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Welcome to South East Today, I'm Natalie Graham.
Tonight's top stories: A deeply troubling case -
a Government apology to the family of a Kent murder victim
for the substandard service they received.
Celebrating a remarkable recovery from cancer -
the seven-year-old boy who was given a 10% chance of survival.
He wouldn't be here today, but for the wonderful doctors and nurses at
the Royal Marsden Hospital. Also tonight, I will be live in Chatham
as we start our tour around the coast of the south-east, debating
the Bishop issues facing the electorate. The NHS is under more
pressure with wait willing times, more cancelled operations and our
A are struggling to home. We'll be talking live with four political
hopefuls, aiming to take their policies to Westminster next month.
Blue Tobin is an seven-year-old boy from East Kent who's being hailed
When he was two, he was diagnosed with cancer.
His family were told the NHS could only offer a very risky,
pioneering treatment and there was only a 10%
Today, he was declared free of the disease,
It's the sound that says there's no cancer inside his body.
Today seven-year-old Blue Tobin was given the all-clear.
Without the Royal Marsden, without his donor, Andreas,
without the people that raised money for research into these drugs
which saved my son's life, he wouldn't be here today.
But thanks to the wonderful doctors and nurses...
Blue's mother thanks one of the many medics who helped
For her it had been a tortuous journey.
Blue was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer
called myeloid leukaemia when he was two years' old.
The family was told nothing more could be done.
Doctors suggested using two drugs trials in adult cancer,
but never used in a child of Blue's age.
There was only a 10 to 15% chance the drugs would lead to remission.
Blue was well enough to receive a bone marrow transplant.
I cannot remember in 25 years of haematology,
many patients having such a bad leukaemia, who we managed
So many people to thank but how do you thank anybody
All but one of our hospital trusts in the South East have failed
to meet the Government's target of seeing 95% of patients
The latest NHS statistics, published today, are the last to be released
Health is one of the most significant issues for voters.
So in the first of our special election broadcasts,
in which we tour the southeast's coastline, we're discussing the NHS.
Let's cross to Rob who is in the Medway towns.
Yes, I am, I'm in Chatham on the River Medway. I have been on the
water today. We'll test the political waters in a very literal
sense. This is the boat I have been on. There are three constituencies
in the Medway towns, each in their own way bellwethers for which way
people nationally are likely to vote.
For these Medway towns, just after the war, Stroud, Rochesterer,
Gillingham, Rainham, they voted Labour. In Thatcher years they voted
Tory,nd Tony Blair they went red again. Whoever wins here, has a good
chance of forming the Government. I've come off the boat. Let's go
into Chatham and have a chat with people about what they think the big
issues are? We need to get the Brexit vote done and dusted and know
where we are. At the moment we don't know. I shouldn't say this. The
country is giving far too much away to other countries instead of
looking after ourselves. I think there needs to be a focus on the
NHS. Fewer and fewer GPs and long waiting lists for operations. I
think they should do more for mental hale. I have suffered a bit since I
was about six years' old and trying to get help is really hard. When you
go to the hospital, like, you wait three hours, four hours, you know, I
think that's, you know, that's too much. Quite honestly, you need my
husband who's gone to the car, because whatever he thinks, I go
along with. What about the NHS, is it important to you? Absolutely. I
paid into it all my life. I want to make sure when I get older, they are
going it look after me, you know. Well, the NHS is clearly something
that is high in people's thoughts when I found out up at the dockside
retail centre in chat home. Mark is with me. Another set of figures have
been published today to show how much pressure the NHS is under It is
startling because it has been a mild winter so they vowed have had a good
time to be honest. It is about resource verses demand. Do they have
the resources they need, maybe money or staff. Set that against the
rising demand, we have seen a huge rise, it'll only get worse in the
next five, ten, 20 years, when it goes wrong, well we have seen what
happens when it goes wrong more often than not but we have seen
outstanding care from the NHS staff when under pressure. I have taken a
road trip, coast to coast, Kent to Sussex, started off in the Medway
towns, to see the challenges facing the health service.
So the first stop will be the Medway Maritime Hospital.
A few years ago labelled one of the worst hospitals in the country.
Patients were dying unnecessarily, thousands were being
They've come a long way in the last 18 months.
A few weeks ago, I watched as the Chief Executive told her staff...
Medway NHS Foundation Trust is now taken out of special measures.
But just as hospitals can both struggle with the pressures
and offer great care from dedicated staff, patients also see
It's always really striking that people can almost hold two
So, people can understand that there's lots of stress
in the system, that lots of bits don't work as they should,
but then can also feel very angry and frustrated that,
for them, that's meant I can't get the service that
And nowhere is that seen more clearly than in A
Across the country, departments have seen attendances up
30% in the last decade and every A is struggling to employ enough
staff, manage demand and hit Government targets.
