21 Dec

Healthwatch North Tyneside News – 17 December 2020

Healthwatch North Tyneside wishes you a merry Christmas. We look forward to hearing more about your experiences in 2021.

The Healthwatch North Tyneside office will close for the holidays at 1pm on Thursday 24 December and re-open on Monday 4 January but you can visit our website for information and to review services at anytime. www.healthwatchnorthtyneside.co.uk

Our news and events

New report highlights dental access issues

Following a fivefold increase in people sharing issues about NHS dental care, Healthwatch England’s review of patients’ experiences has found that: more than 7 in 10 people found it difficult to access help and support; treatment was offered on a private basis unfordable to many; and the impact of not being able to access treatment led to people experiencing pain, discomfort and further complications.  Read the full report here

We know that some people in North Tyneside have not been able to get dental or other types of treatment they need before and during the pandemic.

We want to hear about your experiences of having health and care treatment delayed over the past 12 months and whether you feel you have been kept informed about what’s happening. Tell us what worked well for you and what could be better.

Tell us your experiences of waiting for treatment


1Did you know many local pharmacies offer a prescription delivery service?

There is no need to stand in line for your prescription. Many of our local pharmacies will deliver it right to your door.  We’ve updated our website service directory with all of the latest information.  Simply look up your local pharmacy and find out if they deliver, whether there is a cost and how to arrange it.  Find a pharmacy here.

Please tell us about your experiences of getting prescriptions including ordering prescriptions from your GP and getting the medication you need from a pharmacy.  Tell us what is working well for you and what could be better.

Tell us your experiences of pharmacy services


Our plans for the next six months

Paul Jones, Director of Healthwatch North Tyneside presented our plans for the next six months to North Tyneside’s Health and Wellbeing Board.  You can read a summary of our plans and view the full presentation on our website

Find out more about our plans for the next six months


North Tyneside rolls out its first COVID-19 vaccines this week. 

You will have seen the exciting news that a COVID-19 vaccine has now been approved and that the NHS has begun vaccinating patients against coronavirus at the start of the biggest immunisation programme in history. You can read more about this landmark moment here.

The first phase is being rolled out for people over the age of 80 to receive the vaccinations. The NHS will be in touch with people who are eligible for the first vaccinations, so there is no need to contact your GP. 

Find out more about Priority Groups here

Read more here


Julia Charlton confirmed as new Chair of Healthwatch North Tyneside

We’re delighted to announce that Julia Charlton was appointed our new Chair at the AGM on Tuesday 24 November. Julia has served as a trustee of Healthwatch North Tyneside for five years, and takes over from Judy Scott who is stepping down after 18 months but will continue as a trustee.

Julia has experience as patient, carer, nurse, midwife and teacher in health and social care. As Chair of the North Tyneside and Newcastle British Thyroid Foundation Patient Support Group she has successfully worked with patients and carers to inform and support.

Read more here


Our Annual General Meeting 2020

Our 2020 AGM took place using Zoom on Tuesday 24 November.  If you were not able to make then you can watch the recording here.


Service Changes Information Hub

service hub
In light of ongoing adaptations and restrictions due to Covid-19, we are continuing to keep our Information Hub updated with changes to local health and care services, with sections on local hospitals, pharmacies, care homes and more. Read more here

What to do when you feel ill

Our research has found that local people are often confused as to who to call or where to go when they feel ill in North Tyneside. As a result, we have produced online information, video and leaflet giving you a guide to your options. Read more here, including how to request copies of our leaflet for distribution.

Have your say

We are currently gathering people’s feedback and experiences on the following themes. Please follow the links to find out more and share your views with us. You can also telephone us on 0191 263 5321 or email info@hwnt.co.uk

December is the last chance to complete our Maternity, birth and early baby care services survey

Share your story for the chance to win £25 Love2Shop vouchers
Services have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic and we have heard from a number of people the impact this has had on their maternity, birth and early baby care. Sharing your views and experiences helps us to make recommendations to providers in North Tyneside to improve services for expectant parents, mothers and babies.

