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Doctors investigate if routine health scans will reduce heart attacks

Volunteers needed for heart study Credit: PA:Dominic Lipinski

Doctors from Plymouth are supporting a study to investigate whether routine heart scans for hospital patients with chest pains will help reduce heart attack rates.

Teams from Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust will work in collaboration with researchers from around the UK to test whether heart scans can better diagnose patients at risk of a heart attack and reduce the number of deaths from the condition.

To date there have been few studies in this area, and where there have been they have focused on low risk patients who would have been sent home anyway.

Ours is the first study to investigate cardiac CT in relation to all levels of risk in patients. The findings of our study will help to inform guidance on how best to implement cardiac CT. The prospect of it being available 'at the front door' is not unfeasible and could even become routine within the next year or two.

– Professor Carl Roobottom, Consultant Radiologist at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

The team are recruiting 2,500 patients from emergency departments at 30 sites across the UK, including Edinburgh, Sheffield, and Plymouth.

Researchers have received £2 million from the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme to conduct a clinical trial of the technology.

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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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.

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:

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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
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