Woman outside a hospital

Here to Hear – at our new monthly drop-ins

Healthwatch Northumberland Monthly Drop-ins

From September we’ll be holding monthly drop-ins, in all five local council areas of the county. These new drop-in sessions are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Call in at one of the venues below, or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

If you can’t make one of the drop-in sessions or would prefer to speak to us via Zoom, please come along to our monthly online drop-in. We may invite special guests to talk about specific issues and services to some of these online sessions, so keep an eye on the website and social media for details.

  • Online Zoom drop-in: Second Friday of the month starting 10 September, 1.00pm – 2.00pm.

 

You can leave feedback at any time here on our website

Healthwatch Northumberland Feedback Report April to June 2021

What you told us: April to June 2021

Healthwatch Northumberland Feedback Report April to June 2021

Between April and June 2021, we received feedback from 63 individuals from talking to people at face-to-face engagement events, telephone calls, emails, our website, social media, and other sources. We signposted 20 of these people to services.

This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:

  • Telephone calls (42%)
  • Emails (23%)
  • Website (19%)
  • Social media (12%)
  • Engagement event (5%)

Each quarter we look at who we are hearing from across the county, including location, gender, age, and whether the respondent is sharing their own health and social care experience or speaking on behalf of a friend or relative.

We also look at the general sentiment of comments, with specific reference to the service type, for example whether that’s primary care (doctors, dentists, pharmacies), secondary care (hospital services), mental health or social care, as well as whether the feedback relates specifically to quality of the care or access to services.

Find out more about who we heard from and what we were told, below.

Feedback Report April – June 2021

GP appointments

Top tips to get the most out of your GP appointment

One of the main things we hear from the public is getting a GP appointment can be tricky. And when you do get an appointment, the time you get to talk to your doctor can be limited. Healthwatch England has pulled together some top suggestions to help you make the most of your appointment slot.

These suggestions will help you feel prepared for your appointment and make the most of the time you have with your GP.

Read Top tips to get the most out of your GP appointment

If you would like to tell us about your recent experience of a GP appointment you can Tell us your Story here.

Keep wearing a mask in healthcare settings

Covid restrictions after 19 July

NHS health teams across the region are set to continue with the current pandemic safety measures for the foreseeable future to help protect everyone from infections such as Covid-19 and flu.

The safety measures introduced nationally during the pandemic have helped not only protect staff, patients and visitors over the past year, but enabled the NHS to continue providing many of the non-urgent services that would otherwise have been postponed.

Healthcare settings across Northumberland are asking for patients and visitors to continue wearing a face covering after 19 July. This includes GP practices, hospitals, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules and wash their hands regularly when visiting any health or social care setting.
These measures can help you protect yourself and other people and prevent the spread of infection. This will help keep services open and limit any disruption.
While the government roadmap plans to remove measures like this from everyday life from 19 July it’s vital that the public can be confident about accessing or visiting local healthcare services safely.

Joint Local Area SEND revisit Northumberland

Joint local area SEND revisit in Northumberland

Between 19 and 21 May 2021, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revisited the local area of Northumberland to decide whether sufficient progress has been made in addressing each of the areas of significant weakness detailed in the written statement of action issued on 29 November 2018.

As a result of the findings of the initial inspection and in accordance with the Children Act 2004 (Joint Area Reviews) Regulations 2015, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) determined that a written statement of action was required because of significant areas of weakness in the local area’s practice. HMCI determined that the local authority and the area’s Clinical Commissioning Group were jointly responsible for submitting the written statement to Ofsted.

This was declared fit for purpose on 18 March 2019. The area has made sufficient progress in addressing the three areas of significant weakness identified at the initial inspection. This letter outlines the findings from the revisit.

Area SEND Revisit Letter Northumberland

Do It For Yourself

Do It For Yourself

We are supporting the #DoItForYourself initiative which helps raise awareness around the symptoms of lung cancer and the importance of early diagnosis. If you’ve noticed any signs of lung cancer, such as breathlessness or a cough lasting for more than three weeks, contact your GP practice to get checked out.

Lung cancer can affect people of all ages, but the risk increases as you get older. The campaign specifically targets men and women over the age of 50 as lung cancer most commonly affects people of this age group.

Before the pandemic the early diagnosis of lung cancer was challenging, with many patients presenting with a late stage cancer when curative treatment is not an option. Covid has added the complication of potentially disguising the signs and symptoms of lung cancer. If you have any concerns, your GP practice is there to help.

