This morning saw the first UK reserves and 100 of their regular counterparts depart for Sierra Leone where they will help to tackle the Ebola outbreak.
The regular and reserve personnel from across the three Services departed from RAF Brize Norton alongside members of the Canadian military.
Once in country, personnel will take over from clinicians attached to 22 Field Hospital, who have been deployed since October, manning the 12 bed facility reserved to treat healthcare workers with Ebola.
The family of a Sussex teenager critically injured in a car crash say their only Christmas wish is for her to come out of a coma. Lauren Hills from Brighton was on her way to college with her boyfriend when their car hit a tree. Malcolm Shaw spoke to her father Mark Hills at the London hospital where the 16 year old is being treated.
A café in Aldershot has been formally cautioned by Rushmoor Borough Council for poor food hygiene and safety standards.
The council issued two simple cautions to the owner of Hafeez at 17 Station Road, Aldershot, on Thursday - one for six food safety offences and one for a health and safety offence.
The offences were discovered during a food safety inspection of the business by the council’s environmental health officers on 12 November, and included a lack of effective cleaning of the premises and food equipment, the inadequate separation of raw and ready-to-eat foods in storage and during production, and a poor understanding of food hygiene by staff.
During the inspection, officers from the council’s food team also noted the smell of gas leaking from cooking equipment and arranged for an emergency examination of the gas supply.
The supply was subsequently cut-off for safety reasons.
As a result of these issues, the owner agreed to voluntarily close until it could be made safe.
Due to the serious failures in food hygiene, the business was rated as a “0” – “Urgent Improvement Necessary”, under the Food Standards Agency's national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
The rating given to a business reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection.
A follow up visit two days later established that problems with the two gas appliances had been rectified and food hygiene had improved sufficiently for the business to reopen.
Further visits have been made since to help assist the business maintain compliance.
An extra 15 beds will be opened at Gosport War Memorial during this winter, to help maintain good patient care at the busiest time of the year.
The 'step down' beds will be available for people leaving a ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital, who no longer need to be at QA, but who still need extensive support to help them complete their recovery.
Funding for the initiative comes from the £8m investment being made into the NHS in Portsmouth and south east Hampshire this winter, the local element of a national £700m fund to ensure that local health and social services can meet the needs of patients when bad weather and seasonal illnesses are at their peak.
This development comes as another new scheme - the Enhanced Recovery at Home team - gets into its stride. The team, made up of staff from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Hampshire County Council, is working to support people to live independently after a stay in hospital, or to give people the care they need to avoid having to go into hospital in the first place. The team is funded by £900,000 of the winter funding, and can provide a response within two hours for people who need help urgently.
David Chilvers, a Gosport GP and the clinical lead for Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group said: "These new beds will be a huge benefit to patients. Having this extra capacity in Gosport will make it easier for the NHS to move patients out of QA when they are ready to leave, and in turn that will make it easier for QA staff to admit patients from across the area who need their care. It is in absolutely nobody's interest for patients to be stuck in a bed at QA when they no longer need to be there, so we hope this additional capacity will have a positive impact."
Portsmouth Neighbourhood Policing team has spread some Christmas cheer at a city hospital. The St Thomas Neighbourhood Policing team has been visiting children at the Queen Alexandra hospital to deliver some Christmas presents donated by local stores and businesses.
For the past few months the team has been dropping into local shops and asking them to donate some toys or gifts for young people who will be spending their Christmas staying in hospital. The team also visited The Elizabeth Foundation who offer support to preschool children with hearing loss and gave some gifts to children at the centre too.
NPT Sergeant Rob Sutton said: “Our team are really keen to do this every year. We hope that a few gifts will help to make the children's Christmas better. It’s great to see the their faces when we surprise them with gifts. Thank you to all the businesses who donated gifts.”
Zoe Neal, mother of two week old baby Ophelia said: "Thank you to Hampshire Constabulary for the wonderful Christmas gifts. The visit today was a fantastic surprise at such a difficult time for so many. It made such a difference, brightening up the lives of all the children and parents here in QA."
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has been fined £180,000 after it burned a man who was in for a routine operation.Read the full story ›
Doctors in the South want parents of small children to make sure they don't swallow button batteries, because they can kill. The tiny batteries are found in some toys meant for older children, musical christmas cards and gadgets like remote controls.
They are perfectly safe products if made by a reputable manufacturer and used correctly, but if they are eaten they could cause a child to choke and within hours begin to burn their internal organs.
Sally Simmonds has more details:
Doctors in the south are warning parents that a common battery found in musical Christmas cards and toys could be fatal for toddlers if swallowed.
The tiny 'button' batteries can cause serious burns to internal organs as well as make small children choke.
They are perfectly safe if made by reputable manufacturers and used correctly.
Hospitals in east Kent are currently extremely busy, caring for large numbers of people who are seriously ill.
The onset of winter weather has resulted in a surge in attendances at A&E particularly by older people and people with lung problems, many of whom need to be admitted for inpatient care.
The NHS has robust plans to provide the right treatment for people who are seriously ill but is appealing to people who don’t have a serious or life-threatening illness or injury to avoid going to A&E and to seek care elsewhere.
It is estimated that between 15 and 25 per cent of people attending A&E could be treated by another NHS service.
If you have a health problem and are not sure what to do or who to contact, please use the Health Help Now web app which lists services and gives health advice and information for east Kent: www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net.
If you need medical help fast but it is not a 999 emergency, ring NHS 111.
If people have had a serious accident or consider their condition to be life-threatening, then A&E may well be the right place to go and we would encourage them to do that.
But we still see thousands of people every year attending our A&Es with symptoms that could be treated at home, by a GP or pharmacist or at a minor injuries unit.
We are asking you if it’s not urgent to stay away from A&E and keep it free for those who really need the specialist care it provides.
Use Health Help Now or NHS 111 and help us to help you.
With Christmas fast approaching, are you worried about putting on a few extra pounds?
Maybe you should think about joining the Saturday morning running revolution as a way of keeping trim.
All over the country, people are signing up to parkrun. More are expected to start in the new year. Malcolm Robertson reports.
Events on this link: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/events/events/