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  1. National

'Shocking stories' heard by NHS whistleblower review

The chairman of a review into the treatment of NHS whistleblowers said he had heard "shocking stories" about staff too afraid to speak out and who felt suicidal after their concerns were ignored.

Sir Robert Francis QC chaired the review into the NHS whistleblowers. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Sir Robert Francis QC said he heard "time and time again" from NHS staff who were "bullied" after raising concerns about poor patient care.

Sir Robert told the BBC before the review's publication, "I've heard some frankly shocking stories about [staff] whose health has suffered, and in rare cases who've felt suicidal as a result of their perception of them being ignored or worse."



£20 million funding for Staffordshire care services

£20 million pounds is to be invested in care for adults and children in Staffordshire.

Credit: Staffordshire County Council

The Council say the plans are to improve health and social care across the county and to boost economic growth by creating better paid jobs.

Proposals to invest an extra £20 million in care for adults and children were approved by Staffordshire County Council's Cabinet earlier this week.

The Cabinet agreed the cash for care as part of the budget for the next financial year, and with a view to their spending over the next five years.

Under the proposals, council tax will increase by 1.95% from April, equivalent to an extra 39p a week for Band D homes.

"Providing support for the frail, the elderly, the disabled and for children in care is the biggest financial challenge facing not just this county, but the country.

"In laying out our proposals for the next five years we have set aside an extra £20 million to spend on care and remain absolutely committed to delivering a good and fair budget which helps support everyone in Staffordshire.

– Ian Parry, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Staffordshire County Council

The proposals agreed today will go before full council for final approval on February 12.

Father of Iraq war victim 'frustrated' by inquiry delay

Reg Keys lost his 20 year old son Tom in 2003 when he was murdered by an Iraqi mob raiding a police station in Basra.

Today the man behind the latest inquiry into the war, Sir John Chilcot, was made to address MPs to explain a series of delays in its publication.

Reg told ITV News Central that he and other families are angry at being made to wait.

Want to know more about the Chilcot Inquiry? Click here for our fact file.

  1. National

Tories 'to protect schools budget' if party wins election

The Conservatives will protect the schools budget if the party wins the next General Election, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has indicated.

Ms Morgan said she is "absolutely fighting for the schools budget to be protected", hinting that she had already won the battle.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan speaks to Andrew Marr. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show whether the schools budget will be protected, Morgan said: "We're going to have more to say on schools funding very shortly but what I can say is that I am absolutely fighting for the schools budget to be protected."

"It goes back to the point, the announcement that we're making today, which is actually about getting the basics right really early on and that's why the investment is in the schools budget."

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