Joshua Titcombe died in 2008 as a result of failings at a UHMBT unit

Watchdog waited two years to act over failing maternity units

Care Quality Commission knew of fears about care standards at NHS trust, internal documents show

Damning state of care found at ‘safe’ NHS trust

Chronic shortage of doctors, nurses and porters – and patients fainting from pain

Nick Broomfield: 'I drive a lot doing documentaries - it's a great way to see a country'

My Life in Travel: Nick Broomfield, documentary film-maker

'The Karoo desert was strange but startling'

New rescue of cockle pickers raises fears of another tragedy

Latest incident is 16th time the coastguard has been called out to the Ribble estuary in six weeks

On the edge: How one couple in Cornwall cracked gardening by the sea

As a sailor, I respect the sea; as a gardener, I'd very much prefer to do without it, because with a sea view comes a wind, bearing salt on its wings. "The most effective windbreak," according to Your Gardening Questions Answered, "is provided by planting two kinds of hedges, a sturdy wind-resister such as blackthorn or euonymus, set in two rows four feet apart on the side facing the sea: then four feet inside that a hedge of hebes or escallonia to filter out what gets past the outer defences..." But seaside gardeners who plant the cheerless hedges four feet apart, might find that within a few years, they've not only lost half the garden to hedge, but also planted out the view.

24-Hour Room Service: Gilpin Lodge, Lake District

You can't swing a Wellington boot in the Lake District without hitting a country house hotel. With a rival at the turn of every country lane, hotels always have to raise their game – a wing refurbished here, a new spa there – if they're going to keep up with the competition. A shining example of this is Gilpin Lodge, which steps up to the challenge with aplomb.

Money talks: the men who really own Britain

The abuse scandal at a Bristol care home has put the shadowy world of private equity in the spotlight. Who's behind these financial titans?

Centrica mothballs gas field

Centrica, the parent company of household gas supplier British Gas, has carried out its threat not to reopen one of the UK's largest gas fields following the Government's decision to raise taxes on production.

Centrica blames tax for Morecambe Bay closure

The backlash against the Chancellor's decision to impose higher taxes on energy firms continued yesterday after Centrica decided not to recommence production at a major gas field, citing the heavy tax burden.

American Apparel owners purchase fashion chain All Saints

The owner of clothing retailers La Senza and American Apparel has bought fellow fashion chain All Saints in a deal set to secure hundreds of jobs.

Oil and gas tax hike rethink urged

The Government was today urged to rethink its oil and gas tax hike amid concerns that the move could hasten the demise of UK production.

The real Upstairs Downstairs

As the lavish period drama, now set in the 1930s, returns to TV, Andrew McCorkell offers a guide to the series, recalls its predecessor and speaks to modern-day lords, ladies and butlers

Lancaster University Management School

Age: 47

Crimson China, By Betsy Tobin

Betsy Tobin's fourth novel is the story of an imagined survivor of the 2004 disaster in Morecambe Bay which claimed the lives of 21 Chinese cockle-pickers. Illegal immigrant Wen's fate is interwoven with those of two women, his twin sister Lili and depressive alcoholic Angie, who has aborted her own suicide attempt in order to pull him half-drowned from the sea.

China and Britain agree action on sex trafficking

A drive against the "scourge" of sex trafficking from China to Britain was agreed by the two countries at the end of David Cameron’s two-day visit to Beijing.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage