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New garden to aid patient recovery at Cumbrian hospital

Photo of the garden after work was completed Credit: Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Patients at a Cumbrian hospital are now able to enjoy a new and improved garden to aid them in their recovery.

The garden at Wigton Community Hospital was given a major overhaul so it can be used as a therapeutic area for patients and enjoyed by visitors, staff and gardening groups.

Landscaping works cost £10,000 with the funding raised through donations from patients and a contribution from the hospital’s League of Friends.

Volunteers from the Allerby Garden Project and students from Nelson Thomlinson School have also been providing support by helping clearing the garden before contractors began the landscaping and digging out, planting beds and completing woodworking projects.

"The garden has different surfaces, textures, steps and ramps so patients will experience more rounded therapy sessions to help their recovery.

“We are also hoping it will become a free to nibble area, where staff and visitors are encouraged to help themselves to produce as it ripens and also to provide education about healthy diets. We are keen that the space reflects people’s previous experience of gardening and rural life and the garden can evolve through patient suggestions.”

– Becky Blake, Occupational Therapist
Photo of the garden prior to work Credit: Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


Call for more carers in Cumbria

Recruitment fairs are being held across Cumbria in a bid to attract more people into a career in social care.

With one in three toddlers now expected to live until they're 100, the county's health care sector is preparing for an increase in demand in the future.

Care Sector Alliance Cumbria, which comprises over 200 charitable and private organisations providing social care and support in the county, has organised the fairs to inform people about job and volunteering opportunities as well as giving them the chance to talk to care organisations, get careers advice and job application tips.

In Cumbria, a third of the population is forecast to be aged 65 or older by 2037, significantly higher than the average for England.

Recruitment fairs have been held in Carlisle, Kendal, Barrow and Workington and there's an event taking place in Whitehaven today and Penrith tomorrow.

“A career in social care can be very worthwhile and rewarding, providing the opportunity to have a positive impact and help people to maximise their quality of life.”

– Sandy Armstrong, Care Sector Alliance Cumbria

Cumbrian toddler amazes medical experts

Noah Wall and consultant Claire Nicholson Credit: Noah's family

A Cumbrian toddler has left medical experts amazed after his brain function dramatically increased.

Three-year-old Noah Wall from Abbeytown, who has spina bifida, had just two per cent brain function at birth.

But scans have now revealed that his brain is almost fully functioning - a development doctors had not expected.

The scans were taken at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary where Noah had operations on the arches of both his feet on Friday to help him stand.

Parents Michelle and Rob Wall were warned their unborn son was unlikely to survive birth, after it became apparent he was missing a back quarter of his brain and were told to expect him to be paralysed from the chest down.

However, Noah defied the odds from birth and has continued to defy them ever since.

The scans of his brain will now be used by medical researchers to help increase understanding about spina bifida.

Claire Nicholson, the consultant treating Noah, believes the pressure of fluid effectively squashing his brain at birth was so severe that he appeared to have little brain function but this function has increased as the pressure's reduced.

She's in no doubt however about what a remarkable little boy he is.

"Noah has greatly exceeded all our expectations in just about every respect. It has been wonderful to watch his progress and to see how much he has learned, and how much joy he brings to everyone around him.

"Perhaps the most important thing of all is not what we can teach Noah, but what he can teach us."

– Claire Nicholson, Noah's consultant
Scans of Noah Wall’s brain show how he had just 2 per cent of brain function when he was born, left, yet now, right, it is nearly fully functioning Credit: Noah's family

WATCH: Bodybuilder with cystic fibrosis making waves on the modelling scene

Our reporter Kate Walby meets a Penrith bodybuilder whose toned physique has helped to land him a modelling deal.

Jonny Simpson has just been picked to represent a national fitness brand. But the 28 year old has to take 40 tablets a day for a life limiting condition.


'Proud parents' as Cumbrian toddler helps medical researchers

Noah Wall Credit: Noah's family

A Cumbrian toddler has left medical experts dumfounded after going from just two per cent of brain function at birth to it now being almost fully functional.

Noah Wall, three, from Abbeytown, who has Spina Bifida, had operations on the arches of both of his feet on Friday, at hospital in Newcastle.

He also had an MRI scan of his brain, which will be used by medical researchers.

The brain scan showed a dramatic increase in Noah's brain function, which doctors had not expected.

Scans of Noah Wall’s brain show how he had just 2 per cent of brain function when he was born, left, yet now, right, it is nearly fully functioning Credit: Noah's family

Noah's mum, Shelly, sent ITV Border this video, showing the toddler after the operations, and scan:

"Noah will be going into a medical book to help others understand more about the brain.

"We are such proud parents, we thank Noah's neurosurgeon Miss Nicholson from the RVI Newcastle hospital for her continued support with Noah."

– Shelly Wall, Noah's mum

Man suffers heart attack on Haystacks

The Pride of Cumbria Air Ambulance was sent to help. Credit: Cockermouth Mountain Rescue

A man is recovering, after suffering a heart attack on Haystacks.

The 56-year-old was approaching the summit of the fell, in the Lake District, when he collapsed with chest pain.

The Pride of Cumbria Great North Air Ambulance was called to the scene, where a doctor and paramedic assessed and treated him.

He was moved to the aircraft with the help of Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team, and flown for specialist treatment in the cardiac centre at the Cumberland Infirmary, in Carlisle.

He is reported to be in a stable condition.

Domestic and sexual assault advisors at Cumbrian hospitals

The advisors will be based at hospitals in Cumbria. Credit: PA

Two domestic and sexual assault advisors will take up roles at hospitals in Cumbria.

They will provide support to victims, and will advise staff at the hospitals while raising awareness about domestic and sexual abuse.

  • One will be based in the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust area, covering north and west Cumbria
  • One will be based in the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust area, covering Kendal and the South Lakeland area, as well as Barrow

Both roles are being funded by the office of Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes.

The IDSVAs will help identify and get support to victims earlier and will hopefully increase the confidence and knowledge of busy clinical staff.

I am hopeful, too, that with the IDSVAs now in post and raising awareness about domestic and sexual abuse, we will see an increase in the reporting of these crimes, which are traditionally under-reported.”

– Richard Rhodes

Scottish Borders has highest rate of under-16 pregnancies

The number of pregnancies went up from eight to eleven. Credit: PA

The Scottish Borders had the highest rate of pregnancy amongst people under the age 16, in 2013, according to new figures.

There were 5.8 pregnancies in every 1,000 people under the age 16, in that year.

However, that represents an increase from eight pregnancies to eleven - showing the region still has a relatively low number.

NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council say they are committed to reducing teenage pregnancy rates:

All local agencies are committed to reducing early sexual activity by improving the self-esteem, motivation and achievement of young people.

We will continue to support and improve access to local sexual health services and work to address the inequalities which are closely linked to teenage pregnancies to ensure that young people have the best opportunities in life.”

– Interim Joint Director of Public Health Dr Tim Patterson
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