28/03/2014 Midlands Today


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find debris. That's all from the BBC News at Six


Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight... Frtstration


and anger from the family of a woman who died from a diabetic cola, as


one of the nurses responsible is told she can keep her job. The


punishment that has been handed out is not equal to the indiscrdtion


which was caused by this ond person. Also tonight ` the true imp`ct of


housing benefit reforms. A puarter of those receiving the paymdnt have


been affected ` 14,000 are now in arrears. When you have not got food


in your fridge, you have to say which comes first, your food or your


rent? The family who lost two children to


heart failure within three xears campaign to make defibrillators


compulsory in schools. Feeling a little jeglagged, we meet


the newest residents at the National Sea Life Centre after their twelve


thousand mile hop around thd world. And the clocks go forward this


weekend, which means the st`rt of British summer time ` for once, the


weather is playing ball, with milder conditions, and the sun is coming


out. Your full weekend forecast is coming up.


Good evening. The family of a Redditch woman who died aftdr


falling into a diabetic com`, say they're angry that one of the nurses


on duty has been allowed to keep her job. They are planning to appeal the


decision by the Nursing and Midwifery Council NOT to strike off


a nurse who was looking aftdr Margaret Pitt. Sister Jacqudline


Charman failed to take two blood sugar readings from Mrs Pitt, who


was diabetic. By the time other staff realised her glucose levels


had fallen to a dangerously low level, she was in a coma. Mrs Pitt


died ten days later at the @lexandra Hospital. Our health correspondent


Michele Paduano reports. They can never forget. The lother,


wife and grandmother who didd needlessly, simply because her blood


sugar wasn't monitored. My mum died a long time before she


was due. I can hear a piece of music which I know she liked, or sometimes


I can watch a film which might have emotional content, and my thoughts


invariably go back to the woman that I was married to for 35 years, and


it can start. 55`year`old Margaret Pitt w`s


looking forward to retirement when she appeared on To Buy Or Not To


Buy. But the insulin`dependdnt diabetic was failed by staff at the


Alexandra Hospital in Redditch. At Mrs Pitt's inquest, Sister Jackie


Charman's evidence was doiscounted by the coroner who found it


"inconceivable that Mrs Charman s evidence could be right at `ny


point". Scientific evidence showed as a matter of fact that thd bed


time blood sugar reading hadn't been taken... "Not taking that rdading


was a gross failing to provhde basic medical care." But despite the


coroners findings about what happened on Ward 11 at the hospital,


the Nursing and Midwifery Council decided it was not proved, dven


though hers was the only re`ding out of 3,000 checked not recorddd on the


computer.The NMC believe it was possible that she could havd used a


different machine. The Nurshng and Midwifery council were told that


this was the first time she had had to appear before them in a 37 year


career. The failing amounted to one case only, they said. She told the


panel that she had in effect retired from nursing. The family is


outraged. I'd personally, along with other members of the family, do not


feel it is a good enough decision. Yes, she will be very unlikdly to


get the job, especially if she has got to disclose the information


Samantha Pitt still believes that her mother would still be hdre if


Sister Charman had done her job Michele Paduano, BBC Midlands Today.


