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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:

Bristol MP calls for urgent meeting over GP closure

Dawn Primarolo says she was 'shocked' at the news of the surgery closure Credit: ITV West

Bristol South MP, Dawn Primarolo, is calling for an urgent meeting to ensure a GP's practice in the city with six thousand patients stays open. The two doctors who run St Martin's Surgery in Knowle, are leaving due to stress and because they can't recruit staff.

The NHS says it is looking at an interim service while it finds a solution.


Practice can't recruit enough staff to cope

St Martin's Surgery in Knowle has written to its 6,000 patients telling them that their two doctors have tendered their resignations.

The GPs, Dr Hard and Dr Houghton, say they've been unable to recruit new doctors to replace those who have left.

Dr Holly Hardy says they are now so overworked they can't cope, and the surgery will be closed in September unless they can find new practice GPs.

She says "the decision to walk away was not one which has been taken lightly."

Dr Hardy says NHS England has been as supportive as possible but there aren't enough staff in the profession to fill jobs.

NHS England says it has requested 'expressions of interest' in the practice and received some enquiries.

NHS Trust admits it needs a cultural change

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust has admitted there needs to be a cultural change in the way its staff communicate with families and patients.

The Trust is responsible for Bristol Children's Hospital and St Michael's Hospital.

At a health scrutiny meeting with Bristol City and South Gloucestershire's councils, the Trust said it needs "to consider how to improve communication when there is so much to communicate."

The Trust told a scrutiny meeting that additional training for communication has already been brought in.

The meeting was also attended by families who say their children died following poor care at the Trust while being treated for serious heart conditions.


Hospital trust 'welcomes' heart death inquiry

The NHS Trust which runs the Bristol Children's hospital has responded to the news that an inquiry will be held into the deaths of children after heart surgery.

"University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust welcomes the Independent Review into children's cardiac services in Bristol. We hope that this review will restore trust and confidence in the service, which has learnt much from the experiences of these families."

– UH Bristol NHS Trust Spokesman

The inquiry follows a meeting in Bristol on Friday between Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, and families of some of the children who died.

"Despite many positive developments in the service over the last two years, a small number of families continue to express concerns about the care provided to their children and the quality of the service today. We hope that this independent review will restore their confidence in the service by demonstrating that their concerns have been understood by the Trust, and importantly, acted upon."

– UH Bristol NHS Trust Spokesman
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Lawyer to meet with families of children who died

The medical director of NHS England, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, said that an important meeting took place on Friday with the families of children who died at Bristol.

My deputy medical director Mike Bewick and I have listened with great care to their concerns about the care their children received.

I would like to thank them for the dignified and powerful way they have talked to us.

We collectively concluded that the most effective course of action might be to put in place an independent review of the care at the Trust's paediatric cardiac unit.

It was clear that, in the interests of everyone, such a review would need to be independent of the NHS. It must be led by the families involved. It must be their review.

– medical director of NHS England, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh

Sir Keogh said he had agreed in principle with lawyer Sir Ian Kennedy to take such a review forward should the families wish him to do.

He will now ask Sir Ian to meet the families and to work with them to see if they can come to the "scope and terms of reference that the families want".

Last year it emerged around 10 families were believed to be taking legal action against the trust, including seven whose children died following treatment at the hospital.

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Review over alleged neglect at children's hospital

An independent review is to be held into a hospital's paediatric cardiac unit following concern about its treatment of newborn babies and young children who died or suffered complications.

The review is over alleged neglect at Bristol children's hospital Credit: : Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, confirmed the inquiry will take place at Bristol Children's Hospital, which is accused of a catalogue of neglect and mistreatment of babies and children with heart problems.

He said Sir Ian Kennedy, a lawyer who specialises in the law and ethics of healthcare, has agreed in principle to oversee the review.

Weston MP welcomes extra hospital funding

The Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare has welcomed today's decision by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to give Weston General Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department an additional £4.8m to deal with expected increases in demand this Winter.

John Penrose said he had campaigned for better health funding for Weston and the villages for years, and so have hospital staff and GPs too:

They put together a really strong case, and it looks as though my former boss Jeremy Hunt has been listening. This kind of money will make a real difference for local people needing emergency medical care this winter, when pressure on the service is always high. It means patients don’t have to wait as long to be seen, and they’ll get faster, better treatment locally.

– John Penrose, Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare.

But Mr Penrose also said; 'It may not solve all our health funding problems, but it’s a huge step in the right direction, and it shows our message is getting through in Westminster.'

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