Midwives call for North Tyneside maternity unit U-turn

North Tyneside General Hospital Only about four babies a week are born at North Tyneside General Hospital

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There are calls for health bosses to halt the proposed closure of a midwife-led maternity department on Tyneside.

The unit at North Tyneside General Hospital delivers on average four babies a week, with most women opting to go elsewhere for their deliveries.

North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group wants to close it when a new hospital opens in Cramlington in 2015.

The Royal College of Midwives said it offered high quality care, and there was no clinical reason to shut it.

Susanna Cafferty, from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), described it as a poor decision, which would affect the maternity care of women in the area.

She said it was "flying in the face of government policy".

"Health services need to be telling women about this unit and promoting it, not shutting it down.

"The RCM will be challenging this and seeking a meeting to discuss this as a matter of urgency."

Dr Ruth Evan, from the clinical commissioning group, said it was happy to meet the midwives.

She added: ""We have given very careful consideration to all of the feedback we received before reaching our decision.

"Women have been voting with their feet, with more than 90% already choosing to deliver outside the area."

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BBC Local Live

    18:00: Good evening Lloyd Watson BBC News

    That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Tuesday. Michael Connor sent us this picture of dozens of Canadian geese flying over Gateshead this afternoon.

    Canadian geese

    You can send your pictures by email to northeast.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet @BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live tomorrow.

    17:57: Icy blast set to hit UK

    Warnings of snow and ice have been issued for Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.

    The Met Office said snowfalls could hit parts of the UK from Wednesday morning until Thursday evening. Driving could become difficult at times with blizzards over high ground and snowfalls of 3-10cm even at low levels.

    Weather map

    The yellow be aware warnings cover all of Scotland and Northern Ireland, along with the north of England, Yorkshire, Humber and East Midlands.

    17:55: Mystery lights on Roseberry Topping The Gazette
    17:51: Temperatures to fall Paul Mooney BBC Weather presenter

    Dry with clear spells this evening, allowing temperatures to quickly fall close to freezing. Cloud increasing through the latter part of the night will help temperatures to recover, but also bring a little drizzle.

    Weather forecast

    Minimum temperature: 1C (34F). Check the forecast near you.

    17:49: Carver in for second spell

    Alan Pardew's former assistant, John Carver, 50, will take charge of Newcastle United for the final 16 Premier League games of the season.

    John Carver facts
    17:43: PFI hospital costs examined Katie Cole BBC Newcastle

    What's the real cost of North East hospitals built under PFI? Watch Inside Out at 19:30 on BBC One.

    Inside Out
    17:38: More on bus death probe

    The police watchdog is investigating how officers dealt with Matthew Drummond, who died after he was hit by a bus.

    The investigation will look at: The actions and decision-making of the officers who arrested Mr Drummond, the circumstances around police attendance at the hospital and the decision to allow him to leave the hospital and the actions of police who attended the scene after the collision.

    IPCC commissioner Carl Gumsley said: "I would like to express my condolences to Mr Drummond's family at this difficult time. The investigation is making good progress as we seek to establish exactly what happened during the various interactions between Mr Drummond and Northumbria Police."

    17:35: Man 'doused girlfriend in petrol' Northern Echo
    17:24: On tonight's BBC Look North Gerry Jackson BBC Look North

    Durham Police have confirmed that the body found in the River Wear last Friday is that of the missing Durham University student, Euan Coulthard. The diver who found the body was a volunteer who'd travelled from western Scotland to search the River Wear, and discovered Euan within moments of entering the water.

    Trevor Bankhead is very familiar with the river having made hundreds of dives there and he found Euan's body just yards from the last sighting near Framwellgate Bridge. I'll have more on this story on BBC Look North at 18:30 on BBC One.

    17:11: Decision made on 'safety grounds'

    Durham Constabulary has defended its actions after a "30-40 second" dive by Scot Trevor Bankhead ended a week-long search for missing student Euan Coulthard.

    Supt Colin Williamson said guidance from bodies including the Environment Agency was that the condition of the river made it "unsafe for divers to enter".

    He added: "However, extensive searches were carried out on the water by members of the Weardale and Teesdale Search and Rescue Team, as well as County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, who used a pole-mounted camera to transmit images from below the surface.