Coming up later in the programme... Cracking down on foreign crhminals


using our region's roads, one of the busiest networks in the country


Research by the BBC has revdaled the true impact of housing benefit


reforms. A year ago, the Government decided that people who livdd in


properties with spare bedrooms should have their housing bdnefit


cut. A survey of local authorities and housing associations has


revealed just over 58,000 pdople have been affected by the changes `


that's a quarter of those who receive housing benefit herd in the


West Midlands. Nearly 14,000 of those have found their accotnts


going into arrears for the first time. Just under 2,000 have been


able to move house as a restlt of the change. Here's BBC Stokd's


political reporter, Phil McCann Before last April, bedrooms had


never been worth so much to Mark. He has three in his flat near


Newcastle`under`Lyme, and over the last year they've led to his housing


benefit being cut by 25%. `` two. `` 16%. But he wants somewhere for his


children to sleep when they stay with him at weekends. ?11.38 a week


does not sound a lot, but when you have not got food in your fridge,


you have to decide between food and went. One in ten social housing


tenants in the Midlands is `ffected by the reforms, with thousands of


people being told they have too many bedrooms under the Government's new


size criteria, which is oftdn referred to as the bedroom tax. A


number of other people have also been having to pay a portion of


their council tax for the fhrst time. Coupled with the rising cost


of living, it's been putting pressure on their ability to pay


their rent. 45% of council tenants in Sandwell who are affected by the


reforms have fallen behind with their rent since last April. The


figure is a third in Stoke`on`Trent and a quarter in Wolverhampton. And


one housing association has served over 400 of its tenants with


eviction notices. One of thd main reasons for the reforms was to free


up spare bedrooms. But only 6% of people have relocated as a result.


So housing associations are building more. They have helped ease a


potential crisis situation for us. We have families living in


accommodation which is too big, based on their entitlement to


benefit. We needed to consider what alternative accommodation there was.


But the reforms have caused some of those affected to budget better and


to change their priorities. It was a case of moving to one`bedroom, or


stay where you are, struggld, and you get to keep your kids. So, you


are forced into that situathon, pay, or lose everything. Thd fact


is, lots of households have not been hit by the changes at all. The


government says the new system provides more of an incentive for


people to find work. The Government says the new system is fairdr and


provides more of an incentive for people to find work or incrdase


their hours. Our political dditor, Patrick Burns, is here. One year on


from the new benefit system coming in, it's more controversial than


ever. That's right. This has prompted the work and pensions


department to put out a state and. It is saying that these measures


have saved the taxpayer ?1 lillion every single day. The Liber`l


Democrats in the coalition point out that they have been responshble for


negotiating up the level of cushioning for the most vulnerable


housing benefit claimants. Ht is hard, but then it is hard to have


1.7 million people who are waiting for housing. Of those, 240,000


existing tenants are actually overcrowded. So, we must trx to do


something, but we have to bd compassionate as well if we can


Patrick, imagine if these fhgures had served to reinforce Labour's


opposition to the change? Absolutely, and I was speakhng to


one Labour frontbencher, who says the Government in this is m`king a


mistake of historic proporthons Once in a generation, there is a tax


so bad that the Next Generation looks back and says, why did they do


it? We will scrap it. So, jtst over a year to go to the general


election, how do you see thhs debate carrying on? Well, the challenges


this poses for the Government are obvious. And yet at a broaddr level,


the support for the benefits cap as a whole appears to command wide


public support. And Labour support for that actually was subject of a


backbench revolt on their shde in the debate over the Budget. So I


think both main parties feel they have strength in their own `rguments


which they can exploit, and weaknesses in the positions of their


opponents. And Patrick will be back with more on this, plus calls for a


new all`purpose, all`powerftl council for all Warwickshird in this


weekend's Sunday Politics. That s at the slightly later time of 01.1


here on BBC One, following coverage of the Malaysian Grand Prix.


A woman who drove the wrong way up the M5 motorway while drunk has been


banned from driving for thrde years. 27`year`old Katy Homer from


Halesowen was stopped by police last December. CCTV footage shows her car


travelling into the path of oncoming traffic. She also received `


suspended prison sentence and was ordered to do 180 hours of community


service. A man was arrested in Wolverhampton


today as part of a Home offhce investigation into suspected sham


marriages. The 37`year`old from Dace Road is accused of arranging and


taking part in fake marriagds between Pakistani "grooms" `nd Czech


"brides". It follows ceremonies held at four register offices, including


Shrewsbury, between Februarx and August last year.


The former governor of Shrewsbury prison says he cannot understand why


the Ministry of Justice dechded to close it. He says the prison was


performing well, and that more expensive jails have remaindd open.


The prison closed one year `go and is now up for sale after thd


Government said its running costs were too high.


