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Winter 2018

In this issue

2 3

Comment from our Chair Some sad news

Access to dental services Home care services Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services



A day in the life of our business admin apprentice

10 Have you been affected by head injury or stroke?

7 Perioperative Medicine C  ommissioning plans for 12 We care  scheme from North A the Vale of York


What is Intermediate Care?

Yorkshire Police

ccessing your records 13 Amedical 14 What happens when your GP refers you to a specialist?

Could you be a Community Champion?

15 Universal credit York Blind and Partially Sighted Society Be Independent

We need your help in deciding what we should work on this year Healthwatch York puts local people at the heart of health and social care services in our city. We need to hear from you to make sure we look at what matters most to people in York. As usual at this time of the year we are asking you to complete our annual work plan survey. Let us know what you would like us to work on during the coming year. During the past year people have raised a number of topics with Healthwatch York - by emails and phone calls to the office, at community venues across York and from the feedback centre on our website.

We want you to choose the topic you think is the most important for us to look at. In addition to the topic chosen in this way we will make sure that we respond to the issues which are important to local people as they come up. Our report on the chosen topic will be published and taken to York’s Health and Wellbeing Board later this year. We need to hear from as many people as possible to make sure we look at the topics

We will make sure that we respond to the issues which are important to local people.

that matter most to people in York. Please complete our survey and encourage your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to do the same. The survey is enclosed with this magazine and additional paper copies are available from the Healthwatch York office. The survey can also be completed online by going to our website: or via www.surveymonkey. If you would like a copy of the survey in any other format, please contact the Healthwatch York office. Surveys need to be completed by 16th March.

Comment from our Chair

Remember that Healthwatch York is here all year round to hear about your experiences of health and social care services, and help you find the information you need to get the best from local services. You can get involved in a number of ways:

Every winter we see and hear headlines about NHS ‘winter pressures’. Media attention is focussed on how hospitals cope with the challenges of maintaining a service over the winter period, and particularly on the performance of A&E departments.

+ U  se our work plan survey to let us know what you think we should be focussing on next year

But ‘winter pressures’ aren’t just about what happens in A&E. Weather, economics, politics and the broader health agenda can all contribute to how the NHS faces up to the pressures of the winter months.

+ U  se our website to ‘Rate and Review’ services you’ve used

Winter is a time where additional illnesses (such as ‘flu and norovirus) and colder weather can affect the most vulnerable groups in society. Winter weather has a direct effect on the incidence of heart attack, stroke, respiratory disease, ‘flu, falls and injuries, and hypothermia. A difficult financial climate also adds to the problems as people struggle to heat their homes. This is especially the case for older people and people on very limited budgets as they are more likely to ration their energy use. The NHS initiative ‘Stay Well This Winter’ encourages everyone to help themselves and their families to stay well in the cold weather. As well as taking care of our own health,

this is a way we can help the NHS this winter. The advice is: + M  ake sure you get your free NHS flu jab if you’re eligible + K  eep yourself warm – heat your home to at least 18°C (or 65°F) if you can + I f you start to feel unwell, even if it’s just a cough or a cold, then get help from your pharmacist quickly before it gets more serious + I f you take regular medication, make sure you have enough in stock to tide you over if you can’t get out because of bad weather or if you’re not very well + A  lways take your prescribed medicines as directed by your doctor + L  ook out for other people who may need a bit of extra help over winter

For more information about how you and your family can stay well this winter visit www.

Healthwatch York is here all year round to hear about your experiences of health and social care services. 2 | Healthwatch York | Winter 2018

+ I f you, or someone you know, has a few hours to spare – you could become a Healthwatch York Community Champion. Find out more on page 4.

Sad news

“We are desperately saddened by the death of our wonderful colleague Carol Pack. Carol died suddenly after a stroke in early January. The Healthwatch York team of staff and volunteers will miss her terribly. But we will also remember her in everything we have achieved and everything we will achieve. Her dedication, empathy, enthusiasm and enormous talent helped Healthwatch York become the force it is and her inspiration and ideas will continue to guide our work. Thank you to everyone who has sent messages and memories of Carol.”

