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PM receives petition calling for ground breaking drug to be more widely available

The Prime Minister accepts the petition calling for Translana to be made more widely available. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Prime Minister has personally intervened in a campaign by a family from Devon to make a ground breaking drug more widely available.

The parents of Leo Le Gal, from Ivybridge, say it has slowed the onset of his muscle-wasting condition, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. But Leo is only getting the drug, Translana, as part of an American trial - it's still not approved here.

Today other parents gathered outside Downing Street calling for Translana to be made available here - and responding to a letter from another nine year old boy, the Prime Minister said he'd look into it.

On his return to Downing Street, Mr Cameron did just that, chatting to the boy and his family, and in a highly unusual move, accepting the petition and posing for pictures himself.

Tonight NHS England said that the drug might be fast tracked - for patients whose doctors say they have an urgent need.

Beds at Axminster Hospital to close temporarily

Axminster Hospital. Credit: ITV News West Country

It's emerged beds at Axminster Hospital will now close temporarily.

They'll be moved to Seaton Hospital seven miles away. The Northern Devon Healthcare Trust has suspended a court order ruling against any closures - because of concerns over staffing and safety. A legal challenge will be held in court next month.

Devon mum's petition for muscular dystrophy drug

Leo Le Gal is being treated with the drug, Translana, in America Credit: ITV News

A mother from Ivybridge in Devon is urging the government to approve a drug that could help treat children with muscular dystrophy.

Ruth Le Gal will meet MPs in Westminster later to hand over a petition. Her son is being treated in America with the drug - and while it's widely approved elsewhere in Europe, the NHS is yet to make it available here.

Children deteriorate very quickly who have got this illness and this medication can stop this illness, can keep them stable and keep them healthy.

– Ruth Le Gal, Leo's mother

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Judge rules on hospital beds at Axminster

Health bosses had hoped to close 10 beds

A judge has ruled that NHS managers can't close inpatient beds at Axminster hospital in East Devon before a court hearing is held next month.

The Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust had hoped to move the beds from Axminster to Seaton.

The original 12 week consultation period ended in December.

Cornish MP queries value of 111 NHS helpline after one caller was asked "Are you conscious?"

A Cornish MP has queried the value of the 111 NHS helpline after one of his constituents was asked "Are you conscious?"

Andrew George, who is the Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives, said the system faced "meltdown" over the Christmas period and was based 200 miles away in Newport, South Wales.

Minister Norman Lamb said it was important to keep the system under review.

Somerset residents asked to participate in national study on flooding and health

Householders across Somerset will be asked to take part in the survey Credit: ITV

Householders in Somerset are being asked to take part in a study into how flooding impacts health and wellbeing.

Public Health England (PHE) will conduct the national survey, the first of its kind, contacting flood affected residents across the country.

From today a sample of Somerset householders affected by last winter’s floods are being asked to complete a health questionnaire.

PHE wants to hear from people directly affected by flooding. Surveys will also be delivered to those in the same area who were unaffected, so PHE will be able to compare the results.

It is excellent that the experience from Somerset will inform this very important national study.

There is currently very little research into the profound impacts of flooding on health and wellbeing and the results from this study will help us to respond more effectively at national and local level to protect health and limit the damaging effect on people’s wellbeing from the devastating impacts of flooding.

– Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health, Somerset County Council
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