Durham County Council have regular consultations with the Public and current Consultations can be found at the link below

Children's Services and Voluntary and Community Sector Alliance Feedback **Current**

Dear Colleague 'County Durham's Children's Services and VCS Alliance' is a partnership between Durham County Council's Children's Services and the Voluntary and Community Sector with the aim of improving outcomes for children, young people and their families.

Through the work of this partnership we envisage fundamental changes in the relationships between Children's Services and Voluntary and Community sector partners to deliver better services to children, young people and their families, building upon existing networks and relationships that have been built up across the county. 

To ensure that this work is driven by key stakeholders we would really appreciate it if you could take some time to complete the survey at the link below: 

It should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and all information captured as a result of this survey will influence and shape the development of the VCS Alliance. Closing date for responses in Wednesday 15th November 2017. 

If you have any queries feel free to contact me. 
Thank you for your support. 
Lindsey Ellwood Think Family Development Officer Children and Young People’s Service Durham County Council County Hall Durham DH1 5UZ Direct 03000 261763

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.

DCC Budget Consultation 2017 **Current**

Dear Partner, 

Just to advise consultation has started on the council’s budget proposals for 2018/19. 

If you would like to view the details and have your say please click on the below link: Budgetconsultation2017 

The consultation closes on Friday 1st December 2017.

Changes to financial assessments for non-residential care services ** Current**

Consultation from 23 October 2017 – 14 January 2018 Supporting Information We are proposing changes from 1st April 2018 to the way in which those who will receive non-residential services are financially assessed. Existing service users will not be affected by these proposals. 

Non-residential services include a wide range of social care services which enable people to stay in their homes and include home care, day care and extra care services. In line with national policy, Durham County Council charges for non-residential services if individuals have income over a certain amount. That amount is set by Government. To assess the contribution a person is required to pay towards the cost of their non-residential services a financial assessment is completed that takes into account a number of factors including a person’s income and outgoings. Disability related expenditure is also taken into account. This could include additional money a person has to spend because of their disability (for example additional heating or laundry costs). 

When the Care Act 2014 came into force on 1 April 2015 the Department of Health prescribed the minimum amount of income a person must be left with after paying for their care and support. Councils can allow people to keep more income than this amount if they wish. This amount is called the minimum income guarantee (MIG) The MIG allowances can be found in the Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) 2014 regulations. Currently Durham County Council applies the minimum income guarantee + 25% meaning service users are left with a basic income plus a 25% buffer over and above the minimum income guarantee. . 

What is being proposed? 
For new applicants for non-residential care, we propose to change the allowance from MIG + 25% to a buffer that is equivalent to MIG + 18.6%. This is in line with Department of Health guidance This approach of using the figures given in the Department of Health Guidance will bring us into line with a number of other authorities who are also making similar changes. Whilst the proposal is for a reduction to the allowance, the proposed change would still allow new recipients of non-residential services to retain more than the minimum income guarantee to pay for their living costs. Moreover, the local authority will take account of people’s circumstances and consider exercising its wider discretion in cases of financial hardship. 

You can have your say by visiting our website on and filling in our online survey. You can also contact us for a paper version of the survey on 03000 268252 or email 

To assist with collating responses, please do not photocopy the paper version. The closing date for comments is 14 January 2018

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 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: 

Follow this link to the Survey: Take the Survey

Breast cancer screening survey **Current**

We’re currently doing a piece of work around breast cancer screening – why some women take up the offer and why some don’t, with the intention that we can make recommendations to support more women to get screened. We’ve produced a short survey, which is open until the end of October. I’ve included the link with some text below. 

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month we would like to learn more about the experience of breast cancer screening services and if there is anything that can be improved.  

As part of this, we have a devised a short survey and would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to complete.

Macmillan Joining the Dots County Durham – Your Views? **Current**

Macmillan Joining the Dots County Durham wants to know what you think about plans for a new service for people affected by cancer. The consultation runs until 5pm on Friday 10th November 2017. You can learn more about the plans and have your say here:

Durham Community Action …. **New**

Dear Colleague We need your say! 

Do you work with the frail elderly or those with long term health conditions? Do you have an interest in the Integration of Health and Social Care? Do you provide or collaborate of any locally led community services such as lunch clubs, befriending services or other projects that bring together the frail elderly or those with long term conditions in a community setting? If so, you may be aware that Durham Community Action (DCA) is working our colleagues in the sector, and health and social care services to develop engagement of the Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) in County Durham with the programme to integrate Health & Social Care in County Durham. 

The primary objective of this work is to develop a coherent and consistent framework for the VCS and Teams Around the Patients (TAPs) to provide joined up community led services for frail elderly people and those with long term health conditions. DCA would like to ‘take the temperature’ of the current level of engagement across the sector by gathering some initial thoughts from the you. To that end we would appreciate if you (or the most appropriate member of your organisation) could complete the following survey questions for us by Wednesday 6th September. 

Please click the link to complete the survey : 

Many thanks in anticipation and should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact either Jo Laverick or Kate Burrows at DCA.

Citizenship and Civic Engagement consultation **New**

 The House of Lords has set up a committee to explore the issues of citizenship and civic engagement in the twenty-first century. The committee is keen to hear from a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations in order to understand the nature of the citizenship challenge for different parts of society; the aim being to identify new ways of building bridges within and between communities, and to support civic engagement. Ambition will be working alongside sector partners to provide a collective response.

Pharmacy Survey **New**

Hello there, I’m hoping you can help. We’re currently working with the Local Pharmaceutical Committee and Public Health in County Durham by collecting the views of the general public about their knowledge and use of services available in their local pharmacies. The information gathered will be used to produce a report to improve and build on future services and will be shared with our partners and the public. 

We will be out and about in the summer asking people what they think about pharmacy services but to try to reach as many people as possible the survey is also available online. If you were able to include the link in your next e-bulletin it would be much appreciated: The survey is open to anyone who accesses pharmacy services in the County. 

We expect to keep the survey open until Friday 18th August.

Sugar Smart Community Survey **New**

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. 

Here is the link to the survey to get views on sugar consumption and how best to reduce it for your information.

Bowel Cancer Screening **Current**

Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early and it can save lives.  Unfortunately there are not as many people in County Durham taking and returning their free bowel cancer screening test as in other areas.  As a result people across the County are missing out on the best way to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat and there is the greatest chance of survival.  Healthwatch County Durham would like to find out why people are not taking up this screening opportunity, so that we can make recommendations that enable more people to benefit from it.  If you are aged 60-74yrs we would appreciate it if you could take five minutes to answer a few questions and help us understand the barriers people face. Please click this link to take part in the survey -

Diabetes Education Sessions **Current**

My name is Sara Blight and I currently work as part of the New Integrated Diabetes Team within County Durham.  We are hoping to get patient feedback around any education sessions that someone with diabetes or a carer of someone with diabetes has been referred to by their GP.
We have 3 ways that someone can access and complete the survey.
Online via survey monkey.  Here is the link
Telephone by contacting Nicola Wilson Diabetes Coordinator on 0191 569 2834.
We would like to hear from as many diabetic patients and carers as possible to help make appropriate changes to the support that they receive to manage their long term condition.  It would be great if you could share this with as many people as possible so we can gain this valuable feedback.

More Participant Required for Funders **Current**

Esmee Fairburn and Blagrave are running a survey of VSOs in order to inform a session that will take place at the ACF conference in November – the session is looking at whether foundations are fit for purpose, and the survey is key to getting the views of their key stakeholders.   They have 250 responses so far, but are hoping to get much more like 1000.  The survey asks questions about Trusts and Foundations – their communication, support and relationships with grantees.