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

Current Co Durham Consultations


Shotley Bridge Community Hospital Services - Public Engagement events

The NHS in Durham will be launching an engagement exercise to hear from local people about services that could be provided from a brand new health facility in the North West Durham area – and we want to hear your views!

NHS North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation responsible for planning and buying the majority of health services in the area, is keen that public feedback helps to influence how services are provided in the future. 

The CCG will be undertaking an eight week engagement period from Thursday 27 March – 22 May 2019 but we wanted to let people know about the events before then. Please do share this information with any groups or individuals that you feel would be interested in attending or participating.

Further information will be shared when the CCG officially launch the engagement next week.

Come along to one of the CCG’s public events and find out more. We will also be holding a series of ‘pop-up’ events at Shotley Bridge Community Hospital and a variety of community centres across the local area during the engagement to talk to you about this. Online opportunities to feedback will also be available from 27th March too.  You can get in touch with us by using these dedicated contact details This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 0191 389 8609 (recorded answerphone).




Online registration

Wednesday 10th April

6 – 8pm

Consett Football Club, DH8 7BF

Thursday 11th April

12 – 2pm

St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, DH8 0NW

Thursday 25th April

11.30am – 1.30pm

Blackhall Mill Community Centre, NE17 7TL

Tuesday 30th April

1 – 3pm

Lanchester Community Centre, DH7 0NY

Wednesday 8th May

1 – 3pm

Burnopfield Community Centre, NE16 7JF

Thursday 16th May

1 – 3pm

Louisa Centre, DH9 0TE

The engagement programme will mainly focus on services currently provided at Shotley Bridge Community Hospital, which includes:

  • Outpatients – clinical appointments when you don’t need to stay in hospital overnight
  • Urgent care – when your GP practice is closed and you need medical attention but it’s not an emergency
  • Chemotherapy - a cancer treatment using medicine to kill cancer cells
  • Rehabilitation beds - where you can be supported to restore mobility to enable you to live as active life as possible
  • Diagnostics – x-rays and things like ultrasound scans
  • Theatre - where you would have operations 
  • Endoscopy – procedures that can examine the inside of your body using an instrument called an endoscope.


My MS My Needs

The My MS My Needs survey has now been launched. It is the largest survey of people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) in the UK.

It has been announced that for the first time, we are running an MS family & friends survey, alongside My MS My Needs. We want to support our entire community, people with MS and those who provide them with vital support to live well. We would like to reach as many people as we can so that we can learn as much as possible about their experience of having or being affected by MS.

I would be grateful if you could share the attached flyer across your networks, on any social media channels, in e:bulletins or with anyone you know who has MS or provides support to someone who does. If you know of any other organisations or contacts that may be able to help spread the message and extend the reach of this survey please pass this on to them too. Electronic links to the surveys are as follows: -

My MS My Needs:

MS Family & Friends:

There is also a blog about this on our website

Review of the Autism Strategy from the Department of Education… 

Please see below the launch of a national call for evidence to inform the review of the autism strategy by the Department of Education.

Today, with the Department for Education, we have launched a national call for evidence to inform our review of the autism strategy. The call for evidence is inviting views from autistic people, their families and carers as well as those of professionals. It is aimed at finding out what is working and where progress has been made and importantly where we need to push harder to transform the lives of autistic people, their families and carers.

The call for evidence can be accessed online at the following link and is open for responses until 16 May 2019.

As well as the opportunity to give views online, we are working with organisations and networks, to organise face to face sessions with groups of autistic people, including children and young people.

We are keen to gather as many views as possible and would be very grateful if you could share the link via your websites, networks and social media.

Review of Statement of Policy under the Licensing Act 2003

All licensing authorities must prepare and publish a statement of their licensing policy every five years. Our current policy which was published in 2014 must be reviewed this year. We will be developing a new policy over the coming months that will be adopted by the Council by the end of October 2019.

In carrying out that review, we want to consult with existing licensed premises and with organisations, persons and bodies representing responsible authorities, the public and most importantly, the licensed trade in our area.

As with the current policy, the new one will be focussed on the following four licensing objectives which the policy will seek to promote:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public Safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm

We believe that the Council’s licensing policy should benefit the operators of licensed premises and the public alike. Our policy will reflect and incorporate the freedoms and flexibility provided to the licensed trade and leisure industry by the Act. However, it is important that our licensing policy balances the legitimate needs of businesses in the county and the demand for leisure and cultural activities alongside the need to protect those who could be adversely affected by licensed premises.

We would very much like to hear your views in relation to our current licensing policy. We would welcome any suggestions you may wish to make that might lead to improvements in our policy for the coming five-year period.

To have your say on the policy you can let us know via the following link:

Alternatively, you may wish to respond by writing to me at the address below, marking your correspondence “Review of Licensing Policy” or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Comments must be received by Friday 3rd May 2019.

Access to GP Appointments

Healthwatch County Durham has been asked by the two Clinical Commissioning Groups in County Durham to gather feedback on the impact Care Navigation has had on the patient’s experience in Primary Care ie GP services.  Care Navigation is the system where trained, non-clinical staff, talk to patients when they book an appointment, providing information about the professionals or services that may be suitable for a patient’s needs.  Our role is to carry out an independent, confidential evaluation of Care Navigation. 

The survey closes at the end of February and all responses are anonymous.  Our aim is to find out what is working well and what could be done better.  

If you’d like to get your voice heard follow this link – 

Stroke Rehabilitation Services - Engagement

The three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) covering County Durham and Darlington are looking to gather the views from patients who have experienced a stroke and / or their families/carers, to help us to provide a service that delivers care closer to home where possible and more continuity of care. The review is looking at the current pathway which includes the specialist stroke rehabilitation provision at Bishop Auckland Hospital, as well as rehabilitation provision outside the hospital in the community. The engagement activity will begin on Thursday 4th October until Friday 9th November and will include speaking to patients who are currently on the stroke wards at Bishop Auckland Hospital and University Hospital of North Durham and those who have recently been discharged. We will also be attending established stroke groups within the community to talk to stroke survivors to gather feedback on their experiences. We will be discussing options around new ways of providing care to stroke patients which would enhance their experience.

If you have recently experienced a stroke or are a family member/carer for someone who has, and would like give your views on your experience of the rehabilitation services, please click the link to take part in a survey: If you need assistance in completing the survey, would like a paper copy or require the survey in an alternative format, please contact Tina Balbach on 0191 371 3245 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Young People's Transition of Care 

Healthwatch County Durham has just launched a survey on the transition of care for young people with extra needs from children’s to adult services. The survey is for young people aged 13 – 25yrs with extra care needs, or a family member or carer who supports them. It’s suitable for those who are just starting to think about moving or have already been transferred into adult services. We would love to hear from you, just click on the link