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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

Healthwatch Northumberland Annual Survey 2020

Tell us your NHS, health and care experiences from last year.

We are running our annual survey during February and March this year, asking you about the NHS, health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home.

By telling us about the care you received and what’s important to you, you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

You can also come and talk to us and tell us what you think of health and social care services at one of our public events below. Let us know about your experiences, what went well and what could be improved, and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland.

If you are unable to come to one of our events you can leave your feedback via our online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

 

Come and see us in your area!

Monday 3 February: Age UK Northumberland, Round House, Ashington NE63 9JZ: 10.00am – 1.00pm (part of the Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group public drop-in)

Tuesday 4 February: Amble Youth Project NE65 0DT: 10.00am – 11.30am (Bridge Project Employability Hub)

Wednesday 5 February: No 28 Community Project, Hexham NE46 1DJ: 11.00am – 12.30pm (Bridge Project Employability Hub)

Thursday 6 February: Concordia Leisure Centre, Cramlington NE23 6YB: 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Thursday 6 February: Cheviot Centre, Wooler NE71 6BL: 2.00pm – 4.00pm (in partnership with Wooler patient participation group)

Wednesday 12 February: Rothbury Practice NE65 7UW: 10.30am – 12.00pm

Thursday 13 February: Northumbria Hospital (cafe area, lower ground floor), Cramlington NE23 6NZ: 10.00am – 12.00pm

Thursday 13 February: The Village Surgery, Cramlington NE63 6US: 3.00pm – 4.00pm

Thursday 13 February: Forum Family Practice, Cramlington NE63 6QN: 4.15pm – 5.15pm

Friday 14 February: Spetchells Centre, Prudhoe NE42 5AA: 10.00am – 11.30am (Bridge Project Employability Hub)

Wednesday 19 February: Seaton Delaval Community Centre NE25 0BW: 10.00am – 1.00pm (part of the Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group public drop-in)

Wednesday 19 February: Adapt (NE) Community Information Morning, Hexham NE46 3HN: 10.30am – 12.30pm

Thursday 20 February: Morpeth Library NE61 1AF: 3.00pm – 5.00pm

Tuesday 25 February: Riverside Leisure Centre, Morpeth NE61 1PR: 1.30pm – 3.30pm

 

Wednesday 4 March: Morpeth Town Hall NE61 1LZ: 10.00am – 1.00pm (part of the Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group public drop-in)

Monday 9 March: Hexham General Hospital NE46 1QJ: 10.00am – 1.00pm

Wednesday 11 March: Blyth Library NE24 2DJ: 10.30am – 12.00pm

Wednesday 11 March: Blyth Sports Centre NE24 5BT: 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Thursday 12 March: Haltwhistle Leisure Centre NE49 0AX: 1.30pm – 3.00pm (Bridge Project Employability Hub)

Thursday 12 March: Haltwhistle Methodist Church NE49 0AX: 5.00pm – 7.00pm

Wednesday 18 March: Wansbeck General Hospital, Ashington NE63 9JJ: 10.00am – 1.00pm

Wednesday 18 March: Ashington Leisure Centre NE63 9JY: 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Thursday 19 March: Berwick Library (first floor) TD15 1DB: 12.00pm – 2.00pm

Monday 23 March: Bedlington Community Allotment (behind Chester Court Care Home) NE22 7LD: 11.30am – 1.30pm

Thursday 26 March: Hexham Mart NE46 3SG: 10.00am – 1.00pm (part of the Northumbria Cancer Patient and Carer Group public drop-in)

Friday 27 March:  Gallery Youth Project, Alnwick NE66 1SX: 11.00am – 12.30pm (Bridge Project Employability Hub)

 

 

 

 

Home Care Provision in Coquetdale

Home Care Provision in Coquetdale

This report is the result of joint work between Carers Northumberland, the Coquetdale Carers and Service Users Group and Healthwatch Northumberland looking at the issues of providing Home Care services in the Coquetdale area.
Based on two surveys carried out in 2018, it shows the key concerns and expectations of people who use services and their carers are communication and continuity of service. It also clearly highlights the challenges faced by agencies providing health and care services in a rural area.
We are pleased that Northumberland County Council’s Adult Social Care commissioner was actively involved throughout the process and responded positively to the process and findings and we welcome the progress reported by Age UK Northumberland.
However, the main thank you is to Cathy Jacobs of the Coquetdale Carers and Service Users Group who organised and analysed the surveys and most importantly set the tone for the work from the beginning of raising concerns but at the same time providing insight and suggestions for making things better.

You can read the home care report here

 

 

Communication and Marketing Assistant

We are looking for a Communication and Marketing Assistant to join our team.

