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Stroke survivors in East of England feel 'abandoned' after treatment, according to study

Over half (56%) of all survivors surveyed in the East of England with memory problems said access to support for this was very poor or poor. Credit: PA Images

Almost a third of stroke survivors in the East of England feel abandoned when they leave hospital, according to a new study by the Stroke Association.

The charity surveyed over 1,100 stroke survivors living in England about their experience of stroke care and support. The findings also reveal that:

35%
reported that they left hospital without a care plan, returning home without appropriate support.
42%
said they were not contacted by a healthcare professional when they returned home from hospital.
40%
said they did not receive a vital six-month assessment of their health and social care needs.

These findings are deeply concerning. Currently, too many stroke survivors feel abandoned when they return home as they are not given the right support to begin their rehabilitation. Major strides have been made in the way stroke is treated in hospital; however the same is not true when stroke survivors return home. No one plans for a stroke, but the Government can, and should, ensure that the right care and support is there when people need it most.

– Jon Barrick, chief executive at the Stroke Association

The charity's now launching a campaign, urging the government to improve care for patients when they return home. You can watch Liz Summer's report here.

New multi-million pound cancer unit opens at Ipswich Hospital

Official opening of the unit at Ipswich Hospital Credit: ITV News Anglia

A new four and a half million pound cancer treatment unit opened at Ipswich Hospital today.

A group of staff, patients and volunteers fundraised alongside Macmillan Cancer Support to help pay for the unit.

The centre will help patients undergoing chemotherapy, oncology and haematology treatment. Fundraising is still ongoing for the unit, which features consulting rooms, more treatment chairs and private bays.

"The environment that we now see here provides a much more spacious area for patients. What was only 12 treatment rooms is now 30."

– Neil Maloney, Chief Operating Officer, Ipswich Hospital

"We used to sit and joke about it and dream about having a big space like this to have our treatment in and my two very close friends that are no longer here, who would have absolutely loved to come here and have their treatment in this space. Would just have made such a difference."

– Nisa Heys, patient

"It just makes it a lot easier. It's bright, it's cheerful, which is what you want. It just makes it a lot more pleasant."

– Brian Heffernan, patient

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Unison to ballot over possible strike action for ambulance workers in the east

Unison is to ballot members at the East of England Ambulance Trust over industrial action.

Frontline ambulance staff will be asked whether or not they want to strike over concerns that managers' have failed to tackle what Unison calls, problems with excessive working hours and lack of sufficient breaks.

"After a year of broken promises, our crews are still faced with unacceptable working conditions. Frontline staff are caring people, committed to providing excellent patient care but they’re human beings too and they need to be cared for by their employer. Fifteen hour shifts with just a half hour unpaid break are now commonplace. Ambulance staff carry out life saving work in their communities and deserve better treatment."

– Fraer Stevenson, Unison branch Secretary

Three day exhibition for Essex 'Science Hub' plan

It will be built at the old GlaxoSmithKline site. Credit: ITV Anglia.

A three day exhibition opens today about plans for a huge Science Hub in Harlow.

The chancellor announced the £400 million project for Public Health England last year.

It will create 900 jobs and will be involved in researching some of the world's most lethal diseases such as Ebola.

It will be opened in the vacant GlaxoSmithKline site at the New Frontiers Science Park.

Community rally round to fund Ipswich toddler's dream home

The house has now been fitted with a lift to help George get around. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A community in Ipswich has pulled together to give a little boy with a rare spinal condition the home of his dreams.

George Woodward's house has now been installed with a wheelchair ramp and a lift so he can get around easier - all thanks to the donations of strangers.

His mother Laura says the the family are eternally grateful for all the support they've received.

He's such a happy little boy now that he's home.

He's got a massive smile on his face and that's down to everyone that has helped us get the house like this and all the people that were involved.

– Laura Barber, George's mum

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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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