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NHS Long Term Plan – Our Report

Thanks to everyone who told us their views on the local implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS England and NHS Improvement asked Healthwatch to work with communities across the country to find out how the NHS Long Term Plan should be implemented at a local level. More than 30,000 people from across England shared their views about how the NHS can better support them in keeping well and how it can improve care for specific conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and autism.

Staff and volunteers from all 151 local Healthwatch across England also held more than 500 focus groups, bringing together people from all sections of the community to share how they would improve local NHS services.

 

Overall Satisfaction

In Northumberland, the specific health conditions which people told us about were cancer, autism, heart and lung diseases, mental health and long term conditions. People with cancer and autism reported the most positive experiences and those experiencing dementia and mental health services, the most negative. Of this group of respondents 62% felt the support they received when they first tried to access help did not meet their needs, 23% felt it did meet their needs and 15% thought it met their needs ‘somewhat’. 17% described the waiting time to receive an initial diagnosis as ‘fast’ with 63% rating it as ‘slow’ or ‘very slow’. Those with mental health conditions were the most dissatisfied with the speed of being referred to a specialist, cancer was the only condition where the referral rate was said to be ‘fast’. People with specific conditions show a preference for diagnostic services to be within an hour’s travel time. This is especially marked for those with mental health problems.

 

Travelling for Diagnosis

71% of respondents in this category used a car as their way of travelling. Living in a large rural county an hour’s travel time is important as it has different implications for those who can drive to appointments and those who rely on public transport or being driven by friends and family. Those with dementia reported using a taxi and carers pointed out the difficulty of driving with a person with dementia. The difficulty of accessing alternative or planned transport – either NHS or charitable – was noted, as dementia is not routinely an automatic qualifying condition. People with specific conditions showed a higher preference for services up to one hour travelling time away, but were prepared to travel further.

The feedback we received in Northumberland via surveys and the focus groups we held fed into the combined Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham report.

Read the full report

 

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.

 

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

A full report will be available soon.

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

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.

 

People talking at a Healthwatch event

Join us! Engagement and Research Officer Vacancy

Engagement and Research Officer

Healthwatch Northumberland

 

  • Part time – 25 hours a week
  • £23,685 pro rata – £16,003
  • Permanent dependent on funding
  • Closing date midnight Friday 15 March 2019
  • Interviews will be held on 27 March 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, especially if you have experience in gathering data and producing engaging information and reports.

If you would like an informal discussion about the role and Healthwatch Northumberland, contact Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator, on: 03332 408468 or email: derryn@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk.

 

Job Description and Person Specification

Healthwatch Northumberland Strategic Plan

Application Form

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.

 

Rothbury Village

Rothbury Hospital – Task and Finish Group

A new group will examine proposals put forward by the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) regarding the future of Rothbury Community Hospital.

The services at the hospital are commissioned by the CCG and in October 2017 the council’s Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) met to consider the proposed closure of the 12 bed inpatient ward at the hospital, with services being shaped around a new health and wellbeing centre on the site.The committee referred the final decision to the Secretary of State for Health. Last month he announced that while the inpatient ward should not be immediately re-opened, further action is required to agree and implement the proposed health and wellbeing centre.

The Minister asked for an update on progress by the end of January 2019.

The council has already pledged to work closely with the local community, Healthwatch Northumberland and the CCG to develop proposals for the hospital over the coming months. Councillor Jeff Watson, who also leads the Health and Wellbeing OSC, will chair the new review group. At the first scoping session it was agreed that the CCG and OSC would fully engage with the community as the health and wellbeing centre is developed, while there is also a joint assessment on the impact of travel, cost and inconvenience for families and carers of those affected by the planned closure.

Councillor Watson said: “As timescales are tight it is important we set up a small working group to ensure progress is made quickly. Although an update is required by the Secretary of State by the end of January we do recognise work will continue beyond then which the OSC will need to monitor and review.”

David Thompson, Chair of Healthwatch Northumberland, added: “We welcome the opportunity to continue our involvement in this crucially important issue for people in the Rothbury area, in our role as independent health and social care champion. We would encourage people to get in touch with us with their ideas and views.”

A meeting of the review group, which the public can attend, will be held in the council chamber at County Hall on 10 December at 9.30am.

woman rubbing her shoulder

Share your views on new Musculoskeletal Service

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is looking to develop a new musculoskeletal (MSK) and pain service.  The aim is to provide a service that will improve access for patients and provide them with the opportunity to choose care based on their desired outcomes and personal preferences.

To ensure the new service is centred on people’s needs the CCG wants to hear your views. If you have ever suffered from any of the below, please help them by completing a short survey (link below).

