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Your spotlight on local services
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NHS waiting list hits record high amid pensions row

The number of people waiting for hospital treatment in England has hit a record high of 4.39 million, NHS figures show.

It comes amid an escalating row between the government and doctors over pensions.

Consultants have started refusing to do overtime shifts because they are being landed with large tax bills after changes to the way the pension system works.

The figures are fresh evidence of the impact on patients of the stand-off.

The total waiting for treatment in May is the highest since records began in 2007.

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Royal Derby Hospital to take centre stage in new BBC documentary series

A new documentary will follow a group of volunteers working at the Royal Derby Hospital.

The four-part series, called The Big Hospital Experiment, will see a group of 14 young people thrown in at the deep end at the NHS to see if they can make a difference to patients and staff.

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Stop cuts to adult social care, petition urges

More than 150,000 people have signed a petition calling for urgent action to fix the system that provides care for older and disabled people.

It urges the prime minister "to end swingeing cuts", saying more than 1.4 million over-65s in England have been left without the support they need.

Also, 40 health leaders have written to Boris Johnson to warn adult social care cuts have a knock-on effect on the NHS.

Government says real-terms funding is rising by 8% from 2015-16 to 2019-20.

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Dental surgeons urge England's schools to go sugar-free

Dental surgeons are calling for the government in England to encourage all schools to go sugar-free in a bid to combat tooth decay.

They say it is essential to cut sugar in school meals to tackle a condition affecting a quarter of five-year-olds.

Dentists also want more supervised teeth-brushing in schools and guidelines on healthy packed lunches.

Before leaving Downing Street, Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to improve children's oral health.

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Social-media use 'disrupting teen sleep and exercise'

Using social media isn't directly harming teenagers - but it can reduce the time they spend on healthy activities, such as sleeping and exercising, a study suggests.

Parents should ban phones from bedrooms after 22:00 and encourage more physical activity, the UK researchers said.

Girls were particularly vulnerable to cyber-bullying on social media, which could lead to psychological distress.

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NHS pensions row: Ministers act amid waiting list rise

The government has come up with new proposals for England and Wales to end the row with doctors over pensions.

Doctors had started refusing to do overtime shifts because they were being landed with bills after changes to the amount that can be accrued tax-free.

Just weeks after ruling out reviewing the rules, ministers now say they will.

A consultation launched by Theresa May's government offering to introduce more pension flexibility is also being replaced by more radical solutions.

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Kidney condition detected in minutes by app

A mobile phone app has speeded up the detection of a potentially fatal kidney condition in hospital patients.

Staff describe the technology as a "potential lifesaver", providing diagnoses in minutes instead of hours.

Acute kidney injury is caused by serious health conditions, including sepsis, and affects one in five people admitted to hospital.

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Pledge to end smoking in England by 2030

The government is pledging to end smoking in England by 2030 as part of a range of measures to tackle the causes of preventable ill health.

Promoting physical activity, developing guidelines on sleep and targeting those at risk of diabetes are also set out as priorities in the green paper.

The policy document aims to reduce the number of years spent in poor health.

Currently men and women spend over a fifth of their lives in ill health - 19 years for women and 16 for men.

Those in deprived areas experience the longest periods of poor health.

The green paper, which will now be consulted on, proposes a number of ways of tackling this.

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Amazon Alexa offering NHS health advice

People will be able to get expert health advice using Amazon Alexa devices, under a partnership with the NHS, the government has announced.

From this week, the voice-assisted technology is automatically searching the official NHS website when UK users ask for health-related advice.

The government in England said it could reduce demand on the NHS.

Privacy campaigners have raised data protection concerns but Amazon say all information will be kept confidential.

The partnership was first announced last year and now talks are under way with other companies, including Microsoft, to set up similar arrangements.

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Derby junior doctors win Court of Appeal break-time test case

Junior doctors have won a court case against a hospital trust over rest breaks which could have far-reaching implications for the NHS.

The 21 doctors said Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust failed to make sure they either took proper breaks or were paid extra for working.

Lord Justice Bean said the trust's method of calculating breaks was "irrational" and a breach of contract.

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'World's smallest' surviving premature baby released from US hospital


A baby born weighing just 245g (8.6oz), believed to be the tiniest on record to survive premature birth, has been discharged from hospital in the US.

Baby Saybie weighed the same as a large apple when she was born at 23 weeks and three day in December 2018.

Fighting for life, she was transferred to the intensive care unit at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego, California.

Doctors told Saybie's parents she had just hours to live.

But five months on, she was discharged weighing a healthy 5.6 pounds (2.5kg), confounding all expectations.

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Give children 'less sugar and more veg in baby food'

The amount of sugar in baby food should be restricted and parents should give their young children more vegetables to stop them developing a sweet tooth, a report from child health experts says.

It warns that even baby food marked "no added sugar" often contains sugars from honey or fruit juice.

Parents should offer bitter flavours too, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health recommends.

This will guard against tooth decay, poor diet and obesity.

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Home births at risk as midwife service collapses

Hundreds of mothers-to-be have lost access to their midwives after a community service was forced to close.

Women across the north-west of England and in Essex have been affected after One to One announced it was withdrawing the services it provided for the NHS.

The company said the contracts it had did not pay enough to make the service financially viable.

One to One specialises in home births, which means some women may have to give birth in hospital against their wishes.

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