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NHS Volunteer Responders

Registration for NHS Volunteer Responders is temporarily paused to enable over 750,000 applications to be processed and get the volunteer army up and running.  

NHS Volunteer Responders is a new group that will carry out simple, non-medical tasks to support people in England who are self-isolating because of specific health conditions. They will be used by healthcare professionals to make sure people who are highly vulnerable to coronavirus are able to stay safe and well at home.

NHS Volunteer Responders will support with simple but vital tasks including driving people to and from hospital, delivering food and medication, and telephone befriending. Volunteers will also support the NHS to transport equipment and supplies.

Volunteers have been recruited for four key roles; the support you request will need to match these roles in order to ensure the volunteer has received appropriate guidance and checks:

Community Response Volunteer: This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating/vulnerable, and delivering these supplies to their home.

Patient Transport Volunteer: This role supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, as well as taking patients to their essential appointments.

NHS Transport Volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites, it may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.

Check in and Chat Volunteer: This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.

NHS Volunteer Responders are not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.

Call 0808 196 3382 or visit the website

Coronavirus: What is Shielding?

People that have been identified from their medical records as being at highest risk of severe illness resulting in hospitalisation if they catch coronavirus (Covid-19) have been contacted by the government to start ‘shielding’ themselves.

The letter strongly advises people to rigorously follow the guidance, which includes staying at home at all times for at least 12 weeks.

The following Q&A, based on information provided by government aims to help you get some of the answers you need.

What does ‘shielding’ mean? 

Shielding is the word used to describe how to protect those at highest risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus. You can shield yourself following the government guidance, and shield others by minimising all interaction between yourself and those who are most at risk.

How do I shield myself?

If you think you have a condition which makes you extremely vulnerable or have received a letter from NHS England you are strongly advised to shield yourself, to reduce the chance of getting coronavirus (COVID-19). This means following the face-to-face distancing measures below:

  1. Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus
  2. These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  3. Do not leave your house
  4. Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example, family homes, weddings and religious services
  5. Do not go out for shopping, leisure or travel and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact
  6. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media

 

Do use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

How long do I shield myself for?

You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter.

How do I get food and medication if I’m shielding?

Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. The Government has also set up a dedicated website and helpline where you can go for wider support. Please register now if you have received the letter so that the government can start putting in place people to help:

Tel: 0800 028 8327

www.gov.uk/cornonavirus-extremely-vulnerable

This service can help answer any questions you may have, such as:

How do I get food shopping?

How do I buy medicine?

How do I pick up prescriptions?

I haven’t received a letter, but I think I am in the high-risk group – what should I do?

If you have not received a letter by 30 March, but feel you are within the high-risk category, you should contact your GP or hospital team. If you are unsure, check the list on the gov.uk website to see if you are in the most at risk/ extremely vulnerable group.

I’m worried that shielding is going to affect my mental health – what do I do?

Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling if you want to.

Remember, it is okay to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too. Or you might want to try an NHS recommended helpline.

 

Call-out for people to lend a hand for the NHS

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is appealing to people who could provide an extra pair of helping hands in these unprecedented times to come forward.

As nationally the NHS looks for volunteers, the trust, which has a hugely-valued volunteer service, is calling on those fit and able between the ages of 16 and 68 to support staff working in hospitals and in the community across Northumberland and North Tyneside to get in touch.

Recognised nationally for the quality of its volunteering programmes, Northumbria, like many NHS organisations, has seen numbers dwindle due to the national guidelines to protect over 70s and those with underlying health conditions.

People do not need medical or care experience, just a commitment to help the NHS cope with the increase in demand as a result of coronavirus.

On a busy ward this could include helping to change beds, making a cuppa, chatting to patients or running errands to help staff speed up processes. Within the community, this could mean linking with other groups to support community health services or those who are socially isolated.

Volunteers would not be asked to carry out the duties of paid staff.

Sir James Mackey, Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare said “Quite simply, the NHS here in Northumberland and North Tyneside needs your help. We greatly value the contribution of our hundreds of volunteers and the support they provide to our patients and staff in our hospitals and in the community.

