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Chesterfield Borough Council has launched the Christmas in Chesterfield campaign with some brand-new Christmas experiences. The council, in partnership with Destination Chesterfield, has created the magical story of the Chesterfield Elves and how they saved Christmas. The story is told through a series of Christmas experiences around Chesterfield Town Centre.   The Chesterfield Elves wanted […]

People with learning disabilities far more likely to die with Covid, study finds
People with learning disabilities in England were up to six times more likely to die with coronavirus during the first wave of the outbreak, a study has found. They were between 4.1 and 6.3 times more likely to die after contracting Covid-19 than the general population, Public Health England (PHE) said.

Younger adults with learning disabilities had “far greater” mortality rates, thought to be due in part to them being more likely to have other health problems like diabetes and obesity.

Those aged 18-34 were 30 times more likely to die with the virus than adults of that age group in the general population.

Care minister Helen Whately said she is asking the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies to review the findings and advise on further action.

The study examined data from the English Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) and NHS England’s Covid-19 Patient Notification System (CNPS), which records deaths in hospital settings.

LeDeR received 623 reports of deaths, which were definitely or possibly Covid-19-related, among people with learning disabilities between the beginning of February and June 5.

This suggests an estimated national total of 956 deaths, after accounting for under-reporting.

CPNS recorded 490 deaths of adults with learning disabilities with Covid-19 up to June 5 – again thought to be an underestimate.

Adjusting for age and sex, the study found 451 per 100,000 people registered as having a learning disability died with Covid-19 between March 21 and June 5.

This is a death rate 4.1 times higher than the general population.

Researchers estimate the real rate may have been as high as 692 per 100,000 – 6.3 times higher than the general population – because not all deaths are registered on these databases.

The virus accounted for 54% of deaths of adults with learning disabilities in residential care in the review period, and 53% of the deaths of those receiving community care.

Professor John Newton, PHE director of health improvement, said: “It is deeply troubling that one of the most vulnerable groups in our society suffered so much during the first wave of the pandemic. We must do everything possible to prevent this happening again.

“There are now regular tests in care homes to make sure cases of coronavirus can be quickly identified and isolated, even if people do not recognise the symptoms themselves.

“But with cases developing across the country, it is essential to practice rigorous infection control if you are in contact with someone with a learning disability, whether or not they live in a care home.”

People with learning disabilities are likely to have difficulty recognising symptoms, and following advice on testing, social distancing and infection prevention, the report said.

It may be harder for those caring for them to recognise symptoms if these cannot be communicated, it added.

Ms Whately said: “I know how difficult this pandemic has been for people with a learning disability and those who care for them.

“A third of those with learning disabilities who sadly died were living in residential care. There is now regular testing of staff and residents in care homes, and testing has also been rolled out to supported living settings in high risk areas.

“We’re also offering free PPE (personal protective equipment), and the joint committee on vaccines and immunisation has proposed those living and working in care homes should be top of the list for vaccination.”

Published: 12/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Former FA chairman Greg Clarke steps down from FIFA Council role
Greg Clarke has resigned from his position as a UEFA representative on the FIFA council in the wake of his departure from the Football Association.

Clarke resigned as FA chairman on Tuesday after making a series of offensive remarks during an evidence session with MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, including using the word “coloured”.

UEFA said in a statement: “Following a telephone call this morning between the UEFA president and Greg Clarke, they agreed with Greg Clarke’s proposal that he should step down with immediate effect from his position as a UEFA representative on the FIFA Council.”

Published: 12/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to be marked with special Bank Holiday weekend
The Queen hopes as many people as possible will have the opportunity to join celebrations marking her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, Buckingham Palace has said. The milestone will be marked with a “once-in-a-generation show” over a special four-day Bank Holiday weekend, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced.

On February 6 2022, the Queen will have reigned as monarch for 70 years – the first time a British sovereign will have been on the throne for seven decades.

Plans are in place to stage a series of events across four days, from June 2-5 in 2022, which will reflect the Queen’s reign and her impact on the UK and the world since her accession to the throne in 1952.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “The Platinum Jubilee offers an opportunity for the Queen to express her thanks for the support and loyalty Her Majesty has received throughout her reign. The Queen hopes that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to join the celebrations.”

The Culture Secretary said: “Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee will be a truly historic moment – and one that deserves a celebration to remember.

“We can all look forward to a special, four-day Jubilee weekend, when we will put on a spectacular, once-in-a-generation show that mixes the best of British ceremonial splendour with cutting edge art and technology.

“It will bring the entire nation and the Commonwealth together in a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s reign.”

Members of the royal family are expected to take part in the celebrations over the extended weekend and in the run-up to the four-day extravaganza.

In keeping with tradition, a Platinum Jubilee medal will be awarded to people who work in public service, including representatives of the Armed Forces, the emergency services and the prison services.

