Dental check up

Coquetdale Dental Practice

Patients have been told this week that Coquetdale Dental Practice is to close permanently. The practice has surgeries at two sites; Rothbury and Hadston. NHS England has written to all patients explaining the situation along with answers to some frequently asked questions. The letter contains information about alternative dental services; we would be interested to hear about people’s experiences of registering with a new dental practice and any issues with access.

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Healthwatch Northumberland AGM

Thanks to everyone who attended our AGM 2017

The fourth Healthwatch Northumberland AGM which took place on Wednesday 11 October at Stannington Village Hall was attended by over 70 people. The event saw partners and local organisations come together with supporters and other members of the public to review the year of work 2016/17. Former Chair of the Board, Cynthia Atkin, was thanked by current Chair, David Thompson, for her work over the year and since the inception of Healthwatch Northumberland, and was presented with a bouquet of flowers.

Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator, gave a presentation reviewing the last 12 months, and outlining the strategic priorities for Healthwatch for the coming year and beyond.

Special guest speakers were Graham Tebbutt and Barry Dews from North East Ambulance Service, who presented on the new ambulance response times which take effect this month, and how these will affect the people of Northumberland. Many questions were raised by the audience on this interesting and important topic; more information on the standards can be found here.

A marketplace of information stands from local organisations provided support and advice for guests of the meeting; they were: Carers Northumberland, Age UK Northumberland, Northumberland County Blind Association, PALS, Northumberland CVA, Independent Advocacy and Complaints Services, Ageing Well Allies and Northumberland Cancer Support Group.

David Thompson, Chair, says; ” All in all, this was a well attended and illuminating AGM with thanks due to the many stall holders who were able to display and talk about the varied services which they offer to the wider community.  Importantly, the event also presented an opportunity for members of the public to raise issues of general concern to Healthwatch Northumberland staff and board members. This is what we are all about – listening to what people have to say about their health and care services and then responding in the most appropriate way to councillors, commissioners and providers. And that is what we shall continue to do during the remainder of this year, and beyond.”

Our new satisfaction survey was launched at the event and those who completed it were entered into a free prize draw to win a fruit basket, supplied by Fresh n Thyme Mobile Fruits and Vegetables. The basket was won by Liz Johnston of Northumberland Cancer Support Group.

The Healthwatch Northumberland AGM was filmed by Hexham TV and can be viewed on its Facebook page. Minutes of the meeting will be available here on the website shortly. Thanks go to everyone who came along and helped make the day a success.

Citizens Advice Northumberland

Citizens Advice Northumberland: Opening Times

Citizens Advice Northumberland: Information and Opening Times from October 2017

New information services and opening hours are now in place at Citizens Advice locations across Northumberland. The organisation has found that more and more people are trying to access information and advice via telephone, email and webchat rather than by traditional, face-to-face methods. In 2016-17 staff and volunteers helped more than 13,700 people with over 40,000 different problems and, during this period, saw a 40% increase in the number of people trying to get in touch by telephone. To keep reaching as many people as possible, the charity is developing its telephone and digital services whilst maintaining a face-to-face presence across the county.

The Northumberland Adviceline will be available from Monday to Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm and can be contacted by calling: 03444 111 444. There is also a new, county-wide debt helpline which will be available from Monday to Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm on: 01670 339960. This is in addition to a recently introduced text debt service. Clients who text ‘debt’ to 81400 will receive a call back within two working days to discuss their debt problems.Face to face services will continue to be available from a range of centres across the county through a mixture of drop-in sessions and appointments. Details below.

Over the coming months Citizens Advice Northumberland will be developing new email and webchat services to help meet increasing demand and will provide further information as these services become available.


Northumberland Adviceline: 03444 111 444. Monday to Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm

Online advice:

Debt Advice Helpline: 01670 339960. Monday to Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm

or text ‘debt’ to 81400 (for a call back within two working days)

Face to face drop in sessions:

Alnwick: Tuesday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Amble: Tuesday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Ashington: Monday and Tuesday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Berwick: Wednesday and Friday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Blyth: Tuesday and Wednesday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Cramlington: Monday and Tuesday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Morpeth: Wednesday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Hexham: Wednesday and Friday 9.30am – 3.30pm


Appointment only sessions:

Haltwhistle and Prudhoe

Healthwatch assistant at an event

Join us! Engagement Assistant Vacancy

Engagement Assistant

£20,395 per annum pro rata (£13,780 per annum – actual)

Part time 25 hours a week

Permanent dependent on funding

Closing date midnight Tuesday 10 October 2017

Based in Hexham with travel across Northumberland


Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for health and social care across the county. We aim to give a voice to service users, influence positive change to services and help meet the health and social care needs of the population.

