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Giving local people a voice on health and social care services in County Durham

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For more information please call our free phone number 0800 3047039 or email us at healthwatchcountydurham@pcp.uk.net

Addictions – government national helpline for addictions www.talktofrank.com.


A guide to immunisations up to 13 months - describes the immunisations offered to your child during the first 18 years of their life


Annual Report on Children and Young Peoples Health Outcomes - For the past two years, the Forum, as an independent advisory group of professionals and representatives from across the children’s sector, has worked together to provide expertise, constructive challenge and evidence based advice to improve children and young people’s health outcomes and to drive up standards of care.


Care and Support Jargon Buster - is a plain English guide to the most commonly used social care words and phrases and what they mean. The definitions were developed and tested by a steering group that included people who use services, carers, representatives from local authorities, information providers and key stakeholders from across the social care sector.


Care Quality Commission - checks all hospitals, dentists, care homes and care services to see if they meet national standards. You can find out what they have to say about these services in your area by visiting their website.


Counselling Directory - is a confidential service that encourages those in distress to seek help.  The directory contains information on many different types of distress, as well as articles, news and events.  To ensure the professionalism of the website, all counsellors have provided us with qualifications and insurance cover or proof of membership with a professional body.


Durham County Council - You can ‘have your say on anything’ at Durham County Council if you have a comment, complaint or compliment. The website gives you information regarding all council services.

Family Action - has been a leading provider of services to disadvantaged and socially isolated families since its foundation in 1869.


Family information Service - The Families Information Service provides free and impartial information to support you and your family from pregnancy to your child's 20th birthday, or 25th for disabled children.


Friends and Family Guidance -  NHS England has published the outcome of its review into the Friends and Family Test alongside the FFT implementation guidance to all NHS funded services.


The General Medical Council - The General Medical Council (GMC) protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by making sure that doctors follow correct standards of medical practice.


The Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds sport and physical activity programme is for people aged 16+ with learning disabilities, autism or mental health conditions.  The programme is open to anyone within County Durham and the two main sites for activities are Spennymoor Leisure Centre, Spennymoor and The Graham Sports Centre, Maiden Castle, Durham.  The programme is designed to offer sports and physical sessions for adults during the day, on an evening and on a weekend and is aimed at encouraging people to take up activity in a fun and friendly environment.  For a full range of activities available contact Deborah Cairns the project coordinator on 0191 3342165 or at deborah.cairns@durham.ac.uk.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre - (HSCIC) was set up as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB) in April 2013 . The Health and Social Care Act 2012 sets out the responsibilities. Creating a register of all the information that is collected  and produced and publishing that information in a range of different formats so that it will be useful to as many people as possible while safeguarding the personal confidential data of individuals.


Health and wellbeing boards priorities  - provides an overview of health and wellbeing in Durham looking at both the outcomes and wider determinants. It pulls together a range of measures and is designed to prompt discussions about local challenges and successes around health and wellbeing, drawing in further local intelligence about the population and place.

Homeless Link - Homeless Link has been commissioned by the Department of Health since April 2012 to work with five Innovation Areas across the country to assess the current nature of service provision for homeless clients with Dual Needs.  By “Dual Needs” they mean homeless people who also have a combination of mental health and substance misuse issues and who are often amongst the most vulnerable individuals in society.


Hypnotherapy Directory - Aims to raise awareness and and to connect the public with professional hypnotherapists.


IMPACT Service - Social prescribing in County Durham. Book a free health check or use the site to search for a number of ways to take part in activities in your area. If you are interested in something in particular, it might be happening in a town or village near you. There might be an activity or a class which can help you to make a change4life


Improving care for people with dementia - With around 800,000 reporting with dementia in the UK, a figure that is set to double by 2040, a lot more needs to be done to address the situation. It has become a significant problem worldwide and to address this the inaugural meeting of the World Dementia Council has been held.


Locate (Durham) - contains a wide range of care and support products and services, leisure and community activities to help local people to live independently as possible.


Medicinewaste -It is estimated that £3.5M is lost each year in the County Durham area. This could equate to 137 more nurses or 3642 more cataract operations. Follow the link and see what you could do.

NHS Choices - is the online 'front door' to the NHS. It is the country's biggest health website and gives all the information you need to make choices about your health. You can find information about hospitals, GPs and dentists and urgent care. As well as basic contact details, you can also find feedback from other people about what they think about these services. It’s not just limited to NHS information. You can also find information about other services in your area (often provided by charities) that can help you with conditions from Alzheimers through to weight loss.

NHS England - will play a key role in the Government’s vision to modernise the health service with the key aim of securing the best possible health outcomes for patients by prioritising them in every decision it makes. Formally established as the NHS Commissioning Board on 1 October 2012, NHS England is an independent body at arm’s length to the Government.

The NHS Constitution - The linked document (PDF, 106 kb) provides more information about your rights as an NHS patient.

NHS 111 - is a new service that's being introduced to make it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. 

North East NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy - This service replaces the previous Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) and will continue to be delivered by the Carers Federation Ltd, who has over seven years experience of supporting people in the North East with NHS complaints.

Northern Cancer Alliance - This includes a community hub page that provides information relating to opportunities to get involved and examples of involvement projects that have made a real difference from across our region. Future developments of the website will also include cancer related educational information for the public.

Patient opinion - is an independent site about your experiences of UK health services, good or bad. Your stories are passed to the right people to make a difference. 

The Local Pharmaceutical Committee - (LPC) represents community pharmacy contractors in Durham and Darlington. The committee consists of Pharmacists representing private contractors, public companies, Co-op pharmacies and Pharmacists employed by contractors. The LPC is an independent organisation within the NHS which negotiates on behalf of community pharmacy with the Strategic Health Authority and Primary Care Trusts to ensure that the pharmaceutical service meets local needs.


The Outside Clinic - The Outside Clinic is a national home visiting company, providing optical and hearing services to those who are unable to get to the high street unaided. Their staff use the latest portable equipment to provide free NHS eye tests for those who qualify, and free hearing assessments in the comfort of your own home. The Outside Clinic is the UK’s leading home-visiting optician and hearing specialist and have been privileged to provide ‘at home’ sight and hearing care in the community for 30 years.


Protecting your child against flu -explains why these various groups of children are now being offered the vaccination, as well as describing the disease and the vaccine.

Smoke Free Life– more choices, more flexibility and more ways to stop – contact 0800 772 0565 or 0191 369 2016, text QUIT to 66777


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