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Scheme to combat shortage of nurses begins

1 in 10 nurse posts in the UK remain unfilled Credit: ITV News Anglia

A major scheme to combat a shortage of nurses in Bedfordshire is being launched.

The Clinical Commissioning group has appointed a new nurse tutor to spearhead the drive to recruit more staff. It comes as 1 in 10 nurse posts across the UK remain unfilled.

"Practice nurses and healthcare assistants are a vital part of the clinical team at a local surgery and are often the first port of call for patients.

"General practice is so busy that it is a challenge keeping up to date with both knowledge and skills, attending training courses and team meetings whilst still managing to do all the work needed to support patients."

– Bedfordshire's new Nurse Tutor, Carol Clapham

Second man arrested after Luton shooting

The shooting happened in November. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A second man has been arrested in connection with a shooting in Luton in November.

The man presented himself at Luton Police Station earlier today (Thursday) and was subsequently arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

The victim, a man, was shot in Marlow Avenue at around 5pm on Saturday, 26 November. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

Another man was arrested on 29 November in connection to the incident and has been bailed until January.

Family tribute to student who died on skiing trip

Matt Smith Credit: Facebook

A touching family tribute has been paid to the "adventurous and imaginative" former Bedford schoolboy who died during a Varsity skiing trip. Undergraduate Matt Smith, 21, was found dead during a visit to the Val Thorens resort in the French Alps on Sunday morning.

His father, Howard, 49, spoke on Thursday of his son's love for snowboarding and the "happiness" he found in the mountains, where his family now see him"resting at peace".

He especially looked forward to the annual Varsity trip. Even though he didn't have a chance to start enjoying it this year, he would have wanted the party to carry on without him. He would have applauded the way his fellow snow-lovers took his snowboard for one last ride this week.

– Howard Smith, Matt's father

Mr Smith was reading history at St John's College, Oxford and had been the secretary of the ski and snowboard club last year. Thousands of students from Oxford and Cambridge Universities join the popular annual Varsity ski trip, which dates back to 1921.

Bird flu: farmers told to keep poultry indoors

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The Government has ordered that all poultry farmers across the region keep their birds inside to protect against a dangerous strain of bird flu that's sweeping across Europe.

As yet the strain of the avian flu hasn't been found in the UK, but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the steps should be followed until the New Year as a precaution.

It's a type of highly pathogenic avian flu, H5N8, that has been found in dead wild birds.

Many of the turkeys, ducks and chickens have already been processed for Christmas so it shouldn't affected the supply of birds for Yuletide meals.

Public Health England said the threat to humans from the bird flu strain remains very low.

Here's a report from Kate Prout:

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Dad makes son's drawings an internet success

One of Dominic's drawings and his father's version

A dad from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire who creates "real life" images from his children's drawings has more than one-hundred-thousand Instagram fans.

One of Dominic's drawings and his father's version

Tom Curtis uses Photoshop to bring the wacky animals and objects to life. It can take him up to 20 hours to create one image.

Tom Curtis with his sons

You can watch a video of some of the drawings here:

Search for teenager missing for nearly a month

Wafa Benaziza. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Police are re-appealing for the public’s help to trace a 16 year old girl who has gone missing from her home in St Albans.

Wafa Benaziza has been missing since November 8th. She was last seen wearing a black and red top, blue skinny jeans, a black leather jacket, black Nike trainers and was carrying a black handbag.

Police say she has links to the Hemel Hempstead, Bedford and Kempston areas.

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