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Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is 'on track' to improve finances

An investigation into finances at Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has closed. Credit: ITV West Country

An investigation into finances at Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has closed as the Trust is now on track to improve its financial position.

The health sector regulator Monitor opened the investigation in November but is now satisfied that the Trust has a solid plan in place to support its long-term aims.

These include integrating its hospital services with GPs and social care services across South Somerset.

It's positive news for patients in Somerset that we were able to support the trust without the need for formal regulatory action. We believe that the trust has the right plans to tackle its short-term financial problems, with the right people in place at the top to deliver those plans.

– Justin Collings, Senior Regional Manager at Monitor


Protesters gather in vain save Community Hospitals

Protesters gathered outside a meeting of Devon health bosses this afternoon, in a final attempt to persuade health bosses to save community hospital beds.

But their calls were heard in vain as Devon Clinical Commissioning Group agreed to reduce the number of community hospital inpatient units from 10 to seven.

Community hospitals at Axminster, Crediton and Ottery St Mary will no longer have overnight inpatient beds, although Ottery St Mary Hospital will have 15 overnight stroke rehabilitation beds.

The move was made in an attempt to secure nursing care close to people’s homes and the Group says it will be a platform for further review and reform of community services, aiming to treat more people in their own home where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

The decision also means none of the community hospitals will close. Health and social care hubs with a range of outpatient services, day surgery and other health and social care services will be developed at hospitals without inpatient beds.

Protester Claire Wright has this to say:

The decision was taken at NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (NEW Devon CCG) Governing Body meeting today.

Homegrown epilepsy app could save lives

EpSMon will help sufferers monitor their condition better. Credit: ITV News

A new app that's been developed here in the West Country could help save the lives of epilepsy sufferers around the world.

The EpSMon app has been created by NHS Cornwall, Plymouth University and epilepsy charity SUDEP Action.

It will help sufferers monitor their condition and highlight when they need medical help.

The signs and symptoms of breast cancer

Despite older women being at an increased risk of breast cancer, they are also more likely to delay going to their GP with breast cancer symptoms.

Early diagnosis of breast cancer is crucial and means treatment is more likely to be successful.

If breast cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage in women aged 70 and over, 93% will live for at least another 5 years. This figure drops to just 13% for those diagnosed at the most advanced stage.

Older people are more likely to delay going to the doctors with breast cancer Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

But, when asked to name symptoms of breast cancer, only half of women aged 70 and over could name a symptom that isn’t a lump.

Knowledge of other breast cancer symptoms is higher amongst those aged 40 to 69, with 73 per cent able to name at least one non-lump symptom.

Possible signs of breast cancer include:

  • a lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
  • changes to the skin of your breast
  • changes in the shape or size of your breast
  • nipple changes
  • nipple discharge
  • pain in your breast
  • any other unusual or persistent changes to your breasts

Free scans will be given by the NHS, you may not be sent reminder letters - but they are still available if you are concerned.

Campaign to alert older women to dangers of breast cancer

Low awareness of breast cancer is killing older women Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A new campaign is underway to make older women more aware of the dangers of breast cancer. In the South West the disease kills around 680 women aged over 70 each year.

Public Health England says low awareness of non-lump breast cancer symptoms is putting people at risk. It says more than half of women aged 70 and over are unable to name any other symptoms apart from a lump.

The Be Clear on Cancer in South West campaign is reinforcing the message 'don't assume you're past it', urging older women to visit their doctor straight away if they notice any unusual or persistent changes to their breasts such as a lump or a change to a nipple or to the skin or the shape of a breast.

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