Celebrations marking the milestone will held during 2022 in the run up to the weekend.

The first week in June has been chosen for the Platinum weekend, just like the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, with the summer month offering a better chance of good weather.

February 6 1952 – the day the Queen became monarch – is also the anniversary of the death of her father King George VI and not a date the head of state would wish to base celebrations around.

The Royal Household and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are organising the commemorations which are being developed with some of the UK’s leading creative minds, event organisers and world class digital design companies.

The DCMS has said “spectacular” moments in London and other major cities will be complemented by events in communities across the UK and the Commonwealth.

To create the four-day weekend in June 2022, the late May Spring Bank Holiday that year will be moved to Thursday June 2 and an additional Bank Holiday on Friday June 3 will be created.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 saw the Diamond Jubilee River Thames pageant staged alongside a concert featuring Stevie Wonder, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney.

Published: 12/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Nurse to appear in court on murder charges following baby deaths
A nurse is due in court charged with eight counts of murder following an investigation into baby deaths at a hospital in Cheshire. Lucy Letby, 30, was arrested for a third time on Tuesday as part of the investigation into the Countess of Chester Hospital, which began in 2017.

Letby, of Arran Avenue, Hereford, also faces 10 charges of attempted murder relating to the period of June 2015 to June 2016.

She will appear at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Cheshire Police said the parents of all the babies involved had been kept fully updated on developments and were being supported by officers.

A force spokesman said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised Cheshire Police to charge a healthcare professional with murder in connection with an ongoing investigation into a number of baby deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital.”

Letby was arrested by police in 2018 and 2019 but was bailed pending further inquiries.

Following her previous arrests, her home in the Blacon area of Chester was searched by police.

In a 2013 interview with the Chester and District Standard newspaper, the nurse said she cared for babies requiring various levels of support.

She had worked at the unit as a student nurse during three years of training before qualifying as a children’s nurse at the University of Chester in 2011.

Letby said she started working at the unit after graduating.

Published: 12/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Economy surges 15.5% in third quarter, but recovery slowed sharply in September
The UK economy surged by a record 15.5% between July and September as Britain rebounded out of recession but the recovery slowed sharply even before the second lockdown, official figures show. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the third-quarter growth was the highest since records began in 1955 and came as restrictions eased after the spring lockdown.

It saw the economy bounce back from the 19.8% contraction in the second quarter, which plunged the UK into a record-breaking recession.

But month-on-month growth slowed to 1.1% in September as the Government’s Eat Out To Help Out hospitality-boosting scheme ended and the ONS revealed that gross domestic product (GDP) was still 9.7% below pre-crisis levels.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said: “While all main sectors of the economy continued to recover, the rate of growth slowed again, with the economy still remaining well below its pre-pandemic peak.

“The return of children to school boosted activity in the education sector.

“Housebuilding also continued to recover while business strengthened for lawyers and accountants after a poor August.

“However, pubs and restaurants saw less business after the Eat Out To Help Out scheme ended, and accommodation saw less business after a successful summer.”

Published: 12/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Vehicle collides with London Police Station
A man has been arrested in connection with the incident, the Metropolitan Police said.
(Main image credit: Twitter / @iLLAMADi)

Scotland Yard has confirmed it is aware of an incident in north London after a video on social media appeared to show a car had driven into the front of Edmonton Police Station in Enfield.

The footage, posted on Twitter, shows a vehicle partially embedded into the entrance of a building.

Read the full statement from the Metropolitan Police:

At around 18:58hrs on Wednesday, 11 November a vehicle collided with the station office at Edmonton Police Station.

A man – no further details – has been detained in connection with the incident.

The vehicle remains at the scene. Specialist officers are in attendance while it is examined.

At this stage we have not been informed of any injuries.

London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade are present.

The police station has been evacuated and a large police cordon is in place.

Published: 11/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Reading park attacker could face whole-life sentence over knife rampage
The Reading attacker could be facing the rest of his life behind bars after admitting the murders of three men.
Khairi Saadallah, 26, was said to have shouted “Allah Akhbar” and “victory on infidels” during the violent spree in a park which lasted less than two minutes.

Three weeks before he was due to stand trial at the Old Bailey, he pleaded guilty to three murders and three attempted murders.

Saadallah launched the attacks in Forbury Gardens, Reading, on Saturday June 20 as numerous people, including children, were enjoying the summer evening.

History teacher James Furlong, 36, scientist David Wails, 49, and US citizen Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, were fatally stabbed

Their friend Stephen Young, and Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan, who were sitting in a nearby group, were injured.

According to a case summary, the defendant had bought a large knife and gloves from a Morrisons supermarket the day before.

On June 20, he set off from his flat wearing denim shorts, a hooded top and a bandana tied around his leg.

