Here you can find details of our past consultation and engagement activities.
Proposed closure and relocation of the dispensary
The CCG supported the Gables Medical Practice to seek the views of their patients, the wider public and their stakeholders on the proposed closure of their branch surgery in Cambois and the relocation of the dispensary to their Bedlington site.
The practice had to reduce clinical services due to COVID-19 and as a result, the GP services at the Cambois branch, including the dispensary, temporarily moved to the main Gables site at Bedlington Station.
The surgery had been facing further challenges and had to consider the permanent closure of the branch and relocation of the Cambois dispensary to the Bedlington site.
The practice understood that people will have had some concerns about the potential closure of the practice and relocation of the dispensary. The practice entered a period of engagement for nine weeks, designed to give every local person the opportunity to share their views.
Closure of Laburnum Medical Group
In June 2020, the CCG made the decision to close Laburnum Medical Group in Ashington.
The CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee made the decision to end the GP practice’s contract following inspections done by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and ongoing investigations carried out by the CCG, which identified issues with the quality of care provided.
The practice, which provided healthcare for over 2,000 patients from Ashington and the surrounding areas, including Wansbeck, Morpeth, Newbiggin and Bedlington, closed at the end of July 2020.
Patients were notified of the decision, in writing, and were also advised that they were being automatically registered with one of six GP practices as close to their home as possible to ensure they could continue to access primary care services.
The patient letter advised any patients with concerns or issues to contact the CCG, Healthwatch Northumberland or PALS. Patients were also invited to join a Zoom call hosted by Healthwatch on Friday July 3. The Zoom call was arranged as the CCG was unable to do a face-to-face engagement session in light of COVID-19.
Later that year, the CCG wrote to all former patients of the GP practice inviting them to take part in a survey, as we wanted like to hear their thoughts about the surgery closure and give them an opportunity to share their views on their new GP practice.
The letter was translated into different languages for patients who did not speak English as a first language and it was also adapted into Easy Read for patients who were identified to have learning disabilities.
The charity Being Woman, which supports the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community in Northumberland and Healthwatch Northumberland supported former patients needing help completing their surveys.
A total of 386 people completed the survey with good representation from seldom heard groups. Overall respondents were clearly unhappy about the closure and had a strong feeling of disappointment. However, the majority of respondents reported they had a positive experience of changing GP practice, were happy with the quality of care they receive at their new practice and are not inconvenienced travelling there.
Read the full copy of the engagement feedback report.
The CCG has been supporting Riversdale Surgery in Wylam to seek the views of their patients, the wider public and their stakeholders on the impact of their proposed relocation to the Oaklands Health Centre in Prudhoe.
Drop in sessions
The CCG held three drop in sessions about Riversdale Surgery to hear to hear public views about the proposed move to Oaklands Health Centre in Prudhoe.
Three drop in sessions were arranged as follows:
- Wednesday 19 February, 3 – 5pm at St Oswin’s Church Hall, Wylam
- Monday 24 February, 1 – 3pm at St Oswin’s Church Hall, Wylam
- Thursday 27 February, 5 – 7pm at Wylam Library
Read the full engagement feedback report.
Riversdale is a small practice in Wylam and it is finding it unsustainable to continue to operate from its two existing sites, Riversdale in Wylam and Oaklands Health Centre in Prudhoe. The practice wishes to consolidate all its activity into the Oaklands site.
The Riversdale site is a converted residential house which is not fit for purpose to deliver modern primary care services as the majority of clinical and consulting rooms are not on the ground floor. Oaklands Health Centre is a modern fit for purpose Primary Care Centre with all clinical rooms located within the ground floor. The planned retirement of the remaining property owning partner, Dr Knapton, also means that the premises would not be available to deliver GP services from May 2020.
Between March and September 2017 the practice undertook an initial period of engagement with patients and other interested parties, with various options for alternative sites being considered.
Given the time that passed since the original engagement exercise, due to issues with the various development options, costings and funding, the CCG recommended that the practice refresh their engagement.
