Healthwatch logo and people icon

Come and Work with Us!

We are recruiting for an Engagement Officer to join our enthusiastic and effective team.

 

£23,685.56 (pro rata £13,443.15)

Part time 21 hours a week

Permanent dependent on funding

Closing date midnight  Thursday 11 April  2019

Based in Hexham with travel across Northumberland

 

Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for health and social care across the county.  Our aim is to give a voice to people who use those services, 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.

If you would like an informal discussion about the role and Healthwatch Northumberland, contact Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator: derryn@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk.

 

Job Description

Application Form

What Would You Do logo with young woman image

NHS Long Term Plan – What Would You Do?

Watch Project Coordinator Derry talking to Hexhamtv about the NHS Long Term Plan and how you can get involved.

 

With growing pressure on the NHS – people living longer, more people living with long-term conditions, and lifestyle choices affecting people’s health – changes are needed to make sure everybody gets the support they need.

The government is investing an extra £20 billion a year in the NHS. The NHS has produced a Long Term Plan, setting out all the things it wants health services to do better for people across the country. Now the NHS needs to hear from you about what those changes should look like in your community.

The Long Term Plan sets out what the NHS wants to do better, including making it easier for people to access support closer to home and via technology, doing more to help people stay well, and providing better support for people with cancer, mental health conditions, heart and lung diseases, long-term conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis, learning disabilities and autism, and for people as they get older and experience conditions such as dementia.

 

We’d like to hear from you so that we can tell the NHS what you think.

What would you do to give people more control of their care?

 

  • How would you help people live healthier lives?
  • What would make health services better?
  • How would you make it easier for people to take control of their own health and wellbeing?
  • What would you do to make support better for people with long-term conditions?

You can tell us what you think here.

Easy Read Version

BSL Version

What would you do to give people better support?

 

Your local NHS needs to hear from you about how it can provide better care for people living with conditions such as cancer, mental health conditions heart and lung diseases, diabetes, arthritis, learning disabilities, autism, and dementia.

You can tell us your thoughts here.

Find out more about how Healthwatch is helping people get involved in the NHS Long Term Plan here.

 

Young Woman in a street

Where to go for support when you have an eating disorder

This Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Healthwatch looked at what young people have told us about their experiences, and where to go for support if you need help.

According to Beat Eating Disorders there are an estimated 1.25 million people in the UK with an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that anyone can develop, no matter their age, gender or background.

In Northamptonshire, Healthwatch surveyed over 2,000 young people aged 9-24 to find out more about their knowledge and experience of eating disorders.

Through their work, they found that:

  • Just under 80% knew what an eating disorder was
  • Over half didn’t know where to go for support
  • 39% didn’t know about any specific services for children and young people
“It was a struggle and it is a constant struggle; you do not know who to turn to get help for your child and there are not enough people who know enough about eating disorders.”
— Parent talking to Healthwatch Northamptonshire

Where to go for support

  • Visit your GP
    If you think that you have an eating disorder you should visit your local GP. They will ask you about your eating habits and lifestyle. If they think that you might have an eating disorder they will refer you to a specialist.
  • Talk to a friend or family member
    It can be very hard to admit you have a problem and ask for help. Start by talking to a friend or family member. You could even bring them with you to your appointment to make you feel more comfortable.
  • Talk to an advisor 
    Beat – The UK’s Eating Disorder Charity – has advisors who can talk to you about the different types of eating disorders, and provide information about recovery and the support available to you. Take a look at their website or contact them using the details below:

Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677

help@beateatingdisorders.org.uk

Youthline: 0808 801 0711

fyp@beateatingdisorders.org.uk

What should services do to help?

  • Provide quicker access to support. According to the Care Quality Commission, 27% of people with an eating disorder wait 11 weeks or more to get the right support.
  • Raise awareness of eating disorders and make information about local treatment and support easy to access.
  • Offer more information about support groups to help people support a friend or sibling struggling with an eating disorder.
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

People talking at a Healthwatch event

Join us! Engagement and Research Officer Vacancy

Engagement and Research Officer

Healthwatch Northumberland

 

  • Part time – 25 hours a week
  • £23,685 pro rata – £16,003
  • Permanent dependent on funding
  • Closing date midnight Friday 15 March 2019
  • Interviews will be held on 27 March 2019
  • Based in Hexham with travel across Northumberland

Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for health and social care across the county.  Our aim is to give a voice to people who use those services, 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, especially if you have experience in gathering data and producing engaging information and reports.

