SOCIAL services has announced its plans to ensure everyone in Darlington who needs help is catered for over Christmas and the New Year.

Plans to be presented to cabinet next week outline a programme of care, which aim to upgrade services between December 18 and January 7, particularly between December 23 and 26, and December 30 to January 1, when normal provisions will not be available.

These provisions include extra hospital staff on call and enhanced after-hours response for all social services in the borough.

Care managers and care manager assistants will be on call between December 18 and 22, and December 27 and 29, from 5pm to 9pm, to ensure anyone fit for discharge from Darlington Memorial Hospital can be assessed as soon as possible, while old people's homes will have extra staff on call to cover absentees