John Clark, Chair

Healthwatch York reports update Access to dental services The majority of people who responded to the Healthwatch York 2017 work plan survey chose access to dental services as a topic for us to work on. As part of our work we ran a survey about accessing dentists - including how easy it is to register with an NHS dentist, making appointments, and getting NHS treatment in York. Initial findings from the survey revealed that people’s experiences when they visit their dentist are generally positive. We had many comments about dentists and other staff being friendly, helpful and understanding. 82% of people who responded to our survey said their most recent appointment had been good or excellent.

dentist taking NHS patients. Some people said they had been trying for over 2 years to get an NHS dentist, and some said they had given up trying to find an NHS dentist because they had been waiting so long. All the survey results will be included in our report, which will be published in March.

The main reason people said they did not have an NHS dentist was because they weren’t able to find a

Review of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in York Our report presenting parents’ experiences of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in York was published in September 2017. Our survey captured the views of a small number of local families accessing or waiting to access CAMHS and gave an insight into their experiences. It also provided useful information about how these families would like CAMHS to develop in the future. The survey results revealed that there are long waiting times, both for assessment and diagnosis. However, once in the system, it was felt that the support offered by CAMHS in York was generally beneficial. Some changes have already been made or are currently being implemented to improve local CAMHS services, to make sure CAMHS is best able to support the children and young people of York and their families.

Home care services Our report on peoples’ experiences of home care services (supportive care provided in your own home) in York was published in October. We carried out a survey to help us understand how well supported people receiving home care feel in their own homes. Overall, there was generally a positive response to the questions about people’s experience of home care reported in the survey. However, people commented that there were aspects of communication which could be improved – including letting customers know in advance about changes to their care service and care workers. Both these reports were presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board at their meeting on 8 November 2017. We received a low number of responses to our home care survey. At the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting we agreed to work in partnership with City of York Council in the future to reach a larger number of the people who receive home care services and find out their views. All Healthwatch York reports are available to read or download from our website: Paper copies are available from the office. Winter 2018 | Healthwatch York | 3


Healthwatch York volunteers John and Jackie at Fulford Show

Could you be a Community Champion? Healthwatch York is recruiting volunteer community champions. If you enjoy meeting and talking to people you could join our friendly team of volunteers and help York residents get the most from local services. 4 | Healthwatch York | Winter 2018

Our community champions hold regular information stands across York at community venues such as the Spurriergate Centre, St Sampsons Centre for the over 60s and Acomb Library as well as annual events such as Fulford Show, York Pride and West Bank Park Summer Fair. We also have stands at a number of community cafés including NELLI in New Earswick, Lidgett Grove and Clements Hall. From January 2018 we will be running stands with York Explore mobile library at Haxby, Wigginton and Oaken Grove. We are always on the

lookout for other venues – such as local churches, clubs, gyms or village halls. The community champions talk to people about the services they use and find out what people think is working well, and what could be improved. They find out about peoples’ experiences of local services including GPs, dentists, home care, hospital services and care homes and make a note of any concerns, complaints and compliments. The community champions also provide information about local organisations and services which can provide help and advice.

Volunteering The friendly chats our community champions have with the people they meet are just as important as the information and advice they provide. If you enjoy helping and talking to people, we’d love to hear from you. Volunteering with Healthwatch York is a great way of meeting new people and helping to improve local services. Being a Community Champion is a very flexible volunteering role – you can choose how you’d like to be involved, and how much time you want to give. All our volunteers are well supported and trained.

