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Warning that funding cuts could close small pharmacies

NHS funding for community pharmacies will be cut by £113 million in December. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Pharmacists are warning that government funding cuts could mean some smaller outlets are forced to close while others will have to cut back on their services.

From 1 December NHS funding for community pharmacies will be cut by £113 million, meaning they'll lose 12% of their budget.

In April 2017, it'll be cut by a further £208 million - a further 3.4% cut for pharmacies.

Pharmacists say the cuts will mean closure for some chemists but the Department for Health say the plans are designed to reward the best pharmacies.

Department for Health say the plans are designed to reward the best pharmacies. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"These vital reforms will protect access for payments, properly reward quality for the first time and far better integrate care with GP and other services.

"This is what the NHS needs, what patients expect and I believe what the vast majority of community pharmacists are keen to deliver."

– DAVID MOWAT MP, HEALTH MINISTER

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Chloe Keedy

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Papworth Hospital celebrates 'topping out' at new site

Video report from ITV News Anglia's Chloe Keedy

One of the UK's largest specialist heart and lung hospitals is a step closer to moving into its new home, after construction teams celebrated laying cement on the highest point of the building.

Papworth Hospital is due to move into its new home on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, next door to Addenbrooke's Hospital, in 2018.

£165m
cost of the project - raised through private investment

When it's complete, the new site will have 310 beds and seven state-of-the-art operating theatres.

A fire tree was hoisted above the new Papworth Hospital site. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Today a fire tree was hoisted above the building in a traditional "topping out" ceremony.

"As our patients get older they get other diseases so they can be nearer those specialties.

"More importantly, for the patients of the future we'll be building our heart, lung research and education institute here."

– John Wallwork, Chairman, Papworth Hospital

Concern as '1 in 10' women smoke during pregnancy

One in ten women smoke during pregnancy Credit: ITV News Anglia

Councillors in Hertfordshire are pushing for a change in attitudes from mums-to-be, as it's revealed one in ten women smoke during pregnancy.

They're running a service to help them give up the habit.

Pregnant women are being warned that smoking can lead to health problems and premature or even still births.

Millions at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes

ITV News Anglia's Becky Jago speaks to Pav Kalsi of Diabetes UK

Millions of people across the country are risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Treating the disease costs the NHS £10 billion a year - but there is another cost - the impact it has on people's lives.

Complications lead to 20 people a day having limbs amputated. Each month it contributes to nearly 2,000 early deaths.

280,000
People with diabetes in the East of England.

Doctors have now proven that diet not only controls the condition, it can even cure it in some people - although changes in diet are only advisable once patients have sought medical advice.

"Feeling very thirsty or very tired or if you've lost some weight are some of the common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.

"If you have any of those symptoms then you should always to your doctor to get a blood test."

– Pav Kalsi, Clincial Advisor, Diabetes UK

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Optometrist spots tumour and saves life of Northampton teenager

Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Claire McGlasson.

A teenager from Northampton is urging everyone to book a sight test after a routine appointment saved her life.

Lauren Whittington says eye tests aren't just for people who need glasses.

Her optometrist picked up symptoms which showed she had a brain tumour.

Within three hours she and her family were told that doctors would have to operate.

The pressure that I spotted behind Lauren's eyes set me off to think that something wasn't right.

– Nicole Barber, Optometrist

Princess Alexandra boss: 'this is a hospital in distress'

Video report from ITV News Anglia's Serena Sandhu

Bosses at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, have accepted conditions were not perfect, but they insist staff were offering good care in tough circumstances.

The hospital went into special measures after being rated "inadequate" by the health watchdog.

"What comes with special measures is a realisation that this is a hospital in distress and they need to support it and work with us.

I have the greatest confidence that out of adversity we will move all of our services to good and outstanding."

– Nancy Fontaine, Deputy Chief Executive of Princess Alexandra Hospital

With shrinking budgets and increased pressures, it's not the only hospital in the East of England facing significant problems.

The trusts running Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge and Colchester Hospital are also in special measures.

Some health trusts have been taken out special measures after making major improvements: Basildon and Thurrock, Norfolk and Suffolk mental health services, Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn.

Princess Alexandra Hospital in special measures: MP reacts

Robert Halfon MP, Harlow, Conservative Credit: ITV News Anglia

The MP for Harlow has been reacting to the decision to put the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow into special measures. Robert Halfon says that despite its difficulties, the hospital has 'several areas of outstanding practice'.

“I have seen first-hand that the staff and the management team at Princess Alexandra Hospital work incredibly hard and do an amazing job for Harlow residents. As MP, I get many emails and letters from residents who have had an excellent and caring service from our hospital."

– Robert Halfon MP, Harlow

The MP says there are four major problems the hospital faces.

  • It had more A&E admissions per head than almost anywhere else in the country
  • The age of the building means parts of it are unfit for purpose and it needs constant financial assistance to keep it going
  • The long term future needs to be looked at
  • Recruitment is a challenge because Harlow's close proximity to London and Cambridge. There is a 50% nurse vacancy rate in some wards.
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