    Trevor Bankhead

    "Any suggestion that our decision was due to financial concerns is completely untrue, the decision was taken purely on health and safety grounds following expert advice."

    16:59: News on the hour
    16:49: Potato peeler stolen The Shields Gazette

    An industrial potato peeler has been stolen from a takeaway shop in South Tyneside.

    16:38: NUFC's only option? via Facebook

    Newcastle United fans are already voicing their opinions on the appointment of John Carver as head coach until the end of the season.

    Craig Archbold writes: If they can't get the right candidate until the summer for whatever reasons then this was possibly the only option, however in saying that I truly believe that my team NUFC will most certainly end up in a relegation battle but fortunately there is about half a dozen teams that are worse than us so fingers crossed we will beat the drop then appoint the right man in the summer

    Dan Stanley writes: Suppose P4, W0, D1, L3 is a decent record for a caretaker and warrants them getting an extension....

    16:19: John Carver in focus

    Here's the numbers behind John Carver's appointment as Newcastle United head coach until the end of the season.

    John Carver graphic
    16:09: Coast road reopens after work Jon Harle BBC Newcastle

    Northern Gas Networks has just confirmed its work on the A1058 Coast Road is now "complete and the road has now reopened".

    16:00: Head coach 'will shape NUFC future'

    Lee Charnley continues: "The head coach will be a long-term appointment that will play a major role in shaping the future on-field progression of Newcastle United and it is vitally important that we get the right individual.

    "John has a long history with the club and has the full support of the board. Our goal for the season of a minimum top-10 finish remains unchanged and we are confident that John, supported by the backroom staff, will be able to deliver this."

    15:59: Permanent head coach decision delayed

    Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley says the appointment of a permanent head coach will be delayed until the end of the season, but believes new head coach John Carver can aim for a top-10 finish.

    He said: "At the beginning of this process it was my desire and intention to appoint an individual to the position of head coach who would be available to start immediately.

    "Having now explored at some length the options available to us at this time, the decision has been taken to defer the appointment of a permanent head coach until the end of the season."

    15:55: Carver hails 'proud day'

    John Carver says: "This is a proud day for me. I have worked with, and learnt from, the best manager that this football club has had in Sir Bobby Robson.

    "I know what this club means to this city and its people. I believe in my players and the staff I have around me.

    "I am confident that we can deliver exciting successful football and look forward with relish to my role as head coach of this great football club."

    Carver named as NUFC head coach

    Newcastle United have confirmed that John Carver will take the role of head coach until the end of this season.

    15:43: 'Champions League' quality

    Head coach Aitor Karanka says Middlesbrough showed "Champions League" quality in Saturday's FA Cup fourth round victory against Manchester City.

    Boro defeated the Premier League champions on their own turf, thanks to goals from Patrick Bamford and Kike.

    Middlesbrough celebrate win

    He said: "Sometimes I say I have players who are playing in the Championship, who think they are Champions League players. I don't have the words to explain my feelings. It's amazing the game, with our crowd and everybody. We have to enjoy this."

    15:32: 'Found him so quickly'

    The body of missing student Euan Coulthard was found in the River Wear at Durham by a diver who had travelled 170 miles from Scotland.

    Trevor Bankhead, 45, who works on the west coast of Scotland, said: "At about 09:00 [on Friday] I went into the water and I had only been down for about 30-40 seconds when I found him.

    Euan Coulthard

    "I was shocked that I found him so quickly even though I had prepared myself mentally for finding a dead body. I had to take a moment because I got choked up in the water and then I said to him 'I have come to take you home my friend'."

    15:21: Garde 'not ready for adventure' Ian Dennis BBC Radio 5 live senior football reporter

    Newcastle United are keeping their options open. The club met Remi Garde but those who know him in France say he's not ready for a new adventure.

    15:09: NUFC's record under Carver

    Newcastle United have yet to win a match under John Carver. The Magpies have scored four goals and earned one point in three Premier League matches.

    Bottom-of-the-league Leicester City knocked the Toon Army out of the FA Cup on 3 January.

    Newcastle United results

    The Magpies last three points came in a 3-2 win over Everton, just days before Alan Pardew was linked to the Crystal Palace job, which he later took up.

