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Doctor drives patient to hospital after ambulance delay

North East Ambulance Service are investigating ambulance delay Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A 76-year-old Darlington man had to be driven to hospital by his doctor after being told there would be a two hour wait for an ambulance.

Richard Moses had gone to Moorlands Surgery in Darlington feeling unwell. While there he was there collapsed with a heart block and needed a pacemaker fitting urgently.

Richard said: "I knew there was something not right because Dr Shaw had said this is serious, very, very serious."

Richard's GP, Dr Tony Shaw, tried to admit Mr Moses to Darlington Memorial Hospital, but was told he would need to be taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, as they did not fit pacemakers out of hours.

Dr Shaw arranged for an ambulance car and was initially told it would arrive within the hour. But after an hour, Dr Shaw was told that, because of pressures on the system, it would be another two hours.

They were offered the chance to upgrade the call to blue light response, but that would have meant Mr Moses being taken to the nearest hospital, Darlington Memorial Hospital, not James Cook.

Dr Tony Shaw drove Mr Moses to James Cook University Hospital Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

"I heard him saying I'm going to get my car," said Richard. "I said doctor, you're my physician not my taxi driver. It is scary to know the doctor has just said to you this is serious and I've got to get him to the hospital and I'm going to take him myself."

Dr Shaw was worried that Mr Moses' condition was getting worse.

"One of our nurses very kindly offered to come with me and she brought a defibrillator and a resuscitation kit," said Dr Shaw. "It's the sort of thing your'e prepared to do for a patient just to help them out but it shows the problems with the system in general."

The North East ambulance services says it is not the only service to be under pressure at the moment, and while it doesn't comment on individual cases while under investigation, it is looking into what happened.

GP drives patient to hospital to avoid "two hour wait" for ambulance

It's emerged a Darlington doctor drove a patient with a heart condition to hospital himself after being told there'd be a two hour wait for an ambulance car. The GP says he's seriously concerned about the mounting pressures on paramedics. The North East Ambulance Service says it's investigating.

Watch Frances Read's report:

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Questions for women considering surrogate motherhood

Natalie Smith of Surrogacy UK has issued a list of questions women need to consider before becoming a surrogate mother.

It follows the news that Jenah Colledge from Sunderland has agreed to act as a surrogate for her best friend Victoria Eames who had to have her womb removed in surgery for cervical cancer.

Natalie Smith says people should think very carefully about the following:

* Do you understand the legal requirements and implications

* Have you thought about expenses?

* Have you got life insurance and appropriate wills in place?

* Have you all sat down and discussed in detail all the eventualities that could occur?

* How many attempts will you try before reviewing?

* Have you spoken about diet, health etc, and what level of contact will you have?

* Who will be at scans and at the birth?

* Who will first hold the babies when they are born?

* Have you thought how you will support each other through the pregnancy and birth?

* Have you thought about after the birth – the levels of contact and ongoing relationships?

* Finally have you thought about your wider support networks - friends and family?

There is more information about surrogacy on the Surrogacy UK website.

Wearside woman gives cancer survivor chance to start family

Victoria Eames and Jenah Colledge

A cancer survivor who feared she would never have children after surgery for cervical cancer has been given the chance to start a family thanks to her best friend from Wearside.

Victoria Eames always dreamed of becoming a mum, but had to have her womb removed to stop the cancer spreading.

Best friend Jenah Colledge from Sunderland came forward and said she would act as a surrogate for Victoria and her partner James.

Victoria was given the all-clear by doctors and will have check-ups every three months. Doctors have asked the friends to wait for a year before trying for the baby so they can check the cancer has not returned.

My world fell apart - I wanted the fairy tale. I have an amazing partner and it was the next step. When I found out I couldn't have children I apologised to him. It was hard.

– Victoria Eames

Police issue warning after drug incident in Middlesbrough

Six people were hospitalised after taking MDMA at Medicine Bar in Middlesbrough Credit: ITV

Police are warning young people of the dangers of taking MDMA tablets after six people were taken to hospital in Middlesbrough.

Those affected are believed to have taken the drug, which is a strong form of ecstasy, during a function at Medicine Bar in the city last night.

Officers from Cleveland Police say young people and parents should be aware of the harm these tablets pose.

Six hospitalised after taking ecstasy in Middlesbrough

MDMA (ecstasy) tablets marked with a 'UPS' logo Credit: Cleveland Police

Six people have been taken to hospital after taking a high strength form of ecstasy in Middlesbrough.

The young people had been attending a function at the Medicine Bar in Middlesbrough last night. All six were later hospitalised after suffering from the effects of taking MDMA tablets marked with a 'UPS' logo.

Police are warning that this type of tablet can prove dangerous and is potentially life-threatening.

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