Collingwood Medical Group

Collingwood Medical Group

Update: 14 August 2018

Now that letters have been sent and patients have information about the closure of Collingwood Medical Group, we would like to hear from anyone who has had any problems registering with a new practice, or any other issues, to get in touch.


Patients of Collingwood Medical Group in Blyth have been informed that the current provider of the practice is unable to continue providing GP services after 30 November 2018. After careful consideration of all the available options, Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has reluctantly decided to close the practice permanently. It has issued patients with a list of alternative practices in the area is asking them to begin thinking about registering with an another practice in the coming months.

Three drop-in meetings have been arranged for any patients who would like to stop by for a short time to gain further information or raise any concerns in person. These sessions will be attended by the CCG alongside representatives from NHS England, Collingwood Medical Group, Healthwatch Northumberland and the Patient Advice and Liaison Service.

They are taking place at the following times:

• Wednesday 4 July: 1.00pm – 3.00pm, Blyth Community Enterprise Centre, Ridley Street, Blyth NE24 3AG

• Wednesday 11 July: 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Briardale Community Centre, Briardale Road, Blyth NE24 5AN

• Monday 16 July: 4.30pm – 6.30pm, Blyth Community Enterprise Centre, Ridley Street, Blyth NE24 3AG

More detailed information about practices is available on the NHS Choices website. You can also read about Patient Choice of GP Practices here.

People holding 'speak up' messages

Healtwatch Northumberland AGM 2018 – you’re invited!

Our AGM is a chance to hear about the work of Healthwatch Northumberland over the past year, what you’ve told us and how we’ve made a difference in the community. The theme this year is ‘self-care’. Our guest speaker is Stephen Blackman, Chief Officer of North of Tyne Local Pharmaceutical Committee. Information stands from local health and support groups and organisations will be at the event for you to chat to and find out more. There might even be a giveaway or two! Lunch and refreshments will be provided for all guests.


Date: Tuesday 16 October 2018

Venue: Newbiggin Sports & Community Centre, Woodhorn Rd, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea NE64 6HG


10.00am: Tea, coffee and information stands

10.30am: Message from our Chair, David Thompson

10.40am: Overview of the year, Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator

11.00am: Comfort break and information stands

11.15am: Guest Speaker, Stephen Blackman, Chief Officer, North of Tyne Local Pharmaceutical Committee

Followed by a prize draw, lunch and another chance to visit the information stands.

If you would like to attend please register here or give us a call on: 03332 408468.

Please email in advance any questions you may like to ask on the day, to: Please also let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.

Board member talking to member of the public

Board Member Vacancies

Healthwatch Northumberland is looking to appoint up to four new independent volunteer board members who will play an important role in setting and overseeing the county-wide strategy. Please download an application pack and application form or call 03332 408468 for more information or a copy of the pack in the post.



Annual Report 2017/18 front cover

Annual Report 2017/18

Our Annual Report is a bitesized account of what the Healthwatch Northumberland team has been up to over the previous year. You can read about what you’ve told us about health and social care, how we’ve helped people find answers and how we’ve made a difference. We will be expanding on the report at our AGM on 16 October (more details to follow), and you can download a copy below or contact us to be sent a hard copy.

Healthwatch Northumberland Annual Report 2017/18

Buildings from Wylam bridge

Feedback report regarding proposed changes to Riversdale Surgery, Wylam

In June 2017 the patients at Riversdale Surgery in Wylam received a letter asking for their views on a proposal to close the surgery on Woodcroft Road in Wylam and relocate services to Oaklands Health Centre in Prudhoe.

This report provides feedback from public engagement events Healthwatch Northumberland held about the proposal on 20 and 24 February 2018 and from questionnaires distributed directly to households in the Wylam parish and in Horsley and on-line via the Healthwatch Northumberland website up to 30 April 2018. It also presents information about the current public transport links between the Wylam area and Front Street in Prudhoe


 The feedback gathered by Healthwatch Northumberland shows respondents do not perceive benefits will result from the proposal to close the Riversdale Surgery at Woodcroft Road in Wylam and relocate services to the Oaklands Health Centre in Prudhoe.

