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Police 'tweetathon' to show scale of alcohol problem

Police in Devon and Cornwall will be taking to social media tonight in an attempt to show the extent of alcohol-related incidents they deal with.

Beginning at 8pm and continuing until 2am, the 'tweetathon' on Twitter will also include advice for people affected by alcohol-related crime. It's estimated that 40% of calls to police during the evening and at night are to report alcohol-related incidents.

  1. West Country (E)

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.

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Devon councillor fights proposals to cut hospital beds

A Devon County Councillor has expressed her concerns following the announcement that health services in the county are to be reviewed.

Devon County's Clinical Commissioning Group has published a document which could mean the loss of some beds in Ottery St Mary and Axminster. A consultation period is now underway.

Councillor Claire Wright says she will be taking it up with a committee looking at the decision.

Devon's cottage hospitals under threat

A number of cottage hospitals could lose their beds if proposals from the North, East and West Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) are approved.

Dr David Jenner, a GP and chair of Eastern Locality of the new Devon CCG, said the proposals marked an important step in making sure community health services are sustainable now and in the future.

The passion and interest shown in community services from our local communities over the past year has been fantastic. We have listened to what people have said and believe our commissioning intentions, our proposals for the future, meet this shared vision.

– Dr David Jenner

Lydia & Millie Cross become meningitis ambassadors

A North Devon schoolgirl is raising awareness of an infection that almost cost her and her sister their lives.

Lydia Cross from Braunton and her younger sister Millie are now ambassadors for the Meningitis Research foundation.

Lydia has made national news in recent years for dealing so well with her prosthetic legs after having both legs amputated below the knee. Millie, though, was the more seriously ill at the time.

Uncertainty over Cornwall's out-of-hours services

Uncertainty over Cornwall's out-of-hours services

There's fresh uncertainty over the future of out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall. NHS Kernow says it has now decided not to proceed with its preferred interim solution for who'll provide care.

The contract with the current provider, Serco, ends in May next year. Now the process of finding new arrangements will begin again.

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Trading of illegal tobacco to be targeted in Torbay

Campaign begins to target illegal tobacco sales on Torbay Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

A new campaign targeting illegal tobacco sales in Torbay is underway. It's estimated that more than one in five of smokers in the area use illegal tobacco. Now Torbay Council is to work alongside the Police, Trading Standards, HMRC and Smokefree South West to tackle the crime.

The partnership has been out talking to people in local community about the negative impact of illegal tobacco, encouraging the public to pass on information, anonymously if they prefer, about illegal tobacco trading in their area.

  1. West Country (E)

Facebook group warns of danger of discarded needles

A Facebook group has been set up to warn parents about the dangers of discarded needles around Taunton.

A six year old girl had to undergo medical tests after accidentally jabbing herself in the leg with one of the discarded needles.

Chelsea Scarlett set up the group and members have taken photos of syringes they've seen left in public places.

  1. West Country (E)

Campaign to stop needles being discarded in Taunton

The parents a girl who was stabbed by a needle left in a playground in Taunton say they want more to be done to protect children.

Nick and Caz Smith's daughter Milly found a bag of used needles in a public toilet. She punctured her leg accidentally.

Both they and other parents in the town want the council to do more to stop needles being left in reach of children.

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