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Family by the sea

Have your say on Northumberland’s Family Hubs

Northumberland’s Children’s Centres will relaunch as Family Hubs in Autumn 2022 and residents are being asked for their views to help shape the plans.

The Children’s Centres currently provide a wide range of support services for children aged 0-5 and their families. As Family Hubs, this support will be rolled out to all young people extending the age range to 0-19 and to 25 for anyone with additional needs.

The Hubs will be in the heart of their communities, with midwives, health visitors, early years and mental health professionals, youth workers, and a host of other services – including relationship, parenting, and financial advice – brought together into a one-stop-shop that meets the needs of family life for young people of all ages.

Family Hubs will build on lessons learned during the pandemic and will offer online and virtual services too, so that support can be accessible in the right way, and the right place, at the right time.

 

Online Event – Asthma+Lung UK

Join us on Friday 12 August, 1pm-2pm to hear a presentation from Nick Powell from Asthma+Lung UK.

In this free, online public event Nick will provide a brief overview of asthma, COPD, mesothelioma and other lung conditions.

We will also hear about the national and local support available from Asthma+Lung UK. There will be a chance to ask questions.

Register now and we will send you a link to join closer to the event: bit.ly/Asthma-Lung-event

Have your say on diabetic eye screening

NHS England would like to hear from people with diabetes and those who support them, about their views on diabetic eye screening and how to improve the service in the future.

The Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (DESP) aims to reduce the risk of sight loss amongst those living with diabetes by early identification and effective treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

The screening programme invites anyone with diabetes aged 12 years or over for digital eye screening once a year. Your views will help shape the way the screening programme is delivered going forward.

Fill in the survey

You can also give your views for improving the service by emailing: Trudie.metcalfe@nhs.net

All feedback should be submitted by Saturday 6 August 2022.

Read more about diabetic eye screening (including Easy Read)

If you would like to tell us about any diabetes or eye health services you have used recently please get in touch.

Home care services in Northumberland

Home care services are a vital way to support people by meeting their health and social care needs in their own homes.

‘Understanding the experiences of people using home care services, then, now and in the future’ was a project designed to find out the experiences of people using services and their family carers in Northumberland. We wanted to find out what is working well for people and also make recommendations for changes or improvements to services, based on what people told us.

This is particularly important at present given the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on those using home care services and their families, and the need to prepare for similar situations in the future.

We also wanted to follow up and extend on our previous work which focused specifically on the Coquet Valley, by gathering the views of people throughout Northumberland. Read Home Care Provision in Coquetdale.

This report is an overview of the findings and draws out key recommendations on the issues raised by those who use services and their carers. We have indicated where the recommendations are for Northumberland County Council Adults Social Care commissioners (ASC) or service providers (SP).

Read our findings and recommendations below:

Home care services in Northumberland

Tips on how to reduce loneliness in later life

Loneliness can affect people of all ages. As we get older, we can be presented with many challenges in our lives that can lead to loneliness. A loss of a partner, family, or friends, retirement, illness or moving into different accommodation.

Whatever the challenge, it can be difficult to find a solution, make new meaningful connections and cope with the loneliness you are experiencing.

Mental Health Foundation has created the following tips to help reduce loneliness in later life.

Read Tips on how to reduce loneliness in later life

Carers Northumberland logo

Spotlight on… Carers Northumberland

As part of our information and signposting service, we’re shining a spotlight on organisations offering all kinds of support to people in Northumberland. To mark Carers Week 2022 which runs from 6-12 June, this Spotlight on… is all about Carers Northumberland.

Carers Northumberland supports unpaid carers throughout the county, empowering them to have a voice and to have a life outside of their caring responsibilities. It offers information and advice, support for young carers, carers’ groups, education and employment support, Emergency Care Planning, workshops and training. Small grants are also available to enable carers to take short breaks from their caring responsibilities.

As part of Carers Week 2022 Carers Northumberland has organised some walks for all abilities at popular places such as Bolam Lake, Newbiggin promenade and Craster. See what events and activities are coming up at their website.

