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Energy Coast college re-opens after illness

The college was closed. Credit: ITV Border

A college in Workington has re-opened, after it was closed, and the emergency services called, because of a sudden outbreak of illness.

The Energy Coast University Technical College in Workington had to be evacuated on Thursday.

Emergency services were called, and one pupil was taken to hospital and later discharged.

Tests did not find any cause for the problem, but it has been suggested the illnesses were caused by a virus.


Campaigners stage protest outside new hospital

Protestors outside new West Cumberland Hospital Credit: ITV Border

Dozens of protestors have gathered outside Whitehaven's new West Cumberland Hospital this morning to campaign for keeping health services they claim could be lost to Carlisle.

The protestors are taking action today as the public can take a look inside the £90million hospital for the first time as part of a community open day.

Hospital protest Credit: ITV Border

Stranraer teenager's fight for life-enhancing medicine

Katie Milby, pictured here with her close friends, is battling to have the drug Vimizim available on the Scottish NHS. Credit: ITV Border

A teenager's fight to get her life enhancing medication paid for on the NHS will go before the Scottish parliament.

Thirteen-year-old Katie Milby from Stranraer has a rare degenerative syndrome called Morquio A.

The condition affects her mobility general health and her stamina.

She's been using the drug Vimizim, which had been supplied free by the drug company, but now it's stopped paying believing the NHS should pay.

However the Scottish Medicines Consortium did not recommend Vimizin for routine use so the drug isn't being paid for by NHS Scotland.

"SMC was unable to recommend elosulfase alfa (Vimizim) for routine use by NHS Scotland because the case presented by the company was not robust enough to convince us about its longer-term benefits when balanced against its extremely high cost.

While our processes are designed to increase access to medicines for these kinds of conditions, our responsibility is to consider whether individual medicines offer value for money to the NHS in Scotland, and take account of all those patients who need treatment, not just those affected by the medicine under consideration.

– Scottish Medicines Consortium spokesperson

Fortunately, the local NHS board in Dumfries & Galloway has agreed it will pay for Katie's treatment.

Local MSP Alex Fergusson is due to raise the issue at Holyrood tomorrow, when he will ask the Scottish Government whether it will review the decision-making processes of the Scottish Medicines Consortium, following its decision not to reimburse Vimizim for people with Morquio A syndrome.

Morquio Syndrome has no known cure but the drug improves the life of young people with the condition by replacing a missing enzyme that allows growth to continue.

It also improves stamina and walking ability as well as relieving pain.

A spokesperson for BioMarin said:

BioMarin is disappointed that the Scottish Medicines Consortium has concluded that that Vimizim (elosulfase alfa) is not recommended for use within NHS Scotland.VIMIZIM® is the only enzyme replacement therapy for people with Morquio A Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that is progressively degenerative and life limiting.

“BioMarin continues to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that a long term funding solution for Vimizim is found for all patients with Morquio A Syndrome, so that they are able to access treatment through NHS Scotland.

– BioMarin Spokesperson.

Katie's friend and fellow Stranraer Academy student Kyle Pirrie has started a petition to get Vimizim available on the NHS, which has so far gathered over 2,0000 signatures.

It is thought that only five people in Scotland have Morquio Syndrome, with a hundred and five people across the UK reportedly suffering from the condition.

Report reveals complaints about Cumbrian NHS Trust

Cumberland Infirmary Credit: ITV Border

A new report has revealed the number of complaints made to a health watchdog about a Cumbrian NHS Trust.

Thirty-nine complaints were made about North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, which runs the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman investigated and upheld five of the complaints.


Eden's Nellie-Mai wins national bravery award

A nine year-old schoolgirl from the Eden Valley has been named a winner in the WellChild Awards. Nellie-Mai Evans was nominated by her sister Eloise.

Nellie-Mai, who was born with a heart condition requiring a heart transplant and has since battled with cancer, a stroke and ongoing epilepsy, was picked from 100s of nominations from across the UK to win the category of Inspirational Child in these Awards which celebrate the courage of children coping with serious illnesses.

Nellie-Mai will pick up her award at the Hilton in London next month.

"Nellie-Mai has defied the odds time and again and fought every step of the way. She is such a loving, caring child who is determined to live life to the full in spite of the difficulties she continues to face.

"Nellie-Mai is truly special and makes a deep impression on everyone who meets her."

– Teaching Assistant Sarah Lofthouse who supports Nellie Mai at Warcop C of E Primary school

AGM for troubled Morecambe Bay NHS Trust

Furness General Hospital. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

The Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust holds its annual general meeting in Kendal on Thursday.

The Care Quality Commission placed the trust in "special measures" last year after concerns about its performance.

The AGM will take place at the Castle Green Hotel, at 2pm.

It's a chance for the public to hear about the past year, and question the trust's board members about the future.

Two reviews into the trust's performance have been published in the last year:

I am really looking forward to this Annual Members' Meeting as it will be the first since I joined the Trust as Chair.

Events like this are always one of the real highlights on the calendar for me as it gives us the perfect opportunity to talk directly to the public about what has been going on at the Trust, what achievements we've made, what challenges we've faced, and also what we are planning for the future.

It also enables the public to ask the Trust Board and the Council of Governors any questions they may have about their local hospitals.

I hope that as many people as possible will take the time to come along to the meeting and get involved."

– Pearse Butler, Chair, UHMBT

Chance for public to question NHS Borders

The annual review takes place at Borders General Hospital. Credit: ITV Border

People in the Scottish Borders can hear and ask questions about the performance of their local NHS Trust today.

The NHS Borders annual review takes place in the Tryst, Chaplaincy Centre, of Borders General Hospital, from 2:30pm to 4pm.

It will be led by the Chair of NHS Borders, Mr John Raine.

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