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Man charged with murdering pensioner on Christmas Day

A man has been charged with murdering a pensioner in Stafford on Christmas Day.

Bernard James Smith, who was 83 and known locally as Jim, died after an incident at the junction of Shakespeare Road and Wordsworth Avenue at around 12:50am.

A post-mortem examination found he had died from multiple chest injuries.

Joseph Nicholas Moscicki, from Wokingham in Berkshire has been charged with murder and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.

The 22-year-old is due to appear this morning at Cannock Magistrates.

Stafford Hospital's future to be outlined

Between 2005 and 2008, hundreds of patients at the hospital died needlessly Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Plans for the future of crisis-hit Stafford Hospital will be outlined later today.

Special administrators appointed by the government to look into the running of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust will publish their final recommendations.

In April an interim report recommended the trust which runs Stafford Hospital and Cannock Hospital should be dissolved.

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Former Stafford Hospital nurse guilty of misconduct

A former chief nurse at troubled Stafford Hospital who told a colleague she was a "waste of space" has been found guilty of exposing patients to danger.

Janice Harry failed to make sure there were enough nurses on a number of wards at the hospital including A&E, putting patients at risk, the Nursing and Midwifery Council ruled.

Janice Harry worked at Stafford Hospital Credit: Rui Vieira/PA

A disciplinary hearing was told that between 1998 and 2006, she also failed to ensure patients were fed and given water, and failed to protect their dignity and privacy.

The panel will now decide what sanctions to impose on her. She will be reprimanded for telling a colleague she was a "waste of space".

Power lines turned off while injured rail worker rescued

The overhead power lines at Stafford railway station had to be switched off while emergency services rescued a man who suffered "extensive burns" from overhead cables.

An investigation has now been launched by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) as it appears the man somehow came into contact with electricity from the lines.

It is not yet clear if the injured man was a National Rail worker or a contractor Credit: Chris Radburn/PA

The power was back on by 10am but trains were delayed while the rescue operation took place.

National Rail spokesman Ben Herbert said the man was not on the station at the time, and said it was not yet clear whether he had been a National Rail worker or a contractor.

The man, in his 20s, was taken to the major trauma centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Railway worker suffers 'extensive burns' at station

A member of staff has suffered "extensive burns" in an industrial accident at Stafford railway station today.

The man, in his 20s, was rushed to the major trauma centre at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment after the incident, which happened shortly before 8.40am today.

Stafford railway station Credit: Google Maps

The Rail Accident Investigation Bureau is investigating the incident.

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Patient's friend: Individuals 'not held to account'

Ron Street, a friend of Gillian Astbury's, has said: "Today’s acknowledgement of guilt by the Trust does little by way of justice against those individuals who permitted such unsafe practices for so long".

"Senior members of the [Mid Staffordshire NHS] Trust Board, who were responsible for implementing this system of unsafe work at the hospital whilst Gillian was in their care, have never been held to account"

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Mid Staffs accepts case referral to Crown Court

Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Gillian Astbury and we apologise for the dreadful care Ms Astbury received at Stafford Hospital in April 2007.

We have been very open and candid and have cooperated fully with the Health and Safety Executive throughout its investigation.

The Trust offered no defence to the charge which the Health and Safety Executive brought against it today and accepts the court's decision to refer the case to the Crown Court.

Although of little consideration to Ms Astbury's family, we can assure them that we have done everything we can to put right those things which went so very wrong in 2007 and that the standard of care now provided at the hospital has improved considerably over the last few years, as has been recognised by many independent organisations and individuals.

– Maggie Oldham, chief executive at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Stafford Hospital guilty of neglect in woman's death

The health trust which runs Stafford Hospital has pleaded guilty to breaching safety laws over the death of a diabetic patient.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust admitted failing to ensure the safety of 66-year-old Gillian Astbury, who was not given insulin and lapsed into a diabetic coma.

Stafford Hospital has pleaded guilty to safety breaches in court today Credit: PA

The criminal prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) three years after an inquest jury ruled Mrs Astbury, from Hednesford, died due to neglect.

The inquest found low staffing levels and a systemic failure to provide adequate nursing facilities were both contributory factors.

Staff failed to give Mrs Astbury insulin, amounting to a "gross failure" to provide basic care, the jury ruled.

She had been admitted in April 2007 for treatment for fractures to her arm and pelvis.

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