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Junior doctor's strike: operations and appointments cancelled in Devon and Cornwall

Hundreds of appointments and operations have been cancelled despite the junior doctor's strike being called off. Credit: PA Images

Hundreds of patients in Devon and Cornwal have had operations and appointments cancelled despite a strike by junior doctors being called off at the last minute.

While a temporary agreement reached with the government means the planned three-day strike - which would have started at 8am today - has been called off, many procedures have been cancelled.

  • The Royal Cornwall NHS Trust said it had been necessary to postpone 80 outpatient appointments of the normal 2000 a day and 7 routine operations.
  • Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said as part of the contingency plan for the industrial action 29 planned operations and 210 outpatient appointments were postponed.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told MPs on Monday that NHS England had estimated that up to 20,000 patients may have operations cancelled across all three days of planned action.

These included around 1,500 cataract operations, 900 skin lesion removals, 630 hip and knee operations, 400 spine operations, 250 gall bladder removals and nearly 300 tonsil and grommets operations.


HIV self-test scheme launched in Cornwall


A new scheme in Cornwall is aiming to help people test themselves for HIV. Free home sampling kits are being offered to those concerned so they can test themselves for the virus. Early detection of the disease is vital to survival rates.

The idea coincides with World Aids Day when people show their support for those living with HIV and commemorate those who have died.

Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston calls for labels on drinks to show how many teaspoons of sugar they contain

Credit: PA Images

Dr. Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP for Totnes who chairs the Health Select Committee in Parliament, has called on the Government to ensure labels on drinks state how many teaspoons of sugar they contain.

She was among several MPs calling for the Government to introduce a sugar tax on soft drinks as part of a package of measures to reduce sugar intake after a petition from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver came before Parliament.

Oliver's petition, which has received almost 152,000 signatures, notes £1 billion could be raised every year by charging an extra 7p in tax on a regular-sized can of soft drink which contains added sugar.

The petitioners argue this money should be protected and used to develop NHS and school strategies to deal with childhood obesity and diet-related diseases.

Jamie Oliver's petition on sugary drinks was discussed at the Health Select Committee. Credit: PA Images

Dr. Wollaston, who called for a package of measures to tackle the issues, said: "I think Jamie Oliver in his presentation to us made a very compelling case for let's just put the teaspoons on the drinks."

She added: "What you need to have is clear information which says does this contain 12, 13, six and... I think it helps industry if people can clearly see they've made an effort to make a lower sugar product but let's allow that within clear labelling."

Earlier Dr Wollaston also denied a sugar tax on soft drinks is "regressive and hits the poor", saying: "Look at who is already hit by this problem - the burden of childhood obesity falls on the poorest children in our community and what we know from experience in Mexico is that a 10% levy on sugary drinks has led to a 6% reduction in consumption, but perhaps more importantly it's led to a 9% reduction in consumption among the heaviest users and that's the point here."


A third of adults in the South West drink too much

A survey has found one in three adults drink more than Government guidelines Credit: ITV News

A survey has found one in three adults drink more than Government guidelines Credit: ITV NewsOne in three adults in the West Country drink above the Government's recommended alcohol guidelines.

The survey, by Public Health Action, found many of these drinkers were unaware of the risks alcohol poses to health, including increased rates of obesity, heart disease and dementia.

"This is about all of us really. This is about people in professional jobs, parents who are starting to see alcohol creep up on them and it's becoming a routine and regular part of their life and their day".

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