Communication and Marketing Assistant

Part time – 20 hours per week

Permanent dependent on funding

Based at Adapt (NE), Hexham

Salary: £20,395 per annum pro rata (£11,024.32 per annum – actual)

Closing date for applications: midnight, Wednesday 29 January

Interview date: 5 February 2020

 

Could this be you?

  • Are you passionate about improving local NHS and social care services?
  • Do you enjoy talking to people and listening to their experiences?
  • Can you create content that is engaging and accessible?

Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services.  By joining our committed and enthusiastic team you will have the opportunity to use your communication skills 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 our communities.

Below you will find the application form, job description and a link to our latest annual report.

If you would like an informal discussion about the role and Healthwatch Northumberland, contact Claire Jackson, Communication and Marketing Officer: clairej@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, 03332 408468.

Healthwatch Northumberland Communication and Marketing Assistant job description and person specification

Healthwatch Northumberland Communication and Marketing Assistant application form

Healthwatch Northumberland Annual Report 2018/19

 

Where to go for help if you feel unwell this winter

Feeling unwell? Read on for advice about where you can go for help with your health during the winter months. Cold weather can trigger or worsen health problems, so it’s important that you know where to go for help if you become unwell. This winter, the NHS is running a campaign called ‘Help us help you’ to help people understand how to stay well during the winter and which services to use when they need support. Take a look at the information below to find out which is the most appropriate service to meet your needs.

At risk groups: Get advice if you feel unwell

Some people are more vulnerable to the effects of cold weather, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term health condition. If you are 65 or over, or in one of the other at-risk groups, see a pharmacist as soon as you feel unwell, even if it’s just a cough or cold. The sooner you get advice, the sooner you are likely to get better. Click here to find out if you are in one of the at-risk groups, and for tips on how to stay well this winter.

Get your free flu vaccination

To help at-risk groups stay well this winter, the NHS is offering free flu vaccinations to people who are 65 or over, those with some long term health conditions, pregnant women and toddlers aged 2-3 years. Contact your GP or local pharmacist for more information.

Call NHS 111 if you are:

  • Unsure
  • Unwell
  • Confused
  • Need to know where to go

For confidential health service advice and information, call NHS 111. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They will direct you to the best place to get treatment and advise you of locally available services. Visit NHS 111 to get more information.

Visit your local pharmacy if you’re experiencing:

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Runny nose
  • Headache flu-like symptoms

Your local pharmacist is fully qualified to give you advice on common illnesses and injuries, and medicines to treat them. They will also tell you if you need to see a doctor. Click here to find your local pharmacy.

Contact your GP and out of hours if you have:

  • Ear discharge/ pain
  • Rashes
  • Stomach pain
  • Concerns regarding ongoing conditions

Contact your GP surgery if you have an illness or injury that won’t go away. You can call NHS 111 for advice if you need help outside your GP surgery opening hours. Click here to find your local GP service.

Call 999 in a medical emergency.

A medical emergency is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. These can include:

Click here for further information about the 999 emergency services.

For less serious injuries…

Go to your local Minor Injuries Unit for less serious injuries, such as:

  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Stitches

You can visit an NHS Minor Injuries Unit without an appointment for the treatment of minor illnesses and injuries. Click here for more information regarding the minor injury units.

Looking after yourself

Many illnesses and injuries can be treated at home, and this can also help to stop spreading some viral infections.

  • Cough or cold
  • Sore throat
  • Grazed knee
  • Hangover

Ensure your medicine cabinet is stocked with things like paracetamol, plasters, rehydration mixture, a thermometer and indigestion remedy. If you are feeling worried, do not wait until you feel worse, visit a pharmacy for advice about your symptoms. For more information about conditions, symptoms and services, visit the NHS website.

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 – 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

 

Healthwatch Northumberland Conference 2019

Thank you if you joined us at our Conference in Blyth on 16 October! We hope you found the sessions useful and informative. Please see all of the presentations below, including the short film we were unable to show on the day. If you would like more information on any of these subjects, please get in touch and we will make sure your enquiry reaches the right people.

Draft minutes of Healthwatch Northumberland AGM Conference 2019

 

Review of the year and AGM: David Thompson and Derry Nugent

Community Involvement: Mark Johns, North East Ambulance Service

Primary Care Networks: Pamela Phelps, Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group

Marine Medical Patient Participation Group: Carole Pitkeathley

Social Prescribing: Tara Twigg-Robson, Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group

Mary’s story. Part of the Social Prescribing presentation

Review of the Ageing Well Programme: Louise Sweeney, Public Health

Mental Health Trailblazer: Rhian Davies, Northumbria Healthcare

A Space at the Table: Film created by Hexhamtv with Dry Water Arts

Substance Misuse Health Needs Assessment: Louise Sweeney, Public Health

 

Healthwatch Northumberland Board

Healthwatch Northumberland – Join our Board

Healthwatch Northumberland Board

Healthwatch Northumberland is looking for up to four exceptional people with a keen interest in, and passion about, ensuring local communities have their say on heath and social care services, to join our board.

