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Visually impaired people protest against 'taxi discrimination'

Protestors outside Westminster yesterday. Credit: ITV News

Visually impaired people from across our region have taken part in a rally at Westminster, over concerns that taxi drivers are turning blind customers away because of their guide dogs.

Scott Valance from Norfolk was among protesters who travelled to the capital.

He says people need to understand that these dogs are a lifeline for many.

It knocks your confidence big time.

I've fortunately got a big family and a wife but when it comes to people being on their own, being told that you can't do this and you can't do that can actually put people back in a shell that they're trying to get out of with a dog.

– Scott Vallance

Hard-hitting film spells out concerns of ambulance crews

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Liz Summers

A hard-hitting film highlighting the stress suffered by ambulance crews in the East has been released as they prepare to ballot over industrial action.

The film by the health service union 'Unison' features staff struggling to cope with the aftermath of traumatic call outs, saying they're worried their stress could impact on the safety of patients.

But the East of England Ambulance Service has responded saying it's planning to recruit more staff and has urged crews not to vote to take action.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital board agree merger with Peterborough

Hinchingbrooke Hospital could merge with Peterborough City Hospital. Credit: PA

The board of Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon has agreed to go ahead with the potential merger with Peterborough City Hospital.

At a public meeting today, the board accepted a recommendation to work on a full business case for the merger.

The hospitals say working together will help to ease financial pressures, but it's been criticised by the local MP Jonathan Djanogly.

Jonathan Djanogly isn't impressed by the plans. Credit: PA

We feel that we want to have a local trust, with its own board that represents local people and we are very concerned that we will be swallowed up in the whole.

I think what we saw today was a clear questioning of the financial viability of the proposed new trust.

The case financially has not yet been made and that was recognised I think by the board.

– Jonathan Djanogly MP

Northampton General sees big surge in A&E patients

Northampton General has seen an increase in A&E patients. Credit: ITV News Anglia

There are calls for people to avoid the A&E department at Northampton General Hospital following a huge increase in patient numbers.

Bosses at the hospital say patient numbers are 40% higher than the same week last year, and are calling on people to avoid the emergency department if possible.

We are currently seeing an increase in the numbers of attendances in the evenings as people often think that visiting their local A&E or calling 999 are their only options when their GP surgery is closed.

There are actually lots of services that offer treatment and advice in the evenings and at the weekend, including local pharmacists, NHS 111 and out-of-hours GP services.

– Dr Emma Clancy, GP, NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group

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Huntingdon MP: Proposed hospital merger goes against opinions of constituents

Peterborough City Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Conservative MP for Huntingdon, Jonathan Djanogly has been reacting to the news that bosses of two Cambridgeshire hospital trusts are recommending that they merge.

The trusts behind Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Peterborough City Hospital want to join together. Both have been plagued with financial problems and say becoming one trust would save £9 million a year.

Mr Djanogly told ITV News Anglia that the recommendation to merge goes against the opinion of the vast majority of his constituents.

Watch a short clip below.

Cambridgeshire teenager's online campaign to pay for breast removal

A teenager from St Neots in Cambridgeshire has begun an online campaign to raise money to pay for a breast removal operation.

Opi Baron is gender neutral and says that alienation from having a biologically female body has led to mental illness including agoraphobia.

Opi is now fundraising online to pay for the £6,000 operation.

ITV News Anglia's Claire McGlasson spoke to Opi Baron, click below to watch a full report.

Merger recommended by bosses at two Cambridgeshire hospitals

Peterborough City Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital Credit: ITV News Anglia

Bosses at two of the region's hospitals have revealed they want to merge their trusts.

The Trusts running Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals have revealed a joint business case showing the benefits of the two organisations working together in the future.

Both been plagued by financial problems and say becoming a single trust would save nine million pounds a year.

Peterborough City Hospital Credit: ITV News Anglia

"All four options have been tested in a rigorous appraisal process carried out by the CEOs, Chief Nurses and Medical Directors of both Trusts. The recommended option is to work as one organisation and merge our two Trusts on 1 April 2017. If the boards of each Trust approve the recommended option, the next step will be to produce a Full Business Case to set out how it will be put into operation."

– Lance McCarthy, Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust and Stephen Graves, Peterborough & Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A report recommending the merger will go before both hospitals' boards later this month. If approved, the trusts would combine in April next year.

Bosses say they are committed to 'engaging' with members of the public to help 'inform a full business case', that will be completed by the end of September 2016.

Unison are committed to campaigning and working with the trusts to make sure there is no reduction in services should this merger go ahead."

– Jo Rust, Unison

The Outline Business Case will be discussed by the boards of the Trusts in two public meetings.

  • Monday 23rd May, 11am at Hinchingbrooke Hospital
  • Tuesday 24th May, 1.30pm Peterborough City Hospital

Campaigners against the merger took part in a protest march earlier this month. Read more

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