    15:00: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: Police say a body pulled from the River Wear in Durham City on Friday has been formally identified as law student Euan Coulthard.
    • BBC Tees: A date has been set for the trial of two teenage girls accused of murdering a Hartlepool woman.
    14:51: Police probe custody man's bus death

    The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating how officers dealt with a man who died after he was hit by a bus.

    Matthew Drummond, 38, was arrested in Berwick, Northumberland, on 12 November and taken to hospital as he was drunk.

    Togston East Farm

    After first refusing to leave hospital, Mr Drummond left on foot at 01:00. He was later hit by a bus on the A1068. The IPCC said it was looking at a "series of interactions" between Northumbria Police and Mr Drummond.

    14:40: Carver will be in charge

    And now that's been confirmed by our correspondent Ben Smith: Newcastle United will announce later today that John Carver will remain in charge until the end of the season.

    14:39: Carver 'to be named Newcastle boss'

    The Mirror reports that John Carver will be confirmed as Newcastle "head coach" for the rest of the season.

    Alan Pardew's No2 will take charge of the team for the final 16 games of the Premier League season, it says.

    14:35: Give us your feedback

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? It's written by reporters across the North East and brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. We'd like your feedback about this service.

    14:23: Comic Relief Appeal launches today Colin Briggs BBC Look North

    It's the day once every two years when people get together to do something funny for money and this year's Comic Relief Appeal launches today.

    One of the charities that benefits in our region is this club for people who have had a stroke at a young age.

    Different Strokes

    Different Strokes was launched 12 years ago and the money from Comic Relief helps fund these regular health and social get-togethers at Byker Leisure Centre in Newcastle.

    14:12: Bright and breezy Clare Nasir Weather presenter, BBC Look North

    It will be a bright and breezy afternoon for all with patchy cloud and plenty of sunshine. There will be some thicker cloud around out to the west but it is expected to remain dry.

    Weather forecast

    Maximum temperature: 6C (43F). Check the forecast near you.

    14:00: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: Police say a body pulled from the River Wear in Durham City on Friday has been formally identified as law student Euan Coulthard.
    • BBC Tees: A date has been set for the trial of two teenage girls accused of murdering a Hartlepool woman.
    13:51: One lane closed on A1

    One lane remains closed northbound and there's very slow traffic on A1 Western Bypass in Newcastle between Newcastle City and Hexham turn off because of emergency repairs. Congestion is back to the Lobley Hill Interchange. More on BBC Travel News for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

    13:42: Man on trial over murder bid Peter Harris Look North

    A man has gone on trial accused of trying to murder his partner by pouring petrol over her and then setting it alight.

    A jury at Teesside Crown Court heard Edward McArthur locked her in the flat in Darlington, forcing her to jump for her life. She had 40% burns.

    Mr McArthur, 40, denies the charge and claims fire started by accident after he lit a cigarette.

    13:31: FA Cup fifth-round draw

    Middlesbrough will find out their reward for knocking Manchester City out of the FA Cup when the draw for the fifth round is made tonight.

    Sunderland's fate will also be decided if they can make it past Fulham in a replay. You can watch the draw live on BBC One's The One Show at about 19:20.

    Middlesbrough celebrate

    Numbers you're looking out for are 16 for Middlesbrough and 14 for Sunderland (or Fulham).

    13:18: Have your say BBC Look North

    We're in Redcar with the Pop Up Parliament. Come and have your say on what you think is the most important election issue.

    Mark Denten

    Plus we've got the latest as pupils and parents from Durham Free School staged a protest against government plans to withdraw the school's funding. Watch BBC One at 13:30.

    Body found is missing student

    Police have confirmed a body recovered from the River Wear in Durham on Friday is that of Durham University student Euan Coulthard.

    Euan, a law student at St Mary's College, was reported missing on 15 January after he failed to return home following a night out in the city.

    Euan Coulthard

    The 19-year-old was from the village of Bottesford, in Leicestershire. Police say there are no suspicious circumstances.

    Supt Colin Williamson said: "We are very grateful for the assistance we received during our searches from Euan's friends and fellow students."

    12:56: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: Professional diver Trevor Bankhead, who recovered the body of missing student Euan Coulthard from the River Wear, says he found him within 30 seconds.
    • BBC Tees: Police across the BBC Tees area have revealed the violent pasts of 80 people to their partners, in response to requests made under what's become known as Clare's Law.
    12:45: More night-time news

    BBC Look North's night-time bulletin on BBC One is to be extended on Monday to Thursdays, starting this evening.

