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Annual Report 2018-19

Our latest annual report was published this week. The report documents our activity over the past year; where we’ve been, who we’ve heard from and how we’ve made a difference to people who use health and social care services. We will be talking more about the report at our Conference on 16 October in Blyth, so please put that date in your diary – more details to follow soon.

We will have hard copies of the report available very soon so please get in touch if you would like one in the post. You can download and read the report here.

Quarterly Report October – December 2018

As independent champion for people who use health and social care services, we listen to your experiences of using these services.  This report shares the themes from the feedback we received between 1 October to 31 December 2018.

We receive feedback and enquiries by:

  • Talking to people at local community events
  • Telephone calls, emails and social media
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups on specific issues

Healthwatch Northumberland is open to all feedback about health and social care services but respondents to our Annual Survey identified five priorities for specific focus these are mental health services, dementia care services, home care, GP services and access to services.

Between October and December 2018 we had 98 individual pieces of unsolicited feedback and we spoke with approximately 530 people face to face. We attended flu clinics at GP practices in Tynedale, North Northumberland and Castle Morpeth, talking to a wide range of older residents and those with long term conditions and learning disabilities. We were at Morpeth, Berwick, Prudhoe, and Widdrington libraries during Library Week. We also attended “Winter Warmer” and SEND events, the Carers’ Rights
Day at Berwick and spoke at the Belford Parish Council and the Belford Practice Patient Participation Group.

Read the October to December 2018 report in full.

 

Annual Survey 2019 Headlines

We had a 35% increase in responses to our annual survey this year; thank you for taking part. We had responses from all area of the county apart from just one or two postcodes. 64% of people said that overall, their experience of care services in the past 12 months had been good or excellent, whilst 13% described their experience as poor – a similar figure to last year. The main themes to emerge are:

  • GPs – many favourable comments but appointments are still a concern, in terms of availability rather than the process of getting them.
  • Communication within and between services causes concern across all services
  • Fewer concerns reported about Patient Transport than last year
  • GP services and mental health services remain a priority for people
  • Some concerns around access to services

A full report will be available soon.

Healthwatch logo and people icon

Come and Work with Us!

We are recruiting for an Engagement Officer to join our enthusiastic and effective team.

 

£23,685.56 (pro rata £13,443.15)

Part time 21 hours a week

Permanent dependent on funding

Closing date midnight  Thursday 11 April  2019

Based in Hexham with travel across Northumberland

 

Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for health and social care across the county.  Our aim is to give a voice to people who use those services, influence positive change to services and help meet the health and social care needs of the population.

Health and social care are never far from the news and it’s an area that affects most of us.  Joining Healthwatch Northumberland will give you the opportunity to work as part of a skilled and enthusiastic team making the voice of local people heard.  It’s a busy time and you can help make a difference.

If you would like an informal discussion about the role and Healthwatch Northumberland, contact Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator: derryn@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk.

 

Job Description

Application Form

What Would You Do logo with young woman image

NHS Long Term Plan – What Would You Do?

Watch Project Coordinator Derry talking to Hexhamtv about the NHS Long Term Plan and how you can get involved.

 

With growing pressure on the NHS – people living longer, more people living with long-term conditions, and lifestyle choices affecting people’s health – changes are needed to make sure everybody gets the support they need.

The government is investing an extra £20 billion a year in the NHS. The NHS has produced a Long Term Plan, setting out all the things it wants health services to do better for people across the country. Now the NHS needs to hear from you about what those changes should look like in your community.

The Long Term Plan sets out what the NHS wants to do better, including making it easier for people to access support closer to home and via technology, doing more to help people stay well, and providing better support for people with cancer, mental health conditions, heart and lung diseases, long-term conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis, learning disabilities and autism, and for people as they get older and experience conditions such as dementia.

 

We’d like to hear from you so that we can tell the NHS what you think.

What would you do to give people more control of their care?

 

  • How would you help people live healthier lives?
  • What would make health services better?
  • How would you make it easier for people to take control of their own health and wellbeing?
  • What would you do to make support better for people with long-term conditions?

You can tell us what you think here.

Easy Read Version

BSL Version

What would you do to give people better support?