In January 2020, the practice carried out the following activities to inform patients and stakeholders and to gain up to date feedback:
- Updated their website with the latest information
- Put up posters in the waiting rooms of both surgery sites
- Messages were attached to prescriptions
- Patients were updated in person during consultations in the surgery and on home visits
- Set up an online survey and gathered feedback manually using the same questionnaire from patients unable to complete the survey on line (particularly frail elderly patients)
- Held meetings with local stakeholder groups.
The practice has now submitted its formal application to the CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee which was considered at its meeting in February.
The option proposed by the practice is to consolidate services to The Oaklands Health Centre and close the current site in Wylam, has faced some objection from patients and other members of the public, particularly the Wylam Surgery Users’ Group who are raising concerns over the withdrawal of services and accessibility in the future. The CCG has noted these concerns and has now arranged further engagement to assess the impact and accessibility of services in a rural community.
The Whalton Unit provides specialist care and rehabilitation for residents, predominantly frail older patients. It was temporarily relocated from Morpeth to Wansbeck General Hospital in December 2018 due to nurse staffing issues and an expected increase in activity over the winter period.
This decision was reviewed in April 2019 by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and there was an agreement to extend the temporary location pending an updated report to enable a longer timeline for the impact analysis, with a specific focus on the experience of patients.
Prior to making any long term recommendations the CCG and the trust agreed to a programme of public engagement and independent research to understand the views of the local population in more detail.
During September and early October 2019, people in Morpeth and the surrounding area were given the opportunity to have their say about the temporary relocation of the Whalton Unit to Wansbeck hospital.
The CCG in partnership with the trust, held public drop-in sessions in Morpeth and carried out independent research to find out the community’s views.
The findings from both the independent research and engagement activity were collated and shared with the Northumberland Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November 2019 who agreed with the recommendation from the CCG’s governing body and the trust that the unit should permanently relocate to Wansbeck hospital.
Public Consultation about Rothbury Community Hospital
THIS CONSULTATION IS NOW CLOSED.
We have started a public consultation on some proposed changes at Rothbury Community Hospital. This will run from 31 January to 25 April 2017.
The proposal is:
Permanent closure of the 12 inpatient beds and shape existing health and care services around a Health and Wellbeing Centre on the hospital site.
This would result in the permanent closure of the inpatient ward at Rothbury Community Hospital but it includes continuing discussions with local people about how we can shape existing health and care services around a Health and Wellbeing Centre on the hospital site.
Developing such a centre is something that local people have talked to us about. There have been discussions for some time about the GP practice relocating there. We also feel there are opportunities to provide more physiotherapy and outpatient clinics which could include patients having an appointment at the hospital but talking to a specialist through a video link.
We know some people feel strongly that there should be some respite and end of life care in Rothbury. However, respite care is not funded by the NHS and only a small number of people have died at Rothbury Community Hospital in recent years. Since the proposal does not include inpatient beds, we would be very keen to hear more from people about how they think a community based service could be developed which would provide these types of care.
The proposal would ensure that we make best and most efficient use of the staff and facilities available to us and would be in line with national and local policy to provide more care outside of hospital. It would also result in savings to the CCG of £500,000.
Although we looked at other options, after much consideration we decided to consult on only one. This is because we want to be honest with local people and not consult on options that would not be viable.
A video from our Clinical Chair, Dr Alistair Blair is below.
A review of beds at Rothbury Community Hospital showed that from September 2015 to August 2016 there were 123 admissions from the town and surrounding area plus a further 45 involving people from outside the area. On average, this means that half of the beds were occupied at any one time during that year.
This decrease in use has happened following the many medical advances which mean that patients are spending much less time in hospital after operations or serious illnesses. There have been improvements to the care provided since the opening of the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, Cramlington. Very sick and seriously injured patients are seen quickly by the right specialist and have a much faster diagnosis with treatment beginning much earlier than before.
Figures available to us show that more people living in Rothbury and the surrounding area are already receiving services at home, including those provided by community/district nurses, the short term support service and home carers.
