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Cumbrians warned over national rise in scarlet fever

A potential outbreak of scarlet fever means warning letters have been sent to all nurseries and schools across Cumbria.

Over the last 12 months, cases of the highly contagious disease have doubled nationally.

Health experts say a similar pattern is being seen in the county, especially in West Cumbria.

Symptoms include a sore throat, a pink itchy rash and swollen tongue.

While the condition has become less serious than it once was, anyone showing symptoms is advised to see a GP.

For more information, you can visit the NHS website here.

NHS Borders wins its 2nd CHKS Top 40 Hospitals award

Representatives from NHS Borders at Tuesday night’s annual awards ceremony in London, picking up the award on behalf of the health board Credit: NHS Borders

NHS Borders is one of the CHKS Top Hospitals for second consecutive year.

The accolade has been awarded to the top performing CHKS client trusts over 2015.

It's based on the evaluation of over 20 key performance indicators covering safety, clinical effectiveness, health outcomes, efficiency, patient experience and quality of care.

“This is a tremendous and well deserved achievement for NHS Borders. To be highlighted as one the 40 Top trusts and boards in the UK for a second year running is outstanding.”

– John Raine, NHS Borders Chair

The CHKS Top Hospitals programme awards were held in London on 19 May and were attended by over 200 guests, including representatives from NHS Borders.

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Michael Pattie named meningitis charity ambassador

Michael Pattie.

A man from Dumfries who's raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the Meningitis Research Foundation, has been named the charity's first Scottish ambassador.

Michael Pattie began fundraising when his son died of meningitis.

He's been involved in the charity for many years, and will now help the organisation to spread awareness in an official capacity.

Thornhill Hospital receives Eat Safe award

Credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

Thornhill Hospital has been awarded an 'Eat safe' award in recognition of its high standards of hygiene, cleanliness and food safety.

'Eat safe' is designed to promote excellence in food hygiene in catering businesses across Scotland.

It's administered by Local Authority Environmental Health Services in conjunction with Food Standards Scotland.

We are delighted that Thornhill Hospital has received the 'Eat safe' award.

This demonstrates the knowledge, skills and dedicated commitment that the staff have to ensuring that the patients at Thornhill Hospital receive the highest quality nutrition”

– Gail Meier, Nurse Manager, Primary and Community Care Directorate of NHS Dumfries & Galloway

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NHS Borders considers relocation of East/West Brigs ward

Credit: PA

Representatives from NHS Borders have outlined proposals to relocate the East/West Brigs Mental Health Rehabilitation Ward to Crumhaugh House in Hawick.

Currently located on the Galavale site in Galashiels, the ward is a rehabilitation inpatient unit for patients with long-term mental health problems.

In July 2014 a project team was established to look at potential relocation options to improve the quality of care for patients.

Out of four possible locations considered, the ground floor of the currently vacant Crumhaugh House property in Hawick was identified as the preferred location.

In its current location, ward staff are presented with real challenges including patient observation and a lack of therapeutic space, which has an impact on patient recovery times.

“The option to relocate to Crumhaugh House, which was most recently utilised for inpatient care by the Mental Health service whilst Huntlyburn Ward on the BGH site was refurbished, addresses the patient safety issues that we are currently facing, and will provide patients with a high quality, safe, equitable and accessible service.”

– Dr Cliff Sharp, Consultant Psychiatrist and Associate Medical Director for Mental Health at NHS Borders

Crumhaugh House is currently owned by NHS Borders.

It was put on the market in July 2013 but a buyer has not been identified.

Utilising the building for Rehabilitation patients would provide 13 inpatient beds, and relocate 28 employees to Hawick.

The move would require a capital investment of £1.87 million.

The full business case, which will take into account feedback gathered during a public engagement phase, will be presented to the public meeting of NHS Borders Board on August 6th 2015.

WATCH: Report criticises cancer treatment in Cumbria

A patients' group in Cumbria says some people are facing unacceptable delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

A Healthwatch survey found nearly a third of respondents in Copeland visited their GP five or more times before being diagnosed. Health managers say they welcome the report but question whether the reality is as bad as the survey's findings suggest. Katie Hunter reports.

Public drop-ins to help shape future of health and social care in Scottish Borders

Susan Manion, Chief Officer for Health and Social Care Integration in the Borders and Cllr Catriona Bhatia, SBC’s Executive Member for Health Service and Chair of the Integrated Joint Board Credit: Scottish Borders Council

People in the Scottish Borders are being asked for their views to help shape the future of health and social care in the area.

Scottish Borders Council is hosting a series of drop-in events so Borderers can take a look at and discuss the council's ‘A conversation with You’ document.

The views and feedback people give at these sessions will then see the document developed into a first draft which will be issued for further public consultation between July and September.

Drop-in sessions are being held at between 6:30pm and 8pm at the following locations:

- Wednesday 20 May – Community Centre, Eyemouth - Thursday 21 May – Heart of Hawick - Monday 25 May – Argus Centre, Selkirk - Tuesday 26 May – Council Chamber, Duns - Thursday 28 May – Burgh Hall, Peebles

“It is crucial that we get the views of as many people as possible to help develop the next draft of our Strategic Plan which will set out our vision for how Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and NHS Borders will deliver adult health and social care services.

“The first draft which is currently available is really just to help us start the conversation with residents – hence why it is called ‘A conversation with You’.

“At this stage, it simply provides an overview of the services we are integrating as well as our proposed vision, aims and objectives for the partnership. We need input from the public before we can go into further detail and this is why attendance at these events is really important.

“There is no need to book a place, just come along and have your say.”

– Susan Manion, Chief Officer for Health and Social Care Integration in the Borders
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