Posts

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

New Northumberland MSK and pain service announced

NHS Northumberland CCG has announced changes to musculoskeletal services in the county – please see their statement below. Healthwatch Northumberland would like to hear from people across all parts of Northumberland who use these services currently, about the service they are receiving and how they are affected after 1 July when the new service begins. To get in touch please visit our Contact Us page.

 

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is pleased to announce, following a comprehensive procurement process, that Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) has been awarded the contract to provide a new musculoskeletal and pain service in partnership with Connect Health.

The term musculoskeletal condition (MSK) includes well over 200 disorders affecting joints, bones, muscles and soft tissues. Some of the most common conditions that would be seen in the new MSK and pain service include back pain, sprains and strains, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.  The new service is for patients in Northumberland aged 16 and over with MSK or pain issues where all other conservative treatments have been considered.

Commenting on the new contract, Dr John Warrington, Director for Planned Care for the CCG said: “The successful bid was of a high standard with some exciting developments that will enhance the care of Northumberland patients.”

As part of the procurement process, the CCG carried out a period of engagement to provide patients and GPs with an opportunity to comment on how the new service should be designed.

John continued: “We know from our engagement with patients that they want quicker access to appointments and referrals, and we recognise the positive impact this has on patients’ diagnosis and treatment. The new service will ensure all patients across the county have equal access to high quality NHS services. The bid forms a partnership between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation and Connect Health. Connect Health has successfully been awarded many NHS contracts throughout the country and will bring their tried and tested systems to Northumberland. We are keen to work with both organisations, who also have the potential to offer innovative developments to further improve care for Northumberland patients.”

MSK problems are the most common reason for repeat appointments with a GP, comprising up to 30% of primary care consultations nationally. In recent years, as the number of elderly people in the community has increased, the number of people with MSK conditions has also risen. The new service, which will be called Joint Musculoskeletal and Pain Service (JMAPS), will improve access for patients and provide them with the opportunity to choose care based on their desired outcomes and personal preferences.

Nicky Moon, Deputy Director for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the preferred bidder and together with Connect Health, we are looking forward to delivering the best possible service for the people of Northumberland. We are currently working with staff on the implementation plan. Our experience of providing MSK services over previous years gives us a fantastic foundation on which to build and we know we have a dedicated and highly skilled workforce ready to deliver this new service.”

Professor Andrew Walton, Executive Chair for Connect Health said: “I am delighted that Connect Health will be able to support the population of Northumberland in the delivery of a robust and innovative Joint Musculoskeletal and Pain Service. Here at Connect Health, we are confident that we will be partnering with a really enthusiastic team at Northumbria Healthcare who advocate the same patient-centred values that we do. We will demonstrate our commitment to improving the lives of people living with musculoskeletal problems and persistent pain and I’m truly excited about how we can be creative with how we deliver this.”

The CCG will now work with the Trust and Connect Health to ensure the service is up and running by July 2019 and those patients using existing services experience a seamless transition.

Quarterly Report October – December 2018

As independent champion for people who use health and social care services, we listen to your experiences of using these services.  This report shares the themes from the feedback we received between 1 October to 31 December 2018.

We receive feedback and enquiries by:

  • Talking to people at local community events
  • Telephone calls, emails and social media
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups on specific issues

Healthwatch Northumberland is open to all feedback about health and social care services but respondents to our Annual Survey identified five priorities for specific focus these are mental health services, dementia care services, home care, GP services and access to services.

Between October and December 2018 we had 98 individual pieces of unsolicited feedback and we spoke with approximately 530 people face to face. We attended flu clinics at GP practices in Tynedale, North Northumberland and Castle Morpeth, talking to a wide range of older residents and those with long term conditions and learning disabilities. We were at Morpeth, Berwick, Prudhoe, and Widdrington libraries during Library Week. We also attended “Winter Warmer” and SEND events, the Carers’ Rights
Day at Berwick and spoke at the Belford Parish Council and the Belford Practice Patient Participation Group.

Read the October to December 2018 report in full.

 

Pharmacy Opening May Bank Holiday

Another Bank Holiday is on its way, so make sure you pick up any prescriptions you may need before then. Some pharmacies in Northumberland will be open for a time on Bank Holiday Monday 27 May. Click on the link below to see when your nearest pharmacy is open. It is recommended that you call before visiting.

Pharmacy Opening Northumberland Summer 2019

 

Annual Survey 2019 Headlines

We had a 35% increase in responses to our annual survey this year; thank you for taking part. We had responses from all area of the county apart from just one or two postcodes. 64% of people said that overall, their experience of care services in the past 12 months had been good or excellent, whilst 13% described their experience as poor – a similar figure to last year. The main themes to emerge are:

  • GPs – many favourable comments but appointments are still a concern, in terms of availability rather than the process of getting them.
  • Communication within and between services causes concern across all services
  • Fewer concerns reported about Patient Transport than last year
  • GP services and mental health services remain a priority for people
  • Some concerns around access to services

 

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

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

Countryside view in Coquetdale

Carers Wanted for Focus Group

Carers in Coquetdale are being asked to take part in a focus group as part of a postgraduate study research project. The study aims to look at health and social care through your eyes as a carer and to have your views fed (anonymously) to the council, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust and Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

 

What would that involve?

You will take part in a focus group of six to eight carers, lasting 60 to 90 minutes.  In the focus group you will be asked to discuss topics put forward by the researcher and to suggest questions that you would like the researcher to ask the council, the trust and the CCG.

The focus group will take place in The Cheviot Room, Jubilee Hall, on Tuesday 12 March at 2.00pm.

