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Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust spending over £200,000 on taxis for patients

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the biggest spenders on taxis for patients in the NHS, according to new figures. In the year 2014-15 it spent £211,892 on transporting patients by taxi.

It is one of several trusts across the country to spend more than £200,000 on taxis.

Patients are transferred by private taxi when they are too ill, frail or unable to travel to and from appointments by themselves.

A taxi may be paid for by the NHS if there is a shortage of patient transport services at the hospital, including ambulances or car drivers.

The Patients Association has criticised the amount being spent by hospital trusts on taxis. It argues that hospital transport could be used more effectively without having to waste money on private taxis.

A spokesman from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said it saw around 1.5 million patients every year.

We have a contract with a patient transport provider who normally carries eligible patients with a medical need to and from the hospital. This is backed up by a contract taxi service to provide ad hoc transportation, including for some patients - this may be due to special circumstances or high demand on the usual patient transport vehicles.

– Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust spokesman

Hundreds of operations and appointments cancelled despite strike being called off

Hundreds of patients have had their operations and appointments cancelled despite a strike by junior doctors being called off.

Credit: Press Association

A temporary agreement reached between the government and doctors means three days of strikes are no longer going ahead as long as a final settlement can be agreed.

However, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says it has cancelled 80% of planned operations. The trust is rescheduling 100 elective procedures or operations - 30 inpatients and 70 day cases.

Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust says it's cancelling a "very small" number of clinics (11% of appointments) and non-urgent procedures (7%).

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust says 400 appointments and two operations have been cancelled and rescheduled.

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Over a third of hospital meals binned in York

A new report published today by the Campaign for Better Hospital Food shows that one in four hospital meals in are thrown in the bin in England meaning over 30 million meals are binned each year.

Over a third of hospital meals binned in York

The Harrogate and District Hospitals were the least wasteful, with just under 60,000 meals binned, while the York Teaching Hospitals Trust wasted over 430,000 meals. On average, 39 per cent of food in the York trust was thrown away.

MP meets Prime Minister over treatment for girl with rare kidney condition

The MP for Morley and Outwood, Andrea Jenkyns has met with the Prime Minister to discuss medical treatment for a girl from Wakefield with a rare kidney condition.

Andrea Jenkyns has met David Cameron to discuss NHS funding to treat a girl with a rare medical condition

Abi Longfellow's condition is considered too rare for NHS funding, but not rare enough to be an exceptional case.

12-year-old battling kidney disease set to meet NHS bosses

The family of a girl from Wakefield who's been denied a potentially life-saving drug will meet NHS bosses later today.

Abi Longfellow has been battling the illness for two years Credit: ITV News

Abi Longfellow's kidney condition is too rare for the NHS to routinely pay the £136,000 a year bill the drug manufacturer is demanding, but not rare enough to be funded as an 'exceptional case.'

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Prime Minister 'moved' by Abi's letter pleading for life-saving drug

Credit: Cavendish Press

The Prime Minister was moved by Abigael's letter and her bravery in the face of what is clearly a very difficult condition. It is absolutely right that children and their parents should ask for the very best from our NHS and the Prime Minister has asked NHS-England to urgently contact Abigael and her family to ensure they are absolutely clear on the clinical reasons for their decision. These decisions are rightly taken by clinical experts based on the best available evidence about the potential benefits of a particular treatment or drug. It is important those doctors look at the fullest possible evidence for drugs like Eculizumab and so the Prime Minister has asked both NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to further look at the guidance and procedures applied in Abigael’s case.

– Spokesperson for the Prime Minister

12-year-old fights NHS red tape for medication which could save her life

12-year-old Abi Longfellow's life changed two years ago when a trip to A&E for a lingering throat infection revealed she was actually suffering from kidney failure.

Abi Longfellow has been battling the illness for two years

Abi was admitted to Pinderfields and I slept with her there that evening. 24hrs hours later she was transferred by ambulance to the paediatric renal ward at the Leeds General Infirmary. Abi underwent a number of treatments in an attempt to save her kidneys. High doses of steroids and cyclophosphamide (chemotherapy) had little effect. A visit to theatre to fit a line into her chest to carry out multiple sessions of plasma exchange left her immunity stripped and Abi in an isolated room on the ward for her own protection. Her skin thinned, stretch marks appeared, her hair began to fall out and her body continued to swell with fluid. Sadly the treatments had no success. A kidney biopsy finally confirmed Abi had Dense Deposit Disease, a rare but aggressive kidney disease.

– Jo Longfellow, Abi's mother

Abi now spends 10 hours a day on dialysis but doctors are not able to give her the drug which could save her life because her illness Dense Deposit Disease is too rare to be covered by the NHS England funding policy. At the same time it is not considered to be rare enough to be classed as an exceptional case which would allow her access to the drugs she needs.

Her family is campaigning for her to be allowed the drug. Abi has even written to the Prime Minister asking him to intervene.

Why is that fair when other children with other rare kidney diseases like me are receiving it? I’m a 12-year old English girl and if I lived in Ireland, Europe, America, Canada etc I would get the medicine without hesitation.

So I want to know why am I being disadvantaged in my own country?

– Abi Longfellow's letter to David Cameron
Abi's letter to the Prime Minister

These are incredibly difficult situations, but in this case doctors and medical experts decided that it would not be right to fund a treatment that hasn't been proven to work for patients in these circumstances.

– NHS England spokesperson

In under 24 hours, more than 2,000 people signed an online petition addressed to the prime minister.

Hospitals in Lincolnshire to get £25m upgrade

Three hospitals in Lincolnshire are to undergo a £25 million upgrade.

Boston Pilgrim is one of the hospitals set for an upgrade

Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincoln County Hospital and Grantham and District Hospital will benefit from the money which will be used to upgrade accommodation and improve facilities for patients.

Work has already started on site and the redevelopment is expected to be finished by March next year.

Hundreds march against "increasing privatisation" of NHS

Hundreds of campaigners staged a march through central Leeds earlier - against what they describe as the 'increasing privatisation' of the health service. The protestors say they are also worried about what they call 'cost driven cuts and closures'.

However, the Department of Health say use of the private sector in the NHS accounts for only six percent of overall budgets:

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