Amble Pier Northumberland

Annual Report 2016/17

Amble Pier Northumberland

The latest Healthwatch Northumberland Annual Report is now available, outlining the work undertaken by Healthwatch Northumberland during the year.

Download the Annual Report.

Dental check up

Coquetdale Dental Practice: Patient Consultation

Mr S. Francis of Coquetdale Dental Practice is consulting with patients on the proposed closure of the Broomhill Health Centre practice.

Mr Francis currently provides dental services at both this and the Rothbury practice and is now in discussions with NHS England about the possibility of running services from Rothbury only.

Patients can send comments to: or call: 01670 760353 for more information.

If you would like details of alternative NHS dental surgeries in the area please call the practice or call Healthwatch Northumberland: 03332 408468.

Hexham General Hospital

Overnight urgent care closures to continue

Temporary measures to close the urgent care centres overnight at Hexham, Wansbeck and North Tyneside hospitals are set to continue for at least another three months.

The measures, which have seen the centres closed between midnight and 8.00am since December last year, are deemed necessary by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust so that the skills of nursing staff are used where they are most needed overnight. Night time emergencies have been diverted to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Hospital in Cramlington.

In an announcement on 22nd June, the trust stated that since the temporary measure was implemented there has been no detrimental impact on patient care and no significant change in the number of people accessing services overnight at the emergency care hospital.

The trust has stressed that the move is a temporary decision and says it will continue to work with NHS Northumberland and North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Groups on future arrangements.

For more information on emergency and urgent care services please see our Find Services page or visit Northumbria NHS Healthcare Foundation Trust website.

Basket of Apples

Watch Your Back- Sun Protection Tips for Gardeners

Watch Your Back is a sun protection resource designed for all gardeners and brought to you by the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund. Everyone who regularly spends time outdoors is vulnerable, it is men over 50 who are at the highest risk of developing skin cancer in areas that are hard to spot, such as the head, neck and back.

The MTMR Fund has teamed up with eight of the UK’s top gardeners, horticultural organisations and over 170 major garden centres to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the garden, but stay safe, with a message to PROTECT, DETECT and PREVENT!

Here are some of its top tips to help gardeners, and anyone else working or playing outdoors, to stay safe in the sun.



Aim High
Always wear a broad spectrum high factor sunscreen of at least SPF30 at all times, and a sunblock on your ears, nose and lips which are prone to burning.

Reapply regularly
Once applied to the skin, the active ingredients in sunscreen last approximately two hours and less if you are prone to excessive sweating or simply working hard in the garden. Reapply regularly and check for signs of sunburn (which you will need to cover up).

Helping hand
Full body sun protection is important and certain areas like the neck and arms are especially vulnerable. If you find it difficult to reach those tricky places, get someone else to do the honours and follow suit, or simply wear protective clothing.

Happy feet
Feet and hands are vulnerable to the sun and are a common place for skin cancer, ageing and age spots. Remember to protect with sunscreen after washing hands or taking off shoes half way through the day.

Come cloud or shine
Dangerous UV rays penetrate cloud, haze and fog. Don’t be caught out – use adequate sun protection on cloudy days as well as sunny.

Clear as day
Greenhouse glass does not protect your skin against UV rays so if you’re planning on spending time under glass, take the same precautions as if you were gardening outside.

Don’t be out of date!
The active ingredients in sunscreen deteriorate overtime. All brands have an expiry date and using it after this date may make the application ineffective, so check and if out of date, dispose of responsibly.


Lots more tips, advice and facts about skin cancer can be found at the website.

Men's Health Week Hazardous Waist

Men’s Health Week 2017 – Is yours a hazardous waist?

Men’s Health Week is 12 to 18 June and this year it’s all about belly fat. Why? Because it’s the type of fat that’s bad for your health and men are more likely to have it.

Belly fat is a problem because it lurks not just beneath the surface but also gets down deep and surrounds your vital organs. Regardless of your overall weight, a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Sleep apnea
  • Premature death from any cause
  • High blood pressure

So, men need to get those tape measures out. If you have a waist measurement over 37 inches (94cm), you are at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and erection problems. If it’s over 40 inches (102cm), you’re ar a considerably increased risk of all these. The measurement is not the same as your trouser size. Measure your stomach at the belly button.

For advice on how to move more, eat well and watch the booze to reduce your waist measurement, visit the Men’s Health Forum website.

