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Nursing poll finds patient health is being put at risk by funding cuts

More than 700 nurses were polled in the survey Credit: ITV News Anglia

Funding cuts are risking people's health in the East of England according to a survey out this morning by the Royal College of Nursing.

More than 700 nurses and healthcare workers were polled across the east. Their feedback showed that between 20 and 40 % of patients they treat are being affected by things like food and fuel poverty and inadequate housing.

  • 34% have seen patients affected by malnutrition or food poverty.
  • 39% have seen patients affected by inadequate or unsafe housing.
  • 19% have seen patients affected by a lack of heating.

"This research shows that our members are seeing huge increases in ill health which could have been prevented. While lifestyle choices have a part to play, many of the problems identified by nurses come down to the very difficult lives many of them lead. Inadequate or unsafe housing has a huge effect on health, as does overcrowding, food poverty, overwork, unemployment and family breakdown."

– Karen Webb, RCN Eastern Region Director

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PM praises 'extraordinary courage' shown by parents of UK's youngest organ donor

Baby Hope died barely an hour after she was born.

The parents of the UK's youngest organ donor say they were overwhelmed to receive a letter from the Prime Minister praising their "extraordinary courage".

Emma and Drew Lee from Newmarket donated baby Hope's kidneys just hours after she died at 74-minutes-old last year. Her twin survived.

They have since campaigned to implement an 'opt out donor policy' in England and Wales which means people will automatically be organ donors unless they object.

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More of us are taking sick days off work

Credit: ITV News Anglia

The number of sick days being taken in this region has gone up.

Previously the East had one of the lowest sickness rates in the country - but now the average days lost per person every year has gone up from 4.4 to 5.3.

Credit: ITV News Anglia

The East of England now comes 6th in the UK for sickness absence - according to the annual business survey by the manufacturing organisation EEF. The North West, East Midlands, Scotland and Wales lose more days per person to sickness.

Across the UK, long-term absence has increased for the second year in a row. At the same time, four in ten firms (40%) say that an under pressure NHS is struggling to meet their need to get employees back to work.

"It's interesting to see how our region compares for sickness rates, but there is a serious concern here. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that keeping people fit and healthy, while enabling a speedy return to work from absence, is essential to economic growth.

However, this report shows long-term absence on the increase and an under-pressure NHS that is struggling to deal with the issue. With an ageing population this situation is only going to get worse - radical action is required.

Government must now use incentives to encourage employers to pay for private medical treatment and allow it to be offset in the same way as other business expenses. Not only would this help take the pressure off the NHS, but it would allow a speedier return to work. This would be a win-win for Government, employers and employees."

– Richard Halstead, East of England Region Director, EEF

Inquest into death of teenager hit by train

Edward Mallen Credit: Mallen Family

The inquest is due to open today into the death of a Cambridgeshire teenager who killed himself while suffering from depression.

18 year old Edward Mallen was hit by a train near his home in Meldreth last year - just months before he had hoped to start a Geography degree at Cambridge University.

His father Steve has since been campaigning for better mental health education for young people in schools.

The inquest in Huntingdon is expected to last for two days.

Proposed changes to Bedford and Milton Keynes hospitals revealed

The proposals will now be sent out for further consultation. Credit: ITV Anglia.

A review into the future of health services in Bedford and Milton Keynes Hospital has issued a series of proposals for further consultation.

Health bosses want to see Bedford hospital continue to supply A&E services and intensive care but maternity services moved to Milton Keynes hospital.

Milton Keynes would become a major emergency centre. The proposals will now be sent out for further consultation.

Council hopes to have come up with a 'sustainable plan' for hospital's future

Bedford Hospital. Credit: Press Association.

A report into the future of Bedford Hospital will be published later today.

It has been put together by the borough council which believes it has come up with a sustainable plan for the site's future.

The report was commissioned following concerns the latest review of healthcare in both Bedford and Milton Keynes hospital could see the hospital lose services like A&E maternity and paediatrics.

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