Posts

New Dental Services Amble and Rothbury

NHS England confirmed earlier this year that a new contract to provide dental services in both Amble and Rothbury was in place, and that services would be operational from 1 December 2019. The contract will start as planned on this date for the Amble practice, however, there will be a slight delay with the service in Rothbury. The service will operate from Rothbury Community Hospital and preparation of the premises is not yet complete. This means the service for Rothbury is now due to start from mid to late January 2020.

We will provide updates as and when we have them.

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

Hearing Loss Services for Northumberland

We have spoken to people across the county as part of our work on audiology services – services to help with hearing loss – and are busy putting together our report which we will be able to share with you in the new year. Thank you if you’ve talked to us about your own experiences.

Action on Hearing Loss provides support and information at venues across the area.  Whether you’re just noticing hearing problems or have lived with them for years, these sessions can answer your questions and give you the information you need to take control. There’s also help in supporting a loved one with hearing loss or tinnitus.

Come and chat to knowledgeable Information Officers and volunteers and pick up expert information covering:

  • hearing loss
  • tinnitus
  • ear problems and treatments
  • hearing aids and cochlear implants
  • useful products and technology
  • communication tactics and support
  • benefits and grants
  • your rights.

They can also tell you about useful services in your area, and the latest Action on Hearing Loss research and campaigns.

Information Stands:

Freeman Hospital, last Monday of the month, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Blyth Library, first Monday of the month, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Hexham Hospital, third Monday of the month, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Berwick Library, third Thursday of the month, 11.00am – 1.00pm

 

There’s also a ‘Hear to Meet’ group in Morpeth, where you can meet others with hearing loss in Morpeth to share experiences and have some fun. This takes place on the second Wednesday of every month except August, 2.00pm – 4.00pm.

Full details and more information on Action on Hearing Loss services

 

Permanent move agreed for Whalton Unit

The decision was taken this week that the Whalton Unit will be permanently relocated to Wansbeck General Hospital. Northumberland County Council’s health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee has agreed with the recommendation from Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG)s governing body and the trust to retain the unit at Wansbeck hospital where it has been temporarily based since December 2018.

Below is the full press release from the CCG, released 5 November 2019.

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have today welcomed the decision that the Whalton Unit is to be permanently relocated to Wansbeck General Hospital.

Northumberland County Council’s health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee has agreed with the recommendation from the CCG’s governing body and the trust to retain the unit at Wansbeck hospital where it has been temporarily based since December 2018.

Members were informed that the relocation of the unit from Morpeth to Wansbeck hospital had improved a number of aspects of patient care and safety and eased nurse staffing pressures.

The committee decided that the move was not a substantial change in service delivery given that the service still exists for local communities to access.

Members, however, sought assurance from the CCG and trust that there would be planned improvements to community and palliative care in the Morpeth area and that the privacy and dignity of patients would be taken into account.

In addition, improvements are to be made to the ward environment at Wansbeck hospital and transport support for relatives and carers to travel to visit patients will continue.

The decision follows an extensive period of engagement during September which saw around 800 people give their views through independent research and a series of drop-in sessions. Committee members also called on the CCG and trust to carry out on-going engagement in the community over the next few months.

Dr Graham Syers, clinical director of primary care at the CCG, said: “Our governing body firmly believed that due to the improvements in patient care that have resulted from transferring the Whalton Unit to Wansbeck hospital that it should remain in the new location, and we are pleased that our decision has been backed by the health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee.

“We would like to reiterate our thanks to the campaign group and members of the community for their contributions throughout this process and, while this decision is not what they wanted to hear, we are particularly grateful for their input during the engagement which replicated what a full public consultation would look like.

“Working closely with the trust, we will now press ahead with joint plans to improve care in the Morpeth community and in people’s own homes, including delivering specialist palliative care in nursing homes, while supporting work to enhance the environment at Wansbeck hospital.”

Marion Dickson, executive director of nursing, midwifery, allied health professionals, surgery and community care at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We welcome today’s decision by the health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee and will now progress our plans, in partnership with the CCG, to better support our patients in Morpeth in the community and at home and make improvements to the Whalton Unit’s permanent home at Wansbeck hospital.

