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Quarterly Report – April to June 2019

Introduction

Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. We are a listening organisation working across Northumberland, interested in what people like about services and what can be improved. 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 2019. The next report will cover July to September 2019.

This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:
• Telephone calls, emails and social media (611%)
• Postal surveys andfeedback forms (24%)
• Talking to people at local community events (11%)
• Through meetings and third parties (3%)

Areas of Focus
We are open to all feedback about health and social care services. Responses to our annual survey helped us to identify three specific areas of focus which we are prioritising in 2019/20:
1. General Practitioner Services (GP Services)
2. Mental Health Services, including dementia care
3. Access to Services

Aims

The report aims to increase understanding of:

Who Healthwatch Northumberland is hearing from

What people are saying

The general sentiment of comments

What people are experiencing

What is working well?

Where there are areas for improvement

Read the April to June Report in full

 

Wellbeing Survey – Your Help Needed

Are you a member of the public?

NHS England would like your views on what wellbeing means to you and what may prevent you from looking after yourself as well as you can.

It would also like to know how you think the health and care system can support you further to look after yourself.

To give your feedback please click on the link below. The survey will run until Friday 21 November. There is also the opportunity to sign up for updates after completing the survey.

Wellbeing Survey for Public

 

Do you work in health and social care?

NHS England would like to know what you think needs to be done so that you can focus more on prevention as part of your role. The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and the deadline is 21 November.

Wellbeing Survey for Staff

 

Director of Public Health Annual Report 2018

The 2018 Director of Public Health Annual Report focuses on Mental Health and Wellbeing.

The report asks, ‘why is mental health important?’
‘Over the last few decades there has rightly been a focus on reducing the number of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke. Across the whole of the county’s population, about 45% of all deaths are due to five causes and heart disease and stroke still cause nearly 30% of all deaths.

There is quite a difference though between the conditions that people are dying of and the conditions which contribute to disability and ill health during life. Mental ill health makes a significant contribution to ill health and
in some groups, is the major cause of death and ill health. For instance in men aged 15 – 49, nearly 30% of deaths are attributable to mental illness.’

View the Report

 

 

Healthwatch Northumberland Conference

Join us at our Conference 2019

If you use NHS or social care services and live or work in Northumberland, we’d love you to come along to our bigger and better Conference 2019. The Conference will take place at The Phoenix Theatre in Blyth on Wednesday 16 October, between 10.00am and 3.30pm.

Join in the community conversation at this free event with information and listening workshops about mental health, dementia, substance abuse, social prescribing, patient involvement, GP services and more.

We aim to make the day informative, interactive and entertaining. This is a chance for you to share your experiences of care with those who provide it and find out what’s available locally.

There will be an ‘information buffet’, free raffle and lunch and refreshments provided.

To register for a place please call us on 03332 408468 or visit Eventbrite

Quarterly Report – January to March 2019

Introduction

Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. We are a listening organisation working across Northumberland,to find out what people like about services and what can be improved. 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 us about their experiences throughout the year. This report shares a summary of the feedback collected from January to March 2019.  The next report will cover April to June 2019.

 

This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:

  • Talking to people at local community events (18%)
  • Telephone calls, emails and social media (55%)
  • Surveys and Feedback forms (21%)
  • Through meetings and third parties (6%)

 

Areas of Focus

We are open to all feedback about health and social care services. Responses to our Annual Survey helped us to identify three specific areas of focus which we are prioritising in 2019:

  1. General Practitioner Services (GP Services)
  2. Mental Health Services, including dementia care
  3. Access to Services

Aims

The report aims to increase understanding of:

  • Who Healthwatch Northumberland is hearing from
  • What people are saying
    • The general sentiment of comments
  • What people are experiencing
    • What is working well?
    • Where there are areas for improvement?

