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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, EPLS, PCP) and set up NLS, EPLS and PiLS courses at CDDFT. There are now two NLS a year, four PiLS and three 2 or 3 EPLS. I have become an examiner for Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) exams, and gained the Diploma of Child Health (DCH) and Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH).

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 Research Studies (NIHR) for the first time.

I hope to re-establish CDDFT as an examination centre for the RCPCH examinations, improve the numbers of staff trained in safeguarding (protecting) children, and establish more research projects. I anticipate that we will be one of the first, if not the first, District General Hospital in the North East to have consultants seeing acutely ill children admitted up to 21:00 7 days a week. This is important because most children are admitted to hospital in the evenings and at weekends when traditionally consultants have not been in the building.

  • 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: 07833 059090; Fax: 01325 743563.


Tel: 01325 380100

'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their professionalism.'

Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital