THE people of the Tyne Valley are served by the 16th best hospital in the UK.

That is according to American weekly news magazine, Newsweek, which ranked the top 100 hospitals in each country as part of its World's Best Hospitals feature.

The magazine rated Hexham 86.5 per cent to earn it a top 20 position, ahead of Northumberland's next highest, Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington which was ranked 22nd with 84.5 per cent.

Newcastle hospitals The Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Freeman were tied third with 91.1 per cent, behind table topping St Thomas' Hospital (92.2%) and University College Hospital (91.2%), both in London.

No other hospitals in the North-East featured in the top 100 list.

St Thomas' was ranked 33rd best in the world, with Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, declared the world's top hospital.