Health & Wellbeing
Healthwatch County Durham - November news update

We were absolutely thrilled when two of our recent projects to improve health and social care in County Durham were recognised at the Healthwatch England Awards. Our project to make it easier for people to find quality information about care homes won the "#ItStartsWithYou" award at the event in October. Our work with vulnerable women on the accessibility of health screening was also highly commended in the "Helping people have their say" category. The #ItStartsWithYou award recognises an individual or group that has worked passionately to improve care in their community and it was our volunteer Tony Bentley who caught the judges' eyes. It was Tony's own experience of looking for a care home for his mother that originally inspired the project and he has spearheaded much of the work involved.

More Information

Macmillan Joining the Dots

I'm one of the Macmillan Joining the Dots Facilitators working in North Durham, covering the Durham City and Chester-le-St areas.

Joining the Dots is a new service which supports people with a diagnosis of cancer, their friends families and carers, with the practical, non-clinical issues that may arise throughout the cancer journey. We work closely with professionals and community organisations to help the client access the right support at the right time around areas such as housing, finance, social isolation, transport. I have attached our service leaflet and would be grateful if you could distribute amongst your contacts. 

Please let me know if you would also like paper copies of the leaflet and I can arrange to get some out to you. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss any aspect of our service, or would like further information. Best wishes Chloe Chloe Shaw Joining the Dots Facilitator (North Durham) Freephone: 0800 8766887 Mobile: 07342710882 

Cancer Awareness Team … Can you help – 

Andrea and Elliott are the Cancer Awareness team… do you have any events coming up so they can promote the work that they are doing.. If so please get in touch .. they want to be out there in the community and they are doing a great job…so please contact them to come along.. We are the community cancer awareness team based in county Durham, we are looking for opportunities to work within the county to raise awareness of cancer. The cancer awareness programme supports healthcare professionals and organisations to improve prevention and early diagnosis. We offer free tailored, practical support to help you change the way you manage cancer. 

We help the health system to ; 
*Support cancer prevention and promote healthy lifestyles 
*Increase informed up take of screening programmes 
*Improve recognition and referral of symptomatic cancers 

We can work as a long term partner to your organisation, providing face to face support tailored to the needs of your organisation and local area. *Introducing a variety of early diagnosis tools and resources *Providing training on key topics such as screening programmes as referral programmes. *Fun friendly workshops *Information stands at relevant events. Hope to hear from you soon. Screening saves lives 

Regards Andrea. 
Andrea Mackrell Cancer Awareness Worker Mobile: 07912 293196 Office: 01325 321234 Email:

PCP’s Together 21 Group Finalist for Regional Award

Leading health and wellbeing charity Pioneering Care Partnership are delighted to announce that Together 21 have been nominated as a finalist in the ‘Groups Making a Difference’ category at this year’s North East Equality Awards. Carol Gaskarth said: “This prestigious award, recognises the achievements of local organisations, individuals and groups in embedding inclusivity through good equality and diversity practices.” 

This annual event organised by Equality North East celebrates those who’ve pioneered in leading the way to a fairer future for all. Together with those who continue to strive for, and achieve, fairness in an increasingly competitive economy. Those who demonstrate that diversity and inclusion make sound business sense and make a real difference to the lives of people from all walks of life. In April 2016 PCP began working with a group of parents and carers of children with Down syndrome and established a project entitled ’Together 21’. Together 21, which is parent led, aims to help children and young people with Down syndrome and their parents acquire essential skills that will equip them to meet the future with confidence and maximize their potential. 

Together 21 allows parents to get to know each other, providing a friendship and peer support network for families at a time when they can feel excluded from their existing friendship groups. The prospect of raising a child with Down syndrome can be daunting, scary and lonely, however Together 21 helps parent to see how the older children have developed and, whilst recognising that children are unique, this provides a positive experience for parents and carers who can be coming to terms with the diagnosis during the first few weeks. Recognising what children can do, practicing techniques to aid development and having good role models is important and Together 21 embraces this. The group works tirelessly to raise awareness and promote positive perceptions about Down syndrome within mainstream schools, local communities and the workplace. A group member said: “This is an excellent provision for our daughter. She loves to come each week and it supports her in her life skills. With pressures of schools to provide an academic service this provision has been vital to support her everyday life, without this it would leave a big hole in her progress.” 

