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Triplet mother's anguish in fight to care for disabled baby

It's heartbreaking. That's the reaction of the mother of triplets, one of whom has suffered 'catastrophic' brain injuries, after being told she doesn't qualify for extra National Health Service support.

Baby Essie Cobbett is unlikely to live beyond two years and remains in hospital tonight. Her parents are frustrated by bureaucracy and financial constraints they say are stopping the NHS from giving them the help they need.

Healthcare officials insist the nine-week-old child does qualify for care in the home, but Lorna Cobbett says it's not enough. Andy Dickenson reports and we also hear from Keith Reed of the Twins and Multiple Births Association.

Life changing treatment helps 7-year-old Levi walk - but isn't available on the NHS

Levi is undergoing physiotherapy after his operation

The family of a seven-year-old boy from Reading who was told he'd have to spend the majority of his life in a wheelchair are calling for others to be allowed access to the treatment which has changed his life - and diagnosis for ever.

Levi Beckford is one of the thousands of children in the UK who have cerebral palsy. His family fought to raise funding for special surgery to help him walk, and he was lucky enough to be chosen for an NHS trial.

However, the medical trial has finished, and the treatment still isn't available on the NHS. Our reporter Sam Holder has been following Levi's story, and has been back to meet him and his family six months on from his life-changing operation.

The interviewees in the report are: Amanda Ward, Levi's mother; Sue Lower, Levi's NHS physiotherapist and Benedetta Pettorini, Consultant paediatric neurosurgeon at Alder Hey Hospital.

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Doctors resign: Public meeting over GP crisis

A public meeting is taking place tonight so patients can hear what is happening to their local GPs surgery in Reading, Berkshire.

Five GPs handed in their notices at the Circuit Lane surgery in Southcote following a recruitment crisis is 2014. All tendered their resignation because they were unable to recruit doctors to replace three retiring partners.

It has been run by Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust ever since.

Reading West MP Alok Sharma will chair the meeting giving patients the latest on developments at the surgery. It's taking place at St Matthew's Church at 7pm.

As well as Mr Sharma, the panel will include Dr Rod Smith, clinical lead for Circuit Lane Surgery, Helen Mackenzie, director of nursing and governance at BHFT, Dr Geoff Payne, medical director at NHS England, Shirley Edwards, primary care commissioning for the CCG at NHS England, Dr Barbara Barrie, governing body clinical lead at the CCG.

  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, January 2016

Alex Phillips from Brighton's Green Party, Maria Caulfield the Lewes Tory MP, and Alan Whitehead MP, Lab, from Southampton; debate the crisis in the NHS and the junior doctors' strike; rail passenger anger; and a new national anthem. And music from Norman Baker's band proves there is life after politics.

  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, January 2016

Alex Phillips from Brighton's Green Party, Maria Caulfield the Lewes Tory MP, and Alan Whitehead MP, Lab, from Southampton; debate the crisis in the NHS and the junior doctors' strike; rail passenger anger; and a new national anthem. And music from Norman Baker's band proves there is life after politics.

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Families ask: after scathing report, why hasn't Chief Executive resigned?

Why hasn't she resigned yet? That is the question troubling families across our region as the Chief Executive of Southern Health, Katrina Percy, remains in her £185,000 post. She heads the Trust that looks after people with mental health issues and learning difficulties - but more than 1,000 deaths were not investigated properly - 722 of those deaths were unexpected. Chris and Stacey link to our series of reports.

Longer hours for less money say doctors in demo

Junior doctors from across the region are among thousands who've been demonstrating against plans to change their contracts. The doctors say the Government's new deal would mean them working longer hours for less pay, reducing what they're paid for working night shifts and weekends. John Ryall met some of the demonstrators as they left Brighton railway station for London

Tired doctors make mistakes say protesting medics

Doctors from across the Meridian region have joined a protest march in London against plans which they say will see them working longer hours for less pay. The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to reclassify doctors' normal working week to include Saturdays and late evening working. They say it could mean pay cuts of up to 30%, with "normal hours" reclassified as being from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday. Extra payments for unsociable working will be earned only outside of these times, rather than the current arrangements of 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday. Erica Pool is a junior doctor at Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton and Amaran Cumarasny a medical student.

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