You can take our online survey here, or contact our team to share your views or request a hard copy of the survey. Read more here – and please help to share this survey with those who have accessed maternity, birth and early baby care services.

Read more here

Still time to share your experiences during the coronavirus pandemic

As part of our ongoing consultation with North Tyneside residents and users of health and care services in the borough, we want to hear about your experiences during the pandemic. What worked well? What could have been improved? How have your health and care been affected? Share your views to help improve local services (and you could win £20 high street vouchers).

Congratulations to Susan Mackay of Monkseaton, the winner of our November draw.

Share your experiences here


Along with North Tyneside Carers’ Centre, we want to hear about the experiences of carers during the coronavirus outbreak. Have your caring responsibilities changed? Have you had all of the information you need? Have your say

Care Homes

There has been lots of discussion about access to care homes in the national media. The government has published new guidance as part of the new national lockdown. We want to hear your experiences. Have your say here

Visit our website to see more ways to ‘Have Your Say

Local and national news

Meet Amii, 29, a Police Officer with Northumbria Police. Amii is joining the call to the North East for us all to keep doing our bit to #BeatCovidNE. Working with communities as a neighbourhood PC to help keep them safe – and Covid transmissions down – is a big part of Amii’s job. 

Amii’s very close to her family and when her grandmother passed away in September, like lots of people who have lost loved ones during the pandemic, she found it incredibly hard, especially with the reduced numbers at funerals. Watch Amii’s video and find out more about her story

Updated guidance for people visiting care homes

The government have updated the guidance around care home visitation. You can see the full guidance here.

This is welcome news however we’d advise that you check with your care home before you plan a visit to make sure there are no current Covid-19 cases and that they have the necessary arrangements in place to allow visitors. Find out more on our website here

Tell us about your care home experiences here

Covid-19 mass vaccination volunteers needed

Are you patient, calm and reliable? Can you spare a few hours to help protect communities from COVID 19? VODA are looking for volunteers to help in the mass vaccination centres to support the medical staff in non-clinical roles such as marshals to oversee car parking and directing patients into and out of the centres safely. No medical or previous experience required. Training will be provided to all volunteers along with PPE equipment and ongoing support from VODA. There may also be opportunities in similar roles in the next few weeks at mass test centres. Apply here or email: Volunteering@voda.org.uk If you would like further information please contact Keith Hardy on 0191 6432636 or email keith.hardy@voda.org.uk


Age UK North Tyneside have launched their Christmas programme

There are a whole host of virtual activities on offer throughout December, from Tai Chi tasters, to gingerbread workshops, there’s something for everyone! Click the link to find out more and sign up


Looking after someone? Know your rights.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been estimated that across the UK there are 13.5 million unpaid carers. Many people are unaware of their rights as a carer and, as a result, are not accessing the help and support they are entitled to. Read more here.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) to review Do Not Attempt CPR or Do not resuscitate orders during the pandemic

The Department of Health and Social Care have asked CQC to review how Do Not Attempt CPR or Do not resuscitate orders were used during the coronavirus pandemic following concerns that we reported earlier in the year. CQC are looking to start hearing from people who’ve had experience of a DNACPR order since March 2020.
This is a funded opportunity. Read more on how to apply.

VODA’s Community Health Champions

VODA is harnessing the power of North Tyneside residents as Community Health Champions to play a vital role in sharing up to date, trusted health messages with people they know and care about during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more about getting involved here

Get your free flu vaccine

This winter, it is more important than ever that those people most at risk from flu have a free flu vaccination to protect themselves and others. Visit nhs.uk to check if you are eligible for a free flu vaccination

Stay safe and warm this winter

The Royal Voluntary Service has put together a helpful guide to help us to stay safe, warm and well this winter. The guide includes a list of handy contact numbers for organisations that can help and support you this winter. Read the guide here>.

Hospital discharge must be improved to manage COVID-19 second peak

Healthwatch England research shows significant numbers of people are not receiving follow-up support after being discharged from hospital under new policy, leading to unmet needs. Find out more in our joint report with the British Red Cross