Carol Gaskarth said: “I hope PCP’s application has done them justice. Parents and carers should rightly be very proud of the achievements of their children and also themselves. Without the tenacity of the initial parents who contributed in the early planning stages, Together 21 would not exist and be thriving. No matter what the outcome we want you to know that PCP is incredibly proud of all you and the children achieve and it’s a privilege to be able to support Together 21. Fingers crossed!” 

The finalist will be announced at an awards ceremony which will be held on 25th October 2018. For further information about PCP or Together 21 please contact us at the Pioneering Care Centre, Carer’s Way, Newton Aycliffe,DL5 4SF tel: 01325 321234 email: website: or follow us on Twitter: @PioneeringCare and Facebook: @PCPandCentre

Healthwatch County Durham - October news update

We're excited to announce our project to improve care home websites has taken a big leap forward in recent days. Volunteer Tony Bentley (far left) has been working closely with Kaydar, a local care home, to develop a new website that provides all the information prospective residents and their relatives might need. Our research has identified that many County Durham care homes don't have all this information displayed online at present (e.g. about fees, services, and visiting protocols) and our hope is the Kaydar website will act as a template other care homes can follow to improve their own. 

More Information

‘County Durham’s local stop smoking service to give away nicotine patches ahead of Stoptober 2018’ 

The Stoptober campaign encourages smokers to give up for the month, based on evidence which shows that quitting for 28 days means you are five times more likely to stop for good. Smokefreelife County Durham are set to give away 1 week’s supply of free nicotine replacement therapy patches in various locations across the county to help assist those wanting to quit this Stoptober. 

Stop smoking advisors will be at Consett Market, ASDA Stanley and Durham Marketplace between 10AM and 2PM on 28th September 2018. After filling out a short assessment with an advisor, potential quitters will receive a free goody bag containing one week’s worth of patches. They will then be referred to their nearest community clinic to receive ongoing support and further treatment. The events also offer the opportunity to test your carbon monoxide levels, which is one of the many toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Research shows that receiving support from a trained advisor and using licensed nicotine products makes you four times more likely to quit successfully than going it alone. 

Smokefreelife County Durham offers free support to anyone living or working in County Durham. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and kills 5,584 people in the North East every year according to Fresh, the UK's first dedicated regional tobacco control programme. The benefits of quitting include smokers giving themselves a pay rise of between £1,700 - £2,400 a year as well as cutting the risk of stroke, cancers, COPD and heart disease. This year smoking prevalence hit a record low in the North East, falling from 29% of the population being smokers in 2005 to 16.2% in 2017. Between 2016-17 Smokefreelife County Durham helped 2840 people stop smoking. If you would like to give up your smoking habit for good, why not use this Stoptober as your opportunity? 

For more information on the service visit or search Stoptober.

County Durham and Darlington Diabetes Service **New**

Key Messages for August 2018 - Click Here for the latest Bulletin

Healthwatch County Durham - September news update **new**

News update - September 2018


The FREE stop smoking service supporting Co Durham residents to give up the habit and lead a healthier smokefree life 

Smokefreelife County Durham is a service by Solutions 4 Health offering stop smoking support that works! We know that people have busy lives and that booking an appointment for things such as stopping smoking sometimes isn't easy. That's why, as well as appointments in the community near you, we offer a mobile clinic at various venues where you can drop in and see one of our approachable, fully trained advisors.

Please call 0191 369 2016 or 0800 772 0565 for more information. 

Please also visit the website for further information, and details of stop smoking service clinics within the local area:

The latest news from your local Healthwatch team.**New**

News update - August 2018

MHNE Latest Bulletin **New**

Mental Health North East’s latest bulletin is attached for your attention. 

Please note that due to high demand and the success of the Greening the Gap sessions MHNE has now opened a waiting list for organisations and individuals wishing to attend further sessions. Please email if you would like your name to be entered on the list. 

 Best wishes Lyn Lyn Boyd CEO Mental Health North East

County Durham HWB Annual Report **New**

The attached County Durham Health and Wellbeing Report was agreed by the Board at its meeting on 4th July 2018. Please could you share the Annual Report within your organisations, social media, websites etc. to promote it. Let me know if you need any further information. 

Many thanks, Jayne Jayne Watson Senior Partnership Officer, TAP Durham County Council Room 5-140/150, Co. Hall 03000 268 371 Switchboard 03000 26 0000

County Durham and Darlington Diabetes Service - Key Messages for July 2018 **New**

There is a diabetes service patients could gain information/ services. We have now expanded and are creating a patient bulletin for diabetes and I was wondering if this is something that could be set via Durham Voice?