    The bulletin, which follows the UK BBC News at 10, will be extended to 15 minutes until June to ensure viewers receive the most comprehensive coverage of the issues facing the country, both nationally and locally, ahead of the 2015 Election. The 13:30 bulletin will be shortened to five minutes.

    BBC Look North

    James Harding, director of news and current affairs, said: "This will be one of the most keenly contested, unpredictable and consequential elections in the history of this country and nothing will be more important to voters than the issues where they live and work. These extended bulletins will allow us to follow ever more closely a campaign which is going to be being fought out constituency by constituency across the United Kingdom."

    12:32: Murder trial date set

    A date has been set for the trial of two girls who are charged with murdering a 39-year-old woman in Hartlepool.

    Angela Wrightson's body was found at her home in Stephen Street in December. A post-mortem exam revealed she died from blood loss and had suffered substantial injuries.

    Angela Wrightson

    At a brief hearing at Teesside Crown Court, a trial date was set for June. The defendants, aged 13 and 14, cannot be identified.

    12:20: 'Hurt and angry' The Gazette

    The chairman of Cleveland Fire Authority says he has been left "hurt" and "angry" by his deselection as a Labour candidate in the May council elections.

    Brian Briggs
    12:10: Oldest dinner lady in the UK? Andy Bell BBC Tees

    Meet Jean Artt, from Middlesbrough. She has been a dinner lady for almost 50 years and has just celebrated her 80th birthday.

    Jean has worked at Unity City Academy since it opened in 2002 and previously worked at Langbaurgh Comprehensive, where she started working in January 1967. She has seen four generations of her family go through school.

    Jean Artt

    She told BBC Tees: "I just like it, I got used to it. I'm a person who is never off school, once I lost my husband, I was only off for a week and then came back."

    11:58: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: Professional diver Trevor Bankhead, who recovered the body of missing student Euan Coulthard from the River Wear, says he found him within 30 seconds.
    • BBC Tees: Three men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Hartlepool.
    11:46: SAFC fans 'want Quinn and Phillips' BBC Sport

    Sunderland manager Gus Poyet says his side need to rediscover the "missed connection" with fans to help improve form.

    Gus Poyet

    Some Black Cats fans booed their team off after they were held to a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup fourth round by Fulham.

    Poyet raised concerns about his team's playing style but also urged patience from supporters. "I think the fans want Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips back but they are not playing anymore," the 47-year-old said.

    11:36: Birdman sets up business The Shields Gazette
    11:24: 'Nothing to lose'

    The former Newcastle United captain Bobby Moncur - who was treated for oesophageal cancer last year - says people have nothing to lose by going to see their doctor.

    Public Health England is trying to raise awareness of the symptoms of both stomach and oesophageal cancer because both are more difficult to cure as they advance.

    Bobby Moncur

    Heartburn or trouble swallowing are the two main symptoms - and if you have them for more than three weeks you should see your GP.

    11:12: Airshow hospitality bill 'doubles' Sunderland Echo
    11:00: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 11:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: The diver who recovered the body of missing student Euan Coulthard from the River Wear's been speaking about how he found him within 30 seconds and said "I've come to take you home".
    • BBC Tees: Middlesbrough's Lee Tomlin has told BBC Tees Sport that the team's performance on Saturday was the best he's been part of.
    10:54: Reeves and Mortimer win slapstick award

    North East comedy veterans Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer have been recognised as comedy legends at Bristol's annual Slapstick Festival.

    The award from animation company Aardman and festival organisers is to honour those who are "worthy heirs to the earliest silent film comedians".

    Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer

    The duo were presented with personalised versions of Aardman's Morph and Chas characters for their 25-year contribution to comedy. Previous winners include Eric Sykes, Michael Palin and The Goodies.

    10:43: Coastal communities to get cash boost

    More than £7m of government cash is coming to the North East to help our coastal communities.

    North Tyneside will receive £2m to help with the regeneration of Whitley Bay, including the final restoration of the Grade II listed Spanish City Dome. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is set to receive almost £1m to create a catering academy which it's hoped will bring more than 100 jobs and apprenticeships.

