From supporting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in society to the work of charities, community groups and businesses helping good causes, civil society is part of the fabric of our society.
We want to have an open conversation about civil society, what is working well, and what government can do to strengthen it further. If you want to help create a stronger civil society, we want you to share your ideas on how government can work with and support civil society to:
support people - including young people - to play an active role in building a stronger society
unlock the full potential of the private and public sectors to support social good
help improve communities improve for living and working in
build stronger public services
Healthwatch County Durham offers local people a vote on their work **New**
Healthwatch County Durham is currently planning it’s work for the next year and is offering everyone in the region the chance to vote on which local health and social care services it works on next. Healthwatch gathers people’s views about services and uses these to influence the people who are able to bring about changes. For example, our work with stroke patients has just led to a new service being commissioned for the county, which will include all the elements patients told us were most important for them.
We wondered if you would be able to publicise the vote on your website. It really is a chance for people to make sure the local health and social care services they think need changing are held to account
Primary Care Consultation **New**
We want your views
Your views are needed about your experiences of using the extended primary care services.
This service was introduced in April 2017 and was designed to offer more same day urgent appointments for patients during the week and on weekends. Data is showing that the service, which is delivered through nine hubs over the Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield area, is not being used as predicted. We need to know what could be improved or changed as we want to make sure that we are buying the right services for our patients, so we need your input.
If you have used the extended primary care service,
If you have some general comments and want to feed these in or you would like more information, please send them to the Tina Balbach , Engagement Lead at: firstname.lastname@example.org
NHS England Consultation - Over the Counter Medicines **New**
You may have already received information about a national consultation that is taking place at the moment. Patients, members of the public, and NHS staff are encouraged to feed into the consultation as the resulting guidance will be used to inform what is available on prescription from your GP in your local area
NHS England Consultation: reducing prescribing of over the counter medicines
What is the consultation?
NHS England launched a public consultation on 20 December 2017 in relation to reducing prescribing of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for minor, short-term health concerns which could save the NHS millions of pounds a year and encourage more people to self-care.
How can I get involved?
You can see the full consultation document
on the links included and a locally produced summary sheet of some of the key information contained within the consultation document is available too.
You can respond to the consultation by using the online web-form
Alternatively, written responses can be submitted to email@example.com.
When does the consultation close?
The NHS England national consultation will close on Wednesday 14 March 2018.
Department for Transport launch consultation on section 19/22 permits **New**
The UK Government launched its much-awaited consultation on Thursday 8th February 2018, on the use of section 19 and 22 permits. You can access the consultation here.
We have been informed that the Department for Transport is running its own information events, and they have asked us to share the dates and locations of these events which you can see below. The CTA does not intend to duplicate this work and therefore will be signposting members to these dates and times, although my Country Director colleagues are working with their devolved national governments to see if they intend to hold any additional events.
However, we are open to invitations to other forums where groups of our members will be gathering. During February I have already attended our Scotland and Wales committee meetings and our Policy Committee will be meeting in Manchester this week.
You can read my full message looking at our initial thoughts on our blog and we will be releasing more detailed guidance for members to help them respond to the consultation shortly.
If you have any questions in the meantime, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthwatch County Durham - vote now to help shape our work **New**
Vote now to decide which local health and care services we gather your views on in 2018-19, to help improve them in the future.
In 2017 we gathered your feedback on a variety of services in County Durham, from breast screening to pharmacies, contributing to the ongoing improvement of these services. Now we’d like you to decide which areas of health and social care we focus on next.
We have identified six priority areas, based on information you gave us over the last year, and we’d like you to choose the FOUR you think are most important for us to include in our work for 2018-19. The six areas to choose from are:
Mental health support services
Appointment systems in GP surgeries
Transition support (from children to adult services)
Dental charges and treatment
The deadline for voting is 31 March. You can also request a hard copy of our survey by calling freephone 0800 304 7039.
Green paper consultation - Transforming CYP’s mental health provision **New**
As you may be aware The Green paper on ‘transforming CYP’s mental health provision’ has been released and will run for 13 weeks, closing on the 2nd March 2018. This paper sets the ambition that children and young people who need help for their mental health are able to get it when they need it.
The paper focuses on earlier intervention and prevention, especially in and linked to schools and colleges and how the proposals can be implemented.
Creating a new mental health workforce of community based mental health support teams
Every school and college will be encouraged to appoint a designated lead for mental health
A new 4 week waiting time for NHS children and young people’s mental health services to be piloted in some areas
Feedback can be presented from an individual / service / organisation.
Macmillan Joining the Dots County Durham **Current**
Macmillan Joining the Dots consultation
We are now consulting on our plans for a new service for people living in County Durham affected by cancer and would like to hear your views.
What is Macmillan Joining the Dots?
It is an exciting partnership between the council and Macmillan Cancer Support which will help us to develop new ways of working to make sure people affected by cancer, including patients, carers and relatives, receive the support they need.
It will have a focus on non-clinical support, covering money, housing, practical and emotional support, lifestyle and spiritual issues and will aim to address concerns over gaps in support available across the county.
Why are we planning a new service?
Many people facing cancer need help around money, work, practical things like housework or dog walking, lifestyle and emotional support. Because there is no easy way of finding out where that help might come from, many people currently miss out on getting the help they so desperately need.
Bereavement and Funeral Poverty Research **Current**
You are invited to participate in a study being conducted relating to bereavement and funeral poverty. The aim of the research is to further understand how the change to Bereavement Support Payment may effect claimants and to consider the adequacy of the support available overall to bereaved families. Your views would be most valuable on this important subject, whether or not you have much experience in this area or with the new benefit.
Participation would involve completing an online questionnaire. It will take around 10 minutes to answer all the multiple choice questions. You are under no obligation to participate in the research and there is no material incentive for you to do so.
All questions will be completed anonymously; the researcher will not know who has completed the questionnaire.
The researcher is Jennifer Cowen and she can be contacted at email@example.com. If you have any further questions about anything to do with the questionnaire, or the research in general, please feel free to contact her.
If you would like to participate and make your views count, please click on the link below to redirect to the research questionnaire and further information on the study:
Sugar Smart Community Survey **Current**
We launched our SUGAR SMART campaign at the Durham Centre yesterday and already have pledges to take action to help people reduce their sugar consumption from a number of partners including the NHS Foundation Trust, Durham University and several departments at DCC. Claypath Deli in Durham are also going to take part and we hope to recruit other independent restaurants.
We have a community survey that we would like as many people as possible to complete, so please help us by filling it in yourself and then passing on to friends, family, mailing lists (where appropriate), colleagues etc. There are two £10 vouchers for Claypath Deli up for grabs as well as free swim vouchers.