Tragic death of ‘caring and intelligent’ Lytham woman found dead at home with BMI of just 12.5 after doctors failed to monitor her

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

A coroner has asked health bosses to improve eating disorder services following the death of Louise Cooper


Tragic: Louise was found dead at her home
Tragic: Louise was found dead at her home (Image: Facebook)

A Lytham woman who suffered from anorexia was found dead at her home after health professionals failed to monitor her condition.

Louise Cooper was found dead at her home in Oxford Road on Saturday May 16 in 2020 by a friend who had taken round some shopping.

Earlier this month Blackpool’s Senior Coroner Alan Wilson concluded the 44-year-old died from severe malnutrition and he has since sent a Prevention of Future Deaths report to the Department of Health and Social Care after hearing how Louise was not sufficiently monitored by health professionals.

The inquest, held on December 17, heard that Louise had suffered from anorexia for “many years” and had been admitted to hospital on a number of occasions. She was last discharged from hospital in July 2019 after which time she received care from an eating disorder service until January 2020.

“Louise knew that the Clinical Psychologist with whom she had worked for a number of years was due to go on maternity leave. She did not wish to work with any other members of the Eating Disorder Service [EDS] team,” the coroner said in the Prevention of Future Deaths report.

When discharged, her Body Mass Index [BMI] is estimated to have been at a significantly low level of 12.5. She was discharged on the understanding that she would receive ongoing monitoring from her General Practitioner. The GP surgery was notified about the discharge but due to an administrative issue the need for Louise to be monitored was not appreciated.

“She did not receive the necessary monitoring. During the weeks preceding Louise’s death, her health went into further decline. This was in part contributed to by the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 which left her more isolated.”

Body Mass Index is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. Patients with a BMI of less than 15 are considered to have extreme anorexia.

The inquest heard that the care Louise received included one-to-one support whereby a health professional would visit her once a day and sit with her while she ate a meal. Louise’s father said during the hearing that had this support continued then the outcome might have been different.

Louise’s father added that the cost of providing this service would have been “far less” than the numerous hospital admissions which he described as a “revolving door”.

After exchanging text messages with a friend, on Friday May 15, Louise failed to make further contact and her friend visited her home at 12.30pm the following day to check on her.

“Unable to obtain a reply he forced entry and he found Louise to be deceased on her bed in the rear bedroom. A subsequent post mortem examination confirmed she had died from the consequences of severe malnourishment,” the coroner added.

Recording a narrative conclusion the coroner said: “Having been discharged from an eating disorder service on 2nd January 2020, Louise Cooper’s condition had not been monitored by medical professionals by the time she died on 16th May 2020 as a result of complications of her previously diagnosed anorexia nervosa.”

In his report to Gillian Keegan MP, a minister with the Department of Health and Social Care, Mr Wilson noted a number of concerns regarding the care Louise received.

“It is reported that she stated to friends that the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 Pandemic had removed all of the mechanisms that she had for coping with her condition,” the coroner wrote.

“A trust review would later find that as Louise was self isolating due to Covid, this may have impacted upon her mental and physical wellbeing due to reduced social contacts. Louise did not received the monitoring she was expected to receive during 2020.

“The court found that had she received that monitoring as envisaged, there was a good chance she would not have died when she did, but was unable to say that she would have survived.

“There will be many patients such as Louise who appear to make minimal if any improvement in a hospital setting but who may benefit – according to the clinicians treating them – from sustained supported eating. If that option is not available, these patients may be left with no realistic chance of any meaningful improvement.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Health and Social Care said the department would respond to the report in due course. The coroner requires a response, including details of proposed changes or improvements, within 56 days.

A spokesperson for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust said: “We would like to offer our condolences to Louise Cooper’s family at this difficult time.

“We have received a copy of the Regulation 28 report and will work to implement any recommendations that have been outlined.”

Bosses at Impact Computing, where Louise worked in the finance and admin department, paid tribute to her following her death back in May 2020.

“Today our company mourns the loss of Louise Cooper, who sadly passed away this Saturday the 16th of May 2020,” the company posted on Facebook.

“Louise worked in our finance and admin department and was instrumental in the company’s growth during the long period that she worked with us. Louise was a very thoughtful, caring, intelligent and determined individual who always put others before herself.

“She fought hard to address the injustices she saw in this world in an effort to help as many people as she could throughout her life. She will be sorely missed by us all.”

Around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, according to Beat, the national charity which offers a support helpline and aims to raise awareness and campaign for better services.

Beat’s helpline, 0808 801 0677, is available from 9am to midnight Monday to Friday and from 4pm until midnight on weekends and bank holidays. Between December 24 and January 3 the helpline is open from 4pm until midnight.

You can also email the charity at or use the live webchat service HERE.



The 50 places in Lancashire you have to eat out at this year

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

From Italian eateries, Asian fusion restaurants and places to enjoy a quick bite or brunch, take a look at where you should try in Lancashire in 2022


Inside Plau in Preston
Inside Plau in Preston (Image: James Maloney/Lancs Live)

The hospitality industry is one of the sectors to suffer the most during the pandemic.

