097) 30/11/20 – 24/12/20

24th December

Pages 1, 4 and 5 a personal covid loss story with advice

p. 6 “Stay at home order for six million more” and

        “Confirmation mutant Covid strain is here” – with UK map of locations

p. 7 “Vaccinations up and running”

p. 12 NATIONAL, brief: “Jab approval ‘soon’” – Astra Zeneca/Oxford, and

                               “Millions more set for UK lockdown”




p. 6 “Walk-through test site opens” – Hinckley

p. 6 “Numbers are slowly rising again”

p. 12 NATIONAL, brief “Youngsters failed” – health visitors say

p. 12 “                   “Controls needed ‘for some time’” – Matt Hancock

p. 13 WORLD “European countries bid to fend off virus” – new mutated strain

p. 19 another story about the importance of the air ambulance     

pages 1 and 4 ”’Bullied’ carers bought own PPE as home managers ‘locked it away’”

and “Inspectors rate city care home as ‘inadequate” – Stonesby House, for adults with mental health problems/learning disabilitie


Pages 6 and 7 “One-in-30 rapid tests positive” – city

                          “City is out of top 100 for rates of infection” – but figures still rising

                          “Four additional vaccination centres opening this week”

p. 12 NATIONAL “New strain ‘has spread around UK’”  

p. 15 three letters:

          “Need I labour the point on who is at fault here?” – Ken Ayton, political on pandemic

          “Boris has been too slow with masks and vaccine” – David Goodger

          “Why are patient travel services neglected?” – Joan Hawkins


p. 1 “Mutant strain could be here already…We can’t let it take hold”

p. 3 “A300 more infections in county and city” – one day

p. 4 “’No evidence the new strain is here but we’re working on basis it is’”

p. 13 . ”EU gives conditional approval to vaccine”

p. 15 a letter by Elizabeth Warren under “More standalone birth centres are needed”


p. 5 “Final push this weekend to get cancer research fund beyond its £100k target” – determined fundraising for research into rare variations

p. 6 “Long queues as new rapid test centre opens in city” – West End

p. 7 “Vaccination offered at 16 more GP surgeries”


      “20 more deaths in hospitals”


Number of Covid-19 patients being treated on Leicester’s hospital wards continues to rise


p. 12 NATIONAL “Third lockdown could be on the cards”

p. 15LETTER by Brian Wilson under “Improvements being made at wrong hospital”

p. 15 LETTER “Giuliana Foster under Public being denied the consultation promised”


Pages 1 – 7 are about the Leicester’s infection rate, comparisons, rules for Christmas, rapid testing in hotspots etc.

p. 12 NATIONAL, brief “Men more suicidal” – rates doubled in 10 years; study does not cover Covid

p. 12 “                    “Furlough scheme is extended again”

p. 15 three letters:

“Testing times trying to get swabbed in the city” – David Wainwright, questions about the set-up

“Keeping schools open just doesn’t add up” – David Goodger

“Hospital staff have my thanks and admiration” – Mike Ross

p. 24/25 “A shot of hope” – Dr Julie Yates explaining vaccination

p. 26 critical Covid care from a nurses point of view

16th Dec

p. 4 “Covid jabs begin at 13 county and city GP surgeries” – Western side of city


p. 4 “City and borough drop out of 50 worst places for infections”

p. 5 “MP expecting no change to Tier 3” – Ed Argar

p. 13 WORLD “Germany calling for earlier jab approval” – for the EU

p. 15 a letter by Coun Gary O’Donnell under “NHS campaigners are an inspiration to us all”

p. 26 Nominations invited for Care Professional of the Year award

15th Dec

p. 25 “Rehab centre wins support” – the planned Stanford Hall from regional CCG

14th Dec


p. 9 “Lack of staff blamed for failures at care home” – Huntingdon Court, Loughborough, run by Leicestershire County Care Ltd.