Find out more below and please apply by 6 November 2019.

 

Healthwatch Northumberland Board Recruitment Information

Application Form

Healthwatch Northumberland Strategic Plan

Healthwatch Northumberland Conference

Join us at our Conference 2019

If you use NHS or social care services and live or work in Northumberland, we’d love you to come along to our bigger and better Conference 2019. The Conference will take place at The Phoenix Theatre in Blyth on Wednesday 16 October, between 10.00am and 3.30pm.

Join in the community conversation at this free event with information and listening workshops about mental health, dementia, substance abuse, social prescribing, patient involvement, GP services and more.

We aim to make the day informative, interactive and entertaining. This is a chance for you to share your experiences of care with those who provide it and find out what’s available locally.

There will be an ‘information buffet’, free raffle and lunch and refreshments provided.

To register for a place please call us on 03332 408468 or visit Eventbrite

Events

Listening Event – Annual Survey Alnwick

We are running our annual survey 2020 during February and March this year, asking you about the NHS, health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home.

This event is at the Gallery Youth Project and part of the Bridge Project Employability Hub so if you’re there it would be great if you have a couple of minutes to talk to us.

By telling us about the care you received and what’s important to you, you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

Let us know what went well and what could be improved and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland.

If you can’t come and see us at one of our events you can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

Listening Event: Annual Survey Bedlington

We are running our annual survey 2020 during February and March this year, asking you about the health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home.

By telling us about the care you received and what’s important to you, you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

Let us know what went well and what could be improved and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland. Find us at the community allotment, behind Chester Court Care Home.

If you can’t come and see us at one of our events you can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

Listening Event: Annual Survey Berwick Library

We are running our annual survey 2020 during February and March this year, asking you about the health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home.

By telling us about the care you received and what’s important to you, you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

Let us know what went well and what could be improved and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland. Find us on the first floor.

If you can’t come and see us at one of our events you can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

Listening Event: Annual Survey Ashington Leisure Centre

We are running our annual survey 2020 during February and March this year, asking you about the health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home.

By telling us about the care you received and what’s important to you, you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

Let us know what went well and what could be improved and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland.

If you can’t come and see us at one of our events you can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

Listening Event: Annual Survey Wansbeck Hospital

We are running our annual survey 2020 during February and March this year, asking you about the health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home.

By telling us about the care you received and what’s important to you, you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

Let us know what went well and what could be improved and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland.

If you can’t come and see us at one of our events you can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

Haltwhistle Community Information Evening

We’re holding this community event to bring together local organisations which can offer information on support, activities, finances, health and more to local communities.

This is a chance to join us for a cuppa and tell us about your health and social care experiences from the last 12 months. If you can’t stay, you can pick up a postal copy and freepost envelope to complete at your leisure. You can feed back as a patient or a carer.

By telling us about the care you received and what’s important to you, you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

We will be at a range of venues across Northumberland until the end of March so come and see us if you can. You can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

Listening Event: Annual Survey Blyth Sports Centre

We are running our annual survey 2020 during February and March this year, asking you about the health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home. You can feed back as a patient or carer.

By telling us about the care you received you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

Let us know what’s important to you, what went well and what could be improved and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland.

If you can’t come and see us at one of our events you can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

Listening Event: Annual Survey Blyth Library

We are running our annual survey 2020 during February and March this year, asking you about the health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home. You can feed back as a patient or carer.

By telling us about the care you received you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

Let us know what’s important to you, what went well and what could be improved and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland.

If you can’t come and see us at one of our events you can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

Listening Event: Annual Survey Hexham Hospital

We are running our annual survey 2020 during February and March this year, asking you about the health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home.

By telling us about the care you received and what’s important to you, you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

Let us know what went well and what could be improved and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland.

If you can’t come and see us at one of our events you can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.

Listening Event: Annual Survey Morpeth Riverside

We are running our annual survey 2020 during February and March this year, asking you about the NHS, health and social care you received in the last 12 months – it might be a new year but your experiences from 2019 still matter. Health services include hospital services, GPs, dentists, pharmacists, mental health and ambulance services. Social care is care in the home or in a residential or nursing care home.

By telling us about the care you received and what’s important to you, you can help us set our work for the coming year so that we can be more effective on your behalf.

Let us know what went well and what could be improved and together we can help make care better for everyone in Northumberland.

If you can’t come and see us at one of our events you can share your views via the online survey or get in touch to ask for a postal copy with freepost return.