from BBC News for Birmingham and the Black Country
A mental health hospital charity has been told it made “repeated and systemic failings” in its leadership by health inspectors.The Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised several concerns at St Andrew’s Healthcare, based in Northampton.They included a two-year backlog to address issues found by the CQC in previous inspections.St Andrew’s Healthcare said it had new leaders who were committed to making improvements. Kevin Cleary from the CQC said: “These failings hindered the ability to provide safe and effective care.”St Andrew’s Healthcare treats up to 900 mental health patients in Northampton, Birmingham, Nottinghamshire and Essex, with 90% of referrals from the NHS.The CQC inspectors, who visited the charity’s headquarters on 23 and 24 October, found the use of physical restraint had increased despite a plan to reduce it.They also found the process of telling a patient’s family when something went wrong was “not fully effective”.They noted in their report an employment tribunal found a member of staff was unfairly dismissed because he had been a whistleblower at a previous workplace.The inspectors also found staff were not always confident to raise concerns without fear of reprisals.The report said senior leaders had “not fully accepted the serious nature of concerns raised” by the CQC in previous inspections, causing a two-year backlog to address patient safety issues.Mr Cleary, CQC deputy chief inspector for mental health and community services, said St Andrew’s Healthcare had “processes that supported good care”.But he said: “There were also repeated and systemic failings relating to procedures and clinical governance.”He said the management at the charity “had comprehensive knowledge of challenges faced, but many of their plans were in their infancy”.St Andrew’s Healthcare said: “Cultural change can take time, especially in a complex mental healthcare setting.”The charity said it had implemented changes to its restraint, seclusion, and long-term segregation processes following a review.A spokeswoman said: “We have a new leadership team in place who are committed to making improvements and creating a culture of complete openness, honesty and transparency.”
Jonathan Coe’s book Middle England, which takes a humorous look at life in Britain before and after the Brexit referendum, has been named the best novel of 2019 at the Costa Book Awards.The book was described by the prize’s judges as “the perfect novel for now”.Award organisers said Coe’s 13th novel tells the story of “a changing country and the cracks that appear within families and between generations”.He is one of five winning authors in different genre categories.They will each receive £5,000 and go forward to be in contention to be named the overall Costa Book of the Year on 28 January.Middle England spans 2010 to 2018 and follows a range of characters including a couple who attend marriage counselling after voting different ways in the 2016 referendum.In the other categories, Sara Collins won best first novel for her gothic romance The Confessions of Frannie Langton, about the twisted love affair between a Jamaican maid and her French mistress in 19th Century London.Welsh author and former war reporter Jack Fairweather’s biography of unsung war hero Witold Pilecki, who infiltrated Auschwitz, won the biography award; while Jasbinder Bilan’s first children’s novel Asha & the Spirit Bird was also among the winners.Welsh author shortlisted for Costa Book Award
Books 2020: What you could be reading
Costa Book Awards 2019 winnersFirst novel award – The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
Novel award – Middle England by Jonathan Coe
Biography award – The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather
Poetry award – Flèche by Mary Jean Chan
Children’s book award – Asha & the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan
Last year the overall award was won by Irish author Sally Rooney for her second novel Normal People.Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The family of a 19-year-old woman who died in a car crash said she was “beautiful inside and out”. Birmingham University student Rebecca Davies, from Goytre, Monmouthshire, was a rear-seat passenger in a car that was in collision with another on the A4042 in Llanellen on Thursday.A woman, 52, and man, both from Goytre, also sustained serious injuries.The 31-year-old female driver of the other car was taken to hospital in a critical condition.Paying tribute, her family said: “Becky, our shining star that will never fade. “Our daughter was beautiful inside and out. “She was determined to help other people volunteering with St John’s Ambulance and St Mary’s Hospice while studying for her degree in Biochemistry at Birmingham University with the aim of becoming a doctor. “She made us so very proud.”Goodnight our sweet beautiful girl. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
This is an updated version of an article published in November 2018.England cricketers no longer share rooms on tour. Dom Sibley’s new team-mates are probably quite relieved.”He would clean up the kitchen if he made a mess. His bedroom was another story,” says Will Rhodes, his Warwickshire team-mate and former flatmate.