Pages, 1, 4 and 5 have items about the first Covid vaccinations in Leicester, and

p. 4 “Another 41 deaths in hospitals” incl. one person in his/her 30s

p. 5 “Testing in high-risk areas to be rolled out next month”

p. 12 NATIONAL ”England gets set for vaccine clinics”

p. 15 a letter by Satinder Toor under “Short-term outlook is a threat to the NHS” – hospitals plan

13th Dec

Coronavirus cases rise in every area of Leicestershire but 1 as tier decision nears


12th Dec

Pages 1, 6 and 7 are about Covid vaccination in Leicester under “A shot in the arm for city” and “City’s fightback…”, with a Q&A page

p. 7 “What are our chances of coming out of tier 3 next week?”

p. 15 a letter by Mathew Compton under “Why campaigners aren’t helping NHS” – a well-written letter which needs a well-thought-out answer

p. 21 “Don’t forget the ‘other’ jab!” – Jon Ashworth urging people to take up flu jabs

p. 31 a whole NHS page under “Still time to have your say on NHS proposals”S

13th Dec

Coronavirus cases rise in every area of Leicestershire but 1 as tier decision nears


12th Dec

Pages 1, 6 and 7 are about Covid vaccination in Leicester under “A shot in the arm for city” and “City’s fightback…”, with a Q&A page

p. 7 “What are our chances of coming out of tier 3 next week?”


p. 15 a letter by Mathew Compton under “Why campaigners aren’t helping NHS” – a well-written letter which needs a well-thought-out answer .

p. 21 “Don’t forget the ‘other’ jab!” – Jon Ashworth urging people to take up flu jabs

p. 31 a whole NHS page under “Still time to have your say on NHS proposals”

11th Dec

p. 4 “Don’t give an elderly relative…” – high infection rates among 10 – 21-year-olds in Blaby

p. 5 “’No shortcuts taken in process to approve Covid-19 vaccine’” – Prof Ivan Browne

p. 6 “Covid isolation means schools are understaffed” – resulting in classes being sent home in city

p. 12 NATIONAL, brief “Mothers ‘blamed’” – Shrewsbury and Telford scandal

p. 15 a letter by L Measom under “Why carers should be first in line for jabs”

p. 21 “Endoscopy unit opens with £3.5m investment” – at the General

  • A £3.5 MILLION investment has been secured to ensure endoscopy patients can be seen sooner than planned.

Leicester’s hospitals secured the cash for improvements which including opening the temporary “vanguard” endoscopy unit at Leicester’s General hospital.

It means routine patients, as well as suspected cancer and clinically urgent patients, can be screened and referred for treatment as soon as possible, despite the continued pressures of Covid-19 and winter.

Before March, endoscopy services at the city’s hospitals were performing procedures with more than 600 patients a week, but due to the pandemic it has not been possible to see this number of patients.

A lack of capacity can mean patients self-managing a range of sometimes uncomfortable physical symptoms, while wondering if those symptoms are a sign of a life-altering health condition.

However, thanks to what is thought to be one of the largest NHS investments in endoscopy services this year, the hospital trust will deliver a month on-month capacity improvement from this month. By March 2021, this will exceed pre-pandemic levels. Initial improvements began with the endoscopy unit, while extensive work to refurbish endoscopy rooms at the General, Leicester Royal Infirmary and Glenfield begins from January.

The opening of the unit will also coincide with the increased use of community sites at Loughborough, Hinckley, Melton and Market Harborough which will continue into 2021 and beyond, enabling more patients to be seen closer to home, whilst still remaining in the care of UHL clinicians.

Clinical endoscopy lead Dr Sanjeev Pattni said: “What we have managed to secure with this funding will be a lifeline for some, and a reduction in anxiety for the vast majority of our patients.

“This investment isn’t just about improving our endoscopy environment; it’s about protecting the physical and mental health of our patients.”

Andrew Furlong, medical director at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Understandably, patients who have had to wait want to know when they will be seen. To ensure patients are booked in a timely manner, we are reviewing all patients based on clinical needs, and our endoscopy team will be in touch to let people know when they have their appointment booked.”

