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Student warns of the dangers of binge drinking

A Manchester Metropolitan student is reaching out to her peer group with a warning: go easy on the booze, or end up like me.

Research by the Institute of Alcohol Studies suggests that today's youngsters are much more likely to binge drink than their parents' generation.

Jess Stoddard says that led to evenings that she couldn't remember, and she's enlisted the help of Fixers - the campaign that gives young people a voice - to use her experience to warn others.

Calls for more kidney donors

There are calls for more living kidney donors as figures show that 238 people have died in the North West over the past five years waiting for a transplant.

The NHS says there are nearly 500 people waiting for a new kidney but willing donors are on the decline.

Jeanette Sydenham, from Stockport, has kidney failure.


Parents of Alfie Evans at Appeal Court

The family of Alfie Evans, who's at the centre of a life-support battle - have been back in court today.

The 21 month old from Liverpool is seriously ill at Alder Hey Hospital.

A judge has already ruled that staff there could stop treating him.

But Alfie's mum and dad want to appeal against that ruling - they'll find out if they can next Tuesday.

Elaine Willcox has been following today's developments.

Court hears 'the state' is preventing Alfie Evans' parents making choice about treatement

Alfie and his parents

The parents of a brain-damaged boy at the centre of a life-support battle believe "the state" has wrongly prevented them from making a choice about treatment, appeal judges have been told.

A High Court judge has ruled that doctors can stop treating 21-month-old Alfie Evans, against the wishes of his parents, Kate James and Tom Evans.

Mr Justice Hayden, who analysed the case at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool, said he accepted medical evidence which showed further treatment was futile.

Specialists at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool had asked Mr Justice Hayden to rule that life-support treatment could stop.

Alfie's parents, who are both in their 20s, have challenged Mr Justice Hayden's ruling and asked the Court of Appeal to consider the case.

Three appeal judges are analysing issues at a hearing in London.

Barrister Stephen Knafler QC, who is leading Alfie's parents' legal team, told appeal judges that that "the state" had interfered with "parental choice".

He said Alfie's parents wanted to move him to a hospital in Europe and Mr Justice Hayden's ruling had prevented them from doing that.

The state ... has interfered with parental choice in a fundamental way...

Whether you regard the state as the hospital or the court, the parents have a choice which they can implement.

The state, the hospital or the court, are prohibiting that.

– Barrister Stephen Knafler QC, legal representative of Alfie's parents

CQC finds Pennine Acute Hospital Trust has improved

The Trust covers the Royal Oldham, Fairfield and North Manchester General hospitals Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/PA Images

Inspectors have rated the Pennine Acute Hospital Trust as being improved overall.

Services at the Trust had been rated as inadequate by the Care Quality Commision.

Though the CQC still rates services as being in need of improvement, it found that infection was being controlled.

The report also found staffing levels had improved but still required attention.

I am pleased to report that we have found evidence of real improvement in care at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. However, there remains a considerable amount to do to improve services for patients

During the last inspection in 2016, we decided against placing the trust in special measures because Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust had recently assumed leadership of the trust.

A comprehensive plan to deal with the challenges faced by Pennine Acute Hospitals has been put in place and it is clear these arrangements have had a positive effect. We found a supportive and open culture that was focused on learning and improvement. There had been major changes to the leadership and management at the trust, staff talked positively about local leadership.

There is still scope for improvement in the day to day delivery of services – and I look forward to reporting further progress as the trust deals with these matters in future.

– Ellen Armistead, Care Quality Commission

The report findings include:

  • 70% of the aspects of the services inspected by the CQC are now rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.
  • Two of the Trust’s hospitals (Fairfield and Rochdale Infirmary) and Trust community services are rated as Good.
  • Every hospital/Care Organisation has improved since last inspection report August 2016.
  • There are no longer any services across the Trust’s hospitals that are rated Inadequate.
  • Greatest improvements have been made across Maternity, A&E and Medicine.
  • Pennine Acute Trust has benefited from partnership with Salford Royal FT working as a group of healthcare services called the Northern Care Alliance.
  • New leadership teams for each hospital in place under Chief Executive Sir David Dalton have driven improvements to ensure services are safer and reliable.
  • Well-led at the Trust now rated as ‘Good’ reflecting positive change in culture
  • Services have been strengthened by implementing new systems & recruiting more staff.

Fairfield General Hospital, Bury – Rated Good

  • Medical care provided at Fairfield including older people’s care rated Outstanding
  • Urgent and Emergency care – overall rating improved to Good
  • Surgical services rated Good for Caring, Responsive and Well led, but remains on Requires Improvement for Safe and Effective
  • Medical and nurse staffing had improved across services

The Royal Oldham Hospital – Rated Requires Improvement from Inadequate

  • Maternity services has improved significantly with overall rating given as Good
  • Urgent and Emergency care – overall rating improved to Good
  • A&E patient waiting times in A&E has significantly improved despite high demand
  • A&E working with CCG and partners to further develop urgent care services
  • Rating in Safe services for urgent and emergency care has improved to Good
  • · Surgical services were rated Good for Caring, Responsive and Well led
  • Critical Care services has improved
  • Services for children and young people has improvement

North Manchester General Hospital – Requires Improvement from Inadequate

  • Maternity services at NMGH has improved from Inadequate to Good
  • Urgent and Emergency care – overall rating improved from Inadequate to Good
  • Both adult and paediatric A&E departments have improved and have strong plans and innovations to improve quality of care and performance further
  • Significant improvement in A&E performance and reduction in 12 hour waits
  • Medical care including older people’s care has improved

Wigan Warriors launch Rugby Memories group for supporters with dementia

Super League side Wigan Warriors are reaching out to supporters with dementia.

The club have set up a Rugby Memories group where fans of the team meet up once a week to watch an old game and reminisce about the glory days.

Wigan hope the scheme will also help tackle loneliness in the community.

Chris Hall reports.

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