You will then be invited to a second focus group, again lasting 60 to 90 minutes, to hear what the council, NHS trust and the CCG have to say and to share what has changed for you and the person you care for.  Everyone’s anonymity will be protected.

 

Who is doing this study? 

This research is being undertaken by Rita Stringfellow, postgraduate student in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University, who is also a carer.

If you would like to take part please email: rita.stringfellow@northumbria.ac.uk or call: 07968157741.

 

Nurse talking to a man in a hospital

Become the heartbeat of your local NHS

If you’re passionate about the NHS, then joining Northumbria HealthcareNHS Foundation Trust as a member will give you the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas about the way the trust delivers care to over half a million people across Northumberland and North Tyneside.  Northumbria Healthcare is a forward thinking organisation and at the forefront of pioneering changes in the NHS, so it’s a great time to join.

You can be involved as much or as little as you like, from simply receiving e-newsletters and voting papers to donating your time as a volunteer or standing for election to become a trust governor. It is free to become a member and you can opt out at any time.

To join please complete the short online membership form.

 

 

 

Events

Watering can on a lawn with daffodils

Stepping into Spring Roadshow: Ponteland

The first of this year’s Stepping into Spring Roadshows from Ageing Well in Northumberland kicks off in Ponteland. This is a free event for older people, packed with 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. The Healthwatch Northumberland team will be at this event so come and say hello and pick up a giveaway or two!

For more details about this event please email: veronica.jones@northumberland.gov.uk.

 

Two ladies chatting with a clipboard

Annual Survey Drop In – Belford

We will be in Belford on Wednesday 13 March with our annual survey. Come and meet us at The Bell View Centre between 1.30pm and 3.00pm and share your experiences of health and social care over the last 12 months.

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.

Thank you for your support and we hope you can call in to see us.

children playing on grassland

In It Together Annual Conference (Hexham)

This year’s In It Together Parent Carer Forum annual conference is entitled ‘Getting it Right.’ The theme is preparing for adulthood from the earliest years. The event will be of interest to all parents and carers of children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) in Northumberland, but particularly those in Year 6 and above.

This year there will be two events in the county. You can book for the Hexham event here.

There is also an event in Alnwick at the Rugby Club on 19 March. More details and bookings here.

For further information about the conference please contact In It Together Parent Carer Forum: info@in-it-together.org.uk or call: 07729192909.

children playing on grassland

In It Together Annual Conference (Alnwick)

This year’s In It Together Parent Carer Forum annual conference is entitled ‘Getting it Right.’ The theme is preparing for adulthood from the earliest years. The event will be of interest to all parents and carers of children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) in Northumberland, but particularly those in Year 6 and above.

This year there will be two events in the county. You can book for the Alnwick event here.

There is also an event in Hexham at the Mart on 20 March. More details and bookings here.

For further information about the conference please contact In It Together Parent Carer Forum: info@in-it-together.org.uk or call: 07729192909.

Two ladies chatting with a clipboard

Annual Survey Drop In – Bamburgh

We will be in Bamburgh on Wednesday 13 March with our annual survey. Come and meet us at Bamburgh Pavilion between 10.00am and 12.00pm and share your experiences of health and social care over the last 12 months.

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.

Thank you for your support and we hope you can call in to see us.

Two ladies chatting with a clipboard

Annual Survey Drop In – Wooler

We will be in Wooler on Thursday 21 February with our annual survey. Come and meet us at Cheviot and Glendale surgeries between 10.00am and 12.00pm and share your experiences of health and social care over the last 12 months.

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.

Thank you for your support and we hope you can call in to see us.

Two ladies chatting with a clipboard

Annual Survey Drop In – Rothbury

We will be in Rothbury on Friday 22 February with our annual survey. Come and meet us at The Jubilee Hall (Simonside Room), between 10.00am and 12.00pm and share your experiences of health and social care over the last 12 months.

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.

Thank you for your support and we hope you can call in to see us.

Group of smiling older people

Let’s Talk Pensioners

Come along and have a chat to some local organisations and support services and see what is on in your area. Sponsored by the Police Crime Comissioner, the event will have information stands from Healthwatch Northumberland, Carers Northumberland, Age UK, Alzheimers Society, Northumberland County Council and the NHS. There will be plenty of advice and information available at this free event – call in for a chat and a cup of coffee.

Living with and Beyond Cancer

Living with and Beyond Cancer Event

Northumbria NHS Healthcare Foundation Trust runs regular health and wellbeing events for people with a cancer diagnosis.  They are an opportunity to get lots of advice and support to help you make choices that improve your wellbeing.

Many well-established local organisations are on hand to provide advice on a wide variety of topics and you can discover what facilities and services are available on our doorstep. The events cover topics such as:

  • Diet, exercise and general wellbeing including improving your mental wellbeing
  • Cancer awareness and managing  your symptoms
  • Volunteering and practical hobbies such as IT, gardening, photography and joinery
  • Financial advice and help with getting back to work
  • Support for carers
If you’d like to come along get in touch at

Two hands making a heart shape

Heart Support Group – Blyth

Do you or a family member have a heart condition or heart disease?

Heart Support Groups can help you share experiences, gain emotional support, provide opportunities for families and carers to learn about how others cope, offer healthy lifestyle tips and organise activities.

An opportunity has arisen to start a new Heart Support Group in Blyth with funding from The British Heart Foundation. The first session will take place on Thursday 14 February at The Buffalo Centre, Blyth, between 11.00am and 1.00pm. For more information visit the Buffalo Centre website or email: chris@buffalocommunitycentre.co.uk.