I have attached a copy of the most recent bulletin

Heathwatch Annual Report 2017/18 **New**

Our 2017 – 18 annual report is now available on our website It’s been a really exciting year and I hope you enjoy reading the highlights, in particular where the voice of patients and service users has been heard and made a difference. 

Since publication I am pleased to be able to share that both our work on care home websites and access by vulnerable women to screening services have been shortlisted for national Healthwatch England Awards.

Healthwatch #ItStartsWithYou campaign launches in County Durham **New**

What health or social care change do YOU want to spark? 

Healthwatch County Durham is launching a campaign to encourage people across the region to help make health and social care better by sharing their experiences of services. The #ItStartsWithYou campaign encourages people to have their say and help spark improvements and changes to services that will benefit their communities in the future. Now in its second year, every Healthwatch organisation across the country is involved, generating a massive energy for change. 

Tony Bentley is one of those who shared their experiences with the Healthwatch County Durham team last year and, as a result, people across the area are now benefiting from clearer information about local care homes online. Tony had struggled to find the information he needed when searching for a care home for his mother. Several websites exist that list services, including providers own sites, but details of CQC ratings, fees, and even of what services homes provided were not always accessible. Tony’s experience sparked more research. Now, thanks to Tony and other research volunteers, all care homes with a contract with the county council have to provide key information on the Durham County Council “Locate” website. The public now have more information about the homes available, which helps them make more informed decisions. Tony also helped to develop a best practice website for providers, so they can learn how to improve their own websites. Following this success, Tony has been nominated for a national Healthwatch award – and it all snowballed from sharing his personal experience. You could make a difference too. 

Share your experiences with Healthwatch County Durham at or by calling 0800 304 7039. Remember – it starts with you! #ItStartsWithYou

Healthwatch County Durham - July news update **New**

Please find attached the latest Healthwatch news for July 2018

County Durham Dementia Support Team, Newsletter No. 10, June 2018 **New**

Please see attached the latest newsletter from the County Durham Dementia Support Team. I hope that you find it useful and informative.

Healthwatch County Durham welcomes support for new mums **New**

Healthwatch County Durham is pleased to hear the Royal College of Midwives commit to supporting women however they choose to feed their babies – something new mothers in County Durham have said they want from local services. Healthwatch County Durham spoke to more than 200 mothers from across the region last year for a report into maternity services. Many of those who had chosen to formula feed reported feeling unsupported or being made to feel guilty, or like they had failed, for not breastfeeding. Mothers said health professionals should be more open to all kinds of feeding, be it breastfeeding, formula or combination feeding. From the research, Healthwatch County Durham recommended to commissioners of County Durham healthcare services that: • information given to expectant mums on breastfeeding should be realistic - women should be made aware of the problems that may be experienced, and where to go for help, as well as the benefits. • midwives and health professionals should be more supportive of formula feeding, acknowledging that, for some mothers, stopping breastfeeding is not necessarily a decision that has been taken easily. Healthwatch County Durham’s research also looked at women’s choices around smoking in pregnancy and smoking cessation support for this group. 

For more information contact Emily Hunter, Healthwatch County Durham on 0800 304 7039 or 
For more general information contact 0191 3781037

Health body and Mind **New**

I am sure that employee and wellbeing is at the forefront of your thoughts and by caring for your work force it will also create a environment that cultivates economic success I feel that the treatments and therapies we provide could enable you to have a workforce that is mind and body well Could I please like to take this opportunity to introduce our centre which is based in Sacriston, near to the centre of Durham Here at the NIHP we offer fantastic ,professional, knowledgeable practitioners In a friendly, caring environment where we currently provide services including Bowen therapy, counselling , psychotherapy, mindfullness ,fitness and nutrition, acupuncture, flower remedies, sports/deep tissue and remedial massage, chiropractor ,osteopathy, chiropody and clinical beauty techniques we are proud to host Auton health and Beauty within centre and Sunderland eye clinic based in the practise . NIHP also provides high quality Consultation, therapy and treatment rooms, available for hire to health care advisers, therapists and practitioners, to enable them to provide all aspects of health, well-being and supportive therapies. 

