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Harbottle residents to be consulted over GP surgery closure

One of the posters displayed in Harbottle Credit: ITV

Healthwatch Northumberland will hold a drop-in session next week to assess the impact of closing a medical practice in one of Northumberland's most rural areas.

Harbottle Surgery lies eight miles from the town of Rothbury and serves communities in the Upper Rede and Coquet Valleys. Its closure will leave eight hundred patients needing to find a new doctor.

The practice says it is difficult to recruit new GPs and also blames what it calls a 'significant reduction' in funding from April 2016.

NHS England responded with the following statement.

"NHS England's main priority is to ensure patients have access to high quality GP services, therefore the practice will close from 28 August 2015, with no further service provided at Harbottle or the practice's two branch surgeries at Rothbury and Otterburn. In light of this exceptional situation patients will need to register with a new practice to ensure continuity of care. We can provide reassurance that there are other practices in the surrounding area which have capacity to register new patients.

"We are also working to identify any patients who need additional support during this process, to ensure a smooth and immediate transition to a new GP."

– NHS England
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Botanist comes out of coma after contracting deadly virus from mosquito bite

A leading botanist from Malton in North Yorkshire who was struck down by a deadly virus while working in China has come out of a coma.

Dr Sophie Williams

31-year-old Dr Sophie Williams, remains on life support but is showing signs of recognising her family and friends. She contracted Japanese encephalitis while carrying out research last month and has been flown to Liverpool for treatment. Her family say they'll be meeting doctors later this week to get an update on Sophie's condition.

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102-year-old veteran's family incensed that ambulance took four hours to reach him

The family of a 102-year-old war veteran, who had to wait for an ambulance for four hours, have told ITV News Tyne Tees they're angry paramedics didn't get to him sooner.

Harold Beeforth, from Middlesbrough, was forced to spend four hours on the floor while he waited for an ambulance on the 70th anniversary of VJ Day.

The former RAF corporal had fallen and sustained a head injury. His daughters say the whole 999 system needs an overhaul.

I was incensed and I still am angry.

Why should vulnerable people in this day and age in this society be left and why can't people just see that there's something wrong and deal with it?

– Linda Smith, Mr Beeforth's daughter

The North East Ambulance Service has apologised to Mr Beeforth and his family.

Corporal Beeforth in the 1940s Credit: The Beeforth Family

County Durham & Darlington NHS Trust apologises after misdiagnosing man who later died

Darlington Memorial Hospital is one of the hospitals the trust operates Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A North East NHS Trust has apologised to the wife of a man who was misdiagnosed twice and ended up dying of a blood clot that medical staff missed.

The apology comes after the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman released a report detailing 121 complaints made to the NHS and government departments across the UK – five of them in the North East.

The man, who was treated by the County Durham & Darlington NHS Trust, was misdiagnosed with cancer when he actually had a blood clot. He was then misdiagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, leaving the blood clot untreated.

He died in hospital a week later.

A spokesperson from the trust said:

“We carried out a thorough investigation. This highlighted areas for learning and action plans were put in place which included making changes to our education programme.”

– County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust

Complaints were also made against Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, which were upheld by the Ombudsman and North Tees and Hartlepool, which were not upheld.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Julie Mellor said:

Often people complain to us because they don't want someone else to go through what they or their loved one went through. This report shows the types of unresolved complaints we receive and the human cost of that poor service and complaint handling.

Many of the complaints that come to us should have been resolved by the organisation complained about.

– Julie Mellor, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Sunderland health trust warned over £17 million deficit

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Regulators have told the trust that runs hospitals in Sunderland that they have to come up with a plan to tackle a predicted £17.8million black hole in its finances.

The health regulator Monitor investigated the trust after it was warned that the City Hospital Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust was likely to overspend in 2015/16.

Monitor has said that the trust had breached its license in not doing enough to plan for the deficit.

The trust will have to draw up a recovery plan both for the short term and the future. It says that there will be no job losses at the moment, but it will be looking at ways to improve efficiency.

A spokesperson for the trust said: "We have delivered savings of almost £35 million in the last three years, however the reality is it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify those additional cost savings going forward."

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