If you would like an informal discussion about the role and Healthwatch Northumberland, contact Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator, on: 03332 408468 or email: derryn@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk.

 

Job Description and Person Specification

Healthwatch Northumberland Strategic Plan

Application Form

Hospital reception area

Transport Implications for health services in Coquetdale

As part of the 2016 proposal to close the inpatient beds at the Rothbury Community Hospital, Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group produced a Travel Impact Report. An updated report was presented to the Rothbury Hospital Review Group in January 2019.

This report, and any examination of public transport timetables in Coquetdale, immediately demonstrates two key facts: for many people in the upper dale there is little or no public transport and the only towns directly accessible from Coquetdale are Alnwick, Morpeth and Newcastle.

Healthwatch Northumberland would add that such a study should also consider the reality of using services as well as their availability and we have looked in more detail at the most likely journeys to be taken. We also consider the issue of public transport provision in the future in the face of likely reductions in funding for concessionary and non-commercial services.
We consider some of the issues of using private cars, for example, the percentage of individuals of different ages that hold driving licences and the assumptions about car usage at different income levels.

You can read our report here.

 

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.

Rothbury Village

Our response to the decision to close inpatient beds at Rothbury Hospital

Healthwatch Northumberland would encourage anyone with an interest in the future of health care in the area to contact us with queries or concerns, or to raise them directly with the review group examining proposals for the hospital.

 

Update November 2018: The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) has responded to the Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group regarding the engagement and consultation process undertaken around the decision to close the inpatient ward at Rothbury Community Hospital and reshape the existing services around a health and wellbeing centre. The IRP concludes that “further action locally is required to agree and implement the proposed health and wellbeing centre at Rothbury Community Hospital”. The full letter from the IRP can be read here.

A great deal of concern has been expressed by people within Northumberland about the decision taken on 27 September 2017 by the Joint Locality Executive Board to close the 12 in-patient beds at Rothbury Community Hospital.

Having considered the information circulated prior to the Joint Locality Executive Board and representatives having attended the meeting, board members of Healthwatch Northumberland saw justification in responding to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in a letter forwarded on 5 October 2017. This was followed one week late by a response from Janet Guy, Lay Chair of the CCG. Both letters can be found below for your information.

The County Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee discussed the in-patient bed closures on 17 October and decided to refer the matter to the Secretary of State for Health. His decision is awaited with interest. In the meantime, Healthwatch Northumberland will continue to act as an independent champion to ensure the interests of the wider community remain at the heart of all decisions made about health and social care throughout the county, by listening to the views of local people and engaging in meaningful dialogue with the CCG.

David Thompson, Healthwatch Northumberland Chair.

Letter to the CCG re. Rothbury Hospital

Response from the CCG re. Rothbury Hospital

 

Please note: Any response to news items by individuals or organisations are the views of those posting the response.  They do not reflect the view of, nor are they solicited by Healthwatch Northumberland unless this is explicitly stated in the news article.

Healthwatch Response to NHS Long Term Plan

The NHS in England has published a ten year plan setting its priorities for the future.

NHS England leaders say that the Long Term Plan could save up to 500,000 lives over the next ten years by focusing on prevention and early detection. The plan comes after the Government announced the NHS budget would be increased by £20bn a year by 2023. The biggest funding increases will be seen in GPs, mental health and community care.

Key priorities within the plan:

  • cancer
  • mental health
  • care for people with two or more chronic medical conditions
  • supporting people to age healthily and tackling issues such as dementia
  • children’s health
  • cardiovascular and respiratory diseases
  • learning disability and autism

There will also be a focus on improving the way that people are able to interact with the health service for example, by using digital technologies such as video consultations.

Read more

Young woman on the street at night

Helping someone who is homeless access healthcare

On any one night in England, over 4,700 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on our streets. The Healthwatch network looks at the common issues found by people who do not have a place to call home when it comes to getting the support they need for health and care.

Experiencing homelessness can have a negative impact on both your physical and mental health, so it’s important that people are able to access support.

How can health and social care professionals help?

People who have faced homelessness have told their local Healthwatch that they can experience problems accessing services.  If you work for an NHS or social care service there are several steps you and your colleague can take to help.

Enable people to register with their GP

People have told us that they have not been able to register with an NHS general practice because they lack identification or do not have a permanent address.

Read more