“Sadly, many of our current volunteers have been asked to stand down due to the national guidance. This is absolutely the right thing to do to protect them and their families and, already, we are deeply missing them. As we prepare for more and more patients to need our help, the time is now for us to ask the general public to come forward to support us at this incredibly busy time.

“Please be assured that we only be asking people to provide an extra pair of helping hands which will make a massive difference to our patients and staff during this difficult period.”

People volunteering their time at Northumbria Healthcare must:

  • Be aged between 16 and 68
  • Be fit and well with no underlying health conditions or live, or care for, anyone who does
  • Be subject to checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • Not have symptoms of a high temperature and/or persistent cough

Northumbria Healthcare already works in partnership with Helpforce to ensure volunteering is an integral part of healthcare and makes a positive difference for patients, volunteers and NHS staff.

Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, founder of Helpforce, said “As we face unprecedented changes to our way of life, we are working hard with Northumbria Healthcare and our colleagues across our health and care services by looking at practical ways volunteers can help take the strain off frontline services.

“Keeping you and your loved ones safe is an absolute priority, but we must not forget those alone and at higher risk. Please be confident that we are dedicated to doing more and helping our partners to do the same.”

To volunteer or for more information, contact volunteers@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk, 0191 203 1511 or 07768 570178.

Changes to how we operate

We are following government advice and guidelines in light of the coronavirus outbreak and have made changes to the way we operate. We have postponed all of the community events we had planned and from Monday 23 March our staff will be mainly working from home. We are still very much open for business, so if you want to give us feedback on a service you’ve used, or if you are looking for information on local health or support for a particular issue, you can call our signposting service. Get in touch on 03332 408468 or email info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk.

Our board meeting scheduled for 24 March will not physically take place, but our board members are very much working away in the background and discussing future plans for Healthwatch Northumberland.

We will keep you updated with our plans on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages as things develop nationally.

Latest NHS coronavirus guidance

Pieces of my Jigsaw Project

Pieces of my Jigsaw is a memory book project from Crackin Toast involving people living with dementia in Northumberland. The project encourages people with dementia to continue telling their stories through conversations, illustrations and song. A short film of the project funded by The Arts Council is being shown venues across the county. It chronicles the project from the initial idea to the presentation of the personalised books and songs.

 

You can see the film, for free, at the following venues:

Wednesday 29 January: The Phoenix Theatre Blyth, 7.00pm

Tuesday 4 February: The Forum Cinema Hexham, 6.30pm

Tuesday 25 February: Cobalt Studios Newcastle, 6.30pm

 

An exhibition of the illustrations, books and pamphlets made during the project will be on display at:

The Forum Cinema Hexham, 2 – 15 January

The Phoenix Theatre Blyth, 30 January – 3 February

The Cloister Porch, Hexham Abbey, 5 February – 10 February

Woodhorn Colliery Museum, Ashington, 15 – 23 February

 

 

 

BID Services Northumberland

BID Sight Loss Drop In Service

BID Services is a charity working in partnership with children, young people and adults and their families and carers. It supports people who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired or have a dual sensory loss. Specialist service areas include advocacy, employment, British Sign Language interpreting and training, rehabilitation and mobility training, specialist equipment, residential care, social work, support for tinnitus and housing related services.

BID Services Northumberland is trying to further promote services across the community by having promotional tables at a range of venues for people to come along and discuss sight loss. There will be equipment on display and information leaflets available on different sight conditions. The people manning the table are qualified professionals within the sight loss area and are able to answer any questions you may have. Please see below where you can go and when to have a chat with the BID Services team.

For more information call 01670 293150.

