Healthwatch Northumberland AGM

Thanks to everyone who attended our AGM 2017

The fourth Healthwatch Northumberland AGM which took place on Wednesday 11 October at Stannington Village Hall was attended by over 70 people. The event saw partners and local organisations come together with supporters and other members of the public to review the year of work 2016/17. Former Chair of the Board, Cynthia Atkin, was thanked by current Chair, David Thompson, for her work over the year and since the inception of Healthwatch Northumberland, and was presented with a bouquet of flowers.

Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator, gave a presentation reviewing the last 12 months, and outlining the strategic priorities for Healthwatch for the coming year and beyond.

Special guest speakers were Graham Tebbutt and Barry Dews from North East Ambulance Service, who presented on the new ambulance response times which take effect this month, and how these will affect the people of Northumberland. Many questions were raised by the audience on this interesting and important topic; more information on the standards can be found here.

A marketplace of information stands from local organisations provided support and advice for guests of the meeting; they were: Carers Northumberland, Age UK Northumberland, Northumberland County Blind Association, PALS, Northumberland CVA, Independent Advocacy and Complaints Services, Ageing Well Allies and Northumberland Cancer Support Group.

David Thompson, Chair, says; ” All in all, this was a well attended and illuminating AGM with thanks due to the many stall holders who were able to display and talk about the varied services which they offer to the wider community.  Importantly, the event also presented an opportunity for members of the public to raise issues of general concern to Healthwatch Northumberland staff and board members. This is what we are all about – listening to what people have to say about their health and care services and then responding in the most appropriate way to councillors, commissioners and providers. And that is what we shall continue to do during the remainder of this year, and beyond.”

Our new satisfaction survey was launched at the event and those who completed it were entered into a free prize draw to win a fruit basket, supplied by Fresh n Thyme Mobile Fruits and Vegetables. The basket was won by Liz Johnston of Northumberland Cancer Support Group.

The Healthwatch Northumberland AGM was filmed by Hexham TV and can be viewed on its Facebook page. Minutes of the meeting will be available here on the website shortly. Thanks go to everyone who came along and helped make the day a success.

Social Care Task Group

The Social Care Task Group aimed to ensure that users and carers living in Northumberland have a voice and an influence social care services, to contribute towards improving the experience of people using social care services in Northumberland and to work in partnership with providers, commisioners and inspectors of social care services to gain a better understanding of the commissioning process and influence change where the need to do so is evident.
The group’s remit was to:
  • Understand the provision of social care services in Northumberland and monitor and challenge these services.
  • Seek the views of users and carers, follow up issues raised by them and share this information with providers, commissioners and service users.
  • Work with Northumberland County Council as principal commissioner, plus providers of social care through the Health and Social Care Liaison Group, on the findings of the task group, and link in to work undertaken by the Care Quality Commission inspection unit and Healthwatch England.
  • Monitor CQC reports and their impact on improving performance.
  • To work in a transparent, inclusive and timely manner, considering equality and diversity issues in relation to the matters under consideration, and any impact current services or future recommendations may have on equalities groups.
The social care task group was led by a member of the Healthwatch Northumberland board. Membership was open to Healthwatch Northumberland board members, staff and stakeholders with an interest in social care including carers, commissioners and providers of services relating to social care.


Prudhoe Waterworld

Drop-in Session: Prudhoe Waterworld

Lesley is at Prudhoe Waterworld on Tuesday 21st November, with a drop-in session for members of the public. She will be armed with information on Healthwatch Northumberland, what we do and how we can help you. There will be the opportunity to give anonymous feedback about your health and social care experiences, positive or negative, which will be passed back to the commissioners and providers. You can also leave feedback online

Stop and say hello if you’re in the centre on Tuesday; if you’re lucky you may be given one of our fabulous freebies!