Businesses across the Tees Valley will create hundreds of jobs after getting cash from a local jobs fund.
The money is being provided by Tees Valley Unlimited, which is a group of local businesses and public sector bodies.
The scheme offers to pay up to half of new employees’ wages. So far, 275 jobs have been secured as a result of the scheme.
Harvey and Hugo, a marketing firm in Darlington, is one of the first businesses to benefit from the funding.
The scheme has been crucial to recruiting two new staff. It has given me so much more breathing space and a chance to recruit high calibre, experienced people to the business… With the extra money saved, I can use our improved cash flow to build a new website and may get a phone upgrade for the office - things that aren’t always so easy to do when you are running your own business.”
– Charlotte Nichols, Managing Director, Harvey and Hugo
Data revealed today as part of a Freedom of Information request by the charity Mind has found that the North East is among the highest areas for physical restraint being used on mental health patients.
A statement from the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys reads as follows:
"The number of incidents may seem high.
"However, we are one of the largest mental health and learning disability trusts in the country, with over 1,000 beds and a high proportion of specialist units caring for people with extremely challenging behaviour.
"Our staff are fully trained in using a range of techniques to manage people with challenging behaviour and they adopt an individualised approach for each patient.
"Physical restraint, using nationally accredited techniques, is only used as a last resort.
"Many of the incidents reported involved only minimal restraint but it is our policy to record all incidents, regardless of level of restraint, so that we can monitor, review and learn from them."
Parents with children at schools across the Tees Valley are set to receive letters and consent forms over the next few days urging them to take up the offer of the MMR vaccination.
The move follows an outbreak of measles across the North East and is being carried out by the Tees Outbreak Control team.
The team are now introducing a school-based MMR vaccination campaign - to be offered to all children who have yet to be vaccinated against the illness.
The vaccinations will take place across the next few weeks.
"Measles is a highly infectious disease and people can feel very poorly when they have contracted it. 17 per cent of the current cases have required hospital treatment and the disease can lead to rare yet serious complications.
"I would therefore urge all parents to get their child vaccinated through the school based campaign if they have not been immunised already.
"MMR is a safe and highly effective vaccination which protects against measles as well as mumps and rubella."
– Professor Peter Kelly, Chair of the Tees Outbreak Control Team and Director of Public Health at Stockton Council
"I'm very pleased and reassured to see arrangements between the local authorities, NHS England, Public Health North East and the School Nursing Teams working effectively to tackle this outbreak.
"I would like to urge all parents to listen to Professor Kelly's message and make sure their children are vaccinated."
– Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health
The Chief Executive of a charity that offers advice and activities for children and young people with autism, says they must appeal for public help to support the demand for their services.
Daisy Chain has seen a 28% drop in income at a time when the need for services is on the rise. Staff say it is putting a strain on resources.
We are acutely aware of the need that is out there across the Tees Valley. Our socialclubs have waiting lists, our parent services are full and with families constantly being referred to us, we know that what we are providing is needed.
We have decided to take action. We must meet the needs of our families and as such we have decided to appeal to the public to help us. We need to increase our income before we need to look at downsizing our resources.
Labour and coalition backbenchers have clashed in The House of Commons over the future of smaller hospitals in the Tees Valley area and at the Friarage District Hospital in North Yorkshire.
The Teesside MP, Tom Blenkinsop, pointed to the closure of the Chaloner ward at Guisborough Hospital, the reduction of minor injuries provision and the downgrading of paediatric and maternity services at the Friarage. The latter is in the constituency of the Foreign Secretary William Hague.
MPs pointed out that 3,000 beds in community hospitals were lost under the last Labour administration. The Lib Dem MP for Redcar, Ian Swales, added that the maternity unit at Guisborough had been closed as far back as 2006.