27 Jan

Healthwatch Newcastle Newsletter – 22 January 2020

Healthwatch Practice Participation Group Forum
Saturday 22 February, 10am to 12pm, Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7BJ

We’re starting a Healthwatch Practice Participation Group Forum in February. This is open to all members of Practice Participation Groups (PPGs) in Newcastle and Gateshead. A PPG is a group of patients, carers and GP practice staff who discuss practice issues and patient experience to help improve the service.

If you’re a member of your GP Practice Participation Group please come along.

Register at https://healthwatchppg-jan2019.eventbrite.co.uk


Hellos and goodbyes from our Champions

We’ve loved having Niveditha as one of our volunteers. She’s moving on to pastures new and all the team wants to thank her for the help she’s given us. Niveditha writes:

“I loved my time there as I got to experience and learn new things and found the people working at Healthwatch to be really kind and helpful. I joined Healthwatch because I wanted to be part of a community that strives to bridge the gap between healthcare services and patients.

While scribing for discussion sessions addressing the said gap, the comments from carers made me realize the importance of having organizations such as Healthwatch who can make sure that the frustrations and ideas of sufferers are heard by the service providers allowing a positive change to be made.

I especially enjoyed my time doing PLACE assessments as it allowed me to have an insider’s view of hospital management. As a non-clinical research student, I realised how crucial it is to understand the pain and living conditions of patients to conduct translational research that actually benefits people of today. It was a wonderful opportunity and I am deeply grateful to all of you for letting me contribute to society in such a fruitful way. Cheers to all the volunteers, managers and organisers for keeping up the good work.”

At the same time, we recently welcomed a new Champion, Georgia:

“I’m Georgia and I’m 24 years old, currently studying Master of Public Health at Northumbria University. I also play basketball for the Newcastle Eagles women’s team.

I am originally from Australia but spent time studying in the US and now the UK. I started volunteering with Healthwatch Newcastle as I am passionate about helping people and using the skills I have to benefit others. I enjoy talking to people and understanding how they view health and healthcare.

I want to go into public health education or public health policy when I graduate. Healthwatch Newcastle gives me the opportunity to go out into the community and gather first-hand accounts of the NHS and other services in action. I believe in the work Healthwatch is doing to ensure equity when accessing services and it’s really nice to be around like-minded people.”

Find out more about volunteering with us at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-with-us


Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator vacancy

We are seeking an experienced and motivated individual to lead on Healthwatch Newcastle’s outreach and volunteering programme.

The successful candidate will plan and deliver a programme of outreach and engagement activities across the community to gather the views of people who use health and social care services. This role is part—time at three days (22.2 hours per week).

The closing date to apply is midnight on Wednesday 5 February. Interviews take place on Thursday 27 February.

For further information or an informal chat with Felicity Shenton, Deputy Chief Executive, phone 0191 477 0033 or email felicity@healthwatchgateshead.co.uk

Find out more and apply at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/get-involved/work-with-us


Having your say on cervical screening

Screening can be lifesaving, but we know that the number of women having cervical screening is dropping. We were approached by a company who are preparing marketing materials to promote cervical screening and the new test for the human papilloma virus (HPV) that takes place at the same time. They wanted to hear from women aged 25—45, who lived in areas where the uptake of cervical screening was particularly low.

On Tuesday 14 January, we ran a focus group with 19 women at Pottery Bank Community Centre. We looked at some of the truths and myths around cervical cancer and HPV, asked what their worries and fears might be about having cancer screening and then explored what could be done to overcome any barriers. What was clear was that many women know about cervical cancer and about the screening, so it wasn’t lack of information that stopped a lot of women from having the test. The women mentioned barriers including difficulty making an appointment, childcare issues and concerns about the lack of dignity involved in the procedure.

The company was very happy with the insight they got into these women’s lives and are planning to use this to design the marketing plan. We would like to thank all the women and Pottery Bank Community Centre for their participation and for helping us to organise this at short notice.

For further information about our work on screening programmes read our ‘Attention on prevention’ report at https://tinyurl.com/hwnattentionprevention

For information about cervical screening visit https://tinyurl.com/HPVscreen


Chinese New Year
Sunday 26 January, 11am to 4pm, at Stowell Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

We will be celebrating the Year of Rat as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations alongside Healthwatch Gateshead. There will be free events and performances taking place for all ages in Stowell Street and beyond.

Come along to our Healthwatch stall and have your say on health and social care services.