Read the January to March Report in full

 

New Ambulatory Care Centre Open

A new ambulatory care centre opened this month at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital.  Ambulatory care is treating urgent conditions on a same day basis, without you being admitted to hospital.This is a consultant-led service provided alongside specialist nurse practitioners. Diagnostic scans may be available same day, and with medications dispensed straight from the ward, any potential delays for patients are minimised and treatments are received promptly.The ambulatory care centre is not a walk-in centre, instead patients are referred from the emergency department, their GP or other healthcare professional. The only exception to this is emergency gynaecology which patients can self-refer into. This centre will aim to treat patients on a ‘same day’ basis to prevent admission to hospital, allowing patients to receive the care they need as rapidly as possible before returning home.

If you’d like to know more about the ambulatory care centre please visit Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Dementia report

Are people with dementia getting the right support?

To find out whether people are getting the right dementia support as their condition deteriorates, Healthwatch England reviewed:

  • What over 700 people said about their care
  • Data from 97 councils about whether people’s needs are being assessed and reviewed
Fewer than half of all people with dementia, who use social care, are getting the regular care reviews they are entitled to. Councils must ensure that these reviews are happening in a timely fashion, to meet the requirements of the Care Act 2014 and to make all care plans responsive to people’s changing needs.

Key Findings

  • People don’t always have a clear understanding of the support available to them and how to access care.
  • On average, people wait over two months between requesting support for dementia from the council, to that support being put in place. However by the time that people ask, they are at crisis point.
  • Once people have a care plan, only 45% are reviewed annually.
  • People with dementia are more likely to receive unplanned reviews triggered by an emergency or sudden event than general social care users.
  • 65% of people with dementia who had a review were referred for a full reassessment. However, half of these reassessments led to no change in the level of care and support.
  • One third of people with dementia, using long-term care services did not receive any review, whether planned or unplanned.

 

Oral Care in Care Homes

This week Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its latest report on oral care health in care homes.

Their findings reflect what people have been telling Healthwatch nationally, including the problems people face in accessing dentists.

Key findings from CQC

  • People who live in care homes do not always get the support they need to maintain good oral health.
  • 52% of care homes have no policy in place to support resident’s oral health. This could mean care home staff are not aware of the need to support people with daily mouth care, like brushing their teeth.
  • Many residents are not able to access oral health products like toothbrushes as care homes would not provide them, as they are seen as a cosmetic product, not a health care one.
  • One third of care homes said they had had difficulty accessing routine NHS dentistry services. Some managers reported that domiciliary dentists refused to visit care homes.

In response to the publication of the report, Healthwatch England Chair, Sir Robert Francis QC, said:

“Healthwatch has investigated the lack of oral healthcare in care homes for a number of years, and it is encouraging that this issue is now being addressed. Daily oral health support, which includes simple things like the daily brushing of teeth, is important to maintaining people’s overall health and it needs to be taken seriously.

“I am pleased that we have been able to work with the CQC to raise the profile of this issue and it is encouraging to see that practices are beginning to change. We want people to have the confidence to know that if they speak up to Healthwatch, action will be taken.

“What we learnt from this report is that we must improve oral healthcare training for care workers. It can make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of people living in care homes when care workers have a better understanding of what is good practice in oral healthcare and how they can support people to maintain good oral health.

“This report makes it clear that this issue is about more than just about access to dentists in care homes. The lack of availability of dentists is an growing issue that needs immediate attention. There is an increasing number of people who struggle to access high street dentists, and we urgently need to look at how we can successfully address this issue.”

Integrated Care Systems Confirmed

This month the NHS confirmed that the North East and North Cumbria is set to become the country’s largest integrated care system.  In an integrated care system, NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve. Please see the full press release below.

 

 

One in three people in England, 21 million, are set to further benefit from improved health and care, as three new areas were today announced as ‘integrated care systems’ (ICS).

The North East and North Cumbria will become the country’s largest ICS, serving more than three million people alone.

South East London becomes the first ICS in the capital while Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West makes up the third new area where different health and care organisations work together to plan and join up services.

Each has shown that its partners all share a common vision to improve health and care, backed up by robust operational and financial plans, and proposals for collective leadership and accountability.