Emergency departments are supposed to see, treat,
admit or discharge patients within four hours.
Last winter not one of our hospitals in Kent,
In East Kent, 37% of patients had to wait more than four hours,
one of the worst records in the country.
But the problems are not unique to one hospital or one
I'm crossing the border from Kent and Medway
into Sussex and to my right, the hospital in Redhill.
Last winter it had one of the highest numbers of what used
to be called black alerts, that threatened patients' safety.
The hospitals in Eastbourne and Hastings weren't far behind.
But we are on our way to Brighton - a trust recently put into special
measures but also one where they're spending almost ?500 million
This is the Royal Sussex County Hospital and you can see
the money being spent here on the redevelopment.
Bedblocking, or what they now call "delayed discharges",
are a huge issue both here and indeed across the country.
In January 2017, patients spent almost 200,000 days
stuck in a hospital bed when they didn't have to.
The NHS say that increases the cost of treatment
Here in Brighton, they spent almost 2,600 days stuck in a hospital bed.
The highest rate of any hospital in the south-east.
I've looked at A and delayed discharges.
There is not one dysfunctional part of the system, where if you put it
right suddenly everything is going to fall into place.
What we need are real steps towards integration
and that means when services are being commissioned,
When services are being provided, they are being provided
Integrated care, a phrase we are going to hear
Integration is a term that kind of covers a whole range of things
and we do need to join those up but to develop those kinds
of services whilst maintaining a hospital service will require
additional resources and that takes time.
We are changing both organisations and cultures.
It's not a case that you can simply switch services
So I've ended up on Brighton Beach and like the tide the problems
I haven't even mentioned the problems getting a GP appointment,
cancer waiting times, not enough midwives,
What about the problems with the Ambulance Service
or what about the five year forward view.
There's mental health services and not enough...
An awful lot of issues there we could go into. It is worth bearing
in mind how enormous the NHS is. It employs 1.7 million in total. The
country spends ?110 billion a year and the number of operations carried
out are 40% more per year than they were in 2005 but clearly the strains
are starting to show. Lots of additions in waiting times, people
not getting the operations they need necessarily when they want to have
them. What are we going to do about it? I have three people who want to
represent their constituents in the next parliamentary round in the next
generation. I'm joined by Helen Whately, for the Conservatives. And
Christine Baylis and Emmanuel Feyisetan representing Ukip and I
should say we wanted to have Stephen Lloyd from the Liberal Democrats but
he is stuck in traffic. Helen Whately, what are you going to do
about it? I would say the NHS Sunday a great deal of pressure at the
moment, as you have mentioned. That's absolutely true but we also
shouldn't just look at the problems we should look at what is working.
Before I was a Member of Parliament I worked in health care, spent lots
of times in hospitals and the doctors would say this to me -
please don't focus on where it is difficult, A but lots of things
are going well. Here in Chatham... We know those good things and it is
coming out of special measures but what are you going to do to improve
things? Your Government has been in power forself years, more of the
same? Medway is doing well, come out of special measures, one of the
hospitals on the other side in my constituency, East Kent, has come
out of special measures, people are surviving cancers and other serious
diseases they wouldn't have before? How are you going to improve things
sn.s we need to keep on improving T some that of is money, my Government
has been putting in an extra ?10 billion into the NHS annually.
That's a significant increase inness iffing and also the NHS is working
off its own bottom-up plans on how to improve, that means bringing
health care and social care together. Christine, how are Labour
trying to improve the situation? Well, Labour have got a variety of
ideas. They will be set out in the manifesto which is being published
on Tuesday of next week. But one of the issues that really affects my
residents in Bexhill and Battle is the join-up between social care and
the health service and that is really, really important, that we
make sure that there is a seamless service... More of an integrated
thought process. More of that. But your party wants to see
significantly more money being put into the NHS, doesn't it? Where will
it come from? ? As I say, you will see that all in the manifesto, John
McDonnell has committed to costing all the policies that will be in
there and I know that there will be policies on the NHS and also saying
how the money will be raised. We know that, for example, there will
be increases in corporation tax and taxation for the very, very top
earners. So it will be more taxation in order to spend more on the NHS
under a Labour Government. But not from ordinary working people. It
will be from the few. Ukip, how would Ukip sort out the NHS
situation? Well, Ukip is going to do a lot. Ukip the NHS, is something we
know, it is the pride of the nation and Ukip hopes to keep it that way.
