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0300 777 6543

Issue 2 October 2013

Welcome to Issue 2 This newsletter has been developed to provide you with updates and information about YOUR local Healthwatch and keep you updated on local and national health and social care related news.

Out and about with Healthwatch Halton

To mark World Mental Health Day 2013 on Thursday 10th October, Healthwatch Halton will be holding another of its popular ‘Fact or Fiction’ events. The event will be taking place between 10.00am and 1.00pm. at the Select Security Stadium, Widnes. The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Mental Health & Older Adults’. You’re cordially invited to come along to the event and join with us to mark World Mental Health Day. At the event you’ll be able to find out more about: •

What’s happening in Halton?

Social care assessments

Direct Payments

Personal budgets

and future personal health budgets

There’ll be guest speakers and also an opportunity for a question and answer session with the speakers. There will also be a number of information stalls at the event for you to visit As with all the events we hold, it’s FREE to attend but booking is advisable as space is limited. If you’d like to book a place at the event please call us on 0300 777 6543 or email

Telephone - 0300 777 6543

We’ve been out meeting people, visiting groups and attending meetings over the last couple of months raising awareness of Healthwatch Halton including: • • • • • • • •

Party in the Park Stroke Association Lunch Bunch Local Medical Centres & Surgeries Parents Voice Umbrella Age UK Womens Institute

Where we’ll be We’ll be having information stands at a number of Area Forum meetings during October, • 2nd Oct - Beechwood/Halton Lea • 8th Oct - Halton Castle, Norton North & South and Windmill • 14th Oct - Daresbury We’ll also be at the Windmill Hill Flu Clinic on October 7th. A regularly updated list of when and where we’ll be in the community is available on the events page of our website If you’d like Healthwatch to come and meet with your group please call us on 0300 777 6543

Healthwatch volunteers help put Hospitals in their PLACE

The first ever results of a new scheme which puts patients and local people in the driving seat for assessing their local hospitals have been published. PLACE asks patients to review their local hospital for:

volunteers then became part of the assessment teams that visited our local hospitals. You can see how our local hospitals fared in the table below.

Cleanliness – including bathrooms, furniture, fixtures and fittings;

National results for PLACE assessments 2013 can be downloaded from

Food – assessment of choice, taste, temperature and availability over 24 hours;

Privacy and dignity and well being – including their changing and waiting facilities, appropriate separation of single sex facilities, telephone access and appropriate patient clothing;

If you are interested in becoming a PLACE assessor please contact us on 0300 777 6543 and ask for Irene Bramwell

Condition – condition, appearance and maintenance of sites, including decoration, signage, linen and car-park access.

The PLACE scheme, which replaces the old Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) assessments, focuses entirely on the hospital environment and does not cover the way in which clinical care is provided or how well staff are doing their job. We were approached by the local NHS Hospital Trusts and asked if any of our Healthwatch Halton members would like to become PLACE volunteers. These

You can find the complete list of all 152 Healthwatch across England at Further details about this year’s PLACE assessments are available from the Health and Social Care Information Centre ( catalogue/PUB11575). Halton



Nat. average











Privacy, dignity









and wellbeing Condition and maintenance

British Lung Foundation Helpline Whether you have a lung condition or care for someone who does, get in touch. The British Lung Foundation are here to help. Ask about joining a local Breathe Easy support group, joining the web community and penpal scheme and the British Lung Foundation’s other services. To find out more, please visit the British Lung Foundation website,

Tel: 03000 030 555

Healthwatch Advocacy service Do you have a complaint about the care and/or treatment you have received from the NHS? Although most people using the health service are happy with their care and treatment, things can sometimes go wrong. If you’re not satisfied with the service you’ve experienced from a hospital, doctor, dentist, local surgery or other NHS provider, you are entitled to complain about it. We can help you make this complaint, by providing a free, confidential and independent service designed to help you understand your rights and make informed choices. We can: • Help you explore options available at every stage of the complaints procedure • Provide confidential support from someone who is independent of the NHS • Help you to write effective letters to the right people • Help you to prepare for meetings and maybe even go with you • Contact and speak to third parties if required • Provide qualified advocates who can support you • Offer a range of ‘self-help’ materials if you do not need the support of an advocate but want some advice on the best way to make a complaint.

Are you affected by sightloss? Support is now available for you, your friends and family from those who understand. Sightline Vision is a registered charity that started in 2000. Sightline is a free confidential and voluntary telephone support helpline for individuals with visual impairment and their families, friends and carers. The helpline is available 6:00pm to 10:00 pm 7 days per week 365 days a year. Manned by volunteers who themselves, have varying degrees of visual impairment. Telephone: 0800 587 2252

Anna Read, our Healthwatch Advocate, will be running sessions every Tuesday, 10.00am – 3.00pm at Sefton House, Runcorn. Anna can also use other local venues to meet clients if needed. If you’d like to book an appointment to see Anna, please give us a call on 0300 777 6543.

Out of Hours GP number to change

Halton Borough Council & Halton Clinical Commissioning Group are currently working on a new Mental Health Commissioning Strategy for Halton. As part of this planning they would like to gain your views. You can take part in the online survey by visiting,

As from 18.30 on 24th September, the telephone number patients will need to call to speak to the Out of Hours GP service for Halton will change to 0151 220 3685

Printed copies of the survey are also available by contacting Liz Gladwyn, Commissioning Manager Disabled Adults, Communities Directorate, Halton Borough Council, Runcorn Town Hall, Heath Road, Runcorn, WA7 5TD. Tel: 0151 511 8120


During October, smokers in Halton are being encouraged to quit together, as Stoptober – the nation’s biggest ever mass participation stop smoking challenge – launches for its second year. Halton Health Improvement Team and Halton Borough Council is supporting




England campaign in a bid to help local people quit through exciting local events and activities throughout October. Stoptober quitters will receive a new stop smoking pack, a 28day mobile phone app and text support with daily updates and quitting advice, detailed tools and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands




together through Stoptober social media. People who currently smoke are also encouraged to get in touch with their local stop smoking service, as research shows you are four times more likely to quit with

this extra support than stopping on your own. The campaign returns as new research shows that every day a person goes without cigarettes could add as much as six hours to their lives. For the 28 day duration of Stoptober this equals a full seven days. Research also suggests that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to kick the habit for good. Last year over 160,000 people across the UK successfully quit. And although most people will start their quit journey on the 1st October, people can quit at any time during the month and still receive specialist support.

Futures, estimates that there are currently 22,548 smokers in Halton and every year addiction to tobacco costs the local authority £37million through loss of productivity due to early death and illness, NHS costs, litter and fires. Stoptober 2013 starts on Tuesday 1st October and runs for 28 days. For and

more to


information up


www. or call the Halton Stop Smoking Service on 01928 593043. The 28 day Stoptober app can be downloaded from www.smokefree.

The campaign launches as new figures released by local antitobacco organisation Tobacco Free


Sefton House, Public Hall Street Runcorn, WA7 1NG Tel: 0300 777 6543 email:

Issue 2 October 2013  

Issue 2 of the Healthwatch Halton newsletter.

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