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NZ radio hosts suspended over Stokes row

Ben Stokes Credit: PA

Two radio hosts in New Zealand have been given a one-day suspension after broadcasting a rant from Cockermouth cricketer Ben Stokes’ mother- without her permission.

Deborah Stokes phoned the Auckland-based radio station to make a complaint against the two presenters, who had been mocking Stokes for his performance in the World T20 final.

She was told that her call was off-air, however she was actually put through to the on-air studio and the row was broadcast live.

In the phonecall, Mrs Stokes says she's “totally brassed off” by the way the presenters talked about her son.

"It's not even about the cricket. It's about the personal attack on him. They called him arrogant and then they called him some sort of name. They don't know him! They wouldn't have a blooming clue."

– Deborah Stokes talking on the radio

The presenters have been taken off-air for one day as a result.

Read about the messages of support for Ben Stokes following the defeat, here.

New 'one-stop' surgical clinic to launch in Cockermouth

Credit: ITV Border

A new ‘one stop’ surgical clinic in Cockermouth will offer hernia and gallstone patients an improved service, according to NHS bosses.

Surgeons from North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust will start the weekly clinic at Cockermouth Community Hospital from 6 April 2016, seeing approximately 12 patients a week.

Currently, patients attend hospital for an initial appointment with a surgeon followed by a pre-assessment appointment and then await a date for surgery. The new clinic will offer patients both the consultation and pre-assessment during the same appointment and a date for surgery will also be provided at the end of the appointment.

“I am delighted to introduce the new clinic which offers many advantages to hernia and gallstone patients.

"Rather than attending the hospital on two occasions and then awaiting a date for surgery, patients can attend one appointment in Cockermouth and leave knowing when their surgery will be.

‎“We are planning to offer patients a choice of dates for surgery at the Cumberland Infirmary and the state-of-the-art facilities at the new West Cumberland Hospital."

– John Wayman, consultant general surgeon at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust


Hundreds sign Cockermouth petition opposing pharmacy funding cuts

JWW Allison pharmacy in Cockermouth Credit: ITV Border

More than 600 people have signed a petition opposing government cuts that could lead to the closure of a Cockermouth pharmacy.

JWW Allison say the planned £170million reduction in NHS funding for community pharmacies puts its future at risk.

The petition is part of a national campaign organised by the National Pharmacy Association calling on people to sign petitions and appeal to their MPs for support.

In a letter to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee outlining the cuts, the Department of Health argued savings can be made without reducing the quality of service community pharmacies provide.

But the National Pharmacy Association say the proposals are 'jumbled and misguided' and will put more pressure on GPs.

The petition at JWW Allison Credit: ITV Border

"With the radical cuts proposed to community pharmacy funding by the Government, the public will be rightly concerned about the future availability of the services upon which they have come to depend.

"The petition provides the perfect opportunity to give a voice to these concerns and push back against these harmful and dangerous cuts."

– Rob Darracott, Pharmacy Voice chief executive
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