Collingwood Medical Group

Collingwood Medical Group

Update: 14 August 2018

Now that letters have been sent and patients have information about the closure of Collingwood Medical Group, we would like to hear from anyone who has had any problems registering with a new practice, or any other issues, to get in touch.


Patients of Collingwood Medical Group in Blyth have been informed that the current provider of the practice is unable to continue providing GP services after 30 November 2018. After careful consideration of all the available options, Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has reluctantly decided to close the practice permanently. It has issued patients with a list of alternative practices in the area is asking them to begin thinking about registering with an another practice in the coming months.

Three drop-in meetings have been arranged for any patients who would like to stop by for a short time to gain further information or raise any concerns in person. These sessions will be attended by the CCG alongside representatives from NHS England, Collingwood Medical Group, Healthwatch Northumberland and the Patient Advice and Liaison Service.

They are taking place at the following times:

• Wednesday 4 July: 1.00pm – 3.00pm, Blyth Community Enterprise Centre, Ridley Street, Blyth NE24 3AG

• Wednesday 11 July: 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Briardale Community Centre, Briardale Road, Blyth NE24 5AN

• Monday 16 July: 4.30pm – 6.30pm, Blyth Community Enterprise Centre, Ridley Street, Blyth NE24 3AG

More detailed information about practices is available on the NHS Choices website. You can also read about Patient Choice of GP Practices here.

Women completing a survey outside a hospital

Ambulance Service Volunteers Wanted

North East Ambulance Service is currently looking for volunteers to help complete patient surveys in local hospitals throughout the region. Patient Survey Volunteers support the service to collect patient feedback via the collection of patients’ views and experiences using electronic tablet surveys and face to face patient contact.

Volunteers need to be able to give six hours of their time per month and will be required to make their own way to hospital and back; they will also be required to move around hospital sites from reception and waiting areas to hospital wards and departure lounges.

For more information you can download the information sheet and application form below.

Patient Survey Volunteer Information Sheet

Patient Survey Volunteer Application Form

Contact the Elderly logo

Sunday afternoon tea parties for older people

Contact the Elderly is a national charity that changes the lives of lonely and isolated older people. Many people aged 75 and over spend their days alone, isolated from family and friends and often too frail to leave the house without a bit of help.

The Contact the Elderly Sunday afternoon tea parties bring older people and volunteers together for an afternoon of stories, laughter and conversation. Teas are provided in the home of a volunteer host and all drivers have enhanced DBS checks/references and use their own car and petrol.

There is no charge to take part in Sunday afternoon tea parties and there are plenty of places available across Northumberland.

If you would like to join please contact Valerie Walker, North East Development Officer on: 0191 242 0186 or email:


Silhouettes of people jumping on a beach at sunset

Have your say on health and care in Northumberland

Northumberland County Council and NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working together to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the county’s residents and reduce inequalities over the next ten years.

Health and care leaders from the Health and Wellbeing Board have drafted a new Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for the county. This explains what priorities the board has set in order to tackle the county’s health needs.

People living and working across Northumberland are being asked to share their views on future health and care priorities by completing an online survey.  Feedback will help shape the final Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy which is due to be published later this year. There is also the opportunity to meet with staff from Northumberland CCG at four events to be held across the county this month:

  • Wednesday 15 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Morpeth Town Hall, Morpeth NE61 1LZ
  • Thursday 16 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Isabella Community Centre, Ogle Drive, Blyth NE24 5JF
  • Friday 17 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Hexham Abbey, Hexham NE46 3NB
  • Monday 20 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Northumberland Hall, Alnwick NE66 1TN

The online survey can be completed here until Friday 7 September.

More details can be found on the council’s website here.

If you would like to attend one of the events or for further information please email: or call 01670 335 185.

People holding 'speak up' messages

Healtwatch Northumberland AGM 2018 – you’re invited!

Our AGM is a chance to hear about the work of Healthwatch Northumberland over the past year, what you’ve told us and how we’ve made a difference in the community. The theme this year is ‘self-care’. Our guest speaker is Stephen Blackman, Chief Officer of North of Tyne Local Pharmaceutical Committee. Information stands from local health and support groups and organisations will be at the event for you to chat to and find out more. There might even be a giveaway or two! Lunch and refreshments will be provided for all guests.


Date: Tuesday 16 October 2018

Venue: Newbiggin Sports & Community Centre, Woodhorn Rd, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea NE64 6HG


10.00am: Tea, coffee and information stands

10.30am: Message from our Chair, David Thompson

10.40am: Overview of the year, Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator

11.00am: Comfort break and information stands

11.15am: Guest Speaker, Stephen Blackman, Chief Officer, North of Tyne Local Pharmaceutical Committee

Followed by a prize draw, lunch and another chance to visit the information stands.

If you would like to attend please register here or give us a call on: 03332 408468.

Please email in advance any questions you may like to ask on the day, to: Please also let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.