Although Rothbury Community Hospital has provided care for people with terminal illness, the number who were receiving care in the hospital at the end of their lives has remained small over a number of years. This is due to more people being supported to die at home.
Also, there is now national evidence to show that older people fare better at home than they do in hospital. Prolonged hospital stays can increase their risk of infection and can also impact on their mobility and confidence to live independently at home.
How you can make your views known
Copies of the main consultation document and a summary leaflet will be available in public venues in Rothbury and the surrounding area and can also be downloaded here:
We would like to understand more about:
- any concerns or views you may have
- how you think we could shape existing health and care services around a Health and Wellbeing Centre on the hospital site in Rothbury.
- Complete the survey: online or hard copy on request.
- Email comments to: email@example.com
- Write to: Rothbury Community Hospital Consultation, NHS Northumberland
- Clinical Commissioning Group, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF
- Call us: 01670 335178
- Attend one of the public events.
We will also be writing to local groups and organisations to ask if they would like us to attend their meetings to talk about the consultation. We have asked Healthwatch Northumberland to facilitate some discussion groups to target older people.
Comments made in any community or other meetings we attend to discuss the proposal during the consultation period will also be noted and taken into consideration.
Thursday 16 February
2.00pm – 4.00pm, Jubilee Hall, Bridge Street, Rothbury NE65 7SD
Thursday 30 March
6.30pm – 8.30pm, Jubilee Hall
- Saturday 4 March – 10.00am – 12.00pm, Simonside Room, Jubilee Hall
- Monday 13 March – 4.00pm – 6.00pm, The Group Room, Rothbury Community Hospital, Whitton Bank Road, Rothbury, NE65 7RW
- Tuesday 21 March – 6.00pm – 8.00pm, The Group Room, Rothbury Community Hospital
- Wednesday 5 April – 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Simonside Room, Jubilee Hall
Taking into consideration the strong feelings expressed about retaining the inpatient ward, the CCG explored five options.
The following criteria were used to assess each one:
- Feedback from residents
- Patient choice
- Staffing/resource implications
- Cost effectiveness
- Additional resources required/cost
- Timeline i.e. the time it would take to implement
- Strategic fit i.e. how it fitted against national policy and the longer term plans for the local NHS
In addition, a second assessment was also carried out, focused specifically on the requirement for CCGs to ensure efficient, effective and economic use of resources.
The tables showing the assessment of the five options against the above criteria and also against how efficient, effective and economic they would be are available below:
- Rothbury Community Hospital Future Options
- Rothbury Community Hospital – Option Appraisal Against the three E
The consultation will extend over a 12 week period from 31 January to 25 April 2017.
We are planning to be in a position to make a decision on the way forward by summer 2017. The decision will be made in public and any reports will be available here. We will make sure that the decision is communicated widely.
Other useful information
Sustainability and transformation plans
THIS CONSULTATION IS NOW CLOSED.
Give your views on the draft sustainability and transformation plans for Northumberland, Tyne, Wear and North Durham
Health and social care organisations across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and North Durham have developed an ambitious draft plan to improve the health and well being of the 1.7m people living in the area.
The draft plan is one of 44 such plans being developed across the country in response to NHS England’s Five Year Forward View (5YFV), a national plan that set out a vision for a better NHS. The sustainability and transformation plan (STP) for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and North Durham describes an approach to how the vision of the 5YFV could be delivered locally by 2021.
It sets out proposals to:
- Improve health inequalities
- Ensure safe and sustainable local health and care services
- Fill a funding gap that could be as large as £641m by 2021.
The STP is built on lots of work that has already begun across the area and it sets out proposals, which if taken forward, would mean that by 2021:
- The health inequalities in the area will be reduced to be comparable to the rest of the country
- The area will have thriving out of hospital services that attract and retain the staff they need to best support their patients
- There will be high quality hospital and specialist care across the whole area, seven days a week.