 

Your local NHS needs to hear from you about how it can provide better care for people living with conditions such as cancer, mental health conditions heart and lung diseases, diabetes, arthritis, learning disabilities, autism, and dementia.

You can tell us your thoughts here.

Find out more about how Healthwatch is helping people get involved in the NHS Long Term Plan here.

 

a woman answers questions from another woman with a clipboard outside a hospital

Annual Survey 2019 – Share your Experiences

We would really like to hear about your experiences of health and social care services in Northumberland over the last year, through our annual survey. You can share your thoughts and experiences as a patient or as a carer. Your feedback will help us set our work priorities for the coming year. Knowing what is important to you helps us to work more effectively on your behalf. We can also look at trends and themes year on year, seeing what has changed and what remains important to people.

You could also be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes when you take the time to tell us about your experiences.

We realise there are a lot of surveys out there from organisations asking for your feedback, but this really does help us to find out what matters to people.

Please help us ensure that the health and social care needs of the people of Northumberland are heard, understood and met by those responsible for commissioning and delivering services.

Thank you for your support.

Complete the Annual Survey 2019

People talking at a Healthwatch event

Join us! Engagement and Research Officer Vacancy

Engagement and Research Officer

Healthwatch Northumberland

 

  • Part time – 25 hours a week
  • £23,685 pro rata – £16,003
  • Permanent dependent on funding
  • Closing date midnight Friday 15 March 2019
  • Interviews will be held on 27 March 2019
  • Based in Hexham with travel across Northumberland

Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for health and social care across the county.  Our aim is to give a voice to people who use those services, influence positive change to services and help meet the health and social care needs of the population

Health and social care are never far from the news and it’s an area that affects most of us.  Joining Healthwatch Northumberland will give you the opportunity to work as part of a skilled and enthusiastic team making the voice of local people heard.  It’s a busy time and you can help make a difference, especially if you have experience in gathering data and producing engaging information and reports.

If you would like an informal discussion about the role and Healthwatch Northumberland, contact Derry Nugent, Project Coordinator, on: 03332 408468 or email: derryn@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk.

 

Job Description and Person Specification

Healthwatch Northumberland Strategic Plan

Application Form

Hospital reception area

Transport Implications for health services in Coquetdale

As part of the 2016 proposal to close the inpatient beds at the Rothbury Community Hospital, Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group produced a Travel Impact Report. An updated report was presented to the Rothbury Hospital Review Group in January 2019.

This report, and any examination of public transport timetables in Coquetdale, immediately demonstrates two key facts: for many people in the upper dale there is little or no public transport and the only towns directly accessible from Coquetdale are Alnwick, Morpeth and Newcastle.

Healthwatch Northumberland would add that such a study should also consider the reality of using services as well as their availability and we have looked in more detail at the most likely journeys to be taken. We also consider the issue of public transport provision in the future in the face of likely reductions in funding for concessionary and non-commercial services.
We consider some of the issues of using private cars, for example, the percentage of individuals of different ages that hold driving licences and the assumptions about car usage at different income levels.

You can read our report here.

 

Healthwatch graphic with two people

Healthwatch Northumberland Quarterly Report July – September 2018

People who live in Northumberland and who use health and social care services tell Healthwatch Northumberland about their experiences throughout the year. This report shares the themes which emerged from 1 July to 30 September 2018. The next report will cover October to December 2018.

We receive feedback and enquiries from:

  • Talking to people at local community events
  • Telephone calls, emails and social media
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups on specific issues

We are open to all feedback about health and social care services but respondents to our Annual Survey identified five priorities for specific focus these are mental health services, dementia care services, home care, GP services and access to services.

Between July and September 2018 we had 59 individual pieces of unsolicited feedback and we spoke to 170 people at 32 engagement events.

Read the Report

Annual Report Front Cover

Healthwatch England submits new report to Parliament

In his first annual report to Parliament as Chair of Healthwatch, Sir Robert Francis looks beyond health and social care performance statistics to explore how people are experiencing care day-to-day across England.

Drawing on evidence from 406,567 people, over the last year Healthwatch has looked at what people are saying about GPs and community services, hospitals, social care services and mental health support, as well as issues that are common to all four areas of care (see below).