At 6.52pm, he was caught on CCTV discarding his rucksack and damaging what was believed to be a mobile phone which was later recovered.

He walked into Forbury Gardens at 6.54pm, as numerous people enjoyed the fine weather.

According to eyewitnesses, he walked along a footpath before suddenly running towards a group of men sitting on the grass.

The attack was “without warning or provocation and in rapid succession”, according to the case summary.

He stabbed Mr Richie-Bennett and Mr Furlong once in the neck, severing their main arteries, and knifed Mr Wails once in the back.

He then stabbed Mr Young in the head, causing a deep cut that needed 28 stitches, and chased two other males.

Witnesses allegedly heard him shouting “Allah Akhbar”.

Saadallah turned his attention to a second group sitting nearby and stabbed Mr Edwards in the back and Mr Nisudan in the face and hands.

The defendant then discarded the knife and ran out of the park.

An off-duty police officer called 999 and followed the attacker.

Within minutes of the emergency call, he was apprehended by police.

Saadallah had a history of mental health issues, debt and homelessness, according to court documents.

He arrived in the UK as an asylum seeker in 2012, having fled the civil war in his home country of Libya in North Africa.

Saadallah had six previous convictions for 11 crimes between June 2015 and January last year, according to a 2019 Court of Appeal judgment obtained by the PA news agency.

He was originally jailed for 25 months and 20 days in October 2019 for a string of crimes but the sentence was later reduced in March following an appeal.

On Wednesday, Saadallah, of Basingstoke Road, Reading, entered his guilty pleas in the dock of court two of the Old Bailey.

Wearing a red and white hat and grey jacket, the defendant’s voice appeared muffled as he spoke while wearing a face mask.

Members of the victims’ families sat in court while Mr Ritchie-Bennett’s family in the US attended via video link.

Mr Justice Sweeney told the court the defendant had submitted a basis of plea, denying substantial preparation or planning and saying he was not motivated by an ideological cause.

By contrast the prosecution assert that it was a planned terror attack.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said the case merited a “whole life” sentencing.

The judge adjourned sentencing until the week of December 7.

The court heard several issues needed to be argued.

They included whether there was a substantial degree of pre-meditation and planning, whether it was for a religious, political or ideological cause and to what degree Saadallah’s mental state influenced his actions.

The victims’ loved ones sat in silence as they heard the guilty pleas.

Published: 11/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Early results suggest Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine is 92% effective, says Russia
Early data for Russia’s coronavirus vaccine suggests it is 92% effective, the country’s sovereign wealth fund has said. The announcement on the Sputnik V vaccine comes days after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and biotech firm BioNTech released interim results suggesting their vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing Covid-19.

The phase three trials evaluated efficacy among more than 16,000 volunteers who received the vaccine or placebo 21 days after the first injection.

Statistical analysis of 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the cases split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo, indicates the vaccine had an efficacy rate of 92% after the second dose.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has been backing the vaccine, said there were no unexpected adverse events during the trials, and monitoring of the participants is continuing.

The results have not been peer-reviewed.

The phase three study of the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute, is taking place in 29 clinics across Moscow and will involve 40,000 volunteers in total, with a quarter receiving a placebo shot.

Denis Logunov, deputy director of the Gamaleya Centre, said: “Positive interim results of phase three give reasons to expect a successful outcome of Sputnik V clinical trials.

“We will continue to process and analyse all the data and look to the future with optimism, expecting that results of our work will help end the pandemic sooner.”

Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease, University of Edinburgh, said: “I worry that these data have been rushed out on the back of the Pfizer/BioNtech announcement earlier in the week.

“The Sputnik data are based on only 20 cases of Covid-19 in the trial participants, compared to more than 90 cases in the earlier trial.

“This is not a competition.

“We need all trials to be a carried out to the highest possible standards and it is particularly important that the pre-set criteria for unblinding the trial data are adhered to avoid cherry-picking the data.

“Anything less than this risks a public loss of trust in all vaccines, which would be a disaster.”

Ian Jones, professor of virology, University of Reading, said: “The Sputnik data is yet more good news for Covid-19 vaccine development.

“Although based on fewer cases than the recent Pfizer data, the vaccine looks as efficient and, like the Pfizer data, confirms and extends the earlier phase two results.

“We still need to know about the longevity of the response and the efficiency in different age groups, but the result bodes well for the other trials currently in progress and for having enough vaccine in geographically diverse regions to enable a comprehensive vaccination programme on a global scale.”

Published: 11/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

A new way for Derbyshire communities to browse, book and buy local online is being launched by Derbyshire County Council in partnership with the county’s district and borough councils, as part of a scheme to support towns and villages across the county. ShopAppy.com is a website which allows shops, cafes, restaurants and other local businesses […]

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