a woman answers questions from another woman with a clipboard outside a hospital

Annual Survey 2019 – Share your Experiences

We would really like to hear about your experiences of health and social care services in Northumberland over the last year, through our annual survey. You can share your thoughts and experiences as a patient or as a carer. Your feedback will help us set our work priorities for the coming year. Knowing what is important to you helps us to work more effectively on your behalf. We can also look at trends and themes year on year, seeing what has changed and what remains important to people.

You could also be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes when you take the time to tell us about your experiences.

We realise there are a lot of surveys out there from organisations asking for your feedback, but this really does help us to find out what matters to people.

Please help us ensure that the health and social care needs of the people of Northumberland are heard, understood and met by those responsible for commissioning and delivering services.

Thank you for your support.

Complete the Annual Survey 2019

Wild daisies

Northumberland Cancer Support Group 2019

Northumberland Cancer Support Group is a volunteer run self-help organisation which helps anyone affected by cancer. the group meets on the first and fourth Tuesday of each month in Hexham. The programme of events for this year can be found below, or visit the website for more details.

First Tuesday of the month (7.00pm, Education Centre, Hexham Hospital)

5 March: Professor John McCabe “Japan Behind the Fan”

2 April: Tom MuCullough “Medication Made Easy”

4 June: David Belcher “Cancer … What’s it all about?”

2 July: Fenwick Mark Ridley “Wild Swimming”

6 August: Pauline Walks “Past, Present and Future of The Theatre Royal”

3 September: Nicola Cunningham “Nutrition and Cancer”

1 October: Sam Jones “Relaxation and the Nervous System”

5 November: Helene Dolder “Laughter is the Best Medicine”

3 December: Christmas Makes


Fourth Tuesday of the month (1.00pm, Trinity Methodist Church Hall, Hexham)

22 January: Fenwick Mark Ridley “Wild Swimming”

27 February: Liz Weir “How Complementary Therapies Helped Me”

26 March: “Lorraine Henderson “Ageing Well”

23 April: “Tracy Pringle “Laughter and Chakra for Wellbeing”

24 September: Janette Frank “PALS”

26 November: Sparkle Afternoon


Lady on a bus

Do you need help getting to hospital?

Find out what support is available to help you travel to your hospital appointments.

If you visited hospital recently, how did you get there?

Most people drive, use public transport, or rely on the kindness of family and friends to get to their hospital appointments on time. But if you don’t have good access to transport it can mean missing out on health check-ups and routine screenings. It can be even harder if you need to attend regular appointments at a hospital for long-term conditions, such as chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

There are lots of reasons why you might not be able to get to hospital easily for a non-emergency appointment. For example, we often hear from people who are physically unable to travel, can’t afford transport, or live in a rural area.

What support is available?

If you need help getting to hospital, find out whether you’re eligible for NHS-funded support.

If you can’t travel because of your medical condition

Ask your GP or the person who referred you to hospital whether Patient Transport Services run in your area. These services provide free transport to and from hospital for:

  • People whose condition means they need additional medical support during their journey
  • People who find it difficult to walk
  • Parents or carers of children who are being transported

Need help finding support in your area?

To see what help is available where you live, get in touch with us and we can point you in the right direction: 03332 408468.

Images of groups chatting and being active

Berwick Social Fridays

Friendship – Laughter – Happy Memories – Social Fridays!

Get that Friday feeling every Friday at this free, friendly social group from Age UK Northumberland at The Swan Centre, Berwick.

Berwick Social Fridays follow on from the success of the sessions at The Round House and Azure Garden Centre.

Sessions take place on Friday mornings between 10.00am and 12.00pm and you can get as involved as much as you like or simply have a cup of tea and a chat.

Activities include:

  • Board games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Music
  • Trips out
  • Lunches and events
  • Visits from local groups
  • Information and advice

For further information about start dates call: 01670 784 800 or visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/northumberland


Muddy Boots

Men without Sheds – Newbiggin

There are ‘Men in Sheds’ projects across the UK for older men who want to chat, connect, and come together.

This new project in Newbiggin doesn’t have a shed – but the principles are the same. It’s for men over 55 who want to take part in fun, healthy and sociable activities.

