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Painkillers no longer free for some NHS patients

The painkillers cost £45 when prescribed on the NHS Credit: PA

Paracetamol and Ibuprofen will no longer be free to some patients in Brighton and Hove.

It is part of plans to save the local NHS service half a million pounds.

The proposals will stop the funding of Paracetamol and Ibuprofen prescriptions for short-term minor ailments.

The Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group says the money could instead fund 16 community nurses, 26 breast cancer treatments, 108 more hip replacements or 400 more treatments for Alzheimer's.

The group is the first in Sussex to introduce this measure and is looking to extend it to other medications later in the year.

Over 100,000 prescriptions for the painkillers were issued last year in Brighton and Hove for conditions such as headaches, sprains, and period pains.

The painkillers are four times more expensive, costing over £45, when prescribed on the NHS compared to under £1 in pharmacies and supermarkets.

Fire and rescue warn people to clean their chimneys

Failing to clean your chimney can cause a fire Credit: ITV news

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are calling on people to get their chimneys swept.

Open fires may be a warm and welcome addition to the home but they do carry risks. Last month there were 15 chimney fires in Wiltshire and 17 in Dorset, many of which could have been avoided.

Blocked chimneys can lead to a rise in carbon dioxide Credit: ITV news

As well as getting chimneys swept, local people are encouraged to fit smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.

Blocked or defective chimney flues also carry the risk of leading to carbon monoxide poisoning, so it's vital that you employ a professional and qualified chimney sweep to ensure that your home is safe.

– Safe & Well Manager, Vikki Thomas


Dorset police calls out for more call handlers

Call handlers in a 101 call centre Credit: ITV news

Dorset Police are looking to recruit more people to cover their emergency and non emergency phone lines.

Call takers co-ordinate police resources across the whole of Dorset, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When people call us, they generally need our help, which allows you to really make a difference in the moment and have a lasting impact.

– Superintendent Caroline Naughton

Applications for the roles, close towards the end of the month.

Pensioner left waiting for hours outside QA hospital

A woman whose terminally ill mother was left waiting for hours in an ambulance outside Portsmouth's QA Hospital on New Year's Eve has told ITV Meridian the A&E department was in 'meltdown'.

Shelley Gwilym says staff struggled to cope as ambulances were stacked up outside.

Once inside, her mother was left waiting on a trolley.

The hospital trust has told us there's an "extremely high demand" for services.

Rachel Hepworth reports.

Rachel spoke to Shelley Gwilym and Director of Operations at South Central Ambulance Service Mark Ainsworth.

There is currently a sustained increase in demand on our Emergency Department, with high numbers of sick, frail and elderly patients needing urgent hospital care. The priority, as always, is the care and safety of our patients.

"The increased numbers of elderly admissions, as well as the acuity of patients coming through our doors, does impact on our ability to immediately accommodate all ambulance arrivals to ED. In collaboration with our SCAS colleagues, we are working hard to assess and treat all of our emergency admissions as quickly as possible. We know that recently patient experience has been affected as a result of the current pressures, and we are committed to improving access to emergency care.

"We are urging people to choose well in their choice of healthcare as we continue to experience high demand on our emergency services. If your injury is not serious you can get help from a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) rather than going to an Emergency Department (ED). This will allow our Emergency Department staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will save a potential prolonged wait."


New £15m leisure centre to be built in Littlehampton

A preview of the planned leisure centre Credit: Arun District Council

A new £15 million leisure centre is to be built in Littlehampton.

The proposals were agreed yesterday by Arun District Council and will see the previous centre in Sea Road replaced.

The old centre will not be demolished until the new facility opens in 2019.

It will feature an eight-lane swimming pool, fitness gym, dance studio and a sports hall.

A consultation was carried out in October last year to give the local community the opportunity to comment on the plans.

Pensioner waits hours outside QA hospital on New Year's Day

Shelley Gyilym's 80 year old mother who has terminal cancer had to wait for hours in an ambulance outside the Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth on New Year's Day.

Shelley says the staff were brilliant but the whole situation was chaotic.

Shelley described the hospital as chaotic Credit: ITV Meridian

We have seen an increase in the numbers of both emergency department attendances and direct admissions into our beds - resulting in extremely high demand across the hospital.

As usual during winter, we have also seen an increase in the severity of the illness amongst our emergency admissions, which places additional pressure on our beds and emergency services.

We continue to work closely with our health and social partners across the healthcare system and with South Central Ambulance Service."

– Spokesperson, QA Hospital


People should think first before heading to A&E

Roughly 50 people a day go to A&E unnecessarily. Credit: ITV

The Royal Surrey County hospital are supporting a campaign asking people to think about what medical services they need before going to A&E

Approximately 200 people a day visit the hospital's emergency department. However many of them could have gone to their GP or a pharmacy.

The hospital are encouraging people to call NHS 111 first Credit: ITV news

A&E is for serious and life threatening conditions and it is vital that it is kept available for those who really need it. If you need medical help or advice and are unsure whether you should come to A&E, call NHS 111.

– Consultant Elizabeth Cheshire, Clinical Director of the Emergency Department
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