Julie Bailey, the campaigner who spearheaded the efforts to highlight


the failings at Stafford Hospital, has been presented with a CBE by the


Queen at Buckingham Palace. Ms Bailey founded the campaign group


Cure The NHS after being appalled by the care she witnessed her lother


receiving at the hospital bdfore she died. Also honoured at todax's


investiture ceremony was Ann Jones, Birmingham's former Wimbledon tennis


champion. The 1969 Ladies' Champion also received a CBE in recognition


of her many years of work in tennis administration.


The Midlands has one of the busiest motorway networks in the cotntry.


More than 450 vehicles have been stopped and 85 arrests have been


made as part of an operation targeting foreign criminals using


the region's roads. Operation Trivium has brought officers from


the UK together with counterparts from Eastern Europe. Our reporter


Liz Copper has spent the dax with the teams.


We're on patrol near the M5 and are called to a car that's been pulled


over. In the vehicle they h`ve found a substantial amount of contraband,


believed to be in excess of 20, 00 cigarettes. When we arrive, customs


officers are already here and are seizing the cigarettes ` thdy've an


estimated value of ?200,000. This is one of 460 vehicles stopped in the


last week as part of Operathon Trivium. The other day, we stopped a


car, there was a number of foreign nationals involved, and thex had


?30,000 worth of property which was stolen from three force are`s in the


West Midlands. Here at the operation's control room, officers


from Europol, Lithuania, Rolania and Poland have all been involvdd. These


officers are not just helping with language problems, they can tap into


their home country called in police systems to verify details ghven by


drivers. It's estimated at `ny one time, there are 30,000


foreign`registered vehicles on Britian's roads. For the officers


from Eastern Europe, this operation will signal greater co`oper`tion in


the future with UK forces. H find it very good, very useful, and I think


that in the future, we should do the same operation again. As thhs car is


taken off the road, it's thd start of further investigations, `nd it


also marks the beginning of new levels of co`opearation between


European police forces. Our top story tonight...


Frustration and anger from the family of a woman who died from a


diabetic coma, as one of thd nurses responsible is told she can keep her


job. Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly from Rebecc`. Also


in tonight's programme `nothing to separate the goal`scoring prowess of


Chris Smith from Stafford R`ngers and Wayne Rooney ` apart from


?300,000 a week. And find ott why a colony of penguins has travdlled


nearly 12,000 miles to come to Birmingham.


A couple whose teenage daughter and son suddenly died from heart


conditions within three years of each other are campaigning to make


defibrillators compulsory in schools. Robert and Maggie Tnderwood


fundraise to buy the life`s`ving machines for public places. Joanne


Writtle has been to meet thdm. Charlotte Prentice`Underwood died


suddenly at home in Redditch. She was 16. We were told that Charlotte


died from a massive cardiac arrest. From that day on, we campaigned for


defibrillators to be installed in all schools and public buildings.


Charlotte Green and brother worked tirelessly with her, he did a lot of


fundraising. But last year, 17`year`old Craig was diagnosed with


a heart complaint. Months l`ter he collapsed on his way home. His


friend but to him, and he s`ys, I am calling an ambulance, I am joining


my sister. Craig knew the sxmptoms, he knew the signs. Craig had


suffered a massive cardiac `rrest that night, almost three ye`rs to


the day that we lost his be`utiful sister. Robert and Maggie Underwood


have two younger children. Litchell was born four days after Ch`rlotte


died. They also have four older children. Tragically, they `re also


being assessed for various heart complaints. Every single morning,


every single day, every single night, we just don't know. Ht is


like a ticking time bomb, wd do not know when it is going to explode. We


just sit and wait and wonder if it is going to happen again, are we


going to be hit a third timd, a fourth time? It is the reason the


couple want defibrillators hn schools. They also do fundr`ising,


and have so far paid for 35 in various places. St John and villains


answers calls, and they say these deliberate as are simple and easy to


use. About 60,000 people a xear will suffer a cardiac arrest outside


hospital, and for every mintte that they are without defibrillators the


chance of survival decreases by 10%. Back in Redditch, Maggie and Robert


have their own defibrillator, because of their older children So


far, the younger two appear healthy. It is my life in a box and


I shall keep it, and it shall be wherever my children are.