Ukip is putting in additional 3,000 - ?3 billion every year into getting
more staff... Where is the money coming from, from coming out of the
evident U? From coming out of the EU eventually but there is a measure
before we come out of the EU and it is going to be through health
insurance and that will be, you know, health insurance for people
coming into the country. The a ban on health tourism. People coming
into the UK and using the NHS? Yes, people coming in and using the NHS.
There will be a stop on that and people will be required to have
health insurance which will provide more care and give the NHS a better
service for the people. So this is what Ukip is wanting to do. And this
is essentially what the NHS needs in order to get... It would be nice if
we could have a whole 25 minutes to go into this in more depth. It is
almost impossible to get across all the aspects in T thank you for being
with us and outlining some of the policies your parties will be
putting forward given the opportunity. You can see a great
deal more about the position that all the main parties will be doing
on the BBC's website. There's more information
about the position of all the main parties on this issue on the BBC
Website bbc.co.uk/election. We'll be back later
with more from Chatham. The family of a woman
who was stabbed to death in Canterbury last year,
have received an apology from the country's top lawyer
for the way the case was handled. The Attorney General says
he was deeply troubled by a series of mistakes made
by the Crown Prosecution Service during the sentencing
of those responsible As Robin Gibson reports her
family have now been told For the families of the victims of
this brutea murder, even support from the Attorney-General feels like
a hollow victory. He's agreed the families of Natasha sad letter Ellis
and Simon Gorecki, murdered in Canterbury more than a year ago,
received shabby treatment from the Crown Prosecution Service. -- the
families of Natasha Sadler. It is shocking. Somebody has to be
made accountable. We will fight on, it won't deter us. The
Attorney-General agrees. In a letter Jeremy Wright said:
The families are foo you arous they ran out of time to appeal against
sentences against two accomplices. One was sentenced to a year and one
ten weeks for helping to conceal the knife used. It is unusual for the
attorney to speak in such strong terms. Clearly the family concerned
weren't well-served by the Crown Prosecution Service and it is
appropriate, isn't it, that he should aapproximately Is on their
approximate approximate behalf. The two were stabbed after a housemate's
row. The which willer was this man, Foster Christian who was sentenced
to a life with not less than 30 years' tariff. The family feel they
were let down by the prosecution service who should have told them
they had only 28 days to appeal The 28 days past and then - I'm sorry,
it's too late now but he has to be held accountable. The sentences
stand but the families are now hoping for a judicial review.
A teenager accused of killing his stepfather with a single punch,
in a row over pocket money, is no longer facing a murder charge.
18-year-old Douglas Herridge is still accused of manslaughter,
following the death of former national squash champion
Colin Payne at their home in Dartford last November.
The teenager claims he acted in self-defence.
Tributes have been paid to a Romanian man whose body was found
Razvan Sirbu, who was 21, was discovered in the Loose
Nehir Armstrong believes she was one of the last
She stopped to talk to him in the early hours of Saturday
She said news of his death has left her devastated.
I can't stop crying since I feel guilty.
Do something different maybe, handle differently, maybe.
Maybe I have to make sure he is all right.
Maybe I should follow him, I don't know what to do but,
Piers Hopkirk is in Tovil for us now.
What more do we know about the victim, Razvan Sirbu? Detectives are
trying to build up a picture of his life. We know he came to the UK last
October. That he's from Romania. We know that he has family in the
Gravesend area and that he'd worked there for a recruitment firm. He'd
also worked in warehouses around Maidstone and Paddock Wood. At times
we know he'd slept rough. He had come to this specific spot in Tovil
less than a day or so before his death, presumably and ironically,
for the peace and tranquillity it provides. Detectives are now trying
to work out why it was he met such a violent end here.
That's it from me in the Studio, we can cross back now
Thank you very much, Natalie. It is a beautiful evening here. We have
been hearing some of the views of the political parties. I'm pleased
to say that Stephen Lloyd from the Liberal Democrats has pulled up into
the car park. We will be able to have a conversation with him in a
moment. But what are your thoughts of what the politicians are saying?
Is it in tune your thinking or hopelessly out of step? Where better
to gauge that, than at a dance class.
One, two, three, four, five and check.
The snap election wrong-footed everyone.
The carefully choreographed campaigns are now in full swing.
It's a familiar routine, but is it one that voters can follow?
I don't think "excited" would be the word.
Strictly speaking, elections are won on policies like health,
education and the economy, but this time round, the real
judges, the voters here in Medway, have another category in mind.
Chasse, forward, point, turn, turn, turn, turn.
