You said, we did

Locality Patient Participation Groups (LPPGs)

 ‘You said’

At the CCG’s Patient Forum in April 2018 GP practices’ Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) including Glendale PPG asked if the CCG would reinstate the Locality Patient Participation Groups (LPPGs) in each locality area. The groups were historically organised by the CCG every quarter to give PPGs the chance to link in with neighbouring patient groups and the CCG and to have a shared voice.

‘We did’

We have reconvened the North Locality Patient Participation Group (LPPG) where outline Terms of Reference and potential future ways of working to ensure two way engagement and communication were discussed. The resulting model will be discussed with the other three localities in the West, Blyth Valley and Central with a view to re-energising PPG engagement across the county. The CCG views the re-engagement with PPGs as a priority which links into the overarching Communications and Engagement Strategy objective to ‘involve the public, stakeholders and staff’ which can be found here.

We engaged with practices on the formation of LPPGs through discussion at practice locality meetings, and information sent via the Locality Bulletin for sharing with PPG members.

Quarterly LPPGs in the North, Central, West and Blyth Valley localities aim to enable the discussion and debate of a full range of primary care topics and potentially encourage the sharing of PPG best practice/innovative ideas.


‘You said’

In November 2018 the CCG received a letter from the Secretary of State for Health in relation to changes to Rothbury Community Hospital.  The Secretary of State shared the advice from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) with the CCG which found that further action was required locally to agree and implement a proposed health and wellbeing centre, potentially including inpatient beds. The letter from the Secretary of State can be found IRP Rothbury Letter.

‘We did’

The CCG is planning on a period of engagement with local councillors and community groups in Rothbury to continue a conversation about the inpatient ward at Rothbury Community Hospital and services being shaped around a Health and Wellbeing centre on the site.

We have begun working closely with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to review the latest data and consider all the potential options available to us, including re-opening the beds. We have approached the local community to enable close working with the local councillor, parish councils, the campaign group, Healthwatch Northumberland and other interested local groups, to explore these options.

While a new formal consultation will not be launched, an engagement programme will be conducted over the coming months and further details will be shared as soon as they are available.

For more information please visit the Consultations and Engagement page.

Harder to reach groups

‘You said’

Members of the community and voluntary sector said in the 360 Patient Survey 2017/18 that they felt that the CCG could engage more with ‘harder to reach’ groups and act on the feedback it receives.

‘We did’

We have commissioned Healthwatch to engage with the community and voluntary sector on our behalf for the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) engagement which was held during summer 2018. For full details click here. Northumberland Council Youth Service was involved in this engagement exercise and returned surveys with young people’s feedback. We are also recruiting members of seldom heard groups to our new MY NHS Patient Involvement Network (PIN) and specific work is under way with representation from carers in the first recruitment phase.

Primary care access – Collingwood Medical Group

‘You Said’

Kathleen Nisbet, councillor for Croft Ward in Blyth, invited the CCG to attend an over 50s group in the in Blyth to discuss access to GP practices. There were also wider concerns about sustainability after Collingwood Medical Group gave notice to close in Blyth and the neighbouring GP practice Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) asked for attendance from the CCG at their meetings.

‘We did’

The CCG’s senior head of commissioning for Primary Care and Urgent & Emergency Care Pamela Phelps, along with the CCG’s engagement manager Audrey Barton, visited the Over 50s group in the Comrades Club. The topics discussed included concerns around how to retain GPs in the local area and issues with getting a GP appointment. The information gathered from the event is being fed into the CCG’s primary care sustainability work package.

Pamela, along with the CCG’s Strategic Head of Corporate Affairs Stephen Young also visited two PPGs – Railway and Marine – to talk about concerns around a local practice closing and to advise how patients can register with other practices.

This was part of the wider engagement strategy for the closure of Collingwood Medical Group in summer 2018. The CCG wrote to patients to inform them of the closure and offer advice on how to register with a new local GP practice and included a list of practices, FAQs and details of three drop in sessions.

The drop in engagement events were held in Blyth in partnership with the CCG, Healthwatch Northumberland, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and NHS England for any patient to attend to ask questions and find out more information. The partnership working enabled the CCG to broaden the engagement for patients who sought information and advice.

The CCG worked to identify the demographics of the people who would be affected. We worked with Healthwatch to identify organisations which have contact with specific groups of patients and shared information with them to ensure they were fully briefed on the situation and the drop in sessions.

