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Dr John Furness

Consultant Paediatrician


I moved to CDDFT in 2004 after three years as a consultant at Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust. I previously trained in Newcastle in the North East and Sheffield, including posts at Sheffield Children's Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Regional Neonatal, Paediatric Intensive Care and Respiratory Units, and Supra Regional Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Sheffield's Regional Maternity and Baby Hospital, then Jessop's Hospital for Women, Sunderland and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust.

Since joining CDDFT, I have been audit and clinical governance lead, clinical lead 2008-2010, become an instructor on several life support courses (NLS, PiLS, EPALS, PCP) and set up NLS, EPALS and PiLS courses at CDDFT. There are now two NLS a year, four PiLS and  2 or 3 EPALS.

My aim is to continue to improve standards of care in CDDFT. All permanent staff who work with children need training in the basic life support of children and recognise when children need help to protect them. All permanent senior staff should have advanced life support skills for children and can work with social services and other agencies to protect children that need it. All midwives should be able to resuscitate newborn babies. CDDFT is not 100% perfect but is close to 100% for all these objectives and helps neighbouring Trusts with similar training.

In 2012, I successfully enrolled CDDFT paediatrics in two National Institute Research Studies (NIHR) for the first time. Since then it is an established member of the National Research Community including Membership[ of the Paediatric Emergency Research Network UK and Ireland (PERUKI), founder member of General Paediatric and Adolescent Research Uk and Ireland (GAPRUKI) and has contributed to National Research in Bronchiolitis, Community Acquired Pneumonia, Kidney Disease, Non Accidental Injury and more. I am a member of the NIHR General Paediatrics Clinical Studies Group.

I am delighted that my colleague Dr Indra Thakur has taken over where I left off is a regular host at CDDFT of the MRCPCH examination.  RCPCH examinations are essential to Trainee Doctors wanting to become a paediatrician and maintaining a highly trained workforce. CDDFT was a pioneer in having consultant paediatricians on site at peak times of admission (1800-2100 weeknights) and maintains this high standard of care.

  • Department: Paediatrics
  • Specialities: Paediatrics, Neonatal
  • Based at Hospital site: Darlington Memorial Hospital
  • Special interests: Respiratory paediatrics, general paediatrics, paediatric education, child protection (safeguarding children)
  • Training: Undergraduate at Newcastle, Postgraduate: North East and Sheffield.
  • Qualifications: MBBS, FRCPCH (Fellow Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health), DCH (Diploma in Child Health), CME (Certificate of Medical Education)
  • Date added to the specialist register: 3 January 2002
  • Training role: Examiner for Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health MRCPCH and DCH; Course Director for CDDFT/ UK Resuscitation Council Newborn Life Support (NLS), European Paediatric Life Support (EPLS) and paediatric immediate Life Support Courses.

Contact Information

Address: Ward 22, Darlington Memorial Hospital; tel: 01325 380100; mob:


Tel: 01325 380100

'I am writing to congratulate you on your wonderful staff you have working for you at DMH.'

Patient, Catering / Porters / Domestics, Darlington Memorial Hospital