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Super Slimmer to become weight loss coach

Super slimmer Les Beazley Credit: MEN Syndication

A super slimmer from Greater Manchester who lost nearly 17 stone after being told he could die early is setting up a clinic to help others follow in his footsteps. Les Beazley dropped to 15st 3lbs from more than 32 stone after gorging on fast food. Since losing weight, Les has decided to open a clinic in Denton , where he hopes his success can inspire others.

Les was told by doctors he would die if he didn't lose weight Credit: MEN Syndication

Les said his weight ballooned when he started bingeing on takeaways and drinking two bottles of port every night. He said that everyday tasks such as walking up the stairs or putting his socks on became difficult. Les is planning to sell his bakery business in Stockport so he can work full-time in weight loss counselling.


Grieving parents want better bank holiday hospital services

A couple from Lancashire whose baby died are calling for a review into hospital resources on Bank Holidays.

Poppy Powell was born at Calderdale Hospital in Yorkshire on Boxing Day in 2011, but died three days later.

The trust has settled with the couple out of court, without admitting liability. Nathalie Powell is Poppy's mother.

Poppy was due on Christmas Day Credit: MEN Syndication

Her parents say that Baby Poppy was due to be born on Christmas Day and they say that hospital staff who ‘disregarded’ NHS guidelines by postponing her birth let them down.

She died at 3 days old.

Natalie Powell, 38, from Littleborough, was due to go into hospital to have her baby induced on 25th December 2011 - when she was two weeks overdue - but she says on Christmas Eve midwives changed the appointment to a check up, delaying the birth.

Natalie went into labour naturally on Boxing Day and was admitted to the midwife-led unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital, West Yorkshire, rather than the central labour ward, where women who are overdue would normally be closely monitored.

Staff did not detect a change in Poppy’s heart rate and she wasn’t breathing when she was born. The newborn was put on a ventilator but Natalie and husband Nicholas had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off the life support three days later.

After being urged by their GP to order a post mortem, Natalie and Nicholas launched a legal investigation her death. The case has now been settled out of court for an undisclosed five-figure sum but Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust did not admit liability at any stage.

Hospital bosses say that in 2011 staff did not use ultrasound scanning during holiday periods except for in emergencies - but this policy has since changed.

Since poppy’s death Natalie, a psychologist, and Nicholas, a probation officer, have had two healthy children, who are now aged two and three.

She explained that throughout her pregnancy, she had been deemed low risk, but the further she went past her due date, the more worried she became.

NHS Guidelines state that medics should offer woman an induction before their pregnancy reaches 42 weeks, as the risk of still birth and other complications increase beyond this.

Natalie had been originally booked to be induced at 8am on Christmas morning, when she was exactly two weeks overdue, but this was cancelled and switched to a monitoring appointment instead.

The couple hope lessons can be learnt from Poppy’s passing, and are calling for a review of NHS guidelines and holiday resources to prevent anything like this happening again.

Both Natalie and Nicholas argue that if the NHS isn’t going to apply its own guidelines consistently across its NHS Trusts, then any departures should only be undertaken with senior medical input, appropriate planning and ensuring that safety net resources are in place.

It was our first baby, so we were led by the experts, they said it would be safe to just keep monitoring rather than undergo an induction, it was like we were dissuaded out of it. In hindsight I was more than two weeks past my due date, and I should’ve been induced, but the hospital seemed to have a really relaxed interpretation of the NHS guidelines and disregarded them without making sure it was safe to do so. This needs to change.

– Natalie Powell

I would like to offer my sincere condolences and apologies to Dr and Mr Powell for the loss of their baby Poppy. We are absolutely committed to delivering the safest care to mothers and babies across all of our maternity units. Women labour and birth 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so to ensure safe care the number of midwives and obstetricians working is the same during any holiday period as at any other time. Dr Powell gave birth to Poppy in 2011 and at that time, ultrasound scanning was only available over the holiday periods in emergency situations. Since then, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has begun a programme to train midwife and doctor ultrasonographers who will provide an extended local service. If Dr and Mr Powell have any outstanding questions they feel they would like to discuss, we would always be happy to meet with them.

– Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s head of midwifery Anne-Marie Henshaw

Hundreds left to cope alone after leaving hospital

A charity says one in ten people discharged from mental health hospital after being admitted in crisis are not getting follow-up within a week of leaving. A survey by MIND found that people who don’t get follow-up within a week are:

- Twice as likely to attempt suicide

- A third more likely to harm themselves

- More than twice as likely to end up back in A&E

Credit: pa

In the North West, of 12,532 people discharged from hospital in 2015-16, 1,301 weren’t followed up within a week. Mind’s findings show that the lack of appropriate follow-up is also putting significant pressure on the NHS as people are not getting the help they need to recover.

If you don’t get the right care after you leave, if you’re left to cope alone, you can end up in a revolving door going straight back in to hospital or be at risk of taking your own life.

– Sophie Corlett, MIND


A & E closing their doors to ambulances

Credit: pa

A new report shows the Pennine Acute Hospitals trust turned away more ambulances than anywhere else this winter.

It had to divert 89 cases to other Accident and Emergency departments within the trust.

The Nuffield Trust said delays caused by the closures was stopping ambulance crews responding quickly to other urgent calls.

None of the three main ambulance targets for responding to calls have been hit since May 2015.

Health bosses say the figures from the charity the Nuffield Trust are misleading.

We are one of the largest Acute NHS Trusts in the country and as a multi-hospital site organisation we run three category 1 A&E departments in North Manchester, Oldham and Bury, and an Urgent Care Centre in Rochdale. Last year we saw over a third of a million urgent care patients.

On occasions when one of our A&E departments is too busy to take more ambulances, we routinely agree with ambulance crews to take a patient to one of our other local hospital sites as an ambulance ‘internal divert’ to ensure patients are seen by our doctors as quickly as possible. This approach means that we can use our staff and internal operational arrangements flexibly and is best use of resources. These are not classed as diverts in the true sense that may be the case in the rest of the data presented in this report. An internal divert is usually for an hour or two.

During the 13 week winter period between 1st December and 28th February, we only diverted four patients outside of the organisation to another NHS Trust.

Under arrangements agreed with the ambulance service and all NHS Trusts across the region, the most serious cases, including patients for example who are having a heart attack, are not diverted at all and are brought by ambulance to any A&E.

Sometimes diverts are activated by the ambulance service as it may be more appropriate to take a patient to an alternative hospital site where the ambulance would be able to handover their patient in a timely manner; not undertaking such a system-wide approach could lead to longer delays for patients and staff with ambulances unnecessarily queuing at an already busy unit.

Unlike many rural areas in the North of England, within a conurbation such as Greater Manchester the distances between hospitals may not represent the time element that would affect a more rural setting so any direct comparisons can be misleading.

Our A&E departments have continued to face real pressures throughout the year and we know demand on our services further increases over winter. This report reflects the day to day pressures and challenges staff in our emergency departments and ambulance crews are facing. We continue to work closely with our colleagues in primary care, community care and social services to improve patient flow in and out of our hospitals and to speed up treatment and discharge for our patients which in turn takes off the pressure in A&E. We are also investing in our frontline services including in our A&Es and are actively recruiting more nurses and doctors as part of our improvement journey. Our priority continues to ensure patient safety and our staff always prioritise those who require urgent attention.”

– Spokesperson for The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

New report highlights physical inactivity in North West

Report says almost half of adults in region are classified as physically inactive. Credit: PA

A new report released by the British Heart Foundation claims more than 2.6million people in the North West - almost half the adult population in the region - are classified as physically inactive, significantly increasing their risk of heart disease and premature death.

The charity is today launching its MyMarathon challenge in a bid to boost the nation’s physical activity. The challenge encourages people of all fitness levels to run the 26.2 miles in their own time over a month, with money raised going to help fund life saving research to fight heart disease.

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Physical inactivity is one of the most significant global health crises of the moment. Levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in the UK remain stubbornly high, and combined these two risk factors present a substantial threat to our cardiovascular health and risk of early death.

“Making physical activity easier and more accessible for all is of paramount importance if we are to reduce the burden of inactivity-related ill health.''

Rochdale parents call for testing for Group B strep

It's an infection that kills one newborn every week here in the UK and yet many pregnant women have never heard of it. Group B Strep is a bacteria that CAN be identified if tested for - but currently the NHS choose not to screen for it. Thats something the parents of a newborn baby from Rochdale who died from the infection want changing.

Mel Barclay says if she'd been tested while she was pregnant, her daughter Madison may still be here today. She and her husband are joining calls for all expectant mothers to be offered the simple and safe test.

A special report from our Correspondent Mel Barham is below:

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