They follow in the footsteps of the 12 earliest integrated care systems announced in 2018, plus two devolved health systems in Greater Manchester and Surrey.

ICSs are already helping people to stay healthy and independent for longer, giving more care closer to where they live and work, and improving response times and performance in areas such as cancer and A&E.

 

Successes to date include:

  • 100,000 more general practice appointments available for patients in Gloucestershire backed up by extra home visits from paramedics and physiotherapists, and medication advice from clinical pharmacists based in GPs’ surgeries
  • Best practice care for people with atrial fibrillation is being expanded to every GP practice in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. This will prevent nearly 200 strokes to 2021, saving £2.5 million in costs that the NHS will reinvest elsewhere.
  • a single care record for each of Dorset’s 800,000 residents, allowing health and care professionals across the county to see the same information in real time. Joining up information in this way means patients no longer need to repeat their story to different teams and improves care because their full needs are better understood.

These changes have been made possible by different organisations – NHS hospitals, GPs, councils, care homes and others – joining forces to agree and plan for local people’s needs.

Speaking to health and local government leaders at the NHS Confederation’s conference NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens is expected to say “The Long-Term Plan showed how the NHS and its partners will improve care and help people live healthier day-to-day lives over the next decade.

“To meet these ambitions, every NHS organisation will need to intensify partnership working with others – including local councils and community organisations – for the good of those we serve.

“These areas are among those showing the real gains of collaboration: helping more people to stay well and avoid needless trips to hospital, while making it easier to get high-quality specialist care.

“We must keep a laser focus on making services as convenient as possible – everyone should feel like they are dealing with one system instead of having to repeat their story to a series of different organisations.”

 Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council  and Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said “The move to integrated care across the country gives us the opportunity to really make a different for our residents and communities.  Locally, I’m convinced that working together in partnership with the NHS we will deliver huge benefits to the health and care system and will improve the health and wellbeing of Oxfordshire’s residents.”

 The systems will be built on a foundation of primary and community care, with primary care networks bringing together different professional teams – GPs, pharmacists, mental health and others – to invest a growing share of funding to do more in community settings.

They will also lead the way in developing a shared, in-depth understanding of residents’ full health needs, using ‘population health management’ technology to identify those at greatest risk of different ailments and supporting them as early as possible.

 

Amble Harbour

Health and Wellbeing Board Meeting

The Newcastle Chronicle this week reported on the discussions which took place at the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board meeting, which is attended by Healthwatch Northumberland Chair, David Thompson.

Siobhan Brown, Chief Operating Officer of NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which commissions the county’s healthcare services, set out how the CCG’s operational plan for this year will help to meet the goals of the Northumberland Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

The strategy has four themes: Giving children and young people the best start in life; Empowering people and communities; Tackling some of the wider determinants of health; Adopting a whole system approach to health and care.

Read the full report

Events

Haltwhistle Listening Event

We will be at Haltwhistle Library this month, listening to local people’s views and experiences on the NHS and social care services they have used. If you live in the area, we’d love you to call in and tell us about the services you and your family have used. We will also have information about help and support from local organisations and can help you find the services you need for a particular health condition or issue. For more information give us a ring on 03332 408468.

A Space at the Table

Screening of locally made film about dementia

Peter Woods of HexhamTV has made a film with a group of carers from Amble who are looking after their partners with dementia.

The film  is called ‘A Space at the Table’ because the space at the table that the person living with dementia would normally fill is gradually fading away with far reaching implications for each person living with dementia and also for their partners.

The film which lasts for an hour and 16 minutes is very personal and powerful and comes with a warning that it is not suitable to be shown to those living with dementia, those under 16 or to people who may be adversely affected by seeing its contents

With the kind support of Tynedale Dementia Action Group and The Forum Cinema, Hexham, Peter’s film is now being shown during Dementia Action Week 2019, on Wednesday 22 May, to highlight the honest and truthful experience of carers of partners living with dementia in Northumberland..

For more details and to book for this free screening click here.

For information and support regarding dementia please visit our dementia page

Northumberland Pride

We’re so pleased to be a part of the Northumberland Pride event again this year.

