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Mandatory jabs for NHS staff in England could end

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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.”

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Sunday for Sammy Concert Cancelled For 2023 Due To Cost of Living

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A popular charity concert will not be held in 2023 due to the cost of living crisis.

Sunday for Sammy, which is held in memory of North East actor Sammy Johnson, is a biennial event aimed at benefitting young performers.

The long-running event has featured the likes of Joe McElderry, Johnny Vegas, Brenda Blethyn, Denise Welch, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Mark Knopfler, Jill Halfpenny and Ant and Dec.

Tim Healy, who hosts Sunday for Sammy, said: “We’ve had lots of enquiries over the recent months asking when the next Sunday for Sammy will take place.

“We are very much aware at the moment that people are struggling with day-to-day living costs and are watching their pennies. Everything is becoming more and more expensive and that includes the cost of putting on a show the size of ours.”

He added: “We can’t in good conscious put on a show that we aren’t sure people can afford to be tickets for. It would be wrong to risk your money you have generously given us.

“So sadly we have decided that there won’t be a show in 2023. We’re going to wait until the time is right.”

Often dubbed The Geordie Command Performance, the shows, which have been running for more than 20 years, are held in memory of Geordie actor Sammy Johnson, who died in 1999.

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STACK Newcastle Bosses Scrap Plans For Christmas Pop-Up Venue

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The owners of STACK have confirmed that there won’t be a pop-up version in Newcastle this Christmas, as plans have been shelved.

At the end of September it was reported that STACK’s owner, Danieli Group, were hoping to bring the brand back to the heart of Newcastle after its Pilgrim Street site was demolished earlier this year, after becoming a firm favourite with locals and visitors since 2018. The pop-up, close to the Crowne Plaza hotel in the Stephenson Quarter, looked set to be a massive draw before STACK makes its permanent return to the city next year, was planned to feature a number of shipping container bars, a new take on its famous Hadrian’s Tipi, street food vans, a stage and large screen, all on one level.

But, it has now been announced that the proposed STACK festive pop-up won’t be happening anymore. Confirming the decision, Neill Winch, CEO of Danieli Group said that while it was sad news that the pop-up would no longer take place, it meant the company can forge ahead with the Worswick Chambers plan.

He commented: “We know how much people miss not having a STACK in Newcastle so we are concentrating our efforts on creating what will become a flagship site back where STACK first began,” he said.

“Work is well underway on the scheme with a view to being open in winter 2023.”

In recent weeks it has announced new developments in Lincoln, Durham, Bishop Auckland and Carlisle.

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