“Me, Dom and Olly Stone lived together last year. As the eldest, Olly was chief cleaner in the flat. Let’s just say, if he needed a helper, he would ask me rather than Sibbers.”It is a theme that runs through Sibley’s career.While playing grade cricket in Australia in 2014-15, he worked in a sports shop two days a week.”He was hopeless,” says Stewart Walters, Sibley’s captain at Midland-Guildford in Perth. “He didn’t know how to work the vacuum cleaner.”Like most young kids, he had grown up with everyone doing everything for him. He had no sense of living properly.”Rhodes says Sibley has improved – up to a point. “He might have made fajitas for us a couple of times, but he takes more of a supervisor’s role in the kitchen.”It is also probably wise not to leave him in charge of your car keys. Last year Sibley was filmed trying to rescue team-mate Ian Bell’s keys after dropping them down a drain.View more on twitter”He got them out in the end,” says Rhodes.If Sibley’s domestic skills leave a little to be desired, his productiveness with the bat is unquestionable.He scored 1,324 runs in County Championship Division One this summer – no-one else managed 1,000 – at an average of almost 70.And the 24-year-old marked his arrival on the international scene with an unbeaten 133 for England in only his fourth Test, against South Africa in Cape Town on Monday.South Africa chasing Test record 438 to win – follow liveThe Manchester United fan who rates his dancingIn the words of Rhodes, Sibley is a “football fanatic” who will try to watch every Premier League game that is on TV. He even won the Fantasy Premier League competition at his local cricket club once. “He loves Manchester United and he will try to get to games when he can.””That’s the only cross against his name,” says former England captain and Chelsea fan Alec Stewart, who has known Sibley since he was 13 and saw him progress through the Surrey age-group system before he left for Warwickshire in 2017.”Easygoing”, “quietly spoken” and “modest” are common descriptions of Sibley from those who know him.”He’s pretty chilled and doesn’t take himself too seriously,” says Rhodes, Sibley’s partner in the County Championship’s most successful opening alliance this summer.Nick Hill, chairman of Sibley’s local club Ashtead, adds: “I’ve got no stories of him smashing bats against walls.”He’s a sociable guy. He would always stay and have a couple of beers after a game. You wouldn’t hear him going around telling people about himself. It was only when people asked him about Surrey that he would talk about it.”Rhodes says Sibley has a dry sense of humour, “good banter” and a taste for R&B and hip hop. “He rates his music – and he rates his dancing. It’s not immaculate, but it’s better than some lads in the dressing room.”
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Birmingham and Black Country From: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50936743
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Birmingham and Black Country From: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-50998956
Kerry Van Der Merwe has sunken chest syndrome, a rare medical condition that leaves her struggling to breathe. In many cases the syndrome – a malformation of the chest wall caused by the breastbone sinking inwards – is seen as a cosmetic problem that doesn’t warrant publicly funded surgery.Ms Van Der Merwe has been speaking about her fight to get treatment for a condition that causes her pain and anguish.The hairdresser, 44, says she has seen at least 10 GPs to talk about her breathlessness and accelerated heartbeat, but “not one of them” was able to tell her these symptoms were caused by sunken chest syndrome, also known as pectus excavatum.”I couldn’t even open a jar but they’ve never said ‘let’s investigate it'”, said the mother of one, who lives in Devon. “It’s actually me who has educated them about pectus.”Since February, the NHS in England has not offered routine surgery for those with the condition as it says there is insufficient evidence the benefits of surgical treatment warrant funding.”There is absolutely no way I could live the way I am now because I’m being strangled inside. For them to say no is just absolutely disgusting,” Ms Van Der Merwe said. “I have been on antidepressants all my life since my deformities started. “I can’t do something as simple as running up the hill or stairs because with your heart pumping blood so fast it’s really dangerous.”Ms Van Der Merwe, who has a nine-year-old daughter, said she should have had the surgery 10 years ago, but GPs did not heed her requests for a specialist referral. “I’ve been trying to speak about my pectus to my GPs but I always feel like I get fobbed off, because no-one really has the knowledge about it.”She therefore sought out thoracic surgeon Joel Dunning, from the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, for a specialist’s insight.”She has never known what’s it’s like to be normal,” said Mr Dunning, who added there was “no doubt” his patient’s heart is being “squashed” by her sternum. He said it was “crazy” to deny “life-extending” surgery in cases like hers.”The man on the street could tell you that if you have a squashed heart because of your chest, if you take the squashing away it makes the breathing better.”Thanks to the intervention of the surgeon, Hull-born Ms Van Der Merwe, who also has Poland syndrome, is due to have a procedure to insert up to three titanium bars to raise her chest to a normal position.Mr Dunning successfully argued she needed treatment after having poor surgery in South Africa, where she moved as a child. He said the “massive” psychological benefits of surgery, especially for young people, should be enough for the NHS to offer surgical treatment.”These are poor little teenagers trying to find their way in the world and they feel very introverted, they won’t take their top off, they won’t interact with people of the other gender.”Pectus excavatum The NHS defines it as a malformation of the chest wall caused by the breastbone sinking inwards. It affects more males than females and it may be inherited.
Symptoms include chest pain, breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness and a fast heart rate.
