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Healthwatch Hartlepool News - September 2019



Healthwatch Hartlepool are holding a number of community engagement events in September. Members of the public are invited to come along and tell Healthwatch about their experiences good or bad, of health and social care services. 

The Annexe, Wharton Terrace - Wed 11th September, 10am-12 noon

Central Library - Thurs 19th September, 10.15am - 12noon 

Hartlepool Hospital - Mon 23rd September, 10am -12noon 

Headland Library - Tues 24th September, 10 am– 12 

ORCEL, Wynyard Rd - Every Wed 10am - 12noon 

NHS warning to parents as ‘asthma season’ hits

The NHS is calling on parents to keep asthma medicine close at hand this week, with children up to three times more likely to need medical help as the school year starts. 

One in ten young people has asthma, with spikes in demand for help from GPs and hospitals in the weeks after school holidays, and an annual peak for children in September. The combination of coughs and colds circulating, children getting out of the habit of using inhalers during the summer break, air pollution and the stress of term starting, is thought to contribute to the spike in asthma cases. 

Asthma is a lung condition causing breathing difficulties, which can occur randomly or after exposure to a trigger like pollen, pollution, smoke, infections, colds and flu, and is among the issues being targeted by a new Children and Young People Transformation programme, a major new initiative from the NHS, working across the health service and with families to address the biggest challenges to the health of young people.

Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition for children in the UK and being with a new group of classmates can also lead to the spreading of germs, cold and flu bugs. Dr Andy Whittamore, Clinical Lead at Asthma UK and a practising GP says: “Parents can follow simple steps to cut the risk of their child having an asthma attack, such as giving the school a reliever inhaler for their child and a copy of their asthma action plan”. 

Adults also need to know how to spot when their child’s asthma is getting worse and know what to do if they have an attack and can get information and support from www.asthma.org.uk/back-to-school 

High street heart checks on the NHS

Pharmacists are set to offer rapid detection and help for killer conditions like heart disease as part of a major revamp of high street pharmacy services. 

The high street heart checks are part of an ambitious target the NHS in England has set itself as part of its Long-Term Plan to prevent tens of thousands of strokes and heart attacks over the next ten years. 

General practices will identify those at risk and optimise treatment in people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and irregular heart rhythms – called Atrial Fibrillation (AF) – all high-risk conditions that that most commonly cause heart disease and stroke, as well as many cases of dementia. And from October 1st, as part of their new £13 billion five-year contract, community pharmacists will start to develop and test an early detection service to identify people who may have undiagnosed high-risk conditions like high blood pressure for referral for further testing and treatment. If successful this could be rolled out to all community pharmacies in 2021-22. 

As the NHS expands health help in every community across England, community pharmacists will offer an ever-increasing range of clinical health checks and treatment, alongside their core offer of medicines advice and prescriptions and consultations for minor illnesses such as earache, sore throats, coughs and colds. 

This will include developing and testing an early detection service to help identify people who may have undiagnosed cardiovascular disease for onward referral for further testing and treatment if required. Pharmacists will case-find and offer blood pressure tests to people showing symptoms, provide clinical and lifestyle advice or referral, and record the data, joining up services and treatment with GPs and other local services, to speed up access to care. 

England’s top doctor, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “Heart disease and strokes dramatically cut short lives, and leave thousands of people disabled every year, so rapid detection of killer conditions through High street heart checks will be a game-changer. 

“Reducing lifestyle risks and treating high-risk conditions such as smoking, obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity are key to preventing serious ill health, and the NHS Long Term Plan will help people take positive action for their own wellbeing, while investing in life-changing services, close to home, when Ill health hits.” 

Professor Powis, NHS national medical director, described as “a game changer” the historic £4.5 billion extra investment in primary and community care that sees substantial funding for new multidisciplinary teams of clinical pharmacists, social care link workers and others working in practices, doing things differently to improve outcomes for patients. 

Unhappy with your NHS treatment or care? 

On the third Wednesday of every month 9.30am - 12pm, your local I.C.A Advocate will be at the Healthwatch Hartlepool Office, the ORCEL Centre, Wynyard Road, Hartlepool, TS25 3LB. 

This service is by appointment only.

