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Ambulance service to reduce fuel costs

The dynamic control will mean a vehicle's speed is restricted when it's not on an emergency. The fleet covers around 17 million miles across Surrey and Sussex each year. It's using a new system which limits a vehicle to sixty two miles an hour.

South East Coast Ambulance Service Credit: ITV News Meridian

"The decision to install this system on our operational vehicles will significantly reduce their fuel consumption and save public money.

In addition, given the huge number of miles our vehicles cover, we know we have a duty to take our responsibility to the environment very seriously.

This move is just one way which we can, to an extent, limit our impact as an organisation on the environment at the same time as making savings, which can be reinvested into patient care."

– Justin Wand - Head of Fleet
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Royal College of Surgeons monitor cancer scandal trust

The Royal College of Surgeons has said it is continuing to monitor Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust following revelations that one of the trust's doctors may have been mistreated cancer patients.

The RCS reviewed the care of patients who had been treated for prostate and bladder cancer at East Surrey Hospital in April 2014 after consultant urologist Paul Miller was suspended.

A RCS spokeswoman said: "At the end of our visit we provided immediate feedback that confirmed serious patient safety concerns for the trust's medical director to address and that the surgeon should remain excluded from practice while the trust's investigations continued."

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Solicitor reacts to claims against hospital consultant

Clinical negligence solicitor Christian Beadell, from law firm Slater & Gordon, which is representing a number of patients, said: "While it is good to see that Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is taking positive steps to notify patients, I would have some concern that Mr Miller was first suspended in December and it has taken 10 months to make these concerns more widely known.

"During that time, some patients may have suffered a worsening of their condition."

Cancer row doctor speaks out over dismissal

Paul Miller, the consultant in the East Surrey Hospital cancer row, has spoken out over the claims against him.

He said: “I am extremely disappointed that the trust has decided to dismiss me.

"I strongly do not believe that this is justified. I welcome the opportunity to co-operate with any investigation into my practice.

"My priority as a consultant for the last 21 years has always been to protect patients’ best interests and safety.

"I cannot comment further due to my duty of patient confidentiality.”

Hospital apology over care of cancer patients

More than 1,000 cancer patients have been contacted by a hospital trust over concerns they may have been mistreated.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said letters had been sent to 1,200 prostate and bladder cancer patients after a review found 27 people were harmed following treatment by a consultant urologist between 2006 and 2013.

Paul Miller was suspended in December last year and no longer works at the trust.

The General Medical Council (GMC) confirmed he is currently unable to treat urological cancer patients pending an investigation.

In a statement, the trust - who have not publicly named Mr Miller - said a panel of experts found 27 patients "came to harm because of the treatment they received under the former trust urologist's care", including five who have since died.

A further "small number of patients" were also given treatment below hospital standards - but the panel found they were not harmed as a consequence, it added.

There were no concerns about the care received by the remaining patients, the NHS trust said.

Des Holden, the trust's medical director, said: "On behalf of the trust, I apologise unreservedly for the errors in these patients' treatment.

"I acknowledge and appreciate that the outcome of the clinical review and the content of the letters will be deeply distressing to our patients and their families and I am very sorry."

Mr Holden told BBC Surrey Radio that the NHS trust was alerted after concerns were raised by a doctor and a group of nurses and it had been an "upsetting experience" for both patients and staff.

He said: "There have been five deaths in the 27 patients. It wouldn't be correct to say they died as a consequence of the progression of their disease.

"This is a cancer that predominantly affects very elderly people.

"It's a factor, but it wouldn't be correct to say they died as a consequence of the mismanagement."

The Royal College of Surgeons was invited into the NHS trust to conduct the clinical review.

Mr Miller also worked at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital in Horley, Surrey.

Its director, John Crisp, said: "Spire suspended Mr Miller in December 2013 as soon as the trust notified us of their investigation into Mr Miller and he has not undertaken any surgery or held clinics at our hospital since.

"We are sorry for any distress this may be causing our patients."

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has set up a hotline for patients and their families to talk with a consultant or specialist nurse about their concerns of aspects of their care.

The lines are open Monday to Friday, between 11am-7pm, and the number is 0808 168 7754.

Hospital trust contacts 1,200 cancer patients over fears they were mistreated

East Surrey Hospital

More than 1,200 cancer patients at a Surrey hospital are being written to over fears they may have been mistreated.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS trust is contacting patients treated at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.

Based upon each patient’s clinical history, an external panel of consultant urologists found that 27 patients came to harm because of the treatment they received under the former Trust Urologist’s care.

In addition, the care of a small number of patients fell below the standards expected, however these same experts felt they have not been harmed as

In total, 1,200 bladder and prostate cancer patients may have been treated wrongly.

It's believed 27 bladder and prostate cancer patients came to harm because of the treatment they received.

An external panel of Urologists conducted the review of 1,200 people treated between 2006 and 2013.

Following suspension and an internal investigation, the Consultant Urologist is no longer employed at the Trust.

Des Holden, the Trust’s Medical Director, said “On behalf of the Trust, I apologise unreservedly for the errors in these patients’ treatment.

"I acknowledge and appreciate that the outcome of the clinical review and the content of the letters will be deeply distressing to our patients and their families and I am very sorry.

"I would encourage patients and their families to telephone the helpline if it would be of benefit.”

A helpline has been established for concerned patients and their next of kin 0808 168 7754.

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Fewer deaths in hospital, thanks to nurses' computers

The Queen Alexandra Hospital Credit: Meridian

Death rates at a Hampshire hospital have fallen - since nurses began using handheld computers instead of paper charts to record patients' vital signs.

There were 400 fewer deaths at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth in one year following the introduction of the new devices. That's a drop of around 15 per cent.

Cancer patients' anger that pioneering drug won't be funded

There's condemnation from Cancer Charities that a drug which can extend the lives of some women with advanced breast cancer has been rejected for NHS use because it is too expensive.

Kadcyla has shown remarkable success in trials at The Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, and a woman from Reading says it's extended her life by three years.

But it costs 90 thousand pounds for a course of treatment, too much for the NHS financial watchdog, NICE, which made the decision. It has criticised the manufacturers for the high cost.

Rachel Hepworth speaks to cancer survivors Manjinder Coulter and Kimberly Mawby, Chief Exec of NICE, Andrew Dillon, Sarah Rawlings from the charity Breakthrough Cancer, and Jennifer Cozzone from pharmaceutical company Roche.

Breast cancer drug 'too expensive' for NHS

A drug that can extend the lives of some women with an advanced form of breast cancer has been rejected for NHS use because it is too expensive.

The high price of Kadcyla makes it "impossible" to recommend for widespread use in the health service, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said.

The drug, also known as trastuzumab emtansine, is used to treat breast cancer patients with HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is used when the cancer cannot be surgically removed and the patient has stopped responding to initial treatments.

It can offer these women a last hope, extending the lives of patients by around six months.

But final draft guidance from Nice says that the drug, which costs around £90,000 per patient at its full price, it too expensive to recommend for widespread use in the health service.

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Breast cancer patient: £90,000 drug changed my life

A patient using the breast cancer drug Kadcyla, which could be blocked from routine NHS access because it is too expensive, told ITV News the treatment had improved her quality of life.

"I was in quite a bad state, and within about two cycles my life felt like it had turned a corner. I was able to do things I wasn't able to do prior to being on this treatment," Mani said of the drug, which currently costs around £90,000 per patient.

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