19 Mar

Healthwatch Newcastle Newsletter – 16 March 2021

Let us know what you think about the COVID-19 vaccine

The NHS is doing everything it can to deliver the COVID-19 vaccines but there might be things that can be improved. We would like to hear from you.

  • What do you think about the vaccine?
  • Have you had it?
  • Do you plan to have it when it is offered to you?

Please spare a few minutes to complete our survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/covid19vaccine21

Your feedback is confidential and can help services spot issues affecting care for you and your loved ones.

We will summarise the survey findings and share them anonymously with local services and Healthwatch England, which will use the insights to help the government and NHS England make improvements.


Goodbye from Project Manager Rachel Wilkins

“I will be leaving my role as Project Manager of Healthwatch Newcastle at the end of March after more than 11 years working at Healthwatch Newcastle and its predecessor, Newcastle LINk.

During that time, there have been many changes and opportunities to learn from the people I have worked with, and the public I have spoken to. It has been a privilege to hear about your experiences of health and social care services over the years.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with our volunteers as their volunteer coordinator in the early days and I have enjoyed leading some great projects such as:

  • Spotlight on home care
  • Attention on prevention
  • Spotlight on health at home
  • Eight ways to make a difference

You can read the reports about these projects at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/about-us/reports

I’ve been very lucky to always be supported by a great team of volunteers and staff, who I will miss greatly. Their skills and expertise within their roles have been invaluable to me and I have learnt something from all of them. I will take some of that learning to my new role at NHS England.

I have great memories of many people over these years, from those I worked with at Connected Voice right at the start, to all the other voluntary and community sector and NHS staff I have worked with.

Having an impact (big or small) within a local Healthwatch has always been the greatest pleasure and something we have been reflecting on recently at Healthwatch Newcastle and Healthwatch Gateshead. Under the leadership of our new Chief Executive, Siobhan O’Neil, I look forward to seeing what the team achieves over the coming months.

Thank you to you all”.


Update from Jacqui, our Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator

“It’s hard to believe we are a quarter of the way through the year already! With no prospect of face-to-face engagement any time soon I have been talking to several local organisations about how we can work together to gain as representative a view of Newcastle as possible.

We have a new video resource on our website which is slowly filling up with information. Many thanks to Jamie from the Men’s Pie Club who has allowed us to use their video to highlight their work (see www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/useful-videos — go to the ‘Who can help’ section). I also spoke to Carolyn from Moving on Tyne and Wear about ways we can work together. They are making a video for us so keep an eye out for that.”

Read Jacqui’s update in full at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/news/working-with-organisations


Other news

Day-to-day life and the COVID-19 pandemic — survey
How are you coping in areas such as health and wellbeing, work, household finances, shopping, social and leisure activities?

Councils across the North East are asking residents for feedback. Your responses are vital to help inform local recovery plans over the coming months.

Take the survey at https://tinyurl.com/covid-north

Musculoskeletal pain — survey

Please consider completing this short survey. It aims to explore the beliefs of adults about persistent musculoskeletal pain. Persistent pain is also known as chronic or long term pain and lasts for three months or more.

The survey has been granted ethical approval from Teesside University and takes only five to ten minutes to complete.

Find out more and take part at https://tinyurl.com/teeside-uni-survey

Video relay service for emergencies — consultation
Video relay services are a way of enabling people who use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate effectively with people who don’t use BSL.

The deaf user makes a video call by using a connected device to call an interpreter in a call centre. The interpreter translates what the deaf user is signing into spoken English for the emergency services to hear, and signs what the emergency services are saying to the deaf end-user.

Ofcom is consulting on introducing an emergency video relay so people can contact the police, ambulance and fire services in BSL. The consultation ends on Tuesday 30 March 2021

Find out more at https://tinyurl.com/4bf9aws2

Women’s health — let’s talk about it
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, writes:

“For generations, women have lived with a health and care system that is mostly designed by men, for me. This has meant that not enough is known about conditions that only affect women, or about how conditions that affect both men and women impact women in different ways. Pregnant women and women of childbearing age are also under-represented in clinical trials, which can create troubling gaps in data and understanding.”

The Department of Health and Social Care is seeking the views of individuals and organisations to help develop a Women’s Health Strategy. The consultation is open to everyone aged 16 and above and closes at 11.45pm on Sunday 30 May.

Find out more at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/womens-health-strategy-call-for-evidence

COVID-19 vaccine information for Newcastle communities
The Haref project strives for health equality for local Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. It has put together a vaccine information pack covering some of the following questions:

  • How vaccines are being administered in Newcastle?
  • What is in the vaccines?
  • How do the vaccines work?
  • How will people be notified about getting a vaccine?
  • How do asylum seekers get notified about their vaccine date?
  • Do people have a choice of vaccine?
  • What side effects might you experience after each vaccine?
  • How long after receiving the first injection do you have immunity?

Download the information pack at https://tinyurl.com/uk4jfvas

NHS mental health self-help guides
Did you know there are award-winning mental health guides, written by NHS clinical psychologists with contributions from service users and healthcare staff?

A range of self-help guides, covering topics such as depression and low mood, controlling anger, stress and anxiety, offer users the opportunity to find out more about the causes of mental health issues and provide tools to work through feelings and emotions.

The guides are free to access and are available in a range of formats, including audio, easy read and BSL at www.cntw.nhs.uk/selfhelp

Free relaxation techniques are also available at www.cntw.nhs.uk/relaxation

Need someone to talk to about your mental health?
The Listening Service can provide a confidential, one-to-one space to talk about what’s affecting your mental health and wellbeing. The service will listen with a compassionate and non-judgmental ear and work with you to help find ways to cope with the challenges that you are facing.

You can use the service as a one-off or for longer-term support that focuses on an issue that matters to you. You can also use the service as regular support while on the waiting list for counselling. The service is open to anyone aged 18+ who lives in Tyneside or Northumberland. No referral form is needed.

For further information please email lorraine.kerr@tynesidemind.org.uk or phone 0191 477 4545.

Healthwatch England’s annual report to Parliament
The work of Healthwatch was making a real difference before COVID-19 struck but is now more crucial than ever. Read ‘On Equal Terms’ to find out what has been reported to Parliament about:

  • The views people have shared.
  • How the NHS and social care services have used them.
  • Healthwatch England’s plans to do more to amplify the voices of communities that go unheard.

Read more at www.healthwatch.co.uk/report/2021-02-25/our-annual-report-2019-20

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 info@healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk or phoning Freephone 0808 178 9282.