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NEWS ROUNDUP: Blue Flag beaches & having a laugh in Sunderland

Blue Flag beaches in the North East named and Sunderland named the ‘laughter capital’ of the UK.
The NHS in the North East and North Cumbria is set to receive a share of £160 million to help with their recovery and tackle the waiting lists. Pressure on staff, beds and equipment, combined with the enhanced infection prevention has meant some non-urgent care across the region had to be postponed over the course of the pandemic.
With the successful roll-out of more than two million vaccines across the region – the highest number in the country - and the continued decline in cases across its hospitals and communities, the region’s NHS is now focusing on its recovery which includes speeding up access to treatments and reducing any backlog.

Dame Jackie Daniel and Lyn Simpson are joint chairs of the North East and North Cumbria Provider Collaborative. The Collaborative includes ambulance, hospital/community and mental health trusts across the region who have come
together to share their expertise and improve access to services.

Dame Jackie Daniel said: “Although we managed to maintain a significant amount of activity during the pandemic - a testament to our teams and the strength of joint working across the region - we cannot underestimate the challenges that lie ahead or indeed the personal impact for those patients, and their families, where treatment has been delayed.

“We recognised early on in the pandemic that we needed to respond as a region, and this applies to our recovery too. Which is why our plans are based on us joining forces across our region to ensure a sustainable plan which enables us to meet future demands too.

Laughter capital
Sunderland has been called the laughter capital of the UK. A study by Beano comics and a neuroscientist found that the average Brit laughs up to 23 times a day, but people in Sunderland are enjoying a chuckle up to 33 times a day.
Blue Flag beaches
76 beaches across England have been given a blue flag award, which means they meet high environmental and water quality standards. In our region Tynemouth Longsands, King Edwards Way, Whitley Bay, Roker, Seaburn and Saltburn by the Sea have all received the award.

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