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Two children admitted to hospital after taking tablet thought to be a sweet

Two children have been admitted to hospital over fears they had taken a tablet found near to their school.

The two boys aged seven and eight took ill at Skerne Park Primary School in Darlington this morning with one of the boys claiming he found a tablet he thought was a sweet outside. Police with a drugs dog have carried out a thorough search of the school and grounds but nothing has been found.

One of the boys has since been discharged with the other remaining in hospital where his condition is described as stable.

Tests are currently being carried out to establish if the boy remaining in hospital has taken any medication or illegal substances.

SATs boycott: Darlington school children enjoy day of arts and crafts

There are events taking place across the North East today for children who have missed school in protest of SATs exams.

Approximately 30 children and their parents attended a SATs boycott event at Brafferton Village Hall in Darlington.

Instead of a normal day in the classroom the children took part in arts, crafts and a nature walk.

The Department for Education is reminding parents they should only take their children out of school in exceptional circumstances.

Children taking part in arts and crafts at Brafferton Village Hall, Darlington Credit: ITV News
Children on a nature walk in Darlington Credit: ITV News

8 year-old Sonny Campbell-Critchley told us how he sometimes gets nervous before school tests.

His mum Emma Campbell-Critchley explained why she kept her children out of school today:

Children on a nature walk Credit: ITV News
Children taking part in arts and crafts at Brafferton Village Hall, Darlington Credit: ITV News

MP calls for 'clear statement' over hospital services

Darlington's MP is demanding answers over the future of services Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The MP for Darlington is calling for a 'clear statement' over the future of hospital services at the town's main hospital.

Labour's Jenny Chapman says rumours have been circulating for some time over the future of accident and emergency, intensive care and maternity services at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

She told ITV Tyne Tees that speculation had gone on for 'far too long' and is now calling for clarification.

Jenny Chapman MP Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

"What we need is a clear statement from Commissioners and from the Trust about what their intentions are, because it is unacceptable to leave patients, the wider community and particularly staff in this position where their jobs may be at risk, and where Darlington may be seeing a serious downgrade of services at our hospital."

– Jenny Chapman, Darlington MP

In response, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust sent us the following statement.

“As an NHS organisation we cannot stand still - advances in medical science, technology and the specialist skills of NHS professionals have made huge contributions to improved survival rates, outcomes and quality of life over the past few decades. If we want to be able to continue driving improvements and delivering high quality, sustainable services which meet the needs and expectations of our patients now and into the future against a backdrop of pressures in recruiting specialist staff, delivering quality and access standards and within financial constraints then we need to consider ways in which care and services could be delivered differently.

Senior consultants from the Trust are working with colleagues from across all the hospitals in Durham, Darlington and Teesside together with GPs on a programme of work which is about how we can improve outcomes and experience for patients when they need care, especially in an emergency.

This programme of work is called The Better Health programme and is aimed at identifying how we could improve clinical outcomes for the populations that we all serve.

However, no decisions have been made and importantly the next stage of engagement work with public, patients and staff has just begun allowing everyone to have their say. The series of engagement events will feed into a formal public consultation later in the year.”

– County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

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Victoria Wood's brother: "her death has robbed a generation"

Wood at the 2007 BAFTA awards. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Victoria Wood's older brother has spoke of the shock of her death, saying it "has robbed us of one of the brightest talents of our generation".

The actress died at home with her family at the age of 62 after a short battle with cancer.

Speaking from his home in Darlington, Chris Foote Wood, 75, said:

"It wasn't just that Victoria was hugely talented in so many different fields, she was also outstanding in her tremendous, single-minded drive and determination to pursue her chosen career. Success did not come easily to Victoria, and it was only after years of struggle that she achieved her well-deserved national acclaim.

I am hugely proud of what my sister has done so successfully in different fields of entertainment. It has been a privilege to have her as a sister, and particularly to have been able to observe at first-hand how she developed her career from the earliest beginnings."

– Chris Foote Wood

Mr Wood continued:

"Victoria's two children, my niece Grace and nephew Henry (Durham) will be absolutely devastated to lose their mother at such a relatively young age.

"Another reason I admire Victoria is that she was determined from the start to give her two children as normal an upbringing as possible and to shield them from unwanted media attention.

"In this she succeeded superbly, aided in every way by her then husband Geoffrey Durham who has continued his close support for their children after he and Victoria divorced in 2002."

Stonebridge in Darlington re-opened

Workmen removing cones on Stonebridge

After a 23 week programme of work Stonebridge in Darlington town centre is now re-opened to two-way traffic.

The bridge has been undergoing strengthening work since October 2015, with a break in December for festive traffic.

Stonebridge is more than 120 years old and elements of the bridge were suffering from corrosion. The works were necessary to avoid closure or a weight limit that would restrict buses and lorries using the bridge.

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