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Campaign to legalise assisted suicide in Isle of Man

There are calls to re-open the debate on assisted dying in the Isle of Man.

Millie Blenkinsopp from Douglas has petitioned the island's government so she can decide when she dies.

Millie has a condition that means she has had a series of strokes and fears the next one could leave her with no quality of life.

Amy Mulhern reports.

Isle of Man campaign to legalise assisted suicide

A woman on the Isle of Man has launched a campaign to legalise assisted suicide. Millie Blenkinsop lives with a condition that has causes her to suffer a series of mini strokes. The guest house owner from Douglas fears the next one could leave her in an extremely poor state of health.

Millie has petitioned the Manx government to legalise assisted suicide and give her the right to decide when she should die. It's not the first time the issue has been raised on the island - Tynwald parliament investigated assisted dying around ten years ago and decided there was no appetite for change - but because of Millie's petition it will now be looked at again.

If the authorities want to progress with a change in the law, there are of course people that are vehemently opposed to the idea.


Self harm and suicide rates "double"

People self-harming or attempting suicide at mental health hospitals has doubled in parts of the region, according to figures obtained by the Labour Party.

Shadow Public Health Minister and Liverpool MP Luciana Berger says incidents in Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire have risen from 1877 hundred to over 3072 over a three year period. The figures were obtained by a freedom of information request.

Meanwhile some health experts are warning that acute mental health services are struggling to cope with demand.

picture posed by model
The figures were disclosed by mental health trusts Credit: pa

Full report: Alder Hey Hospital told it must improve

by Rob Smith

The North West's leading children's hospital has been told it must improve.

Alder Hey's care of critically ill children has been criticised and inspectors say they don't have enough nurses and senior doctors.

The report comes after an inspection by Care Quality Commission.

The hospital trust says it's already made improvements.


Alder Hey says it's already making improvements

Alder Hey Children's Hospital says it's already investing in additional nursing staff and making improvements.

The NHS Foundation Trust says it's confident the overall service to patients is safe but they still need to make improvements in recruitment, outpatients and and their High Dependency Unit.

'At the time of inspection, solutions had already been put in place in these areas and the Trust is currently developing an action plan in response to all of the recommendations within the CQC report.

This includes a renewed focus on leading improvements to services currently available for children and young people.'

– Rick Turnock, Acting Medical Director of Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

The Trust's Chief Executive said the CQC report showed the high quality care, compassion and commitment shown to patients and families at Alder Hey.

'In the last year we have invested over £1m in additional nursing staff and 37 new nurses have been appointed just this month.

We have also worked hard to improve communication and engagement with staff, the availability of clinical records, administration of medicines, incident management and medical leadership.

Alder Hey has been delivering pioneering treatment for the last 100 years and our new hospital, which opens next year, will provide an exciting opportunity to enhance our role as a leader in children’s healthcare.'

– Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Alder Hey: 'I am concerned that shortages of nurses'

"I know that the Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust is going through significant change. I am sure that the new children's hospital which is currently being built will allow the trust to make a significant improvement to the overall experience of patients and their families.

"We came across numerous examples of staff going the extra mile to care for and treat children and young people in a highly personalised and sensitive way. Patients and relatives praised the staff for the commitment they showed to their work.

"However I am concerned that shortages of nurses in some departments may affect patient care. While there have been moves to improve the recruitment process, the trust must continue to make this a priority.

"Our judgement is that this is a good hospital in many ways - but the issues which we have identified are preventing it from achieving excellence. The trust has told us it is taking action - I hope and expect to return in due course to find that the problems have been addressed."

– The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards

Hospital must make improvements

Alder Hey Children's NHS Trust in Liverpool has been told it needs to make a series of improvements. An inspection in May found care for the critically ill and staffing levels need improvement and there were long waiting times for outpatients. The hospital cares for more than quarter of a million children from the region each year and has accepted the recommendations. Ellen Armistead from the Care Quality Commission said Alder Hey was a good hospital but there were issues that needed to be addressed.

Alder Hey NHS told to make improvements

Alder Hey
Alder Hey Credit: PA

A report into Alder Hey Children's NHS Trust in Liverpool has revealed a number of areas need improving. An inspection found critical care and staffing levels need improvement and there was long wait times for outpatients. A number of other services including A&E were rated good or outstanding.

Alder Hey Children's Hospital is run by one of four dedicated children's hospital trusts in the UK. It provides integrated healthcare for children and young people from the local population in Liverpool and the surrounding North West area, as well as specialised services to children and young people nationally.

Under the new inspection model, CQC has given individual ratings to each of the core services at the hospital. An inspection team of 41 people which included doctors, nurses, hospital managers, trained members of the public, CQC inspectors and analysts carried out an announced inspection in May.

The full report can be accessed here.

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