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'Be a Hero' plea for organ donors

Be a Hero campaign

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is launching a new ‘Be a Hero’ campaign in a bid to encourage more Yorkshire residents to sign the donor register.

Whilst nearly everyone would take a donated organ if they needed one, only around a third of the population have joined the Organ Donor Register. There are more than 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant and of these, three a day will die waiting.

Health bosses say this figure could be reduced if more people signed up to the organ donor register. ‘Be a Hero’ has created a new emblem highlighting that you don’t have to be a superhero to save a life. For those involved in organ donation, a hero can come in many forms. It might be the donor who saved your life. It might be the family that consented to it, the Specialist Nurse who accompanied the family of a donor through the organ donation process, or the surgeon who transplanted your new organ.

We are proud to launch the ‘Be a Hero’ campaign and discover real life heroes across Yorkshire. Last year, just over 100 people in Yorkshire donated an organ after their death. Together these amazing individuals provided 294 lifesaving transplants. Sadly there are still nearly 800 people in Yorkshire waiting for a transplant. Just one organ donor can transform the lives of up to nine people and if more families felt sure of their loved one’s wishes to be a donor, more lives could be saved.

– Dr Simon Flood, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Kim Richards and Jayne Fisher joined Gaynor Barnes and John Shires in the Calendar studio, to stress the importance of signing up to the donor register.

Kim has already had a kidney transplant and is now waiting for another. Jayne Fisher is in charge of organ donation services in the Calendar region.

The Leeds Transplant Centre at LTHT has been providing complex specialist organ transplantation services for the Yorkshire and Humber region for over 25 years. It is the third largest liver transplant unit in the UK, a leading centre for ‘live related’ transplants and a regional centre for renal transplants. You can find out here more about organ donation and join the NHS Organ Donor Register or by calling 0300 123 23 23 - please remember to reference the Yorkshire 'Be A Hero' campaign.

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Department of Health: Difficult decisions hard for patients and families

These are incredibly difficult decisions and we know how hard they are for patients and their families. It is right however that clinicians, and not politicians, make these assessments as they are best placed to do so based on the evidence available and their clinical expertise. Across the world health systems are facing growing pressures to fund new treatments arising from medical science. Through the UK's investment in rare disease research, genomics, and NHS England's new models of specialised commissioning, we are leading the way in tackling this global challenge.

– Department of Health spokesperson

NHS England defers decision on Morquio drug by '12-16 weeks'

NHS England has today deferred a decision on Vimizim - the drug required by six-year-old Morquio syndrome patient Sam Brown from Otley - by a further 12-16 weeks.

Adam Fowler reports:

After a wait of more than six months, NHS England it will make its final decision on funding after after NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has concluded its report into the drug.

NICE has said that doubts exist about the benefits and cost of this treatment in its recent draft guidance, and is therefore “minded not to recommend” the treatment for patients with Morquio A Syndrome. The manufacturer now has the opportunity to present additional evidence to NICE to address these concerns. If NICE ultimately does recommend the NHS funds this treatment then NHS England will do so. NHS England believes the manufacturer has an ethical duty to continue to support those patients it enrolled in clinical trials of elosulfase alfa whilst the NICE process is still ongoing.

– NHS England

Sam Brown received his last free round of treatment last week.

BioMarin, the company which provides Sam's treatment said it was "disappointed" by NHS England's decision.

BioMarin is disappointed by NHS England’s decision not to provide interim funding for Vimizim. 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 this treatment in England.

– BioMarin spokesperson

Dangers of 'cooling off' in open waters

cooling off Credit: PA

As temperatures soar, the Royal Life Saving Society is asking people not to risk their lives by cooling off in the region's rivers and dams.

The charity has appealed for people to take note of simple safety messages to avoid a repeat of last summer's tragedies when many people lost their lives in open water.

Figures released from the National Water Safety Forum earlier this month revealed that the peak summer months of July and August witnessed the most deaths in 2014. Figures show the age group with the highest number of fatalities (27) in 2014 were men aged between 20 and 24. Meanwhile, 0 to 19-year-olds accounted for 11 per cent of deaths (38), of which more than half were teenagers aged 15 to 19 (21).

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Children's mental health unit in East Yorkshire could re-open

A specialist unit for children with mental health problems in East Yorkshire could be re-opened following the intervention of the Health Minister.

It comes in the wake of a campaign by a mother from Hessle, who had a four-hour round trip to visit her mentally-ill teenage daughter - because there're no local in-patient beds for young people.

Sally Burke's daughter Maisie Shaw, also has autism. Last night both of of them were in London where they met MPs to discuss what's been described as a national scandal in the care of vulnerable children.

Fiona Dwyer reports:

Mother calls for 'change in attitude' to Down's syndrome

A mother is warning that there needs to be a change in attitude towards Down's Syndrome before the NHS considers rolling out a new test for the condition.

A non-invasive test could be available next year. But Wendy Puckrin, from Harrogate, says knowing a baby has Down's Syndrome could result in more abortions - unless both mothers and the medical profession understand more about the condition. Helen Steel reports.

Two charged with Doncaster care home ill treatment

Nottinghamshire Police has charged two care home employees with ill treatment.

Kayleigh Hockham, who is 26, and from Bawtry Road, Harworth, and Jane Robinson, who is 41, and of Buckingham Court, Harworth, are alleged to have committed the offences under S44 of the Mental Health Capacity Act against two residents at Rose Farm Care Home in Main Road, Styrrup, near Doncaster.

Both were employed as carers at the home at the time of the alleged offences in May last year. They are due to appear at Mansfield Magistrates' Court on July 30th.

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