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  1. Daniel Hewitt - Political Reporter

Special Report: the cost of care - can we afford the NHS?

An ITV Poll earlier this year found that voters in the North West see the future of the NHS as the most important issue at the upcoming General Election.

The Chief Executive of NHS England Simon Stevens says the service faces the biggest challenge in its history.

Through the eyes of three patients and NHS staff, our political reporter Daniel Hewitt looks at the cost of running a free national health service in the 21st century.

Fears for the future of Liverpool Women's Hospital

Liverpool Women's Hospital. Credit: ITV News.

The Liverpool Women's Hospital is one of the UK's biggest and busiest maternity units.

It's also one of our highest profile NHS units after featuring on a popular documentary series.

But its bosses say the hospital trust is facing 'significant financial challenges' and could even have to relocate from its current home in Toxteth.

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Visiting suspended at hospital after virus outbreak

Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral. Credit: ITV News.

Doctors have suspended all visiting at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral after an outbreak of Norovirus in the local community.

The highly contagious sickness bug has taken hold in the community and the hospital says people are bringing it into the premises where sick and vulnerable patients have been exposed.

"We wish to repeat our appeal not to come to A&E if you have had symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea within the last 48 hours unless it is a genuine emergency.

"To further contain and prevent the spread of this highly contagious sickness bug and to protect patients we are now suspending all visiting to Arrowe Park Hospital except in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of Ward Sisters or nurse in charge.

"We appreciate that this may upset some patients and their friends and families but hope they will appreciate that this action is being taken in the best interests of patient care."

– Statement by Arrowe Park Hospital

Norovirus’ symptoms include a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

Doctors say the illness usually resolves in one or two days and there are no long-term effects.

  1. Victoria Grimes, ITV News

MIllom kids' plea for new doctors is answered

A group of children who made a video to attract a GP to Millom are celebrating after it brought three new doctors to their village.

They put the short film together after a struggle to fill the post.

Villagers had faced the prospect of closing their local practice and hospital - but thanks to a unique partnership with their local NHS Trust, they're getting the services they say they need.

Victoria Grimes has the story:

Kids campaign attracts doctors to their village

Credit: ITV Granada News

A video appeal by school children to attract a GP to Millom has helped to get three doctors to their village.

The enterprising youngsters put the short film together after a struggle to fill the post.

Villagers had faced the prospect of closing their local practice and hospital.

Dr Lois Hunter has been doing her GP training at Millom Surgery.

She likes it so much she's decided to stay on and will be one of three new GPs to work in the town.

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Watch: Football legend Jimmy's moving interview about dementia

Blackpool and England hero Jimmy Armfield is appearing in a new video campaign about dementia.

It's a subject close to the footballer's heart, his great friend the Preston North End legend Sir Tom Finney suffered dementia before he died.

Jimmy's appearing in a film, raising awareness of dementia, that has been produced as part of Altogether Now - A Legacy for Blackpool.

That's the partnership between the NHS in Blackpool, Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Hospitals Trust, Blackpool Council and Blackpool FC.

In the interview, Jimmy, a health ambassador for the project, said he had become much more aware of the condition as he himself got older.

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