To get in touch with Carers Northumberland call: 01670 320025 or email: info@carersnorthumberland.org.uk

Diabetes Week – 13-19 June 2022

Diabetes Week 2022 is coming up from 13 to 19 June. It’s a chance to raise awareness of diabetes and highlight the support available to anyone living with the condition. If you would like to find out more about diabetes and the support available in Northumberland, come along to our free online event on Friday 10 June to hear from Colin Renshaw of Diabetes UK.

Colin will provide information about the different types of diabetes and how to manage and live well with the condition. We will also hear about national and local support available from Diabetes UK and there will be a chance to ask questions.

Find out more and register

Here at Healthwatch Northumberland, two members of our volunteer team have experience of type 2 diabetes and have kindly shared their thoughts below.

James’ Poem

Our volunteer James wrote a poem about his experience of type 2 diabetes:

Got diabetes
From eating too many sweeties
Didn’t care what I ate
Always cleared my plate

What symptoms did I have?
Lots of trips to the lav
Drank like a fish
Even made a wish

Was first given tablets
But didn’t change my habits
Drinking too much coca colas
Along the way I am rotting my molars

Moved on to the hard stuff
Needle is in
Needle is out
Whoops am going to shout

Sugars is o so high
Sugars is o so low
How is going to go
Or maybe it’s going to snow

Have now changed my diet
I can’t really be quiet
How low can I go
Getting a healthier glow

Colin’s Q&A

Volunteer Colin answered some questions for us about his experience of type 2 diabetes and how this affects his daily life:

When were you first diagnosed with diabetes?

22 years ago.

What symptoms did you have?

I didn’t have any symptoms, it was picked up during a routine eye examination following sight loss (unrelated).

How did it affect your life?

The main thing is that I have to check my blood twice a day.

How have you managed the condition? What healthcare support did you get? Did you get help from any support organisations?

My diabetes was initially treated with Metformin tablets and I had an annual check with a diabetes nurse. After a period of time I needed insulin to manage my sugar levels and I attended a course on how to use insulin at Blyth Hospital. I continue to have yearly check-ups with a diabetes nurse – these were online during pandemic but are back to in person now.

What is the situation now – how is the condition and have you made any lifestyle changes to improve it?

I have to have meals at regular times and carry something with me to eat. If things get out of balance, I can have a ‘hypo’ (experience hypoglycaemia) but I’m good at spotting the signs.

 

Find out more about diabetes at the Diabetes UK website.

If you would like to tell us about your experience of diabetes services or ask a question about local services and support, please get in touch.

Diabetes UK online event

Online Event – Diabetes UK

Join us in the run up to Diabetes Week 2022 to hear from Colin Renshaw from Diabetes UK on Friday 10 June, 1pm-2pm.

In this free, online public event Colin will provide information about the different types of diabetes and how to manage and live well with the condition. We will also hear about national and local support available from Diabetes UK. There will be a chance to ask questions.

Register now and we will send you a link to join closer to the event: bit.ly/DiabetesUK-June2022

If you would like to tell us about your recent experience of diabetes services please get in touch.

Zoom

Online Event – National Autistic Society

Come along to our free, online public event to hear from Nellie Allsop from the National Autistic Society who will provide a brief overview of autism and the support available in Northumberland.

Nellie will share an overview of what autism is, drawing on her personal and professional experiences. She will also provide information on how autistic people and their families can access support, both locally within Northumberland and nationally.

There will also be a chance to ask questions.

Register now and we will send you a link to join closer to the event:
bit.ly/National-Autistic-Society-event

Two men playing chess in a care home

Care Home Online Forum – 9 May

Please join us for our next online care home forum on Monday 9 May, 10.30am-11.30am.

At our previous forums we have heard how visiting restrictions in care homes have affected people living there and their relatives, more recent experiences of visiting as an ‘essential care giver’ and discussed things ‘we wish we had known’ when our loved ones moved into care homes to help us produce some future guidance to support others.

At our next forum we will be joined by Alan Curry, Senior Manager – Commissioning Northumberland County Council who will try to answer any questions on Northumberland care home visiting alongside the current national guidance.

To register for a space please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

See what we discussed at previous care home forums

Events

Monthly drop-in – Haltwhistle Leisure Centre

Each month we’ll be holding drop-in sessions in all five local council areas of the county. These new drop-in sessions are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Just call in or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

Come and see us at Haltwhistle Leisure Centre, NE49 9DP on the third Thursday of the month, 11.00am – 1.00pm. We’ll be there with Bridge Northumberland.

