A TEA party to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS attracted dozens of people to the garden in Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Among those enjoying the fun and games at the hospital were staff, patients and the town's MP Jenny Chapman.

As well as being able enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake people were being entertained by musicians and a a bubble-blowing clown.

The MP handed over a birthday card to the chief executive of the County Durham and Darlington NHS, Sue Jacques, containing the signatures of hundreds of people from across the town.

She said: "I think this just show how important the NHS is to the people of Darlington, which is why they fought so hard to protect the hospital's accident and emergency department. It is so good to see the support being shown for the staff who are so dedicated to the NHS.

"I wanted to come along myself because this place is so special to me – both of my parents worked at the hospital and I gave birth here as well. Everybody has a story to tell about how the NHS has been part of the their lives."

Melissa Donald, who was their with her two young children, said she felt it was important to show her support for the NHS.

"The hospital is vital to this town," she said. "Everyone has used it at one point or another and it is definitely something that we should celebrate."