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Twin delivery services at Darlington hospital suspended

Twin delivery services at Darlington Memorial Hospital have been temporarily suspended.

It means all mums expecting twins who are currently booked to deliver at the hospital will now have to travel to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough instead.

It's after a review made a series of recommendations on improvements to be made.

Sue Jacques, Chief Executive at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said:

Patient safety and the consistent delivery of high quality care are our priorities.

We promote an open culture of reporting and learning and regularly monitor serious and adverse incidents across all of our clinical services.

As part of this monitoring and in response to feedback from our clinical teams, an independent review was commissioned to seek assurances on safety and identify any areas where improvements could be made within the Trust's maternity services."

– Sue Jacques, Chief Executive at County Durham and Darlington NHS

Newcastle University academics say sugar tax on cereals would discourage customers

A study by Newcastle University shows a 20 % sugar tax could discourage shoppers from buying unhealthy breakfast cereals.

Researchers found demand for sugary cereals fell by 48 per cent if consumers knew a tax was being applied.

The study, carried out by experts from Newcastle, York and Anglia Ruskin Universities, examined the impact of both a 20% and 40% tax on unhealthier cereals and soft drinks containing sugar. It also looked at whether telling people they were being taxed influenced the way they shopped.

People taking part in the study and were given a budget of £10 to spend on soft drinks and cereals. The products were classed by researchers as healthier or less healthy, depending upon their nutritional value.

Lead researcher, Daniel Zizzo, Professor of Economics at Newcastle University Business School, said:

Credit: : Steve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Our findings suggest a 20% sugar tax would work and lead to large changes in shopping behaviour.

We know the Government is already introducing a sugar levy on fizzy drinks in 2018," said Professor Zizzo. "Our evidence shows that it could be applied to other products successfully, though I expect the size of the effect to be smaller than what we found in our study."

– Daniel Zizzo, Professor of Economics at Newcastle University Business School

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Newcastle Hospitals Trust one of only 5 in country to be rated outstanding

Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. It's one of only 5 in the country to receive the top status.

Inspectors said there were examples of innovative and outstanding care at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman hospitals.

Overall, the trust has been rated as Outstanding in respect of being caring, effective, responsiveness and well-led.

Inspectors said the feedback from patients, innovative approach to care and how it considered the opinions of its patients all contributed to its rating.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

We found the care at The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to be of exceptional quality. There was a very clear vision and strategy for delivering the highest standards of patient care with quality and safety as a key focus. There was open engagement and involvement of patients, staff and external partners in the successful delivery of the trust's strategic goals.

"The ratings for many of the individual locations were extremely good. We rated the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Freeman Hospital and the Dental Hospital as outstanding and community services as good."

– The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards
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Man collapses on Lakeland fell

A 66 year old man is in a stable condition in hospital tonight after collapsing whilst walking near Keswick.

The walker from Newcastle suffered a heart attack on Blease Fell this afternoon. Keswick Mountain Rescue Team attended the scene and the patient was flown to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle by the Great North Air Ambulance (Pride of Cumbria).

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