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Mental Health Crisis and Emergency Care

Have you used the emergency care department at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital when you or the person you care for has experienced a mental health crisis? If so, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust would like to hear from you.
They hope to better understand what it feels like to be a patient attending emergency care in a crisis.

If you feel there is something to be learnt from your experience that may improve patient care, please get in touch with the Patient Experience Team – all feedback is welcome – good or bad, big or small, and will remain confidential.

Get in Touch

Contact Faye Gates, Senior Patient Experience Coordinator at: patient.experience@northumbria.nhs.uk or call: 0191 293 4360 or 0191 293 4326.

Ideas and Information Board

Easy Read Co-design Workshop

The Macmillan Cancer Project aims to make cancer services and experiences better for people with a learning disability. They are working with Public Health England to design easy read materials for cancer screening.

They are running two workshops for people with a learning disability, families and carers. The morning workshop will look at cervical screening; the afternoon workshop will look at bowel screening.

The cervical screening workshop is in the morning. This is for women.  It is 10:00am to 12:30pm, followed by lunch at 12:30pm to 1:15pm.The bowel screening workshop is in the afternoon. This is for men and women. Lunch is served 12:30pm to 1:15pm and is followed by the workshop at 1:15pm to 3:45pm.

The workshop takes place on Friday 8 February at:

Waterfront 4,

Goldcrest Way,

Newcastle upon Tyne.

NE15 8NY

To book a place please complete the booking form and return to Julie Tucker.

For more information please contact: Julie Tucker. Email: Julie.tucker11@nhs.net. Call: 0113 824 9693 or 0786 017 7981.

Hands making a heart shape

New Heart Support Group

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.

Healthwatch Response to NHS Long Term Plan

The NHS in England has published a ten year plan setting its priorities for the future.

NHS England leaders say that the Long Term Plan could save up to 500,000 lives over the next ten years by focusing on prevention and early detection. The plan comes after the Government announced the NHS budget would be increased by £20bn a year by 2023. The biggest funding increases will be seen in GPs, mental health and community care.

Key priorities within the plan:

  • cancer
  • mental health
  • care for people with two or more chronic medical conditions
  • supporting people to age healthily and tackling issues such as dementia
  • children’s health
  • cardiovascular and respiratory diseases
  • learning disability and autism

There will also be a focus on improving the way that people are able to interact with the health service for example, by using digital technologies such as video consultations.

Read more

Text - NHS Long Term Plan

NHS launches Long Term Plan

The NHS has launched its Long Term Plan which it says will make the NHS fit for the future and get the most value from taxpayers’ investment.

The plan has been drawn up by those who know the NHS best, including frontline health and care staff, patient groups and other experts. The opinions and interests of 3.5 million were heard and taken into account when drawing up the plan.
Below you can read the plan in full or a summary of the plan.
Young woman on the street at night

Helping someone who is homeless access healthcare

On any one night in England, over 4,700 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on our streets. The Healthwatch network looks at the common issues found by people who do not have a place to call home when it comes to getting the support they need for health and care.

Experiencing homelessness can have a negative impact on both your physical and mental health, so it’s important that people are able to access support.

How can health and social care professionals help?

People who have faced homelessness have told their local Healthwatch that they can experience problems accessing services.  If you work for an NHS or social care service there are several steps you and your colleague can take to help.

Enable people to register with their GP

People have told us that they have not been able to register with an NHS general practice because they lack identification or do not have a permanent address.

Read more

Cartoon image of patient, carer and care professional

NICE Guide to Dementia – Support after Diagnosis

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced a useful guide for people who have received a dementia diagnosis and their families. A diagnosis of dementia may create very mixed emotions. Coming to terms with it, making decisions and planning ahead are all part of living well with dementia. Getting information and support when you need it from people working in health and social care can make a real difference.

Read the NICE Dementia Support Guide

 

 

Healthwatch graphic with two people

Healthwatch Northumberland Quarterly Report July – September 2018

People who live in Northumberland and who use health and social care services tell Healthwatch Northumberland about their experiences throughout the year. This report shares the themes which emerged from 1 July to 30 September 2018. The next report will cover October to December 2018.

We receive feedback and enquiries from:

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

We are 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 July and September 2018 we had 59 individual pieces of unsolicited feedback and we spoke to 170 people at 32 engagement events.

Read the Report

young man and caption: do you feel alone?

NHS Trust launches Winter Wellness Campaign

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, (NTW), which provides mental health and disability services and support across the North East, has a launched a winter wellness campaign to address loneliness and distress this Christmas.

