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  1. Claire Manning

Devastation to triumph: Family's meningitis journey

It's an illness that leaves many parents terrified but, despite years of publicity, it seems the early signs of meningitis can still be difficult to spot.

Lydia Cross from Braunton in North Devon lost both her legs to the disease - her sister Millie survived unscathed. The whole family have now become ambassadors for the Meningitis Research Foundation. The video above tells their story over the past 12 years.

Suspected meningitis should be treated as a medical emergency. Here are the early signs to look out for:

  • a fever, with cold hands and feet
  • vomiting
  • drowsiness and difficulty waking up
  • confusion and irritability
  • severe muscle pain
  • pale, blotchy skin, and a distinctive rash (although not everyone will have this)
  • a severe headache
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • convulsion or seizures

For more information, visit the NHS's meningitis information pages.

Consultant calls for ban on unhealthy food in hospitals

A weight loss surgeon from Bristol is calling for a ban coffee shops and vending machines from selling sugary drinks and unhealthy food in hospitals.

Sally Norton works at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Southmead Hospital. She says hospitals should promote more nutritious foods to make it easier for patients to make healthier choices.


Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health service told to improve

The body that runs NHS mental health services in Avon and Wiltshire has been told it must improve in thirty-two different areas, including patient safety.

It follows a planned inspection by the regulator, the CQC, which highlighted staff shortages at Fromeside, unsuitable premises at Blackberry Hill, both in Bristol, and poor layout at Hillview Lodge in Bath.

The trust insists improvements are being made.

Iain Tulley is from Avon and Wilts Mental Health Trust:

Labour candidate joins call for Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham Hospital

A petition of 14,000 signatures has been handed to South Gloucestershire's health bosses calling for a Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham Hospital.

Jo McCarron, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Kingswood, says a local service is important for the people in her constituency.

Campaigners held a protest outside in Kingswood Park this morning. People living in the area say they were promised the unit after one at Frenchay Hospital closed.

14,000 sign petition for a Cossham Minor Injuries Unit

A petition of 14,000 signatures will be handed to South Gloucestershire's health bosses - calling for a Minor Inuries Unit at Cossham Hospital.

People living in the area say closing the unit at Frenchay Hospital has left them with long distances to travel. A protest is expected at Kingswood Park later.

Child health project launched in deprived Bristol areas

A project to improve the health of children living in deprived areas of Bristol is underway.

Almost one in 10 children in the city are obese when they start primary school. Nearly 1 in 5 obese by the time they leave.

Academics and health experts are aim to improve health services in the community.


Swindon student in hospital with meningitis

A 17-year-old student at New College, Swindon, is in the Great Western Hospital with bacterial meningitis. Although the condition can be life-threatening, he is in a stable condition.

Public Health England is providing antibiotics to members of the college who may have been in close contact with the student. It is also warning them to be aware of the possible signs of infection:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Blotchy skin or rash
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seizures

Suspected meningitis should be treated as a medical emergency. Bacterial meningitis can lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning) which can be fatal.

The college has two on-site nurses to provide extra information to concerned students and parents. For more information, visit the NHS meningitis page.

Patients in Gloucestershire will continue to be diverted at night

Patients will continue to be diverted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for treatment at night Credit: Tim Ireland/PA

A scheme to close a hospital's accident and emergency unit to patients brought in by ambulances at night is to be extended.

For the last 12 months night time ambulances have been diverted from Cheltenham General Hospital's A&E unit to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

The Health Trust says it was because of a national shortage of middle grade casualty department doctors. After trialling it for a year, Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust says it will continue for the foreseeable future, but is refusing to say if the arrangement is permanent.

Family win undisclosed settlement after cancer death

Lynn Rees from Kingswood died from cancer which went undetected for months Credit: Family

The family of a woman whose cancer went undetected by doctors for months say their incompetence robbed her of any chance of survival.

Lynn Rees from Kingswood in South Gloucestershire died aged 55 after an X-ray indicating a possible tumour wasn't followed up. Three years on, North Bristol NHS Trust has paid an undisclosed out-of-court settlement.

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