With rolling lockdown and government restrictions, rising rental and utility costs and staff shortages, coupled with a drop in footfall and rise in cancellations, some restaurants will be limping into 2022, hoping for their fortunes to change.

And with a sense of pre-pandemic normality and people becoming more comfortable to eat out again, we have compiled an expansive list of venues in Lancashire where we think you should try, and in turn support local suppliers and employment.

You’ll find everything from casual dining places, restaurants selling specialist cuisine and venues offerings something a little different for you to try for the first time.

We have visited a huge chunk of eateries included in the round-up this year and combined those with some that score very highly in online reviews or come strongly recommended from reliable sources.

So, strap yourselves in and join us as we take you on a journey through restaurants serving mouth-wateringly good, fresh and quality food for you to look forward to enjoying in 2022.

Sprinkled in our list is a number of venues we tried out this year, whether it was because they served up simply scrumptious food and had been getting rave reviews or if they have a signature dish on the menu that sets it part.

Stefani’s, Blackpool

This pizzeria specialises in genuine Neapolitan-style pizza, after the owner spent time in Naples learning about ingredients for the sauce and methods of how to cook it properly, before passing his secrets to the chefs.

Stefani’s is located on the west side of Cedar Square in Blackpool and with less than 10 tables, it feels like the kind of place you could stumble across on a side street in Rome or Verona.

Secret Bistro, Lancaster

You’ll get substance and style at Secret Bistro, one of the latest additions to the growing foodie scene in Lancaster.

The interior décor is funky and fun and the service also reflects the general vibe of the place – relaxed and welcoming.

Expect seasonal ingredients cooked to make French-inspired dishes packed with flavour.

Enzo’s, Burnley

Ok, it’s a takeaway, but we couldn’t leave it off.

And besides the seriously good pizza, you have to try the Sicilian meatballs

Moor Hall, Aughton

Moor Hall in Ormskirk. Pictured is the restaurant
Moor Hall in Ormskirk. Pictured is the restaurant

The two Michelin Star high-end restaurant with rooms is fronted by head chef Mark Birchall and also has another fine dining establishment, The Barn in the grounds of the vast estate.

Moor Hall has won a plethora of awards since it opened in 2016, including being named the ‘Best in the UK’ at the National Restaurant Awards 2021.

It may be on the pricey side, but you can expect some of the best cooking in Lancashire and a truly memorable culinary experience.

Quarterhouse, Lancaster

This independent eatery boasts a menu of stunning seasonal dishes and specialises in brunch and lunch and also serves earl bird options.

The chefs, Alan and James, are both Lancashire natives and developed their expertise throughout the county and Cumbria respectively.

The interior is sleek and fashionable and the service is friendly. Read more about what it has to offer, including vegan dishes, here.

Papa’s, Blackpool

Back in August, this restaurant had the honour of being crowned the ‘UK’s Best Chippy’ and it’s had plenty of time to perfect its menu, after first opening in Hull in 1966.

It has an extensive menu, with vegetarian options, desserts and sides alongside the delicious main event – fish and chips.

263, Preston

Peak potato - the 263 butter pie
Peak potato – the 263 butter pie

This fine dining establishment was closed for sometime but reopened this winter and is located on the ground floor of the Winckley Square Hotel.

It has Oli Martin, who you may recognise from BBC’s Masterchef and Rikki Hughes in the kitchen and the menu has Lancashire recipes, produce and people at its heart, no more so than the butter pie dish, which we went in to try recently.

Cobble, Ormskirk

Predominantly a brunch and lunch venue, Cobble also delivers excellent specials and has recently started cooking a ‘@ Night’ small plates menu in the evenings, Thursday to Sunday.

In December, we tried the Christmas ciabatta special and it was ‘festively fantastic’.

Cobble is cool and rustic and perfect for a leisurely weekend brunch in the town centre.

Brew, Lancaster

If interesting and unusual ingredient combination are your thing, then look no further than Brew, who served a Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms dish in the run up to Christmas.

But don’t worry, if your palate prefers more regular meals, coffee and baked goods and seasonal food, such as eggs benedict, croque Madame, French toast, full English meat, vegan or veggie breakfast and porridge.

Freemasons, Wiswell

The Freemasons at Wiswell
The Freemasons at Wiswell

An award-winning gastropub that’s a delight for all the sense, putting a contemporary twist to classic dishes and it also has rooms.

It’s nestled nicely in the Ribble Valley and you can soak in stunning views and you can opt for the taster menu or main a la carte.

Fino Tapas, Preston

The finest Spanish tapas served in a restaurant set inside a beautiful Gothic building.

Expect cold cuts, fine cheeses, expertly chosen wines and continental-style service.

It also has another venue in Lytham St Annes.

Base, Ulverston

Popular for its vast vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options Base has MasterChef The Professionals chef Mark Satterthwaite in the kitchen and devising the menu.

Mark utilities his upbringing in the South Lakes of Cumbria to inspire his dishes in this modern, minimalist-style restaurant.

Plau, Preston

You’ll find inventive, colourful and high quality food at Plau, while also washing it down with one of the 39 gins on offer or a pint of German beer.

This place is truly a jewel in Preston’s crown, with a good service and you’ll find yourself wanting to take everyone you know there, if you’re lucky enough to find a table, due to its popularity.

Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston

This one does the lot – it is a pub, restaurant and hotel and like many other venues that have made the cut here, it’s won awards.

There’s a French vibe running through the menu and it’s totally affordable, too.

Elvin’s, Lytham St Annes

Elvin's shawarma is one of the most popular dishes on the menu
Elvin’s shawarma is one of the most popular dishes on the menu (Image: Elvin’s)

This venue regularly gets five-star reviews and we had to try it out to see if it really was worth all the hype.

Spoiler: It is.

You’ll find this authentic Lebanese cafe tucked away inside the quaint Clifton Walk just off the high street in the town centre, nestled between candle shops and vintage clothing boutiques.

Bees Country Kitchen, Chorley

Sometimes you just want a ‘grab and go’ style lunch but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality.

In steps the Bees Country Kitchen, based in Chorley Market, where you’ll find traditional hearty food cooked with love. and skill

Barton Bangla Brasserie, Preston

This family-run curry house won the Best Curry Restaurant in the UK at the prestigious Curry Awards this year and we took a 64-mile round trip to go along to give it a try.

It was worth it – from the attentive and knowledgeable service to the taste-bud pleasing food.

Tap Select, Oswaldtwistle

Glug on an IPA and have a go at an 80s retro game while you wait for your food, which is casual and street-foody.

if you don’t fancy a full meal but just a little peckish, it’s ideal too. However you can also stuff your face with one of every dish on the menu.

The Millstone, Mellor

Joining our ‘great places to eat in the Ribble Valley’ club is the Millstone.

The menu is laced with dishes using locally-sourced ingredients. It wasn’t awarded a AA Rosette for nothing, you know.

The Moorbrook, Preston

Hearty wood-fired pizza, with big screen showing sport and cask ales on tap.

In fact, the Moorbrook has Preston’s largest selection of draught cask and keg beers, along with spirits and wines, of course.

Holm, Lancaster

The store front of Holm on Lancaster's King Street
The store front of Holm on Lancaster’s King Street

Pull up a pew in this Scandinavian style cafe haven, offering coffee, cakes and light bites you’ll keep coming back for.

Located on King Street, Holm also has an in-store market selling a variety of Nordic food, drink and home wares to their visitors.

Slice Guys/Two Cents, Ormskirk

Nicola Jackson-Jones had worked in insurance for 18 years when she decided to make the huge career change just before the coronavirus pandemic hit and open up a pizzeria.

She has gone on to be nominated as Pizza Chef of the Year and due to the success of the restaurant, which offers dine in, takeaway and also a ‘pizza school’, Nicola plans to run a luxury pizza delivery van called Two Cents Pizza from a converted horse box.

The Brasserie, Morecambe

Authentic Greek cuisine tucked away just off the Morecambe Central Promenade.

It is understated and offers a warm welcome to diners and offers a range of Mediterranean drinks to pair with the food.

Yorkshire Fisheries, Blackpool

Don’t be fooled by the name, this award-winning establishment is firmly located in the Red Rose county.

And we’re lucky that it is, too, as this traditional chippy, which has been open since 1905, serves irresistible haddock and cod and and don’t forget the daily specials.

Sun Pizza, Lancaster

Another new addition to Lancaster city centre is Sun Pizza, which is run by a group of university students.

Diners have really taken to the relaxed atmosphere and what some call the ‘best pizza in Lancaster’.

King Street Kitchen, Whalley

You won’t take too long making your way through the menu options here, as the focus is very much on quality not quantity.

It’s like being in your family’s dining room, its; cozy and inviting and ideal if you are looking for a good feed with loved ones.

Oh, and it’s in the Ribble Valley *wink emoji*.

Bagel Deli, Ormskirk

Look at that: The salt beef bagel at The Bagel Deli in Ormskirk
Look at that: The salt beef bagel at The Bagel Deli in Ormskirk (Image: LancsLive)

This five-star bakery has roots in Brick Lane – the home of the ‘beigal’ and alternative way of baking a bagel.

They bake bagels daily and their salt beef bagel is a thing of beauty. Take a look at what we thought when we went to try it for ourselves.

Pizza Grazie, Blackpool

We love a restaurant that also gives back, and Pizza Grazie does just that.

Not only is it a registered charity and opens as a soup kitchen twice a week, it also runs a ‘pay it forward’ scheme for local homeless people.

Oh, and the food is “deliciously scrumptious” and “Beautiful” according to diners who have ventured to the converted church.

Brizola, Clitheroe

Brizola is a bit tucked away from the outside, in a little courtyard in quaint and trendy Clitheroe.

It’s menu is inspired by Rachael Moreau’s travels to Mykonos and is popular among foodies and locals alike, with customers traveling from afar to tr4y the food there.

Zest of India, Blackpool

Zest offers Indian subcontinent food and Turkish style curry along with grilled food.

The Indian-Turkish fusion cooking style sets it apart from the rest and it has a 93% ‘excellent’ TripAdvisor rating.

Sultan, Lancaster

Tyson Fury loves Sultan and we’re not about to argue with him.

