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  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

Sussex doctor says A&Es are buckling under the strain in letter to Cameron

As A&E departments continue to struggle in the face of unprecedented demands, a senior consultant has condemned the crisis in a stark open letter to the Prime Minister. Robert Galloway, a consultant at the Royal Sussex County Hospital accident and emergency department, said A&E's are buckling under the strain, as patients are left waiting in corridors. It comes in the week that every NHS Trust in Kent AND Sussex failed to meet Government targets for A&E waiting times. Sarah Saunders spoke to Brighton MPs Simon Kirby (Con) and Caroline Lucas (Green), GP Julian Spinks and pharmacist Eric Norgbey.

People with coughs and colds are visiting A&E

Thousands of people are visiting A&E with minor complaints Credit: ITVambulance

Tens of thousands of people are needlessly going to Accident & Emergency departments in the South - blocking beds, wasting doctors' time and costing the NHS millions.

Health Trusts say they're seeing patients coming into A&E for sprains and strains, cuts and bruises and even coughs and colds - and going away with nothing more than Paracetamol to treat their ailments.

Figures obtained by ITV Meridian show the number of people in the region who attended an accident and emergency department when they didn't need to, in 2013/14:

  • West Hampshire - 21,000
  • Isle of Wight - 16,000
  • Fareham and Gosport - 7,800
  • Portsmouth - 11,300
  • South East Hampshire - 10,900
  • North Hampshire - 12,000
  • Southampton - 14,400
  • North East Hampshire - 5,700

Clinical Commissioning Groups in the South are eager to point out the alternatives to attending A&E in a non-emergency.

They want to highlight, for example, the role that pharmacists can play - they have five years of training and part of that involves dealing with minor ailments.

Southampton CCG have been sending out informative booklets Credit: Southampton CCG

Southampton CCG have been sending out booklets called 'what to know and where to go' and are about to launch Winter Health Roadshows. They will visit high streets, shopping centres and the university with doctors, nurses and pharmacists giving winter health advice.


Open day for breast cancer screening failings

Six women have been diagnosed with breast cancer after a review of assessments made in Oxfordshire.

Thirty women were recalled following concerns over screenings for the disease made by the same radiologist. They were identified by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust after a review of the 626 women seen between 2011 and 2014.

A formal investigation has been carried out by Public Health England, the NHS Breast Screening Programme and the Trust. A statement confirmed that the radiologist with the Oxfordshire Breast Screening Service at the Churchill Hospital had not undertaken assessments since the outset of investigation.

Medical director Dr Tony Berendt said the women were told they had breast cancer in September and explained this had resulted in a delay in diagnosis of "many months". The Trust said it was "extremely sorry" and the six women has been referred for immediate treatment.

Leading clinical negligent experts at Thompsons Solicitors are holding an open day onThursday 8 January at their Oxford office for those who may be concerned and seeking legal support.

Breast cancer screening is a fundamental service, and crucial in supporting early diagnosis and providing patients with the best available treatments. It is exceptionally disappointing that these women have been failed through misdiagnosis, and worse, given false assurances. While the Trust has insisted there is no need for concern among the other women who underwent breast screening and were not invited back for further assessments, Thompsons is here for those concerned and seeking legal support.

– Kashmir Uppal, Head of the clinical negligence team at Thompsons Solicitors

To speak with a clinical negligence specialist, please call 07788 992000. The dedicated open day will be held on 8 January between 10am and 4pm at Unite the Union, Unit A, Bishops Mews, Transport Way, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX4 6HD.

Hollywood film director helps Dorset children's hospice

Julia's house Credit: ITV news

A Dorset based children's hospice is to extend its care by building a dedicated centre in Wiltshire. Julia's House in Poole has raised nearly half of the three million pounds needed thanks to a fundraising event organised by the film director Guy Ritchie.

The children's hospice charity, which already offers home-based community care in South Wiltshire, is now looking to extend its support to other families with life-limited children by building them a small, dedicated hospice. A public appeal will be launched in Wiltshire to raise the remaining funds. The charity will be looking for a central location to make the new hospice accessible to as many Wiltshire families as possible. It is hoped to be able to open the hospice within two to three years. Among the services on offer will be respite and end of life care.

Chief Executive Martin Edwards said: "We are announcing this publicly now, and will use the time until building starts to develop public fundraising in Wiltshire just as we did in Dorset from the Dorset public. Having carefully researched the needs and our capability, we believe that we can and should reach out to children and families in Wiltshire, and that we can do so without lessening the care we provide in Dorset. Julia's House is almost totally dependent on fundraising and donations. We now hope the Wiltshire public will get behind this landmark creation for every child and family who needs our support."

Much of the funding to kick-start the new hospice appeal was raised at a private clay shoot and auction organised by Guy Ritchie at his home on the Dorset/Wiltshire border. The star-studded guest list included David Beckham, actors Robert Downey Jnr and Jamie Dornan, Simon and Yasmin Le Bon, Trudie Styler and the Crown Prince of Bahrain. The comedian Michael McIntyre provided the entertainment.

Guy and Jacqui became patrons of Julia's House after meeting staff and families at the charity's 10th birthday reception hosted by Samantha Cameron at 10 Downing Street in 2013. Guy was particularly interested in how Julia's House was planning to help Wiltshire families and pledged his support for the project.


New project launched in Oxford to help amputees

Crucial research being conducted in Oxford Credit: ITV news

Research will be published today to provide fresh insights into how the brain adjusts to the loss of a hand - and how this varies depending on when this catastrophic event occurs.

The Oxford-led research project sheds new light on what happens to the large parts of the brain that control hand and arm movements when a hand is missing and how the brain adjusts to find new ways to complete everyday tasks like tying shoelaces. It could have widespread implications, particularly in helping amputees and people with congenital limb deficiency make best use of their residual arm.

The study was led by the University of Oxford in collaboration with Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, supported by the Wellcome Trust and the artificial limb provider Opcare. The researchers used functional MRI brain scans to measure the brain's response in people missing a hand who attend the Oxford Centre for Enablement, a specialist rehabilitation unit at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

Study co-author Dr David Henderson Slater, Consultant in Neurological Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine, based at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford, said: "We have always known that some people adapt to the loss of a limb very soon, and start to make changes in the way they use other parts of their body to compensate for not having a hand. This study helps us to understand the neuronal basis for this, and shows us that the brain adapts and learns how to supplement for the hand loss. It is encouraging to see that there is hope for improvement even after devastating injuries, and to understand better what is going on inside the brain to make these behavioural adaptations. We may be able to incorporate this knowledge into the therapy we offer to new amputees."

Clay Wesenberg, 38, from Oxford, took part in the study. He said: "I was pleased to take part in this research project and am excited about how it could help others adjust to losing a limb. I was born without a hand so that's all I have known. It's been interesting to find out a little more about the changes my brain has made to enable me to carry out everyday tasks."

Oxford-based project investigates how the brain reacts to losing a limb

An Oxford based research project is shedding new light on how the brain reacts to the loss of a limb. Experts at the John Radcliffe Hospital hope the study will help improve the therapy offered to new amputees. Dr Tamar Makin, Study Leader explains what they are trying to do.

Volunteers needed for Ebola vaccine trial

Volunteers being urged to take part in experimental trials to find a vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus are being re-assured that it's not dangerous. It comes as British nurse Pauline Cafferkey who recently returned home from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone is fighting for her life in hospital. Scientists at Oxford University are looking for more than 70 volunteers. It involves introducing safe versions of the disease into the body so the immune system can fight it. Asana Greenstreet reports.

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