Over the course of the year, our network shared 2,053 reports with local services and decision makers about the improvements people would like to see.

The collective findings of these stories and reports show a real mix of views, with people continuing to receive outstanding care, much of which people say is down to the dedication shown by the extraordinary staff who keep things running.

However, it is also becoming clear that others struggle to access the support they need, with services not getting the basics of care right. Examples Healthwatch has worked on over the last year include care home residents not being able to see an NHS dentist and hospitals not providing the right information to help prevent patients having to return unnecessarily.

Issues like these require the NHS and social care system to be looked at as a whole rather than focusing on the headline targets for individual parts of the service.

Yet as it stands, services are not always able to spot the gaps between them and the impact this is having on the people they care for.

With the NHS Long Term Plan imminent, and the government’s plans for social care due in the New Year, listening effectively to people needs to become “part of the DNA” of health and care in England. From the beginning of the planning process to the provision of services to individual patients, insight from people need to be used to shape decisions and better track performance.

Healthwatch is doing its part. Since 2014 we have created the health and social care sector’s single biggest source of user insight, gathering more than 1.4 million experiences and views. We have also set a clear goal to step this up further, by reaching a million people a year by 2023.

Encouragingly, those working in health and social care are also using our insight more than ever before, drawing on our evidence and calling on our expertise to engage with communities up and down the country.

The government’s commitment to invest billions more in the NHS provides a rare opportunity to invest for the long-term in a building a culture where staff at all levels work in equal partnership with communities to shape the way services run.

Chair of Healthwatch England, Sir Robert Francis, says,

“The government’s investment of extra billions in our health service gives us a great opportunity to think about how that money should be spent, and how we can track the impact of any changes to ensure they deliver the help people want and need.

“To do this, we want to see people’s experiences of care become part of the very DNA of the decision-making processes throughout the NHS and social care sector.

“I have seen first-hand how a purely target driven culture within the NHS can actually be bad for people’s health, both patients and staff. To focus exclusively on performance measures can leave services with a false belief they are succeeding without any real idea whether people’s care and support needs are being met or where things might need to change.

“Listening to people and learning from their stories is the best way to get the balance right, and to ensure services have the evidence they need to shape care around the real-life needs of those they serve.

“The outstanding efforts of our local Healthwatch teams, supported by more than 5,000 volunteers, have created an evidence base of people’s experiences that is simply unparalleled. What’s more, we can see this insight being used to shape some of the biggest debates in health and care.

“For me, this is just the beginning. Over the next five years, we are looking to create a movement that puts people at the very heart of health and social care. To do this we need people to keep coming forward, keep sharing and help services hear what really matters to them.”

Four common themes

From the hundreds of thousands of stories gathered by Healthwatch in the last year, we have identified four themes which people commonly experience across all services.

  1. Better information to make the right choices
    With the right information, the public is not only empowered to make better decisions about their health and care, but know where to go for help when they need it. However, this information isn’t always available, and when it is, it can be too technical, confusing or difficult to find.
  2. Easier access to support
    Quicker and easier access to health and care services is essential. It can take a long time for people to get the support they need. Many experience delays at every step – from getting an initial appointment, in waiting rooms, and to see a specialist for further treatment. Repeated cancellations also indicate that the NHS doesn’t value people’s time. Technology used correctly offers the potential to alleviate these barriers and provides easier access to services, and to earlier diagnosis.
  3. Improved conversations
    We know people want to be involved in decisions about their treatment and care. Good communication between professionals and the public helps people to be more informed, understand their choices, and manage their expectations. This is particularly important for people with disabilities or people who don’t speak English as a first language.
  4. Well-coordinated services
    Navigating health and social care can be complicated. People want a seamless experience across different services. When services work well together, it not only makes things easier for people but also reduces the risk of serious issues being missed.

Read the full What Matters Most Report 

Download an Easy Read What Matters Most Report

Events

A Space at the Table

Screening of locally made film about dementia

Peter Woods of HexhamTV has made a film with a group of carers from Amble who are looking after their partners with dementia.

The film  is called ‘A Space at the Table’ because the space at the table that the person living with dementia would normally fill is gradually fading away with far reaching implications for each person living with dementia and also for their partners.