  •              Back pain
  •              Osteoarthritis
  •              Rheumatoid arthritis
  •              Osteoporosis
  •              Fibromyalgia
  •              Neck pain
  •              Ligament injuries
  •              Sprains and strains
  •              Over-use injuries
  •              Chronic pain management, or
  •              Another MSK related condition

 

Complete the Muskuloskeletal Survey

The survey is open until 24 October 2018. The CCG will also set up a number of focus groups to discuss the new service during October. If you wish to be involved please contact audrey.barton@nhs.net or call 01670 335198.

 

young people in group

Insight Report – Young People’s Mental Health Services

This report shares the insights from Healthwatch Northumberland’s on-going work to understand the different mental health services available for young people and the barriers they may face in using them.

Using the combined evidence from young people themselves and professionals in the statutory and voluntary sectors our aim is to highlight good practice and promote positive solutions to the commissioners and providers.

Read the full report here.

Events

Let’s Talk – Audiology Services, Seaton Delaval

We would like to hear from Northumberland residents about their experience of using local audiology services (services to help with hearing loss) and the aftercare they receive. We are interested in finding out what is working well and what needs improvement.

You can also find us at:

Bellview Centre, Belford: Tuesday 10 September, 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Ponteland Medical Centre: Thursday 12 September, 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Age UK, Ashington: Wednesday 18 September, 10.00am – 11.00am
Adapt (NE), Hexham: Thursday 19 September, 1.00pm – 2.30pm

If you are unable to make one of these sessions and would like to feedback about audiology services, please get in touch with us directly

The Hear to Help Project from Action on Hearing Loss closed at the end of April 2019. Hearing aid support is now available directly from NHS audiology services. Find out where you can get support.

Let’s Talk – Audiology Services, Hexham

We would like to hear from Northumberland residents about their experience of using local audiology services (services to help with hearing loss) and the aftercare they receive. We are interested in finding out what is working well and what needs improvement.

You can also find us at:

Bellview Centre, Belford: Tuesday 10 September, 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Ponteland Medical Centre: Thursday 12 September, 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Age UK, Ashington: Wednesday 18 September, 10.00am – 11.00am
Seaton Delaval Community Centre: Tuesday 1 October, 10.00am – 11.00am

If you are unable to make one of these sessions and would like to feedback about audiology services, please get in touch with us directly

The Hear to Help Project from Action on Hearing Loss closed at the end of April 2019. Hearing aid support is now available directly from NHS audiology services. Find out where you can get support.

Let’s Talk – Audiology Services, Ashington

We would like to hear from Northumberland residents about their experience of using local audiology services (services to help with hearing loss) and the aftercare they receive. We are interested in finding out what is working well and what needs improvement. You can also find us at:

Bellview Centre, Belford: Tuesday 10 September, 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Ponteland Medical Centre: Thursday 12 September, 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Adapt (NE), Hexham: Thursday 19 September, 1.00pm – 2.30pm
Seaton Delaval Community Centre: Tuesday 1 October, 10.00am – 11.00am

If you are unable to make one of these sessions and would like to feedback about audiology services, please get in touch with us directly

The Hear to Help Project from Action on Hearing Loss closed at the end of April 2019. Hearing aid support is now available directly from NHS audiology services. Find out where you can get support.

Let’s Talk – Audiology Services, Ponteland

We would like to hear from Northumberland residents about their experience of using local audiology services (services to help with hearing loss) and the aftercare they receive. We are interested in finding out what is working well and what needs improvement.

You can also find us at:

Bellview Centre, Belford: Tuesday 10 September, 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Age UK, Ashington: Wednesday 18 September, 10.00am – 11.00am
Adapt (NE), Hexham: Thursday 19 September, 1.00pm – 2.30pm
Seaton Delaval Community Centre: Tuesday 1 October, 10.00am – 11.00am

If you are unable to make one of these sessions and would like to feedback about audiology services, please get in touch with us directly

The Hear to Help Project from Action on Hearing Loss closed at the end of April 2019. Hearing aid support is now available directly from NHS audiology services. Find out where you can get support.

Let’s Talk – Audiology Services, Belford

We would like to hear from Northumberland residents about their experience of using local audiology services (services to help with hearing loss) and the aftercare they receive. We are interested in finding out what is working well and what needs improvement.

You can also find us at:

Ponteland Medical Centre: Thursday 12 September, 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Age UK, Ashington: Wednesday 18 September, 10.00am – 11.00am
Adapt (NE), Hexham: Thursday 19 September, 1.00pm – 2.30pm
Seaton Delaval Community Centre: Tuesday 1 October, 10.00am – 11.00am

If you are unable to make one of these sessions and would like to feedback about audiology services, please get in touch with us directly

The Hear to Help Project from Action on Hearing Loss closed at the end of April 2019. Hearing aid support is now available directly from NHS audiology services. Find out where you can get support.

