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Pancreatic cancer charity CEO explains symptoms of condition with 4% survival rate & calls for more funding

Scientist are hoping to improve research into pancreatic cancer

Last year 1,361 people in the South were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer - among them 691 men and 670 women - just 54 of them have survived.

According to 'Pancreatic Cancer Action', only half of those who contracted the illness even knew it existed before becoming sick. Late diagnosis is often the problem. The charity is hoping to raise awareness and to push for greater funding into research.

ITV Meridian spoke to two women whose lives have been affected by pancreatic cancer and scientists working towards improving research into the condition. ITV Meridian presenter Stacey Poole also interviewed Ali Stunt, the CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Action, who explained what the symptoms were - and the aims of her organisation.

Obesity and lack of exercise behind surge in kidney stone complaints

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust Credit: ITV News Meridian

A leading surgeon has warned a “malicious combination" of obesity, poor hydration, high blood pressure and a lack of exercise is behind a surge in cases of kidney stones.

Bhaskar Somani, a consultant urological surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, said admissions for renal stone treatment in England had risen by 20% over the past seven years to more than 90,000, with prevalence up to 50% higher in obese patients.

He said poor diets and lifestyles were “fuelling” the development of the condition, with consumption of too much animal protein and levels of salt and sugar creating the “perfect environment" for stones to form.

“We know diet and lifestyle can be a major cause of stones and, with a year-on-year rise in the number of hospital admissions for renal stones and growing numbers of overweight or obese adults, the potential for the number of cases to soar even higher is huge.

In Southampton specifically, our numbers have gone up by 40% over the past three years and have resulted in the need for us to recruit a specialist stone nurse and registrar to see patients, as well as set-up virtual clinics by phone – so urology and stone services face a very testing future.

The condition, which affects around 10% to 20% of the male population and 3% to 5% of women between the ages of 20 and 60 years, develops when crystals of salt accumulate into stone-like lumps."

– Bhaskar Somani, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Southampton General Hospital

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Brain cancer survivor Ashya King returns to UK with his parents

Brain cancer survivor Ashya King has returned to the UK with his parents Credit: Family Handout

Brain cancer survivor Ashya King has returned to the UK with his parents 10 months after they took him out of Southampton General Hospital and sparked an international manhunt.

The five-year-old, who made a "miracle" recovery after receiving proton beam therapy in Prague, said he was "excited" to return home and wished to see his grandmother, according to the Sun.

His parents Brett and Naghmeh King initially said they feared to return because their son could be taken into care but the pair now say they have "no reason to hide".

Mr King, 52, told the paper: "We just have to face up to the situation now. We would like nothing to happen an for us to be able to get on with our lives.

"We shouldn't have to be afraid - and that's why we won't go on living like refugees in a different country for no reason.

"We feel sufficiently assured by Portsmouth City Council that it's all finished. However, we do have a lingering fear that one day we will get a knock on the door."

Doctors make breakthrough in brain injuries study

Doctors in Southampton have developed a brain pressure test that can detect life-threatening head injuries and infections - without the need for surgery or spinal procedures.

The method involves patients wearing headphones with an ear plug linked to a computer, which enables doctors to measure fluid pressure in the skull.

The device known as the cerebral and cochlear fluid pressure (CCFP) analyser is being used to study healthy volunteers at Southampton General Hospital in Hampshire.

"We know that high pressure inside the skull resulting from injuries and infections can be fatal, so it is essential it is detected as early as possible to avoid exacerbating symptoms and ensure treatment can begin promptly.

"Current methods for testing ICP (intracranial pressure) require procedures to be carried out under sedation or anaesthetic, which means they are limited to the most severe cases and those with less obvious initial symptoms often go undetected until their symptoms have worsened.

"However, as our CCFP (cerebral and cochlear fluid pressure) device does not require a patient to do anything other than wear a set of headphones with an ear plug, it has the potential to provide rapid, accurate and safe assessments to patients in much larger numbers than is currently possible."

– Dr Robert Marchbanks, consultant clinical scientist

New accommodation block for child patients' families

Accommodation will house families visiting sick children

A seven million pound new accommodation block at Southampton General Hospital will be officially opened today.

The fifty-three bedroom Ronald McDonald House provides a place to stay for the relatives of children in hospital. Families who have stayed there say it has been 'invaluable'.

New accommodation opens in Southampton for families of children in hospital

New building opens on Monday Credit: ITV news

A new accommodation block opens at Southampton General on Monday to house relatives of children in the hospital. The 53 bedroom house cost 7 million pounds to build and will cost half a million a year to run. Famillies who've used the so called Ronald McDonald houses elsewhere say they're invaluable.

"Home from home" for relatives Credit: ITV news
One of the 53 bedrooms Credit: ITV news

Many families travel long distances to get medical help for their children at Southampton General. The new accommodation aims to take away some of the stresses for relatives. All rooms have a direct line to the children's ward in case of emergency.

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Hospital fast food restaurant set to close

Southampton General Hoapital's Burger King branch will close in 2016 Credit: ITV Meridian

A fast food restaurant which has been inside a Hampshire hospital for almost 20 years is set to close.

Burger King's branch within Southampton General Hospital had prompted criticism from health organisations.

Health chiefs confirmed they would not be renewing the fast food outlet's lease when it ran it out in 2016, looking for something more "reflective" of the "healthcare environment."

Patients and relatives have been able to order food at the Burger King branch inside the hospital, at the very same time health experts have called for sick people to eat nutritious, balanced meals.

"The trust is currently in the process of redeveloping its main entrance retail area to ensure it is more reflective of the healthcare environment in which it is situated. The Burger King franchise currently occupies a retail space that is leased until 2016, but there are no plans to extend the contract beyond that point."

– Spokesman for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

"I think fast food outlets like Burger King have their place, but being in a hospital, to my mind, is not an appropriate place. This is welcome news and I hope other hospitals take the time to review the outlets that they have."

– The chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Adult and Childhood Obesity

Air ambulance lands for thousandth time at Southampton General

Today the 1000th flight of the air ambulance landed at Southampton General Hospital.

It took place during a hospital open day where people were given a behind the scenes look at the workings of a major trauma centre.

The event, which is now in its sixth year, will see more than 100 events, activities and information stands.

People will be able to walk through a pair of giant inflatable lungs, watch a virtual autopsy and tour the operating theatres, as well as meet leading Cancer Research UK (CRUK) scientists, try on a pair of simulation specs to understand different eye conditions and meet the Pets as Therapy (PAT) dogs.

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