See details of other drop-in sessions

Monthly drop-ins

Monthly Drop-in – Blyth Community Hub

Each month we’ll be holding drop-in sessions, in all five local council areas of the county. These new drop-ins are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Just call in or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

Come and see us at Blyth Community Hub, Unit 6, Keel Row Shopping Centre, Blyth on the third Wednesday of the month, 10am – 12pm.

See details of other drop-in sessions

Monthly drop-ins

Monthly Drop-in – Berwick Sports and Leisure Centre

Each month we’ll be holding drop-in sessions, in all five local council areas of the county. These drop-in sessions are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Just call in or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

Come and see us at Berwick Sports and Leisure Centre, TD15 2AS on the second Wednesday of the month, 11.00am – 1.00pm.

See details of other drop-in sessions

Elderly lady in care home

Care Home Online Forum

Please join us for our next online care home forum on Monday 19 September, 10.00am – 11.00am.

At our previous forums we have heard how visiting restrictions in care homes have affected people living there and their relatives, heard more recent experiences of visiting including as an ‘essential care giver’ and discussed ‘the things we wished we had known before our loved one moved into a care home’ to produce guidance to help others.

At our next forum we would like to hear your current experiences of visiting your loved ones and about how visits to the care home from professionals such as dentists, chiropodists and opticians are working.

We will also be starting to visit care homes to understand from a lay perspective how they are doing after the pandemic. Through talking to residents and carers we can get an insight into different aspects of the home, for example meals or activities and would like your advice to help shape this project.

To register for a space please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

Monthly Drop-in – The Hub, Cramlington (next to Concordia Leisure Centre)

Each month we’ll be holding drop-in sessions in all five local council areas of the county. These drop-in sessions are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Just call in or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

Come and see us at The Hub, Cramlington, NE23 6US (next to Concordia Leisure Centre) on the first Wednesday of the month, 11.00am – 1.00pm.

See details of other drop-in sessions

Monthly drop-in – Haltwhistle Leisure Centre

Each month we’ll be holding drop-in sessions in all five local council areas of the county. These new drop-in sessions are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Just call in or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

Come and see us at Haltwhistle Leisure Centre, NE49 9DP on the third Thursday of the month, 11.00am – 1.00pm. We’ll be there with Bridge Northumberland.

See details of other drop-in sessions

Monthly drop-ins

Monthly Drop-in – Blyth Community Hub

Each month we’ll be holding drop-in sessions, in all five local council areas of the county. These new drop-ins are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Just call in or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

Come and see us at Blyth Community Hub, Unit 6, Keel Row Shopping Centre, Blyth on the third Wednesday of the month, 10am – 12pm.

See details of other drop-in sessions

Monthly drop-ins

Monthly Drop-in – Berwick Sports and Leisure Centre

Each month we’ll be holding drop-in sessions, in all five local council areas of the county. These drop-in sessions are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Just call in or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

Come and see us at Berwick Sports and Leisure Centre, TD15 2AS on the second Wednesday of the month, 11.00am – 1.00pm.

See details of other drop-in sessions

Monthly Drop-in – The Hub, Cramlington (next to Concordia Leisure Centre)

Each month we’ll be holding drop-in sessions in all five local council areas of the county. These drop-in sessions are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Just call in or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

Come and see us at The Hub, Cramlington, NE23 6US (next to Concordia Leisure Centre) on the first Wednesday of the month, 11.00am – 1.00pm.

See details of other drop-in sessions

Monthly drop-in – Haltwhistle Leisure Centre

Each month we’ll be holding drop-in sessions in all five local council areas of the county. These new drop-in sessions are a chance for residents to tell us about their experiences of NHS and social care services and use our Signposting and Information Service. Just call in or if you’d prefer to make a specific appointment for one of the sessions, please get in touch.

Come and see us at Haltwhistle Leisure Centre, NE49 9DP on the third Thursday of the month, 11.00am – 1.00pm. We’ll be there with Bridge Northumberland.

See details of other drop-in sessions