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Investigations into North West hospitals widened after some patients wait too long in A&E

Two investigations into the finances at hospitals in the North West of England are being widened because some patients are waiting too long in A&E.

Monitor, the health sector regulator, will now look into how well the trusts are run as well as scrutinising their finances. The trusts involved are:

· Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust · Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The trusts, which serve patients in Warrington, Halton and Wirral have both repeatedly failed to meet national targets for seeing 95% of Accident and Emergency patients within four hours.

The regulator says it believes that local partners, such as commissioners and other NHS organisations, have a significant role to play in improving urgent care across the region and that the trusts may not be able to solve the problems outlined alone.

Paul Chandler, Regional Director at Monitor, said: “We have decided to widen our investigations because some patients are waiting too long in A&E."

“We now need to understand what the trusts have done, and are planning, to improve A&E performance and how they will work with local partners to achieve this.”

Monitor also says it will announce the outcome of each investigation in due course but that no decisions have yet been taken.

Urgent: Symptoms of drug that can kill - police

Police say anyone showing symptoms needs urgent help Credit: Cheshire Police

Cheshire Police are increasingly concerned about anyone who taken taken the drug known as Vertex or Space Cadet. Lab results show it contains a substance linked to a number of deaths in Europe.

Three men from Warrington and a 16 year old girl from Runcorn have already had to have hospital treatment. Police say it's vital people who have taken it get help immediately.

They say it is imperative that people recognise signs and symptoms and act fast. Symptoms include:

• Profuse sweating

• Racing heart beat

• Extreme muscle tension

• Delirious ranting

• Very high body temperature

If any person is showing signs of these symptoms police say it’s essential to dial 999, put the casualty in the recovery position and ask forimmediate medical assistance.

New tests reveal 'a significant threat to life' - police

Packaging for the drug Vertex or Space Cadet Credit: Cheshire Police

Cheshire Police say there's a significant risk to life from the drug Vertex also known as Space Cadet. They say anyone who has consumed any so called legal highs should seek medical help immediately.

Officers have already spoken to a number of outlets known to supply Vertex and advised them to remove it from their shelves indefinitely. Known users of the substance have also been advised of the significant health risks it poses.

This has become an increasingly worrying trend that has seen us respond to a number of incidents in the county, particularly over recent days.

In light of the laboratory analysis I would advise anyone supplying, using or considering using Vertex to stop immediately before it’s too late. If you have taken it, seek medical assistance now.

– Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts


Warrington family's fears over visa issues

A family from Warrington says they are being torn apart by a visa wrangle.

Mark Naylor, who was born in Wigan, moved back to the UK two years ago with his Chinese wife and their two children, who are both British citizens.

But their hopes of settling down in Britain have been left hanging in the balance after Mrs Naylor was told she must go back to China to get her long-term UK visa.

It's a process that could take months, leaving Mark without his wife and the children without a mother.

Video: former nightclub demolished after fire

Credit: Granada reports

Demolition work has started on the former Mr Smith's nightclub in Warrington after it was seriously damaged in a suspected arson last night.

Officers have now arrested eight people in connection with a fire including a 43-year-old man and seven teenagers.

More than 50 Firefighters spent the night battling the blaze and emergency services are still working now.

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