Healthwatch Northumberland Board

Healthwatch Northumberland – Join our Board

Healthwatch Northumberland Board

Healthwatch Northumberland is looking for up to four exceptional people with a keen interest in, and passion about, ensuring local communities have their say on heath and social care services, to join our board.

Find out more below and please apply by 6 November 2019.


Healthwatch Northumberland Board Recruitment Information

Application Form

Healthwatch Northumberland Strategic Plan

Help us understand Patient Participation Groups

Help Healthwatch Northumberland  to understand Patient Participation Groups


We have an exciting opportunity for someone to help us understand more about how the Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) in the county work and how they interact with the health service commissioners and providers.

Healthwatch Northumberland is committed to working in partnership with key groups in local communities and with decision makers, providers and commissioners of health and social care services.   We recognise that PPGs in GP practices are an important way in which local people can influence the services on offer, and how improvements can be made for the benefit of patients, carers and the practice.

The brief below tells you more about the work we would like to do and how you could help us to achieve it.   The closing date for submissions is 9.00am on 24 October.

To discuss the project contact Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator or 03332 408468


Understanding Patient Particpation Groups in Northumberland



Director of Public Health Annual Report 2018

The 2018 Director of Public Health Annual Report focuses on Mental Health and Wellbeing.

The report asks, ‘why is mental health important?’
‘Over the last few decades there has rightly been a focus on reducing the number of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke. Across the whole of the county’s population, about 45% of all deaths are due to five causes and heart disease and stroke still cause nearly 30% of all deaths.

There is quite a difference though between the conditions that people are dying of and the conditions which contribute to disability and ill health during life. Mental ill health makes a significant contribution to ill health and
in some groups, is the major cause of death and ill health. For instance in men aged 15 – 49, nearly 30% of deaths are attributable to mental illness.’

View the Report



Could you get help with NHS costs?

Check if you’re eligible for help

You might be able to get help to pay these NHS charges:

  • NHS prescriptions
  • NHS dental treatment
  • sight tests, glasses and contact lenses
  • travel to receive NHS treatment
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports

You can check what help you could get and what to do next.

It usually takes three minutes to check.

Check if you can get help

Who gets help

The help you’re entitled to depends where you live and if you:

Apply for help to pay NHS costs

If you do not qualify for the help that you need, you can apply for help. You could be eligible depending on your household income and outgoings.

Where to find Hearing Loss Services

As we hear from people across the county about their experiences of audiology services in Northumberland – services to help with hearing loss – it is becoming apparent that not everyone knows where their local service is and what is on offer. The information below shows clinic locations and times, plus places where hearing aid supplies are provided. Some GP practices, district nurses and libraries also supply hearing aid batteries. Please check with your local service.


Audiology Services for residents of Northumberland. The contact number for all locations is: 0191 223 1043. Email:


Freeman Hospital, Adult Hearing Aid Repairs

9am to 4pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)

There is also a postal service available from the Freeman for replacement tubing and batteries. Please call for details.


Alnwick Infirmary

Tuesdays by appointment only



Union Brae & Norham Practice, Berwick

Tuesdays by appointment only

n.b. Replacement batteries are now supplied by Berwick Library in the town centre Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturdays


Corbridge Health Centre

Tuesdays by appointment only


NHS Cramlington, Manor Walks

Monday, Tuesday and Friday by appointment only, excluding Bank Holidays


Hexham General Hospital

Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment only, excluding Bank Holidays


Morpeth NHS Centre

Thursday and Friday by appointment only


North Tyneside General Hospital

Monday afternoon, Wednesday and Thursday all day and Friday afternoon, by appointment only, excluding Bank Holidays


Oaklands Health Centre, Prudhoe: hearing aid/s batteries are provided here


Ponteland Medical Group: hearing aid/s batteries are provided here


For more support and information on hearing loss please contact Action on Hearing Loss on: 01670 513606.

Whalton Unit Morpeth

Whalton Unit Drop-in Sessions

Whalton Unit,  Morpeth

People in Morpeth and the surrounding area are being given the opportunity to have their say about the temporary relocation of the Whalton Unit to Wansbeck General Hospital.  NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is holding public drop-in sessions in Morpeth and carrying out independent research to find out the community’s views.


