owners that can't come a moment too soon.
Peter joins us now from a charging point in the centre of Birmhngham.
How easy is it to actually charge up?
Let me show you. First, you need a car and then you need to find all of
these charging points. You will need a cable and you will need to
register to get one of thesd cards. Swipe the card onto the charging
station. The flap opens and then you plug in. Then you go to the car and
left another flap. This is where you put it in. It's a little bit fiddly
but once it is charging, as you can see, you get a dashboard display
that tells you it has startdd charging. And that's basically it.
Most people will charge either at home or at work but if people go
out, there are plenty of thdse stations around.
Neatly done. How much does ht cost to run an electric car comp`red to a
normal one? They reckon around two to 3p per
mile and about 15p per mile for a normal petrol engine. Of cotrse
cars like this are more expdnsive, about ?25,000. The government does
give a ?5,000 subsidy. Also, you've got to think about the runnhng costs
long`term because the battery on this doesn't last as long as a
petrol engine. I suppose thd jury is still out. In the long run, they are
cheaper to run. Although charging is getting
faster, in most places, it's still pretty slow, isn't it?
Around eight to ten hours to charge this sort of thing at home on a
normal 3p socket. If you ard using one of these, it's about two hours
to three hours. In the future, we may have induction loop charging
where you park on top of ond of the charging stations and interfaces
with something in the car. Hf you take it into the future, yot could
see a time when all roads h`ve these systems underneath and you don't
even need to stop the car to charge. Police have been given more time to
question a soldier arrested on suspicion of murdering a colleague
at his barracks in Shropshire. The body of 32`year`old Corporal
Geoffrey McNeill was found `t Tern Hill barracks near Market Drayton on
Saturday morning. A 23`year`old serving`soldier based at thd
barracks, remains in custodx at Shrewsbury police station. Hf
University Hospital in Coventry is asking the public to think twice
before turning up at the emdrgency department with minor injurhes which
could be dealt with quickly by a pharmacist.
Yesterday, a record number of 6 9 patients were seen at AMD, 36 more
than the previous record set in the last week. `` accident and
emergency. Plans to create a 4,000`plot Muslim
cemetery near Solihull have been withdrawn. More than 160 objections
and 180 submissions of support were sent to Solihull Council following
the application to build thd private cemetery on green belt land on the
outskirts of Catherine`de`B`rnes. Tens of thousands of racegodrs have
descended on the Midlands for one of the biggest events on the r`cing
calendar, the Cheltenham Festival. As well as bringing together top
National Hunt horses and jockeys, the festival plays a key role in the
local economy. Dan Pallet is in the Cotswolds for us tonight whdre there
were high hopes for local horse The New One in the day's biggest race,
the Champion Hurdle. But Dan, it didn't quite go according to plan,
did it? No, it didn't. As the racegoers here
will tell you, what is aiming for the festival for months. If you
don't have that little bit of luck, a split`second can change
everything. That's what happened to everyone today. It's all part of the
story on day one of the Cheltenham Festival 2014.
They had been waiting all ydar for this and hope couldn't wait a minute
longer. More than three hours before the first race, the queues to get
into Cheltenham were getting deeper. It is the atmosphere. Can't wait.
Have a look around, get kind of stuff. Have a look at your card and
what you are going to lose on. That's my theory. Why are you here?
She is the driver. It's a long walk. Almost seven... 250,000 people
attend the four days. Peopld come back year after year. Alist`ir came
first when he was 19. In thd following fish in nine years, he
hasn't missed a single day of the festival. Its unique among sporting
occasions for atmosphere alone. There is a comradeship. People think
racing is a rather exclusivd thing. It's not. There are many people here
today. If you want to know how much it means, just look at the dcstatic
reaction of Tom Skidmore winning the trophy. The Midlands was to the fore
again in race three. This jockey won the big handicap Chase. Fantastic.
Great to get the pressure off. They are great owners and great
supporters of the yard. It gives everybody a great opportunity. His
near neighbours had high hopes in the Champion hurdle. Dreams can be
charted in a split`second. `` shattered. The new one finished
third. It left his trainer wondering what might have been. It was a
superb piece of writing. He got his own rhythm back. He got back into
the case. He wasn't quite good enough but probably because of that
hindrance. This horse is only six so has time on his side. Today showed
the enduring drama that onlx precious minutes at the festival can
provide. It's important to say that that
incident which hampered the horse ended tragically, didn't it?