 

Prudhoe Waterworld

Monday 17 February, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Thursday 25 June, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Friday 23 October, 1.30pm – 3.30pm

 

Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham

Monday 17 February, 11.00am – 1.00pm

Tuesday 25 June, 11.00am – 1.00pm

Friday 23 October, 10.30am – 12.30pm

 

Swan Centre, Berwick

Monday 20 January, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Wednesday 20 May, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Thursday 24 September, 10.30am – 12.30pm

 

Willowburn Leisure Centre, Alnwick

Monday 20 January, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Wednesday 20 May, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Thursday 24 September, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

 

Ashington Leisure Centre

Monday 20 April, 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Wednesday 19 August, 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Friday 4 December, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

 

Riverside Leisure Centre, Morpeth

Monday 20 April, 11.30am – 1.30pm

Wednesday 19 August, 11.30am – 1.30pm

Friday 4 December, 11.00am – 1.00pm

 

Blyth Sports Centre

Wednesday 25 March, 11.30am – 1.30pm

Thursday 23 July, 11.30am – 1.30pm

Friday 20 November, 11.00am – 1..00pm

 

Concordia Leisure Centre, Cramlington

Wednesday 25 March, 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Thursday 23 July, 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Friday 20 November, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magic Memories Dementia Cafe Blyth

Magic Memories Dementia Group Café at Blyth Central Methodist Church Hall, Beaconsfield Street, Blyth

For carers of, and people with memory problems or dementia. Come along for a chat, to pick up information and to enjoy some social time with others in a similar situation to your own where you can share ideas and experiences. There’s no need to book, please just drop in; refreshments will be available.

The café will run fortnightly on Mondays, dates shown below, from 1.00pm to 3.00pm in the Church Hall at Blyth Central Methodist Church.

(Magic Memories Dementia Cafe is independent to any of the church groups or activities)

For further information please contact Kath 07762 743579 or Joanne 07762 403292 or email: magicmemories2018@gmail.com

 

2020 dates – takes place on the following Mondays: 

13 and 27 January

17 and 24 February

9 and 23 March

6 and 23 April

11 May

1, 15 and 29 June

13 and 27 July

10 and 24 August

7 and 21 September

5 and 19 October

2, 16 and 30 November

7 and 14 December

Find more support at our Dementia webpage

Healthwatch Northumberland Board

Healthwatch Northumberland – Join our Board

Healthwatch Northumberland Board

Healthwatch Northumberland is looking for up to four exceptional people with a keen interest in, and passion about, ensuring local communities have their say on heath and social care services, to join our board.

Find out more below and please apply by 6 November 2019.

 

Healthwatch Northumberland Board Recruitment Information

Application Form

Healthwatch Northumberland Strategic Plan

Help us understand Patient Participation Groups

Help Healthwatch Northumberland  to understand Patient Participation Groups

 

We have an exciting opportunity for someone to help us understand more about how the Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) in the county work and how they interact with the health service commissioners and providers.

Healthwatch Northumberland is committed to working in partnership with key groups in local communities and with decision makers, providers and commissioners of health and social care services.   We recognise that PPGs in GP practices are an important way in which local people can influence the services on offer, and how improvements can be made for the benefit of patients, carers and the practice.

The brief below tells you more about the work we would like to do and how you could help us to achieve it.   The closing date for submissions is 9.00am on 24 October.

To discuss the project contact Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator  derryn@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or 03332 408468

 

Understanding Patient Particpation Groups in Northumberland

 

 

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

Events

Community Information Morning Hexham

Our umbrella organisation Adapt (NE) holds these quarterly Community Information Mornings for the benefit of the local community.

Anyone can pop in to this free event and pick up advice and information about health, wellbeing, transport, money and things going on in your area. A mix of organisations come along each time and this month you can find out more about Tynedale Hospice at HomeNorthumberland Cancer Support GroupAlzheimers Society and of course Healthwatch Northumberland, Macular Society plus help around Attendance Allowance from Northumbria Healthcare.

We will be asking about your experiences of NHS, health and social care experiences of 2019 for our Annual Survey which runs throughout February and March.By telling us what went well and what could be better, you can help us be more effective on your behalf and influence positive changes for people in Northumberland,

Join us for a cuppa and a piece of cake in the Resource Room – just through the door from Cafe @ Burn Lane, Hexham.

 

 

Coffee Thursday

Coffee Thursday is a free, monthly pop-in coffee morning, where you can take time out for a cuppa and a biscuit and have a chat, when you’re having a tough time. Health Trainer Donna will be there to meet you, listen and give support on lots of issues that can get us down – health, money, relationships – or point you in the direction of someone who can.

