Quarterly Report April to June 2020

As the independent champion for people who use health and social care services, Healthwatch Northumberland listens to what people in Northumberland think about the services they have used. We act on what people are saying, sharing their views with those who have the power to make change happen. We also help people find the information they need about services in their area and record this as ‘signposting’.

People who use health and social care services tell Healthwatch Northumberland about their experiences throughout the year. This report shares a summary of the feedback collected from April to June 2020.  This period was during the national Covid-19 lockdown and we had stopped all face to face engagement and started to work in different ways. The next report will cover July to September 2020.

This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:

  • Telephone calls, emails and social media (92%)
  • Postal surveys and feedback forms (4%)
  • Talking to people at online engagement events (2%)
  • Through a third party (2%)

Areas of Focus

We are open to all feedback about health and social care services. Responses to our Annual Survey helped us to identify a specific areas of focus which we are prioritising in 2020/21.

Mental Health Services, especially for children and young people

Covid-19 has meant changes have been made to health and social care services. Patients and carers’ experiences and signposting requirements are likely to have been different during this time.  For this reason we have also chosen to focus on any feedback we receive which is related to Covid-19 and these changes.

We are also working to hear more from people in area of the county we hear from less, particularly in south east Northumberland.


The report shows:

  • Who Healthwatch Northumberland is hearing from
  • What people are saying and the general sentiment of comments
  • What people are experiencing – what is working well and where there are areas for improvement?


Between April and June 2020, we received feedback from 47 people. We signposted 13 of these people to services and provided information or advice to eight people.

This report explores who Healthwatch Northumberland is hearing from across the county, presenting a summary of general respondent demographic information. Demographic information shared includes 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 (e.g. primary care, secondary care, mental health, social care), as well as whether the feedback relates specifically to quality of care or access to services. Service category, for instance whether the comment refers to a GP surgery or acute care, is also explored alongside the sentiment of feedback. 

Read the report for April to June 2020