21 Feb

Healthwatch Newcastle Newsletter – 20 February 2020

What areas should we focus on during 2020—21?

Every year we ask for your help in choosing our work priorities from a shortlist of health and social care topics. The list for this year is:

  • Adult social care assessment process
  • Carers’ assessments
  • Interpreting services
  • Reviews of social care support for people who are no longer in crisis
  • Supporting young people who are facing gender identity issues

Following a public consultation, our Committee will make the final decision on the areas we will focus on during 2020—21.

Find out more at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/priorities-for-2020-21

Find out what we’re doing right now at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/about-us/our-work


Supporting GP patient participation

In September last year Healthwatch Newcastle and Healthwatch Gateshead launched the pilot of a ‘Healthwatch Participation in Practice’ award. This is a best practice award for patient participation groups (PPGs).
Twelve practices and their PPGs from across Newcastle and Gateshead signed up to take part in the pilot. This has been running from autumn 2019 and will finish in late summer 2020. We have worked with practices and their PPGs to help them become more effective. There have been workshops, the creation of an information-sharing forum to circulate best practice materials and share experiences, and one-to-one support.

At the end of January, we organised a co-production workshop delivered by the Experts by Experience group from the Fulfilling Lives programme at Changing Lives. The workshop (shown here) was attended by 14 people representing eight of the practices involved in the pilot. Feedback from the workshop has been very positive.

The pilot is being supported and evaluated by the Academic Health Science Network. If the outcome of the evaluation is positive, we will then consider how it can be made available to all local GP practices and their PPGs.


Health pop-up
Thursday 12 March, 11.30am to 2pm, at West End Library, Newcastle, NE4 9JH

Navigating the NHS can be confusing for new arrivals to the UK. Action Foundation holds a monthly event, primarily aimed at asylum seekers and refugees but open to everyone. There will be information and essential health checks, including blood pressure, heart rate, cancer and TB screening, oral health, health costs and many more.

There will also be a Healthwatch Newcastle stall at the event, where people can find out about our work and how they can be involved.


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Other news and events

Coronavirus (Covid-19) — current advice and information

The risk of individuals catching coronavirus (known as Covid-19) remains low in the UK.
Like the common cold, Covid-19 infection usually occurs through close contact with a person via cough and sneezes or hand contact. You can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if you do not wash your hands. The main symptoms are:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

The advice is to call 111 if you’ve been:

  • To Wuhan or Hubei Province, China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms).
  • To other parts of China or Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild).
  • In close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus.

Do not go to a GP surgery or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Read more at www.nhs.uk/conditions/wuhan-novel-coronavirus

Preparing for Adulthood — SEND event
Monday 2 March, 10am to 1pm, at Newcastle Civic Centre, NE1 8
Preparing for Adulthood helps young people (16—25) with SEND in Newcastle get ready to be independent adults, living well in our communities.

The event will look at possible and positive achievements and goals that could be made over the next 3—5 years. This will be compared to how life is ‘now’, looking at recent review of the city’s Education, Health and Care Plans.

This event will be of interest to families, employers, housing providers, practitioners, managers, leaders and commissioners across education, health and care. A separate event will be organised for young people.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/rzx7y4l

Caring for a loved one with eating distress — free course
Saturday 9 May and Sunday 10 May, 9,30am to 4.30pm, at NIWE, The Old Post Office, Newcastle, NE1 5DW

NIWE eating distress service is hosting this Maudsley Model training (also running 10—11 October). The New Maudsley Model aims to help carers feel more confident and empowered in their role, to reduce their anxiety, and improve communication lines in the family, ultimately helping them best support their loved one on their path towards recovery. Places are free but limited so booking is essential.
For more information visit www.niwe.org.uk/services

Hospitals — new website survey
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust wants to hear what people would like from the hospital website. Your feedback will be used to design a better website for you. Please respond by the end of March.

Take the survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/nuth-external

What people want from the next ten years of the NHS
Last year, the Healthwatch network held 500 focus groups and engaged tens of thousands of people online to find out what people want from the next ten years of the NHS. The evidence gathered was shared with local NHS leaders, who will set out how they have used public feedback to improve services. Healthwatch England will also analyse these documents to see where people’s input has helped to shape local thinking.

Read more at https://tinyurl.com/wxg2yfc

What you can expect when using a pharmacy
The General Pharmaceutical Council is the regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies in Great Britain. The council has written a new online guide which explains what you can expect when visiting a pharmacy.

Download the guide at https://tinyurl.com/t7h29ew