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What you told us – July to September 2020

As a listening organisation working across Northumberland, Healthwatch Northumberland is interested in what people think is working well in 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 July to September 2020. During this period we have continued to work in different ways due to the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic. The next report will cover October – December 2020.

This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:

  • Telephone calls, emails and social media (87%)
  • Talking to people at online engagement events (7%)
  • Through a third party (7%)

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.

Between July and September 2020, we received feedback from 27 individuals from talking to people at online engagement events, telephone calls, emails, our website, surveys, and other sources. We signposted 15 of these people to services, and provided information or advice to five people. In total we were in contact with 29 people who gave us feedback or were signposted.

Read the Feedback Report for July to September 2020

Hospital reception area

Transport Implications for health services in Coquetdale

As part of the 2016 proposal to close the inpatient beds at the Rothbury Community Hospital, Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group produced a Travel Impact Report. An updated report was presented to the Rothbury Hospital Review Group in January 2019.

This report, and any examination of public transport timetables in Coquetdale, immediately demonstrates two key facts: for many people in the upper dale there is little or no public transport and the only towns directly accessible from Coquetdale are Alnwick, Morpeth and Newcastle.

Healthwatch Northumberland would add that such a study should also consider the reality of using services as well as their availability and we have looked in more detail at the most likely journeys to be taken. We also consider the issue of public transport provision in the future in the face of likely reductions in funding for concessionary and non-commercial services.
We consider some of the issues of using private cars, for example, the percentage of individuals of different ages that hold driving licences and the assumptions about car usage at different income levels.

You can read our report here.