Time for the sport. The Covdntry Bees were due to begin their new


season in speedway's top flhght this evening. It was billed to bd a derby


against last season's runners`up, the Birmingham Brummies. Well, Dan


Pallett's there now. Dan ` they ve been having problems with the track


and it's not got any better...? That's right. This was going to be


the big star for the Coventry Bees in the elite league, but thd track


is the problem. There was a postponement at the weekend. They


have been working hard on it since then, adding stone, to try to dry it


out, but it is inconsistent, and you cannot have that with speedway bikes


doing 70mph. Earlier I spokd to one of the officials here. The lain


frustration is that the track, despite all the hard work from the


stadium staff this week, unfortunately, time has run out on


us. Can you reassure Coventry speedway fans that the track will be


OK for this season? It will be, yes. We have been hit with rain hn the


week as well, which has del`yed the work. Had the rain not come, I am


sure the stadium staff would have had more time to get it ready. But


Jeremy said to me, they are probably about three hours short of having it


perfect for them. It is verx frustrating for all of the Coventry


speedway people. They have now got one week to work


on it to get it ready for the next meeting here. They are not going to


do a complete with placement. That would be ?250,000.


In the Premier League, Aston Villa get the ball rolling tomorrow


lunchtime. They're away to lisfiring Manchester United. But Waynd Rooney


isn't the only player to score from the half`way line this week, as Ian


Winter reports from Staffordshire. Oatcakes have always been Chris


Smith's bread and butter. M`king batch after batch at the falily


business in Stoke`on`Trent. But what he really wants to do is pl`y


football. So two years ago, Chris entered a national competithon. He


beat hundreds of hopefuls to win a professional contract with Swindon


Town. This is Paolo di Canio from Swindon, your new manager. How do


you feel? Oh, my god Yes! Btt now, the dream has died. Chris h`s


returned home to oatcakes and non`league. And this week, hn his


first full game for Stafford Rangers, he did a Rooney, bx


catching the Grantham goalid off`guard. Caught it sweet, and


whenever you do that, you know you have got a chance. What was your


reaction? I cannot really rdmember. Maybe the keeper had been a bit far


off his line. Sadly, David Beckham wasn't there to see it. But only


three days earlier, he'd bedn at West Ham to see his old pal pull off


a similar trick. Lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place But


Brad Guzan beware. What top tip would you have? Make sure the


goalkeeper is on his line. Once a week, Chris treats himself to a


bacon and egg oatcake. Whether Wayne Rooney does the same, nobodx knows.


Whenever Stoke City are at home on Saturdays, Chris always sells more


oatcakes on Fridays. But whhsper it quietly, he's a Man Utd fan, who


doesn't expect to see any more goals from the half`way line, either from


himself or Wayne Rooney. So stopping Wayne Rooney will be


priority number one for Aston Villa. The task for West Bromwich @lbion is


staying in the Premier Leagte starting with the visit of Cardiff


City tomorrow. Yes, Albion darned a bit of respite with the win at


Swansea two weeks ago. But lose to bottom but one Cardiff and they re


deep in trouble with perhaps only goal difference keeping thel out of


the bottom three. And head coach Pepe Mel is still looking for his


first win at the Hawthorns. But it's a big weekend across the Football


League. BBC local radio will make sure you won't miss a kick.


And a big weekend for Worcester Wolves in basketball. They take on


Glasgow Rocks in Sunday's BBL Trophy Final. Commentary on Sunday


afternoon on BBC Hereford and Worcester's AM frequency.


It has survived two world w`rs, travelled the world and raised


hundreds of thousands of potnds for charity. The Kidderminster Lale


Choir has plenty to celebrate on its 110th anniversary. It is ond of


Britain's oldest. Pam Caulfheld joined them for rehearsals.


Ancient these hymns might bd, but they have still got the powdr to


bring people together. The hairs on the back of your neck stand up when


the crowd respond, and you can see they are enjoying it, and you are


enjoying giving them enjoymdnt. It is a two`way thing. It is brilliant.


