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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.

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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.

Devon NHS says new measures will not apply to emergency procedures

New measures could mean that smokers and seriously overweight people could be denied routine surgery Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) today announced measures to prioritise essential health services.

New measures could mean that smokers and seriously overweight people could be denied routine surgery - unless they change their lifestyle. 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.

“All of these temporary measures relate to planned operations and treatments, not those which must be done as an emergency or to save lives. “Clinicians have carefully reviewed a number of measures, taking into account the impacts of their temporary withdrawal to decide which we will implement. “We recognise that each patient is an individual and where their GP or consultant feels that there are exceptional circumstances we will convene a panel of clinicians to consider the case.

“We will continue to keep people informed about our decisions around the measures.

– Dr Tim Burke, Chair of NEW Devon CCG

Obese and smokers to be denied surgery in Devon

People who are morbidly obese will be denied surgery in Devon Credit: PA

Smokers and morbidly obese people in Devon will be denied routine surgery unless they quit smoking or lose weight.

Patients with a BMI of 35 or above will have to shed 5% of their weight - while smokers will have to quit eight weeks before surgery.

The NHS in Devon says the cuts are needed to help meet waiting list targets.

Smokers will have to give up before they are allowed surgery Credit: PA

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More than £40,000 raised for orphans in Sierra Leone

The aid will be carried out to Sierra Leone on the Gypsum Centennial, which has been undergoing a refit in Falmouth Credit: ITV News

More than £40,000 has been donated to a shipping company in Cornwall to help send vital provisions to an orphanage in Sierra Leone in time for Christmas.

A&P Falmouth started the appeal two weeks ago.

Later volunteers from Shelterbox and RNAS Culdrose will be packing up boxes to send to Africa.

Life has been hard in the West African country since war broke out and prices have risen. The situation is made even harder since the outbreak of ebola in March.

VAT refunds for air ambulances & rescue helicopters

Search and rescue helicopter based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall Credit: ITV News

As part of the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor is to announce VAT refunds for Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities alongside £7.5 million extra support for air ambulances.

The VAT refunds will be worth £25 million over 5 years.

It is in response to the service the UK’s Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities provide, volunteering their time and expertise to support to emergency services.

At the moment, most Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance charities cannot claim VAT back on their search and rescue activities but this means they will all be able to apply for VAT refunds for them as of 1 April 2015.

Hospital beds merger halted

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has apologised for failing to consult people about Axminster Hospital Credit: ITV News

Health chiefs in Devon have apologised for failing to consult people about a decision to move beds from one hospital to another.

There was an angry reaction when it was announced that the in-patient unit at Axminster Hospital would be temporarily closed and moved to Seaton Hospital eight miles away to cope with nurse shortages in both sites.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has now halted the move and has started a four-week public consultation over whether the transfer should take place.

We know that within Devon and nationally we have significant staffing deficits, particularly with the nursing workforce, so on a daily basis we need to ensure we have the right staff in the right place to be able to give the right level of care to our patients.

What we clearly haven't done is we haven't been able to express to the public the clarity in the situation that we face.

This process intends to look at how we can get active dialogue to look at the problem we have and what solution we can get to in terms of what future for the hospital could be.

– Rob Sainsbury, Director of Operations, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
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