Hundreds more NHS jobs are to go in the Midlands after another Trust decided to shed staff to tackle spiralling debts. The 720 positions are being axed in an attempt to balance the books at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which needs to save #30 million. The Trust runs the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, in Worcester, the Alexandra Hospital, in Redditch, and the Kidderminster Hospital. In a statement, chairman Michael O'Riordan said the organisation was facing the most challenging financial year in its history.

Mourners paid their final respects to three children who died in an arson attack on their home. Samantha, aged 16, Patricia, aged ten, and seven-year-old Marcus Carter were laid to rest following an emotional service at St Edward the Confessor Church, in Leek, Staffordshire, just two miles from their home in Cheddleton where they were killed by an explosion on March 9. Their distraught mother Amanda was inconsolable as she followed the three specially-designed coffins into the church, just two days after burying her partner Roderick Hine, aged 44, who also died in the blast.

Four men arrested under the Terrorism Act after a security alert at a hospital and later released without charge said they hoped lessons would be learned from their "traumatic experience". The men, aged between 24 and 30, were kept in custody for two days after medical staff at Stafford General Hospital became concerned about their 'suspicious behaviour' and the illness of a fifth man they were accompanying. Their detention was criticised by Lord Carlile, the Government's independent reviewer of terror laws, who urged the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police to apologise to the men and order an independent inquiry into his officers' use of the legislation.

A Birmingham man who received the George Cross for bravery after he rescued a colleague has died at the age of 86. Charles Wilcox, who lived in Harborne, worked as a painter and decorator for the Birmingham Corporation. While working for the company, he received the George Cross for gallantry for his help in saving 21-year-old Leslie Burrows on August 23, 1949, while the pair were painting the exterior of a Corporation building.

Two young sisters have been taken away from their biological mother and handed over to her former lesbian partner on the orders of a court. The mother, a teacher, had defied the orders of a judge by secretly taking the children to a new home in Cornwall after the Court of Appeal granted her former partner shared contact with the girls, aged seven and four. After she and the children were tracked down, the High Court granted primary care of the children to the former partner and this has been confirmed by the Court of Appeal.