Other news and events

Newcastle City Council plans — your views needed
Newcastle City Council is seeking your general views on its plans for 2020—21 at http://www.letstalknewcastle.co.uk/surveys/info/729

It’s also reviewing adult social care support for people after they’ve experienced a crisis. This could be in a care home or people’s own homes. What do you think of the proposals? For more information and to take part, go to www.letstalknewcastle.co.uk/surveys/info/725

Consultations close on Sunday 26 January 2020.

Unequal ageing: responding to health inequalities in later life
Tuesday 28 January, 10am to 3pm, at The Catalyst, 3 Science Square, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TG

This research-based event looks at current research around health inequality and unequal ageing. There will be speakers discussing current research in the area and two interactive workshops to help direct the future of the research topic. Learn more about how we are all ageing unequally, and put forward your opinions to direct the future of research into unequal ageing.

Find out more and book a place at https://tinyurl.com/vsvd2bq

Do you struggle with your hearing and/or tinnitus?
Deaflink’s Hard of Hearing project runs two monthly support groups, as well as offering support and advice. SHHH (Self-Help Hard of Hearing) meets next on Tuesday 4 February. Find out more at www.deaflink.org.uk/services/shhh-group

The tinnitus support group’s next meeting is in February, date to be confirmed. Find out more at www.deaflink.org.uk/services/tinnitus

For more information phone Louise McGlen on 0191 281 2314 or email louisemcglen@deaflink.org.uk

Maternity Voice Partnership meeting
Friday 7 February, 1.45pm, in the Community Room, Kingston Park Tesco, NE3 2FP

Newcastle upon Tyne Maternity Voice Partnership (MVP) is holding a joint meeting with Northumbria and Gateshead MVPs.

The theme will be ‘continuity of carer’ and the leads from each of the three areas will discuss cross-boundary care between Northumbria hospitals, the RVI in Newcastle and the QE in Gateshead.

Babies and children are welcome!

‘I, Daniel Blake’ — free film screening and discussion
Wednesday 12 February, 2pm to 5pm at The Catalyst, 3 Science Square, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TG

This free screening of I, Daniel Blake (with free popcorn!) includes a post-show panel discussion with academics from Newcastle University. Join the discussion on social justice, access to healthcare, and inequalities. Please note you must be 15 years of age or older to attend this event.

Book your place at https://tinyurl.com/qwtz2el

Accessing the dentist — video launch
Friday 14 February, 1pm to 2.30pm, at Riverside Community Health Project, Carnegie Building, Atkinson Road, NE4 8XS

A video has been created by the Romanian Women’s Group in partnership with 0—19 health services. This resource supports Romanian/Roma families in accessing the dentist and why it’s important.

Come along to the launch event to hear about this award-winning partnership work. Refreshments will be provided.

To book your place or for more information phone Sally Ellis, 0—19 Service West, on 0191 282 3243 or Gabriela Caradonna, Riverside CHP, on 0191 226 9470.

Vitamin D study for over 50s
Vitamin D deficiency is a problem in England, particularly in the North East as we do not get enough sunlight exposure to satisfy our daily vitamin D requirements. To address this, Newcastle University is researching whether eggs can help. Eggs are a good natural source of vitamin D, and they can be further enriched through feeding extra vitamin D to chickens.

Newcastle University is carrying out a dietary study at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and needs to recruit healthy volunteers aged over 50. The study involves two visits to the RVI where basic body measurements and blood samples will be taken. Volunteers will receive a £20 voucher for either Eldon Square or Amazon as a token of appreciation.

For further information please phone Dr Adam Clark on 07825 153 110 or email adam.clark2@ncl.ac.uk

Talk on eating disorders for young people
There has been a sharp rise in hospital admissions of young people with eating disorders. NHS Digital data for England found the most common age last year for patients with anorexia was 13 to 15.

NIWE is delivering a free one-hour talk for organisations. These are aimed at young people aged between 11 to 25 to help prevent the onset of an eating disorder. The talks can benefit large groups of up to 250 young people and are delivered at a time and place the organisation chooses.

To book a talk, phone Training Officer Maria Lavelle on 0191 221 0233 or email maria.lavelle@niwe.org.uk

Help for gambling addiction
Did you know that the North East is the gambling capital of Britain?

When gambling becomes a problem it can affect mental health. Problem gamblers are more likely than others to suffer from low self-esteem, to become anxious, develop stress-related disorders or a substance misuse problem and to suffer from depression.

Help is at hand. The Northern Gambling Service has just opened a clinic in Sunderland. It provides free treatment and support to addicts and families in the North East.

Find out how to access the service at www.leedsandyorkpft.nhs.uk/our-services/referrals-contacting-service