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  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

VIDEO: Hospital patients left in the cold after heating failure

Patients say they've been forced to wear hats, scarves and blankets on a hospital ward in Kent after the heating broke down. Reg Hansell, a dialysis patient from Shepherdswell in Kent, told us that up to forty vulnerable patients a day have been putting up with unacceptable cold as they received dialysis treatment at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital. Sarah Saunders spoke to Reg about his experience.

Hospitals under pressure from too many patients

Hospitals in east Kent are currently extremely busy, caring for large numbers of people who are seriously ill.

The onset of winter weather has resulted in a surge in attendances at A&E particularly by older people and people with lung problems, many of whom need to be admitted for inpatient care.

The NHS has robust plans to provide the right treatment for people who are seriously ill but is appealing to people who don’t have a serious or life-threatening illness or injury to avoid going to A&E and to seek care elsewhere.

A&E under pressure Credit: Press Assocation

It is estimated that between 15 and 25 per cent of people attending A&E could be treated by another NHS service.

If you have a health problem and are not sure what to do or who to contact, please use the Health Help Now web app which lists services and gives health advice and information for east Kent: www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net.

If you need medical help fast but it is not a 999 emergency, ring NHS 111.

If people have had a serious accident or consider their condition to be life-threatening, then A&E may well be the right place to go and we would encourage them to do that.

But we still see thousands of people every year attending our A&Es with symptoms that could be treated at home, by a GP or pharmacist or at a minor injuries unit.

We are asking you if it’s not urgent to stay away from A&E and keep it free for those who really need the specialist care it provides.

Use Health Help Now or NHS 111 and help us to help you.

– Jane Ely, Director of Operations

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Kent hospital is 'the worst in the country'

It's been criticised as the "worst hospital in the country" - with patients waiting up to 34 hours in Accident & Emergency.

The Care Quality Commission, who monitor hospitals around the UK, are warning about major failings in the Medway Hospital Trust, which last year was placed in Special Measures. The Patients Association represent users of the hospital. They've branded the CQC findings as appalling.

And they say the situation in A&E is totally unacceptable. Fred and Amanda linked to Derek Johnson.

Parents accept hospital apology after daughter dies

Anabelle Shepherd who died on Christmas Day 2012 Credit: Lee and Leanne Shepherd

Lee and leanne Shepherd have accepted an apology and a £30,000 settlement after Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said their daughter Anabelle's death could have been avoided with appropriate care.

The couple’s acceptance of the settlement was on condition that it came with a written apology and admission that 22 month-old Anabelle would not have died when she did, if she had been given appropriate care at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH), Portsmouth.

Anabelle, who had a rare genetic condition, was admitted to QAH in Cosham with lethargy, four months after a bone marrow transplant.

She received treatment but her condition worsened. Anabelle was transferred to intensive care at Southampton General Hospital two days later, where she later died.

Mr and Mrs Shepherd, believe Anabelle was ‘let down at the final hurdle’ due to failings by QAH staff.

They said an incorrect diagnosis of gastroenteritis, delayed blood tests and treatment with oral instead of intravenous antibiotics at the hospital meant their daughter’s condition deteriorated.

The QAH has said it has changed procedures for dealing with similar patients since Annabelle’s death and given reassurances that changes have been made to hospital procedures to minimise the risk of similar failures affecting other families.

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  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

Complex heart and neurosurgery come to Kent

Hospital patients will have access to state-of-the-art cardiac and neurological treatments in Kent for the first time, after a new 95-million pound hospital opened its doors today.

The Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery in Maidstone offers mainly private care, but it will also treat NHS patients. So that some heart, brain and cancer patients will no longer have to travel to London for complex care.

Sarah Saunders spoke to Medical Director Dr Chris Thom and Chief Executive Jayne Cassidy.

Under fire MP Mike Hancock in hospital

Mike Hancock is in hospital following weeks of pressure over his future Credit: ITV Meridian

Under fire Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock is in hospital following calls for him to resign over harassment claims.

Mr Hancock's office said he has been in hospital since the end of last week and will remain so until at least the end of next week.

His offices in London and Portsmouth remain open as usual.

The Portsmouth South MP has been suspended from the Liberal Democrat party.

It follows a leaked report into alleged sexual impropriety with a female constituent.

He denies any wrong-doing but is facing a civil case brought by his accuser.

Hospital to welcome Countess during official opening

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has announced it will welcome the Countess of Wessex to an opening ceremony on 13 February. She'll receive a tour of the unit, meet patients and see some of the therapeutic and educational activities that young people being treated at the unit take part in.

The facility provides specialist inpatient services for young people who are between 11 and 18 years old with acute mental health needs. The £11m unit has 18 bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, as well as a music suite and a dedicated learning zone so young people continue their education.

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