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What to look out for if you suspect your baby has meningitis

The NHS advises that every suspected case of meningitis should be treated as a medical emergency.

Babies and young children under five are most at risk of developing bacterial meningitis. Its symptoms usually begin suddenly and get worse rapidly.

A baby or young child with meningitis may:

  • have a high fever, with cold hands and feet
  • vomit and refuse to feed
  • feel agitated and not want to be picked up
  • become drowsy, floppy and unresponsive
  • grunt or breathe rapidly
  • have an unusual high-pitched or moaning cry
  • have pale, blotchy skin, and a red rash that doesn't fade when a glass is rolled over it
  • have a tense, bulging soft spot on their head (fontanelle)
  • have a stiff neck and dislike bright lights
  • have convulsions or seizures

More information can be found here.

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Puppy love: how a teenager was cured of depression

Looking after his puppy Charlie made a huge difference to Liam Landymore. Credit: ITV News

A teenager who suffered PTSD and depression after a traumatic experience has shown a remarkable change after helping train a puppy.

Liam Landymore from North Devon even tried to take his own life. His family felt unable to help him, until they bought him a vulnerable little puppy called Charlie.

Though the family already owned three other dogs, Charlie relied entirely on Liam - and it was looking after him that helped Liam gain confidence and self-esteem.

Devon charity Dogs Helping Kids have helped Liam train Charlie to help other younger children, and the two have formed a real bond.

Charlie has made a huge difference from when I was really low to how I am now and I can't wait for the next day and to spend time with all our dogs, Charlie and Sprout, Fly and Menace.

To think back then - when I didn't want to be on this planet anymore, didn't want to go out, didn't want to leave my room - and now I just want to go everywhere, explore, yeah it's just amazing.

– Liam Landymore, Dogs Helping Kids volunteer

The pair have worked together to help children in schools, where dogs can help calm boisterous pupils, boost concentration and confidence, and even help with reading - as our reporter John Andrews discovered.

Liam has spoken at university conferences about his experiences, and he and Charlie will soon be tackling the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the charity which has helped them so much.

Find out more about Dogs Helping Kids here.

Three year old boy injured in Bodmin 'no longer critical'

A three year-old boy who suffered serious injuries after being trapped by a car near Bodmin on Friday evening is no longer described as being critical.

The child is thought to have been crushed between two parked cars, one of which rolled, in a private car park in the Glynn area of Bodmin. The boy, from London, was taken to Derriford Hospital with serious injuries and was later transferred to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

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Derriford Hospital reports two 'never events' in just two months

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has reported two so-called 'never events' so far this year.

One involved a swab being left in a patient, while another saw a wrong-sided prosthesis fitted. A third never event was also reported from 2010, where a patient returned to hospital having had surgery on the wrong site.

A 'never event' is described as a "serious safety incident". The Trust has apologised for both cases.

All three incidents have been fully reported and are the subject of comprehensive investigations.

We have apologised personally to the patients affected and we are extremely sorry that these mistakes have happened.

Our staff work extremely hard to care for patients and no-one comes to work to cause harm. We see and treat nearly half a million patients per year and, for hundreds of thousands of people, their investigations and treatment go well and they report being highly satisfied with their care.

But as our staff are human, very occasionally mistakes happen and things do not go as planned.

When mistakes happen it’s essential that we’re open and honest about them with the patients affected and the public and, importantly, that we use them as learning opportunities to help us improve our services and make them safer.

– Ann James, Chief Executive Derriford Hospital

In 2013 the hospital reported five never events. In 2014, they reported one.

Three-year-old boy crushed by car in Bodmin

The toddler was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and then transferred to Bristol for specialist treatment Credit: ITV News

A toddler is in a life-threatening condition after being crushed by a car in Bodmin.

The three-year-old boy was trapped between two parked cars in a car park in Glynn on the outskirts of the town when one of the cars rolled.

It happened on Friday evening, 22 May. The child, who is from London, was taken to Derriford hospital and then transferred to Bristol.

Officers would like to hear from anyone who saw it happen. Anyone who has not already informed the police is asked to call 101 quoting reference 673 of 22 May.

West Country hospitals fined millions over waiting times

Hospitals in the West have been penalised for their A&E waiting times. Credit: PA

West Country hospitals are being fined millions for failing to meet targets.

A&E waiting times and ambulance handover deadlines are among the problems which have cost Devon hospitals over £6.5m and the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, which has a £7m deficit, over a million pounds.

The nationally agreed targets are set every year by NHS England. Local clinical commissioning groups hold the hospitals to account by levying fines, reinvesting the money into schemes to improve services.

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth was charged £4.8 million, but received half back in compensation.

In 2014/15, we paid fines of £4.8m. We received £2.89m in compensation.

In recognition of the exceptional emergency pressures faced by the Trust, commissioners agreed to compensate the trust financially for a loss of income for planned operations that were unable to be undertaken and that emergency activity was costing more than the 50% of tariff paid.

NHS England required fines for performance to be applied by commissioners.

– Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
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