Failing Medway Schools are improving too slowly, according to a new report by the schools inspectorate, Ofsted. Last year almost half of all pupils were at schools rated as needing some kind of improvement. Now a follow-up inspection has found nine and a half thousand children remain in schools that are either inadequate or need improvement. Tom Savvides talks to headteacher Christine Easton, students and councillor Mike O'Brien.
It's another blow to the people of Medway - their flagship hospital, which has been in special measures for more than two years, has again been told its casualty department is not up to scratch.
Things are so bad that the Trust in charge has reached out to other parts of the NHS for help. On Wednesday and Thursday mornings this week, ambulances won't go to the Medway Maritime but instead will take patients to Maidstone, the Darent Valley or even to Canterbury.
Bosses say it's a temporary measure but inspectors from the Care Quality Commission say there's a lack of leadership - and a risk to patient safety.
David Johns talked to Simon Bolton, Unison, and Councillor David Brake, Medway Council. Conservative.
Following a recent inspection of Medway Foundation Trust by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) the Trust has asked for support from across the local healthcare system to help them make the improvements needed. Ambulances will be diverted from Medway Maritime Hospital between 7am and midday on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th September. Walk-in patients to the A&E department will continue to be seen at the hospital.
Ambulance patients will instead be taken, according to clinical need, to either Maidstone Hospital, Darent Valley Hospital or the Kent and Canterbury Hospital. Some patients including paediatric, cardiac, maternity and abdominal aortic aneurysm will continue to be taken to the Medway Maritime Hospital.
NHS England is working closely alongside the ambulance service and all local NHS hospitals and providers to implement this temporary measure whilst staff at Medway Maritime Hospital continue to work to improve services to patients. We are also working with partners across the healthcare system to put in place further measures to support staff at the hospital. This includes additional training for clinical staff in the emergency department and bringing in experienced clinical staff to work in Medway Maritime’s A&E department which will allow staff time to attend training.
We are also working with local authorities and community health teams to help improve the flow of patients through the hospital. Ensuring the delivery of safe care to patients and the public in Kent and Medway is our absolute priority.
Patients in the Emergency Department at Medway Maritime Hospital are still being put at risk, according to the latest inspection.
The Care Quality Commission visited the hospital at the end of August and found that staff in A and E weren't able to cope during busy periods.
Just a few months ago a new Chief Executive was appointed to turn things around.
In a statement before the inspection, Lesley Dwyer said it wasn't possible for the trust to go from inadequate to outstanding overnight but that an action plan was in place.
The Turbine Hall at Kingsnorth Power Station on the Hoo Peninsula has been demolished.
More than two thousands tonnes of steel were taken down in a controlled explosion at 1 o'clock this afternoon.
The electricity station closed two years ago. Watch the video below.
Police investigating the murder of a man in Chatham have arrested a further four people.
33-year-old Michael Tierney was found badly injured in Haig Avenue earlier this week. He died in hospital yesterday.
It's believed there was a disturbance between four men in Glencoe Road before he was injured.
Police have now arrested a total of six people after four new arrests.
Two 39-year-old men from Chatham have been arrested on suspicion of murder, while a 37-year-old woman and a 32-year-old woman, both from Chatham, are in custody on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Two people arrested on Wednesday remain in police custody. They are a 26-year-old man from Chatham, who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and a 27-year-old woman, also from the town, who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
A wanted fly-tipper has been found and given a suspended prison sentence for his involvement in the dumping and burning of more than 30 tonnes of rubbish.
Glen Dobson, 54, of Victoria Street in Rochester disappeared mid-investigation and was found guilty in his absence.
He was ordered to pay £100 in costs for the offences at a site in Ash Tree Lane, Chatham.
Fly-tipping is unacceptable and will always be taken very seriously.
In the space of 24 hours, there have been three big fires in the south east. In the first, smoke and flames leapt in the air at the Medway City Estate - and at one stage could be seen across three counties.
Then, as firefighters were tackling that blaze at the recycling plant, a major fire started in Maidstone town centre. In Sussex, sixteen acres of Ashdown forest were destroyed as grassland went up in flames.
It's put the fire services under real pressure as David Johns reports.
He spoke to Steve Jeffery from Kent Fire & Rescue Service; Chief Superintendent Steve Corbishley from Kent Police; and David Harrison from Maidstone Borough Council.
A man has been arrested after a fire destroyed a bookshop in the middle of Maidstone in Kent overnight.
The blaze at "The Works" on Week Street also affected four other neighbouring stores. It is thought the pedestrianised area outside the shops will have to remain closed for at least 48 hours. Our reporter David Johns sent this from the scene.