Please call 01429 - 288146 or

Freephone: 0808 802 3000

For further information please visit; www.carersfederation.co.uk

Email: ica@carersfederation.co.uk 

World Mental Health Day Celebration

Strictly Mental Health 4

Thursday October 10th at The Borough Hall Hartlepool (11am – 4pm) 

Hartlepool Mental Health Forum invites you to join us at our World Mental Health Day Celebration on Thursday, October 10th at the Borough Hall. It is our 4th Strictly Mental Health event and is a celebration of good mental health. It is free to attend and open to all. 

We have tables decorated with balloons and music playing to make the ambience as relaxing as possible. We have free refreshments including soup and a bun, tea, coffee and cakes. The soup is prepared for us with vegetables donated from the Waverley Allotment group, and the cakes are from Hartlepool Borough Council Day Opportunities people who meet at the Centre for Independent Living. The event is dependent on the generosity of local businesses and local people and Healthwatch volunteers. 

The day will include social dancing, there will be singing by the choir of St Teresa’s school and a performance by the newly formed Blue Rose Thinking Singing Group. There will be many stalls around the hall offering relevant information, advice and support. In previous years we have had more than 200 people attend our day. This year the Mayor, Councillor Brenda Loynes and her consort have agreed to visit during the day. 

We would like to invite you to support our day and would be very grateful for any help you can offer. Our aim is to raise public awareness and the more publicity and support we can get then the more successful our day will be. 

Hartlepool Mental Health Forum 

Hartlepool Mental Health Forum is an independent group of like-minded people with an interest in mental health. It is open to all and we meet quarterly. 

The forum is made up of professionals and non-professional people, volunteers, service users, carers and anyone with an interest in mental health. We are totally dependent on the generosity of Hartlepool Borough Council and Healthwatch Hartlepool to provide us with a meeting place and clerical support. 

Our aims are -

• To reduce the stigma attached to mental health and make talking about mental health more acceptable.

• To raise awareness and give information of services and how to access them to as many people as possible,

• To hold information events, training days and social gatherings, bringing people together and spreading the word of good mental health. 

If you would like to find out more about meetings and activities, please contact

Stephen Thomas on 01429 288146.

Many thanks

Zoe Sherry – Chair

Hartlepool Mental Health Forum 

The Dementia Advisory service based at The Bridge, Villiers Street, Hartlepool, are holding various events in September including;

Dementia awareness sessions

Each of the sessions lasts approximately 45 mins. To book a place please contact a member of the team at the number below

Monday 16th September - 1:30pm

Friday 27th September - 10:30am

Memory Lane Café

Friday, 12th September

Salvation Army Hall, Park Road, Hartlepool; 12 noon until 3pm 

Our café provides a unique opportunity for carers and people living with Dementia to continue with their social life in a relaxed and formal setting. A care support team will be on hand to provide emotional and practical advice. 

Entertainment is provided and there will also be a speaker at the group, Light refreshments and lunch are provided so why not come along and find out about services available to you.

For further information about this and other services please contact: The Bridge

Tel: 01429 - 868587


The Future of Leisure Facilities in Hartlepool

HBC are keen to hear your views about the future of leisure facilities in Hartlepool. Our main leisure facility, the Mill House Leisure Centre, was built in 1972 and has served the town for almost 50 years. However, the centre is getting old and without investing a lot of money it is coming to the end of its useful life. We are therefore currently reviewing the Borough’s Leisure offer to ensure our future plans reflect the needs of the community. 

Within the survey, we will ask you a range of questions about how you currently use leisure facilities, what you would like to see in any new facilities that we may provide and where any new facilities should be located. This survey will be used to inform our future plans for leisure facilities in Hartlepool. 

The survey will remain open until Sunday 15th September 2019 and should take between 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Please visit this link to complete the survey. 


50+Forum Meeting

The next 50+ Forum meeting is taking place on the 11th September at 1:30pm at St Josephs Court Sheltered Housing Scheme, Victoria Road, Hartlepool. For further information please contact Healthwatch Hartlepool on 01429 – 288146 

Future Healthwatch Meetings: 

Acute & Elders; Tuesday 10th Sept, 10am - 12noon, at the C.E.T.L, Brierton Lane, Hartlepool, TS25 4AF 

Primary Health & Social Care; Tuesday 8th Oct 10am - 12noon, at the C.E.T.L Brierton Lane, Hartlepool, TS25 4AF 

Tony Leighton

Engagement Officer

Healthwatch Hartlepool

The ORCEL Centre

Wynyard Road

Hartlepool TS25 3LB

Tel: (01429) 288146



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