The North East has topped the list of English regions for the number of hospital admissions due to alcohol-related conditions
Planning started for the specialist emergency care centre at Cramlington in 2008. It's due to open the doors to patients early next year.
A north east health trust has defended the rate patients are charged to park at its hospitals
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.
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.
The North East has the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England, according to new figures.
2.5% of people in the region were admitted to hospital for alcohol-related reasons in 2012-13. The statistics have been published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
The figure for Middlesbrough, at 3.28%, was the highest of any local authority area in England.
This is significantly above the national average figure of 1.89%. The South East had the lowest rate in England, at 1.5%.
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.
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.
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.
– Rachael Masters, Senior Specialist Dietitian.
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.
Rachel Bullock's full report is below.
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.
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.
– Department of Health spokesman
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.