A new super hospital is set to open its door to patients next June and when it does, it will be a British first.
It will be the first to be fully staffed by specialists for emergency care to patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Today, the medical director of NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh, visited the site near Cramlington for an official ceremony and to see the progress on a facility which he believes will be the future for A&Es.
A new project is being tested in Darlington to help improve the nutrition of hospital patients. Better eating habits will mean a quicker recovery. Called 'Focus on Food and Fluids First' County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust will provide healthy meals and educate patients about diet.
Undernutrition is a big problem not only in our region but across the UK, and is one of NHS England's key focuses for 2014, which is why we need to really focus on making this a priority for our patients.
Campaigners are calling for standards of hospital food to be regulated across England by introducing the same control that is in place in schools and prisons.
It follows news that hospital chiefs have been giving themselves the the highest possible rating for their food, despite figures being put forward by an independent Care Quality Commission survey which showed half of patients were dissatisfied with hospital food.
NHS food "needs more money and investment" if it is going to adequately help a patient through recovery, said a health charity.
Michelle Mitchell from AGE UK was also keen to push for higher standards in nursing as the public "had heard story after story" about neglected patients who needed the support of a nurse or carer to eat.
Hospital chiefs think their patients are fed incredibly well and gave themselves the highest possible rating for their food, figures show.
Out of 156 hospitals in England, three out of five gave themselves full marks for the food served to patients.
However, this deliberately contradicts figures put forward by an independent Care Quality Commission survey which showed half of patients were dissatisfied with hospital food, said the Campaign for Better Hospital Food.
Alex Jackson, co-ordinator of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, said: "It is time for the Government to come clean about the sorry state of hospital food in England and set mandatory standards for patient meals.
"This would only involve extending an existing policy which has seen it set mandatory standards for prison food and food served in Government departments, to go alongside those that already exist for school food."
8 patients had to be evacuated from a hospital in Gateshead after the surgical unit flooded.
Tyne and Wear fire service were called to the Queen Elizabeth hospital at around 5am this morning (27 May) after a water tank on the seventh floor ruptured. Water then cascaded into the floors below and caused some electrical damage.
Fire crews helped to asses the damage. Nobody was hurt in the incident.