Hospital parking charges

A north east health trust has defended the rate patients are charged to park at its hospitals

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185 people a day in North East hospitals due to alcohol

Figures put together for the NHS show that between 2012 and 2013, 67,000 people were admitted to North East hospitals with alcohol-related conditions - the equivalent of 185 every day.

The North East has a long and complex relationship with alcohol Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

When the figures are adjusted to take account of population differences, Middlesbrough has the highest rate of admissions in England, with South Tyneside, Sunderland and North Tyneside also in the top ten.

Those figures relate to the number of people suffering the effects of drinking too much in the long and short term, as well as falls, self harm and other injuries caused by drinking.

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Count down until super hospital opens its doors

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.

Katie Oakes was there for us.

Topping-out ceremony at new hospital

Artists' impression of how the new hospital in Cramlington will look.
Artists' impression of how the new hospital in Cramlington will look. Credit: ITV

NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh will lead a 'topping-out' ceremony at a hospital being built near Cramlington which is considered a British first.

When it opens in 2015, doctors at the specialist emergency care centre will treat patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Healthy Eating Programme Trialled at Darlington Hospital

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.

– Rachael Masters, Senior Specialist Dietitian.

Full Report: Calls for hospital food standards to be regulated

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.

Rachel Bullock's full report is below.

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Govt: Patients are 'best placed' to rate NHS food

Patients were "best placed" to decide what hospital food was good and what left a bad taste in their mouths, a Department of Health spokesman said.

He was speaking amidst claims hospital chiefs were awarding their hospital's food five stars while patients were dissatisfied with food.

However, the Department of Health also defended decisions made on hospital food "taken locally" by kitchen staff and ruled out legislating mandatory standards.

There are many fantastic examples of really good food across the NHS thanks to forward-thinking and innovative staff.

But we recognise that there is too much variation across the country - that is why we have implemented a tough new inspection programme...

We support the principle of food standards but do not think that legislation is the right way to proceed.

We believe that the best decisions on hospital food are those taken locally by chefs and catering managers.

Patients are the ones who consume hospital food and they are best placed to decide what is good and what is not.

– Department of Health spokesman
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