Read more about the symptoms and treatment of lung cancer

Healthwatch Northumberland Annual Survey 2020-21

Annual Report 2020/21

Find out what we got up to in the last 12 months in our Annual Report. Read about the highlights of our year including our work on care home visits and how we worked with others to get results.

There are also examples of how our Information and Signposting service helped individuals, and how our fabulous volunteers continued to support us and our communities through the pandemic.

There are lots of fantastic Northumberland photos inside too!

If you’d like to tell us about your experiences of care or have a query for our Signposting and Information Service, please get in touch.

 

Healthwatch Northumberland Annual Report 2020/21

We’re back on the road! Find us in your area

We getting out and about again in communities across Northumberland this summer! We’ll be heading to the venues below with our Annual Survey, goodie bags and information and signposting service, so do stop by to say hello, pick up a survey and some freebies.

 

Find us at:

  • Cafe @ Burn Lane, Hexham: Monday 21 June, 11.00am – 1.30pm
  • Outside the Co-op, Prudhoe: Wednesday 23 June, 9.30am – 12.00pm
  • Merton Road, Ponteland: Friday 25 June, 9.30am – 12.00pm
  • Market Square, Haltwhistle: Monday 28 June, 11.00am – 1.30pm
  • Outside Morrisons, Bedlington: Thursday 1 July, 9.30am – 12.00pm
  • Ashington Market: Tuesday 6 July, 9.30am – 12.00pm
  • Berwick Market: Wednesday 7 July: 10.00am – 12.30pm
  • Outside Bellingham Library: Friday 9 July, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Morpeth Market: Wednesday 14 July, 9.30am – 12.00pm
  • Outside Morrisons, Amble: Thursday 15 July, 9.30am – 12.00pm
  • Outside Concordia Leisure Centre, Cramlington: Monday 19 July, 1.00pm – 3.30pm
  • Outside The Cheviot Centre, Wooler: Thursday 22 July, 1.00pm – 3.00pm
  • Blyth Market: Friday 23 July, 9.30am – 12.00pm

 

Our Annual Survey is a chance to tell us about the health and social care services you and your family have used over the last 12 months

With services working to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, your views have never been more important and can play a crucial role to help us identify and address issues that affect the quality of people’s care.

You can also help us decide where to focus our work in the year ahead.

If you can’t get to one of our events, you can tell us about your experiences at the online survey or you can get in touch to ask for a paper copy and freepost envelope. If you would like to complete the survey over the phone with one of our friendly team please call 03332 408468 or text 07413 385275 to arrange a call back.

 

NHS and social care feedback

Tell us your Story – in our Annual Survey

Our Annual Survey is a chance to tell us about the health and social care services you and your family have used over the last 12 months.

Your views and experiences continue to help professionals understand key local issues and how well services are working for you, your family and our communities.

With services working to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, your views have never been more important and can play a crucial role to help us identify and address issues that affect the quality of people’s care.

You can also help us decide where to focus our work in the year ahead.

You can tell us about your experiences at the online survey or you can get in touch to ask for a paper copy and freepost envelope. If you would like to complete the survey over the phone with one of our friendly team please call 03332 408468 or text 07413 385275 to arrange a call back. Closing date is 23 July 2021.

We will be back in towns across the county this summer with our first ‘live’ events since last spring. Come and say hello if you can – we’ll have copies of the survey, our information and signposting service and some goodie bags to give away. See where we’ll be over the next few weeks: Healthwatch Northumberland – back on the Road

Northumberland County Blind Association

Spotlight on.. Northumberland County Blind Association

As part of our Spotlight on… series we are shining a light on Northumberland County Blind Association (NCBA).

NCBA is a local charity based in Morpeth that provides advice and support services to blind and visually impaired people to enable them to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to live a fulfilled and independent life.

NCBA offers a home visiting service, clubs and support groups, telephone counselling, volunteer drivers to help clients get around, computer training, help with energy bills, low vision aids assessments and much more. Clients can also benefit from regular phone calls with the charity’s telephone support service, Client Connect (formerly Sightline).

NCBA’s volunteers based across Northumberland, have recently been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The award recognises the vital support that the charity provided to the community in response to the pandemic by setting up a telephone befriending service with 91 volunteers making telephone calls. At the height of the pandemic over 600 visually impaired people were contacted to reduce isolation, loneliness and provide a lifeline during unprecedented times. Our very own Healthwatch staff team and volunteers were happy to be involved in this project.

You can get in touch with NCBA by calling 01670 514316 or email info@ncba.org.uk