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Mandatory jabs for NHS staff in England could end



Ministers will decide whether the vaccine will become a requirement for NHS staff later today.

As it stands, front-line NHS staff in England must be fully vaccinated by April, otherwise they will be redeployed or dismissed.

The rule means they would need to receive their first vaccine by Thursday.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid revealed last week the decision was being “kept under review,” although still insisted it was NHS staff’s “duty” to be vaccinated.

The review follows the Royal College of Nursing’s worry over the introduction of the mandatory Covid vaccine.

In a statement published on their website, the RCN said: “The RCN has significant concerns that mandating vaccines will further marginalise those who are currently vaccine hesitant and put further pressure on a hugely depleted workforce by forcing people out of employment.”

The potential U-turn in the policy is a response to Omicron proving to be a more contagious but less severe variant.

There has been a higher rate of breakthrough infections among vaccinated people, although evidence suggests the vaccines keep the cases milder.

The requirement was originally proposed when the government were focussed on Delta, and the vaccine appeared to reduce the risk of infection and help stop the spread of the virus.

Since Omicron is now the dominant variant, Javid has said the policy needs to be reflected on.

There are increasing concerns that making the Covid vaccine mandatory for NHS staff could lead to a serious staff shortage, with around 77,000 still not having received their first dose.

If the expected scrapping of the policy doesn’t go ahead, come Friday NHS staff without their first vaccine will be given a notice period of until the end of March.

The Royal College of General Practitioners has called for a delay in the mandatory vaccines.

The Chair of the RCGP, Professor Martin Marshall, said: “We are also concerned about the significant workforce implications at a time when general practice and the wider NHS is experiencing enormous workforce and workload pressures.

“We simply can’t afford to lose highly-trained staff in general practice when we need as many as possible delivering patient care.”


Sunderland suspend Jack Diamond after player is charged with rape and sexual assault



A Sunderland football player on loan to Lincoln FC has had his loan terminated after he was charged with rape.

Jack Diamond, 23, had been arrested after a sexual assault in Washington, Tyne and Wear, last year.

Northumbria Police launched an investigation, but have now charged him with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Lincoln City FC said the player’s loan contract had been terminated “with immediate effect”.

His home club, Sunderland AFC, said he had been suspended pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

In a statement, it said: “Sunderland AFC has been notified that criminal charges have been brought against Jack Diamond by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

“As this matter is subject to a legal process, the club will not be making any further statement at this time”.

The incident is alleged to have happened in May last year.

Mr Diamond, of Fatfield, also Washington, is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in May.

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Paul O’Grady Dies Aged 67, Just Weeks After Newcastle Theatre Performance



TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady has died at the age of 67,  just weeks after starring in a Newcastle theatre production.

The TV star, who was from Birkenhead on Merseyside, died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening, a statement said.

His partner Andre Portasio made this statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.”

“We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.

“He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.

“I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years.”

The TV star, starred in a theatre prodution of Annie just weeks ago in Newcastle as it returned to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from March 7-11.

O’Grady starred as the role of Miss Hannigan, the head of the orphanage who hates children. He had been due to perform the show across the UK up until November this year.

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Karen’s Diner on Tour is BACK IN NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE!!



Karens Diner on Tour Newcastle upon Tyne

Karen’s Diner on Tour coming to town on tour and ‘well if y’all show up in force we’ll either come as a longer term pop up or simply just stay put for a while until we’ve insulted everyone in the North East!’


Get your tickets here: Karens Diner Newcastle tickets


We have spoken to the top Karen who assures everyone who went last time that Bottomless means BOTTOMLESS!

At our pop-up Karen’s you will be greeted and waited upon by rude waiters who in return are expecting you to give it full Karen. A place where you can complain until the cows come home because we literally don’t care. You can expect good food, good fun and a dining experience like you’ve never had before. Let us know if it’s your birthday, if your name is Karen and for the love of Karen don’t ask to speak to the manager….

Your ticket includes a delicious BOTTOMLESS pizza and BOTTOMLESS prossecco or select spirits and mixers as well as select soft drinks drinks for a full 90mins

*We cater for all allergens

You will get full and authentic Karen experience – our games, our waitstaff and the full works. Decent food provided by the venue (we hope) and BOTTOMLESS booze for those who love a drink. This is a dining experience like no other – literally. Come enjoy the OG Karen’s from OG Karen’s.

Don’t accept imitations – book now to avoid missing out!

See our two below YouTube videos from the last time they were in the toon to see what to expect…

Follow our channel for more local videos…

North East Updates YouTube channel


*affiliate link – we may receive payment for sales for this event.

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