“We would like to remind the public of our transport service and would urge people who would find it difficult to travel from Morpeth to Wansbeck hospital to visit relatives in the unit to make use of it by speaking to the ward team.While there have been significant improvements in patient care and to nurse recruitment and skill mix since the unit moved to Wansbeck hospital, we remain committed to ensuring that this continues to the case and that our patients receive the highest standards of care.”

The improvements to patient care and safety following the move have included patients receiving more timely and thorough investigations, fewer transfers of patients back to The Northumbria hospital for emergency care and fewer episodes of harm associated with incidents due to greater observation of patients.

While the original move was instigated due to nurse staffing issues and an expected increase in activity over the winter period, more nursing staff had been recruited for the unit since the relocation and more consistent nursing care is now provided through an improved skill mix across the team.

The trust and CCG are to improve care in the Morpeth community including jointly investing in more community matrons to support additional nursing home beds in the town and allied health professionals to better support frail elderly patients within their own homes to prevent unnecessary admissions and facilitate earlier discharges home.

They are also jointly developing a palliative care bed model to enable patients to receive end-of-life care in local nursing homes with specialist nursing support. The improvements to the ward environment at Wansbeck hospital will include areas for rehabilitation and multi-disciplinary working.

Quarterly Report – July to September 2019

As independent champion for people who use health and social care services, we receive feedback about what is working well for people and what could be improved, and share these views with those who have the power to make change happen. We also help people find the information they need about services in their area and record this as ‘signposting’.

The report below shares a summary of the feedback collected from July to September 2019.
This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:
• Telephone calls, emails and social media (52%)
• Postal surveys and feedback forms (5%)
• Talking to people at local engagement events (43%)

 

Summary for feedback received between July and September 2019.

  • The average person feeding back to Healthwatch Northumberland is a woman aged between 65-79 from the Tynedale area. They are most likely to be feeding back about their own experiences.
  • They are most likely to get in touch with us by the telephone, email, or social media, or through engagement events we run in their local area.
  • Most people fed back to us with concerns or complaints about health services.
  • Most of our feedback is about primary care services. This quarter pharmacies and GP surgeries dominated the negative feedback we got about primary care.
  • Secondary care services also make up a large proportion of our feedback. This quarter feedback about a physiotherapy service dominated the negative feedback about secondary care.
  • We also continued to hear back about the loss of the Hear to Help Service, which was provided by Action on Hearing Loss.
  • Consistent with last quarter, most feedback was about people finding it hard to access services, rather than quality of care.
  • Healthwatch Northumberland had a total of 80 recordable interactions with people. 58 of these gave us feedback, 38 were signposted and 3 exchanged information with us.
  • We signposted to Independent Complaints Advocacy Northumberland, Carers Northumberland, North of Tyne Patient Advice and Liaison Service, and Northumberland County Council more than once this quarter, and at least once last quarter.
  • Almost half of the organisations we signposted to this quarter were voluntary sector organisations.

Read the full report for July to September 2019

Northumbria Hospital

Healthwatch at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Working in partnership with Healthwatch North Tyneside and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, we heard from 309 people over 14 three-hour sessions in the waiting area in the Emergency Department and Paediatrics Emergency Department of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in November 2018.  People had travelled to the hospital independently and told us why they were attending the Emergency Department, what other services they had/tried to access and what they thought could make their experiences of getting care better.

Based on what we heard we produced the report below which includes recommendations that are now being implemented by Northumbria Healthcare, Northumberland and North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Groups and North East Ambulance Service Foundation Trust.  Our observations and recommendations:

  • We suggest that a system-wide approach is needed to review the information and advice available to support people to get the care they need and help people to navigate themselves through the urgent care system.

 

  • A system wide approach is needed to review the transport issues people have highlighted, particularly public transport access to The Northumbria Hospital. We are pleased to note that Northumbria Healthcare has established a Rural Healthcare Commission and we hope this report will be used to help inform the discussions about transport.

 

  • Changes to the waiting room environment to improve experience and accessibility.

 

A number of changes have already taken place or are planned to the public waiting areas.

