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Extra beds open in Hampshire hospital to cope with winter demand

Gosport War Memorial Hospital gears up for winter rush Credit: ITV news

An extra 15 beds will be opened at Gosport War Memorial during this winter, to help maintain good patient care at the busiest time of the year.

The 'step down' beds will be available for people leaving a ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital, who no longer need to be at QA, but who still need extensive support to help them complete their recovery.

Funding for the initiative comes from the £8m investment being made into the NHS in Portsmouth and south east Hampshire this winter, the local element of a national £700m fund to ensure that local health and social services can meet the needs of patients when bad weather and seasonal illnesses are at their peak.

This development comes as another new scheme - the Enhanced Recovery at Home team - gets into its stride. The team, made up of staff from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Hampshire County Council, is working to support people to live independently after a stay in hospital, or to give people the care they need to avoid having to go into hospital in the first place. The team is funded by £900,000 of the winter funding, and can provide a response within two hours for people who need help urgently.

David Chilvers, a Gosport GP and the clinical lead for Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group said: "These new beds will be a huge benefit to patients. Having this extra capacity in Gosport will make it easier for the NHS to move patients out of QA when they are ready to leave, and in turn that will make it easier for QA staff to admit patients from across the area who need their care. It is in absolutely nobody's interest for patients to be stuck in a bed at QA when they no longer need to be there, so we hope this additional capacity will have a positive impact."

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Fresh inquiry into deaths at War Memorial Hospital

Their loved ones died at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital over fifteen years ago, and ever since they've been searching for answers.

Today a far reaching Independent Investigation has been launched by the Government to try and finally discover the truth into what happened to 92 elderly patients who died after being treated there.

It will be chaired by the former Bishop of Liverpool, who recently oversaw the Hillsborough inquiry. He'll be supported by medical experts, an investigative journalist and a former Scotland Yard commander.

Our Correspondent, Andrew Pate, has covered the story since the start, and reports on the latest developments.

  1. Emma Wilkinson (@emmawilkitv)

Diabetes amputee urges others to check feet

'Put feet first' is the message to diabetes sufferers in Hampshire, which it's been revealed, has the highest amputation rate in the country.

New figures show more diabetes patients have limbs removed in Gosport and Fareham than anywhere in Britain.

Experts say in many cases, such drastic measures could be have been prevented.

A man who had to have his lower leg removed spoke to other patients at a workshop in Fareham, about the importance of regularly checking feet.

Emma Wilkinson has more details:

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