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HMS Kent leaves Portsmouth for 6-month deployment

Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate - HMS Kent - leaves Portsmouth today for a six-month deployment focusing on maritime security operations in the Indian Ocean.

HMS Kent

HMS Kent will continue the Royal Navy's long-term presence East of Suez as she replaces HMS Northumberland currently on station.

Having been through intense training the ship is ready for a deployment as part of the Royal Navy's standing commitment in the Middle East.

HMS Kent's Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Block, said: "I am immensely proud of my ship's company and all they have achieved preparing HMS Kent to deploy on operations East of Suez. HMS Kent will return to the Middle East, a part of the world she knows well, to provide reassurance to the UK's allies in the region, whilst conducting maritime security, counter narcotics and counter-piracy patrols to protect British trade and wider national interests."

Andy Vernon encouraging youngsters to get running

The 25th annual Great South Run takes place in just over a week and one of the region's most successful distance runners has been encouraging youngsters to take to the track.

Andy Vernon was in Portsmouth this week to take part in a fun run event which has so far enabled more than 40,000 youngsters nationwide to run a mile long race.

Sarah Gomme reports:

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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.

City's rich history in line for top award

The Mary Rose museum is so much more than one of the most important pieces of Tudor History - it's the creation of a brand new building that's generating as much attention as the ship itself.

The unique boat shaped black structure creates a striking silhouette in Portsmouth Dockyard - and has pushed the boundaries of 21st century architecture.

As a finalist in this year's RIBA awards it's received praise from around the world - an incredible home for one of the country's greatest treasures. Stacey Poole has been to meet those behind the design.

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock resigns

Mike Hancock has resigned from the Liberal Democrats Credit: ITV Meridian

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock has resigned his membership of the Liberal Democrats the party has confirmed.

The move came after the veteran MP, who had already been suspended by the party, was forced publicly to apologise to a vulnerable woman constituent for making improper sexual advances.

In June Mr Hancock gave an "unreserved" apology at London's High Court over an "inappropriate and unprofessional friendship" with a single mother known as Annie, who had sought his assistance as her MP and local councillor.

Solicitors for the woman said the apology was part of a "confidential settlement" in which the "vulnerable woman", who suffers from mental health problems, brought a claim for damages against him.

A Lib Dem spokesman said Mr Hancock had quit before an internal party disciplinary hearing.

Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg had previously called on Mr Hancock to resign his membership and said he had "no future" in the party.

A Lib Dem spokesman said: "I can confirm he has resigned from the party. "We have received a letter confirming his resignation. Obviously, there was due to be a disciplinary hearing imminently, so before that has happened he has resigned."

Hospital: 'Our priority has always been Ashya's welfare and we are delighted that he has been found'

The NHS trust in charge of the Southampton hospital where 5-year-old Ashya King was a patient, have released a statement after the boy was found with his family in Spain.

"Our priority has always been Ashya's welfare and we are delighted that he has been found. We are now working closely with colleagues in Malaga to ensure he receives the essential medical support he needs.

"We are aware of the comments made online by his father. Throughout Ashya's admission we have had conversations about the treatment options available to him and we had offered the family access to a second opinion, as well as assistance with organising treatment abroad.

"We understand how distressing this situation is for everyone involved, particularly Ashya's family. We will continue to do what we can to support them and assist the police in providing any information they require."

– Spokesperson, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

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Ashya needs 'constant medical supervision & treatment'

A spokesperson from the NHS Foundation Trust in charge of the hospital where 5-year-old Ashya King was being treated for a brain tumour has issued a statement. Ashya was taken from Southampton General Hospital by his parents on Thursday without agreement from the doctors treating him for his condition.

Hospital says Ashya King's parents failed to return him to his hospital ward for treatment

“Ashya has a serious condition that requires constant medical supervision and treatment. Following his removal from hospital by his parents yesterday, clinical and security staff referred the incident to Hampshire Police.

“We continue to work closely with them to support the search and investigation and have provided a comprehensive detailed medical report on Ashya to ensure any hospital he is taken to can provide the care he requires immediately.

“Ashya was a long term patient who was permitted to leave the ward under the supervision of his parents as part of his ongoing rehabilitation. When the length of time he had been absent became a cause of concern to staff yesterday afternoon they contacted police after a search of the site and attempts to contact the family were unsuccessful.”

– Spokesperson, University Hospital Southampton

HMS Illustrious decommissioned in Portsmouth

The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious stood down today after thirty-two years as a flagship in the Royal Navy.

The Portsmouth-based helicopter and commando carrier has clocked up nine hundred thousand miles on operations across the world. HMS Illustrious, based in Portsmsouth, was built on the Tyne and launched by Princess Margaret in December 1978.

She and her crew have played an important role in the Royal Navy's operations around the world. Rachel Hepworth joined sailors past and present to bid her farewell.

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