Read the report – Understanding people’s experiences of attending the Emergency Department at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Your Voice Fund

We are very excited to announce the Your Voice Fund.  This is an opportunity for more people to have their experiences of health and social care services heard and to make those services better.  We recognise that there are some people we do not hear from enough. In particular:

  • People with learning disabilities
  • People from the LGBTQ+ communities
  • Young people
  • Black and minority ethnic communities
  • People living in Northumberland through asylum or refugee resettlement programmes

Small grants of up to £1,000 are available for projects which can:

Gather people’s views and experiences of health and social care services in Northumberland,

Or

Respond to views you have already gathered, deliver an activity, create a resource or run a promotional campaign about a health and care issue in Northumberland.

Talk to us about your ideas and find out more below.

Your Voice Fund Information Pack

 

Quarterly Report – April to June 2019

Introduction

Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. We are a listening organisation working across Northumberland, interested in what people like about services and what can be improved. We act on what people are saying, sharing their views with those who have the power to make change happen. We also help people find the information they need about services in their area and record this as ‘signposting’.
People who use health and social care services tell Healthwatch Northumberland about their experiences throughout the year.

This report shares a summary of the feedback collected from April to June 2019. The next report will cover July to September 2019.

This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:
• Telephone calls, emails and social media (611%)
• Postal surveys andfeedback forms (24%)
• Talking to people at local community events (11%)
• Through meetings and third parties (3%)

Areas of Focus
We are open to all feedback about health and social care services. Responses to our annual survey helped us to identify three specific areas of focus which we are prioritising in 2019/20:
1. General Practitioner Services (GP Services)
2. Mental Health Services, including dementia care
3. Access to Services

Aims

The report aims to increase understanding of:

Who Healthwatch Northumberland is hearing from

What people are saying

The general sentiment of comments

What people are experiencing

What is working well?

Where there are areas for improvement

Read the April to June Report in full

 

Wellbeing Survey – Your Help Needed

Are you a member of the public?

NHS England would like your views on what wellbeing means to you and what may prevent you from looking after yourself as well as you can.

It would also like to know how you think the health and care system can support you further to look after yourself.

To give your feedback please click on the link below. The survey will run until Friday 21 November. There is also the opportunity to sign up for updates after completing the survey.

Wellbeing Survey for Public

 

Do you work in health and social care?

NHS England would like to know what you think needs to be done so that you can focus more on prevention as part of your role. The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and the deadline is 21 November.

Wellbeing Survey for Staff

 

Permanent move recommended for Whalton Unit

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body has agreed with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s recommendation to take steps to permanently relocate the Whalton Unit to Wansbeck General Hospital.

At a meeting in Morpeth held in public, the governing body made the decision to retain the unit at Wansbeck hospital where it has been temporarily based since December 2018.

The governing body was told that the relocation of the unit from Morpeth to Wansbeck hospital has improved a number of aspects of patient care and safety. This has included patients receiving more timely and thorough investigations, fewer transfers of patients back to The Northumbria hospital for emergency care and fewer episodes of harm associated with incidents due to greater observation of patients.

While the original move was instigated due to nurse staffing issues and an expected increase in activity over the winter period, the meeting also heard that more nursing staff had been recruited for the unit since the relocation and more consistent nursing care is provided through an improved skill mix across the team.

The recommendation will now go to Northumberland County Council’s health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee which will decide whether the move is a significant variation in service and a public consultation is required.

Read the full report

Events

Healthwatch Northumberland Meet and Greet Alnwick

At our ‘meet and greet’ sessions you can meet our team of board members and staff and find out more about what we do as independent champion for health and social care users. The meet and greet takes place before our bi-monthly board meetings, which are held at a different venue in Northumberland, and we invite local residents who have an interest in health and social care services, community groups and health professionals along for a cup of coffee and chance to find out more about our work.

If you live or work in the Alnwick area we’d love to see you. Please let us know in advance if you hope to join us – email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call: 03332 408468.

Christmas Lunch at The Round House

Age UK Northumberland is holding Christmas lunches on two dates this December. The lunch will include Christmas carols, sumptious food, a raffle and a visit from Father Christmas!

Tickets cost £9.50 per person and places can be booked by calling 01670 784800 or call in to The Round House, Lintonville Parkway, Ashington NE63 9JZ.

Also on Wednesday 11 December.

 

Christmas Lunch at The Round House

Age UK Northumberland is holding Christmas lunches on two dates this December. The lunch will include Christmas carols, sumptious food, a raffle and a visit from Father Christmas!