Information was available on the CCG’s website with contact details for any inquiries or further information. The proactive approach to communications and engagement on this matter meant that any anxiety and concerns from patients was kept to a minimum as they had access to information and the opportunity to speak to people for advice. The patient feedback helped to shape the content in the letters which went out to patients and any issues raised were addressed in FAQs. After the first letter went out the CCG and partners received calls from concerned patients, which significantly reduced once the drop in sessions and further communications had taken place.

The Communications and Engagement Plan can be found at this link 2018-Collingwood-Communications-and-Engagement-Plan-Website

Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS)

‘You said’

The JHWS 2018 – 2028 is an aspirational plan which sets out how NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Northumberland County Council (NCC) will work together to improve the overall wellbeing and health of Northumberland residents and reduce inequalities over the next ten years.

A two-month period of engagement was launched in July 2018 with a JHWS survey which gathered a total of 392 responses and over 1,000 comments from people who live or work in Northumberland. An online survey was uploaded onto Northumberland County Council’s website, a link was also provided on the CCG’s website and it was promoted on both organisations’ social media and though the local press. There was also a paper version that was promoted in one practice in each of the four CCG Northumberland localities. CCG staff engaged with patients at Union Brae in Berwick, Burn Brae Medical Group in Hexham, Seaton Park Medical Group in Ashington and Railway Medical Group in Blyth.

A series of focus groups for Northumberland residents took place in Northumberland Hall in Alnwick, North locality, Morpeth Town Hall in Central locality, Hexham Abbey in West locality and Isabella Community Centre in Blyth Valley locality. Approximately 25 people attended the focus groups in total.

We worked with Healthwatch Northumberland to reach seldom heard groups and Healthwatch took copies of the JHWS survey to Children Centres in Ashington and Bedlington and the Bellingham Show. The survey was also discussed at a SEND network meeting attended by parents, Action on Hearing Loss Group, Living Well Beyond Cancer Network and Glendale Mental Health Forum. A link to the online survey was sent to the Ageing Well Network which was in the middle of its ‘Winter Warmer’ community events and Healthwatch Northumberland engaged with people at an event in Prudhoe.

‘We did’

As a result of this engagement a comprehensive JHWS Engagement Feedback Report was produced by the CCG and as a result of people’s feedback, a small amendment was made to the children and young people theme to include families; and more notable amendments made to the wider determinants theme including the removal of digital connectedness and the addition of transport as priorities.

The JHWS Feedback Report including all of our engagement is at the following link JHWS Engagement Feedback Report January 2019 and the final JHWS can be found on Northumberland County Council’s website here.

The draft JHWS which was produced ahead of our engagement can be found here Draft-Northumberland-JHWS-May-2018.

Below are links to press coverage in the Northumberland Gazette showing residents how the engagement and your feedback have been used:

Northumberland’s health strategy for the next ten years finalised

Green light for ten year strategy to improve Northumberland health and wellbeing

Northumberland Joint Musculoskeletal and Pain Service

‘You said’

The CCG held a period of engagement on the potential development of a new joint musculoskeletal (MSK) and pain service in the county.  The public and GP practices were asked for their views on current MSK and pain services.

The engagement was launched in October with an MSK and Pain survey which gathered a total of 189 responses and over 990 comments. The online survey was uploaded onto Survey Monkey which was linked to the CCG’s website and was promoted on the CCG’s social media and via a bulletin to stakeholders. There was also a paper version of the survey which was issued to all practices in Northumberland for promotion with patients. CCG staff engaged with MSK patients at clinics at Seaton Park Medical Group in Ashington and the practice’s walking group which some MSK patients attend. The survey was also emailed directly to practice Patient Participation Groups members who have signed up to receive information from the CCG, and MY NHS, a database of people who agree to be contacted with relevant communication and engagement information.

The survey was also sent to Healthwatch and subsequently shared via their networks and sent to MSK related charities and Carers Northumberland.

Northumberland GP practices were sent a short questionnaire for practice staff to complete with their feedback on current services and what they would want from a service. 22 out of 42 practices completed the survey or fed back their views on email.

An MSK Feedback Report was produced and presented to the CCG’s Governing Body as part of a procurement strategy. On the decision by the CCG’s Governing Body to proceed to the procurement of a new service, the feedback has been used to inform the new service specification.

To view a copy of the full engagement feedback report click MSK Engagement Feedback Report November 2018.

The Communications and Engagement Plan can be found at the following link 2018-MSK-Communications—Engagement-Plan-Website

‘We did’

The engagement feedback was on the whole favourable of current services though key themes show there is room for improvement. Patients indicated that they want to feel more listened to and that medical professionals have a good understanding of their symptoms so they can have access to the right treatment.

