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NHS calls for young black Londoners to give blood and save lives

A new campaign is being launched to encourage young black Londoners to give blood and save lives. Currently half the country's black population lives in the country- and NHS Blood and Transport wants to recruit 7000 new black donors by 2020.

NHSBT aim to recruit 7,000 new black donors by 2020 Credit: PA

The black community makes up around 5% of the UK population - with about half living in London - but active black donors currently account for only 1% of blood donors. *

·NHSBT collects 1.8 million units of blood each year from over 23,000 blood donation sessions in more than 3,000 venues

Rarer blood groupsinclude B+, Ro and RoR which are more common and more in-demand among black communities.

Female blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks, while male blood donors must wait 12 weeks between donations. Platelets can be donated every 2 weeks.

Screening for Ebola to start at Heathrow tomorrow

A plane takes off from Heathrow Airport Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

Enhanced screening for Ebola will begin at Heathrow airport tomorrow after the Health Secretary revealed the deadly virus is expected to reach the UK.

Jeremy Hunt said checks would take place at Terminal 1 before they are expanded to cover Gatwick airport and Eurostar rail terminals by the end of next week, as the death toll in west Africa reached more than 4,000 people.

He told MPs it was "likely" that Ebola will be seen in the UK and a "handful" of cases could be confirmed in the next three months.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Hunt said: "This Government's first priority is the safety of the British people. Playing our part in halting the rise of the disease in west Africa is the single most important way of preventing Ebola affecting people in the UK.

"Whilst there are no direct flights from the affected region, there are indirect routes into the UK.

"In the next week, Public Health England will start screening and monitoring UK bound air passengers identified by the Border Force coming on to the main routes from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea."


Ambulance contingency plans 'worked well'

The director of operations for London Ambulance Service has said their plans to deal with today's industrial action by the capital's ambulance crews worked well.

Less than a quarter of crews turned up to work during the strike between 7am and 11am.

“Our plans worked well and we would like to thank all our staff who came to work and those who responded to patients in a critical situation from the picket line. We would also like to thank the police, the military and health professionals from other parts of the NHS who supported us.

Our plans meant we were able to respond to all emergency calls and reach our most seriously ill and injured patients as quickly as possible. Clinical managers worked on the front line, we used more private ambulance crews and also had support from the police, military and the NHS.

This is a national dispute over pay and is not specifically related to any issues in London.

We recognise the right of our staff to take part in national industrial action over pay and we worked with the unions so that we could provide an emergency service for patients.

– Jason Killens, London Ambulance Service

Mr Killens said he wanted to thank Londoners for their understanding during the dispute and re-iterated that people call NHS111 and only call 999 for an ambulance in a genuine emergency. He said ongoing industrial action - action short of a strike - during the rest of this week would mean a reduction in the number of ambulance crews available to do overtime.

London Ambulance Service 'returning to normal'

Bosses at London Ambulance Service have said operations are returning to normal after some staff took strike action today between 7am and 11am.

LAS said that, during the industrial action paramedics, doctors and nurses worked on ambulances, and also from the emergency control room where they carried out enhanced clinical assessments of patients.

Eighty six per cent of control room staff worked during the strike action and 23 per cent of ambulance crews.

People in life-threatening situations received an emergency ambulance response but others were provided with alternative treatments or were asked to make their own way to hospital.

Ambulance asks Londoners to use service 'wisely'

The London Ambulance Service is asking people in the capital to use the service "wisely", following the end of a four-hour strike by NHS workers.

The strike ended at 11am, but the service said it would "continue to be busy" following the industrial action.


Public poll shows support for NHS strike

A poll for the union Unite shows the public supports health workers in their campaign for an above-inflation pay rise.

A survey of more than 1,000 people showed that almost two thirds thought a continued below-inflation one per cent pay cap was unfair.

Three out of five of those questioned said they believed industrial action being taken by NHS workers was justified.

According to Frances O'Grady, of the Trades Union Congress, this is the first time there has been a national strike over pay in the NHS since 1982.

NHS workers' four-hour strike begins

London's paramedics are among more than 400,000 health workers expected to be out on strike this morning between 7am and 11am.

Picket lines will be mounted outside hospitals and ambulance stations across England for four hours from 7am, while action will be taken later today in Northern Ireland.

Military personnel and the police have been brought in to provide ambulance cover in the capital.

Several trade unions will be involved in the action, including those representing nurses, paramedics, hospital porters and ambulance crews as well as the Royal College of Midwives.

The dispute involves over 400,000 NHS staff, who have been hit by pay freezes or below inflation rises since the coalition came to power in 2010.

Troops prepare ahead of NHS strike

Troops have been making ready to provide ambulance cover during tomorrow's strike by NHS staff. ITV London filmed these pictures of the preparations at Wellington Barracks earlier this afternoon. Paramedics are among those walking out for four hours from 7am, after the Government refused to grant a one per cent pay rise to all NHS staff.

London Ambulance could face 'significant pressure'

The head of operations for London Ambulance has said they are expecting to be under "significant pressure" tomorrow during a four-hour strike by NHS workers.

Health workers in England and Northern Ireland are preparing to go on strike for four hours tomorrow in protest at the Government's controversial decision not to accept a recommended 1 per cent pay rise for all NHS employees.

Midwives will stop work for the first time ever, joining picket lines outside hospitals alongside other health workers including nurses, ambulance staff, paramedics and porters.

Troops are on standby to provide ambulance cover in London and the North West. Jason Killens of London Ambulance said they had contingency plans in place to help "the most seriously ill and injured patients" during tomorrow's industrial action.

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