The trust is aiming to reach young men who might not otherwise be aware of where they can go for help, and wants to spread the word to everyone that no matter how negative a situation may seem, help is at hand. The trust is sending information leaflets and posters to locations across the North East, including GP surgeries, libraries, universities, job centres and sports clubs.

In the UK men remain three times more likely to take their own lives than women, and in 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The North East is the region with the highest suicide rate in the UK.

Karen O’Rourke, NTW’s Patient Information Manager said: “Christmas and New Year can be one of the most fun times of year but for many this can also be a lonely, stressful or worrying time. We want to send the message that people don’t have to feel like this, and we hope that our publicity campaign will make it easier for people to seek out the help and support which is available.”

Speaking to someone about how you feel can help. Psychological Wellbeing Services are for adults finding it difficult to cope, feel low, anxious, stressed, worried or are not sleeping. You can call direct in Northumberland on: 0300 3030 700.

If you need urgent help with your mental health or learning disability you can get in touch with the Initial Response service. This is open for anyone to call, 24 hours a day: 0303 123 1146.

If you or another person have been harmed or are at immediate risk you may require an emergency response – call 999.

The Samaritans are there to listen 24 hours a day on: 116 123.

NTW also has a selection of self-help guides that are available online in a range of formats, including British Sign Language. The guides are available at www.ntw.nhs.uk/selfhelp, or can be requested in a printed format by calling the Patient Information Centre on 0191 246 7288 or emailing pic@ntw.nhs.uk.

For more information on mental health support visit our mental health page.

Annual Report Front Cover

Healthwatch England submits new report to Parliament

In his first annual report to Parliament as Chair of Healthwatch, Sir Robert Francis looks beyond health and social care performance statistics to explore how people are experiencing care day-to-day across England.

Drawing on evidence from 406,567 people, over the last year Healthwatch has looked at what people are saying about GPs and community services, hospitals, social care services and mental health support, as well as issues that are common to all four areas of care (see below).

Over the course of the year, our network shared 2,053 reports with local services and decision makers about the improvements people would like to see.

The collective findings of these stories and reports show a real mix of views, with people continuing to receive outstanding care, much of which people say is down to the dedication shown by the extraordinary staff who keep things running.

However, it is also becoming clear that others struggle to access the support they need, with services not getting the basics of care right. Examples Healthwatch has worked on over the last year include care home residents not being able to see an NHS dentist and hospitals not providing the right information to help prevent patients having to return unnecessarily.

Issues like these require the NHS and social care system to be looked at as a whole rather than focusing on the headline targets for individual parts of the service.

Yet as it stands, services are not always able to spot the gaps between them and the impact this is having on the people they care for.

With the NHS Long Term Plan imminent, and the government’s plans for social care due in the New Year, listening effectively to people needs to become “part of the DNA” of health and care in England. From the beginning of the planning process to the provision of services to individual patients, insight from people need to be used to shape decisions and better track performance.

Healthwatch is doing its part. Since 2014 we have created the health and social care sector’s single biggest source of user insight, gathering more than 1.4 million experiences and views. We have also set a clear goal to step this up further, by reaching a million people a year by 2023.

Encouragingly, those working in health and social care are also using our insight more than ever before, drawing on our evidence and calling on our expertise to engage with communities up and down the country.

The government’s commitment to invest billions more in the NHS provides a rare opportunity to invest for the long-term in a building a culture where staff at all levels work in equal partnership with communities to shape the way services run.

Chair of Healthwatch England, Sir Robert Francis, says,

“The government’s investment of extra billions in our health service gives us a great opportunity to think about how that money should be spent, and how we can track the impact of any changes to ensure they deliver the help people want and need.

“To do this, we want to see people’s experiences of care become part of the very DNA of the decision-making processes throughout the NHS and social care sector.

“I have seen first-hand how a purely target driven culture within the NHS can actually be bad for people’s health, both patients and staff. To focus exclusively on performance measures can leave services with a false belief they are succeeding without any real idea whether people’s care and support needs are being met or where things might need to change.

“Listening to people and learning from their stories is the best way to get the balance right, and to ensure services have the evidence they need to shape care around the real-life needs of those they serve.

“The outstanding efforts of our local Healthwatch teams, supported by more than 5,000 volunteers, have created an evidence base of people’s experiences that is simply unparalleled. What’s more, we can see this insight being used to shape some of the biggest debates in health and care.

“For me, this is just the beginning. Over the next five years, we are looking to create a movement that puts people at the very heart of health and social care. To do this we need people to keep coming forward, keep sharing and help services hear what really matters to them.”