However, after visiting ourselves, there really was no need to as we were impressed with the free water bottles and sheer choice on offer, from curry and burgers to calzone pockets, falafel wraps and chicken sizzlers.

However, after visiting ourselves, there really was no need to as we were impressed with the free water bottles and sheer choice on offer, from curry and burgers to calzone pockets, falafel wraps and chicken sizzlers. Read more here

Mandrakes, Ormskirk

What’s better than afternoon tea? A Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea, complete with wizardry magic and potion drinks, that’s what.

Mandrakes also has an onsite shop selling memorabilia for fans of JK Rowling’s books.

Take a look inside.

Spread Eagle, Mellor

The Spread Eagle is a family-friendly gastropub with a gorgeous terrace overlooking the ever-present Ribble Valley.

On the menu you’ll find traditional pub fayre, lighter meals and desserts. It makes for a lovely trip out for lunch, combined with a walk in the nearby trails.

Keep up to date with restaurants in your area by adding your postcode below

The Bank Bar and Grill, Blackpool

The family-owned restaurant located on Corporation Street was given a Traveller’s Choice Award and listed as one of the ‘Top Everyday Eats’ in the UK and Channel Islands last month (July) and came in sixth place on TripAdvisor’s top 10 list.

Bank is known for its mix of British, Contemporary and Grill cuisine options and its extensive cocktail menu.

Quite Simply French, Lancaster

The food at Quite Simply French in Lancaster is said to be amazing
The food at Quite Simply French in Lancaster is said to be amazing (Image: Tripadvisor)

This French restaurant in Lancaster has been rated the top place to go in the city on TripAdvisor and has thousands of great reviews.

It even has its own rooms for you to stay in, after indulging in the food and wine.

In their own words, quite simply French said: “The emphasis is on great ingredients from the area with local charm and stylish panache coming together to create an insider feel that you don’t get at a more formal hotel.”

Coco’s Soul Food, Preston

Head to Coco’s for one of the best burritos that will ever pass your lips.

It’s a bit of landmark in Friargate and popular with students, families, couples – the lot.

It’s a fuss-free place with, good value, scrumptious food.

Northcote, Langho

Another venue in the Ribble Valley, on the cup of the Forest of Bowland, which is constantly enhancing its claim as one of THE areas for good food in Lancashire.

It’s also the second Michelin-star restaurant to feature on our list, offering British dishes created by executive chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen.

Expect elegant, classy and beautiful-looking food which honours the heritage of the surrounding area.

The Mad Hunter, Lancaster/St Michael’s

Durban bunny chow served at The Mad Hunter
The famous Durban bunny chow – a shin of beef and marrow bone slow cooked curry, served in half a loaf of bread with raita and sambal (Image: The Mad Hunter)

Based at two different locations and you most likely won’t forget your visit here – it’s flamboyant and imaginative.

You’ll discover an eclectic menu, from Mozambican peri peri prawn taco, cape Karoo mussels, wild board spring roll starters and mezzes to a chicken and chorizo burger, ribs and fried halloumi for the larger plates.

Scholars Training Academy, Blackburn

This venue is Blackburn College’s fully licensed training restaurant.

Located on campus, customers are offered a professional dining experience by students passionate about cooking.

Lunch is served daily from 12pm – 2pm and all food is freshly produced using local suppliers.

Turquaz, Ormskirk

You can smell this Turkish barbeque restaurant as the meat and fish sizzles away on the grill, wafting past your nose.

There’s meat and veggie platters, halal options, homemade hummus, flatbreads and dips, ribs, steak and huge portion of fresh fish on the menu and it’s the ideal place to differing palates.

Turquaz successfully brings a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine to West Lancashire.

Georgonzola, Clitheroe

OK, so this one you can’t actually dine in at it, but you can purchase some quality, locally-sourced deli meats cheeses, condiments and sauces.

We just love the play-on-words name and the owner, George, set the whole thing up, determined to turn being made redundant into a positive.

Oh, and you should always try and shop local, everyone.

White Swan, Fence

White Swan at Fence
White Swan at Fence

The White Swan sells itself as “elevated comfort fare on offer in quaint quarters with a fireplace” and we don’t know about you, but that sounds perfect for the winter months.

And with seasonal ingredients delicately weaved into the menu to keep it fresh and exciting all year round, it’s worth a visit in spring, summer and autumn, too.

Oh, and it’s got a Michelin star thanks to the genius of chef Tom Parker.

Twelve, Thornton-Cleveleys

Another on the list that consistently scores very highlight in online customer reviews.

They love how the restaurant, which is run by husband and wife, Paul Moss and Caroline Upton and is situated next to one of Europe’s tallest windmills, is the whole package – from food, service to location.

Read more here

Wild Root, West Lancs

A popular stop with walkers and cyclists, Wild Root offers something a little different to West Lancastrians.

It’s a multi-purpose space, too, with a cafe, deli, garden centre and farm shop all onsite.

You’ll find cultured cashew cheese manufacturer and specialises in plant-based eating

Mi Casa Su Casa, Blackpool

The only tapas in Lancashire that can rival Fino in Preston – Mi Casa Su Casa is in the Good Food Guide and we agree entirely with its inclusion.

