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  1. Emma Hutchinson

The Last Word, January 2018

Crisis? What crisis? The queues of ambulances, and the patients in hospital corridors are not a crisis, says the PM. She's been to Frimley Park Hospital near Aldershot, where she told journalists the NHS was experiencing pressures, but was not in crisis.
Abortion: why is is provoking what one of our panellists describes as a twitterstorm?
And Brexit: time for a second referendum? Nigel Farage thinks one may be on the horizon.

  • Michelle Dorrell from Folkestone & Hythe Labour Party
  • Baroness Brinton from Kenardington in Kent, and
  • Maria Caulfield MP, the Conservative member for Lewes

All three panellists in the studio look ahead to 2018.

Warning that hospitals will struggle without EU nursing staff

As front line NHS staff gear up to cope with the winter onslaught, it's being warned that a sharp drop in student nurse recruits - combined with plummeting numbers of EU nurses coming to work in the UK could have severe consequences for patients.

The NHS is facing a recruitment crisis, but new nurses are not being attracted to the profession and after the Brexit referendum the number of EU nurses coming here to work - plummeted - a staggering 96 per cent.

In some of the region's healthcare trusts - where more than 1 in every 10 nurses is from the EU - it's warned we could be left short of staff if the doors are closed to nurses from neighbouring countries

Sarah Saunders spoke to Spanish nurse and UNISON rep Joan Pons Laplana; nurse and Royal College of Nursing union rep Ged Swinton; student nurse Hayley Parpworth and Patricia Marquis of the Royal College of Nursing.

Tribunal hears from NHS director who claims he was ousted after speaking out against gay adoption

A tribunal has finished hearing evidence into the claim by a former magistrate that he was sacked from the NHS because of his Christian views.

Richard Page was axed from his role as a non-executive director at a Kent NHS Trust after publicising his views about same-sex adoption and gay marriage.

He is claiming discrimination although the NHS said he lost his job because of the way he conducted himself. The tribunal today reserved judgement on the case.

As Derek Johnson reports.

Derek spoke to Richard Page and Andrea Williams Chief Executive, Christian Legal Centre.


Protestors march in Brighton in support of NHS funding

Campaigners are angry over the amount of funding given to the NHS Credit: ITV Meridian

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell will be joining local Labour Party activists from across Brighton and Hove today to campaign for the NHS to be properly funded.

Campaigners are angry over the amount of funding given to the NHS Credit: ITV Meridian

Their concerns surround the Royal Sussex County Hospital being in special measures, the patient transport service, Coperfoma rated inadequate, and the A&E service being on Black Alert due to the winter crisis.

Campaigners are angry over the amount of funding given to the NHS Credit: ITV Meridian

The march will begin at the County Hospital in Eastern Road, winding through the town and up Queens Road to Brighton Station to show support for the rail workers already on strike for the safety of our train service.

Campaigners are angry over the amount of funding given to the NHS Credit: ITV Meridian

Pay for your painkillers to help the NHS cut costs

Common painkillers will no longer be given free to some patients in Sussex.

The local NHS in Brighton and Hove says it's vastly more expensive to prescribe Paracetamol and Ibuprofen than it is to buy them over the counter.

A prescription from a GP costs the NHS £45 - that includes consultation time, of course.

But Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can be bought for as little as 19 pence from some supermarkets.

Health chiefs want to save half a million pounds a year to spend on other services.

Patients may soon have to pay for other medications too, as Malcolm Shaw now reports.

'Our ambulance have 400,000 miles on the clock' - special measures for scandal-hit Ambulance Trust

Delayed ambulances and not answering 999 calls quick enough - just two of the reasons a scandal-hit ambulance trust has been put into special measures.

A damning report into the South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) - which covers Sussex, Surrey and North-East Hampshire - also found other serious concerns, including:

- Response times not meeting national targets.

- Patients giving up on calls for help, especially on weekends.

- Not enough staff, impacting on performance and fatigue.

- A culture of harassment and bullying of staff.

So what now for the troubled trust?

Andy Dickenson speaks to Ben Williams, Geraint Davies, acting chief executive of Secamb, Alan Thorne of the Care Quality Commission, David Liley of Healthwatch, and Nigel Sweet from Unison.

Petition questioning Patient Transport Service

A petition with twelve thousand signatures has been handed in - calling for improvements to the Patient Transport Service in Sussex.

Coperforma have been running the service since April and there have been complaints about long waits and delays.

Sussex Defend the NHS who organised the online and paper petition said, "This CCG need to stop being complacent about the service and take some real action to ensure its safety and security for patients and the drivers. This chaos has gone on long enough."

Meanwhile the GMB union is organising protests on Tuesday in Eastbourne and Brighton.

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