Health and Social Care are never far from the news and it’s an area that affects most of us.  Joining Healthwatch Northumberland will give you the opportunity to work as part of a skilled and enthusiastic team making the voice of local people heard.  It’s a busy time and you can help make a difference.

The main aim of this role is to:

  • Deliver engagement strategies and activities to ensure Healthwatch Northumberland is listening to and representative of all communities across the county

The post holder will:

  • Support the Healthwatch Northumberland strategic plan through engagement activities
  • Provide input into project-specific engagement activities
  • Liaise with the Information, Communication & Marketing Officer to ensure engagement activities and their impact are widely communicated

Key Responsibilities:

  • Deliver engagement activities including workshops, focus groups and surveys to gather residents’ experiences and views
  • Represent Healthwatch Northumberland at information-sharing events with partners
  • Collate, report and record all feedback using CRM system, support and contribute to data collection
  • Build relationships with seldom heard groups, including children and young people

If you would like an informal discussion about the role and Healthwatch Northumberland, please contact Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator: from 2 October.


Job Description

Application Form

Letter to Applicants

If you would like to help people with sight loss to get out and about this inspirational session is for you. The training will help you safely and confidently guide someone who has sight loss

Sighted Guiding Training

If you would like to help people with sight loss to get out and about this inspirational session is for you. The training will help you safely and confidently guide someone who has sight loss. Four sessions are available:

Tuesday 3 October: 10.00am – 12.00pm or 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Thursday 5 October: 10.00am – 12.00pm or 1.00pm – 3.00pm

To book a place please call: 01670 514316 or email:


Newbiggin Men in Sheds: Photography Project

The Newbiggin Men in Sheds photography project fortnightly sessions take place at Newbiggin Sports & Community Centre, every other Tuesday, from 10 October at 1:30pm – 3.30pm. An opportunity to learn new skills, share the skills you have and be creative!
For more information please contact: or

The Newbiggin Men in Sheds Project is a partnership between the Northumberland County Council and a host of partner organisations.

The initiative looks to connect older men, create new friendships and keep them active. Men in sheds projects have been used around the country to provide an array of benefits for older men including knowledge sharing, community engagement, personal achievement and the opportunity to meet and interact with others. The important element of the project comes from those involved taking ownership of the schemes and coming together to participate in an activity which provides a level of interest and engagement for all involved.

Rothbury Village

Decision made on inpatient beds at Rothbury Hospital

Health leaders in Northumberland have decided that the 12 inpatient beds at Rothbury Community Hospital should be permanently closed and that existing health and care services should be shaped around a Health and Wellbeing Centre on the site.

The decision was made at a meeting, held in public today, of NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Joint Locality Executive Board.

The inpatient beds were temporarily closed in September 2016, a decision which led to local residents setting up the ‘Save Rothbury Cottage Hospital’ campaign group.

The Board, which includes GP leads from across the county, says it took into consideration feedback from a three month period of public consultation which showed how much people have valued the inpatient services at the hospital and which included the community’s vision for how services should be provided in future. They also considered analysis which showed that since the interim closure of the beds a year ago there had been no unexpected pressures in local health and care services and no evidence of adverse medical consequences on individual patients.

Read the full article


Wansbeck General Hospital

24 hour urgent care to return to Northumberland

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust announced today that the urgent care centres at Wansbeck and Hexham General Hospitals would re-open overnight from 30 October. This will bring to an end the temporary overnight closures (between 12.00am and 8.00am) which have been in place since September last year. North Tyneside General Hospital will continue to close at midnight.

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, executive medical director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like the rest of the NHS, we are once again preparing for an extremely busy time this winter and fully endorse the NHS recommendation to call 111 before visiting any of our urgent care centres or our emergency department.

Calling 111, which is free and available 24/7, is the best way to get the treatment you need in the quickest way and will also include access to urgent GP appointments this winter.

“It is vital that The Northumbria hospital in Cramlington is kept free for serious emergencies only and we have worked hard to re-open our urgent care centres overnight for conditions which are not life-threatening but need an urgent response. We hope this news will be welcomed by patients.”

Healthwatch Northumberland was asked to engage with the public about their views on the temporary night time closures and what the public understood about urgent care centres and where to access treatment. The results were considered as part of the decision making process.

Community Transport Bus

Dial and Ride: Wooler – Alnwick

NEED logo

The Dial and Ride Wooler to Alnwick service is delivered by North East Equality & Diversity Ltd (NEED).

Pick ups are  in Wooler every Thursday between 10.30am and 11.00am with drop offs and pick ups in locations across Alnwick.
Return pick ups from 1.30pm.

A return fare costs £6.00 or is free to bus pass holders.
Become a member for just £4.50.

For more information and to book your seat call: 01665 605780 between 10.00am and 2.00pm, Monday to Thursday.