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Newcastle health bosses defend criticism of Leeds unit

Freeman Hospital, Newcastle. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Bosses at the Freeman Hospital Children's Heart Unit in Newcastle have strongly defended the decision to submit a dossier of concerns about a rival unit as it battled for its future.

A report published today suggests some of the claims about treatment of young patients at the Leeds General Infirmary were unsubstantiated and could not be properly described as legitimate whistle-blowing.

The controversy over the heart unit was set against a background of concerns raised by surgeons in Newcastle about the care provided in Leeds.

An independent review found improvements have been made at Leeds General Infirmary, which temporarily closed last year due to fears over mortality rates.

But, the report was critical of the rivalry between heart surgeons at the two paediatric units whose futures were under threat.

The action I took was in the public interest, and if such circumstances arose, I would do the same again.

We have a duty of candour, we are here to provide the best possible National Health Service. That was our objective and it remains there today.

– Sir Len Fenwick, Chief Executive, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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'This will be a Godsend...' says Dec after opening new accommodation at the Freeman Hospital

After opening new accommodation at the Freeman Hospital, alongside Alan Shearer, Declan Donnelly, from celebrity duo Ant & Dec said the opportunity for families to be able to stay with their children during their heart operations 'at a really incredibly stressful time' would be 'a Godsend'.

Ant & Dec and Alan Shearer opening new accommodation at the Freeman Hospital

Ant & Dec with Alan Shearer after his Testimonial match in 2006. Credit: PA

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (Ant & Dec) are opening brand new family accommodation for families of child heart patients at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

The celebrity presenters and Newcastle United legend are unveiling Scott House, a £1.85mil ‘Home for Home’, as part of their work for the The Sick Children's Trust and Children's Heart Unit Fund (CHUF), where they are patrons.

Alan Shearer with 7-year-old Sadie Metin at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. Credit: PA

The free accommodation hopes to give emotional, as well as practical support for families through en-suite rooms and a self-contained flat for families with children who have undergone a heart transplant.

The Sick Children's Trust was founded in 1982 by two paediatric specialists Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas, who believed that having parents on hand during hospital treatment benefited a child's recovery.

CCTV images of Harrogate robbery suspect

Police want to speak to this man. Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Detectives investigating a knifepoint robbery at a Harrogate bookmakers have released CCTV images of the suspect.

The robbery happened at Coral on Knaresborough Road at around 8pm on Thursday July 31.

The man used a knife to threaten a member of staff before leaving the premises with a quantity of money.

No one was injured as a result of the incident.

He is described as white and his face was covered by a dark garment and a dark hat. At the time, the man was wearing a dark jacket and carrying a dark hold-all bag.

"I am asking you to look at the images to see if you recognise the man captured on camera. If you can help to identify him, please contact the police immediately.

"Thankfully no-one was physically harmed as a result of the incident. However, the experience has naturally left the staff member very shaken.

"The area around Coral was quite busy at the time of the robbery. I ask anyone who may have seen anything suspicious, and has not yet already contacted the police, to do so straight away."

– Detective Constable Fiona Ayre, Harrogate CID
Do you know this man? Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Reaction: Breast cancer drug "too expensive for NHS"

It has been announced that a new cancer drug, which was pioneered at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, will not be made available across England.

Trials found that the drug, called Kadcycla could extend the lives of some breast cancer patients by around six months.

The decision was made by the NHS's drugs advisory body NICE. They say the treatment is too expensive.

But Roche, the company that makes Kadcycla, insist it is affordable.

Here is the reaction from Sir Andrew Dillon, the Chief Executive of NICE and Jennifer Cozzone from the drug's manufacturers, Roche:

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Breast cancer drug decision 'an injustice'

The manufacturer of a breast cancer drug which has been deemed "too expensive" to be offered by the NHS has hit back at the decision.

Dr Jayson Dallas, general manager of Roche Products Limited, declared it "an incredible injustice."

Despite Roche offering a significant discount, we are once again disappointed that Nice has not shown any flexibility on access to Kadcyla.

Refusing patients access to this drug is an incredible injustice and tantamount to turning the clock back in cancer research and development. We plan to appeal this decision.

– Dr Jayson Dallas
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Breast cancer drug manufacturer 'could have done more'

The manufacturer of a breast cancer drug that offers a last hope to patients could have been "more flexible" to help make the drug affordable for the NHS, a health service boss said.

Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of the NHS financial watchdog Nice, which has ruled Kadcyla is too expensive for NHS use, said:

Although Roche proposed a discount to the full list price of Kadcyla, it made little difference to its value for money, leaving it well above the top of our specially extended range of cost effectiveness for cancer drugs.

We are really disappointed that Roche were not able to demonstrate more flexibility to help us make a positive recommendation. The company is well aware that we could not have recommend Kadcyla at the price it proposed.

– Sir Andrew Dillon
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NHS won't offer 'last hope' breast cancer drug

The NHS financial watchdog, Nice, has decided Kadcyla is too expensive. Credit: PA

The NHS will not offer a drug that gives patients with advanced breast cancer a last hope because it is too expensive.

Women with HER2-positive breast cancer, which has spread to other parts of their body and has not responded to initial treatment, can see their lives extended by around six months by Kadcyla.

However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has ruled that at around £90,000 per patient, the drug is too expensive to recommend for widespread use in the health service.

The NHS financial watchdog criticised Roche, who manufactures the drug, for not discounting the treatment further.

Roche said that is had offered to cut the price of the drug and will be appealing Nice's decision.

'Pardew announcement was great for the club, uncertainty affects us all'

Newcastle United assistant manager John Carver said the announcement that Alan Pardew will stay on as manager next season was 'great' for the club.

He said: "He's a top manager and a top coach and he's had to work under some difficult circumstances but what I will say is that everyone's stuck together and been strong."

Speaking about the potential signings of new players this summer, he told ITV Tyne Tees: "I don't think it's rocket science that we need to bring players in, but how many I don't know."

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