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Mental Health Summary Report

In our Annual Survey 2020, mental health services was the second most chosen area where people thought we should focus our attention in the coming year. Mental health services had a high dissatisfaction rating – of those that use them 79 people said they were dissatisfied with mental health services (54%) – this was the only time more people said they were dissatisfied with a service than said they were satisfied with it. Respondents told us about a wide range of issues they had with mental health services.

People felt there could be more local mental health services
Respondents specifically mentioned Berwick Infirmary, where they felt there could be more mental health services. Respondents also called for more mental health services for autism in Hexham and Haltwhistle.

Responses from patients and staff alike highlighted a need for more resources to be put into mental health services
Patients told us there is a lack of mental health emergency beds and trained psychologists, and described Talking Matters Northumberland (TMN) as a stretched service. They also told us there is an increased demand for mental health services and that there needed to be more support for men at risk of suicide, as well as for young people. The Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), TMN, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust (CNTW) and Children and Young People’s Services (CYPS) were specifically mentioned by patients and staff alike as services that would benefit from more resources.

 

Healthwatch Northumberland Mental Health Services Report 2020

Knowledge gap restricts mental health support to the vulnerable

Last year we launched the Your Voice Fund, and awarded four small grants to local organisations to run projects with their service users.

These projects are helping us to gather the views of people whose experiences we don’t hear enough about, in particular, people with learning disabilities, people from LGBTQ+ communities, young people, black, asian and minority ethnic communities and people living in Northumberland through asylum or refugee resettlement programmes.

Being Woman, based in Ashington and Blyth, have been using the grant to support a conversation café activity called ‘KITES – when you are your own voice’. People from various ethnic backgrounds and at risk of social isolation have been sharing their ideas, thoughts and experiences of health and social care services.

The latest report from Being Woman shows that there is a knowledge gap restricting mental health support to the most vulnerable people in Northumberland.

A total of 61 people from BAME groups including asylum seekers and refugees were surveyed with questions around general mental health knowledge, services used and proposed future needs. 8 out of 10 people said they didn’t know they could speak with their GP about anxiety, low mood and depression.

Among the suggestions listed by respondents for better knowledge on mental health were leaflets, support groups, translation services, clubs and therapists.

Read the full report here

If you would like to tell us about your recent experience of mental health services give us a call on 03332 408 468 or tell us your story here.

New Service for Young Carers

A new service to support young carers has been commissioned by Northumberland County Council. Carers Northumberland, the local support service for adult carers will be leading on the project.

Anne-Marie Johnstone has been appointed as the Young Carers Support Worker for Northumberland and will be working with other youth and young people’s services across the county to provide individual tailored support for young carers.

The aims of the project are to ensure that children and young people have the support they need to learn, develop, and thrive, to enjoy positive childhoods and to achieve their full potential.

The service uses a whole family approach, which ensures that both children and parents are able to get the support they need, at the right time, by supporting families to access integrated, co-ordinated, multi-agency, solution focused support. By identifying problems early, different services can work more closely together to help prevent a family’s needs escalating and requiring a more intensive intervention at a later date.

All young carers will have an assessment of their needs which identifies the level of caring and how this is impacting on their life.  A Plan will then be developed  with the young carer and their family to  help support them and reduce the negative impact of caring on their lives which will enable the young carer to access the same life opportunities as their peers.

Young carers referred to the project will also be able to access to a Young Carers Active Northumberland card for use in the county’s leisure centres, and a small grants scheme which will offer financial support to young carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities.

Anyone who is working with a family or young person, who feels that there is someone in that dynamic with a caring role can make a referral into the project.

Digital mental health support for young people

Young people aged 11-25 years living in Northumberland can now access a digital mental health support service.

Kooth.com has been commissioned by the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group to provide a safe, confidential and anonymous way for young people to access emotional wellbeing and early intervention mental health support.

Once registered, Kooth can be accessed on any internet device. Users can complete a daily journal, set goals and seek support through self help resources and peer to peer support. There is also professional help available through qualified counsellors.

Fully trained and qualified counsellors and emotional wellbeing practitioners are available until 10pm each night, 365 days per year, to provide accessible out-of-hours emotional support.

There’s also a Kooth online magazine with helpful articles, personal experiences and tips from young people and the Kooth team.

Join Kooth here or watch this video to find out more.

Share your experiences at our Online Forums

As we will be unable to get out and about across the county to meet with and listen to people for a while, we’re holding some public online forums, and we’d like you to join us. All forums take place from 2.00pm – 3.00pm.

If you are unable to take part but would like to tell us about your experiences of these services, members of the team will be available by phone, text and email (see below) each Wednesday after the forums to listen, answer any questions and help with providing information about services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom. If you would like help to set up Zoom on your device please ask.

