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Ambulance service receives more than 9 thousand calls over Bank Holiday

Ambulance staff and volunteers have been thanked for their hard work during another busy bank holiday weekend. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The East of England Ambulance Service received more than 9 thousand emergency calls over the bank holiday weekend.

That's an increase of 8 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Suffolk and Bedfordshire experienced the highest surge in demand.

County breakdown of calls during the May Day bank holiday compared to last year:

  • Bedfordshire: 938 (803) – 16%
  • Cambridgeshire: 1,185 (1,129) – 5%
  • Essex: 2,772 (2,658) – 4%
  • Herts: 1,559 (1,447) – 7%
  • Norfolk: 1,400 (1,330) – 5%
  • Suffolk: 1,182 (1,006) – 17%

"We continue to experience high levels of demand and the bank holiday weekend was another busy one for the Trust. However, we were prepared and coped well, despite the demands being placed on the service.

This is testament to the hard work and commitment of all our staff and volunteers across the East of England.”

– Sandy Brown, EEAST Deputy Chief Executive

Suffolk to launch UK's first heart research centre

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Tanya Mercer

The UK's first research centre for congenital heart disease is being launched in Suffolk today.

It will look at more effective ways of treating the condition which affects more than 250 thousand people nationally.

The centre based at the University Campus Suffolk will be screening members of the public as well as sportsmen and women.

The centre will focus on finding more effective ways to treat and support individuals with congenital heart conditions. Credit: University Campus Suffolk

There are more than 250,000 adults who are born with a heart condition in the UK.

But it's thought around 15,000 patients aren't receiving the specialist support that they need.

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130 mile cycle ride from Norwich to London to raise awareness of hospital charities

A father from Norwich whose baby son was one of the youngest ever to have a life-saving heart transplant has set off on a charity bike ride today.

Ed Wood was joined by other family members on the 130 mile trip to Great Ormond Street Hospital where his son Oliver was treated five years ago.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Emily Knight.

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WATCH: 'Greatest Loser' drops 25 stone in weight

A 24-year-old man from Ipswich has said he feels "normal" for the first time in his life after losing 25 stone and dropping 30 inches from his waistline.

Oliver Bales, who now lives in Portsmouth, said he had been bullied about his weight - which at his heaviest reached nearly 39 stone - throughout his school and university life.

Oliver after losing 25 stone Credit: Slimming World

He said he was unable to stand for long periods without being in pain, had high blood pressure and could not fit on seats on public transport and in lecture theatres at university.<

After being inspired by a friend's weight loss on social media, Mr Bales turned to Slimming World, which has now crowned him its Greatest Loser 2016.

After seeing his friend's success with Slimming World, Mr Bales joined his local group and worked with consultant Colette May-Matthews to reduce his weight which at its highest was 38st 13.5lb.<

Oliver Bales Credit: Slimming World

Mr Bales lost a total of 25st and 0.5lb taking him to 13st 13lb and he has gone from wearing size 6XL clothes with a 64in waist to an M with a 34in waist and has also dropped down two shoe sizes.

Since losing weight, he has enjoyed becoming more active and is now a regular gym-goer. He also goes swimming and running and has ambitions to run a marathon, do a triathlon and learn to scuba dive.<

Everyone tells me I look amazing, which is a great feeling. As I've shrunk, my confidence levels have soared and I'm so much happier and much more ambitious.

I used to be so shy and quiet but that's completely vanished now and I've made new friends and reconnected with old ones. Being overweight has affected by entire life - until now. I finally know what it's like not to feel like an outcast, to be able to walk down the street without people laughing, pointing or calling you names, to not take up two seats on a train, to not be in constant pain.

– Oliver Bales

Day one of junior doctors strike officially ends

5pm: Day one of the junior doctors strike has officially ended.

The industrial action doesn't appear to have driven up hospital waiting times or caused any problems of note so far.

Junior doctors are expected to walk out again on Wednesday between 8am and 5pm.

Kate Prout reflects on how our hospitals coped in the east:

Sarah Cooper reflects on how hospitals coped in the west.

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