Our Healthwatch priorities for 2021—22
Our role is to make sure that you are at the heart of health and social care services in Newcastle. We listen and make sure your voice is understood by the people planning and running our local services. Earlier this year, we asked for feedback from you on a shortlist of potential priorities. We also had conversations with the people who run services and the Healthwatch Newcastle Committee met to discuss what our focus should be.
As a result of this process, we have identified several priorities for the next 12 months, including:
- Service provision for children and young people affected by domestic abuse. Through this work, we seek to amplify the voices of (non-abusive) parents and their children to identify the support needed to cope and recover from the impact of domestic abuse.
- How annual NHS health checks for people with learning disabilities work in practice to better understand: the experiences of those receiving the health check, the value they have for those people and any barriers that prevent uptake, with a view to ensuring better health outcomes for people with a learning disability.
Outer West Primary Care Network says thank you to patients for their comments!
Earlier this year we partnered with six GP practices in Outer West Newcastle: Denton Park Medical Group, Denton Turret Medical Group, Newburn Surgery, Parkway Medical Group, Throckley Primary Care Centre and Westerhope Medical Group.
They wanted to gather patients’ views on additional services, accessing the practices and how/if COVID-19 affected their experience.
The practices are now thanking their patients for taking part in a survey. The results are helping them to improve health care, provide additional local services and tackle health inequalities.
Find out more and download the report at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/news/outerwest-thankyou
A Care Coordinator works closely with General Practices in the area to support access to services, advice and information, and to ensure health and care planning is timely, efficient, and patient-centred.
Miss N contacted us because she felt like her Care Coordinator was not working in her best interests. She thought that the Care Coordinator did not listen to what she wanted and talked at her rather than to her. She was continually offered activities that did not work for her and received no other support.
As Miss N expressed an urgent need for support, we suggested she contacted the service and request a change of coordinator. We provided her with the right contact details and who specifically to speak to. We also provided her with the details of North East Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA) so, when she felt ready, Miss N could make a complaint about the Care Coordinator service. Please see the ‘Other news and event’ section of this newsletter if you would like to know about ICA.
As a result…
Miss N now has a new Care Coordinator and feels better and more supported than she had in the past. She also is now working with ICA to make a complaint.
“I now have a new care coordinator, thank you so much for your efforts, I would be lost without it.” Miss N
Need our help?
Do you need free, independent and confidential information about local health and social care services? Just ask online at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/just-ask or call us on Freephone 0808 178 9282 (leave a message outside office hours).
Learning Disability Week (14—20 June 2021)
People with a learning disability may have difficulty with everyday activities, for example, household tasks, socialising or managing money.
Did you know we have accessibility tools that can help people with learning disabilities, and others, access our Healthwatch website? Users can use ‘Recite Me’ to customise the website so it meets their individual needs. Features include:
- A screen mask to help with focus and concentration.
- Options to have content read aloud.
- Full control over the speed at which the text is read aloud to allow for varying auditory preferences.
- Customisation options for text font, colour, sizing, and spacing, so that the look of the webpage can be tailor-made into the perfect format for every individual.
- A spell-checker and fully integrated dictionary and thesaurus to help with comprehension.
Recite Me has other features everyone may find useful, including being able to translate or read content aloud in over 35 different languages.
Click on the ‘Enable ReciteMe’ button at the top right of the page to access the features at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk
For learning disability advice and support visit www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support
Healthwatch Newcastle annual report out now
All local Healthwatch are required to produce an annual report and submit it to various organisations, including Healthwatch England, the Care Quality Commission and the commissioning local authority by the end of June each year.
Our 2020—2021 annual report looks at how we responded to the challenges of the pandemic by reassessing our work priorities and focussing on how COVID-19 has impacted on access to local services, while continuing to deliver high-quality information and signposting.
We also want to say a big ‘thank you’ to our volunteers for their support throughout such a challenging year. They helped people in Newcastle have their say on services from home, promoting surveys to family, friends and neighbours, and making befriending calls to the most vulnerable in our area. We couldn’t do it without you!
Find out more and read the report at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/news/hwnannualreport2020-21
Skills4Work — supporting young adults in the city
We met with Sean and Chris from Skills4Work Gateshead to find out more about the work they do. Skills4Work supports young adults in Gateshead and Newcastle with disabilities and/or mental health conditions to gain valuable skills in work. The group is based in Birtley. We also chatted about the COVID-19 adaptations that they have made to keep working with their members.
If you would like to become a Skills4Work Gateshead member or find out more visit www.skills4work.org
Watch our video at https://youtu.be/RqWd0UWTqsQ
Other news and events
Living well with bowel cancer — online event
Saturday 19 June, 10.30am to 2pm
This free virtual information and support event by Bowel Cancer UK is for anyone affected by bowel cancer. Patients will hear about how to cope with their cancer diagnosis, live better with the disease and managing the sidewwww1111qs effects of treatment.
It’s an opportunity to also hear from other people affected by bowel cancer and share experiences with others. The event will end with a relaxing wellbeing session. A working laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet with sound and a camera will be needed for the event, which will be hosted on Zoom.
To register and to find out more visit www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/how-we-can-help/supportevents or email firstname.lastname@example.org
North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy
Unhappy with your NHS treatment or care? Want to make a complaint but you’re not sure where to start? This is where North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA) can help.
ICA is free, independent and confidential. It can support you to make a complaint by yourself or with the help of an experienced worker, known as an Advocate.
To make an appointment please call Freephone 0808 802 3000.
Find out more at https://tinyurl.com/ICAnortheast
Introducing the Volunteer Passport Scheme Newcastle
If you’re looking to volunteer with a range of organisations in the city the Volunteer Passport Scheme can help you work flexibly across Newcastle.
The role is flexible and based on the time you have to give. There’s a single recruitment and training process and you can join a network of volunteers, gaining experience in a variety of volunteer roles, including:
- Medication pick up/drop off
- Befriending/mentoring/welfare calls
- Tech support volunteer
- Charity shop volunteer, and many more
If you would like to get involved, or for more information, please email Pam.Robinson@volunteeringmatters.org.uk or Karen.Watson@volunteermatters.org.uk
Watch a film about the Volunteer Passport Scheme at https://youtu.be/IyiYhXM0hFQ
Exploring vaccine confidence
It’s important to understand what isn’t working about the current roll-out strategy for people who are less confident in the COVID-19 vaccine and use that information to help address concerns.
Healthwatch England’s latest report explores vaccine confidence among people from African, Bangladeshi, Caribbean and Pakistani backgrounds. It uncovered five ways to increase public confidence:
- Individual agency
- Targeted messaging can miss the mark
Read more at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/news/exploring-vaccination-confidence
This newsletter in other formats
We’re currently unable to provide paper copies of this newsletter. If you would like a version you can print out yourself, you can find copies of all our recent newsletters at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/about-us/resources
If you need this newsletter in another format please get in touch by emailing email@example.com or phoning Freephone 0808 178 9282.