Yes. The horse that fell was soundly fatally injured and has been put
down. He was a fantastic win 12 months ago. Sadly, that is `ll over
for him and his connections. He is only six and could maybe run in the
next three Champion hurdles. At least he will come back for another
day. It's a reminder of how dangdrous
this sport can be. That's why the clerk of the course
said at the start of the wedk that if the sun continues to shine here,
he will may be water the horse because what you don't want is to
fast going. The going was spot`on today. Good to soft and good in
places. It was perfect. Unfortunately, this is the top end
of National Hunt racing. Thdy are travelling at extreme speeds and
accidents will happen. The Cheltenham Festival will continue.
So point out that few other things that we should look out for.
This is only day one of four days. It takes a bit of stamina to get
through. The Champion Chase tomorrow. Then we have the world ``
world hurdle on Thursday. Then, of course it is the Gold cup itself on
Friday. Glorious weather for later in the week. He was hoping @ndy
Tupper would be running in the big chase. It is changing everything but
I have to say, the punters today didn't mind the sunny weathdr. It
was warm. A complete contrast to last year. With warm weather, more
people come out and enjoy the Cheltenham Festival.
This is our top story tonight: The new mum whose identity was stolen by
a pregnant woman who conned hospital staff.
Your detailed weather forec`st to come shortly. Also in tonight's
programme: The five`year`old donating her hair to a charhty
making wigs for children with cancer.
And a real needle match, thd local contestant in the surprise TV hit,
The Great British Sewing Bed. If you have a story you think we
should be covering on Midlands Today, we'd like to hear from you.
It was labelled a disaster. Until late last year, NHS Direct operated
a helpline for patients across the West Midlands, but its contract was
taken over by West Midlands Ambulance Service after a sdries of
failings. Today, the new opdrators of NHS 111 claim they've vastly
improved the service. But some doctors groups say the helpline is
still in the wrong hands. Benjamin Ford's parents can't thank
NHS 111 enough. Hilary gave birth at home in Malvern three weeks ago in
her bathroom, all while takhng advice on speaker phone frol a
trained health advisor. There is a baby. There is a baby. Oh, ly God.
And here's the twist. You w`it for these pains to start but because I
didn't know, I was pregnant, that was why I didn't know what these
pains were. We kept checking that both mother and baby were OK.
Brilliant, absolutely fantastic Hello, thank you for calling the 111
service. NHS 111 is supposed to be the first call for patients with
urgent, but not life`threatdning symptoms. How In December, West
Midlands Ambulance Service took took on the contract to run the helpline
across most of our region bdcause NHS Direct couldn't afford to. Long
have you had the back pain? It followed a catalogue of serhous
incidents where many patients faced long waits for advice. One of the
targets is to make sure you pick as many of the calls up within 60
seconds. We are doing that 87% of the time which exceeds our targets.
But one doctor representing GPs says the helpline should be run by out of
hours doctors groups, as is currently done in Staffordshire I
would like to see far more call handling done by trained, qtalified
doctors and nurses, rather than by lay people. That will give ts a
safer service and also a service that will be better value for money.
Some have argued this helplhne doesn't offer value for mondy.
Documents for the trust suggest that more than ?1 million has bedn spent
on agency staff but the trust have said they intend to take on a
permanent workforce. We are in a positive place at the end of this
financial year. We have not put any further pressure on to our budgets
to 111. West Midlands Ambul`nce Service says it's too early to say
whether NHS 111 has reduced unnecessary attendance at A and E.
The main issue facing acute care. And that could affect whethdr their
contract is renewed next ye`r. This time last year the pop singer
Jessie J donated her hair to a Herefordshire`based charity, which
makes wigs for children who are undergoing cancer treatment. If Now
a five`year`old girl from Coventry, who was inspired by Jessie, has
decided to do the same. There is no going back. We `re doing
this right now. Jessie J's decision to have her head shaved last year
not only raised half a millhon pounds for comic relief, but also
the profile of a Herefordshhre charity. Little Princess Trtst
specialises in providing hulan hair wigs to children with cancer, and
it's where Jessie J's clipphngs ended up. The base is much softer
for a child and it would be less itchy. Ponytails are import`nt for
children. They want to remahn the same as they have always bedn. Human
hair allows a child to go b`ck to school and feel confident. @nd this
is Jessie J's hair which shd donated last March, in the next few days it
will be blended with other human hair to form numerous wigs. Jessie's
actions have led to a doublhng of hair donations, with childrdn like
five year old Lily May from Coventry deciding to give over some of her
locks. I didn't think it was something she would never do because
her hair means that much to her She wants to be just like Rapunzel. But
I'm extremely proud that shd wants to help others by donating her own
hair. Are you going to grow it back the same? Will you do the s`me
again? No. And it's pleasing for the
Herefordshire woman behind the Little Princess Trust, Wendx
Tarplee`Morris set it up after finding it hard to find a whg for
her daughter Hannah who sadly lost her battle with cancer eight years
ago. It was such a struggle to find somewhere that could do a rdalistic
child's work, particularly hn human hair. The NHS to offer a votcher
scheme for a synthetic wig but we just thought we wanted to gdt her to
have the absolute best that we could get for her. And although the
charity is called the littld princess, they also provide human
hair wigs for boys and are `sking for donations from men of all ages.
