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Rise in Cumbrian patients treated by Northumbria NHS Trust

When people need an operation they generally want to be treated as close to home as possible. But figures obtained by ITV Border show a big rise in the number of planned operations on Cumbrian patients taking place in Northumberland.

The biggest increase is in orthopaedic procedures. One former consultant has told this programme it reflects "chaotic management" at North Cumbria University Hospitals. The Trust denies that and explains that it's helping to reduce waiting lists. Katie Hunter reports:

Stranger tries to grab 9-year-old outside school

The incident happened outside Kingmoor Infant School on Hether Drive. Credit: ITV Border

A 9-year-old boy was approached by a stranger who grabbed his arm outside a school in Carlisle.

The boy managed to free himself from the man and get away from him.

It's believed to have happened around 5pm on 14th November, outside Kingmoor Infant School on Hether Drive.

Police are investigation the incident are have worked with the school in an attempt to reassure parents.

“We appeal to anyone who may have any information on this incident get in touch. Thankfully these type of incidents are very rare in Carlisle and whilst the victim did not receive any injuries, he was understandably upset about the incident.

– Inspector Andy Hanson , Cumbria Police

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Showing racism the 'red card'

Former Carlisle United player Gary Bennett has returned to his old club but with a very different role.

Now a director of the charity, Show Racism the Red Card, he held a series of workshops for local schoolchildren at Brunton Park.

As Paul Crone reports, the footballer turned ambassador has experienced racism both on and off the pitch.

Christmas carol gets a hip hop makeover

A Carlisle church mission worker has given a new twist to a traditional Christmas carol.

Last year Andy Dykes remixed 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel' which had thousands of hits online. This year he and a group of friends have worked together to make 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' more contemporary.

He hopes the new version of the carol will make the Christmas message accessible to all ages.

Watch the video below:

HIV - the dangers of late diagnosis

It's estimated that a quarter of people in the UK living with HIV are unaware of their infection. Credit: PA

People who are worried about HIV are being encouraged to take a test early as new figures show that many Cumbrians with HIV wait too long for a test.

People living with HIV can expect a near normal life-span if they are diagnosed promptly. However, waiting longer can mean the treatment is far less effective.

Although HIV is far less prevalent here than in other parts of the UK, 62 per cent of those who go for a test are deemed late - well above the national rate for the same period (2011 to 2013) of 45 per cent.

A late diagnosis means the immune system may already be significantly compromised. Someone who is diagnosed late is 10 times more likely to die within a year of diagnosis, and could have significantly reduced life expectancy.

The county’s public health chiefs are using next week’s National HIV Testing Week to highlight the dangers of late diagnosis.

While the vast majority of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men do not have HIV, latest data shows the infection route for the majority of all HIV diagnoses in Cumbria was men who have sex with men (56.8%).

The results also show that:

  • Heterosexual contact between men and women accounts for 33.1% of all diagnosed HIV infections in Cumbria
  • Injecting drug use (2.2%)
  • Blood and tissue (2.2%)
  • Undetermined (4.3%)

Many people, but not all, who are infected with HIV experience a short, flu-like illness that occurs two to six weeks after infection. After this, HIV often causes no symptoms for several years.

It is estimated that a quarter (26,100) of people in the UK living with HIV are unaware of their infection.

This has implications for wider public health since these people don’t know they have HIV, they are not accessing treatment and care. As a result, their long-term health is at avoidable risk and, they remain at risk of passing on their infection.

HIV testing is available free of charge from sexual health clinics and GP surgeries across Cumbria.

For more information on HIV visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/HIV

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