AS punishment for bemoaning the four-hour wait to speak to a doctor via the NHS 111 service, we've had to visit both the two nearest A&E units this week.

As a result I'm launching a new site - - where people can review their experiences of local NHS emergency services.

This is what I'll be writing about the Friarage: "We visited Northallerton's Friarage Hospital A&E on Saturday evening after the youngest girl cut her head.

"The staff on arrival were friendly and professional. They took our details and then pointed us in the direction of a waiting room set aside specifically for children.

"The room was brightly decorated with a mural featuring castles, unicorns, pirates, streams and mountains. It was a nice room with some toys and a water fountain, although having to spent several hours with a poorly child within its brightly painted walls was horrid.

"We played with the toys, we played with the toys again, we spotted the pirates, we spotted the pirates again and then we played with the toys until their batteries ran out.

"We were told it was a very busy evening and we had no option but to wait.

"On a positive note, the array of vending snacks was impressive - paella and sweet and sour chicken from a machine is worthy of note.

"After just short of four hours sat with an unwell three-year-old with a head wound, we got to see a doctor."

And this is what I'll be writing about the A&E at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

"The middle boy heard a popping sound from his knee while playing football at school.

"An ambulance was called and he was taken to Darlington A&E. The paramedic said they no longer took children to the Friarage and we should have taken the girl straight to Darlington on Saturday. Did anyone else get that NHS memo?

"The staff were very helpful and the boy was seen fairly quickly at the Memorial although I think he was the lucky one. There were at least eight ambulances parked outside and lots of paramedics waiting in A&E with their patients in the corridors - apparently they're not allowed to leave until their patient has been seen."

In other news, the dog was ill recently. We were seen within minutes by the vet just down the road and although we had to pay for her treatment, parking was free.