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Fewer people with mental illness going to prison

The number of people with mental health problems ending up in the prison system has long been a subject for concern.

It's estimated as many as half of those in custody are suffering from some sort of psychiatric illness.

But one force in our region says it's seen a dramatic reduction in the numbers entering the justice system, thanks to a pioneering new scheme.

Caron Bell reports

Children still at risk, warns father whose daughter died from meningitis

Many children are still at risk from meningitis according to the father of a Kent toddler who died from the disease.

Neil Burdett's two-year old daughter, Faye, died earlier this year after fighting the infection for eleven days. He says the NHS should still be vaccinating all children under five. A year ago it introduced jabs for babies.

Derek Johnson reports.


Council's cash boost to save vital transport service

Credit: ITV News Meridian

A council has stepped in to save a vital transport service for the city’s vulnerable residents.

Portsmouth City Council has awarded £30,000 to Pompey Dial Ride, a service that helps disabled and elderly residents who have difficulty using public transport.

The funding means the service, which was at risk of closure, can run until April 2017. Since April 2015, the council has given more than £65,000 to Pompey Dial Ride, including money to buy a minibus during start-up.

The council says it will review Pompey Dial Ride’s progress on an ongoing basis.

I'm very grateful for the council's support and continued work with us. We've put a lot of effort into getting our business plan together and I firmly believe we are now on our way to becoming a sustainable business that can continue benefiting the community for years to come."

– Tracey Jones, owner, Pompey Dial Ride

Nurse's two months on world's biggest floating hospital

It's the world's biggest floating hospital and nurse Janna Hughes, 29, spent nine weeks working on it.

Mercy Ships is an international charity that aims to reach people who live with little or no healthcare in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Janna has just returned from the island of Madagasca. This is her story.

WARNING: This video contains footage some people may find distressing

Pregnant women still facing discrimination at work

Pregnant women and new mums are still being discriminated against in the work place, a government report has highlighted.

Shocking figures from the Women and Equalities Committee, chaired by Basingstoke MP Maria Miller reveal that, since 2005, fifty four thousand women have been either dismissed, forced to take redundancy or treated badly at work. Charlotte Wilkins has been looking at the issue.

MP slams decision to downgrade maternity unit

Victoria Prentis MP has been working alongside campaigners Credit: Twitter: Victoria Prentis

The MP for North Oxfordshire, Victoria Prentis, has voiced her disappointment about the decision to downgrade Horton General Hospital's maternity unit.

The MP had been working alongside campaigners to prevent the downgrade of vital Horton services. She says she is "disappointed that this decision has been taken with no public consultation".

Here is her statement:

I am really sorry to hear that the Board has voted to temporarily downgrade the maternity unit. I hope that this is only a very short term plan and maternity will return to a full consultant-led unit as soon as possible.

Personally, I am very worried about the contingency arrangements and will continue to put pressure on the Trust for answers. I will do all I can to offer assistance to worried constituents and expectant mothers during this time.

I am also disappointed that this decision has been taken with no public consultation and no discussions have been had with neighbouring Members of Parliament, whose constituents will also be affected by these changes. We only found out about the contingency plan at the end of July, and have not seen any evidence or risk assessments to understand the impact the suspension may have. I firmly believe the Trust could have done more to recruit enough consultants. I really hope this decision is short term and the recruitment process will continue so that a full service can resume as soon as possible. In the meantime, I will continue to work with colleagues and local elected officials and do all that I can to secure the future of our local hospital.”

– Victoria Prentis MP for North Oxfordshire


Maternity services to be downgraded

Credit: ITV News Meridian

The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s board of directors has voted to downgrade the Horton General Hospital maternity service to a midwife-only unit.

The decision comes despite months of protests by thousands of campaigners wanting to keep the maternity services. They say expectant mothers will now have to travel to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, more than 20 miles away and a journey of up to 45 minutes.

The Trust says it can't recruit enough obstetricians to run the unit safely.

Decision day for hospital's maternity services

Thousands of people have joined the campaign to save the Horton Hospital's maternity services Credit: ITV News Meridian

It's decision day for an Oxfordshire hospital, where maternity services could be downgraded.

The Trust which runs Horton General in Banbury says it can't recruit enough obstetricians to run the unit safely and will decide whether or not to suspend services from the end of September.

If the Horton is downgraded from consultant-led to midwife-led, expectant mums will be transferred to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, about 45 minutes away.

The plans have caused widespread protests, with thousands of people campaigning to save the services.

The Trust is trying very hard to fill these posts. At our meeting we will need to look at the numbers of obstetric middle grade doctors we will have available to us at the Horton in October and take a decision with patient safety in mind."

– Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive

MP hopes Percy resignation 'restores public trust' in Southern Health

The MP for Fareham, Suella Fernandes, has been following events at the Southern Health Trust on behalf of her constituents in Hampshire.

The politician raised her concerns about the organisation in the House of Commons earlier this year. ITV Meridian presenter Sangeeta Bhabra asked the MP about her reaction to the resignation of Southern Health's Chief Executive Katrina Percy.

A timeline of events at the Southern Health NHS Trust

ITV Meridian's Andrew Pate takes a look at the events that led up to the resignation of Katrina's Percy, the former Chief Executive of the Southern Health NHS Trust.

Take a look at our report on the reaction to the resignation from people including the mother of Connor Sparrowhawk, a young man who died while under the care of the Southern Health NHS Trust in Oxfordshire. The organisation was criticised for the way it dealt with the unexpected deaths of hundreds of vulnerable people in its care.

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