It’s also one of the best places to eat in Blackpool.

Greekouzina, Preston

Greekouzina has moved premises to Preston town centre after outgrowing its previous site
Greekouzina has moved premises to Preston town centre after outgrowing its previous site (Image: Greekouzina/Facebook)

This authentic Greek restaurant has just moved location after outgrowing its previous one.

Run by married Greek couple Karastergios and Christina Laporda, Greekouzinaoffers a menu packed with traditional food and homemade recipes,including gyoza wraps, handmade souvlaki, kebab politiko, baklava pastries and fresh salads.

Michael Wan’s Wok Inn Seaside Noodle Bar/Michael Wan’s Mandarin , Blackpool

Both of Michael Wan’s restaurants were recently named among the top 100 restaurants in the UK, with the list focusing on “one of a kind” eateries.

Step in an Asian ‘ruin bar’-style interior and chomp down on a bowl of noodles at the Wok Inn or traditional Cantonese dish at the more formal Mandarin.

Angels, Ribchester

Contemporary, upmarket dining brought to you by executive had chef Simon Eastham.

The menu evolves with the seasons, using locally-sourced ingredients and produce provided by suppliers in the Ribble Valley.

It’s an ideal spot for a romantic meal or special occasion.

The Stags Head, Goosnargh

Another gastro pub worth taking a drive out to.

From burgers to meat grilled to your liking and covered in rich, homemade sauce there’s a good ol’ British meal waiting for you at the Stags Head.

CuriosiTea at 23, Blackpool

This the place to be to enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea, with homemade cakes and sandwiches made up with fresh bread with your favourite fillings.

This cafe is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch and consistently secures five-star ratings on TripAdvisor.



Blackpool townhouse for sale with opportunity to join resort’s hoteliers

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Its ideally located with both Blackpool tower and Pleasure Beach in reach


A Blackpool townhouse on Clifton Drive is on the market
A Blackpool townhouse on Clifton Drive is on the market (Image: Express Estate Agency)

The opportunity to buy a Blackpool townhouse is up for grabs with the chance to join the busy resort’s hoteliers on the seafront.

The six-bedroom townhouse on Clifton Drive is on the market, with a guide price of £385,000 to £400,000.

The property is marketed by Express Estate Agency and is said to have great investment opportunity due to the separate apartments within the townhouse.

The property has six shower rooms and fully fitted kitchens and is a stone’s throw from Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach, The Golden Mile and Blackpool Tower.

Outside the property is a paved space, both for parking and outdoor furniture. There is also side gate access to the rear of the property, where there is also paved patio space for outdoor furniture.

Inside, the front door opens to an entrance porch with front aspect windows and another door to the hallway, as well as stairs to the first floor.

Within the right wing of the townhouse there is a reception room with space for a range of furniture, as well as front aspect windows and double French doors opening to the front.

The kitchen is fitted with a range of wall and base units, it also has a cooker, white goods, integral fridge freezer and an overhead extraction hood. From the kitchen, you can also access the rear garden.

The right wing also hosts a double sized bedroom and shower room with a large walk-in shower.

One of the double rooms inside the townhouse
One of the double rooms inside the townhouse (Image: Express Estate Agency)

Over on the left wing, there is an open plan living space with a fitted kitchen. This opens to a reception room with a wall mounted fire and space for furniture.

There is a second double sized bedroom and a shower room with a shower enclosure, low level WC and wash hand basin.

On the first floor there is another kitchen with space and plumbing for appliances included in the sale. There is a third reception room or bedroom with space for furniture, as well as two double bedrooms and shower rooms.

The fourth reception room also has a wall mounted fire and a side aspect window and door to another kitchen, double bedroom and shower room.

Downstairs reception room
Downstairs reception room (Image: Express Estate Agency)

On the second floor, there is a hallway with doors to another reception room with front facing windows, a shower room, kitchen and double bedroom.

The final reception room or apartment has space for a range of furniture and also features a wall mounted fire. It hosts a kitchen and double bedroom, as well as a shower room suite.



Blackpool man pinned to floor by police before being put in back of van

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Police were seen across Blackpool during last night’s New Year’s Eve celebrations


Police pinning a man to the floor in Blackpool on New Year's Eve
Police pinning a man to the floor in Blackpool on New Year’s Eve (Image: BPL Bible / LancsLive)

Police in Blackpool pinned a man to the floor on New Year’s Eve after he was reportedly kicked out of a town bar.

There was a heavy police presence in the Queen Street area of the resort with revellers out enjoying themselves to see in 2022.

But the night turned sour early on for one individual after being pinned to the pavement by a group of officers.

The man in question could be seen on the floor on Queens Square at around 9.30pm.

Onlookers told LancsLive that the man had been asked to leave Dusk bar prior to the incident.

The same man could then be seen being put in the back of a police van in Queen Street, outside Walkabout bar.

Some five officers could be seen surrounding the man as he was put in the police vehicle.

It is not know if the man was arrested at this stage.

LancsLive has approached Lancashire Constabulary for further information on the incident.

