Live updates

RFA Argus helps feed 16,000 people in Sierra Leone

More than 220 tonnes of food were delivered for the United Nations Credit: RNAS Culdrose

More than 16,000 people in Sierra Leone have a month’s supply of food after a three-day mission by the British Armed Forces to reach islands cut off from the rest of the country by the Ebola outbreak.

The RFA Argus, which set sail from Falmouth in October, joined the operation to bring supplies, with helicopters delivering more than 150 tonnes of food inland.

These couple of days were the best and the most rewarding that I’ve had in the Royal Navy. It was a fantastic experience to be able to work side by side with the people who will benefit from this aid. Storing it centrally will allow the food to be distributed to those who need it.

– Leading Airman Dave Jackson
Merlin helicopters from RFA Argus delivered food inland Credit: RNAS Culdrose

RFA Argus helps feed 16,000 in Sierra Leone

More than 220 tonnes of food were delivered for the United Nations Credit: RNAS Culdrose

More than 16,000 people in Sierra Leone have a month’s supply of food after a three-day mission by the British Armed Forces to reach islands cut off from the rest of the country by the Ebola outbreak.

The RFA Argus, which set sail from Falmouth in October, joined the operation to bring supplies, with helicopters delivering more than 150 tonnes of food inland.

These couple of days were the best and the most rewarding that I’ve had in the Royal Navy. It was a fantastic experience to be able to work side by side with the people who will benefit from this aid. Storing it centrally will allow the food to be distributed to those who need it.

– Leading Airman Dave Jackson
Merlin helicopters from RFA Argus delivered food inland Credit: RNAS Culdrose

Advertisement

Milestone for Derriford

Derriford has gone a year without the MRSA superbug Credit: ITV News Westcountry

Derriford Hospital has reached a significant milestone this week - a year without any patient having an MRSA infection.The hospital has introduced measures to reduce the number of cases, like screening patients before they have an operation.

NHS Christmas appeal for more organ donors

Maxine Cowlin wants to thank her donor's family

The NHS are appealing for more people to join the organ donation register this Christmas.

There are 570 people in the South West waiting for an organ donation. Maxine Cowlin from Bridgwater is backing the campaign because she knows what that fees like.

Maxine was diagnosed with a rare liver disease when she was just 17, and had a transplant in October. She says her Christmas wish is that the family of her donor knew how thankful she was.

U-turn over banning smokers and obese from operations

Ben Bradshaw made national headlines by saying Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles would be refused operations in Devon. Credit: David Jones/PA Archive

Health bosses in Devon who were threatening to ban smokers or the morbidly obese from undergoing routine operations until they quit the habit or lose weight have abandoned the plans.

The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had previously said that due to temporary cost-cutting measures, patients would be expected to have a body mass index (BMI) below 35, while smokers would have to quit eight weeks ahead of surgery.

The plans announced last week made national headlines and even led to Exeter's Labour MP Ben Bradshaw claiming in the House of Commons that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles would be refused operations.

The Clinical Commissioning Group, which covers most of Devon from Plymouth to Barnstaple, had said the measures were to "prioritise essential services" and were being temporarily extended to all routine surgical procedures except those deemed urgent or immediately necessary, including cancer operations.

Now changes are being made following feedback from a wide range of stakeholders across health, social care and professional bodies on the proposals.

We announced a series of measures to improve health outcomes in October.

This produced a helpful public debate which we have followed with interest.

We have come to the conclusion that there is already a strong public acceptance of the need for people to continue to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

We have therefore decided to further promote smoking cessation and weight loss services to improve outcomes for patients.

– Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group spokeswoman

Advertisement

Debate on Devon's 'postcode lottery' healthcare

Health cuts in parts of Devon will be debated in Parliament today.

Restrictions on services in the north, east and west of the county will be raised by Exeter's Labour MP Ben Bradshaw - including the policy of stopping routine surgery for smokers or those deemed obese.

The MP caused a stir when he used Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles as examples of people who would be denied NHS operations in Devon for these reasons.

Ben Bradshaw MP: "Nick Clegg and Eric Pickles would not be able to get an operation in Devon"

Ben Bradshaw pointed out that Eric Pickles woudn't be able to get an NHS operation in Devon Credit: PA

A Labour MP has implied that neither the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, nor communities secretary Eric Pickles, would be able to get an NHS operation in Devon because of their lifestyles.

Ben Bradshaw was referring to the policy of the main commissioning group in the county to cut back on operations for smokers or people deemed to be obese.

Call for toddlers to get flu vaccinations

Parents are being encouraged to get their toddlers vaccinated against flu Credit: PA

Health experts in Devon and Cornwall are encouraging parents to get their toddlers vaccinated against flu.

The virus, which spreads very easily, can be potentially fatal.

Under fives are more likely to be admitted to hospital with flu than any other age group.

Deputy Prime Minister says we should not 'ration' NHS services

Smokers and seriously overweight people in Devon will be denied routine surgery - unless they quit smoking or lose weight.

Morbidly obese patients will have to shed 5 percent of their weight - smokers will have to quit eight weeks before surgery.

The NHS in Devon says the cuts are needed to help meet waiting list targets, however, surgery that is urgent or immediately necessary, such as to treat cancer, will not be delayed.

But the Deputy Prime Minister has told us today that he doesn't agree with the policy of rationing treatment.

Load more updates