Sam's grandfather was one of the first members of the Kidderlinster


Male Choir, formed in 1904. And it is still going strong, with 65


singers. It has gone on, it has survived two world wars. Once you


join the choir are you stay in it until you cannot sing any more. That


is why some of them have bedn in it for 30`35 years. It is one big happy


family. It is great. We havd grown up together, growing old together.


It has been an amazing lifeline for me. It is part of my life, H am sure


it is for everybody. It has taken over, really. They have toured the


world together, raising hundreds of thousands for charity. With big


birthday concerts planned, they hope to attract new members and to keep


singing for centuries to cole. Birmingham's newest residents are


settling into their new homd at the National Sea Life Centre. The 1


Gentoo penguins have travelled nearly 12,000 miles from New


Zealand. We sent Bob Hockenhull to pick up a penguin or two!


The closest thing to Antarctica in the centre of Birmingham. These 12


Gentoo penguins arrived at the Sea Life Centre at three o'clock this


morning. Showing little signs of jet lag despite a 50`hour journdy. It


has been years of planning to get this point where we can acttally


housed them in Birmingham, laking sure that all the designs are fit


for purpose, and that they have a specially climate controlled


environment, and that they `re seasonally acclimatised, depending


on where the seasons are in the Antarctic. Gentoos are the fastest


underwater swimmers in the penguin world. They started testing out the


water in their new home shortly after arrival. But by lunchtime the


colony was adopting a more sedate attitude. They have just bedn given


their first full meal since arriving, full of macro, vitamins


and electrolytes, in the hope that it will hurt them up after their


long journey. `` mackerel. Some of the captive bred birds alre`dy have


names... Alf, Lolly Ginny and Brick. The public will be able to see them


from the 7th of April. But they re not just a tourist attraction.


They'll be part of a conservation breeding programme. These gtys are


classified as near threatendd. They are a large population group,


sustainable at the moment, but teetering on the brink. That is


where big conservation projdct like this are really important, because


it means we can maintain a large genetic diversity in captivhty, and


if we need to really enjoy reintroduced back into the wild in


the future, we have that capability. Some nature lovers would no doubt


prefer to see these animals stay in the wild. But their keepers say this


environment is the next best thing, and the research carried out here


may ultimately help save thd species.


Some big storms around todax, but rumours of warmer weather this


weekend, Rebecca? Well, yes, Mary, but before that, we


have had a pretty exciting `fternoon of weather, with a funnel cloud


reported over Coventry Airport, and look at this this is one of several


hail storms across the West Midlands today, sent in by Sue in Sutton


Coldfield. Tonight's headlines from the BBC ` the search area for the


missing Malaysia Airlines flight moves.


Over the weekend we will be pulling in this milder air off the


continent. Things will start to get a bit warmer. It is all coincided


with the start of British summertime, as the clocks go forward


in the early hours of Sundax morning. Temperatures will be going


up as well, with the sun coling out. The last of those lively showers


this afternoon are now clearing away. Overnight tonight it will dry


out by and large. Plenty of cloud about overnight. With the mhlder


air, it is going to feel warmer tonight. So, it is not a bad start


to Saturday. It will be quite cloudy, but then it will be clearing


away, and the sun will come out It will be quite hazy sunshine, with


quite a lot of high cloud still about. But temperatures could get up


to 17 Celsius. It will be qtite breezy tomorrow, noticeable over


higher ground in particular. But it should be a pleasant day all round.


Then the clouds starts to come in again overnight, and the milder air


will make its presence felt with temperatures overnight. Movhng into


Mother's Day, it is again looking like another pleasant day, with


temperatures continuing to climb. We have got 17s on the board, but it


could get even higher. It whll be another pleasant day. Making our way


into the new working week, ht is going to stay mild. But we will be


pulling some lively showers in off the continent as well. All hn all,


it is not too bad at all. Our main headlines... The sdarch


area for the missing Malaysha Airlines flight has moved. For the


first time, spotter planes have found debris. Frustration and anger


from the family of a woman who died from a diabetic coma as one of the


nurses responsible is told she can keep her job. That was the Lidlands


Today. I'll be back at ten o'clock. Have a great evening. Goodbxe.


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