It can really help to say things out loud and get them off your chest if you’re feeling fed up, stressed, worried or overwhelmed.

If you feel it would help to talk to someone in a non-judgemental, safe space, then Coffee Thursday might be just what you need. You can stay for as long as you like.

Not sure it’s for you? Call in and see what you think. Everyone is welcome at this free monthly pop-in coffee morning.

 

Happening between 10.30am and 12.30pm Coffee Thursday dates for 2020 are:

Thursday 30 January

Thursday 20 February

Thursday 26 March

Thursday 23 April

Coffee Thursday

Coffee Thursday is a free, monthly pop-in coffee morning, where you can take time out for a cuppa and a biscuit and have a chat, when you’re having a tough time. Health Trainer Donna will be there to meet you, listen and give support on lots of issues that can get us down – health, money, relationships – or point you in the direction of someone who can.

It can really help to say things out loud and get them off your chest if you’re feeling fed up, stressed, worried or overwhelmed.

If you feel it would help to talk to someone in a non-judgemental, safe space, then Coffee Thursday might be just what you need. You can stay for as long as you like.

Not sure it’s for you? Call in and see what you think. Everyone is welcome at this free monthly pop-in coffee morning.

 

Happening between 10.30am and 12.30pm Coffee Thursday dates for 2020 are:

Thursday 30 January

Thursday 20 February

Thursday 26 March

Thursday 23 April

Christmas Lunch at The Round House

Age UK Northumberland is holding Christmas lunches on two dates this December. The lunch will include Christmas carols, sumptious food, a raffle and a visit from Father Christmas!

Tickets cost £9.50 per person and places can be booked by calling 01670 784800 or call in to The Round House, Lintonville Parkway, Ashington NE63 9JZ.

Also on Wednesday 11 December.

 

Christmas Lunch at The Round House

Age UK Northumberland is holding Christmas lunches on two dates this December. The lunch will include Christmas carols, sumptious food, a raffle and a visit from Father Christmas!

Tickets cost £9.50 per person and places can be booked by calling 01670 784800 or call in to The Round House, Lintonville Parkway, Ashington NE63 9JZ.

Also on Tuesday 17 December.

 

Creating Space

Creating Space is a new craft session run by local people, for local people, and will provide a friendly and supportive space for those who might find getting crafty helps with low mood and improves wellbeing. Please come along if you are interested – a warm welcome and a cuppa awaits!

Become a Dementia Friend

Come along to this free, interactive information session to learn how dementia affects a person and what you can do to make a difference. Become a Dementia Friend and join more than two million others taking action. From being more patient in a shop queue to campaigning for change, every action counts.

Anyone of any age can become a Dementia Friend.

Taking place at:

The Beaumont Hotel, Hexham NE46 3LT

5.15pm (for one hour)

All welcome. Please book in advance by emailing: edward.chivers@alzheimers.org.uk or call or text: 07784 224678.

Creating Space

Creating Space is a new craft session starting at Adapt (NE) in Hexham this November.
Creating Space is run by local people, for local people, and will provide a friendly and supportive space for those who might find getting crafty helps with low mood and improves wellbeing.
This first session will be an initial meeting to chat about what people want, how often the sessions will happen and other details of the sessions going forward. Please come along if you are interested – a warm welcome and a cuppa awaits!

Community Information Morning Hexham

The next Information Morning is on Thursday 14 November, from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Call in to this free event for a cuppa and slice of cake and discover more about what’s on offer locally. Advice and information about health and wellbeing, local services, social activities and more. There’s so much out there – come along and see what there is for you.

People chatting at a community event

Community Information Morning – Hexham

The next Community Information Morning from Adapt (NE) will take place on Tuesday 14 May, between 10.30am and 12.30pm in the Resource Room (next to Cafe at Burn Lane). Come along and talk to local organisations with advice and support about health, wellbeing and more. For more information call: 01434 600599. Confirmed to attend this month are Age UK Northumberland, Alzheimers Society, Northumberland Community Development Company and Talking Matters, along with members of the HWN team.