Action on Hearing Loss logo

Alnwick and Morpeth Hearing Support Groups

The hearing loss support groups meet informally each month to discuss experiences around hearing loss and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a chat. A donation of £2 per session towards room hire costs is appreciated.



Meetings are on the last Wenesday of the month from 2.00pm to 4.00pm at: St Paul’s court, Prudhoe Street, Alnwick NE66 1XY.

2017 Programme

26 July: Education, education, education.. happiest days of our lives?

30 August: No meeting; summer break

27 September: Alnwick Playhouse by Elizabeth Anderson

25 October: History of the Music Hall by Andy Griffin. Participation optional!

29 November: Action on hearing loss – what do we do? by Sandra Welburn

27 December: No meeting



Meetings are on the second Wednesday of the month from 2.00pm to 4.00pm at: NCBA, Reiver House, Staithes Lane, Morpeth NE61 1TD.

2017 Programme

12 July: Northumbria and the Reistance in World War II by Steve Blake

9 August: No meeting; summer break

13 September: Education, education, education.. happiest days of our lives?

11 October: History of the Music Hall by Andy Griffin. Participation optional!

8 November: Action on hearing loss – what do we do? by Sandra Welburn

13 December: Christmas lunch for regular members


For more information please contact Andy Griffin tel: 01665 581244 or email:

Action on Hearing Loss


book titles for young people around mental health

Reading Well for young people

Are you a young person needing help to cope with the pressures of life? Or are you a parent, teacher or health professional supporting young people coping with difficult feelings and experiences that can affect their well-being? Reading Well for young people can provide the books to help.

Reading Well for young people is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians and the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians. It is funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust.

Northumberland libraries are participating in the Reading Well initiative for young people.  We are launching the scheme in Hexham and Berwick libraries with collections of the 35 books on the recommended book list available for loan at these libraries or by free request from any library in Northumberland.

The booklist of 35 titles  provides 13 to 18 year-olds with support and advice on common mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety and stress, as well as difficult experiences like bullying and exams. All of the titles, which include self-help, psycho-education, memoirs, graphic novels and fiction, have been chosen by young people and health professionals.

more about mental health

Carers Week: 12th – 18th June 2017

Carers Northumberland aim to raise awareness of caring, helping people to identify themselves as carers during this year’s Carers Week. It wants to highlight the challenges carers face within their communities, recognise and celebrate the contribution carers make to families and communities across Northumberland and the country.

The staff will be holding a number of information points throughout the county.  If you know someone who would benefit from some advice and support bring them along to one of the following sessions:

  • Monday 12th June, Concordia Leisure Centre, Cramlington 10am—2pm
  • Tuesday 13th June, Prudhoe Water World, Prudhoe 10am –2pm
  • Thursday 15th June, Swan Centre, Berwick 10am—2pm

Hexham Old Gaol Trip

Carers Northumberland have organised a trip to Hexham Old Gaol on Wednesday 14th June for carers in the county.  There will be transport available for carers from the North and South areas, a voluntary contribution of £5 towards travel would be appreciated. There will be time to tour the gaol and to wander around the beautiful town of Hexham.  Booking is required for this trip. Please contact the information line: 01670 320025.

For more information visit Carers Northumberland website.

Social Fridays from Age UK Northumberland

Age UK Northumberland is hosting a new social group for the over 50s at its Ashington premises. Have a cuppa and a chat, meet the staff and make new friends in a relaxed setting.

There will be free tea and coffee, board games, information and advice service, regular competitions, taster sessions, technology tips, local information and more. Everyone is welcome.

Two course lunch offer: £3.50 in the cafe.

Sessions are start on Friday 16th June and are from 12.00pm until 1.00pm and staff will be on hand to answer questions about benefits, housing, social activities, volunteering and more.

For more information call: 01670 784800
The Roundhouse, Lintonville Parkway, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9JZ

Age UK Northumberland

Come on Board! We’re recruiting for a Vice Chair.

Healthwatch Northumberland is now looking to recruit a Board Vice Chair. Adapt (NE) has delivered the local Healthwatch function for Northumberland since April 2013 and has an agreed extension until March 2018.  Full details about this opportunity can be found in the application pack. If you think you meet the requirements and could deliver the role for Healthwatch Northumberland we would welcome your application.

For more information, contact Derry Nugent on: 03332 408468 or email:

The closing date for applications is 12.00pm on Wednesday 24th May 2017, with interviews taking place in early June.


Board Vice Chair Recuitment Information May 2017

Adapt and Healthwatch Board relationship agreement

HWN Board Terms of Reference – Final