The man being put in the back of a police van
The man being put in the back of a police van (Image: BPL Bible / LancsLive)

North West Ambulance Service appeals for return of life-saving defibrillator taken just minutes into 2022

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The North West Ambulance Service has appealed for the return of a life-saving defibrillator which was stolen just minutes into the new year.


They have warned that using such equipment incorrectly can cause “serious harm” and be “potentially fatal in the wrong hands”.

The medical device, which is used in life-threatening emergencies when people are in cardiac arrest, was taken from the scene of an incident in Union St West, Oldham, Greater Manchester at around 12.15am.

A defibrillator is a staple device carried by every NWAS emergency vehicle, but is different to those used in the community and requires proper training to use them.

A defibrillator like the one taken

A defibrillator like the one taken

A spokesperson for the service said: “These defibrillators are much larger than the community ones and those in public buildings, and special training is required to use them – as well as being an expensive and necessary piece of equipment for any ambulance crew, using them incorrectly can cause serious harm and they can be potentially fatal in the wrong hands.

“We urge whoever took it not to use it on anyone and to contact us on 0345 113 0099 to arrange its return.”

They asked anyone with information about the stolen defibrillator to call the same number.



New Year’s Honours List: Fylde coast stalwarts honoured by The Queen

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Two Fylde coast stalwarts of the charity dedicated to saving lives at sea are among the recipients of awards in the New Year’s Honours List.


Dorothy Charnley, 89, who has run the RNLI shop at Blackpool for more than 20 years and continues to play a very active part, is awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the RNLI and charity,as is David Forshaw, 74, deputy launching authority (DLA) and press officer for the RNLI at Lytham and St Annes, who has been a volunteer for 37 years.

The BEM is also awarded to Rev Dr Susan Salt, a curate of the Church of England Blackburn Diocese Fellside Team Ministry, who is recognised after returning to the frontline at Blackpool Victora Hospital during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Meanwhile, Dr Sheila Kanani, 39, from St Annes, who is education, outreach and diversity manager for the Royal Astronomical Society, is awarded the MBE for services to astronomy and to diversity in physics.

Dorothy Charnley BEM at the RNLI shop in Blackpool

Dorothy Charnley BEM at the RNLI shop in Blackpool

Kevin McGee. former chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, now in charge of the Trusts in East Lancashire and Preston, is awarded an OBE for services to the NHS, while Wendy Casson, lately Head Teacher, Educational Diversity, Blackpool is awarded an MBE for services to education.

Dorothy, of Ribble Road, Blackpool, joined the RNLI in 1998 following seven years in India where she was a teacher.

During her time at the site on Central Promenade, she has helped create an education centre there, enabling thousands of people to find out more about water safety and the RNLI’s lifesaving service.

She has mentored, trained and managed more than 100 volunteers, personally volunteered for more than 4,000 days in the shop and led her team to more than £1m for the Institution.

David Forshaw BEM at the RNLI boathouse in St Annes

David Forshaw BEM at the RNLI boathouse in St Annes

During the Covid pandemic, Dorothy ensured the six shops in the region were all in regular contact, sharing her expertise and helping through the stock transfer of popular items.

She has supported two new shop managers who have been appointed in the last 12 months and used lockdown as a time to actively recruit new volunteers and ensure the shop’s readiness for re-opening with the easing of restrictions.

Dorothy has also turned her skills to supporting the station in other ways, working closely with the Lifeboat Press Officer to promote the ‘Blackpool Appeal’ in 2020, to fund a new D-Class Lifeboat, reaching the £52,000 target on schedule.

She said: “I really couldn’t believe it when I got the letter to say I was to receive the BEM – my first thought was that it was a scam – you can’t be too careful.

Rev Dr Susan Salt BEM

Rev Dr Susan Salt BEM

“But I’m absolutely delighted. I think its is important to do all I can for the RNLI – it’s such an important cause in seaside communities such as ours and entirely reliant on donations and bequests.

“The aim has been to make the shop some where people want to come and look inside and I thoroughly enjoy doing what I can to help such a vital charity.”

David is number two to the lifeboat operations manager at Lytham and St Annes and contributes to operational, leadership, fundraising and administrative activities.

He has served no fewer than four lifeboat operations managers, six coxswains and the crews of five classes of all-weather lifeboat during his time at the station and in his role as DLA, he has established working practices and operating procedures that ensure his team of shore crew are fully equipped to deal with the launch and recovery of the lifeboat, sometimes several miles from a safe haven themselves while under inhospitable weather conditions.

Dr Sheila Kanani MBE

Dr Sheila Kanani MBE

As well as making a significant contribution to the RNLI’s profile in his press officer role, David has been a key contributor to the many fundraising successes at Lytham and St Annes, including the Shannon appeal which raised £300,000 towards the cost of the station’s current lifeboat, Barbara Anne.

During the pandemic he supported the local fundraising branches to find alternative ways of raising funds through initiatives such as transitioning the annual Leg-it for Lytham fun run into a month-long event run by individuals at a time of their choice.

He directly supported the fundraising branch in raising more than £100,000 in 2020 and was instrumental in establishing the Lytham Lifeboat Museum which ran for 10 years under RNLI management before being transferred into the care of Lytham Heritage.