NHS Northumberland CCG logo

Northumberland CCG Annual Public Meeting

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be holding its Annual Public Meeting on Wednesday 26 June. The CCG is responsible for the planning and purchasing of Northumberland’s healthcare. If you are interested in developments of health care services in the county and would like to know about plans for the future, this meeting is a chance to find out more.

For further information, to confirm attendance or to submit a question for the CCG governing body, please contact Stephen Young on: 01670 335161 or email: norccg.enquiries@nhs.net before 24 June.

Work for the NHS

Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic NHS Recruitment Event

If you’d like to find out more about working in the NHS, head to the Royal Victoria Infirmary for this recruitment event. The NHS is committed to making workplaces inclusive and is taking positive action to increase Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation in the workforce.

Whether you come along for a few minutes or longer you will have the opportunity to speak to staff, view current vacancies, learn how to set up for job alerts, learn how to complete a good application form and find out about volunteering opportunties. Staff representatives from all local NHS Trusts will be on hand to answer all of your questions.

Workshops will be available throughout the day:

  • Introduction to roles in the NHS and the recruitment process
  • Introduction to NHS jobs
  • Completing an NHS Jobs Application Form
  • Interview Skills Preparation.
Silhouettes of two people jumping on a beach

Have your say on health and care: Alnwick Event

Northumberland County Council and NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working together to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the county’s residents and reduce inequalities over the next ten years.

Health and care leaders from the Health and Wellbeing Board have drafted a new Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for the county. This explains what health and wellbeing priorities the board has set in order to tackle the county’s health needs. Rather than taking action on everything at once, it sets priorities for joint action with the aim of making a real impact on people’s lives.

People living and working across Northumberland are being asked to share their views on future health and care priorities by completing an online survey.  Your feedback  will be gathered and considered to help shape the final Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy which is due to be published later this year. Four enagement events are taking place across the county. The other events are:

  • Wednesday 15 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Morpeth Town Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1LZ
  • Thursday 16 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Isabella Community Centre, Ogle Drive, Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 5JF
  • Friday 17 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Hexham Abbey, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 3NB

 

The online survey can be completed here until Friday 7 September.

More details can be found on the council’s website here.

If you would like to attend one of the events or for further information please email: melodyprice@nhs.net or call 01670 335 185.

Silhouettes of two people jumping on a beach

Have your say on health and care: Hexham Event

Northumberland County Council and NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working together to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the county’s residents and reduce inequalities over the next ten years.

Health and care leaders from the Health and Wellbeing Board have drafted a new Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for the county. This explains what health and wellbeing priorities the board has set in order to tackle the county’s health needs. Rather than taking action on everything at once, it sets priorities for joint action with the aim of making a real impact on people’s lives.

People living and working across Northumberland are being asked to share their views on future health and care priorities by completing an online survey.  Your feedback  will be gathered and considered to help shape the final Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy which is due to be published later this year. Four enagement events are taking place across the county. The other events are:

  • Wednesday 15 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Morpeth Town Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1LZ
  • Thursday 16 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Isabella Community Centre, Ogle Drive, Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 5JF
  • Monday 20 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Northumberland Hall, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1TN

 

The online survey can be completed here until Friday 7 September.

More details can be found on the council’s website here.

If you would like to attend one of the events or for further information please email: melodyprice@nhs.net or call 01670 335 185.

Silhouettes of two people jumping on a beach

Have your say on health and care: Blyth Event

Northumberland County Council and NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working together to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the county’s residents and reduce inequalities over the next ten years.

Health and care leaders from the Health and Wellbeing Board have drafted a new Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for the county. This explains what health and wellbeing priorities the board has set in order to tackle the county’s health needs. Rather than taking action on everything at once, it sets priorities for joint action with the aim of making a real impact on people’s lives.

People living and working across Northumberland are being asked to share their views on future health and care priorities by completing an online survey.  Your feedback  will be gathered and considered to help shape the final Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy which is due to be published later this year. Four enagement events are taking place across the county. The other events are:

  • Wednesday 15 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Morpeth Town Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1LZ
  • Friday 17 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Hexham Abbey, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 3NB
  • Monday 20 August: 2.00pm – 4.30pm, Northumberland Hall, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1TN

 

The online survey can be completed here until Friday 7 September.

More details can be found on the council’s website here.

If you would like to attend one of the events or for further information please email: melodyprice@nhs.net or call 01670 335 185.