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National award for mental health services

Kent County Council’s Public Health team has been nominated for a national award in recognition for their work.

The council as been working with local charity Sevenoaks Area Mind to deliver the internationally recognised, life-saving training that is accredited by Mental Health First Aid England.

The programme forms part of Kent County Council’s Live It Well strategy to improve the mental health of people in Kent, and provides rolling training to individuals, voluntary sector organisations and businesses within the county.

In the first three months of the programme (which started in October 2014), approximately 230 people have completed a course.


New research suggests "vicious circle" between eating disorders and financial concerns

University of Southampton Credit: ITV news

Experiencing financial difficulties at university may increase the risk of female students developing an eating disorder, according to new research from the University of Southampton and Solent NHS Trust.

Conversely, the study also found that having extreme attitudes to food and eating predicted short-term financial difficulties for female students, suggesting the possibility of a 'vicious cycle'.

Published online in The International Journal of Eating Disorders, the researchers also found a greater persistence of eating attitudes in women from less affluent families.

Over 400 undergraduate students, from universities across the UK, completed surveys assessing family affluence, recent financial difficulties and attitudes towards food and eating.

Clinical Psychologist and lead author of the study, Dr Thomas Richardson commented: "It may be that those at higher risk of having an eating disorder feel like they have no control over events in their life, such as their financial situation, and they may then restrict their eating as a way of exercising control in other areas of their life."


First arrival at Frimley Park's new birth centre

Celebrating a new arrival Credit: Frimley Park Hospital

A new midwife-led birth unit at Frimley Park Hospital has welcomed its first arrival this week – a baby boy called Ethan. Weighing in at five pounds and three ounces, Ethan Thomas Aldridge was the first baby born in the new Mulberry Birth Centre – part of the newly refurbished labour ward at the Surrey hospital. He is the first baby for mum and dad Sarah and Daniel Aldridge

The couple moved to the area recently and chose Frimley Park to have their first baby because it had been recommended by friends. The maternity services were also praised as part of the recent Care Quality Commission report which awarded the hospital with the first ‘Outstanding’ rating in the country.

The new unit Credit: Frimley Park Hospital

The Mulberry Birth Centre offers a choice for women with low-risk pregnancies. The new suite has four fully fitted rooms, each with an en suite bathroom. There is also a birthing pool and a second pool room in another part of the ward can be used if the unit is busy. The rooms are designed to encourage active birthing, with slings and exercise balls to assist labour. The completion of the Mulberry Birth Centre marks the end of a 19 month project to upgrade the entire labour ward.

The Mulberry Birth Centre is located in what used to be the Special Care Baby Unit. A new neonatal unit, kitted out with equipment raised by the community through a fundraising appeal, was formally opened by HRH the Countess of Wessex across the corridor.

  1. Tom Savvides

Drinking to excess - mother talks about her addiction

Alcohol misuse is a well-known leading cause of disease in Britain. It costs the NHS in England around three point five billion pounds a year and is responsible for around 7,000 deaths a year. But there are signs that the health message might finally be getting through. Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that in the last eight years, the number of adults who are tee-total has risen by 40%. In the South East, 18% of all adults never touch alcohol. Tom Savvides has been speaking with mother of three Emma Bushen from East Malling in Kent, who says her family was almost torn apart by her battle with drink. He also talks to Emma's husband James Bushen and son Luke. Jackie Ballard from Alcohol Concern also features in this report.

Improved services promised for hospital patients in West Sussex

New targets set for hospitals in West Sussex Credit: ITV news

New targets have been set by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - in a draft strategy launched today. Over the next three years the trust says it will focus on reducing death rates, providing more reliable services and improving experiences for patients and staff. The Trust runs Worthing Hospital, St Richard's in Chichester and Southlands in Shoreham.

People in West Sussex are also being encouraged to have their say on the future of hospital services and the trust will be accepting feedback on the draft strategy until 5 March.

The draft Quality Strategy identifies areas the Trust will focus on over the next three years to 2018. Western Sussex Hospitals have already received top marks from the Care Quality Commission, who put the Trust in the category of "providing the best and safest care", but managers say they are committed to continuing to drive improvements in the quality of care available at all three hospitals.

The four goals identified in the draft strategy are:

? Reducing patient mortality and improving outcomes, ? Making care safer, ? Providing more reliable services, and ? Improving the experience of patients and staff.

Each goal features a set of priorities that explain how progress will be measured.

Dr George Findlay, Medical Director for the Trust said: "We run the Trust for the benefit of our patients; present and future. Everyone who lives, works or visits West Sussex is potentially a patient - or visitor - and therefore has a vested interest in making sure we're doing everything we can to offer safe care and meet their needs. Getting involved doesn't have to be onerous or time consuming. We have developed a simple survey so people can give their views quickly and easily."

The draft Quality Strategy and the feedback survey are available online at

  1. Emma Wilkinson (@emmawilkITV)

18-year-old in same wheelchair for a decade

A teenager with cerebral palsy has launched her own online campaign against the amount of time disabled people in Hampshire are having to wait for replacement wheelchairs.

Ailsa Speak from Gosport is still having to use the same chair she was given a decade ago when she was a child.

She says it causes her pain and discomfort and without a new one her life will be restricted:

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