David is an active member of the Lifeboat Enthusiasts’ Society and he continues to welcome visitors to the station and give talks to local groups, always donating his fee to the RNLI.

His wife Sue, a former teacher, is chairman of the Lytham Heritage Society and David said of his BEM award: “I’m just pleased for the family and grateful for all the support from Sue and everyone and proud for the station, all the crew and everyone who contributes to the service dedicated to saving lives at sea.”

Rev Dr Susan Salt, with decades of medical experience before joining the ministry, worked for nearly three months in the chaplaincy at Blackpool Victoria Hospital at the height of the pandemic.

Kevin McGee OBE

Kevin McGee OBE

She focussed much of her time on supporting the Intensive Care Unit, ministering to patients and fellow clinicians, after receiving a plea to return from the NHS.

At the time of her return to the medical frontline, she was also a member of the Blackburn Diocese Coronavirus Task Group, chaired by the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev Philip North, which is managing the Diocesan response to coronavirus. Susan continues to support the group to this day as the pandemic continues.

Susan spent more than 30 years as a physician before becoming a deacon and then a Priest in Blackburn Diocese in 2019/20. She was medical director of the Fylde Coast’s Trinity Hospice from 2007 to 2019.

She made the decision to rejoin the team at Blackpool Teaching Hospital, where she had previously, and very recently, worked as a palliative medicine consultant, with the aim of treating victims of the virus and supporting the staff working under very difficult conditions in the first stages of the pandemic.

News about the honour came on November 26, although had to be kept quiet until now. Susan said: “It was a double pleasure as I heard on the same day as my daughter’s 22nd birthday.”

Explaining what her role at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital from April 2020 involved, she said: “I helped with the clinical work of tending to very seriously ill patients and ended up supporting the hospital chaplaincy and the ICU staff by acting as a sounding board for their anxieties and issues in that terribly difficult time.

“When the email came from the General Medical Council asking for former doctors to go back in and help, I thought and prayed long and hard. There was a nagging voice saying ‘you could and you should…’.

“I felt I could not leave my former colleagues and the brave staff of the hospital struggling to cope with what was a dreadful and challenging situation. So, I asked my parish priest, Rev. Stephen Cooper and Bishop Philip to support my decision to go back, which they did straightaway.”

To protect her family and friends Susan went to live in hospital accommodation for the duration of her work in Blackpool.

While there, she was instrumental in setting up a bereavement support service for the hospital trust, putting together a series of bereavement support boxes for staff in all wards looking after the desperately ill, and providing mobile phones for all wards in the hospital.

That helped staff to support victims’ families as more patients died from Covid at the height of the first wave.

Susan explained: “I was able to combine my work as a priest with my work at the hospital, giving support and counselling to bereaved relatives on the telephone. It was dreadful – so many deeply upset and traumatised family members unable to be there in person as their loved ones passed away.”

Gradually Susan helped to re-establish a rhythm and a coping structure for the chaplaincy and her clinical colleagues at the hospital and, as the numbers of severely ill and dying began to go down in June 2020, she left Blackpool and returned to her parish.

Reflecting on the pandemic, Susan said: “It has forced us all, whoever we are, to pause in different ways, to consider how we do things differently and look after one another differently.

“For me, I have been so moved by the willingness of people, in many cases complete strangers, to work together for the common good.”

Dr Sheila Kanani, originally from London but now living in St Annes with her husband Jaz and two young children, is the Royal Astronomical Society’s first education, outreach and diversity officer, has partnered with stakeholders such as the National Autistic Society, Girlguiding UK and The Princes Trust and is one of 21 WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) ambassadors.

In 2012, she co-founded the STEMMsisters charity with the aim of connecting, inspiring and empowering people from communities which may not be able to access STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) subjects.

She established a RAS mentoring scheme to support people with barriers to progress including those from areas of socioeconomic deprivation and with mental health issues.

Sheila volunteers on local and national media and presented the BBC’s ‘Wonders of the Moon’ programme and has written five non-fiction books for children.

They include ‘How to be an Astronaut’, which advocates a range of jobs that support space exploration to ages seven to 11 and was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2020.

Prior to Joining RAS, Sheila was a physics teacher and was awarded the 2014 Technology Award in recognition of her commitment to enthuse disengaged students into science.

She won Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2020 and she also won Arthur C Clarke Space Achievement Award for Education and Outreach 2020.

She said she was “gobsmacked” at first hearing of her honour. “I was shocked initially and wondered who had nominated me to be honoured for just doing my day job – a job I love and am really passionate about,” she said. “Of course I am  delighted.”



Relatives still allowed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital as other hospitals suspend visiting

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Victoria Hospital is still allowing patient visiting, unlike other nearby hospitals which have suspended visiting.


Yesterday Royal Preston Hospital and three hospitals run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) announced that visits had been suspended with immediate effect and until further notice.

The hospitals, including the UHMBT’s Westmorland General Hospital, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital, cited the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the local community as the reason for the decision.

Visitors to these hospitals are only allowed under exceptional circumstances, such as the patient receiving end-of-life care or being pregnant, and numbers are restricted to one visitor only.

