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NEWS IN BRIEF: Pills Theft; Safe Places; Bolton MP Plea; CCGs; Hospital Overspend


20 May 2016

Jailed: Man who stripped to underpants in Boots after pills theft

A man who stripped to his underpants in a chemist after pills theft has been jailed, the Swindon Advertiser reports.

Richard Lowe went to extreme measures when he swiped the epilepsy drugs after staff at the pharmacy were concerned about the nature of his prescription.

And the 38-year-old, who suffers from the condition, appeared to have a seizure in the dock when a judge said he was sending him back to jail.

Lowe, who has more than 136 previous convictions, interrupted the judge’s sentencing to say ‘I’m living in a war zone’, because of the amount of legal highs on the inside.

Safe places set-up in Cross Hills as part of North Yorkshire network

A network of ‘safe places’ has been set-up across North Yorkshire – including two in South Craven – where people feeling anxious or at risk can seek help, Keighley News reports.

Cross Hills Pharmacy, in Holme Lane, and the village library are both registered as part of the initiative.

They are among over 100 venues in the county – including leisure centres, Citizen’s Advice Bureaux, railway stations and community centres – taking part in the first phase of the scheme.

The premises display a special Safe Place symbol in a window or door so anyone out and about who begins to feel anxious or at risk – be it because they have learning difficulties, disabilities, frailty, dementia or mental health problems – can look out for the logo and get help.

MP urges Bolton residents to support local pharmacies as £170 million cuts loom

A Bolton MP has urged residents to get behind local pharmacies as they face possible closure, The Bolton News reports.

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, believes planned Government cuts to community pharmacies “threatens patient care and safety.”

The Department of Health is proposing to cut the funding community pharmacies receive by £170 million, with the cash diverted to online suppliers.

The plan is to modernise the service and break up pharmacies that are found in clusters, but it is feared the move could see up to 3,000 pharmacies close down.

PHARMACY THE PRIORITY FOR CCGS, CONFERENCE HEARS

The “wind is blowing” towards clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) developing more integrated, out-of-hospital local care, NHS England primary care co-commissioning programme director, Dr Julia Simon, told attendees at the Westminster Health Forum, Optometry Today reports.

Increasingly, optometrists and other primary care providers like dentists and pharmacists will become part of these initiatives, she emphasised, adding: “This is the direction of travel … It’s still very early days, but the signs are very positive.”

But Dr Simon warned that progress might be slow, explaining: “Don’t expect anything rapid to happen.”

Eye health and vision impairment charity Vision2020 UK chief executive, Mercy Jeyasingham, asked Dr Simon about using the skills of optometrists in the community to prevent the flow of patients into secondary care.

Huge hospital overspend to be revealed

An unprecedented overspend by hospitals and other NHS trusts is expected to be announced later by health bosses.

The figures for England from the regulator, NHS Improvement, cover the 2015-16 year, which finished in March. By December – the three-quarter mark – hospital, ambulance and mental health trusts were already £2.2bn in the red, with the figure expected to have risen.

Overspending on agency staff has been highlighted as a major problem, as well as rising demand for services. Experts are warning the pressure the overspend puts hospitals under has an impact on care.


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