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Demand for children going into care increasing

Baby Peter died in 2007 at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend. Credit: Family Photo

A report by the National Audit Office has found that media stories on the death of Baby Peter led to a rapid rise in the number of children being taken into care.

Coverage following the toddler's death at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend is thought to be one of the main factors contributing to the numbers of children in care reaching their highest level for 20 years.

The report found that the demand for care is increasing and varies significantly across England. More than 68,000 children were being looked after by local authorities at the end of March 2013.


Health chiefs set to discuss future of London healthcare

Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Health officials and experts will meet at City Hall later to discuss the future health of Londoners.

More than £4million was spent on the independent London Health Commission Report, which set out 64 recommendations, directed towards more than 20 different organisations and bodies.

The London Assembly Health Committee will meet at City Hall later this morning to discuss what needs to be done next.

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.

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