All stories

The entrance to MyHotel Chelsea

Culture, afternoon tea and a spot of TLC in the heart of Chelsea

Cheryl Mullin goes on a girls' weekend to London, and discovers the perfect location to explore the capital's delights in peace

Belambra holiday club in Praz sur Arly, France

Travel: Lanzarote - a downhill struggle?

A nervous Jane Haase embarks on her first family ski holiday in the French Alps

Airbnb apartment in Berlin

Travel: Bargain in Berlin

A friendly apartment is the top choice for a weekend break with mates to Berlin, says Sarah Marshall

Cruising on South Walsham Broad

Travel: River cruise has Broads appeal...

Nigel Thompson cruises along the Norfolk Broads and finds big skies, wildlife... and a water-borne bishop

TRAVEL Austria Monastery

Enjoy an oasis of charm and calm in Austria

If you want a relaxing break, book in at a monastery says Ann Stenhouse

The Perry Green room at The Craven Heifer, Addingham

Enjoy a real flavour of fine Yorkshire heritage at The Craven Heifer

The Craven Heifer on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales celebrates the region's famous sons and daughters as well as fine food

The boat ride along the gorgeous coast of Amalfi.

Driven round the bend in Sorrento

Nigel Thompson heads to spectacular Sorrento in Italy to confront one of the world’s most twisting roads... and an awful lot of steps

Peckforton Castle

Royal weekend away in the glorious Cheshire countryside

With its turrets sticking out above the trees, Peckforton Castle looks other-worldly, and as far away from the chaos of the city as its possible to get

The American Bar at The Stafford London by Kempinski

Falling in love over afternoon tea at a top London hotel

Mike Lockley spends an elegant afternoon at The Stafford, quintessential London hotel that borders the capital’s royal landmarks

The sunset from Pinchos restaurant

An undiscovered Caribbean gem you won’t be able to help falling in love with

Aruba remains undiscovered by British tourists. Mary Griffin takes a trip to the Caribbean to see what we’re missing

Rio de Janeiro

World Cup 2014: A football fan's guide to the Brazilian host cities

There's something to suit every possible taste in Brazil, Jack Lang reports, as he offers this guide for fans planning their summer jaunt

A holiday lodge at Sandy Balls

Having a ball exploring the New Forest national park

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of Sandy Balls. Adrian Caffrey dodges the double entendres while enjoying the outdoor life...

Princes Street Gardens looking up towards Edinburgh Castle

Mixing history with luxury on a city break in the Scottish capital

Julia McWatt pays a visit to Edinburgh, where she falls in love with the historic city - and the luxury apartment she temporarily calls home...

Bournemouth, Dorset

Britain's best beaches: Seven golden shores you can't afford to miss

Winter is here – so start planning a Great British beach break. Here are seven of the very best.

Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Bustling Kathmandu works its magic on adventurous visitors

Most visitors to Nepal pass through Kathmandu on their way to Mount Everest. But stop and spend time in this vibrant city,  urges Fiona Woottom

Experience [REC] at Portaventura

Halloween horror trips that are terrifyingly good...

If your idea of a good time is being scared silly this round up of horrifying Halloween trips is your one-way ticket to terror...

St Anton offers superb ski runs to suit all abilities

Keep the drinks on ice and hit the slopes in glorious St Anton

It may boast some of  the very best après ski around, but Gill Martin still finds time to hit the superb slopes of St Anton

York Minster is just one of many attractions in the historic city

Shopping, history and romance on a long weekend in York

There's plenty to explore in historic York, as Cheryl Mullin discovered in a visit to one of Britain's most romantic hotels...

Royal Princess sailing out of Southampton. The ship is on her maiden season around the Mediterranean

Cruising the high seas in a ship that's fit for a princess

A cruise ship christened by the Duchess of Cambridge must surely be fit for a future queen? Emma Wilson joins the Royal Princess on her maiden season to find out...