After almost 100 days at se` a rower from Stoke`on`Trent has abandoned
her attempt to cross the Atlantic. Hannah Lawton and her rowing partner
Lauren Morton had been taking part in the Talisker Atlantic Ch`llenge,
in memory of a friend who'd died from cancer. But today they decided
to retire from the race bec`use of technical problems and a broken
rudder. Football now, and Wolverhampton
Wanderers could set a new club record tonight. If they man`ge to
beat Swindon, it'll be their ninth consecutive league victory. Wolves
could also increase their ldad at the top of League One, if other
results go their way. We should take confidence. Hf we are
going to achieve our goal this year, which is to get promotion and it has
been from day one, if the rdcords, long, fine. They would be hollow
without that end result. It's a busy night of football. Your BBC Local
Radio Station will have covdrage of tonight's games, I'll bring you the
results in our late bulletin. In about an hour, millions will be
settling down to watch a programme that's become compulsive vidwing.
But it's not a murder mystery, soap, or costume drama. It is in fact all
about sewing. It's the Great British Sewing Bee and when it comes to
talent, the Midlands is one stitch ahead of the rest.
This is Jenni Taylor from W`lsall, a self`confessed sewing addict. And as
a contestant on the BBC's Great British Sewing Bee, she's got loads
of us hooked. The judges wotld love you to make a beautiful wrap dress.
I love you can take anything, whether it is a piece of fabric from
Birmingham, or you've got an old shirt... I've have made different
clothes out of my husband 's shirts. The first thing she ever made was
her wedding dress. Most people start off with a cushion cover. I went in
with both feet. Let's go! And now she makes all her own clothds,
inspired by the finalists in the last series who all came from the
Midlands. Lauren Guthrie was one of them. She's running her own
haberdashery business in Birmingham where other Sewing Bee alumni
including Jenni teach the ptblic how to sew. Maybe it is something in the
water. I don't know why so lany people in the Midlands are hnvolved
but it's really good. It's good for the Midlands and it brings ` lot of
people here. It's really good. I have to declare an interest here.
I'm a huge fan of Sewing Bed and it seems I'm not the only one. We are
only a couple of weeks into the new series and already more than three
million people are tuning in. I need to make it like that. But what we
really want to know is, who wins this time round? I cannot tdll it
and it will spoil it anyway. You need to watch and wait and see. Oh,
well, it was worth a try. In the meantime, she's hoping to inspire a
few more of us to pick up a needle and thread.
The Great Brittish Sewing Bde is on BBC Two tonight at eight o'clock. It
wasn't my forte at school! It was quite a cloudy start. It s
slowly started to improve as we headed to the day. The good news,
without high`pressure staying in charge, it will continue th`t way
for the next few days. Tonight, we are going to get a rather chilly
night. We could even see a touch of frost over the next few days. We'll
start the day with plenty of cloud around. Through the day, we will
start to see the sun burning through. Some good spells of
sunshine to come. This is how we started today. We had this of Clyde.
There will be pleasant spells of sunshine right the way across the
board. Temperatures made it up to 12 Celsius. Overnight tonight, we keep
those clear spells and for ` time, as the sun goes down, so allow
temperatures. Initially, it would be quite a cold start. We could see a
touch of ground frost in pl`ces Then, as we head to the early hours,
we will see cloud filling in. They could even be some fog formhng. It
will be a cloudy start tomorrow and that cloud will start to halper
temperatures through the dax. It will take some shifting. Slowly the
sun will start to burn throtgh. Our temperatures will start to rise as
well. We could get as high `s 1 Celsius tomorrow. That's not too bad
at all. With light winds, it will feel rather pleasant. A ple`sant end
to the day tomorrow. Once again we will get clear skies to beghn with.
Again, is chilly start to the night. Cloud will fill in. We have another
problem is fog forms. That fog will be a little bit of a problel,, ``
come Thursday lunchtime. Th`t high`pressure is not going `nywhere.
Some good spells of sunshind to come through Thursday. A similar picture
for Friday. As we head towards the end of the week, those tempdratures
still above`average. Tonight's headlines from thd BBC:
One of Britain's best known union leaders, Bob Crow, has died suddenly
at the age of 52. The mother to be whose identity was stolen bx another
pregnant woman who conned hospital staff.
That was the Midlands Today. I'll be back at ten o'clock with more news
and sport from around the rdgion. Until then, have a great evdning.
Bye for now.