The film which lasts for an hour and 16 minutes is very personal and powerful and comes with a warning that it is not suitable to be shown to those living with dementia, those under 16 or to people who may be adversely affected by seeing its contents

With the kind support of Tynedale Dementia Action Group and The Forum Cinema, Hexham, Peter’s film is now being shown during Dementia Action Week 2019, on Wednesday 22 May, to highlight the honest and truthful experience of carers of partners living with dementia in Northumberland..

For more details and to book for this free screening click here.

For information and support regarding dementia please visit our dementia page

Two ladies chatting with a clipboard

Annual Survey Drop In – Belford

We will be in Belford on Wednesday 13 March with our annual survey. Come and meet us at The Bell View Centre between 1.30pm and 3.00pm and share your experiences of health and social care over the last 12 months.

You can share your thoughts and experiences as a patient or as a carer. Your feedback will help us set our work priorities for the coming year. Knowing what is important to you helps us to work more effectively on your behalf. We can also look at trends and themes year on year, seeing what has changed and what remains important to people.

You could also be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes when you take the time to tell us about your experiences.

Thank you for your support and we hope you can call in to see us.

Two ladies chatting with a clipboard

Annual Survey Drop In – Bamburgh

We will be in Bamburgh on Wednesday 13 March with our annual survey. Come and meet us at Bamburgh Pavilion between 10.00am and 12.00pm and share your experiences of health and social care over the last 12 months.

You can share your thoughts and experiences as a patient or as a carer. Your feedback will help us set our work priorities for the coming year. Knowing what is important to you helps us to work more effectively on your behalf. We can also look at trends and themes year on year, seeing what has changed and what remains important to people.

You could also be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes when you take the time to tell us about your experiences.

Thank you for your support and we hope you can call in to see us.

Two ladies chatting with a clipboard

Annual Survey Drop In – Wooler

We will be in Wooler on Thursday 21 February with our annual survey. Come and meet us at Cheviot and Glendale surgeries between 10.00am and 12.00pm and share your experiences of health and social care over the last 12 months.

You can share your thoughts and experiences as a patient or as a carer. Your feedback will help us set our work priorities for the coming year. Knowing what is important to you helps us to work more effectively on your behalf. We can also look at trends and themes year on year, seeing what has changed and what remains important to people.

You could also be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes when you take the time to tell us about your experiences.

Thank you for your support and we hope you can call in to see us.

Two ladies chatting with a clipboard

Annual Survey Drop In – Rothbury

We will be in Rothbury on Friday 22 February with our annual survey. Come and meet us at The Jubilee Hall (Simonside Room), between 10.00am and 12.00pm and share your experiences of health and social care over the last 12 months.

You can share your thoughts and experiences as a patient or as a carer. Your feedback will help us set our work priorities for the coming year. Knowing what is important to you helps us to work more effectively on your behalf. We can also look at trends and themes year on year, seeing what has changed and what remains important to people.

You could also be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes when you take the time to tell us about your experiences.

Thank you for your support and we hope you can call in to see us.

Shelves of coloured books

Widdrington Library Drop-In

We will be at Widdrington Library on Wednesday 10 October 1.00pm to 4.00pm, listening to local people about their experiences of health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello to the team and tell us what you think of services in your area.

Shelves of coloured books

Morpeth Library Drop-In

We will be at Morpeth Library on Tuesday 9 October 10.00pm to 12.00pm, listening to local people about their experiences of health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello to the team and tell us what you think of services in your area.

Shelves of coloured books

Amble Library Drop-In

We will be at Amble Library on Tuesday 9 October 10.00pm to 12.00pm, listening to local people about their experiences of health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello to the team and tell us what you think of services in your area.

Shelves of coloured books

Berwick Library Drop-In

We will be at Berwick Library on Wednesday 10 October 1.00pm to 4.00pm, listening to local people about their experiences of health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello to the team and tell us what you think of services in your area.

Shelves of coloured books

Haltwhistle Library Drop-In

We will be at Haltwhistle Library on 9 October 1.30pm to 3.30pm, chatting to local people about health and social care services, as part of Northumberland Libraries health and wellbeing week.

Come and say hello and give us some feedback on your experiences to get a fluffy pen!