Public drop in sessions

11 September: Corn Exchange, Morpeth Town Hall, 10am – 2pm

11 September: Corn Exchange, Morpeth Town Hall, 4pm – 7pm

12 September: Morpeth NHS Centre, 10am – 12pm

13 September: Morpeth Leisure Centre, 11am – 1pm

24 September: Morpeth Leisure Centre, 10am – 12pm

26 September: Morpeth NHS Centre, 12.30pm – 2.30pm

1 October: Wansbeck General Hospital, main reception 10am – 11am, south entrance 12pm – 1pm

3 October: Corn Exchange, Morpeth Town Hall, 3pm – 7pm


People are also able to complete an online survey



The Whalton Unit provides specialist care and rehabilitation for residents, predominantly frail older patients. It was temporarily relocated from Morpeth to Wansbeck hospital in December 2018 due to nurse staffing issues and an expected increase in activity over the winter period.

This decision was reviewed in April 2019 by the trust and there was an agreement to extend the temporary location pending an updated report to enable a longer timeline for the impact analysis, with a specific focus on the experience of patients.

Prior to making any long term recommendations the CCG and the trust have agreed to this programme of public engagement and independent research to understand the views of the local population in more detail. The findings from both the independent research and engagement activity will be collated and shared with the Northumberland Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November.

Mental health and the Journey to Parenthood

Find out what’s working well for people and what needs to improve when it comes to people about their mental health experiences before, during and after pregnancy, in a new Healthwatch report.

The arrival of a new baby is a major life event for any family. It can be joyful, exciting, overwhelming and challenging all at once, so it’s essential that parents get all the support they need to help them form strong bonds with their children and help lay the foundations for a healthy, happy life for all involved.

Over the last year, our network has gathered views and experiences from women and their partners. Each one of these stories was different and highlighted that every person’s experience is unique to them.

Three common issues

  • People feel their mental health problems are triggered by a variety of issues
  • People don’t know where to turn for help
  • People feel scared about how people will respond if they speak up
  • Healthwatch is calling on everybody who interacts with prospective and new parents to make more space for people to discuss how they’re feeling, and to find out what they need to do if they need mental health support.

Find out more about what people said in the report.

Healthwatch Northumberland Conference

Join us at our Conference 2019

If you use NHS or social care services and live or work in Northumberland, we’d love you to come along to our bigger and better Conference 2019. The Conference will take place at The Phoenix Theatre in Blyth on Wednesday 16 October, between 10.00am and 3.30pm.

Join in the community conversation at this free event with information and listening workshops about mental health, dementia, substance abuse, social prescribing, patient involvement, GP services and more.

We aim to make the day informative, interactive and entertaining. This is a chance for you to share your experiences of care with those who provide it and find out what’s available locally.

There will be an ‘information buffet’, free raffle and lunch and refreshments provided.

To register for a place please call us on 03332 408468 or visit Eventbrite

Audiology Services

We would like to hear from Northumberland residents about their experience of using local audiology services (services to help with hearing loss) and the aftercare they receive. We are interested in finding out what is working well and what needs improvement. We will be at the following locations where you can call in and tell us about the services you’ve used.

Bellview Centre, Belford: Tuesday 10 September, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Ponteland Medical Centre: Thursday 12 September, 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Age UK, Ashington: Wednesday 18 September, 10.00am – 11.00am

Adapt (NE), Hexham: Thursday 19 September, 1.00pm – 2.30pm

Seaton Delaval Community Centre: Tuesday 1 October, 10.00am – 11.00am

The Mount, Morpeth: Thursday 3 October, 1.00pm – 2.30pm

Corbridge Health Centre: Tuesday 8 October, 10.00am – 11.30am

Alnwick Infirmary: Tuesday 15 October, 9.30am – 11.00am

Berwick Library: Thursday 17 October, 11.00am – 1.00pm

Union Brae Surgery, Berwick: Thursday 17 October 1.00pm – 2.30pm


If you are unable to make one of these sessions and would like to feedback about audiology services, please get in touch with us directly

The Hear to Help Project from Action on Hearing Loss closed at the end of April 2019. Hearing aid support is now available directly from NHS audiology services. Find out where you can get support.

Bedlington Wellness Week

Wellness Week at East Bedlington Community Centre

Monday 9 to Thursday 12 September

Four days of free activities – open to everyone


Monday 9 September:  Create Change

Paper Crafting, Relaxation Yoga, Mat Making, Legs, Bums and Tums, Beginners Yoga,

Tuesday 10 September: Be at Your Best

Confidence Boosting Workshop, The Bridge Project, CV/Interview Skills, Clothes Exchange

Wednesday 11 September: Live Well for Less

Debt/Benefits/Budgeting Advice, Doing Digital, Clothes Exchange, Health Trainers, Housing Advice, Eating Well on a Budget

Thursday 12 September: Find a Job

Jobs Fair, Meditation and Pilates


For more details call: 01670 828808.