10th Dec

Confusing messages here about rate of covid infection

p. 7 “Rates more than double the average in parts of city”, subtitled “Door-to-door delivery of tests where infections high”

p. 7 “Lowest daily increase in cases” – city and county


p. 8 “Fears over Christmas offers and big crowds”, subtitled “Businesses are urged to help in bid to stop spread of virus”

p. 9 “Outbreaks in city’s hospitals – no one will say how many”, subtitled “Virus has been caught on the wards but no confirmation on number of people infected”

p. 12 NATIONAL, brief “DIY dentistry rising” –  lack of dental services during Covid crisis

p. 12 “                   “Vaccination led to ‘allergic reaction’”

 p. 15 three letters, the first two on the hospitals plans:

Jill Friedman under “We must look at what’s needed longer term”

J L Walton under “We need to change our society – and consults”

David Goodger under “City folk let down again over vaccine decision”

9th Dec

p. 6/7 “City staff to hit street in bid to track Covid cases”  

p. 12 NATIONAL, brief “Mental health fears” – people’s concerns about relatives over Christmas

p. 12 “                   “’Turning point’ as vaccine rolled out”


p. 12 “                    “Oxford jab safe and effective, official report shows”

 p. 15 a letter by V Thomson under “Hospital plan not good” – various good points made by voluntary helper

8th Dec

p. 5 “’No vaccination hub in county, but people will get jab’” – Jon Ashworth

p. 12 NATIONAL “Most over-80s will get jab ‘in new year’” – Prof Stephen Powis, national medical director

 p. 15 three letters on Covid/lockdown:

“Anti-Tier 3 MPs are missing bigger picture” – Veronica Matthew

“City’s small businesses deserve more support” – Leicester Green Party

“Covid vaccinations rethink will cost lives” – W Dean; see Jon Ashworth above

7th Dec

p. 6 “More than 1,300 Covid cases at school this term”

p.7 an item about fines for Covid rule breaches

p. 11 “’Outstanding’ hospital staff are praised by parents…” – baby’s cancer care during Covid

“City hospitals are left off list of 50 Covid vaccine hubs”

p. 15 a letter by Franklin O’Riordan under “Will NHS managers back pay campaign?”

5th December


p. 6 “New Covid hotspots identified” – county

        “Over-60s in borough warned of extra risk” – Oadby, Wigston and Leicester


p. 7 “’Second wave tougher’ due to extra pressures” – hospitals


p. 19 “Lighthouse Covid test lab creates 400 jobs” – in Loughborough


4th December

p. 6 “Covid battle for county’s care homes” – deaths on rise again and plans to hae designated home for Covid-positive elderly discharged from hospital


p. 26/27 “Tory MPs are accused of ‘nimbyism’ after their calls to decouple from city over tiers” – Andrew Bridgen and Dr Luke Evans  

p. 12 NATIONAL “Tracing figures rise after change in tack” – manipulation to make them look better,

p. 15 a letter by Robert Ball under “Trust should commit to giving parents a choice” – for birth

 Thank you, Save St Mary’s Birth Centre campaign groups who are fighting to keep St Mary’s open, Melton Mowbray (Leicester Mercury 26 Nov).People have up to December 21 to contribute to a consultation and online meeting are taking place. For more go to www.SaveOurNHSLeicestershire.org and Facebook @SONHSLLeicester.

also letter  by Sandra Ritchie under “Delay consultation on hospitals proposal”

3rd December

p. 12 “UK gets ready for roll-out of vaccine”


p. 20 “’Back on track within a year’ of vaccine roll-out”  – businesses,

p. 21 “Hospitals ‘face tough weeks’” -Rebecca Brown

2nd December

p. 2 “Vaccinations could start next week – at racecourse” – on public health invitation only


        “Thousands of rapid testing kits arrive at county council”


p. 3 “Drive-through test unit opens at sports centre”(LUTTERWORTH)


        “Rates ‘on the run’ as infections fall by almost half in past week”


p. 15 letters by Brian Wilson “Hospital shake-up has left me a bit baffled” – and Brenda Worrall “Many people are not aware of health plans” –  “    

1st December

P. 15 three letters, by Kev Taylor, unnamed and Lynn Cruddace, in a political ding-dong on lockdown

p. 15 an unnamed letter under “What good is a phone appointment with GPs?”

p. 24 “NHS urgent care centres reopen”, subtitled “Eight sites accessible – by appointment only”


30th November

p. 6 “Areas with most cases revealed”


        “500 new virus cases recorded over weekend” – city and county

p. 7 “Third MP makes case for a lower tier to city” – Bosworth, wants lower tier THAN city

 p. 12 NATIONAL  “’Back tier rules to avoid third wave’” – Dominic Raab

p. 19 “Funding to help people with eating disorders” – NHS funding

p. 23 “NHS starts recruitment campaign” –