Healthwatch Northumberland spoke to 62 people and 167 questionnaires were returned to Healthwatch Northumberland.  81% of respondents are currently registered with the practice and living in the NE41 postcode area. 93% said they were unhappy about the proposal.

The overwhelming concern expressed was how patients would maintain access to the services offered by the Riversdale Surgery.  The services were valued and sympathy was expressed for the position of the current GP partners, but respondents expressed grave concerns about their ability to get to the Oaklands Health Centre, particularly using public transport.  This issue was strongly expressed by the 66% of respondents aged over 65 who, while they are driving at the moment are very aware they may stop driving in the next 5-10 years.

Analysis of the public transport options confirms that journeys from Wylam, Heddon and Horsley to be protracted, with long waits and short windows for appointments at Oaklands Health Centre. There is also some doubt about the long term future of the only direct bus routes between the two sites.

Concern was also expressed about the extent to which other options had been explored for providing services in the Wylam area, the impact on the other GP practice in Wylam (White Medical Group), on-going communications about the progress of the changes and the transparency of the decision making process.

Read the full report.

computer keyboard with stethascope

An alternative way to have a consultation with your GP

Online Consultations: an alternative way to have a consultation with your GP

NHS England is seeking views from GPs, practice teams and members of the public on what people think about the idea of online consultations in order to improve the service and increase the availability and use of services.

Online consultations are a way for patients to contact their GP practice without having to wait on the phone or come into the practice. Using a smartphone, tablet or computer, you can contact your practice about a new problem or an ongoing issue. You can ask questions or tell your GP about your symptoms. The practice will ensure your contact is dealt with by the right person in the team, helping ensure you are served as quickly and appropriately as possible. Sometimes this will mean you will need a phone call with the GP or nurse, or an appointment at the practice, and this will be arranged as usual.

Online consultations are an alternative service – it is still possible to do other things on the practice website such as seeing test results and your medical record, ordering a repeat prescription or booking an appointment

It doesn’t matter if you have not used online consultations yourself – your views are still of interest to the NHS.

We are working with NHS England and other local Healthwatch to hear your views about online consultations. You can complete an online survey here or talk to us at an upcoming event where you can fill in a hard copy version with help from our staff if needed. The survey closes on Friday 15 June 2018.

Please email if you have any queries about this research project.



open mouth at the dentist

Dental Services in Hadston and Rothbury areas

Following the closure of the Coquetdale Dental Surgery we are holding two events jointly with NHS England to understand the impact the closure has had for people in the different areas covered by the practice and to help with the development of services in the future.

The events are on:

Thursday 5 April 2018,  10.00am – 1.00pm
Hadston Youth & Community Centre, Bondicar Road, Hadston NE65 9SR

Monday 9 April 2018, 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Jubilee Hall, Bridge Street, Rothbury NE65 7SD

If you cannot attend one of these events and would like to leave feedback about dental services in these areas please contact us.

NHS England Cumbria and the North East has produced a short survey for former patients of Coquetdale Dental Practice in either Rothbury or Hadston. The survey will be open until 1 May 2018. If you have any queries please email:

Complete the NHS England survey

Hospital Corridor

Berwick Hospital Proposal Listening Events

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is talking with the people of Berwick to gather views on the possibility of a new integrated hospital development – hospital and leisure facilities on one site – plus a potential new location for the hospital. Following the engagement events the CCG will collate the emerging themes and hold a public meeting after Easter to give local people a further opportunity to comment.

Healthwatch Northumberland will be talking to groups in the local community about the proposals over the next few weeks. We will be meeting with members of the North Northumberland Network and Carers Northumberland Berwick Support Group next week, followed by the NAFFI Break Warm Hub in April, plus members of the In It Together special educational needs and disabilities parent-carer group. We are also planning to speak with Berwick Youth Project, Berwick and District Friends of Dementia Friends and Berwick Migrant Support Group about the proposals.