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and North Durham has strong health and social care services and has seen the fastest increase in life expectancy in England in recent years. But the health and well being gap compared to other parts of the country remains stubbornly high and the STP describes how, if action isn’t taken to reduce that gap, then the burden on local services will be too high in the future for services to continue to be safe and sustainable.
The 5YFV identifies three main gaps – health and well being, care and quality, and funding – and the STP proposes to address those gaps locally by focusing on:
- Scaling up work on ill-health prevention and improving well being
- Improving the quality and experience of care by increasing collaboration between organisations that provide out of hospital care and making the best use of acute or hospital based services
- Closing the gap in local finances.
The publication of the draft STP starts a programme of engagement that runs until the end of January 2017 to raise awareness of the proposals and listen to any ideas or concerns about the detail of the draft plan.
The outcomes from this phase of engagement will help to shape the next version of the STP, and any subsequent potential proposals to do any major changes to NHS services will be subject to a programme of formal public engagement and consultation in the future.
To find out more about drafts and to have your say on the STP click on the links below:
An Easyread version of the Draft Sustainability and Transformation plan is available to download.
- Full draft STP. This is a technical document submitted on 21st October to NHS England, NHS Improvement and Public Health England
- Draft STP public summary document – this document aims to aid the understanding the draft STP technical submission.
- Slide presentation based upon the public summary document – this aims to aid the understanding the draft STP technical submission
How to give your views
No partner organisation has formally ‘signed off’ the draft plan because there is no requirement to do so. This is now the start of an engagement process which will continue over the next several months.
The engagement on the current draft will formally start on 23rd November and will continue to Friday 20th January (8 weeks). We will be organising some events so please sign up to MY NHS or check back for more information when these become available.
This period of engagement will then inform the next version of the STP.
Any future potential NHS service reconfigurations would still require their own case for change and formal consultation process in their local area in line with NHS statutory duties to engage and consult and other NHS policy guidance.
This offers a number of opportunities for local authorities, NHS organisations, community and voluntary sector organisations and other interest groups to consider the draft plans as they develop and for their views to inform the next stages.
We welcome views on the content of this draft STP.
Complete the online questionnaire. This contains some key questions to consider which may help responses.
Write to us at:
Draft sustainability and transformation plan feedback
North of England Commissioning Support
Riverside House, Goldcrest Way
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Please feedback views before midnight on Friday 20th January 2017
Once we have collected all views, we will publish a feedback report.
How to keep in touch
If you would like to be notified about opportunities to get involved to give your views on local NHS issues, sign up to My NHS.
Closure of Collingwood Medical Group
Collingwood Medical Group in Blyth has taken the difficult decision to terminate its contract and will no longer provide GP services from December 2018.
The CCG has had to make a decision about what to do to ensure patients have access to health care locally.
After careful consideration of all the available options, we have reluctantly decided that the practice will close permanently and will stop delivering GP services on 30 November 2018.
All patients registered at Collingwood Medical Group should have received a letter from the CCG informing them of this decision and to ask them to begin thinking about registering with an alternative practice in the coming months.
Included in this letter was a list of nearby practices that patients can approach and we also provided answers to some frequently asked questions. You can find copies of these documents below.
How can people get further information
Three drop-in meetings have been arranged for any patients who would like to stop by for a short time to gain further information or raise any concerns in person. These sessions will be attended by the CCG alongside representatives from NHS England, Collingwood Medical Group, Healthwatch Northumberland and the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).
- Wednesday 4 July, 1pm – 3pm, Blyth Community Enterprise Centre, Ridley Street, Blyth NE24 3AG
- Wednesday 11 July, 2pm – 4pm, Briardale Community Centre, Briardale Road, Blyth NE24 5AN
- Monday 16 July, 4.30pm – 6.30pm, Blyth Community Enterprise Centre, Ridley Street, Blyth NE24 3AG
People can also:
- Contact Healthwatch Northumberland on 03332 408 468 (local call rate) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at:
Telephone: Freephone 0800 032 02 02
Write: FREEPOST PALS
Text: 01670 511098
- Email comments to email@example.com
- Write to: NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF