We’re all ears!
Have you used health, social care or wellbeing services recently? What works and what you would like to see improve?
Your views matter, so please tell us about your experiences in our survey. We will share the results anonymously with service providers so that everyone receives the best possible care.
Take our survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/hw-have-your-say
Changes to the Healthwatch Newcastle phoneline hours
If you need to contact us by phone (Freephone 0808 178 9282 for the information and signposting line, 0191 338 5720 for the Healthwatch office) please note our new times:
Monday — closed
Tuesday — 10am to 3pm
Wednesday — 10am to 3pm
Thursday — 1pm to 5pm
Friday — closed
If you call outside these times please leave an answerphone message and we will get back to you. You can also contact us by emailing email@example.com at any time.
You can also search, review and rate services 24 hours a day, seven days a week at https://tinyurl.com/Newcastle-feedback
Children and young people’s mental health services — a survey
We published our ‘Eight ways to make a difference’ report in spring 2020. This outlined our findings after gathering the views of children, young people and their parents/carers on children and young people’s mental health services. We particularly wanted to hear about what people thought about the Single Point of Access and Kooth in Newcastle and Gateshead.
The Single Point of Access (SPA) is a team that asks about the person’s needs and puts them in touch with the right service. Kooth is a free online mental health counselling and support service. It’s for all young people aged 11—18, and for care leavers up until their 25th birthday, in Newcastle and Gateshead.
Read our report at https://tinyurl.com/bxt8xhca
The pandemic led to a delay in looking at the issues outlined in our report. Newcastle Gateshead CCG has now developed an action plan based on this and is asking for feedback via a survey. The deadline is Friday 30 July 2021.
Take the survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WJ3F52W
You said, we did
Mr H saw on our website an article about the Go Northeast vaccination bus and wanted to know how more. He wanted to know where the bus would be parked so he could access the vaccine.
Healthwatch Newcastle called Go Northeast to find out where the bus would be located. We discovered that, at that time, the bus was invitation only. A letter was provided to people in a specific area of low uptake. We fed this back to Mr H and provided step-by-step support in booking a vaccination online (English was his second language). We identified which local clinic was easiest to get to by public transport.
As a result…
Mr H was able to book a Covid vaccination. He was able to support his friends and family in doing so too.
“Thank you for your support. My family and friends are all booked up now.”
Vaccination buses are now travelling all over Newcastle. They offer a mix of drop-in sessions or invite-only appointments. Invitations for appointments are sent as SMS messages by local GPs or Newcastle City Council. Drop-in sessions are first come, first served.
Find out how to get a vaccination in Newcastle at https://tinyurl.com/x8fb53v
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).
Business Administrative Apprentice vacancy
Tell Us North has an exciting Advanced Level 3 Apprentice role.
Join us in promoting positive changes in health and social care for everyone in Newcastle and Gateshead. If you’re passionate about local services and helping those who are less often heard, this could be the role for you!
This is full time (37 hours per week), from 9am to 5pm. The successful candidate is required to be flexible and adjust hours around the needs of the work. Occasional out of hours work is required but rare. A flexitime system is in operation. The role is for 18 months.
The closing date to apply is Monday 23 Aug 2021.
Find out more and apply at www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/1000016624
Have you heard about Respect and CAPVA?
We met with Justine from Respect, which is a domestic abuse organisation developing safe, effective work with perpetrators, male victims and young people who use violence. We wanted to find out more about what Respect does. We also wanted to raise awareness of what child and adolescent to parent violence and abuse (CAPVA) is and how the organisation can help support people.
You can watch our video at https://youtu.be/gHbFm4My-mQ
If you need support on the issues discussed in the video, please use their helplines:
Respect — confidential helpline, email and webchat service for domestic abuse perpetrators and those supporting them, call 0808 8024040 or visit respectphoneline.org.uk
Respect men’s advice line — confidential helpline, email and webchat service for male victims of domestic abuse, call 0808 8010327 or visit mensadviceline.org.uk
Find out more about Respect at www.respect.uk.net
Other news and events
Are your children up to date with their immunisations?
If your child is in Year 8 or 9, they’ll be due vaccines that will protect them from a range of serious infections.
Find out more at www.northumbria.nhs.uk/our-services/childrens-services/immunisations
Phone 0191 643 2878 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (during school term and holidays, please leave a message outside these hours).
Watch the video at https://youtu.be/E1cTz8NBTGU
Make your voice heard — influence how healthcare research is done
Have you heard of ‘research involvement’? Have you ever considered taking part in it?
Research involvement is not the same as research participation. It means working with the researchers to help design or run research studies. It is a really important way to make sure research meets the needs of patients. Also, researchers can be held to account to make sure the research is done in the public interest.
Researchers at the University of Leeds are looking for people to be involved in a new project about patients’ experiences of taking part in research. The work will be done remotely, so volunteers don’t have to go to Leeds University to take part. The deadline to respond is the end of July 2021.
Find out more www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/healthcare-research
Autism support hubs for Newcastle
The North East Autism Society is opening four face-to-face autism support hubs in Newcastle in partnership with the Great North Children’s Hospital. Starting August 2021, these hubs will be for parents and carers of children pre-, during or post-diagnosis of autism and under seven years living in Newcastle.
The hub will offer support in several ways: introduction to autism workshops; one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
Find out more at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/news/autism-support-hubs-newcastle
Study for people of African and Caribbean descent
Did your loved one die during the pandemic from COVID-19 or another illness? Are you ready to talk about it?
If you are of African and Caribbean descent and over 18, Newcastle University and Manchester University would like to hear from you. Researchers want to hear about the care your relative received and your family experienced. The aim is to help to improve end-of-life care for people of African and Caribbean descent.
Call or text 07708 649459 or email PEACE@newcastle.ac.uk to find out more.
Download the leaflet at https://tinyurl.com/pm7eve63
NHS prescription exemptions — a consultation
The government is seeking views on changing the age from 60 to 66 that people in England become eligible for free prescriptions.
Prescription charges make an important contribution to the NHS budget. In recent years prescription charges generated over £2.8 billion for the NHS, which has gone towards essential running costs for frontline services. It is estimated this change could bring in up to £300 million more for the NHS by 2026 to 2027.
The deadline to respond is Thursday 26 August 2021.
Find out more at www.gov.uk/government/news/consultation-on-aligning-the-upper-age-for-nhs-prescription-exemptions-with-state-pension-age
GP patient data collection from September
NHS Digital is planning to start collecting GP patients’ data in England from September 2021. This is known as General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection. It will include data about any living patient, including children. It will also include data about patients who have died after the collection started.
The aim is to help the NHS improve health and care services by allowing it to plan better, reduce pressure on GP services, prevent the spread of infectious diseases (such as COVID-19), help with research, etc.
If you do not want your GP to share your patient data for purposes except for your care, you can opt out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out. This prevents your data from being shared with NHS Digital.
Patients can prevent their new data from being shared at any time but need to opt out before Wednesday 1 September 2021 to stop past data being transferred to the new system.
Read more at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk/news/gp-patient-data
Deaflink support groups in Newcastle
Here’s a quick reminder about Deaflink’s support groups and their aims:
Hearing Loss Support Group (formerly known as SHHH Group)
This is a support group that runs monthly on a Tuesday, where you can:
- Meet others who experience hearing loss and share experiences.
- Discuss coping strategies for different situations.
- Discuss equipment that may help.
- Occasionally meet reps supplying hearing equipment or audiologists.
- Discuss different opportunities and settings that are deaf/hearing loss friendly.
Tinnitus Support Group
A monthly support group where you can:
- Meet others who experience tinnitus and share experiences.
- Discuss coping strategies and different techniques used to manage symptoms.
- Discuss equipment that may help.
- Occasionally meet reps from the British Tinnitus Association or audiologists specialising in tinnitus.
- Receive and discuss updates and news about tinnitus.
If you have any queries in connection to hearing loss or tinnitus please get in touch by emailing Louise McGlen at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find the group at www.deaflink.org.uk and on Facebook www.facebook.com/HOHDeaflink
Are you 50+ and living in Newcastle? Would you like to learn how to get online?
The pandemic has shown us the value of being online and having opportunities to do practical tasks and stay connected to family and friends.
The Elders Council of Newcastle in partnership with Mental Health Concern and Newcastle City Council is offering you a unique opportunity.
They can provide a tablet, Wi-Fi and a Tec Buddy for a limited period to help you to learn the basics. In return, they ask you to commit to learning and give feedback on how you get on.
Phone the Elders Council on 0191 208 2701 or Mental Health Concern on 0300 300 7070 to find out more.
Locked out — a Healthwatch England report
Healthwatch England recently published ‘Locked Out’, a report on digitally excluded people’s experience of remote GP appointments. People more likely to experience digital exclusion were asked how this affected their access to care during the pandemic.
Key findings from the report included:
- People are digitally excluded for various reasons including digital skill level, affordability of technology, disabilities, or language barriers.
- Services frequently overlooked individual support requirements.
- There’s no one size fits all solution when it comes to remote appointments.
- Staff at GP Practices acknowledged that a better balance between face-to-face and remote methods is needed.
NHS care will increasingly be delivered through digital methods. Healthwatch supports calls for access to the internet to become a universal right to ensure the NHS remains free at the point of use.
Read the report at https://tinyurl.com/n7ssxrfb
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.