Tickets cost £9.50 per person and places can be booked by calling 01670 784800 or call in to The Round House, Lintonville Parkway, Ashington NE63 9JZ.

Also on Tuesday 17 December.

 

Coffee Thursday

Are you feeling fed up, stressed, worried or overwhelmed?

If you feel it would help to talk to someone in a non-judgemental, safe space, then Coffee Thursday might be just what you need. Coffee Thursday is a free, monthly pop-in coffee morning, where you can take time out for a cuppa and a biscuit and have a chat, when you’re having a tough time. Health Trainer Donna will be there to meet you at this pop in coffee morning, where you can stay for as long or as little time as you like.

It can really help to say things out loud and get them off your chest, and Donna will be there to listen and give support and information on lots of issues that can get us down – health, money, relationships – or point you in the direction of someone who can.

Not sure it’s for you? Call in and see what you think. Everyone is welcome at this free monthly pop-in coffee morning, taking place in the Resource Room, next to Cafe @ Burn Lane, Hexham.

Creating Space

Creating Space is a new craft session run by local people, for local people, and will provide a friendly and supportive space for those who might find getting crafty helps with low mood and improves wellbeing. Please come along if you are interested – a warm welcome and a cuppa awaits!

Become a Dementia Friend

Come along to this free, interactive information session to learn how dementia affects a person and what you can do to make a difference. Become a Dementia Friend and join more than two million others taking action. From being more patient in a shop queue to campaigning for change, every action counts.

Anyone of any age can become a Dementia Friend.

Taking place at:

The Beaumont Hotel, Hexham NE46 3LT

5.15pm (for one hour)

All welcome. Please book in advance by emailing: edward.chivers@alzheimers.org.uk or call or text: 07784 224678.

Prudhoe Older Person’s Information Day

Find out what’s going on in the local area for older people at this event from Prudhoe Community Partnership. There will be advice and information, health checks and a refreshments on offer.

Organisations attending the event include Carers Northumberland, U3A, Tynedale Talking News, Silver Talk, Age UK, library Services, Community Buddies, Northumbria Police and Digital Champions.

Coffee Thursday

Are you feeling fed up, stressed, worried or overwhelmed?

If you feel it would help to talk to someone in a non-judgemental, safe space, then Coffee Thursday might be just what you need. Coffee Thursday is a free, monthly pop-in coffee morning, where you can take time out for a cuppa and a biscuit and have a chat, when you’re having a tough time. Health Trainer Donna will be there to meet you at this pop in coffee morning, where you can stay for as long or as little time as you like.

It can really help to say things out loud and get them off your chest, and Donna will be there to listen and give support and information on lots of issues that can get us down – health, money, relationships – or point you in the direction of someone who can.

Not sure it’s for you? Call in and see what you think. Everyone is welcome at this free monthly pop-in coffee morning. Starts Thursday 7 November, 10.30am to 12.30pm, in the Resource Room, next to Cafe @ Burn Lane.

Creating Space

Creating Space is a new craft session starting at Adapt (NE) in Hexham this November.
Creating Space is run by local people, for local people, and will provide a friendly and supportive space for those who might find getting crafty helps with low mood and improves wellbeing.
This first session will be an initial meeting to chat about what people want, how often the sessions will happen and other details of the sessions going forward. Please come along if you are interested – a warm welcome and a cuppa awaits!

World Mental Health Day Age UK

Mental health issues can affect any of us at any time in our lives. As we get older we are more likely to find ourselves either experiencing mental health problems or caring for someone who does. If you’re over 65 and would like to learn more about the changes that ageing can have on mental health or you’d like to find out more about the help and support available for carers drop in to this open day from Age UK Northumberland.

Get advice on where to seek help and what help is available

Take advantage of the‘Carers Corner’ to get advice on caring and how to stay well

Chat to professionals about common mental health concerns Grab a cuppa and have a friendly chat

Drop in between 10am – 2pm on Thursday 10 October 2019

There will be a great team on hand to provide help and advice including Age UK Northumberland, Alzheimer’s Society , Behaviour Support Services, Carers Northumberland, Dementia Matters, Northumberland Memory Service and Social Care Support Planners