England, United Kingdom

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  1. Ambulance service hub sees seven positive Covid tests

    Jenny Walrond

    Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

    Seven staff members at the South Western Ambulance Service's control hub in Exeter have tested positive for coronavirus over the past two weeks, managers have confirmed.

    An additional nine staff based there were currently self-isolating, they added.

    The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said it was "doing all we can to contain this small outbreak, and keep our staff safe", including providing more testing to staff and conducting deep cleaning.

    It added: "We would like to reassure people the outbreak is not adversely impacting our ability to provide a safe and effective service to patients.

    "We continue to have high levels of staffing across the trust, and a very low number of our staff are currently off work having tested positive for Covid-19 or through self-isolation."

    The trust also said it was "well-prepared to handle expected further increases in coronavirus cases alongside other pressures this winter".

    South Western ambulance
  2. Covid-19 vaccine: South West needs doses for 4.5m people

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    A Covid-19 mass vaccination programme would be delivered to the South West population in phases, health bosses have said.

    NHS England said those who are vulnerable, and health and social care workers, would be prioritised to "protect those most in need and to enable staff to help others".

    It added that there were 4.5m people to be vaccinated in the region - which it defined as Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset (including Bath and Bristol), Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

    It also said that "robust national, regional and local plans were being developed to get the vaccine to South West residents, with NHS England and NHS Improvement working closely with local NHS organisations to prepare for delivery of the vaccine".

    However, in the meantime, no decision has been made on how people under 50 should be offered a Covid vaccine, the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said.

    The committee also said the first phase of rolling out the vaccine would focus on older people who were at most risk.