If you are interested in our centre and the services we offer then you are more than welcome to drop-in for a quick chat and look around, just send me a quick email or give me a call on 0191 398 0000. You can also find more information on our website or Facebook page  I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Kind regards Cath Wilson Practice Manager

Macmillan Joining the Dots ebulletin May 2018 **New**

Please see attached our May Joining the Dots ebulletin. Please feel free to cascade out.

Healthwatch County Durham - June news update **New**

Click Here

Healthwatch County Durham - May news update **New**

Click Here

Contact us: Healthwatch County Durham Whitfield House St Johns Road Meadowfield Industrial Estate Durham DH7 8XL Freephone: 0800 3047039 Text: 07756 654218 Email:

Wellbeing for Life **New**

Thank you for supporting Wellbeing for Life in the past. We hope to have your continued support in the future and we have attached our referral form along with a short media byte with information about our service, should you wish to refer anyone to us. Our aim is to engage clients as individuals or in groups, offering access to whichever measures are needed to improve their wellbeing in a flexible, person-centred approach. 

We provide a broad range of flexibly delivered wellbeing interventions lasting 8-12 sessions. We work with adults 16 years and over and give FREE access to one to one and group support including support to: Eat healthier Be more active Give up smoking Drink less alcohol Learn to cook Meet new people Learn new skills 

Should you require further information please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 8766887 or access our website at

Article on Violent Patient Scheme **New**

from ulations-2018-19-gp-contract

that answers question on how long patients can be excluded from their local GP Practice The revised contract clarifies that GP practices can refuse to register people with a 'violent patient' flag on their medical record, under existing rules that allow them to turn away patients where there are 'reasonable grounds' for doing so. NHS England and the GPC have agreed that where patients are flagged as violent, this constitutes reasonable grounds for a practice to turn them away. Patients whose records carry this warning can also be removed from practice lists if they are registered by mistake. Guidance on the revised contract from the BMA and NHS Employers says that patients refused registration or removed from practice lists under violent patient rules will be able to access general practice services through the national 'special allocation scheme'. 

 NHS Employers guidance says: 'Where patients are removed under violent patient provisions, further care will be managed in line with agreed national policies, including where appropriate special allocation schemes.

Healthwatch County Durham's Breast screening report **New**

We have just published our report looking at barriers to women attending breast screening appointments. 478 women shared their views and experiences and our recommendations are based on trends that emerged. These include the appointment process, clarity of information, the accessibility of the service and empathy and support. The report which includes an executive summary is available on our website. 

We would be grateful if you could share this with relevant people in your organisation and networks, and also send a response to the recommendations on behalf of your organisation.

Wingate weight loss wonder reveals the secret to his success **New**

After January many people struggle to keep up their resolutions to lose weight or be more active. The result is that the UK wastes nearly £600 million a year on unused gym memberships. But John Cairns from Wingate has the answers. Increasing health problems encouraged John to lose over 4 stones and dramatically change his lifestyle. John Cairns, 61 came into contact with County Durham's Wellbeing for Life service because "he'd tried everything else to lose weight and nothing worked"; until he found something he enjoyed. 
After contacting the free service, Health Trainer Sarah Howells got in touch and met with John in his own home to discuss how she could support him to achieve his health goals. Wellbeing for Life staff work with individuals on a 1-1 basis and in groups, to help people recognise the issues that are affecting their wellbeing and to make positive changes. Sarah listened and observed John's lifestyle and they came up with a plan which included small and manageable changes he could make to help him lose weight, feel healthier and happier. Implementing change was a struggle at first, but Sarah discovered he had a competitive streak so she would set him weekly challenges and the weight started to drop off. John then helped to set up Wellbeing for Life's Eat Wise to Drop a Size group at Wingate Community Centre, where he and other community members learn about nutrition, pick up recipe ideas, have weigh-ins and support each other while having a good natter. 

John says "I haven't found this journey easy, but it's certainly been worth it. It's become less of a struggle to walk due to my weight loss. I don't get out of breath as much and its great socialising with old and new friends at the group. I still have a long way to go but my health issues are improving and I'm feeling really good. My health trainer and I just hit it off, I enjoyed her banter and she gave me the confidence and motivation I needed, as well as sometimes a stern telling. Sarah has a lovely manner that really cheered me up. Even when times are difficult she helps me to find the positives. The continued support from the group members and Sarah keeps me motivated. I think the secret to sticking to a healthy lifestyle is enjoyment. If you surround yourself with people you like and choose activities you enjoy, you're more likely to achieve your goals." John is a well-known character in his community. He wants other people, especially men who are at most risk of dying early, to benefit from Wellbeing for Life, and has been trying to spread the word of his success to his friends on social media. 

