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New species of shark for UK discovered near Plymouth

A rare species of shark has been found on the UK coastline for the first time in recorded history. The animal was discovered on a beach at Hope Cove near Plymouth, and reported to experts at the National Marine Aquarium, who believe it is a Crocodile Shark (Pseudocarcharias kamoharai), usually found in tropical waters all around the globe.

The deceased shark was spotted washed up on the beach by Steven Greenfields, who was out walking with his family. Steven comments: “We regularly visit this beach and have never seen anything like this before. My whole family was stunned as the animal had really unusual features but was unmistakably a shark. I have experience with sharks whilst swimming and diving overseas, but, despite a fair amount of fishing and swimming in the UK all my life, have never seen any shark in UK waters other than dogfish. Because it was so unusual we consulted our local aquarium to confirm what species it was.”

Further photos were submitted to the aquarium by Ross Spearing and his son, Nathan. After thorough examination of the shark’s physical traits, it is believed that the animal is a Crocodile Shark, making it the first of its kind to be found in the UK.

James Wright, Curator at the National Marine Aquarium, commented: “On first inspection of the photos we thought the animal could be a juvenile Porbeagle Shark, which is found in UK waters. However, we identified numerous traits which suggested it was not any shark usually recorded in UK waters. Exploring our network of contacts led to successful identification by Marc Dando who is a local professional wildlife artist, whose work can be seen at the aquarium. This species has never been recorded in the UK before, as it is normally found in deep waters during the day in tropical climates, such as Brazil and Australia, then coming shallower at night to feed. It is likely to be an isolated incident, but there have been similar stranding incidents in South Africa. This time of year though UK waters are at their coldest so this occurrence is very unusual.”

“With the Crocodile Shark accustomed to much warmer waters, travelling so far and reaching colder waters would have caused a shock to its system and account for the cause of death. We would urge the public to share any other unusual sightings with us or The Shark Trust, so we can monitor any trends.”

Paul Cox, Managing Director of The Shark Trust, added: “This tiny shark with spiky teeth – hence the name – is the smallest of the Mackerel Sharks, the group that includes the Great White and our own Porbeagle and Mako sharks. They are relatively uncommon and the UK is well outside the shark’s usual range so it’s a really interesting find. Currently listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Crocodile Shark is too small to be valuable in fisheries. However, they are caught, like many other sharks, as bycatch in high seas fisheries which will likely impact on their future status. For all sharks, but especially the less common ones, any information that we can get is useful so it’s great that this one has been reported and identified.”

Endoscopy Unit

For a third successive year the hard work and dedication of our staff in the Endoscopy Unit at Derriford Hospital has been formally recognised by the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) on GI Endoscopy.

At a time when the service has been expanding, whilst dealing with the operational pressures faced by the hospital, the staff within the Endoscopy Unit have continued to meet all standards and have maintained their waiting times across the board.

The unit, the largest in the South West, is staffed by a large dedicated team of nurses, healthcare assistants, consultants from various specialities, assistant practitioners and administrative personnel who work tirelessly to ensure that we can treat the 15,000 patients who attend the unit each year.

The JAG accreditation ensures the quality and safety of patient care by defining and maintaining the standards by which endoscopy is delivered within Derriford Hospital.

Sister Mel Gandy, Manager of the Unit, said: “We are so proud to be recognised for the high standards of care we continue to provide to our patients, as well as concentrating on driving down our waiting lists, the accreditation is a great acknowledgement of that.

“We are currently working towards being in a position to roll out the bowel scope initiative programme. This is a government-led initiative – aiming to diagnose and treat abnormalities within the bowel at an earlier time, thus giving patients a better outcome.

“As the nursing manager, the team within the unit continue to inspire me. I am very proud of their professional and committed attitude, which keeps the Derriford Endoscopy Unit at the forefront.”

Ann James, Chief Executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “This is such a fantastic achievement. Well done to you all for your continuing hard work, despite the significant operational pressures. On behalf of all, thank you.”

This is the fourth time the unit has gained the full accreditation. A huge well done to all involved.

“I would like to congratulate every service that has reached this stage. It is a momentous achievement to be recognised as a finalist on a national level for sheer dedication and support for people with Parkinson’s. I look forward to celebrating all of these finalists at the awards ceremony in March.”

These awards are the first of their kind for The UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, which launched in 2015 with the aim of revolutionising the way health and social care services are delivered to those with this degenerative, neurological condition. It encourages professionals to work together for change, build an expert workforce, influence services and strengthen the voice of people affected.

Of more than 40 entries, seven finalists have been chosen to be recognised as part of the inaugural awards ceremony, which is taking place in Leicestershire on 3 March 2017.

To find out more about the Excellence Network Awards or the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, please visit: www.parkinsons.org.uk/professionals

14 February 2017

Parkinson’s Service shortlisted for national award

Our Neurology Parkinson’s Service at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust has been shortlisted as a finalist in the first UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network Awards.

The awards, which are the first of their kind, aim to recognise and celebrate outstanding services that make a difference to people in the UK affected by Parkinson’s.

Dr Camille Carroll, Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Derriford Hospital, said: “I am delighted that our service has been recognised in this way, particularly as we have only been in existence for just over a year.

“We work hard to address patient-identified priorities by embedding patient-led Peninsula Parkinson’s Excellence Network projects within our service. This includes improving the quality of care received by people with Parkinson’s when they are admitted to hospital, and supporting people who are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s via our nurse-led new diagnosis pathway.

Dr Camille Carroll “We have received excellent feedback from patients regarding both these elements of our service – we know we are really making a difference and this motivates us to continue to work with people and families affected by Parkinson’s, to reshape and improve the services we provide.”

Clinical Director of the Excellence Network, Professor David Burn, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the quality of entries for our first ever Excellence Network Awards. As chair of the Awards committee and Director of the Excellence Network, I know these finalists represent the tip of a much larger iceberg of the quality care provided.

“I would like to congratulate every service that has reached this stage. It is a momentous achievement to be recognised as a finalist on a national level for sheer dedication and support for people with Parkinson’s. I look forward to celebrating all of these finalists at the awards ceremony in March.”

These awards are the first of their kind for The UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, which launched in 2015 with the aim of revolutionising the way health and social care services are delivered to those with this degenerative, neurological condition. It encourages professionals to work together for change, build an expert workforce, influence services and strengthen the voice of people affected.

Of more than 40 entries, seven finalists have been chosen to be recognised as part of the inaugural awards ceremony, which is taking place in Leicestershire on 3 March 2017.

To find out more about the Excellence Network Awards or the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, please visit: www.parkinsons.org.uk/professionals

Friday, 10 February 2017