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Fire engines in Surrey fitted with defibrillators

An AED Credit: Surrey County Council

Every fire engine in Surrey has been fitted with a defibrillator to help firefighters save more lives at the scene of emergencies.

Surrey County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service has equipped its entire 35-strong fleet with defibrillators to enable crews who are first on the scene to treat casualties suffering a cardiac arrest.

At the same time, more than 180 Surrey firefighters have been given extra training to improve the care they can give to casualties facing life-threatening illness and injuries.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service worked closely with South East Coast Ambulance Service to develop the course, known as Immediate Emergency Care Responder training.

The new equipment and training will help ensure that casualties at the scene of fires or road accidents are treated as quickly as possible, potentially saving many more lives.

Surrey County Council Leader David Hodge is backing the project with £150,000 of funding.

Finger food menu encourages dementia patients to eat in hospital

A new finger food menu for patients living with dementia is being piloted at Stoke Mandeville Hospital during Nutrition and Hydration Week, as part of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s commitment to improve patients’ care and experience.

Nutrition, catering and nursing staff worked together to create a finger food menu which is being piloted on an elderly care ward at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. It will then be rolled out across Wycombe, Amersham and other community hospitals.

Finger foods have become very helpful in encouraging people with dementia to enjoy food and drink again. As dementia progresses people often find cutlery difficult to manage, they also can find it difficult to manage a full meal.

– Nutrition Specialist Nurse Liz Evans
The finger food menu is being piloted on an elderly care ward at Stoke Mandeville Hospital Credit: Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

The menu features foods that will hold their shape when picked up, require limited chewing and are served at room temperature – such as mini quiches, cocktail sausages, small slices of cake and fruit. This can aid in preserving a dementia patient’s eating skills, by triggering their attention and physical interaction with the food, as well as enabling them to eat at their own pace and if they are unable to sit still during meals.

Patients with dementia can experience difficulties with visual perception, so the food will be served on blue plates which provide a colour contrast and help patients identify colour and recognise objects.

Progressive under-nutrition is particularly common among people with dementia. Studies indicate that 20-45% of those with dementia in the community experience clinically significant weight loss over one year.


Poor children have 'worse teeth'

Dentist checking girl's teeth Credit: PA

More than a third of 12-year-olds and more than a quarter of 15-year-olds say they have been embarrassed to smile or laugh due to how they felt about the condition of their teeth, research has found.

Figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) also show that just under a third (31%) of five-year-olds and nearly half (46%) of eight-year-olds have decay in their milk teeth.

Its survey of more than 13,500 children and nearly 10,000 dental examinations found that 41% of five-year-olds from more deprived families had tooth decay, compared to 29% from less deprived families. Well over half (59%) of 15-year-olds from more deprived families had tooth decay compared to 43% from more less deprived families.

NHS Trust rated 'Good' but some services need 'Improvement'

The services provided by Sussex Community NHS Trust have been rated 'Good' by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals.

The rating follows an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) across West Sussex and Brighton & Hove.

However, the Trust was told its community health impatient services 'Requires Improvement' for its safety, and its end of life care rated as 'Outstanding' for how it responds to people's needs.

The trust provides care for around eight thousand people a day at several sites including Arundel Hospital, Midhurst Community Hospital, Horsham Hospital and Brighton General Hospital.

At the time of CQC's inspection, the trust had appointed a new leadership team, and the CQC acknowledged that many of the team had only been in their new jobs for a short time, including the Director of Nursing who had been in post for less than a year.

The Inspectors noted some areas of good practice, including a 'Major Incident Box' at Arundel Hospital in the staff room which contained everything staff would need to manage an incident.

Teenager on road to recovery after life-threatening brain infection

Lewis Smith with singer Ed Sheeran Credit: Portsmouth NHS Hospitals

A youngster who survived a life-threatening infection between his brain and skull with the help of Queen Alexandra Hospital is on the road to recovery.

The family of Lewis Smith are now speaking out about his terrifying experience as part of Brain Awareness Week, which began this week.

Lewis, from Droxford, began to feel unwell during a family holiday to Cornwall in July 2013.

His forehead was swollen and he began to suffer agonising headaches- something which doctors at Plymouth hospital put down to concussion.

But his mum Nicki was convinced it was something more serious, and a scan at QA confirmed her worst fears.

I kept on being told it was concussion, but I knew deep down there was something more going on. The staff at QA were fantastic and kept him in overnight and gave him IV antibiotics before ordering a scan the next day. When we had the scan we found out it was a really serious infection and he was rushed to Southampton hospital. It was really touch and go. If it hadn’t been for that scan, he might not be here today. I had never given much thought to things that could go wrong with the brain and in the head, and I now think it is so important to raise awareness what things can go wrong and that it is so important to get checked out properly.

– Nicki Smith, Lewis's mum

Lewis, now 14, has had a difficult time since the initial operation, and has suffered two further infections. But he now has a titanium plate in his head and is due to come off antibiotics next week.

Since the operation he has not been able to pursue his passion for footballing, but has instead discovered a talent for singing and even got the chance to perform with Ed Sheeran last month.

There are plenty of everyday things you can do to keep your brain healthy-

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
  • Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and can help keep you more alert.
  • Learning new skills and testing your brain with mentally challenging hobbies can help stimulate the brain

Filthy conditions uncovered at Indian takeaway

Filthy light switch in the takeaway lobby Credit: Portsmouth City Council

An indian takeaway in Portsmouth has been fined nearly £7000 and banned from selling food to the public in the future because it was so dirty.

The kitchen in Indian Ocean was covered in mouse droppings, there was rotting food and no hot water.

The City Council prosecuted the firm and its co-director as been banned from running any food business in the future.

The 'filthy' conditions of the takeaway shop continued into the toilet Credit: Portsmouth City Council


Takeaway fined after preparing food in 'filthy' conditions

Filthy surfaces and pest control bait box adjacent to sink in rear preparation / store room Credit: Portsmouth City Council

A takeaway shop in Portsmouth has been fined nearly seven thousand pounds for preparing food in "filthy" conditions.

The kitchen in Indian Ocean was covered in mouse droppings, there was rotting food and no hot water. The City Council prosecuted the firm and its co-director as been banned from running any food business in the future.

Mouse droppings on table in kitchen Credit: Portsmouth City Council
Rotting onion and potato peelings in rear yard Credit: Portsmouth City Council

Oxford to lead research into Type 1 diabetes vaccine

Oxford at the centre of ground breaking research Credit: ITV news

Oxford will host one of 15 UK centres to carry out ground-breaking new research into a Type 1 diabetes vaccine that could be developed "within a generation," according to scientists.

The centres, which are being set up as part of a new £4.4 million investment by Diabetes UK with support from Tesco and diabetes charity JDRF, could help to produce the first working vaccines within the next 10 years. As well as helping to delay or even prevent Type 1 diabetes in those at high risk, this will also be an important step towards a cure for the condition. It's likely that the vaccine will also work in harmony with other treatments that reduce damage to insulin producing cells in the pancreas caused by the immune system.

A fully effective Type 1 vaccine would represent a significant leap forward in diabetes research. Type 1 diabetes affects more than 300,000 people in the UK. Managing diabetes is a daily struggle and too many people develop devastating health complications.

Decades of work by scientists has helped to identify key parts of the immune system that could be potential targets for a Type 1 immuno-therapy. Many of these have been the subject of clinical trials, which at first proved disappointing. However, an increased understanding of the immune attack that causes Type 1 has led to renewed hope that new therapies - or combinations of existing treatments - will have a much greater impact.

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