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Somerset hospitals declare 'black alert' status

Health and social care services across Somerset have reached the highest level of demand known as a ‘system wide black alert’.

Credit: Chris Radburn / PA

The county's Clinical Commissioning Group are asking members of the public to think first before calling a 999 ambulance and to attend hospital A&E with only minor ailments or illness.

The appeal comes the day before before the next junior doctors strike scheduled for tomorrow (9 March).

Additional hospital beds have been opened in local community hospitals, like Bridgwater, to relieve today’s additional demand, much of which is arising from the high numbers of hospital admissions from the frail elderly.

Members of the public with only minor ailments and illness can help themselves by the choosing:

  • SELF CARE AND PHARMACY - Treating themselves with over the counter remedies from their local pharmacist.
  • NHS 111 - Calls to the NHS 111 telephone helpline are free and the service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
  • MINOR INJURY UNITS - Somerset has minor injury units at seven of the county community hospitals in Minehead, Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, West Mendip Hospital (near Glastonbury) Shepton Mallet, Frome, and Chard.


  1. Katie Rowlett

Man loses leg after hospital failings

A Bristol man has been compensated after a routine operation led to him having his left leg amputated.

Michael Stephenson, from Whitchurch, caught an infection following hip surgery in 2009.

The North Bristol NHS Trust has admitted negligence and compensated the 53 year-old, but he says surgeons need to be held accountable.

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.

Musical notes help newborns

The harpist plays to premature newborns as part of new project. Credit: ITV

Premature babies and their parents have been relaxing on a Gloucestershire neonatal ward to the sound of a harp.

A musician has been playing to them at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital as part of a project to bring music to hospital wards.

The musician composes a song individually for each baby using letters in their names and it's been getting a good response from staff, babies and mums.

National award for North Devon District Hospital

North Devon District Hospital wins national award Credit: ITV News West Country

North Devon District Hospital has won a national award for its innovative approach in helping cancer patients. The hospital developed a computer database which allows it to log and follow all aspects of a patients' chemotherapy treatment.

Members of staff collected the award at a ceremony in London.


Family's 'fury' at hospital order not to resuscitate

Barbara and Peter Nuttal were visiting Barbara's mother in her nursing home, when they were told a medical note had been discovered in her file informing doctors and nurses NOT to resuscitate her if she had a heart attack or stopped breathing.

It was the first time the family knew anything about the medical order. Tanya Mercer reports.

Hospital apologises after issuing 'Do not resuscitate' order

We would like to apologise to Mrs Mather and her family for any distress which may have been caused by their reading of this Do Not Resuscitate form.** **

The form was not filled in correctly or completely and falls well below the standard which we would expect to be applied, given the very sensitive nature of this issue

– Weston Area Health NHS Trust Statement

Family discover 'no resuscitation' medical note

A family from Weston-super-Mare say they're furious after they discovered a medical note in their mother's file instructing doctors NOT to resuscitate her. Peter and Barbara Nuttal were not informed of the decision and no discussion was had with their mother.

Weston General Hospital, which issued the order, has apologised.

See our exclusive full report on The Westcountry Tonight, ITV1, at 6pm.

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