Cartoon young people

Northumberland Young Carers Directory

A young carer is anyone under the age of 18 whose life is in some way restricted because of the need to take responsibility for the care of someone, usually in their family. Many young carers assume significant levels of responsibility normally associated with an adult. It should not be assumed that all children whose parents are ill or disabled are automatically young carers, however an increasing number of disabled and ill adults are forced to rely on their children for their survival and wellbeing, resulting in their children becoming young carers.

VoiCeS Northumberland has gathered information about services and support available to young carers in Northumberland and has presented this as a directory of support for young carers. The directory is designed to be used by young carers, their families and practitioners who want to find out more about local support available.

Support for young carers in Northumberland is offered through generic young people’s services and a few dedicated young carers services, some of which are VCS organisations and some statutory agencies.

Find out more and view the directory.

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind – Safe Space

What is Safe Space?

The Safe Space service from Tyneside and Northumberland Mind will help to improve your mental health and wellbeing by providing you with an opportunity to join a supportive peer group where you can meet others who have mental health issues who may be able to help you from their own experiences. By attending the service you could reduce the time you may spend on our own and build your social confidence by meeting others and develop friendships.

Friendly, supportive staff in the group can offer you one to one support if you need it. You can attend regularly to help lessen loneliness or drop by as and when you feel the need.


Where and when?

Safe Space currently takes place on:


Monday: 2.00pm – 4:30pm at The Wellbeing Centre, Bensham

Tuesday: 1.00pm – 3.00pm at North Shields Library

Tuesday: 1.00pm – 3.00pm at Mea House, Newcastle

Wednesday: 12:30pm – 2:30pm at our Alnwick base (above the Mind charity shop)

Wednesday: 1.00pm – 3.00pm at Hexham Abbey

1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month: 11:30am – 1:30pm at the William Elder building, Berwick upon Tweed

Friday: 11:00am – 1.30pm at the Winlaton Centre, Winlaton


Will it cost me anything?

Safe Space is free; there is just a small charge for tea and coffee.

Nervous about attending?

It’s perfectly natural to feel anxious about joining a new group. There’s no need to be. Staff and clients are very welcoming, supportive and will make sure they help to put you at ease.

I am interested. What next?

If you are aged over 18 years old, live in North Tyneside, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside or Northumberland, and would like to request a referral form for any of our wellbeing projects please send your details or telephone 0191 477 4545

Cygnus Support Camper Van

Join the Campervan for a Cuppa and a Chat

Cygnus Support is a mental health charity supporting people in Northumberland through supportive talking therapies, education and empowerment. They are out and about in the community this month, to find out what it feels like to live in a rural community, and to see how its services can provide support to those who need it near to where they live. The Campervan will be open for a cuppa and a chat as follows:

Mon 16 July: Otterburn, 10am, Rochester, 12pm, Byrness, 2pm, Kirkwhelpington, 4pm

Tue 17 July: Ingram, 10am, Wooler, 12pm, Milfield, 2pm, Kirknewton, 4pm

Wed 18 July: Rothbury, 10am, Harbottle, 12pm, Alwinton, 2pm, Alnham, 4pm

Thu 19 July: West Woodburn, 10am, Bellingham, 12pm, Greenhaugh, 2pm, Falstone, 3pm, Kielder, 4pm

Call Cygnus Support on: 01670 853977 for more information.

Board member talking to member of the public

Board Member Vacancies

Healthwatch Northumberland is looking to appoint up to four new independent volunteer board members who will play an important role in setting and overseeing the county-wide strategy. Please download an application pack and application form or call 03332 408468 for more information or a copy of the pack in the post.



Pills spilling from a jar

Changes to Repeat Prescriptions – 28 Day Prescribing

If you are being prescribed medicines on a repeat prescription, then the amount of medicine you receive on each prescription is changing from a three month supply of medicines to a 28 day supply.


How will 28 day prescribing affect me?

GP practices in Northumberland are changing to ‘28 day prescribing’, which means each time you get a prescription, you will receive enough of each medicine to last you for 28 days.


How can I order repeat prescriptions?

In person at your GP surgery

Over the phone (some surgeries)

GP Online Services


GP Online Services

After registering to use online services from your GP, you will be able to renew or order repeat prescriptions online. The service is free and everyone who is registered with a GP can have access to their practice’s online services. For more information contact your GP practice or visit NHS Choices.


Will it cost patients more?

If you pay prescription charges and you need more than one  item a month the best way to pay for your prescriptions would be to obtain a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC).

A PPC lets you get as many NHS prescriptions as you need for a set price. If you regularly pay prescription charges, a PPC could save you money. The price of a PPC has remained the same over the last few years, whereas the prescription charge increases each year.

The current prescription charge in England is £8.60 per item and a PPC costs £29.10 for three months or £104 for 12 months.


Are there any exceptions?

Depending on your individual circumstances there may be exceptions to the 28 day policy. For example there are some drugs which are packaged in three monthly amounts, for example, contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy. These will continue to be supplied in this way.


Further Information

If you have any questions about 28 day prescribing, or would like more information, please contact your GP practice. You can also ask your community pharmacist for further information.

If you are having difficulties with prescriptions Healthwatch Northumberland would like to hear from you. Please give us a call: 03332 408468 or use our contact us page.