Ideas are needed on what activities you’d like to take part in. Ideas include: stories from music, IT sessions, healthy walks, darts club, creating art from trash, sea shanties, upcycling, model building, making bird tables and insect hotels.

Come along to find out more on Tuesday 26 February, 10.00am – 12.00pm at Newbiggin Sports & Community Centre.


Nurse talking to a man in a hospital

Become the heartbeat of your local NHS

If you’re passionate about the NHS, then joining Northumbria HealthcareNHS Foundation Trust as a member will give you the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas about the way the trust delivers care to over half a million people across Northumberland and North Tyneside.  Northumbria Healthcare is a forward thinking organisation and at the forefront of pioneering changes in the NHS, so it’s a great time to join.

You can be involved as much or as little as you like, from simply receiving e-newsletters and voting papers to donating your time as a volunteer or standing for election to become a trust governor. It is free to become a member and you can opt out at any time.

To join please complete the short online membership form.




Golden Guide 2019 front cover

The Golden Guide 2019 Out Now

This popular FREE guide for Over 50s in Northumberland is well known for information on activities, clubs and social groups across Northumberland.  Readers also discover how to find expert advice on their health, their home, their care and their money.

New things to do include Social Fridays, Core Music sessions, Railway Walks, Sailing and Archery. There’s more money and consumer advice, plus the Side by Side befriending scheme, the Friendship Line and all kinds of health and social care information.

You can get a copy from us here at Healthwatch Northumberland, Libraries; Northumbria Healthcare Care teams, Age UK Northumberland, Alzheimers Society, Women’s Institute branches, Carers Northumberland, Royal Voluntary Service, British Red Cross, Citizens Advice Bureau, Golden Age Forum, GP surgeries – ask the Care Navigators and Practice Nurses; also selected Boots Pharmacies.

Postal copies available by calling our office: 03332 408468 or from Age UK Northumberland on: 01670 784800.


The full edition is also online at www.goldenguide.org.uk.

For all enquiries please contact Heather Alabaster on: 0191-386 5918, or email: heather@goldenguide.org.uk.

Graphic of a head

Mental Health Crisis and Emergency Care

Have you used the emergency care department at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital when you or the person you care for has experienced a mental health crisis? If so, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust would like to hear from you.
They hope to better understand what it feels like to be a patient attending emergency care in a crisis.

If you feel there is something to be learnt from your experience that may improve patient care, please get in touch with the Patient Experience Team – all feedback is welcome – good or bad, big or small, and will remain confidential.

Get in Touch

Contact Faye Gates, Senior Patient Experience Coordinator at: patient.experience@northumbria.nhs.uk or call: 0191 293 4360 or 0191 293 4326.

Ideas and Information Board

Easy Read Co-design Workshop

The Macmillan Cancer Project aims to make cancer services and experiences better for people with a learning disability. They are working with Public Health England to design easy read materials for cancer screening.

They are running two workshops for people with a learning disability, families and carers. The morning workshop will look at cervical screening; the afternoon workshop will look at bowel screening.

The cervical screening workshop is in the morning. This is for women.  It is 10:00am to 12:30pm, followed by lunch at 12:30pm to 1:15pm.The bowel screening workshop is in the afternoon. This is for men and women. Lunch is served 12:30pm to 1:15pm and is followed by the workshop at 1:15pm to 3:45pm.

The workshop takes place on Friday 8 February at:

Waterfront 4,

Goldcrest Way,

Newcastle upon Tyne.

NE15 8NY

To book a place please complete the booking form and return to Julie Tucker.

For more information please contact: Julie Tucker. Email: Julie.tucker11@nhs.net. Call: 0113 824 9693 or 0786 017 7981.

Hands making a heart shape

New Heart Support Group

Do you or a family member have a heart condition or heart disease?

Heart Support Groups can help you share experiences, gain emotional support, provide opportunities for families and carers to learn about how others cope, offer healthy lifestyle tips and organise activities.

An opportunity has arisen to start a new Heart Support Group in Blyth with funding from The British Heart Foundation. The first session will take place on Thursday 14 February at The Buffalo Centre, Blyth, between 11.00am and 1.00pm. For more information visit the Buffalo Centre website or email: chris@buffalocommunitycentre.co.uk.