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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 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.

Mum worried daughter could die from anorexia without special care

A mum from Blackburn believes her anorexic daughter will die if she doesn't get the specialist care she needs from the NHS.

Gill Barlow, says she's in a race against the clock to save daughter Jasmin's life.

Jasmin Barlow's mum believes she needs care from the NHS Credit: ITV Granada

One of Jasmin's kidneys has almost been completely destroyed by the eating disorder but she has been told she is currently too weak for a transplant.

Her mum Gill Barlow says mental health officials have so far failed to arrange specialist care for her, which has resulted in repeated emergency admissions to general wards at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

For information and advice on anorexia and eating disorders, go to

Patients victory over high-rate phone lines

Rosie Cooper MP Credit: Press Associaton

Patients in West Lancashire are claiming victory over high- rate phone lines being used to contact their GP surgery.

Health bosses say all practices in the area now offer a local phone number, as an alternative to those beginning with 084.

It follows pressure from West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper.

“I am very pleased with the support the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has done to bring down the costs of calling GP practices for the people of West Lancashire.

“It is important GP services stop using 084 numbers which can both cost and cause problems for patients trying to reach their doctor.”

– Rosie Cooper MP for West Lancashire

“We’re constantly working in collaboration with our GP practices in West Lancashire to ensure that our patients get the experience they expect from their local NHS.

We want our patients to feel confident that they can reach their GP surgeries when they need to and be charged at the local rate.”

– Local CCG Chief Officer Mike Maguire


The heartbreaking blog from the teenager thought to have taken his own life

The family of a young man who thought to have taken his own life say they want to stamp out the stigma associated with mental health problems.

Brett Robertshaw, from Blackpool, was 21 and a talented musician and video maker.

He had lived with depression for several years and was found dead by a relative last month.

His family have been speaking to our correspondent Amy Welch.

Blackpool musician's moving blog post before he was found dead

Brett detailed his battle with depression in an online blog. Credit: ITV News

A Blackpool musician detailed his battle with depression and told his family "not to be sad I'm gone" in a blog which appeared online days after he is thought to have taken his own life.

Brett Robertshaw timed the post for after his death and said: "If this post is live I’m probably not here any more."

The 21-year-old was found at home seven days before the blog appeared.

The post said: "The truth is, if this post is live, then chances are, I’m probably not here any more.

"I scheduled this post to go live a week after my suicide attempt, to try to ensure that it didn’t go live if I was still around."

Brett, 21, had a long battle with depression. Credit: ITV News

In his blog. Brett said: "I just wanted to leave everybody with an insight into my reasoning for making this choice, and an insight into the way my mind worked.

"This isn’t a suicide note per se, but rather a short bio that I hope may help people to understand my choice a bit better."

He went on: "So, for as long as I can remember, I’ve felt void of all emotions except sadness, and worry.

"I’ve felt nothing towards family members, friends, or otherwise acquainted people, as much as I’ve felt that I should, like any normal functioning being.

"No matter how many good things happened to me or the people surrounding me, I didn’t seem to feel any positive emotion at all.

"I pretended on occasion, but I was only lying to myself in doing so."

Brett's blog post was timed to publish one week after he died. Credit: ITV News

Brett's family have paid tribute to him and spoken about their grief in the hope that others suffering the pain of depression will seek out help.

“We thought if we could raise some awareness about mental health problems, that there is help out there, but people need to be made aware of it.

– Cheryl Robertshaw
A picture Brett posted to his Twitter page. Credit: ITV News

Several organisations provide help and support.

You can also find more information and see our recent series which looked into the issues of suicide among young people by clicking here.

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