According to the NHS, pectus has little psychological impact on the patient but it can sometimes cause distress “leading to concerns about appearance, withdrawal and social isolation”.
In most cases it presents itself at birth but only becomes noticeable during puberty
The condition can be treated with the Nuss procedure, which involves the placing of one or more metal bars to correct the abnormal shape of the chest. The bars stay in place for two to three years.
Katie Bruce was 21 when she fainted due to her sunken chest syndrome and was hit by a car. She lost four of her front teeth and suffered multiple facial fractures. One side of her jaw snapped off her skull and “never repaired”.The Wolverhampton-based biochemistry graduate managed to get Nuss surgery in March, a year after first applying and being rejected. Because her chest dip was so deep, surgeons were only able to insert one metal bar. It ended up flipping on its side, and the 26-year-old was left bedridden while waiting for corrective surgery.”It just feels like I’m being repeatedly stabbed between my ribs. No painkillers can help that,” she said. “I am 26, I have a degree and I can’t do anything. I can’t get a job, I can’t think of starting a mortgage for a house or starting a family. My life feels like it’s on hold.”She is soon to undergo surgery to fix the flipped bar and have a second one inserted to distribute the pressure, in the hope this will reduce the pain. Ms Bruce said she would not be in the position she is in now had the operation happened 15 years ago, when her bone structure was still forming and the chances of flipping were lower. “If they were more aware of it in the first place and I’d been treated a long time ago I would never have been hit by the car and it would have cost the NHS a hell of a lot less in the long run.”She said she too reported breathlessness and an accelerated heart rate but was not correctly diagnosed for years. “I am shocked at the amount of GPs I’ve seen and none of them have known anything about it.”NHS England said in a statement that it no longer provides routine surgery for sunken chest syndrome as a “careful review of evidence suggests limited effectiveness”.It said it “leads the world on innovation” and would “continue to test the most advanced procedures available, collecting real-world evidence to ensure NHS patients receive world-class care while delivering value for the taxpayers’ pound”.Meanwhile, Ms Van Der Merwe waits for the operation she hopes will make all the difference. She says she’s nervous but knows she needs to have the surgery.”I am fearful, but I know deep down it’s going to save my life.”
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Birmingham and Black Country From: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50931083
An Olympic gold medallist died of an unknown allergic reaction, an inquest has concluded.Ken Matthews, who won the 20km (12.5-mile) walk at the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo, died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital on 2 June 2019.The 84-year-old, who had dementia and a heart condition, was taken to hospital from the Hillbury Care Home in Wrexham, where he had been living.Staff noticed on the evening of 2 June his breathing was “chesty”. He was taken to hospital, where doctors also described his breathing as “laboured”, the inquest heard.His care plans showed he had been receiving his normal medication and eating and drinking normally.’I wish I had the answer’Consultant pathologist Dr Huyen Abdel Salam told the inquest that Mr Matthews, who was born and brought up in Birmingham, died of an allergic reaction. Joanne Lees, assistant coroner, said: “It is very difficult to know what substance caused it, if indeed it was a substance as opposed to a bite.”Mr Matthews’ son Ian said he was not aware of his father having any allergies.His general health was poor and would have compromised his ability to cope with any allergic reaction, Mrs Lees said. “I wish I had the answer to give you and I did my best to obtain it,” she said. “It could have been some sort of insect bite or something in the air. We simply do not know.” Giving a conclusion of accidental death, she added: “Although he had a heart condition it is unlikely he would have passed away on 2 June had he not had the allergic reaction.” Mr Matthews was one of four Britons to win gold at the 1964 games, completing his race in a record time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 34 seconds.He and his wife Sheila moved to Wrexham in the 1960s and for many years he worked as a manager in the town’s Rogers and Jackson store.
A police officer was bitten so hard on the arm during a New Year’s Day attack it marked his skin despite his three layers of clothing, a force has said.The officer had to have a tetanus shot and antibiotics after being bitten by a woman in Walsall, West Midlands.He and a colleague, who was also assaulted, intervened when they saw security staff trying to escort the woman from a nearby bar.Judith Mundle, 36, was jailed for the attack on Thursday.The officers were in Walsall town centre when they saw Mundle’s “aggressive” behaviour in the early hours of 1 January, West Midlands Police said.The force said she started swearing at the officers and pushed them both chest.More from the West MidlandsAs they tried to handcuff her she “launched forward biting one of them on his arm through three layers of clothing and cutting his skin,” police continued.Mundle, of Croydon Road, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting an officer and of assault causing actual bodily harm, and was jailed for 18 weeks at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court.Police described it as a “heinous act on one of our colleagues, who was trying to ensure the safety of our community as we enter a new year.”Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.