If you live in the Wingate area and would like to attend Wellbeing for Life's Eatwise to Drop a Size group, it takes place every Friday morning at 10:15am. For More information contact Sarah on 07826884712 Wellbeing for Life is a free service that aims to help people to live well and maintain good health for themselves and those around them. For further information on the Wellbeing for Life service contact freephone 0800 8766887 or visit, Facebook @CountyDurhamWellbeingForLifeService, Twitter @ WBFL_Durham

Health & Wellbeing promotion **New**

The Wellbeing for Life service are currently running a promotion to engage more men. As I’m sure you will be aware, men are less likely to engage with health and wellbeing services and therefore can experience poorer life outcomes.

For any male client that signs up for group or individual support before the 1st March will receive an entry into a FREE prize draw to win one of the following: 
· Annual Family Pass to Beamish Museum 
· 3 Months Gym Membership 
· 6 Free Haircuts

I would appreciate it if you could share the attached with all of your networks and if you work in a public place print out some copies. However if you are unable to print copies please get in touch on the Freephone number 0800 8766887 and we will be able to get some to you. Many thanks in advance for your support. Kind regards, Michelle Michelle Gibson Wellbeing for Life Co-ordinator (North Durham Hub)

Healthwatch County Durham - March news update **New**

Conversations to review Dementia services **New**

As part of the national NHS five year forward view for mental health, NHS North Durham and NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are currently looking at the Dementia services available in your area. To help us do this we would be grateful if you would spare a couple minutes to answer a few questions about your views and experiences of local services. We will be going out to visit a number of specific groups and sessions in order to speak to people about their experiences. However, if we miss you at these sessions or you would prefer to give your feedback in other ways the details are below. With the answers you provide we will be able to identify if there are the right amount of services in place and if they are working correctly. This information will then be able to be used to help design what services and support is provided locally in the future. 

To give your views you can either; 
1. Use an online questionnaire to share your views - 
2. Alternatively you can contact Daniel at the CCG by telephone on 0191 389 8617 to provide your feedback. 

Please note that you may need to leave a message with your name and contact number so that we can call you back. It would appreciated it if your responses could reach us by Friday 16 February 2018. We very much hope that you are able to give your feedback through one of the methods outlined above.

Support Service in North Durham **New**

Are you aged 18+ living in North Durham and feeling lonely or isolated? Would you like support to find and attend local activities that interest you? 

British Red Cross have a new service that can help. 

Call 0191 384 1360 / 07808 243720 to find out more or email

New Change4Life campaign! **new**

Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed the Christmas break and we wish you a very happy New Year. 

This week, Change4Life has launched an exciting new campaign to help families choose healthier snacks and reduce their children’s sugar intake. The campaign will help parents take action by introducing a new simple tip – ‘Look for 100 calorie snacks, two a day max.’ We have created a Local Health Champion toolkit to help you and your friends, family and community choose healthier snacks and cut back on sugar.

More information about the new campaign 
A link to the Local Health Champion guide 
A link to order free resources 

Our campaigns are life changing and we hope you enjoy helping us spread the word. 

If you have any questions please email

Help to improve the health of men and boys **Current**

Transforming the health of men and boys is a huge challenge, but the voluntary sector can help make this happen. Men’s Health Forum wants to find out more about what other organisations are doing to improve men and boys' health – to inform government and the NHS of the priorities of the sector - and, for those organisations that want it, spread the word about their activities. Whether you are from an organisation that supports or represents men and boys, or just interested in how you or your organisation can do more to support men, please take the time to fill in this survey. 

Silver Line support **Current**

Just to let you all everyone I had a lovely meeting with Jayne Raine today from Silver Line who is the community engagement officer (volunteer) and she is looking for groups to talk to about the services they provide. I am not sure how many of you are aware of The Silver Line but it is the charity set up by Esther Rantzen and there logo is’ THERE IS NO NEED TO BE LONELY’. 

They provide a free confidential helpline for over 55’s that is open 24 hours a day. They all so provide a service so that their trained ‘Friends’ will call you on a weekly basis or if you prefer write letters. This is an invaluable service and I am sure we all know someone who would benefit from it. 

If you or any groups you know would like Jayne to come and give a short talk about the services they provide you can contact her on: