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Seven-day GP surgeries plan launched in Greater Manchester

A scheme to get to make GPs available to their patients seven days a week is being launched in Greater Manchester where it's hoped it will reduce waiting times and take pressure off hospitals.

The plan would mean extra appointments available on weekdays as well as in the evening and weekends.

It's controversial because some say there's already a shortage of GPs and it could come at a high cost to the NHS.

Daniel Hewitt reports.


Greater Manchester gets same day medical help seven days a week

  • Prof Kieran Walsh, of Manchester Business School, explains more about the plans.
It follows Healthier Together consultation Credit: PA

People living in Greater Manchester are to get access to same day medical help, seven days a week.

It follows proposals made last year as part of the Healthier Together consultation process.

It's been announced that all parts of Greater Manchester will be covered by the end of 2015 with more improvements due next year.

It's hoped the move will help take pressure off the region's hospitals.

Call for people in the North West to start donating blood to help fill the gaps

Call for people in the North West to start donating blood to help fill the gaps Credit: NHS Blood & Transplant

To mark the start of National Blood Week (8-14 June 2015), which culminates with World Blood Donor Day on Sunday, NHS Blood and Transplant has explained that 204,000 new volunteers need to come forward this year across England and North Wales to keep the nation’s blood stocks at a safe level for the future.

Regular donations are crucial to saving and improving the lives of patients with cancer, blood disorders and those suffering medical trauma or undergoing surgery. 21,770 new volunteers came forward to donate blood for the first time in the North West last year, about 4 per 1,000 of the estimated number of people between the ages of 17 and 70 living there. 20 per 1000 people are active donors in the North West. 93,311 people living in the North West donated blood at least once last year, saving or improving up to three lives each time they did so.

During National Blood Week, NHS Blood and Transplant is working with partners including businesses, media and celebrities such as Jamie Oliver, Jorgie Porter and Claudia Winkleman to promote blood donation. They have been removing the letters A, O and B (the letters that make up the blood groups) from their names, raising awareness of the need for new blood donors with all blood types.

This ‘Missing Type’ campaign highlights that if not enough new people donate blood and these ‘types’ were to go missing in years to come, there wouldn’t be enough blood available when patients need it.

NHS Blood and Transplant needs new donors to fill the gaps left by existing donors who are not able to give blood at this time and to ensure that we have the right mix of bloodgroups to match patients’ needs.

A number of misconceptions still exist about donating blood; almost half (48%) of the people responding to an NHS Blood and Transplant survey said they think that the NHS asks friends and family to donate when a patient needs blood and 13% think that synthetic blood is created to meet the national demand. However, 8 out of 10 people knew that unpaid volunteers are the way that blood stocks are maintained.

In 2015, 204,000 new volunteers need to attend a session to donate to ensure that the nation’s blood stocks continue to remain at a safe level in the future. When a survey asked for the reasons why they don’t give blood, respondents gave a range of reasons. The top three given were a fear of needles (22%), knowing it’s a good thing to do but not getting around to it (27%) and health problems so they don’t believe they are eligible to donate (21%), which may not be the case.

In contrast, 86% of respondents who had given blood felt that it was as expected, or easier than they expected it to be.

We simply can’t ignore the fact that there has been a stark reduction in the number of new donors coming forward - a trend seen across the world. While we can meet the needs of patients now, it’s important we strengthen the donor base for the future. If we don’t attract new people across England and North Wales to donateit will put more pressure on the ability to provide the right type of blood the NHS needs for patients in the future.

“We know that people’s lives have got busier over the last decade. People are working longer hours, commuting further, spending more time online and have less time of their own, despite more options of how to use it. Good causes are also competing increasingly for people’s attention and time. Travel to more exotic places, tattoos and investigations such as endoscopy are becoming more common and these lead to short term deferrals from donation. These are just some of the reasons why we’ve seen a decline in new people starting todonate.

“Giving blood is an amazing thing to do. If you live in the North West and haven’t donated before, please help us reverse the decline in new donors. We run a number of sessions in the area. Please go to, find out if you’re eligible to donate, register as a donor and book an appointment today. Giving blood is simple and easy to do and will only take about an hour of your time. It could literally be a matter of life and death for somebody else.”

– Jon Latham, Assistant Director for Donor Services and Marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant

There are a number of ways you can support National Blood Week and the Missing Type campaign:

· If you are 17 or over, visit or call 0300 123 23 23 today to find out if you are eligible to donate, register as a blood donor and to book your appointment

· Download our app by searching ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the App store. It’s available for Android, Windows and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices

· Show your support for blood donation on social media during National Blood Week by posting about blood donation and removing the As, Os and Bs, using #missingtype

· Twitter @givebloodnhs #missingtype

· Facebook:

· Instagram @GivebloodNHS

· Youtube: / NHSGiveBlood

Police treating death of man whose body was pulled from Salford Quays as non-suspicious

A man's body was pulled out of Salford Quays on Saturday afternoon Credit: Jim Cook

Police are not treating the death of a man whose body was found in Salford Quays as suspicious.

A concerned passer-by found someone’s property at Imperial Point and called the police to the scene at around 1pm on Saturday afternoon.

When the officers arrived, they discovered a body in the quays.

A police cordon was placed around the scene and firefighters also attended as the man’s body was pulled from the water.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said enquiries are ongoing but the death is being treated as non-suspicious.

Children in care moved 'miles from home' says charity

Vulnerable young people are in care miles from home Credit: ITV News

The Children's Society says hundreds in care in Greater Manchester are being moved miles from their local communities to new homes.

Of the 5,122 children in care in Greater Manchester as of September 2014, 1,931 - nearly 4 in 10, had been placed outside their local authority area according to figures revealed following Freedom of Information requests by The Children's Society.

The national charity says young people have told them this leads to a feeling of isolation. It wants to work with the authorities to keep children nearer to home when they are not at risk of abuse or neglect.


Investigations into North West hospitals widened after some patients wait too long in A&E

Two investigations into the finances at hospitals in the North West of England are being widened because some patients are waiting too long in A&E.

Monitor, the health sector regulator, will now look into how well the trusts are run as well as scrutinising their finances. The trusts involved are:

· Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust · Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The trusts, which serve patients in Warrington, Halton and Wirral have both repeatedly failed to meet national targets for seeing 95% of Accident and Emergency patients within four hours.

The regulator says it believes that local partners, such as commissioners and other NHS organisations, have a significant role to play in improving urgent care across the region and that the trusts may not be able to solve the problems outlined alone.

Paul Chandler, Regional Director at Monitor, said: “We have decided to widen our investigations because some patients are waiting too long in A&E."

“We now need to understand what the trusts have done, and are planning, to improve A&E performance and how they will work with local partners to achieve this.”

Monitor also says it will announce the outcome of each investigation in due course but that no decisions have yet been taken.

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