If you think you could be a Healthwatch York Community Champion and would like to find out more or just have a chat about the role, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you! Phone us: 01904 621133 Email us: Visit our website: Write to us: Freepost RTEG-BLES-RRYJ Healthwatch York 15 Priory Street York YO1 6ET

What do our volunteers say? If you’re interested in improving services, join Healthwatch York. - Chris Mangham

Everyone has something they can give as a volunteer - Jackie Chapman

Healthwatch York are a great team to work with - Fiona Benson

Healthwatch York are very welcoming - Ann Martin

The training is excellent and enjoyable - Judith Saunders

Volunteering with Healthwatch York is interesting and provides opportunities to develop skills. The team are very good at enabling people to become involved. Left to right: Judith, Jane, Fiona, Dan, John

- Louise Martin

Fiona and Priscilla at West Bank Park

Maddy at West Offices

Chris at Sainsburys café

Winter 2018 | Healthwatch York | 5

Day in the life of our business admin Apprentice Abbie Myers Hi, I’m Abbie. I joined the Healthwatch York team in August as a Business Admin Apprentice. different areas of Health and Social care with Healthwatch York, so I am really happy to be here at York CVS for the next seven months! 9am. Arrive in the office. Check emails and messages. Arranging a meeting of our volunteer Community Champions so see who can come.

Before applying for apprenticeships through and York College I studied at All Saints Sixth Form College and did English Literature, Psychology and Geography. I’m really enjoying the apprenticeship so far. It’s nonstop with college on Mondays, my apprenticeship here Tuesdays to Fridays, as well as my waitressing job at the weekends. But in the future, I’d like to work with children with learning difficulties or train as a counsellor. I would also love to work with young offenders and am keen to do mentoring. I get to find out about lots of

10am Information stand at St Sampsons Centre… …for the over 60s. Fiona, one of our Community Champions, runs a Healthwatch York stand at St Sampsons every month. This month she’s on holiday so I’m running the stand. My job is to be on the stall, give out information and signpost people to all the different services available in York. 1pm. Lunch break then back to the office to sort out leaflets. I pack a bag for one of our volunteers to collect for an information stand the following day. 2pm. It’s time for the Healthwatch York staff team planning meeting. We make sure we get together at least

I get to find out about lots of different areas of Health and Social care, so I am really happy to be here for the next seven months! 6 | Healthwatch York | Winter 2018

once a month to discuss all the different Healthwatch York activities and make plans for the next few weeks. I make notes of the actions for all the team members and type them up after the meeting so we all know what we’re doing! 3pm. Log volunteer monitoring forms Our volunteers give hours of their valuable time every month to Healthwatch York. Each month they record how many hours they’ve spent volunteering for us, and what they’ve been doing – visiting a care home to talk to residents, running an information stand at a community café, reviewing hospital patient information leaflets, coming into the Healthwatch York office to make phone calls or type up notes, attending a meeting and writing a report to share with others. It’s really important that we keep a record of everything they do for us so I enter all the details onto our monitoring spreadsheet. 4pm. Updating the website We get lots of information every month – details of local and national consultations, meetings and events, as well as local and national news about health and social care. Part of my job is to add these to the website. I also put information onto our Facebook page and share it through our twitter stream. 5pm. It’s been a really busy day but now it’s time to go home!

Perioperative Medicine Service York Hospital’s Perioperative Medicine Service brings together healthcare professionals to improve patients’ care before, during and after major surgery. The Perioperative Medicine Team is made up of Consultant Anesthetists and Specialist Nurses who work closely with surgical teams, ward teams and other health professionals. At their pre-assessment, patients are given a card with details of how to contact the perioperative medicine service. They can contact the team with any questions or concerns they may have about their surgery by phone or by email. Patients also have access to York Hospital’s Perioperative Medicine website: The website is a useful resource which provides information for patients at all stages of their surgical journey: + Deciding on surgery

Commissioning plans for the Vale of York Commissioners at NHS Vale of York CCG have launched their commissioning intentions for 2018-19. The Commissioning Intentions reflect the views of local people who attended the series of ‘big conversation’ engagement events in 2017. At these, the CCG asked the community what is important to them about local healthcare services. Topics including cancer, dementia, mental health, access to health prevention and education and access to primary care services were identified by participants.