    Spanish City

    Other recipients include Port of Tyne, South Tyneside Council, Sunderland City Council and Seaham Marina CIC. A total of 291 jobs are expected to be created, the government says.

    10:31: Share your views

    We've introduced BBC Local Live, which is written by reporters across the North East, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

    10:20: Up the Boro BBC Tees

    Our very own Steph McGovern was on earlier talking about Boro's magnificent 2-0 win over Man City in the FA Cup.

    She told us: "I wanted to wear my Boro top to do Breakfast this morning, but my boss thought that was going a bit too far, so I wore a red and white dress instead."

    Steph McGovern
    10:10: A1058 Full reopening expected

    The section of the A1058 coast road on North Tyneside which has been affected by congestion will be reopened by the end of today.

    Emergency works were carried out on the road in Wallsend after a gas leak.

    Barry Watson, from Northern Gas Networks, said: "Our emergency repair work on the A1058 Coast Road was completed on Saturday evening. Colas, our partners, will be carrying out work to replace the crash barriers today and the affected section of road will be reopened by the end of the day."

    10:00: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 10:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: There won't be a knee-jerk reaction to the third student death in the River Wear in the space of 15 months according to the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg, who says he's meeting with Durham's MP Roberta Blackman-Woods this week to discuss what can be done.
    • BBC Tees: Three men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Hartlepool.
    09:47: Boro's FA Cup shock Lloyd Watson BBC News

    If you've not seen them yet, or just want to see them again, you can watch highlights of Middlesbrough's 2-0 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup.

    Middlesbrough striker Patrick Bamford, on loan from Chelsea, bundled in the first after an error by Fernando. Lee Tomlin hit a post for Boro, while Frank Lampard did the same for City.

    Manchester City v Middlesbrough

    But substitute Kike struck a second on the break for the visitors, who followed Wigan's example of last season by knocking City out of the cup.

    09:37: Residents top rent arrears chart The Shields Gazette

    Council tenants living in and around the centre of Jarrow have the highest percentage of rent arrears in the town, a new report reveals.

    09:26: Dozens of violent pasts revealed Stephanie Finnon BBC Newcastle

    Police in the North East have revealed the violent pasts of more than 80 people to their partners, in response to requests made under what's become known as Clare's Law.

    It's where police disclose information to someone about their other half's history to try and protect them from possible domestic abuse.

    The scheme was rolled out less than a year ago and and in that time 230 requests for information have been made to Northumbria Police with the force revealing details in about one sixth of cases. The Durham force had 96 applications but it gave out info on half of them.

    09:12: Boro pride The Gazette
    09:00: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 09:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: The Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg, and the Durham City MP are expected to hold a meeting this week to discuss river safety.
    • BBC Tees: Three men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Hartlepool.
    08:48: School closure

    Ferryhill Station Primary School in County Durham is closed today due to a problem with its heating.

    08:32: Three held over murder bid Hannah McMahon BBC Tees

    Three men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in Hartlepool.

    Tankerville Street was cordoned off by Police after a man was attacked yesterday morning. The 33-year-old suffered head injuries. He's critical in hospital.

    08:23: A1 closed northbound

    The A1 in Newcastle is closed northbound and there's slow traffic at the Hexham turn off because of an accident involving two vehicles. Congestion is back to the Metro Centre. More on BBC Travel News for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

    08:11: Bright or sunny periods Clare Nasir Weather presenter, BBC Look North

    Many places will remain dry, with broken cloud and bright or sunny periods. However, a few light showers will also come along, especially across the Pennines.

    Weather forecast

    Maximum temperature: 6C (43F). Check the forecast near you.

    08:07: A19 closed northbound

    The A19 is closed northbound and there's queuing traffic between the A689 junction in Stockton and the A179 junction in Sheratonbecause of an accident. A diversion is in operation via the black diamond symbol down the A689 towards Hartlepool, then back to the A19 via the A179. There's congestion to the Norton Interchange.

    There's also very slow traffic on the A1058 Coast Road in both directions in Willington between the Silverlink Roundabout and the Coast Road junction. It's mostly in the roadworks area. Get more on BBC Travel News for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

    08:00: Good morning Lloyd Watson BBC News

    Welcome to BBC Local Live. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.



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