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River Wear safety report: Spend money to reduce death risk

River Wear. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A report into river safety in Durham after the deaths of three students has recommended money is spent to reduce the risk of future accidents.

The charity ROSPA has made a number of recommendations after it inspected the riverbank at different times during a number of days and nights last month.

It suggests additional lighting, improving pathways, fencing in some areas and upgrading public safety equipment along the River Wear.

The report for Durham County Council was commissioned after a number of other mesaures were put in place to stop people who have been drinking heavily, getting close to the river.

  1. National

Warning as 'very high' pollution levels to hit parts of UK

Air pollution levels are set to become 'high' and 'very high' in parts of central, eastern and northern England today, experts have warned.

A combination of pollutants trapped near the ground, a small amount of Saharan dust and winds bringing across pollution from Europe has damaged air quality across the country.

Pollution levels will become 'very high' in some parts today Credit: Defra

By tomorrow, however, sharper winds from the Atlantic are expected to clear some of the toxic elements, bringing air pollution levels down to moderate or low.

The latest information on pollution levels can be found on the Defra website.

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Concern over A&E waiting times

The latest NHS England figures show that the majority of health trusts in the North East have failed to deal with A&E patients within the targeted time of four hours.

The statistics show that it is part of a national trend, as more and more people have been using the service.

Our cameras were given access to Newcastle's RVI to see its busiest department in action.

The political parties have been commenting on those figures today.

Labour said the figures were partially due to difficulties in getting to see your GP, while UKIP said they weren't surprised the Conservatives didn't want to talk about the NHS.

The Conservative said, however, that the NHS had had a difficult winter and things were getting better.

The Liberal Democrats said that they were promising extra investment into the NHS.

North East doctors ask all parties not to use the NHS as a 'political football'

Doctors in the North East have released an open letter asking all political parties not to use the NHS as a political football during the General Election campaign.

The message is being backed by GPs and hospital consultants from the British Medical Association, who have also launched a campaign called "No More Games".

Yorkshire Cancer Research reveals £5m projects

Projects for diagnosing, treating and caring for cancer patients across Yorkshire are to get a major funding boost.

It's been announced that Yorkshire Cancer Research, based in Harrogate, is to invest £5 million in nine projects to address what the charity describes as a North-South divide in cancer outcomes.

We're extremely proud to be funding such vital research in Yorkshire thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

This is a very substantial investment in projects with a huge regional significance which will take us one step closer to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on people who live in Yorkshire."

– Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Yorkshire Cancer Research

As part of the funding the charity will invest £1.5m in a five-year project aimed at improving the survival of bowel cancer patients through better quality surgery, radiology and pathology.

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NHS March: 'plenty at stake'

Protestors at a rally in Jarrow say they're campaigning against the proposed closure of the town's walk-in centre, as well as current NHS under-funding.

The health group behind the plan insists that moving the centre to another hospital will improve services. And The Prime Minister, today, said the government had increased NHS spending year on year.

Closure of Jarrow NHS Walk-in Centre based on "hard evidence", say health bosses

Health bosses on South Tyneside have said that a plan that involves closing the NHS Walk-in Centre in Jarrow will lead to more "clinically effective" care.

Under the plans, the Walk-in Centre would close in the autumn and be replaced by a new urgent care hub at South Tynesdie District Hospital.

Dr Matthew Walmsley, a local GP and the Chairman of the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said the decision was based on "hard evidence".

Rehena Azam, one of the organisers of today's 'People's March for the NHS', said it the "civic duty" of people to try and protect local NHS services.

"We understand people’s concern, but it’s important to be clear that our plans are based on hard evidence about the most clinically effective ways to provide health care.

"With the walk-in centre and A&E on the same site, patients will be guided to the best service for their needs, which will free up A&E staff to concentrate on genuine emergencies.

"We have been clear from the start that concerns around access to GPs, transport and raising awareness of advice available from places such as local pharmacists must be tackled before the move takes place in the autumn. So, for example, we have already commissioned a detailed independent piece of work to get the clearest possible picture about accessing GPs locally. This will be available shortly and will help us ensure the work we are already undertaking with local practices is on the right track."

– Dr Matthew Walmsley, South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group

Campaigners want to save Jarrow NHS Walk-in Centre

A protest rally is being held in Jarrow today to oppose the closure of the town's NHS Walk In Centre.

The South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group made the decision to open a new 'urgent care hub' at South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, and relocate services in Jarrow to the new centre.

At the time the Chair of the CCG and South Tyneside GP, Dr Matthew Walmsley, said:

“Many people continue to queue at A&E for minor ailments, rather than using the walk-in-centre service or their GP. By creating a ‘one stop shop’, with every service behind one front door, we can make sure that patients get the right urgent care, first time, every time.”

But the South Tyneside Public Services Alliance, a trade union-led organisation, is against the move.

They believe parking and travel for people in Hebburn and Jarrow is a big concern.

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