26 Sep

Healthwatch Newcastle Newsletter – 21 September 2021

Domestic abuse in Newcastle

Domestic abuse has a huge impact on families across Newcastle and there are concerns about the short- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 introduced several changes to legislation, including that a child who sees, hears or experiences the effects of domestic abuse, and is related to the person being abused or the perpetrator, should also be regarded as a victim of domestic abuse.

We are currently focussing on local service provision for children and young people affected by domestic abuse. Keep your eyes peeled for our report, which will be published later in the autumn.

Read about the Domestic Abuse Act at https://tinyurl.com/d8nf749p


What works and what you would like to see improve?

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete our survey — there’s still time to give us your feedback if you haven’t already done so.

Have you used local health or social care services recently? What works and what you would like to see improve?

Share your views and experiences in our survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/hw-have-your-say (by Monday 4 October).

If you need a paper copy, or support to complete the survey over the phone, please email info@healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk or call Freephone 0808 178 9282.


Help make a difference – volunteer with us

We’d like to welcome Volunteer Coordinator Michelle and our new Young Volunteers, Iqra and Kieran, to Healthwatch Newcastle! Michelle has four children and feels that the pandemic has had the greatest impact on young people. She’s passionate that services need to support young people and make sure that their voices are heard.

We’d love to hear from more young people aged 14 to 25 who are interested in volunteering. You can help us with everything from running information stalls to carrying out face-to-face research. If you enjoy meeting people and listening to their stories and experiences please think about joining us.

Read more at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/news/new-young-volunteers


You said, we did: help accessing urgent care

Mr H recently moved to Newcastle seeking asylum. He contacted Healthwatch Newcastle because he wanted advice on what local services were available to him. He had attended his GP practice for problems with his eyes and was referred for a hospital consultation.

When he called us, Mr H had been waiting for three months for a hospital appointment. He needed urgent care and wanted to know where to go for help.  

We provided Mr H with details of the emergency eye department at the RVI. Happily, Mr H was then able to receive the emergency care he needed.

“Thanks for your answer and respect. I am glad to be able to get help now.”

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).


What’s your experience of waiting times?

The NHS is working hard to get people the hospital treatment they need. But we know you might not be getting enough support to manage your health while you wait for care.

It can only get better if you tell us your experience of waiting, so we can work with the NHS to improve how they support people like you.

Share your story today in a short Healthwatch England survey at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SQVSJO


Other news and events

The COVID-19 autumn and winter plan

Last week, the Health and Care Secretary announced the COVID-19 autumn and winter plan.

There’s an initial plan (Plan A) and a backup plan (Plan B) should it be needed. Key areas covered in Plan A include:

  • Building our defences, including offering booster doses to people at greater risk from COVID-19.
  • Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission.
  • Supporting the NHS and social care services.
  • Advising people how to protect themselves and others.
  • Furthering the international approach to help vaccinate the world.

Consultation on city-centre plans
Newcastle City Council is consulting on proposed changes to some roads in the city centre, including planned closures to traffic and bus travel on Blackett Street, New Bridge Street West and the northern section of Pilgrim Street.

You can give your views online at https://tinyurl.com/2ppxmmf6 (consultation closes at midnight on Monday 11 October).

Consultations for older people and those with disabilities
The Elders Council is hosting an event for older people to find out more about the proposals and have their say. It takes place on Tuesday 5 October from 1.30pm to 3.30 pm at Newcastle Civic Centre. Book your place at https://tinyurl.com/2nft7a7y

Newcastle Disability Forum is hosting a meeting with council officials to explore the proposals. There are limited spaces available for this meeting, which is open to all with an interest in disability/disability issues, taking place on Wednesday 6 October at 2pm in the Civic Centre. Phone Alison Blackburn, Chair of the Forum, to book your place on 0191 274 1414.

Vaccinations for students
Being up to date with vaccinations is important for all of us but even more so for students starting university and college, who will be meeting, mixing and living with lots of new people.

Students are at more risk of certain infectious diseases including mumps, COVID-19, meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia. Make sure you’re up to date with your free vaccines.

Read more at www.ucas.com/connect/blogs/getting-back-together-vaccination-and-students

Participants needed for resuscitation study

A team of researchers from Newcastle and Manchester Universities are looking for participants for a study. Did your relative die in hospital during the pandemic? Did you talk about resuscitation or a DNACPR with a healthcare professional (DNACPR means Do Not Attempt Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation)?

This research aims to understand the experiences of relatives/carers of people who died in hospital, where resuscitation/DNACPR was discussed. They would like to learn from you to improve discussions in the future. The deadline to take part in this study is the end of November 2021.

Find out more at www.opfpru.nihr.ac.uk/our-research/project-7

Let’s talk about dementia
It’s World Alzheimer’s Month and the theme is ‘Let’s talk about dementia’.
Do you or a loved one need support? The Alzheimer’s Society has a Dementia Connect support line. You can get personalised information, support and advice by calling 0333 150 3456.

Find out more at www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementia-connect-support-line

Know someone with dementia at risk of going missing?
People with dementia can sometimes start to wander. This might only be in to the garden or street for a short time, but sometimes people get lost and go missing.

Carers, family or friends of a vulnerable person, or the person themselves, can complete a Herbert Protocol form in advance, containing information to help the police if the person goes missing.

Find out more at https://tinyurl.com/3emwj6ej

Employability support in Tyne and Wear
Moving On Tyne & Wear is a local employability programme. It helps people in Tyne and Wear who are unemployed and have a health barrier, disability, additional learning need or autism get into employment, training or volunteering. If you live in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, North Tyneside or South Tyneside you could be eligible for free one-to-one employment support.

Find out more at www.motw.org.uk or phone 0191 217 3206.

What can pharmacists learn from people’s experiences of services?
Both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, people have generally felt satisfied with pharmacies. But there are still some areas for improvement, including raising awareness of the different services they provide.

Healthwatch England has written about their findings on using pharmacies during the pandemic and how professionals can use the insight to improve the support they offer.

Read more at https://tinyurl.com/2bws82rk

What to expect when waiting for care
Waiting for planned medical care or surgery can be a frustrating time. That’s why it’s so important that while you wait, you get regular, clear and accessible updates so that you can plan your next steps.

Find out more at https://tinyurl.com/cdzntctj

This newsletter in other formats
We’re not currently printing 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.