Seven-day catch-up: November 25-December 1

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WELCOME to our regular Sunday morning round-up of the stories that have been making the news in South Tyneside this week. ...

We started the week with some grim news - that stroke patients in South Tyneside face one of the longest waits for a bed in the country, if they arrive at hospital outside normal working hours.

New figures show that people who are taken to South Tyneside District Hospital have to wait more than 14 hours – 852 minutes – before they are allocated a specialist stroke bed.

You can catch up with that story here.

There was better news at South Tyneside College, where standards are continuing to rise, according to its latest Ofsted report.

The education watchdog found the college has made “rapid” improvements and is continuing a four-year upward trend of success.

See what the inspectors said about the college here.

On Tuesday, we told how Paralympic gold medallist Josef Craig is now a double world record holder.

The 15-year-old, from Jarrow, has set a new short-course swimming record for the S7 400m freestyle to go with his long-course record.

Read all about his latest remarkable achievement here.

South Tyneside councillor Ernest Gibson opened a real can of worms when he suggested that pregnant women should be stopped from smoking in the ground of South Tyneside District Hospital.

His request came as figures showed that smoking in pregnancy within South Tyneside is much higher than both the national and regional average.

Read the full story here - and register as a user of our website to have your say in the debate on the issue.

Education came under the spotlight on Thursday, when we reported that more than a third of primary and secondary pupils in South Tyneside are attending schools deemed “less than good”, according to an education watchdog.

Thirty-nine per cent of youngsters in the borough go to schools which failed to reach either “good” or “outstanding” ratings in recent Ofsted inspections.

Read that story here.

Friday saw a mum tell of her disgust at the “cowardly” driver who left the scene of an accident in which her daughter had to be cut out of the family car.

Gillian Gibson was travelling with her children Ellie, 15, Amarni, nine, and Megan four, and niece, Aimee-Jo Bell, 10, when another car ploughed into the back of them in South Shields.

Mrs Gibson says the other driver got out, looked at the damage to her car – which is used as disability transport for Amarni, who has a rare genetic condition – then drove off.

Read all about it here.