Visiting is still allowed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Visiting is still allowed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

However, Blackpool Victoria has today (Saturday January 1 2022) confirmed that visiting is still allowed, albeit with continuing Covid-safe restrictions.

The hospital trust outlined its current visiting policy but did not issue a comment.

Currently the visiting policy is one named visitor per patient for their hospital stay for a specified one hour each day with time slots set for 2-3pm, 3.30pm-4.30pm or 7pm-8pm.

Visitors will need to agree with ward staff which slot they would like to attend.

Inpatient arrangements allow patients to be able to nominate one named visitor who can attend once per day.

In exceptional circumstances, such as for patients receiving end of life care or where the visitor themselves needs assistance, two visitors from the same household may be allowed with extended visiting times if agreed with the nurse in charge of the ward.

For adult patients, no children under 16 are permitted to visit except in compassionate circumstances. This must be arranged in advance with ward staff.

In cases of end of life care for patients who are near end of life, up to four family members may be permitted at the discretion of the ward manager.

These visitors will be required to provide a negative lateral flow Covid test which will be facilitated by the ward staff.

For maternity services a nominated birth partner will be able to attend the delivery suite and the birth centre for the duration of their stay in these areas.

A second birth partner can attend once established labour had been confirmed. There are some wards where visiting is still not permitted due to caring for Covid patients.

Both parents can attend Neonatal Unit to keep the family unit together, with no changes to previous arrangements.

For the Children Ward / CAU, both parents or carers can attend Children’s Ward to keep the family unit together only (one parent on the Children’s Assessment Unit).

In exceptional circumstances, depending on the needs of the patient and with the agreement of the Nurse in Charge, other visitors may be allowed.

Restrictions dictate that people must not visit or attend an appointment with a patient if you or they:have tested positive for COVID-19; are isolating as a contact of someone who is COVID-19 positive; or been to an overseas location where the foreign office has advised two weeks isolation.

Similarly, people must not visit if they been contacted by Test and Trace to say you or they are a contact of a COVID-19

positive person; have any symptoms of COVID-19.or are shielding due to anticipated surgery.



Firefighters investigating cause of caravan blaze in Fleetwood

Home | Blackpool Gazette

An investigation has been launched after a caravan blaze in Fleetwood this afternoon.


Two fire engines from the town were called to the blazing caravan on Broomfield Road, at 1.20pm.

Firefighters used two breathing apparatus and three hose reels to extinguish the fire.

No injuries were reported and the cause is under investigation.

The fire at Broomfield Road in Fleetwood

The fire at Broomfield Road in Fleetwood

Stay Close: What to expect from the new James Nesbitt Netflix drama filmed across Lancashire

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Hollywood actor James Nesbitt has been spotted filming at various locations across the red rose county


Scenes from Netflix drama Stay Close were filmed in Blackpool
Scenes from Netflix drama Stay Close were filmed in Blackpool

A brand new Netflix drama has been released and it’s filmed right here in Lancashire.

Stay Close stars Hollywood actor James Nesbitt, with filming for the show – released today (December 31) – spotted taking place in Morecambe, Chorley and Blackpool earlier this year.

In Morecambe, members of the public reported seeing Nesbitt filming down the Promenade and on Skipton Street.

The filming crew was also seen on Blackpool Promenade on March 9 with crew pitched up outside a fictional bar called ‘Bar Mitzvah’.

In Chorley, filming was seen taking place over a couple of days on Dick Lane in Brinscall.

It is thought that filming also look place at other locations across the county – and the North West – for the show.

The series is based on Harlan Coben’s number one New York Times bestselling novel of the same name.

The eight-part crime drama sees Nesbitt playing a detective, Michael Broome, who is haunted by an unsolved case, and features famed US thriller writer Coben as an executive producer.

The series focuses on “four people who conceal dark secrets” from those close to them. RED Production Company, the same production company behind Channel 4’s ‘It’s a Sin’, has been commissioned by Netflix to create the show.

The series has a star-studded cast that has three leads; James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage and Cush Jumbo.

Filming for Stay Close in Blackpool
Filming for Stay Close in Blackpool (Image: Ian Fairbrother)

The team behind the smash hit Netflix show ‘The Stranger’ and 2018’s ‘Safe’ have joined together to collaborate on this which is their fourth drama.

Filming for major TV shows is much more common in Lancashire today than it once was. In addition to the Stay Close filming, 2021 has seen Star Wars filming in Cleveleys, The Bay filming in Morecambe, Brassic in Bacup and Peaky Blinders over in Rossendale.

James Nesbitt has said doing the Netflix original series was “an opportunity to open a different door again”.

Nesbitt said: “I know I’ve played a lot of policemen, recently that’s all I seem to do is play a policeman. Obviously people recognise the good in me, or the screw-up in me, but this character was optimistic.

“I’ve played a lot of extreme characters in the last while, and I just thought, there was someone who is one of the good guys in a way, but yet with a complicated internal kind of process going on his life and in his mind. So I loved that.

“Everything I thought about this job, the boxes that you hope to be able to tick, it turns out that it was very easy early on to be able to tick. Also, I’ve never done a Netflix original series. I haven’t done anything like that before, and so just the scale of that, it was an opportunity to open a different door again, when so many doors have been closed.”