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A new way for outpatients?

A new way for outpatients? Have your say

 

Survey deadline extended – there’s still time to share your views with us on outpatient services – both existing care and plans for future changes to some appointments.

 

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside, is looking at how it might change outpatient appointments.

Potentially this might replace some or all routine follow up appointments that would normally have been planned and would allow you to contact your clinic if you have any concerns.
Northumbria Healthcare has asked us to find out your views about this and to understand what would be important to you to make follow up care better.

If you have regular outpatient appointments now, or have ideas how a previous appointment could have been improved, please tell us here.

As a thank you for your time you can be entered into a prize draw for £50 shopping voucher.

Have your say on outpatients appointments

This survey has now closed

stick figures and NHS logo

Join your local Patient Participation Group

Join your local Patient Participation Group and help the NHS shape services for your community

Are you interested in influencing how your GP practice works and about the health services it delivers? Your practice patient participation group (PPG) could be for you. 

A PPG is a group of patients, carers and GP practice staff who meet to discuss practice issues and patient experience to help improve the service.

PPGs work in partnership with their GP practice and are vital in ensuring that the patient voice is heard. PPGs have an increasingly important role to play in helping to give patients a say in the way services are delivered to best meet their needs, and the needs of the local community.  

By becoming a member of your local PPG you will be helping to support your local NHS services and community by being a critical friend to your practice and you could be:

  • Helping them communicate to patients how recent changes to the NHS will affect services provided 
  • Advising the practice on the patient perspective 
  • Involved in organising health promotion events
  • Helping the practice decide on overall service priorities
  • Helping to carry out research into the views of service users and carers

Northumberland has 40 member practices across the county, some with established PPGs delivering their own community health improvement initiatives such as book clubs, walking groups and knit and natter groups and asking patients and carers their views on using services through surveys and meetings. Groups work in different ways; some meet in person, others communicate with their practice online – all are keen to welcome and involve new members.

If you are interested in joining your local PPG, please contact your GP Practice Manager or NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, Communications and Engagement Team by emailing: lesley.tweddell@nhs.net who will help advise you about your nearest PPG.

Valens Medical Group PPG

Valens Medical Group – get involved

Valens Medical Group Patient Participation Group

Are you a patient or carer at one of the Brockwell, Lintonville or Wellway GP surgeries? The Valens Medical Partnership Patient Participation Group (PPG) is looking for new members to help make services even better.

Being part of the PPG means understanding what patients and carers experience, having ideas and being involved in decisions about the range, shape and quality of services at the practices.

PPG members are volunteers and meet regularly (virtually at the moment). There is lots to do and it’s an exciting time to get involved.

For an informal chat with the Valens Patient Engagement Officer, Pat Rigg, email: pat.rigg@nhs.net. Pat can also put you in touch with an existing member of the PPG to hear first hand about what a great opportunity this is.

Find out more at the website.

 

Hospital discharge during COVID-19

A new report from Healthwatch England and the British Red Cross looks at how well the new hospital discharge policy is working for patients, carers and healthcare professionals.

In March 2020, the Government introduced a new hospital discharge policy to help the NHS free up beds by getting people out of hospital quickly. This meant anyone who may need out-of-hospital support to help them recover would now have their needs assessed after being discharged, rather than in hospital.

The report shows significant numbers of people are not receiving follow-up support after being discharged from hospital under new policy, leading to unmet needs. Read a summary of the report below.

What did people tell us?

Overall patients and families were very positive about healthcare staff, praising their efforts during such a difficult time.

However, while the speed at which people were discharged from hospital was important, it often led to a lack of support for some patients leaving hospital.

Key findings

  • 82% of respondents did not receive a follow-up visit and assessment at home and almost one in five of these reported an unmet care need.
  • Some people felt their discharge was rushed, with around one in five (19%) feeling unprepared to leave hospital.
  • Over a third (35%) of people were not given a contact who they could get in touch with for further advice after discharge, despite this being part of the guidance.
  • Overall patients and families were very positive about healthcare staff, praising their efforts during such a difficult time.
  • Around a third (30%) of people faced an issue with delayed COVID-19 test results, potentially putting family and carers at risk, or in a care home, other residents and staff.

What are we calling for?

To improve hospital discharge for patients, their carers and healthcare professionals, ahead of winter and a second wave of COVID-19 admissions, we’re calling on the health and care sector to:

  • Roll out post-discharge check-ins by phone or in person
  • Develop a discharge checklist, including questions about transport and equipment needs
  • Improve communication by assigning a single point of contact for patients and carers
  • Link patients to voluntary sector partners or community pharmacists to deliver medicine and avoid delays.
  • Boost community care capacity and recognise the value of voluntary care sector in hospital discharge.

Read 590 people’s stories of leaving hospital during COVID-19 

 

Quarterly Report April to June 2020

As the independent champion for people who use health and social care services, Healthwatch Northumberland listens to what people in Northumberland think about the services they have used. 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 2020.  This period was during the national Covid-19 lockdown and we had stopped all face to face engagement and started to work in different ways. The next report will cover July to September 2020.

This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:

  • Telephone calls, emails and social media (92%)
  • Postal surveys and feedback forms (4%)
  • Talking to people at online engagement events (2%)
  • Through a third party (2%)

Areas of Focus

We are open to all feedback about health and social care services. Responses to our Annual Survey helped us to identify a specific areas of focus which we are prioritising in 2020/21.

Mental Health Services, especially for children and young people

Covid-19 has meant changes have been made to health and social care services. Patients and carers’ experiences and signposting requirements are likely to have been different during this time.  For this reason we have also chosen to focus on any feedback we receive which is related to Covid-19 and these changes.

We are also working to hear more from people in area of the county we hear from less, particularly in south east Northumberland.

Aims

The report shows:

  • Who Healthwatch Northumberland is hearing from
  • What people are saying and the general sentiment of comments
  • What people are experiencing – what is working well and where there are areas for improvement?

Feedback

Between April and June 2020, we received feedback from 47 people. We signposted 13 of these people to services and provided information or advice to eight people.

This report explores who Healthwatch Northumberland is hearing from across the county, presenting a summary of general respondent demographic information. Demographic information shared includes location, gender, age, and whether the respondent is sharing their own health and social care experience or speaking on behalf of a friend or relative.

We also look at the general sentiment of comments, with specific reference to the service type (e.g. primary care, secondary care, mental health, social care), as well as whether the feedback relates specifically to quality of care or access to services. Service category, for instance whether the comment refers to a GP surgery or acute care, is also explored alongside the sentiment of feedback. 

Read the report for April to June 2020

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.

Join us if you can!

Register for the Healthwatch Northumberland Review of the Year

Quarterly Report October – December 2019

Introduction

As a listening organisation working across Northumberland, Healthwatch Northumberland wants to hear what people like about health and social care 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’.

We receive feedback from people living in Northumberland about their experiences throughout the year. This report shares a summary of the feedback collected from October to December 2019.  The next report will cover January – March 2020.

 

This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:

  • Telephone calls, emails and social media (31%)
  • Postal surveys and feedback forms (12%)
  • Talking to people at local engagement events (27%)
  • Through a meeting (27%)
  • Through a third party (4%)

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?

Feedback

Between October and December 2019, we received 26 pieces of feedback through talking to people at local engagement events, telephone calls, emails, our website, surveys and feedback forms and other sources. Alongside this, we signposted 17 people to services. Altogether we had 39 different recordable interactions this quarter.

This report explores who Healthwatch Northumberland is hearing from across the county, presenting a summary demographic information of those who got in touch. Demographic information includes location, gender, age, and whether the respondent is sharing their own health and social care experience or speaking on behalf of a friend or relative.

We also look at whether the feedback is negative or positive, with specific reference to the service type (e.g. primary care, secondary care, mental health, social care), as well as whether the feedback relates specifically to quality of care or access to services.

Read the Quarterly Report for October to December 2019

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

Quarterly Report – January to March 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,to find out 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 us about their experiences throughout the year. This report shares a summary of the feedback collected from January to March 2019.  The next report will cover April to June 2019.

 

This quarter we received feedback and enquiries from:

  • Talking to people at local community events (18%)
  • Telephone calls, emails and social media (55%)
  • Surveys and Feedback forms (21%)
  • Through meetings and third parties (6%)

 

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:

  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 January to March Report in full