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The number of trained nurses needed at hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside has risen slightly, but the trusts are in a healthier position than others around the country.
A nursing update to the latest Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust board meeting reported that the vacancy position for qualified staff increased in September to 4% from a 3% position the previous month.
The highest areas of vacancies for registered nurses remain in medicine and community.
Hearing about almost 80 current nursing vacancies, councillor Allan Hepple, a Northumberland county councillor who is on the board, asked whether that was a high or low figure.
He was told it was about average for Northumbria Healthcare, but chief executive Jim Mackey said it wasn't uncommon for similar-sized organisations elsewhere to have several hundred nursing vacancies.
It was also pointed out that there is a new cohort of trainee nurses starting and a further 79 going through pre-employment checks at the moment.

More than half of frontline staff at Northumbria Healthcare have already had their flu jab, as the NHS trust aims to vaccinate all of them this winter.
Dr Jeremy Rushmer, the trust's executive medical director, said that there are 6,641 frontline staff and 3,387 have been vaccinated in the first eight weeks of the programme with another nine weeks to go.
"My target of 100% is within our grasp, if not our gift," he added. "The Special Care Baby Unit (at Cramlington) is the first to reach 100%, which is a testament to their commitment to patient care."
However, there is a national target of 75% which is supported by income (known as a Cquin indicator) and is worth around £236,000 to the trust.
Failure to achieve 75% uptake among front-line staff will lead to a loss of this income on a sliding scale. To achieve any payment, at least half of frontline healthcare workers must be vaccinated - Northumbria has already hit this level.
The meeting also heard the latest update on the trust's plans for winter, which have been signed off by the board.

Watching flames fill the field where she keeps her stable, Janette Watson was convinced her beloved horses couldn't have survived.
The stables caught alight on Sunday, November 18, in a devastating blaze police are treating as arson.
Fortunately, the horses were saved, but the entire stables, along with all the horses' food and equipment, were destroyed.
"I don't know if people let them out before they set the fires or if they escaped, but somehow they got out," Janette said.
"When I got down there I just panicked - I thought they were being burnt alive. It was my husband who saw them. One of them had got trapped between the fire and the electric fence, she must have been terrified."
Now, the horses are left having to sleep outside in the fields in Nelson Village, Cramlington, as the cold nights draw in.

The managing director of one of the North East best companies is hoping to race to victory when he competes in the Asian Le Mans driving championship this week.
Tony Wells, MD of Cramlington’s Merit Holdings, is travelling to Shanghai to compete in the Asian Le Mans LMP3 endurance driving championship.
The endurance race takes place over four hours and sees drivers reach speeds of more than 180 mph.
Mr Wells and his co-driver Colin Nobel are the current LMP3 Cup champions and will compete in the first race of the Asian series at the Shanghai International Circuit. They will be driving for the Ecurie Ecosse team.
Winners of the Asian Le Mans series will automatically be entered into the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 2019.
“We’re really excited about driving in the Asian series for the first time,” said Mr Wells. “We’ve had a really good season this year and winning the LMP3 Cup championship provides a great platform for us to push for more silverware in Shanghai before moving on to Japan in December and then Thailand and Malaysia in the new year.

Scores of families turned out to watch Britain’s Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy switch on the Christmas lights at a shopping centre.
The popular North East comedian, real name Lee Ridley, kicked off the festive celebrations at Manor Walks, in Cramlington, Northumberland, on Saturday.
And he entertained the crowds with the wit and charm that won him thousands of fans across the country during the ITV talent show.
The switch-on event, held in association with Heart FM and Cramlington Town Council, also featured children's entertainment, a Santa's Grotto, live music and free festive craft activities.
Radio presenters Justin and Kelly, from Heart FM, hosted live entertainment and games.
Then Lee, who has cerebral palsy and uses a voice synthesiser for his acts, gave a special performance.

Plans for new homes in the open countryside to the west of Bedlington have been thrown out by councillors.
The application, for up to 11 detached, two-storey houses on land north-west of Blue House Farm, Netherton Colliery, was turned down at a meeting of the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council, where it had been recommended for refusal.
In line with the planning officer's advice, the bid was rejected as the site is outside any settlement boundary and therefore in the open countryside.
The other two reasons were that the proposal would cause substantial harm to the setting of the grade II-listed Blue House Farmhouse and that it had 'failed to address concerns in regards to highways safety and parking provision at the site'.
West Bedlington Parish Council had objected on the grounds that it was outside the settlement boundary, while one neighbour, who lives to the south-east of the proposed site, had raised concerns regarding overlooking and construction traffic during the build phase.
However, when pre-application advice was sought last year, the response from the council planners was "mostly supportive of the principle of development on this site".

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