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Ambulance staff join national walk out over pay

Ambulance staff on the picket line outside the Exeter ambulance station Credit: ITV News

Health workers in the south west have been taking part in a four hour strike today.

Members of the GMB and Unison unions walked out at 7 o'clock this morning in an ongoing dispute over pay. It's the second wave of industrial action being taken by health workers. They took similar action last month.

Today's four-hour walk out will be followed by a work-to-rule which will last until the end of the month.

The workers are calling for a 1% pay rise, which the Government says it can't afford Credit: ITV News

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  1. West Country (E)

Health staff across the West Country walk out over pay

The picket line outside the Bristol Royal Infirmary Credit: ITV News

Thousands of health workers have walked out on strike, many for the first time in their lives, in protest at the Government's decision not to give them a recommended 1% pay rise.

Midwives, nurses, paramedics, ambulance staff, hospital porters and cleaners have mounted picket lines across the West Country. They are walking out for a total of four hours from 7am till 11am.

NHS Tribunal hears accusations of nepotism

Dr Paula Vasco-Knight Credit: ITV News West Country

A tribunal will continue to hear evidence today against the Chief Executive of the South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, who's accused of nepotism after employing her daughter's boyfriend as a manager.

Dr Paula Vasco-Knight, CBE, is NHS England's national lead on equality and diversity. The tribunal will hear from another whistleblower today.

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Inquest into death of diabetic woman in hospital

Claire Harry.

An inquest has heard how a 36-year-old woman died in a Cornish hospital after slipping into a coma caused by staff failing to check her blood levels regularly enough.

Claire Harry, who lived near Penzance, died in October 2010 at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

Miss Harry, who had been diabetic for 11 years, had been admitted to the hospital two weeks earlier with a chest infection.

Monday's Inquest was told changes in the care of diabetic patients have been made following the death.

NHS friends & family test under scrutiny

It's the survey that David Cameron said will force under-performing hospitals to 'raise their game'.

But tonight, the NHS Friends and Family test is itself under scrutiny, after it was revealed that over 80% of patients in Devon and Cornwall didn't take part in it.

The survey, designed to give people a voice about the treatment they receive at our local hospitals, has been called difficult and confusing. And now its value is being questioned.

Our Health Correspondent Jacquie Bird explains:

  1. West Country (E)

NHS test 'early days' but 'real achievement'

The test and the scoring system has already been piloted successfully by some NHS trusts since 2012, and already led to lots of changes, including simple steps like increasing the amount of fruit on offer to patients during the day.

It's still early days for this test, but we know that it's fast, provides data down to ward level and patients can use it to make choices.

This is a real achievement."

– Department of Health spokeswoman

Low response to NHS survey in the South West

The NHS asked patients if they would recommend their local Accident and Emergency Department and hospital (for inpatient care) to friends and family.

The response rate was very low. Nationally, it was 10% for A&E recommendations and 27% for inpatient care recommendations.

The response rate for the Royal Cornwall Hospital was:

  • 1.4% for A&E recommendations
  • 28.2% for inpatient care recommendations

The response rate in Devon was:

  • North Devon Hospital: 2.3% (A&E) and 13.8% (inpatient care)
  • Derriford Hospital: 9.8% (A&E) and 12.2% (inpatient care)
  • Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital: 1.5% (A&E) and 5.9% (inpatient care)
  • South Devon: 3.3% (A&E) and 23.6% (inpatient care)
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