Live updates

Man dies after lorry crashes into Derriford Hospital

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. Credit: ITV News

A man has died after a bin lorry crashed into Derriford Hospital in Plymouth this morning.

Police believe the driver of the vehicle, a 57-year-old man, was run over by the truck as it collided with the hospital. It has been suggested that he was trying to stop it rolling away.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Police do not believe any other people or vehicles were involved.

Derriford launches new £2m helipad

When it is not in use, the H will be covered with the no fly signal. Credit: Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Trauma victims in the region will be able to get treatment faster as a new helipad is launched at Derriford Hospital today.

The £2 million facility means journeys will be cut by 30 minutes. It will also allow the air ambulance and Search and Rescue Helicopters to land at night.

The letter 'H' has now been painted on the roof, making it clearly visible from the air. When it is not in use, the H will be covered with the no fly signal - a yellow cross with a red square.

Derriford Hospital is the designated major trauma centre for the peninsula and receives around 400 patients a year that need to be transferred by air. The location of the new helipad allows access straight to the doors of our Emergency Department, enabling faster transfer of patients and quicker access to emergency care for major trauma patients.

The helipad has been funded by the County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal, which has contributed £850,000. The Hospital Trust has contributed a further £900,000.


Health chiefs at Derriford say they may not be able to meet growing demands

Health chiefs at the region's biggest hospital have issued a grim warning that they may not be able to meet growing demands from patients as they struggle to make cutbacks.

Plymouth's Derriford Hospital needs to chop £12 million from its budget. But that will still leave it short of £33 million next year.

As John Andrews reports, its not the only one of the region's hospitals feeling the pinch.

Derriford Hospital reveals its deficit is expected to grow

Derriford Hospital has revealed its deficit is expected to grow. Credit: ITV News

Plymouth's Derriford Hospital has revealed its deficit is expected to grow to £33million.

In the last financial year it was just under £5million - but today the Board will hear that a loss of one-off sources of funding and underspends not continuing have contributed to the expected increase.

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.


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

Three in hospital after Plymouth house fire

The fire started on the ground floor of a house in Chaddlewood Avenue Credit: ITV News

Three people have been taken to hospital after fire crews rescued them from a house fire in Plymouth.

The fire started on the ground floor of a house in Chaddlewood Avenue in St Judes early this morning.

The woman and two men were trapped upstairs. They were rescued from a first floor window and taken to the city's Derriford Hospital suffering from severe smoke inhalation.

Derriford Hospital spent thousands coping with black alert

Derriford Hospital spends thousands coping with black alert Credit: ITV News

Derriford Hospital spent nearly £2 million on over time and agency staff in just one month as it coped with huge demand due to its black alert status.

For the first three months of this year the Plymouth hospital declared black alert as it dealt with what it describes as "unprecedented and sustained" demand.

As people will know, we faced a significant period of unprecedented and sustained demand on our emergency and medical services, which impacted right across the hospital.

During this time, on numerous occasions, we put out internal and public appeals to our staff to ask if they would work extra shifts and offering overtime, to enable us to meet the pressures we faced and to ensure our patients continued to be well cared for. Our staff responded admirable during these difficult times.

It was also necessary for us to have a flexible temporary workforce resource during this time. We did this by redeploying staff and utilising NHS Professionals (our supplier of bank staff) and where these options were not available to us then, as an absolute last resort, we used agency staff.

– Kevin Baber, Chief Operating Officer for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Load more updates