RECEPTIONISTS in Darlington medical surgeries are celebrating after receiving a qualification.

Eighteen receptionists in surgeries around the town have gained their Association of Medical Secretaries, Administrators and Receptionists qualification.

They spent five months studying topics such as clinical governance, confidentiality, audits, prescriptions, liability and first aid.

The course was funded by Darlington Primary Care Trust and run by tutors from Darlington College of Technology.

Marilyn Abbott, of the trust, said: "The results are excellent, with students gaining distinctions and credits."

The receptionists who received their qualifications were: Gill Bruce and Kelly Weston-Garvey, of Carmel Medical Practice; Alison Todd and Janet Cleminson, of Clifton Court Medical Centre; Vanessa Simpson, Gayle Armstrong, Karen Hocking and Joanne Hocking, of Denmark Street Surgery; Luanne Bussey and Stella Clarke, of Orchards Street Surgery; Sarah Denham, of Parkgate Surgery; Judith Musty and Lynsey Finlay, of Whinfield Surgery; Alison Hall, of Blacketts Medical Practice; Nollie O'Toole, of Neasham Road Surgery; Shirley Sinclair and Joanne Coleman, of Moorlands Surgery; and Lynne Douglas, of Felix House Surgery.