Woman talking to pharmacist

Pharmacy Survey

Northumberland County Council is currently updating its Pharmacy Needs Assessment. This document describes how many pharmacies we have in the county, the hours they are open and the services they provide. It does not provide the public or patient’s perspective about pharmacy services and how they use them. By answering the questions below, this will help provide this part of the jigsaw.

As the independent champion for people who use health and social care services, we want to make sure your views are considered when services are being designed.

We would like to learn more about your experience of, and thoughts about, improving or changing pharmacy services in our community. Pharmacy services are either services you receive in your community pharmacy or from a dispensary in your GP practice. We would be grateful if you could complete the questionnaire below. The survey will be open until 31 January 2018.

Pharmacies Survey

Older lady with carer

Carewatch Home Care

Northumberland County Council and Carewatch, a contracted provider of home care services, have agreed that the current contract will transfer to Age UK, by the 18th December 2017.

Northumberland County Council, Age UK Northumberland and Carewatch are working to make this transfer as smooth as possible for people receiving services.

If you experience any problems with your care, or would like to speak to a social worker or care manager about any concerns you have about the transfer, please contact them through Northumberland County Council’s single point of access, telephone: 01670 536400.

If you need an urgent response out of hours please call: 01670 827100. This number is available 24 hours a day/seven days per week.

Great North Care Record

The Great North Care Record: Public Engagement Events

We would like to invite you to attend an engagement event in Northumberland, where you can share your views and shape the future development of the Great North Care Record (GNCR) project. We are working with Connected Health Cities, Teesside University and other local Healthwatch in the North East to talk to people about sharing data between health services. Events are to be held at:

Berwick Community Trust, Tuesday 7 November 12.15pm – 2.45pm

Ashington Round House, Thursday 16 November 12.00pm – 2.30pm

At present, when you visit your GP any information about you is stored on the GP practice system and is not typically shared with other health or care organisations such as hospitals or the ambulance service.  If you are unwell there could be delays in vital information being received by other organisations and health professionals. The GNCR project is being development across the North East of England and will allow your patient data to be viewed more quickly and easily by those involved in your care, with your permission.

We would like to hear your views on how the GNCR should develop and particularly about deciding your personal preferences to control which information you share and who can access your data.

 

Key points about the GNCR:

  • Healthcare staff involved in your care will have the right information at the right time
  • You will have better conversations with your health and social care provider as they will have access to relevant information prior to your appointment
  • Sharing information between healthcare professionals will save time and minimize the number of occasions that you will have to repeat your information
  • The GNCR will provide joined up care across the region
  • In the event of an emergency, medical staff will be able to access your details instantly which will result in safer care and improved healthcare
  • The GNCR can support academic and clinical research into new treatments at a faster rate if data is more readily available to the regions universities
  • You will be in control of how your data is used in your healthcare

 

The GNCR has three principal aims, to:

  • Deliver an individual’s important healthcare information, at the point of care, from whichever relevant organisations are involved in their care, irrespective of organisational boundaries.
  • Provide better information for clinical audit, service redesign and commissioners of care, so that health care systems can be transformed and improved, and run more effectively.
  • Provide data for health and care research in a research environment trusted by the citizens of the North East and Cumbria

 

If you would like to attend one of the events please email info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on: 03332 408468.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Appointments in Northumberland

Extra GP appointments in Northumberland

Local GP practices are working together to offer patients better access to GP appointments in Northumberland.

Patients can now see a GP at a time which is convenient as practices in Northumberland are providing additional appointments for patients who would like to book or need to see a GP on weekday evenings and weekends.

The new service is being provided from 6.30pm Monday to Friday, additionally some access will be provided at weekends.
Northumberland GP practices are working together to deliver the additional appointments and each practice will provide specific information on the seven locations in Northumberland where patients registered with them can access the appointments.

For more information, ask your GP practice.

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.

Contact Us

 

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: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

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: derryn@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk from 2 October.

 

Job Description

Application Form

Letter to Applicants

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

 

Patient having blood pressure taken

CQC Report: The state of general practice in England 2014 – 2017

The state of care in general practice 2014 to 2017′ published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), provides a detailed analysis of the quality and safety of general medical practice in England.

Based on inspections by the CQC, the report found that the majority (86%) of general practice services were rated as ‘good’, with 4% rated as ‘outstanding’.

What factors make an ‘outstanding’ general practice?

The report found that practices with the highest ratings showed a clear knowledge of the different needs of their patient groups, and that they also had strong leadership.

These services understood their patients and their needs, and responded by adapting services. Practices that provide high-quality care also demonstrated that they engage their patients proactively by ‘including them in the conversation’ and acting on feedback, complaints and concerns.

General practices with the highest ratings also demonstrate strong leadership, understand everyone’s responsibilities in the practice team and recognise the importance of working as part of their wider local health economies.

Patients willing to share views but need to know how

The CQC report comes after research from Healthwatch England found that the majority of people are interested in sharing their feedback with GPs to improve services but only a minority had done so. The most common reason for this was that patients were unsure how to provide comments and raise concerns.

Read the full report