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Hunt: Charities and private childcare providers would use Sure Start centres

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has admitted that a Labour government would rely on charitable and private childcare providers to put "mothballed" Sure Start centres back into use.

Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hunt said councils would be obliged by law to invite such providers to make use of Sure Start centres:

Hunt: 'Put the lights back on, get the kids back in'

Labour has said that the removal of the statutory obligation on councils to provide childcare via Sure Start centres by the coalition Government has directly led to a dramatic decline in numbers.

There are 720 fewer now than in 2010 and many more mothballed or running much-reduced hours.

Hunt: 'Put the lights back on, get the kids back in' Sure Start. Credit: PA

With half of authorities predicting budget cuts will further restrict the service in the next two years, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said it was vital to restore the pressure to "put the lights back on, get the kids back in".

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Labour pledges to 'save' Sure Start network

Labour have pledged to reimpose a requirement to local councils to provide childcare via Sure Start centres in a bid to "save" the network, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt announced.

Labour leader Ed Miliband in a Sure Start centre in Feltham. Credit: Press Association

The network of facilities for parents in mostly deprived areas is seen as one of its most significant initiatives of its time in power.

Ombudsman: 'NHS Investigations were not carried out'

An investigation looked at 150 NHS complaints regarding allegations that patients had died or suffered avoidable harm because of failings in their care. It found that 28 of the 150 cases should have been investigated by the NHS as a Serious Untoward Incident (SUI), which is triggered to allow doctors to learn from past mistakes.

Investigations weren't carried out when they should have been and when they were carried out they did not find out or explain why failings happened.

When people make a complaint that they have been seriously harmed they should expect it to be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.

– Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Julie Mellor,

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Julie Mellor, said there is "significant variation" in the quality of NHS investigations. But in the vast majority of these cases (71%) the hospital failed to carry out an SUI.

Healthwatch: Thousands failed by NHS complaints system

The chief executive of the patients' group Healthwatch England has said that "tens of thousands of patients are being failed" by the NHS complaints system.

Healthwatch said the findings were 'sadly not surprising'. Credit: PA Wire

The Ombudsman's findings are worrying but sadly not surprising.

Our research shows that tens of thousands of people every year are being failed by the NHS and yet never report it because they have no faith the complaints system will make any difference.

What we need is a complete overhaul of the complaints system that ensures every incident is properly investigated and learnt from, and that those affected are treated with the dignity they deserve.

– Dr Katherine Rake, chief executive of the patients group Healthwatch England

Patients let down by 'appalling' NHS investigations

Patients who complain about their care are being let down by "appalling" NHS investigations, a highly critical review has found. More than a third of probes into deaths or avoidable harm at hospitals were found to be "inadequate", according to an investigation by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

Patients let down by 'appalling' NHS investigations. Credit: {A

Families interviewed for the review complained they felt "belittled" and "misled" by medical staff who failed to listen to their concerns or give them straight answers. Patients groups said the findings are "worrying" and suggest the lessons from recent hospital scandals have not been learnt.

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Pound per pupil frozen in a real terms cut confirmed by PM

David Cameron has confirmed that there will be a real terms cut to the funding children receive in schools with the budget only increasing as pupil number do, ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

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