White Mountains during the Fall season in Maine

Turning over a new leaf as green turns to gold in New England

Summer may be over,  but autumn is a time to rejoice in Massachusetts says Richard Jones, who joined other 'leaf peepers' to admire the changing vegetation

54d 1181

Videos & Photos

Durham Cathedral gives up its secrets as Open Treasures attraction takes shape

First look inside Glass House - Newcastle's luxury whiskey, wine and champagne bar

L-R Dr Edyta Roszko and Dr Claire Sutherland at the Vietnam exhibition at Durham University's Palace Green Library

Durham University's Palace Green Library hosts Vietnam: A Nation, not a war exhibition

464 b78 491 b19 4a1 6dd


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer
0 HTTP/1.1 200 OK Server: Apache-Coyote/1.1 X-Escenic-Widget-ID: 7577691 Cache-Control: public,s-maxage=600 Set-Cookie: JSESSIONID=C6D4ABFF0F96BA175450FC8DDB99F24F; Path=/; HttpOnly Content-Type: text/html;charset=UTF-8 Transfer-Encoding: chunked Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 20:37:39 GMT 371 0

Head of North trust says NHS should think outside box

THE NHS should use private companies and the third sector in future if that is best for patients, the departing head of the region’s Foundation Trust has claimed.

A patient in a hospital bed
A patient in a hospital bed

THE NHS should use private companies and the third sector in future if that is best for patients, the departing head of the region’s Foundation Trust has claimed.

Jules Preston is stepping down from his role as chairman of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust next month.

The former head of Sunderland Trade and Enterprise Council said he still strongly believes in the NHS.

But he said investment from businesses and charities could be a way forward for the beleaguered service, provided care remains free to patients.

Mr Preston said: “There is a political battle going on, as to whether there is privatisation of the NHS by the back door.

“My comment on that, and I hope it is not political, is that providing we can continue to deliver services to the patient, based on NHS principles and standards at the point of delivery, it is not important that everything should be delivered by what we would call a traditional NHS hospital.

“If the best provision is by the third sector or a private company, the only thing that is important is that we provide the best possible care for the patient, funded by the NHS.

“Monopolies don’t usually deliver the best in any industry.”

“No job can always be perfect,” Mr Preston added. “I do not believe there is a doctor in the NHS that sets out to do something wrong.

“We don’t hear about the 99% of great work which is done, only the mistakes.”

But Mr Preston’s comments angered campaigners from groups such as Keep Our NHS Free North East, which last month battled against the takeover of a Newcastle GP practice by a private firm.

Several doctors resigned when management of the Grainger Medical Group in Benwell was handed over to Care UK, which is owned by a private equity fund.

Paul Baker, one of the campaigners, said any form of privatisation signalled the beginning of the end for the NHS.

It’s the same old chestnut,” he said. “The trouble is that private companies are owned by shareholders that have invested their money in them.

“That investment may not be for pure greed but they do need a return. The chief motivator of any private company is profit.”

Fellow campaigner Martin Manesse, whose father was a GP, added: “It is absolutely the start of a slippery slope.

“The problem is that the money given to private companies by the Government ends up being split between health care and their own shareholders.”

Mr Preston is to take up a new chairmanship at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. He already lives in the county, having moved with his wife to Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, last year.


IN his six-and-a-half years in charge, Mr Preston has helped Northumberland, Tyne and Wear to become one of the best-performing Foundation Trusts in the UK.

"It has probably been the most satisfying job I have ever had," he said. "To take an organisation through merger, then through Foundation Trust status, and currently going through transformation of services ... it has been quite a challenge and that is something I have enjoyed."

But this year, the trust – which provides mental health and disabilities care and treatment – suffered a damning report after abuse of patients was uncovered at the Roycroft Unit in Newcastle. "We have to learn from our mistakes," said Mr Preston. "The thing we have done is to be very open when we have made a mistake, such as at the Roycroft Unit."

He added: "Working with people is far greater than working against them. Better communication and working together have been the cornerstones of my office.

"But if I did anything right in office it was to appoint Dr Gillian Fairfield as chief executive, someone who is a doctor and understands clinicians. That has been my big achievement here.

"I will be sad to leave but I know I am leaving a really successful trust that has an exciting and ambitious future ahead of it."

comments powered by Disqus


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer