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  1. John Andrews

Derriford staff respond to appeals to work extra shifts

Plymouth's Derriford Hospital say staff have responded well to appeals to work extra shifts. The hospital declared a 'critical incident ' as it struggled to cope with an influx of patients over Christmas and New Year.

The crisis has hit all our major district hospitals. Now campaigners trying to save smaller community hospitals which are under threat, say their closure will only add to the problem.

  1. West Country (E)

Government says badger cull will not eradicate TB until 2038

The Environment Secretary has defended the cull Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The Environment Secretary has told farmers that culling badgers will not get rid of bovine TB in the UK for more than two decades.

The controversial cull in parts of West Somerset and Gloucestershire is part of a range of measures including controls on the movement of cattle and better monitoring.

Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, defended the cull as she spoke at the Oxford Farming Conference. She also promised dairy farmers, the main victims of the bovine TB outbreaks, that the government would target more support at the dairy industry.

“This government is taking action to deal with this disease. This is not something that can be achieved overnight. Our strategy is focused on eradicating it by 2038.

“It is not easy, but we will do the right thing even if the protest groups don’t like it. Our comprehensive strategy involves cattle movement controls, vaccination in the edge areas and culling where the disease is rife.

"We know from the experience in Australia where the disease has been eradicated, and in Ireland and New Zealand where it is being dramatically reduced, that this approach works.”

– Elizabeth Truss, Environment Secretary


Totnes MP: health targets distort medical priorities

The Totnes Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston has suggested that the desire to meet targets for seeing patients in accident and emergency could distort clinical priorities.

Ms Wollaston, who chairs the Health Select committee, raised the issue with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt during a debate about the current pressure on casualty departments.

Truro MP urges people not to misuse hospital casualty units

The MP for Truro has appealed for people not to misuse hospital accident and emergency units, after she spent a shift at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, agreed with Sarah Newton that casualty departments should only be used for "life and limb treatment" to easy the current workload.

Under-pressure hospital declares "internal incident"

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has declared an 'internal incident" over the number of emergency patients needing to be admitted Credit: ITV News

It's emerged Plymouth's Derriford Hospital has faced 'significant' pressure over the last few weeks, with managers declaring an 'internal incident'.

The Trust says a very high number of people needed to be admitted for emergency care - many with pneumonia. It's meant some male and female patients have had to share bays and many staff are working overtime.


Woman tested for Ebola in Cornwall is given the all-clear

A patient at the Royal Cornwall Hospital has been given the all-clear after tests for ebola Credit: ITV News

Public Health England has confirmed that a woman who was being tested for Ebola at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro has been given the all-clear.

The patient, who had recently returned from West Africa, was being kept in isolation at the hospital in Truro while tests were carried out. She is due to be discharged today.

MP: Even if it's not Ebola it's good to test the system

A patient is being kept in isolation at the Royal Cornwall Hospital while tests for Ebola are carried out Credit: ITV News

Andrew George, the MP for St Ives and a member of the Health Select Committee has commented on the suspected ebola case at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

Full specialist treatment is best provided at the Royal Free in London. Until then, full isolation and use of fully fluid repellant disposable protective gear should be worn by anyone working in vicinity of patient or with specimens.

When test results are returned it will be known whether this is a Malaria, Ebola or other infection.

What this demonstrates is the vital importance of a fully functioning integrated NHS. It is also a reminder of just how much we owe to the commitment, dedication and professionalism of NHS staff.

Even if this case turns out not to be a case of Ebola - which of course we will all hope - it will be important for the Trust (in concert with NHS Chiefs) to review their success in their handing of this case, the effectiveness of the protocols and (if necessary) the need for further fine tuning.

– Andrew George MP
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