Northumberland Pride is a county wide organisation set up in 2017 to raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT+) culture and heritage. This is done this by promoting equality and diversity for the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The group also provides safe spaces which break down barriers that promote inclusion and support across Northumberland.

2018 saw the first Northumberland Pride in Alnwick. The event was attended by over 2,500 people and thecolourful march through the town centre of Alnwick attracted over 500 people. Visit our stand to tell us about your experiences of NHS care and social care – you could win our fantastic sequin dog!

Northumberland Pride website

Sequinned cuddly dog toy

Sequin Dog Northumberland Pride

Hexham Abbey Living well in tynedale

Living Well in Tynedale

This event is hosted by Tynedale Dementia Action Alliance and is designed to be a fun afternoon that can help optimise physical and mental health.

Everyone is welcome to come along and find out what support and activities are available in the area. Highlights will include:

  • How to stay active and fit
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Start new hobbies and interests
  • Financial advice and resources
  • Live music

Refreshments will be available at the event. Healthwatch Northumberland will be there so make sure you come and say hello!

Watering can on a lawn with daffodils

Stepping into Spring Roadshow: Blyth

This is one of a series of free events for older people in Northumberland, from Ageing Well in Northumberland. The event is a chance to meet local organisations offering advice and information on staying well and keeping active. Call in for a cup of tea or coffee and have a chat about local events and activities, volunteering opportunities and keeping fit and healthy.

For more details about this event please email: jbell@activenorthumberland.co.uk

 

 

 

Panoramic view of Wooler

Glendale Health Awareness Fair

The Glendale and Cheviot Primary Care Group Patient Participation Groups are once again running a health awareness day at The Glendale Hall.
There are many health groups and organisations attending so there is something there for everyone. The event is being opened by Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health and some of the groups attending are:

Healthwatch Northumberland                                                                                                                                                                                         Age UK
Support Planners
Health Trainers
Hospice at Home
Carers Northumberland
Hear to Help
Diabetes UK
Arthritis
Assistance Animals
Stroke Association
Northumberland County Blind Association
Paramedic (if available)
U3A
Podiatry Services

The WI will be providing soup, tea, coffee and cakes.

Please pop in and see what help and support is available to you.

Watering can on a lawn with daffodils

Stepping into Spring Roadshow: Hexham

This is one of a series of free events for older people in Northumberland, from Ageing Well in Northumberland. The event is a chance to meet local organisations offering advice and information on staying well and keeping active. Call in for a cup of tea or coffee and have a chat about local events and activities, volunteering opportunities and keeping fit and healthy.

For more details about this event please email: lrobertson@activenorthumberland.co.uk

 

 

 

Watering can on a lawn with daffodils

Stepping into Spring Roadshow: Morpeth

This is one of a series of free events for older people in Northumberland, from Ageing Well in Northumberland. The event is a chance to meet local organisations offering advice and information on staying well and keeping active. Call in for a cup of tea or coffee and have a chat about local events and activities, volunteering opportunities and keeping fit and healthy.

For more details about this event please email: alison.byard@morpeth-tc.gov.uk

 

 

 

Watering can on a lawn with daffodils

Stepping into Spring Roadshow: Haltwhistle

This is one of a series of free events for older people in Northumberland, from Ageing Well in Northumberland. The event is a chance to meet local organisations offering advice and information on staying well and keeping active. Call in for a cup of tea or coffee and have a chat about local events and activities, volunteering opportunities and keeping fit and healthy.

For more details about this event please email: ellenwalton@haltwhistle.org.

 

 

Watering can on a lawn with daffodils

Stepping into Spring Roadshow: Prudhoe

This is one of a series of free events for older people in Northumberland, from Ageing Well in Northumberland. The event is a chance to meet local organisations offering advice and information on staying well and keeping active. Call in for a cup of tea or coffee and have a chat about local events and activities, volunteering opportunities and keeping fit and healthy.

For more details about this event please email: kstorey@activenorthumberland.org.uk.