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Community News - "I am so proud to be a part of such a fine organization that helps make the holidays special for children who are less fortunate," stated Assemblyman Fred Thiele.

Community News - "With more transportation options in Suffolk County than ever before, there is no excuse to get behind the wheel after a night of drinking," Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone noted.

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said the NHS had been forced into “desperate measures” to protect patients as a direct result of the Government’s austerity policies.

“Ministers keep boasting the NHS has enough funding and is well prepared this winter, yet we’re now seeing the dismal consequences of seven hard years of austerity underfunding and it means patients suffering as has been reported across Durham.” Pressures across the NHS have been steadily increasing in the run-up to winter and Figures released on Friday give a first month of performance statistics, up to Christmas Eve, and reveal almost 60,000 patients have waited more than 30 minutes in an ambulance to get into an A&E, with one in five of these waiting more than an hour.

And thanks to technology, the number of opportunities for nurses who want to work remotely or from the comfort of their own home is only expected to grow, according to Flexjobs.

Health chiefs in the North East have told nurses and GPs they may have to act as “first responders” for patients who have fallen in their own homes or residential homes and may even need to administer painkillers, including intravenous morphine, if ambulances are delayed.

Dr Neil O’Brien, clinical chief officer at NHS North Durham CCG, and one of the signatories on the email, said the move had been developed with local NHS bodies for patients needing “urgent, but not emergency, help”.

“Winter is a challenging time for the NHS, and our emergency services across the region have been experiencing significant pressures over the festive period.

Bosses said the scheme was necessary because of a massive increase in demand and was intended to avert more “tragic” cases involving older patients with serious fractures and no pain relief.

But senior doctors have said the move could affect patient safety.

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