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Scientists develop new test to check for meningitis

It's a disease that can strike quickly - and can kill. And, there are two main types of meningitis: bacterial and viral. Both affect the brain - and the first is potentially fatal.

The signs of meningitis are quite varied. Sudden fever, double vision, sensitivity to bright light and a stiff neck.

There's also the glass test, which many parents know about. If there's a rash, you get a glass and press it firmly against the skin. If it doesn't disappear - that can be a sign of meningitis.

Now, though, scientists are developing a new test that can detect the disease more quickly. That's good news for the mother of one young child from West Sussex who says spotting the signs early is crucial. Kevin Ashford reports.

Find out more about meningitis here.


Meet the man having a 'costume drama' every day of the year

Aaron Lawrence from Brighton has been wearing nothing but fancy dress for a whole year.

He said: 'Sounds simple, right? I thought so too, but think of everything you do in a year: work, shopping, a holiday, perhaps even a wedding or a job interview? Still sound easy?'

He's raised over £12,000 for the mental health organisation MindOut and will complete his challenge on Friday. You can find out more here.

'Our ambulance have 400,000 miles on the clock' - special measures for scandal-hit Ambulance Trust

Delayed ambulances and not answering 999 calls quick enough - just two of the reasons a scandal-hit ambulance trust has been put into special measures.

A damning report into the South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) - which covers Sussex, Surrey and North-East Hampshire - also found other serious concerns, including:

- Response times not meeting national targets.

- Patients giving up on calls for help, especially on weekends.

- Not enough staff, impacting on performance and fatigue.

- A culture of harassment and bullying of staff.

So what now for the troubled trust?

Andy Dickenson speaks to Ben Williams, Geraint Davies, acting chief executive of Secamb, Alan Thorne of the Care Quality Commission, David Liley of Healthwatch, and Nigel Sweet from Unison.

Hampshire doctor 'satisfied' despite losing court battle

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has won a High Court battle with junior doctors over new contracts.

Junior doctors complained Mr Hunt wrongly imposed the contract on NHS employers.

Justice for Health, a group founded by five junior doctors, including Hampshire doctor Ben White, said Mr Hunt acted beyond the scope of his powers by compelling NHS employers to adopt the new contract.

But Mr Hunt argued the complaint was without substance and should be dismissed, and today a High Court judge agreed the health secretary acted lawfully.

Mr Justice Green concluded Mr Hunt had approved the contract but had not compelled employers to adopt it. Despite losing the case, Justice for Health say they're 'thrilled' that the judgement establishes beyond doubt that the Secretary of State for Health is not, in fact, imposing contracts. Emma Wilkinson has more:

REPORT: Hope for Jagger- schoolboy gets vital drugs after four year battle

9 year old Jagger receives his first supply of Translarna Credit: ITV Meridian

It's a drug that could transform his life - allowing him to walk for longer. And today - after a 4 year battle - a schoolboy from Hampshire received his first supplies of it.

It's been an emotional battle for 9-year-old - Jagger Curtis and his family from Romsey.

Jagger has a muscle-wasting condition which leaves boys unable to walk past a certain age.

Earlier this year - medication which can slow down the effects was approved for use on the NHS.

Our reporter, Richard Jones, was with Jagger when he finally got the medication.

Richard spoke to Jagger, his mum Jules Geary and his dad James Curtis


Specialist trauma network means higher patient survival rates

The Wessex Trauma Network (WTN) links trauma centres across the south Credit: PA

More patients in the south are surviving life-threatening injuries because of a network of trauma specialists, according to an independent audit by the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN).

The Wessex Trauma Network (WTN) consists of one trauma centre - based at Southampton General Hospital - and seven units across the south.

Southampton General Hospital's trauma centre has a full range of specialist surgical and intensive care for adults and children who suffer major trauma. The seven units are based at Portsmouth, Basingstoke, Poole, Dorset, Salisbury, Chichester and on the Isle of Wight – as well as two ambulance services and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

The Network means that patients across the region with major injuries now bypass their local hospitals to go directly to Southampton if their injury occurs within a 60-minute drive, while those injured further afield are taken to their nearest trauma unit and assessed and resuscitated before being rapidly transferred if they require specialist intervention.

Last year, the centre saw 571 patients with immediately life-threatening injuries compared to 272 in 2012, and 419 patients with potentially life-changing injuries compared to 226 in 2012.

The development of major trauma centres and networks have ensured patients are treated by the right clinicians in the right locations as quickly as possible and that is why we are seeing such fantastic improvements in survival.

We have a tremendous network in our region with excellent teamwork across our ambulances services, trauma units and the trauma centre and clinicians throughout the WTN are constantly looking for ways to improve further.”

– Dr Mark Baxter, director of major trauma at UHS

£10 million for Southampton’s ‘digital centre of excellence’

Southampton General Hospital continues to achieve excellence. Credit: ITV News

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust will receive £10 million on being named a ‘digital centre of excellence.’

The trust is one of twelve across the country that has been given the title by the Department of Health.

The £10 million will be spread over a period of four years to pioneer innovations in information management and technology.

Hospital opens doors for visitor tours - including the door to the mortuary

Visitors can see what it is like to be treated in intensive care through a makeshift unit complete with a simulated patient, ventilator and monitor Credit: Press Association

Exclusive access is to be given into life at Southampton's hospitals. In what's being dubbed an extensive behind the scenes insights, visitors will be able to tour operating theatres, x-ray departments and even a mortuary.

Medical teams from across Southampton General Hospital in Tremona Road will provide an insight into their life-saving roles - from medical testing to emergency treatment.

The open day takes place on Saturday 24 September, with free visitor parking for the duration of the event.

Our staff, as well as many of our partners and other organisations, have really gone above and beyond to make this open day special for our visitors and celebrate some of the amazing work carried out within the NHS every day."

– Katherine Barnes, open day event co-ordinator
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