Two Newport men jailed for stealing thousands of pounds worth of drugs from pharmacy

Two Newport men have been jailed for stealing thousands of pounds worth of drugs in an overnight raid on a chemist, while already wanted by the police for their involvement in crashing a car and leaving their friend bleeding and unconscious on the road, the South Wales Argus reports.

Newport Crown Court heard how on August 2 2015 Ross Appleby, of Caerau Road and friend Ryan Williams, of Darwin Drive, had travelled to a party at a friend’s house, where they were drinking until the early hours of the morning.

Father-of-two Appleby, who doesn’t have a driving licence, left the party at 4.45am with Williams and a third friend Chanelle Hughes.

The court heard it is unclear whether Appleby, 23, was over the drink drive limit at this time but during the drive he and Williams, 22, got into an argument after which Appleby demonstrated his anger by beginning to drive at speeds of up to 60mph in the 30mph Bettws Lane area.

Under threat Swinton-based community health service saved

An under-threat community health service has been saved from closure following a campaign by councillors and patients, the South Yorkshire Times reports.

Patients who receive treatment for podiatry conditions within Weldrick’s Pharmacy in Church Street, Swinton, received a letter from Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust before Christmas informing them that the service would be withdrawn at the end of January.

But patients campaigned to save the service and their fight was taken up by Swinton councillors who have successfully challenged the decision. The service will now be retained for six months.

Swinton councillor Ken Wyatt said: “Quite unexpectedly patients were told that they would have to travel for their podiatry treatment to other venues.

“No real explanation was given but we established that it was a decision taken by the service provider rather than the pharmacy or the health commissioners.”

Astra lifted by high hoped for orphan drug

AstraZeneca claimed that its $4 billion acquisition of Acerta was vindicated by a key medicine winning the coveted “orphan” status that allows it greater freedom from competitors, The Times reports.

Sales of Acerta’s acalabrutinib, a treatment for various blood cancers, could eventually reach $5 billion a year, Astra said.

Treatments for rare diseases are awarded orphan status, giving them additional patent protection, so companies have an incentive to invest in developing drugs for conditions that are so rare they would otherwise be unable to recoup their costs.

Owner of successful Badhams pharmacy chain claims Government cuts could threaten the health service

The owner of a successful pharmacy chain in Cheltenham claims cuts in Government funding could have detrimental impact on the health service, the Gloucestershire Echo reports.

The Department of Health has announced a cut of £170m that it pays to community chemists from October this year.

That could see between 1,000 and 3,000 pharmacies disappear, according to Peter Badham, managing director of Badham's pharmacies.

Thousands of NHS nursing and doctor posts lie vacant

More than two-thirds of trusts and health boards in the UK are actively trying to recruit from abroad as they struggle to cope with a shortage of qualified staff, the BBC reports.

Tens of thousands of NHS nursing and doctor posts are vacant.

The statistics, obtained by the BBC, show the scale of the NHS recruitment crisis.

Health unions blame poor workforce planning, but officials say the NHS has more staff than ever before.

Data from a BBC Freedom of Information request shows that on 1 December 2015, the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had more than 23,443 nursing vacancies - equivalent to 9% of the workforce.