HOSPITAL trusts across the region are some of the best performing in the country for accident and emergency services, according to new data.

Research carried out by the BBC has collated information from 134 trusts in England and 26 health boards in the rest of the UK to highlight the performance targets at the trusts.

The BBC has launched its online NHS Tracker Project to enable people to see how their local services are performing in three key areas – four-hour A&E waits; 62-day cancer care; and planned operations and treatment.

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And according to the report, South Tees Hospital NHS Trust is ranked fourth in the country with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust coming in sixth and County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust in seventh place.

Across the country Trust's have blamed increased work loads and staff shortages for failure to hit the Government's targets.

British Medical Association chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the situation highlighted by the BBC was "unacceptable".

He said while for some patients the delays were simply an "inconvenience", for many more they would have a "real impact on their treatment and outcome".

Saffron Cordery, of NHS Providers, which represents hospital bosses, said it was time to consider whether these targets were still achievable unless more money was provided.

However, the Trusts in the region have been performing better than others around the country.

Chief Executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Siobhan McArdle said: “We are delighted to be recognised as one of the best performing Trusts in the country in terms of the clinical quality we provide and we are incredibly proud of our organisation and the significant progress we have made over the last two years, not least given the financial pressures we face on a daily basis.”

And Nick Roper, clinical director for emergency care at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are always looking for ways to improve patient experience at our trust, whilst continuing to provide excellent care.

"We introduced the urgent care centre to ensure that all patients who attend our accident and emergency department can be treated quickly and effectively.

"We now have an experienced nurse who assesses patients on arrival and decides where they should be treated which has had a really positive effect on patient waiting times and experience overall.”

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, added: "We are very proud of this achievement, these figures reflect great teamwork across our services and our commitment to ensuring our patients receive treatment in the right place at the right time.

"We see on average 2,394 attendances in A&E across the Trust every week so the departments are very busy but we have a talented workforce who are encouraged to try new ideas."