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London Ambulance staff on strike

Around three quarters of staff at the London Ambulance Service are expected to go on strike today between 7am and 11am.

The action is part of an an ongoing row over pay. Four weeks ago 77% of staff joined the picket line in protest at not receiving a recommended 1% pay rise.

Credit: PA

LAS says contingency plans are in place to provide a service for London during strike action. The plans include support from the police and military personnel. Ambulances will only be sent to cases that most seriously need paramedic assistance.

If a major incident in London happens during strike action, staff have agreed to return to work.


London North West A&E waiting times 'worst in England'

Northwick Park hospital in Harrow Credit: PA

London North West NHS Trust had the country's worst waiting times for two weeks running in October. More than 3,500 patients had to wait for more than four hours to be seen.

According to an analysis of NHS data by London Assembly Labour Group Health Spokesperson, Dr Onkar Sahota AM, the system is 'breaking under the strain' since the closures of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex A&Es two months ago.

Highest cardiac arrest survival in London

People who have a cardiac arrest in the capital are more likely to survive than ever before, according to figures released today by London Ambulance Service. Almost a third of patients whose hearts stopped beating were resuscitated and discharged from hospital last year, the highest survival rate since records began 15 years ago.

There are now over 2,000 sites across London with at least one defibrillator.

Medical Director Fionna Moore said: "Not only are our staff doing an excellent job resuscitating and stabilising patients, but the public are helping to save lives on the streets of London too. We've seen more bystanders than ever before providing basic life support to cardiac arrest patients."

Last year, bystanders attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on 1,967 cardiac arrest patients while ambulance staff were on the way. That's 55.8% of cardiac arrests up four per cent from the year before.

WWI Soldier Helps Build Our Understanding of Antibiotic Resistance

A soldier from WWI is helping our understanding of antibiotic resistance. A bacteria grown from the man who died of dysentery, has had its genetic code unlocked, revealing the bug was already resistant to penicillin around 25 years before it was commonly used to treat infectious diseases. A scientific paper describing the finding was published today as a commemoration of world war one. This work was a collaboration between Public Health England and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

The genes which make a bacterium resistant to antibiotics are known to have existed in some cases even before the widespread use of antibiotics. The sample from Private Earnest Cable shows the genes for resistance to both penicillin and erythromycin which are both antibiotics used in medicine today.

Widespread use of antibiotics is causing many more bacteria to become resistant. Credit: PA

Julie Russell, Head of Culture Collections at Public Health England, said: "Bacteria are very efficient at changing to survive and Shigella bacteria have evolved to withstand antibiotic treatments. Continued efforts need to be made to improve hygiene and reduce malnutrition. Techniques like genome sequencing can help us to better understand which medicines will and won't work by looking at bacterial genes, and may even help us develop a vaccine. Genome sequencing has revolutionised our understanding of bacteria and viruses and is already being used to help understand outbreaks of infectious disease."


Londoners urged to check food hygiene ratings

The Food Standards Agency is urging people to check the food hygiene ratings of London restaurants- before they book Christmas meals. New statistics reveal almost half of Londoners don't check at all. That's despite more than a third of people reporting a bad experience and suspecting they contracted food poisoning. Checks can be done quickly and easily online via the Food Standards Agency website.

  1. National

South London woman tests negative for Ebola

A woman who is being treated in a south London hospital for a haemorrhagic fever has tested negative for Ebola, officials have said.

ITV News Correspondent Lewis Vaughn Jones has tweeted:

  1. National

Woman in south London hospital 'tested for Ebola'

A woman admitted to a London hospital with a "haemorrhagic fever" is to be tested for Ebola as a "precaution," health officials have said.

It has been reported that the patient has a history of travel to West Africa and she presented herself to St George's Hospital in Tooting with a high temperature last night. The woman is currently being treated in isolation from other patients.

A spokesperson from St George's Healthcare NHS Trust said:

A patient has been admitted to St George's Hospital this evening with a haemorrhagic fever and is currently undergoing a series of tests, as a precaution one of which is for Ebola.

The trust has followed national guidance and moved the patient to our clinical infections unit where they are being cared for in isolation, away from other patients. Infection control procedures remain in place while we await the outcome of the tests.

We are confident that all appropriate actions have been taken by our staff to protect the public and the patient.

– St George's Healthcare NHS Trust
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