 

Online Forums – all take place between 2.00pm and 3.00pm

Wednesday 20 May: Dementia Services

Wednesday 27 May: Adult Social Services (to include support to live independently, care homes, learning disability services)

 

Wednesday 3 June: Mental Health Services

Wednesday 10 June: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Wednesday 17 June: Maternity Services

 

Wednesday 1 July: Mental Health Services

Wednesday 8 July: NHS, Health and Social Care Services – any service you’ve used in the last 12 months

Wednesday 15 July: Unpaid Carers and Mental Health Services

 

Wednesday 12 August: Cancer Services

 

Wednesday 9 September: Children and Young People’s Services. Are you a voluntary or community organisation working with young people? If so, we’d like you to join us for an open discussion on children and young peoples services, particularly around mental health services.

 

Wednesday 18 November:  Dementia Services

 

If you would like to take part in a forum please contact Laura Kane, laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468. We can also help you set up Zoom on your device so please get in touch if you would like some guidance.

Talking Matters Northumberland: Update

Changes to services during the coronavirus outbreak

 

Due to the current crisis Talking Matters Northumberland staff are working from home, so have had to make changes to the phone referral process.

To make a referral you must now leave a voicemail with your name, date of birth and a contact phone number, as direct calls can’t be taken.

The team aims to call you back the same day and please be aware that this will be from a private number– please ensure your phone will accept this call.

Two attempts will be made throughout the day to speak to you, between 9.00am and 5.00pm but if you can’t be contacted, your referral will be closed and you will have to call again and leave another message.

 

If you have any concerns about being able to make a referral online or through this call system you can speak to your GP about them referring on your behalf.

Talking Matters Northumberland website

Digital and face to face therapy will be back on offer as soon as it is possible to do this safely and effectively.

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

 

 

 

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

Director of Public Health Annual Report 2018

The 2018 Director of Public Health Annual Report focuses on Mental Health and Wellbeing.

The report asks, ‘why is mental health important?’
‘Over the last few decades there has rightly been a focus on reducing the number of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke. Across the whole of the county’s population, about 45% of all deaths are due to five causes and heart disease and stroke still cause nearly 30% of all deaths.

There is quite a difference though between the conditions that people are dying of and the conditions which contribute to disability and ill health during life. Mental ill health makes a significant contribution to ill health and
in some groups, is the major cause of death and ill health. For instance in men aged 15 – 49, nearly 30% of deaths are attributable to mental illness.’

View the Report

 

 

Mental health and the Journey to Parenthood

Find out what’s working well for people and what needs to improve when it comes to people about their mental health experiences before, during and after pregnancy, in a new Healthwatch report.

The arrival of a new baby is a major life event for any family. It can be joyful, exciting, overwhelming and challenging all at once, so it’s essential that parents get all the support they need to help them form strong bonds with their children and help lay the foundations for a healthy, happy life for all involved.

Over the last year, our network has gathered views and experiences from women and their partners. Each one of these stories was different and highlighted that every person’s experience is unique to them.

Three common issues

  • People feel their mental health problems are triggered by a variety of issues
  • People don’t know where to turn for help
  • People feel scared about how people will respond if they speak up
  • Healthwatch is calling on everybody who interacts with prospective and new parents to make more space for people to discuss how they’re feeling, and to find out what they need to do if they need mental health support.

Find out more about what people said in the report.

Events

Our Review of the Year and AGM

Our Review of the year and AGM will take place online on Wednesday 21 October, from 2.00pm and 4.00pm. Find out about our work and how we made a difference to people in Northumberland over the last 12 months.

As the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care says ‘People should have phone or video consultations with their doctors unless there is a clinical reason not to’, and that there had been a ‘hugely positive’ response to virtual appointments during the coronavirus pandemic, we will also have guest presenters talking about technology in NHS and social care services. We’ll explore how the coronavirus crisis has accelerated the move to online appointments and consultations, what has worked well and not so well, and what we can expect in the future.

You can ask a question in advance or at the Q&A session in our webinar.

Register for the Healthwatch Northumberland Review of the Year

Diabetes and Moving More

The North of England Diabetes UK team presents a webinar for people living with diabetes or those at risk of diabetes, taking an informal and relaxed look at the basics of getting more active. You will hear from Neil Gibson (Physical Activity Insight Advisor at Diabetes UK) and George West (Diabetes UK volunteer living with type 1 diabetes).

This webinar is free and registration is simple.  If you have any queries, Email evie.kinghorn@diabetes.org.uk

Registration

www.diabetes.org.uk

Care Homes – keeping in touch with loved ones

People are telling us they are worried about care homes continuing to be closed to nearly all visits.

They understand it is safer for residents and staff and the extra efforts made to maintain the quality of life in the homes.   But after 6 months, people say they can see the effect on their loved ones, and their own, health and wellbeing.

It seems the situation may go on for some time yet.

Sharing good practice could help make this difficult time a bit better.   If your relative, loved one or friend lives in a care home we would like to know what is being done to keep you in touch day to day and on special occasions like birthdays.

We would like to know your experience of:

  • Using video calls (FaceTime, Zoom etc) or telephone calls. Does the home support these?  How many times a week and how long?  Does a member of staff help your loved one with the call?
  • Socially distanced visits. Does the home support ‘window’ visits.  How many times a week and how long?
  • How does the home keep you informed about how your loved one is getting on (apart from necessary issues about their care or health). Eg manager updates, photographs, videos
  • Does the home have a programme of group and 1 to 1 activities? Has your loved one taken part?
  • Has the home asked you what, within the current restrictions, would make this time easier?
  • What, within the current restrictions, would make it better for you and your love one?
  • When restrictions are eventually eased (not totally lifted) what would help you and your loved one?

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Children and Young People’s Services

Are you a voluntary or community organisation working with young people? If so, we’d like you to join us for an open discussion on children and young peoples services, particularly around mental health services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Cancer services: Join our online forum

If you, or someone close to you, have used cancer services in the last 12 months, we’d love to hear about your experiences at our online forum.

Lead Cancer Nurse, Amanda, from Northumbria Healthcare, and Jo from the Northern Cancer Alliance will be there to answer your questions.

You can join us as a cancer patient or carer or as someone who works with people using cancer services, or just if you have an interest in local services and support.

For those who aren’t able or would rather not attend, questions for Amanda, Jo, or Healthwatch Northumberland can be sent via text to: 07413 385275 anytime before 12 August.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Laburnum Surgery closure – online forum

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made the decision to close Laburnum GP Surgery in Ashington.

The CCG’s primary care commissioning committee made the decision, last week, to end the contract of Laburnum Medical Group following inspections carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and ongoing investigations carried out by the CCG, which identified issues with the quality of care provided.

The practice, which provides healthcare for 2400 patients from Ashington and the surrounding areas, including Wansbeck, Morpeth, Newbiggin and Bedlington, will close by the end of July.

Patients at the practice have been written to and allocated another GP at a nearby surgery.

We are holding an online forum for patients to discuss any concerns they have about the closure of the surgery and their ongoing healthcare.

To register please email: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call: 03332 408468.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom. If you would like help setting up Zoom on your device please ask.

 

Read more about the closure of Laburnum Surgery

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Share your experiences – join our online forum

As we will be unable to get out and about across the county to meet with and listen to people for a while, we’re holding some public online forums, and we’d like you to join us. If you are unable to take part but would like to tell us about your experiences of these services, Caroline and Lesley will be available by phone, text and email each Wednesday between 3.00pm and 4.00pm to listen, answer any questions and help with providing information about services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

Whilst some of our forums are on specific issues and services, this one is a chance to tell us about any health or social care service you’ve used in the last 12 months. That could be hospitals, GPs, care homes, NHS 111, mental health services, maternity services or dentists and pharmacies.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Mental Health services: Join our online forum

As we will be unable to get out and about across the county to meet with and listen to people for a while, we’re holding some public online forums, and we’d like you to join us. If you are unable to take part but would like to tell us about your experiences of these services, Caroline and Lesley will be available by phone, text and email each Wednesday between 3.00pm and 4.00pm to listen, answer any questions and help with providing information about services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

The subject of this online forum is mental health services, so if you’d like to share your experiences of services in the last 12 months, or those of someone close to you, please join us.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Unpaid Carers and Mental Health Online Forum

As we will be unable to get out and about across the county to meet with and listen to people for a while, we’re holding some public online forums, and we’d like you to join us. If you are unable to take part but would like to tell us about your experiences of these services, Caroline and Lesley will be available by phone, text and email each Wednesday between 3.00pm and 4.00pm to listen, answer any questions and help with providing information about services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

The subject of this online forum is unpaid carers and mental health services, so if you’d like to share your experiences of services in the last 12 months, or those of someone close to you, please join us.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane, laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

 

Find out about our other online forums

 

Maternity services: Join our online forum

As we will be unable to get out and about across the county to meet with and listen to people for a while, we’re holding some public online forums, and we’d like you to join us. If you are unable to take part but would like to tell us about your experiences of these services, Caroline and Lesley will be available by phone, text and email each Wednesday between 3.00pm and 4.00pm to listen, answer any questions and help with providing information about services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

The subject of this online forum is maternity services, so if you’d like to share your experiences of services in the last 12 months, or those of someone close to you, please join us.

If you would like to take part please contact Lesley Tweddell, lesleyt@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or 07803 427 466.

 

Find out about our other online forums