Unfortunately Brexit is a big issue because, well,
If we get a good deal with Europe, obviously everything else benefits.
Health and education is probably more important to me than Brexit,
in an ordinary election, but I think Brexit at the moment
So in the early rounds Brexit may have stolen the show
but the old favourites never go away.
I think we're doing fantastically considering how bad it is.
I have never had a problem with the NHS around here.
The doctors' surgeries, to be fair, if you want to get an appointment
you have to ring up and it could be two, three weeks.
Knowing that the NHS is going to be there in five or ten years' time
Obviously if it is not, we have to pay for it
all and we become very Americanised, and it's going to be
But this contest has only just started.
There are four more weeks for the political
parties to persuade voters to take their lead.
I'm pleased to stay that Stephen Lloyd from the Liberal Democrats, as
I said he'd made it clear, got through the traffic. Thank you very
much for joining us this evening. Thank you, my pleasure. We have been
talking about the NHS and the fact that it would appear to be creeking
at the seams on the margins. The Liberal Democrats are the only party
that have said up front would you put a penny on income tax to pay for
more services in the NHS? Absolutely. Funnily enough, first of
all sorry I'm late but listening on the news coming here, the recent
report shows that the NHS is borse than it has been for the last five
years, I'm sure you have already covered that. I'm pleased with the
Liberal Democrat position. Three key things, one, putting a penny on
income tax, so it is costed, an extra ?6.9 billion which includes
social care and mental health. People know that's the sort of money
that is necessary for the NHS. The second thing I'm pleased about is
that the income for social care. Everyone out there knows it is not
just the hospital issue it is the issues in social care. We are
putting together a package that covers both and last but not least,
we recognise it is bigger than politics, frankly bigger than party
politics, Norman Lambe our former Health Minister has put forward a
very clear proposal, before the snap election was called where he and a
few Conservatives and Labour, cross-party went into the Department
of health and said - come on, we have to sit down and sort this out
together. In electoral terms, saying you want people it pay more money,
do you think you want people it pay more money,
do you on the NHS, I do. We all know that Labour's thing of another poach
of the top 5%, I think about their 12th pledge on the top 5% doesn't
work. What people understand with the health service is we all need it
and use it and I think everyone would be prepared to contribute that
bit extra to make it work. Thank you for being with us this evening.
Let's turn to Helen Catt our Political Editor. We have heard from
the political parties this eepg, why is the NHS such a big issue? As
Stephen said, I think it is because everybody uses it, and usually at a
time in their life when they are quite vulnerable or emotional. It is
something everyone has a real emotional connection W added to
that, we've had a lot of big figures bandied around. ?6 billion from
lakes ?7 from the UK, ?3 billion from the Ukip and ?from the
Conservatives. But how do we pay for the NHS, with an annual budget of
?120 billion, will these things add that much. We have not heard from
the green Party this evening, we will talk to them in other
programmes. They have yet to launch their policies. They've talked about
ending private involvement in the NHS. They've also made some specific
mental health pledges this week, saying they would guarantee access
to psychological therapy within 28 days for everyone that needs it.
Before we get to the end of the programme, lets anticipate find out
what will be going on with the weather. Sarah Keith Lucas is with
us here in Chatham. And fine end to the day here in
Chatham. Across the region a decent day. Temperatures up to 21. There
has been a bit more cloud that has been creeping in over the past few
hours and out of that cloud a few showers, too. So that's how it looks
at the moment. We have showers around along the south coast. Most
of us dry as we end the day. Tomorrow a similar sort of day. It
is looking humid and there will be chat scattered showers around. Back
to this evening and evernight we'll continue to see showers moving away
northwards T could bring with them the odd rumble the thunder. Hit and
miss and not everywhere seeing the showers. That's how we start the day
tomorrow. Showers from the word go. But looking frost-free, a milder
start than it was this morning. Through the day tomorrow, some
showers through the middle of the day could be heaviy, potentially
under thisry and temperatures up to 17 or 18 but they fade away through
the course of Friday night. So, by the time when we get to Saturday
morning, it is looking frost-free once again and set is going to be a
pretty decent day, dry, plenty of sunshine on offer and temperatures
doing reasonably well. 17 or 18. A bit of useful rain overnight
Saturday into Sunday and Sunday another largely dry but a
fresher-feeling day. Sarah, thank you very much. Well, that's it from
us for this evening. Straight after this we'll be doing
a Facebook live event with our political editor Helen Catt
and with our health You can get involved
on facebook.com/bbcsoutheasttoday. But for now from us in Chatham. Good
evening. Ukip created history
and won us all Brexit. I grew up on a council estate, where
everybody there just voted Labour.