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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

Wild daisies

Northumberland Cancer Support Group 2019

Northumberland Cancer Support Group is a volunteer run self-help organisation which helps anyone affected by cancer. the group meets on the first and fourth Tuesday of each month in Hexham. The programme of events for this year can be found below, or visit the website for more details.

First Tuesday of the month (7.00pm, Education Centre, Hexham Hospital)

5 March: Professor John McCabe “Japan Behind the Fan”

2 April: Tom MuCullough “Medication Made Easy”

4 June: David Belcher “Cancer … What’s it all about?”

2 July: Fenwick Mark Ridley “Wild Swimming”

6 August: Pauline Walks “Past, Present and Future of The Theatre Royal”

3 September: Nicola Cunningham “Nutrition and Cancer”

1 October: Sam Jones “Relaxation and the Nervous System”

5 November: Helene Dolder “Laughter is the Best Medicine”

3 December: Christmas Makes

 

Fourth Tuesday of the month (1.00pm, Trinity Methodist Church Hall, Hexham)

22 January: Fenwick Mark Ridley “Wild Swimming”

27 February: Liz Weir “How Complementary Therapies Helped Me”

26 March: “Lorraine Henderson “Ageing Well”

23 April: “Tracy Pringle “Laughter and Chakra for Wellbeing”

24 September: Janette Frank “PALS”

26 November: Sparkle Afternoon

 

Lady on a bus

Do you need help getting to hospital?

Find out what support is available to help you travel to your hospital appointments.

If you visited hospital recently, how did you get there?

Most people drive, use public transport, or rely on the kindness of family and friends to get to their hospital appointments on time. But if you don’t have good access to transport it can mean missing out on health check-ups and routine screenings. It can be even harder if you need to attend regular appointments at a hospital for long-term conditions, such as chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

There are lots of reasons why you might not be able to get to hospital easily for a non-emergency appointment. For example, we often hear from people who are physically unable to travel, can’t afford transport, or live in a rural area.

What support is available?

If you need help getting to hospital, find out whether you’re eligible for NHS-funded support.

If you can’t travel because of your medical condition

Ask your GP or the person who referred you to hospital whether Patient Transport Services run in your area. These services provide free transport to and from hospital for:

  • People whose condition means they need additional medical support during their journey
  • People who find it difficult to walk
  • Parents or carers of children who are being transported

Need help finding support in your area?

To see what help is available where you live, get in touch with us and we can point you in the right direction: 03332 408468.

Images of groups chatting and being active

Berwick Social Fridays

Friendship – Laughter – Happy Memories – Social Fridays!

Get that Friday feeling every Friday at this free, friendly social group from Age UK Northumberland at The Swan Centre, Berwick.

Berwick Social Fridays follow on from the success of the sessions at The Round House and Azure Garden Centre.

Sessions take place on Friday mornings between 10.00am and 12.00pm and you can get as involved as much as you like or simply have a cup of tea and a chat.

Activities include:

  • Board games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Music
  • Trips out
  • Lunches and events
  • Visits from local groups
  • Information and advice

For further information about start dates call: 01670 784 800 or visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/northumberland

 

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.

 

 

 

Golden Guide 2019 front cover

The Golden Guide 2019 Out Now

This popular FREE guide for Over 50s in Northumberland is well known for information on activities, clubs and social groups across Northumberland.  Readers also discover how to find expert advice on their health, their home, their care and their money.

New things to do include Social Fridays, Core Music sessions, Railway Walks, Sailing and Archery. There’s more money and consumer advice, plus the Side by Side befriending scheme, the Friendship Line and all kinds of health and social care information.

You can get a copy from us here at Healthwatch Northumberland, Libraries; Northumbria Healthcare Care teams, Age UK Northumberland, Alzheimers Society, Women’s Institute branches, Carers Northumberland, Royal Voluntary Service, British Red Cross, Citizens Advice Bureau, Golden Age Forum, GP surgeries – ask the Care Navigators and Practice Nurses; also selected Boots Pharmacies.

Postal copies available by calling our office: 03332 408468 or from Age UK Northumberland on: 01670 784800.

Online

The full edition is also online at www.goldenguide.org.uk.

For all enquiries please contact Heather Alabaster on: 0191-386 5918, or email: heather@goldenguide.org.uk.

Healthwatch assistant at an event

Join us! Engagement Assistant Vacancy

Engagement Assistant

£20,395 per annum pro rata (£13,780 per annum – actual)

Part time 25 hours a week

Permanent dependent on funding

Closing date midnight Tuesday 10 October 2017

Based in Hexham with travel across Northumberland

 

Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for health and social care across the county. We aim to give a voice to service users, 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.

The main aim of this role is to:

  • Deliver engagement strategies and activities to ensure Healthwatch Northumberland is listening to and representative of all communities across the county

The post holder will:

  • Support the Healthwatch Northumberland strategic plan through engagement activities
  • Provide input into project-specific engagement activities
  • Liaise with the Information, Communication & Marketing Officer to ensure engagement activities and their impact are widely communicated

Key Responsibilities:

  • Deliver engagement activities including workshops, focus groups and surveys to gather residents’ experiences and views
  • Represent Healthwatch Northumberland at information-sharing events with partners
  • Collate, report and record all feedback using CRM system, support and contribute to data collection
  • Build relationships with seldom heard groups, including children and young people

If you would like an informal discussion about the role and Healthwatch Northumberland, please contact Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator: derryn@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk from 2 October.

