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Who: Response now moving to ending Ebola epidemic

The World Health Organisation has said that its response is now moving to the phase of ending the epidemic.

Number of cases and deaths up to January 18. Credit: WHO
  • Number of cases continues to fall in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
  • Mali declared free of Ebola after 42 days since the last case was tested
  • Intense-transmission countries have sufficient capacity to isolate and treat patients
  • 27 laboratories are providing services in the three intense-transmission countries. Five more laboratories are planned to meet demand
  • Case fatality among hospitalised patients remains between 57% and 59% in the 3 intense-transmission countries, with no detectable improvement
  • A total of 828 health worker infections have been reported in the three intense-transmission countries; there have been 499 reported deaths.

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£37m cash boost to help tackle 'bed blocking'

A total of £37 million will be injected into local NHS trusts struggling to cope with high levels of 'bed blocking', the government has announced.

An extra £12m, topping up a £25m grant announced by the Department of Health, will be handed out to the 87 councils across England with the highest levels of delay in hospital discharges due to a shortage of social care places.

It is hoped the extra cash will help up to 3,500 more people leave hospital every week Credit: PA

It is hoped the extra cash will help up to 3,500 more people leave hospital every week by drafting in more carers and more equipment.

It comes after figures from NHS England showed more than 96,500 "bed days" were used by patients who should have been discharged in October last year - up a fifth since October 2013.

Social services have to be part of the solution to the high demand on hospitals at the moment. We know that they can help by getting people home more quickly when it is safe to do so once they have been discharged.

And we also know that the best social care can prevent some people from having to go to A&E in the first place by supporting the elderly to live with dignity and independence at home.

– Eric Pickles, Local Government Secretary

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