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Addiction expert: 'We must rethink our relationship with alcohol to avoid a health crisis'

Credit: ITV News

A leading addiction expert says we need to rethink our relationship with alcohol in order to avoid a health crisis.

Latest figures show the number of alcohol related deaths here has remained static for a decade.

It comes as a former addict has spoken publicly for the first time about how he almost lost everything because of his drinking.

Dafydd Jones has his story.

Dafydd spoke to Tony Wright, addiction psychiatrist Dr Julia Lewis and chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton.

Details of some charities and organisations who can offer help if you are suffering from any of the issues raised in Dafydd's report are listed below:


Decision day for hospital's maternity services

Thousands of people have joined the campaign to save the Horton Hospital's maternity services Credit: ITV News Meridian

It's decision day for an Oxfordshire hospital, where maternity services could be downgraded.

The Trust which runs Horton General in Banbury says it can't recruit enough obstetricians to run the unit safely and will decide whether or not to suspend services from the end of September.

If the Horton is downgraded from consultant-led to midwife-led, expectant mums will be transferred to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, about 45 minutes away.

The plans have caused widespread protests, with thousands of people campaigning to save the services.

The Trust is trying very hard to fill these posts. At our meeting we will need to look at the numbers of obstetric middle grade doctors we will have available to us at the Horton in October and take a decision with patient safety in mind."

– Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive
  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Kent pair help Sussex charity - in The Gambia

Two women from Kent have just returned from a trip to one of the smallest countries in Africa. They went to The Gambia for a small charity in Sussex which is helping to educate and get healthcare to children.

David Johns reports, speaking to volunteer Jane Barlow and nurse Charlotte Barnett.

There's more information about the charity, BACE, at or on Jane's blog at can also donate by texting BACE13 followed by your amount (eg £5, £10) to 70070.


Oxford science research leads to new drug

A new drug has been approved by the European Medicines Agency which could offer better treatment to patients with multiple sclerosis. Alemtuzumab will give people who have the disease the chance to live without the side effects for much longer.

Symptoms of the disease can include loss of physical skills, sensation, vision and bladder control.

Professor Herman Waldmann was involved in the early discovery work of the antibody drug called Campath-1H at Cambridge University. It was originally used to treat leukaemia. He continued to study the drug for two decades while at Oxford University.

Hospital transport delays caused by 'teething difficulties'

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust has issued a statement concerning problems with patient transport services in the county.

Traditionally, patient transport services in Kent & Medway have been provided by a number of different organisations. In order to provide an equitable, high quality and consistent patient transport service across the NHS in Kent, the commissioning body tendered for a Kent-wide service in 2012. As a result, patient transport services for Kent moved to a new provider, NSL, on 1 July 2013.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, along with the other NHS organisations in Kent, is currently experiencing significant teething difficulties with the change in the provision.

East Kent Hospitals is extremely concerned that many patients are waiting too long for transport for treatment and for their return home and, along with the other NHS Trusts in Kent & Medway, the Clinical Commissioning Groups and NSL, is working to find a long-term, sustainable solution.

We have been assured that more staff are being brought in and that the call burden is now being split between two of NSL’s contact centres. The situation has improved considerably over the last few days.

– East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Hospital managers apologise for transport problems

Hospital managers have apologised for delays in getting patients to and from routine appointments in Kent. A new contractor has taken over their transport system and 'teething problems' are being blamed on a failure to keep up with demand.

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust says it's also experiencing issues with a new computer system which has been causing problems for non-urgent scans and x-rays.

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