 

Job Description

Application Form

Letter to Applicants

Patient having blood pressure taken

CQC Report: The state of general practice in England 2014 – 2017

The state of care in general practice 2014 to 2017′ published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), provides a detailed analysis of the quality and safety of general medical practice in England.

Based on inspections by the CQC, the report found that the majority (86%) of general practice services were rated as ‘good’, with 4% rated as ‘outstanding’.

What factors make an ‘outstanding’ general practice?

The report found that practices with the highest ratings showed a clear knowledge of the different needs of their patient groups, and that they also had strong leadership.

These services understood their patients and their needs, and responded by adapting services. Practices that provide high-quality care also demonstrated that they engage their patients proactively by ‘including them in the conversation’ and acting on feedback, complaints and concerns.

General practices with the highest ratings also demonstrate strong leadership, understand everyone’s responsibilities in the practice team and recognise the importance of working as part of their wider local health economies.

Patients willing to share views but need to know how

The CQC report comes after research from Healthwatch England found that the majority of people are interested in sharing their feedback with GPs to improve services but only a minority had done so. The most common reason for this was that patients were unsure how to provide comments and raise concerns.

Read the full report

 

 

 

 

 

Pregnant woman birth rights

New CQC research reveals lack of awareness over right to choose where to give birth

New research commissioned by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that more women must be made aware of their right to choose their birth hospital. The research, which surveyed over 1,000 women who had given birth in England in the last three years, found that 40% either weren’t aware or didn’t feel they had a choice about their birth hospital. The CQC is encouraging all expectant parents to understand their right to choose where to give birth and to use CQC inspection reports in order to help make an informed, considered decision.

Heidi Smoult, Deputy Chief Inspector at the CQC explains: “Pregnancy is a very exciting time but it can also be daunting and many women can feel at their most vulnerable. Women have the option to have a hospital, birthing centre or home birth. It’s vital that all women know they have a choice over where they give birth. It’s a big decision and while advice from family and friends can be useful, it’s important that expectant parents know there’s free independent information available to help them. Our inspection reports provide detailed scrutiny of all aspects of maternity care – we urge all prospective parents to do their research to help ensure they have the best possible birth experience.”

The CQC found the top influencing factors effecting where women choose to give birth were the hospital being close to home (65%), followed by hospital cleanliness and safety (55%), a good reputation (39%) and caring staff (36%). CQC inspection reports include detailed information asking these key questions and the research found that of those who did use the inspection reports 95% found them helpful in informing their birth choice decision. The research also found a third (34%) of mums spent less than an hour choosing the type of birth they want and making a birth plan, and 15% didn’t do this at all.

As part of the campaign the CQC also wants new parents to share their experiences of maternity services. Heidi continues: “We really want to hear about women’s real-life experiences as this information supports our monitoring, inspecting and rating of services and helps us provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive picture of the current quality of maternity care being provided at a local level across the country. We urge new parents to help other parents by sharing their experiences with us.”

The CQC is responsible for inspecting all hospitals, including private hospitals, GP practice, dentists, care homes and home care in England. Its maternity service inspections include all services for women that relate to pregnancy, including ante and post-natal services, labour wards, birth centres or units and theatres providing obstetric related surgery.

For more information about the CQC’s campaign and to find out how to share your experiences please visit: www.cqc.org.yk/yourbirthplan

Healthwatch Northumberland AGM

Healthwatch Northumberland AGM 2017: You’re Invited

Healthwatch Northumberland AGM 2017 will take place on Wednesday 11 October at Stannington Village Hall in Stannington, Morpeth, 10.30am – 1.00pm, where our guest speaker will be a senior member of staff from the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS). The presentation will include information on the new ambulance response standards; what it means for you and for the residents of Northumberland as a whole. Plus there will be a chance to ask questions afterwards. If you have a question for NEAS please email it through to us at: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk.

This will also be an opportunity to hear about our strategic plan for the year, what we have acheived in the past year and to give your feedback on the work we are doing to help put people at the heart of care in Northumberland.

A complimentary lunch and refreshments will be provided for all attendees of the meeting and there will be a small marketplace of local organisations and support groups, giving information and advice on the services they provide. Confirmed are: Carers Northumberland, Northumberland County Blind Association, Northumberland CVA, ICAN Advocacy Service, Northumberland Cancer Support Group, Ageing Well Network and PALS.

If you would like to attend the Healthwatch Northumberland AGM please let us know in advance by emailing: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or calling us on: 03332 408468 before 4 October 2017. Please include any access, transport and dietary requirements you may have.

Events

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 – Berwick

We will be in Berwick on Friday 1 March with our annual survey. Come and meet us at The Maltings (small meeting room, lower ground floor), 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.

Older ladies dancing

Friday Afternoon Tea Dance

Dance to a live band on the sprung dance floor at East Bedlington Community Centre, or simply enjoy good music and good company.

Entry is free and refreshments will be available from the licensed community cafe. There’s plenty of free parking and all facilities are completely accessible.

For more information call: 01670 828808.

Woman caring for young girl with special needs

Carers Northumberland Info Event – Bellingham

Carers Northumberland will be holding an information event at the Community Fire Station in Bellingham on Thursday 27th July 2017, from 1.00pm – 3.00pm.

Come along and speak with the Information & Advice Team about issues such as:

  • Benefits Information
  • Help to access a Cares Assessments
  • Accessing carer grants
  • Emergency Cards
  • Support needs

There is no need to book, and you don’t have to stay for the full session. If you can’t attend but still have questions about your caring role, call the Carers Northumberland Information Line on 01670 320025 or email info@carersnorthumberland.org.uk