The focus of the engagement is to find out from the local community the preferred location of the new hospital based on three potential new sites and whether people would like a joint hospital and leisure centre. Any other ideas and feedback will also be recorded and reported back to the CCG.

Comments and questions around the potential developments can be put to the CCG via the website.


Infograpgic f stick figures with clipboard

Wylam Primary Care Provision Survey

We are seeking feedback from people in Wylam and the surrounding area about the proposals by the Riversdale Surgery to move its services to Prudhoe. The survey will help us find out what, if any, issues and concerns this raises for residents and we will report back on our findings when we have collated all the feedback.

To complete the short survey please click here

Views across Berwick bridge

Berwick Infirmary Listening Events

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with partners Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council to look at the possibility of a new integrated hospital development in Berwick-upon-Tweed.  The CCG says it remains committed to developing a new hospital that will be fit for the future and best meet the needs of the local population.

The plans to redevelop Berwick Infirmary were paused 18 months ago to allow time to consider the implications of local, regional and national healthcare strategies and also to focus on the findings of a review of Berwick Infirmary which looked at how it could best be used to meet the healthcare needs of local people.

There have recently been a number of early discussions between the CCG and its partners about the possible development of a new integrated health, social care and leisure complex in Berwick. Much more detailed planning is needed but this could potentially mean a new development with inpatient, outpatient and other hospital services, some GP services, and bringing together some health and care staff who work in the community as well as leisure centre services.

The CCG says it’s pleased that the Berwick Regeneration Commission is now in place with membership including county councillors, town councillors and public governors from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. This will ensure that any new development contributes to the wider regeneration of the town and that opportunities are taken for further integrating services to ensure the maximum benefit for local people.

A series of informal drop in sessions at community venues in Berwick are planned to give members of the public the chance to give their views about the possible new development and about the different sites that are available.  People living in Belford and Wooler will be able to give their views at the Northumbria Healthcare ‘Join our Journey’ trailer which will be in those areas.  The trailer will also visit Berwick Market Place.


The drop in sessions will take place on:

  • Tuesday 27 February, 2.00pm – 6.00pm: Jubilee Club, Spittal, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 2JL
  • Wednesday 28 February, 9.00am – 4.00pm: Northumbria Healthcare ‘Join our Journey’ trailer, Berwick Market Place, TD15 1BN CANCELLED
  • Thursday 1 March, 10.00am – 12.00pm: Northumbria Healthcare Join our Journey Trailer, Belford Market Square, (outside Blue Bell), Market Place, Belford, NE70 7NE CANCELLED
  • Thursday 1 March, 12.30pm – 3.30pm: United Reformed Church, Main Street, Spittal, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1QY CANCELLED
  • Thursday 1 March, 2.00pm – 4.00pm: Northumbria Healthcare Join our Journey Trailer, Cheviot Centre, Padgepool Place, Wooler, NE71 6BL CANCELLED
  • Saturday 3 March, 12.30pm – 3.30pm: Tweedmouth Church Hall, Church Rd, Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed,  TD15 2AJ CANCELLED
  • Tuesday 6 March, 12.00pm – 2.00pm: Swan Centre, Northumberland Rd, Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 2AS
  • Thursday 8 March, 4.30pm – 6.30pm: St Mary’s School, Newfields, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1SP

Rearranged events:

Wednesday 14 March, 9.00am – 4.00pm, Berwick Market, Marygate, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 1BN

Thursday 15 March, 10.00am – 12.00pm, Belford Market Square (outside Blue Bell), Market Place, Belford NE70 7NE

Thursday 15 March, 1.00pm – 3.00pm, Cheviot Centre car park, Padgepool Place, Wooler NE71 7NE

Healthwatch Northumberland will be attending these events witht the CCG, talking to local people about care services in the area.