Four common themes

From the hundreds of thousands of stories gathered by Healthwatch in the last year, we have identified four themes which people commonly experience across all services.

  1. Better information to make the right choices
    With the right information, the public is not only empowered to make better decisions about their health and care, but know where to go for help when they need it. However, this information isn’t always available, and when it is, it can be too technical, confusing or difficult to find.
  2. Easier access to support
    Quicker and easier access to health and care services is essential. It can take a long time for people to get the support they need. Many experience delays at every step – from getting an initial appointment, in waiting rooms, and to see a specialist for further treatment. Repeated cancellations also indicate that the NHS doesn’t value people’s time. Technology used correctly offers the potential to alleviate these barriers and provides easier access to services, and to earlier diagnosis.
  3. Improved conversations
    We know people want to be involved in decisions about their treatment and care. Good communication between professionals and the public helps people to be more informed, understand their choices, and manage their expectations. This is particularly important for people with disabilities or people who don’t speak English as a first language.
  4. Well-coordinated services
    Navigating health and social care can be complicated. People want a seamless experience across different services. When services work well together, it not only makes things easier for people but also reduces the risk of serious issues being missed.

Read the full What Matters Most Report 

Download an Easy Read What Matters Most Report

Events

Two women smiling and talking

Community Information Morning – Hexham

The second of Adapt (NE)‘s Community Information events will take place on Wednesday 13 February, between 10.30am and 12.30pm in the Resource Room, next to Cafe at Burn Lane. This time you can get lots of advice and information from the NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Service, Age UK Northumberland, The Bridge Project, Carers Northumberland and Healthwatch Northumberland. Grab a cuppa from the cafe and come through for a chat with these local organisations who are here to support you with health, wellbeing, job and financial advice.

Ideas and Information Board

Easy Read Co-design Workshop

The Macmillan Cancer Project aims to make cancer services and experiences better for people with a learning disability. They are working with Public Health England to design easy read materials for cancer screening.

They are running two workshops for people with a learning disability, families and carers. The morning workshop will look at cervical screening; the afternoon workshop will look at bowel screening.

The cervical screening workshop is in the morning. This is for women.  It is 10:00am to 12:30pm, followed by lunch at 12:30pm to 1:15pm.

The bowel screening workshop is in the afternoon. This is for men and women. Lunch is served 12:30pm to 1:15pm and is followed by the workshop at 1:15pm to 3:45pm.

To book a place please complete the booking form and return to Julie Tucker.

For more information please contact: Julie Tucker: Julie.tucker11@nhs.net. Call: 0113 824 9693 or 0786 017 7981.

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

Shelves of coloured books

Widdrington Library Drop-In

We will be at Widdrington Library on Wednesday 10 October 1.00pm to 4.00pm, listening to local people about their experiences of health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello to the team and tell us what you think of services in your area.

Shelves of coloured books

Morpeth Library Drop-In

We will be at Morpeth Library on Tuesday 9 October 10.00pm to 12.00pm, listening to local people about their experiences of health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello to the team and tell us what you think of services in your area.

Shelves of coloured books

Amble Library Drop-In

We will be at Amble Library on Tuesday 9 October 10.00pm to 12.00pm, listening to local people about their experiences of health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello to the team and tell us what you think of services in your area.

Shelves of coloured books

Berwick Library Drop-In

We will be at Berwick Library on Wednesday 10 October 1.00pm to 4.00pm, listening to local people about their experiences of health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello to the team and tell us what you think of services in your area.

Shelves of coloured books

Haltwhistle Library Drop-In

We will be at Haltwhistle Library on 9 October 1.30pm to 3.30pm, chatting to local people about health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello and give us some feedback on your experiences to get a fluffy pen!

View of Berwick town from the bridge

Public Drop-in Session for Berwick Hospital Plans

People are being invited to a drop-in session next Thursday, 27 September to give their views on plans for hospital and leisure development in Berwick.
Representatives from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council will be at the The Swan Centre from 10am to 12pm to listen to people’s views and answer any questions.A spokesperson for the trust and council said: “We’re fully aware that some local people have concerns about co-locating a hospital and leisure centre on one site and we’d encourage residents to come along and talk to us about them so we can better understand how they feel.

“Ahead of the session we’d like to reassure people that the funding for the new hospital is secure as is the funding for the new leisure centre. We look forward to meeting people on the day.”

We will be there to listen to people’s reactions to what they see and hear on the day.