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Tanzanian scientists learn from Cumbrian hospitals

Dr Anthony Nsojo and Felician Msingwa spent time shadowing staff across the region Credit: North Cumbria University Hospital Trust

Scientists from Mbeya Hospital in Tanzania have just completed a two week visit to hospitals in Cumbria, where they were looking at how laboratories in the UK work.

Microbiologists Dr Anthony Nsojo and Felician Msingwa spent time shadowing staff across the region and will take their findings back to Tanzania.

The trip was part of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust's Tanzanian link. It was funded by a grant from the Tropical Health Education Trust and the Department for International Development.

“As a senior team we are really keen to support projects like this and do anything we can to help the future development of such a worthwhile programme.”

– Helen Ray, Chief operating officer

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Second victim loses £15,000 in banking scam

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A second victim has lost £15,000 in a telephone banking scam in Dumfries and Galloway.

Similar to the woman from Newton Stewart who lost £12,000 at the weekend, the 78-year-old from Stranraer was persuaded that his accounts were under threat. The scammer, pretending to be from his bank, convinced him to transfer money to another account, which was in fact the account of the scammer.

Police Scotland want to hear from anyone who may have been contacted by such a caller, whether they actually became a victim or not. Police are also warning the public over the dangers of engaging with anyone who cold calls in this manner.

£100,000 grant to fund church roof repairs

St Cuthbert's Church, near Kendal, has won a grant that will fund roof repairs Credit: ITV Border

An historic church in the south lakes has received almost £100,000 towards the cost of roof repairs.

St Cuthbert's Church in Kentmere, near Kendal, was awarded the money from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.

The church was founded in the 1400s and has strong connections to St Cuthbert. It homes a yew tree that is said to be 1,000 years old.

The money covers approximately 80% of the funding required for repairs, leaving £20,000 still to raise.

Warning after woman loses £12,000 in banking scam

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Police Scotland is warning the public about a telephone banking scam that appears to be doing the rounds across Dumfries and Galloway.

The message comes after a woman in Newton Stewart lost over £12,000 on Saturday after transferring money into the account of a scammer claiming to be from her bank.

Police say there were other, similar attempts over the weekend and have warned anyone receiving such a call to completely ignore it and get in touch with them or their own bank to report the matter.

Personal and banking details should never be given out over the phone and banks and building societies never ask for this type of information.

UPDATE: two wards remain closed due to norovirus.

Credit: ITV Border

Two wards are closed and full control measures continue to be implemented at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary due to an ongoing outbreak of norovirus.

Wards 10 and 14 remain closed to admissions, transfers and routine visiting after ward 14 closed yesterday. Ward 9 and 12 have both reopened.

The total number of patients experiencing symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea is 44, and there have been 11 reported cases in staff.

All members of the public who plan to visit other areas of the hospital are asked not to if they have symptoms of nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea, and to comply with the hand hygiene and infection control measures in place.

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Three wards closed at DGRI due to norovirus

Three wards remain closed at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary due to an outbreak of norovirus.

The winter vomiting bug has closed wards 9, 10 and 12, with around 30 people showing symptoms of the illness, including sickness and diarrhoea.

Full outbreak control measures have been put in place at the hospital, with admissions and visiting restricted.

“This is an unpleasant virus which is circulating in the community and is spread easier wherever people are together.

"In this outbreak vomiting is more of a feature and this makes it much more easy to transmit which is why we are seeing higher numbers affected in hospital.

"We regret having to take such measures as restricting visiting, particularly over a holiday period, but thank the public and our staff for their continued support and patience as we endeavour to minimise the impact of this horrible bug.”

– Elaine Ross, Infection Control Manager, DGRI

UPDATE: third ward closes with norovirus

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A third ward has now closed at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary following an outbreak of norovirus.

Ward 12 joins ward 9 and 10 in being closed to admissions transfers and all three are likely to remain closed over the bank holiday weekend.

The total number of patients experiencing symptoms of norovirus over all wards has risen to thirty, and a further five staff have now reported symptoms, bringing the total affected to ten.

UPDATE: further ward closures as norovirus outbreak at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary spreads

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Ward 10 has now also been closed in Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary as a norovirus outbreak continues. It joins ward 9, which was closed at the weekend.

The total number of patients experiencing sickness and diarrhoea, symptoms of the 'winter vomiting bug', over all wards has risen to 28.

And while no staff were originally affected, there are now four members with reported symptoms.

Outbreak control measures continue to be implemented throughout the hospital.

“Our priority is always patient, public and staff safety. We appreciate that this temporary visiting restriction to Wards 9 and 10 may cause some frustration, but this measure will allow us to help prevent further spread of the infection and ensure safe patient care and dignity, at this difficult time.”

“Where circumstances are such that relatives are concerned about the need to visit their loved ones in Wards 9 & 10, they are asked to contact the ward before coming to the hospital.

All members of the public who plan to visit other areas of the hospital are asked not to visit if they are suffering symptoms of nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea, and to comply with the hand hygiene and infection control measures in place.”

– Dr Martin Connor, Consultant Microbiologist and Infection Control Doctor

NHS issues advice for Easter weekend

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Ahead of this Easter weekend, the NHS in Cumbria has asked the public to plan their healthcare to help ease the pressure on hospital services.

Advice includes keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet, and visiting your pharmacist before visiting A&E.

“Easter is another time in the year that hospitals and Cumbria Health on Call Services (CHOC) can experience a high number of patients and we are again urging everyone to think before visiting A&E or calling CHOC.

“Your local pharmacy can be an excellent place in offering expert, confidential advice and treatment for many minor health problems and the best medicines to treat them, visiting the pharmacist can save you time in the waiting room and help you feel better fast."

– Dr David Rogers, Medical Director for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group

The public have also been reminded of the following if they feel they need to visit an out of hours centre:

  • Ring first. Please do not walk into a busy out of hours centre as patients who have telephoned first and poorly patients will take priority.
  • Do not attend a centre if you have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. Always ring for advice first.
  • The GP out of hours service needs to be able to reach poorly patients quickly. If you can wait for advice from your own surgery then please do.
  • CHoC cannot offer a repeat prescription service. This must be arranged with your own surgery. If you do run out of important medicine please ring for advice but to prevent this happening try to ensure you have a good supply before the Bank Holiday.
  • Remember both Friday and Monday are bank holidays, be prepared, collect your repeat prescriptions well in advance. There is limited pharmacy opening time over the Easter period with only 1-2hours of opening in your area on Easter Sunday.
  • The GP out of hours service will be very busy, only telephone if you have urgent needs. There may be delays ringing back with advice and appointment times. Do not keep re-contacting the service unless your symptoms have become worse.

For health advice, you can visit the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk/asap. CHoC are available by calling 03000 247 247.

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