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Mental health trust statement over parent killings

Timothy Crook, a psychiatric patient, has been convicted of killing his parents Credit: Wiltshire Police

A mental health patient has been convicted of killing his elderly parents. The court heard Timothy Crook's family pleaded with health workers for them to intervene in the months and years leading up to their deaths.

He battered Bob and Elsie Crook to death in their Swindon bungalow in July 2007. He dumped their bodies 150 miles away - under a wheelie bin.

He was found not guilty of their murder but was found guilty of manslaughter through diminished responsibility.

The Avon & Wiltshire mental health trust says that the deaths have influenced the way they work.

Improvements have been made and the service has moved forward in the last four years.

This incident continues to influence our thinking in the way we improve our services, particularly when patients and families are in need.

It is very hard when people don’t want to engage with our services but we are confident that a tragic event is less likely to happen in the future.

– Spokesperson, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

Timothy Crook found guilty of killing his parents

Timothy Crook has been found guilty of manslaughter of his parents Credit: Police

A Swindon man has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of his elderly parents.

50-year-old Timothy Crook had denied killing Bob and Elsie Crook, whose bodies were found under wheelie bins at a house he owned in Lincoln in 2007.

Crook was found guilty of manslaughter through diminished responsibility. He will be sentenced next week.

Timothy Crook's parents, Bob and Elsie Crook

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Number of organ donors drops

The NHS is calling for more people to sign the organ donors' register Credit: Philip Toscano/PA

A new appeal has gone out for more people to sign the organ donors' register after the first fall in the number of donors for a decade. More than 4,000 people had a transplant last year - but the number of donors fell by five per cent.

The NHS Blood and Transplant Organ Donation and Transplantation Directorate, which is based at Stoke Gifford near Bristol, says fewer people died last year in circumstances where they could donate. It also says there's been no change in rates of consent.

Of the transplants carried out, 1,092 were made possible by living donors who gave a kidney or part of their liver, while 3,339 patients benefitted from organs donated after death. To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit here or call 0300 123 2323.

“We are truly grateful to the families of the 1,282 deceased donors and to each of the 1,092 living donors who made transplants possible last year. Their donations allowed over 4,400 people to get the organ transplant they’ve been waiting for to save or vastly improve their lives.

“We have always known that because the opportunities to donate are so small, it is essential to increase the number of people who say yes to organ donation. If the pool of potential donors is reduced then this is even more important."

– Sally Johnston, NHS Director of Organ Donation

READ: North Bristol NHS Trust's response

North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs Southmead Hospital has apologised to patients and says it fully accepts the findings of the report.

The Trust takes the findings of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report extremely seriously.

We fully acknowledge that the quality and safety in the Emergency Department when the CQC re-inspected was not at a standard our patients should expect and for that we are very sorry.

The inspection took place on an exceptionally busy day and patients were waiting unacceptable lengths of time for admission to the main wards and had to wait in areas that were not conducive to our staff being able to deliver high quality care.

To provide absolute assurance, our clinical team carried out a thorough review of the notes of all patients from that day and were satisfied that no one came to harm.

We had hoped to be in a much better place at the time of re-inspection and are extremely disappointed with this outcome.

– Andrea Young, Chief Executive

Andrea Young, Chief Executive, thanks staff for their "relentless focus" on improving patient flow throughout the hospital, and for other improvements that have been made.

The Trust is fully committed to working with the CQC and we will be providing them with regular updates to track progress. In addition they will be making a further unannounced visit to the Emergency Department in the near future.

We are confident that with the changes put in place that are now firmly embedded, we can deal with busy periods much more effectively. Our priority is to provide the safest and best quality care for our patients and have the warning notice lifted.

– Andrea Young, Chief Executive

Southmead A&E rated inadequate for second time

A new £430 million hospital, supposed to be one of the answers to dealing with health issues in Bristol, has had its Accident and Emergency department rated inadequate for a second time.

The Care Quality Commission published its initial concerns back in December and despite some improvement, when the team returned in May it gave the service the same rating.

Inspectors from the health watchdog found overcrowding, insufficient staffing and patients waiting too long for pain relief.

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'Alarming lack of progress' following Winterbourne View scandal

Six workers were jailed for abusing residents at the South Gloucestershire care home Credit: PA

The author of a report on the care of people with learning disabilities has reported an "alarming absence of any tangible progress" since it was published six months ago.

Sir Stephen Bubb was asked to lead a review following the scandal at Winterbourne View in South Gloucestershire. That saw six workers jailed for ill-treatment and neglect after undercover filming showed them subjecting patients to serious abuse at the private hospital near Bristol.

It led to the government pledging to move patients with learning difficulties into community care by June last year, but the deadline was missed.

Sir Stephen's report last November called for such institutions to be closed as quickly as possible, but he said today that his review of progress so far found there were still not sufficient facilities for them to go to.

"The core recommendation of my report was the need to close these institutions as quickly as possible and you can't close them until there is good strong community provision - people with learning disabilities and their families deserve action now.

"There's huge scepticism that anything will happen. NHS England needs to prove them wrong."

– Sir Stephen Bubb
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Campaign to alert older women to dangers of breast cancer

Low awareness of breast cancer is killing older women Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A new campaign is underway to make older women more aware of the dangers of breast cancer. In the South West the disease kills around 680 women aged over 70 each year.

Public Health England says low awareness of non-lump breast cancer symptoms is putting people at risk. It says more than half of women aged 70 and over are unable to name any other symptoms apart from a lump.

The Be Clear on Cancer in South West campaign is reinforcing the message 'don't assume you're past it', urging older women to visit their doctor straight away if they notice any unusual or persistent changes to their breasts such as a lump or a change to a nipple or to the skin or the shape of a breast.

Charity takes steps to stop supporters being pestered

Olive Cooke received hundreds of letters from charities a month. Credit: SWNS

Children's charity Save The Children has unveiled new safeguards to ensure its supporters aren't aggressively targeted.

It comes in the wake of poppy seller Olive Cooke's death. As a regular donator, the pensioner from Bristol had previously complained of being pestered by letters and calls from charities, though her family have insisted the charities were not blame for her death.

There have been recent calls for 'Olive's Law', to protect the most vulnerable from receiving cold calls.

The body that regulates charity fundraising has begun an inquiry after claims that elderly and vulnerable people were being aggressively targeted for money.

Swindon man denies killing parents eight years ago

50-year-old Timothy Crook denies murder. Credit: Wiltshire Police

A man from Swindon charged with the murder of his elderly parents in 2007 denies killing them.

The bodies of Bob and Elsie Crook were found under wheelie bins at a house owned by their son Timothy in Lincoln, Bristol Crown Court has heard. The court heard they had been first killed at their home in Swindon.

50-year-old Timothy Crook has told the court that he drove his parents to Lincoln while they were alive, and that they were killed by someone else afterwards.

The trial continues.

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