A strong message was that they want quicker access to appointments and referrals, recognising the positive impact this has on patients’ diagnosis and treatment. Patients also want to have more regular reviews with their medical professionals to ensure their care and treatment continues and is the best option for their needs.

These themes were echoed in the GP practice responses. The engagement insight has helped the CCG to understand local patient experience of NHS services to support people with musculoskeletal conditions and those who are experiencing pain, and what needs to improve.

The CCG developed the service specification based on the feedback from patients in the following ways:

  • Support patients to self-manage their long-term MSK and pain conditions
  • Align MSK and pain services for joined up holistic care of patients
  • A single point of access for MSK related conditions and pain issues
  • Provide a timely triage service with quick access to treatment when required
  • The service should provide an alternative to hospital for the majority of patients referred for MSK conditions and pain
  • Offer de-medicalised MSK and chronic pain management – where clinically appropriate and based on patients’ needs – placing less reliance on medications and back injections
  • Enable patients to take ownership and empowerment in managing their condition, allowing them to lead as fulfilling and independent life as possible
  • Identify patients who are appropriate for referral to hospital
  • Offer choice of care and which hospital to attend, should hospital care be required
  • Patients to have access to their care plan and for this to be available to other appropriate clinicians as well
  • Support carers to help patients with access to websites and smart phone Apps
  • Reduce handovers between care settings by one provider managing care plans and diagnostics
  • Access to advice to manage a patient’s condition via telephone, the Internet and Apps
  • Offer treatments based on the latest evidence and best practice
  • Care offered by suitably trained staff who are friendly and responsive to patient’s needs

The procurement process is not yet complete and further information will be available on this website.

A new hospital for Berwick 

‘You said’

The CCG held a listening exercise in spring 2018 in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council for people in Berwick and the surrounding area to give their views on the possibility of a new integrated hospital development.

The full Berwick Engagement Feedback Report can be viewed here. 

To view the media releases about the listening exercise and process which followed please click on the news section

‘We did’

The following links provide updated information from our partner Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHCFT) about a new hospital for Berwick.

Update on new Berwick Hospital

Stand alone hospital pledged for Berwick

New Berwick Infirmary – Your questions answered

GP Patient Survey

‘You said’

The NHS Northumberland CCG GP Patient Survey 2018 was published in August 2018 with information measuring patients’ experiences across a range of topics including:

  • Making Appointments
  • Perceptions of care at appointments
  • Managing health conditions
  • Practice opening hours
  • Services when GP practices are closed

‘We did’

The annual GP Patient Survey is used by the CCG’s Quality team and is triangulated with other sources of feedback including the Friends and Family Test, reports from Healthwatch Northumberland and CQC Reports to develop a fuller picture of patient experience. The Quality Team uses the information to build a picture of GP practices and discusses the feedback opportunistically during engagement visits to practices.

The information is also fed into modelling of schemes like the Primary Care Commissioned Services which helps the CCG to support practices to become more sustainable and resilient whilst continuing to deliver high quality safe services for patients.

The GP Patient Survey 2018 results were communicated via a press release to the CCG’s local media

Patient Experience

‘You said’

Patients are able to give their feedback about the care they have received in hospital or provided by the ambulance service through surveys like the Friends and Family Test.

‘We did’

The CCG has an overview of patient experience feedback at hospital trusts Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, mental health specialist Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

Quarterly patient experience reports are produced by the CCG quality team which include common information such as the Friends and Family Test, and other different methods of capturing patient experience such as the Patient Experience Improvement Framework by NHS Improvement, which is based on an analysis of Care Quality Commission inspection reports, particularly focused on the differences between trusts rated as outstanding and inadequate.

The CCG focuses on three areas of care delivery: emergency care, inpatient and outpatient and based on the available information, the overall patient experience at all Trusts for quarter two ‘good’ with some variations across sites or services.

This information is shared with the CCG’s Clinical Management Board which is made up of GPs and nurses along with NHS managers. The CCG monitors the trends and works with Trusts to address the issues where necessary through regular meetings across quality and contracting.

Attendance at Accident and Emergency

‘You said’

Healthwatch Northumberland, in partnership with Healthwatch North Tyneside, carried out a survey in November 2018 to find out more about why people go to the A&E department at The Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital. Healthwatch staff and volunteers asked people about their experiences of the A&E department and why they are choosing to use this service. Further information can be found here:

‘We did’

A joint meeting is to be held with Healthwatch Northumberland, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the CCG to review the responses to the survey, to help understand what is working well and what can be done differently and agree an action plan going forward.