+ Getting ready for surgery + Having your surgery + Recovery

York Hospital staff wanted to make sure the website is as easy to use and helpful to patients as possible. They asked Healthwatch York to work with them to review the website. Our readability panel volunteers were very pleased to be able to review the website and provide the hospital with valuable feedback.

Healthwatch York’s readability panel Our readability panel is a group of volunteers who have agreed to read written patient information before it is published to give feedback and help make sure that it is user-friendly, helpful and informative. Members are sent copies of leaflets, information and booklets from organisations such as York Hospital in their draft stage before they're ready to publish. During 2016/17 our readability volunteers reviewed 43 leaflets and other publications. For more information about York Perioperative Medicine Service you can visit the website, email or telephone 01904 721758

You can see a short video from Dr Kevin Smith, the CCG’s Director of Primary Care and Population health about this here: www. commissioning-plans-vale-of-york/ The commissioning intentions were approved by the CCG’s Governing Body on 4 January 2018. The Commissioning Intentions are published on the CCG’s website at ourwork/commissioning2018-19 If you would like to share your comments please email voyccg. or phone 01904 555 870. Winter 2018 | Healthwatch York | 7

What is Intermediate Care?

How is intermediate care different to other health and care support?

Intermediate care services provide short term support to help people recover and maintain their independence. These services may help you:

+ w  orking with staff to agree your goals and how to achieve them

There are a number of services locally that fall under this heading. These include:

+ r emain at home when you start to find things more difficult

Community Response Team

+ recover after a fall, illness or operation + avoid going into hospital + r eturn home more quickly after a hospital stay.

These services may work in your own home, within a care home, or at hospital. 8 | Healthwatch York | Winter 2018

Intermediate care provides: + a free short term service + i ntensive support from a range of professionals

+ h  elping you practice doing things on your own

The Community Response Team (CRT) in York is made up of nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and support workers. They work together to help people achieve short term goals which help maximise their independence. This can be to prevent the person having to go into hospital, or so that they can get home faster following a stay in hospital.

The team works from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week – including bank holidays. They develop individual care plans with people they are supporting and their carers. They are able to provide intense support over a short period and work closely with other teams in the community (such as GPs (doctors), district nurses, care providers and community and voluntary organisations) to make sure that long term needs are identified and met.

Rehab should start as soon as possible to speed recovery. It can improve mobility and activity levels, shorten the amount of time people need to stay in hospital or off work and greatly improve quality of life. Rehab may be provided by a wide range of health professionals, including but not limited to physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, doctors, nurses, social workers, dieticians, audiologists, psychiatrists.

Rapid Assessment and Treatment Service Reablement

Reablement helps people regain skills and confidence to help them live independently. The Reablement service helps people to: + f ind new ways of doing things to feel safe and more confident + r egain skills and confidence to carry out daily living activities like washing, dressing and preparing meals + l ook at what else might help (e.g. support to go out, personal alarms, home adaptations or other equipment)

Based in the Emergency Department (ED) at York Hospital and comprising of a social worker, occupational therapist and physiotherapist, the Rapid Assessment and Treatment Service (RATS) provides fast assessments and treatment of patients that need short term support or monitoring but are medically fit to be discharged. Patients are discharged to self-care or are referred to other services in the community including rehabilitation beds.

RATS has been extended to operate from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week – including bank holidays which will enable more patients to be + involve relatives and/or carers to help people live more independently and discuss assessed and treated rapidly whilst allowing staff within the ED to maintain good patient flow. any support they may need (this may include a Carers Assessment) It can help people who need support with daily activities if, for various reasons, they are finding them more difficult to do. The service is for anyone over the age of 18 who is eligible for social care support and who would benefit from a period of reablement. It is not suitable for people who already have a long term care provider or people who have a serious illness which requires specialist care and pain support.


Rehabilitation (rehab) is about enabling and supporting people to recover or adjust, to live as full and active lives as possible. People who may benefit from rehab include those: + r ecovering from serious illness, such as a stroke or heart attack + recovering from a fall + learning to manage long term conditions + w  ith health conditions that get worse over time, such as Motor Neurone Disease

York Integrated Care Team

The York Integrated Care Team (YICT) helps keep people out of hospital and independent for longer. They identify people who, without further support, are at risk of going into hospital. The team works alongside GPs, community nurses and care staff to see if appropriate alternative solutions to going into hospital can be found. They work with each person to develop a care plan, which provides the support they need. Priory Medical Group designed, developed and implemented this local care model. It aims to: + r educe avoidable hospital admissions + support safe discharge from hospital + enable people to remain independent longer + keep people at the centre of their care at all times

Following a successful trial with 55,500 patients the scheme has been expanded, and now works with all York practices, covering 208,000 people. Winter 2018 | Healthwatch York | 9

Have you been affected by head injury or stroke? Did you know Citizens Advice appointments are available for patients, families and carers who have been affected by head injury or stroke? Citizens Advice advisor Caroline Anderson visits the acute stroke and stroke rehabilitation ward at York Hospital every week. She promotes the service to patients, carers and relatives and takes referrals from staff on the wards. Other referrals have come from Bootham Park Hospital, Different Strokes, Woodlands rehabilitation centre, and from the Citizens Advice York generalist service. Since the service became available in May 2017 there has been a mixture of clients seeking help soon after their stroke or head injury, those undergoing rehabilitation and those who have returned home. For the first two groups, the contact has been mainly with a relative rather than the patient. Phone and email advice is offered as sometimes people prefer to be contacted in this way. People can access the service at any time, including after discharge from hospital to areas outside York. Citizens Advice York report that the most common enquiries relate to benefits, including Personal Independent Payments (PIP) and Attendance Allowance (AA), but advice can be given on other areas including employment, housing, health and debt. If the Citizens Advice advisor can’t help, they will signpost you to other organisations who can. To book an appointment with an adviser: Telephone: Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01904 726262 Email: Or ask hospital ward staff. Appointments can be arranged at York Hospital on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Citizens Advice York offer free, confidential and independent advice for everyone. They can help with welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment, consumer rights and much more. Adviceline: 03444 111 444 10 | Healthwatch York | Winter 2018

Case studies The father of a patient who had suffered a brain injury after a cardiac arrest and was undergoing rehabilitation treatment, came to the service for help with completion of a work capability questionnaire for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and then on a second occasion for help with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) form. He said he would not have known where to start with either form. He also asked whether he should apply to the court of protection so that he could manage his daughter’s affairs and was given advice on power of attorney and court of protection. A teacher and single parent who had recently had a stroke attended an appointment. Although as a teacher she will have a generous sickness scheme, she wanted to know what would happen if she was unable to return to work. She was given advice about what benefits she might be able to claim and, as her unemployed brother was likely to be moving to York to care for her, advice was also offered to him for the future.

Mental health and wellbeing The Haven @ 30 Clarence Street

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV)

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), in partnership with Mental Health Matters, now provide a safe haven for people at risk of experiencing a mental health crisis in York.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) have moved their mental health community team for older people in York. The move, to modernised outpatient accommodation at Acomb Health Centre, offers service users a more comfortable environment, improved access for older people and additional clinic space. The new contact details are:

A successful bid for Department of Health funding to improve places of safety was submitted by the York and North Yorkshire Crisis Care concordat – a partnership which includes TEWV, City of York Council, and the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group. The Haven @ 30 Clarence Street, which opened at the end of October 2017, is an out of hours service which provides information and support. It also signposts people to other services and activities, provides training and employment advice and informal peer support and buddying groups. Ruth Hill, TEWV’s director of operations in York and Selby said: “Local service users and carers identified the need for a community based place of safety for vulnerable people, and they have been instrumental in working closely with TEWV and partners to consider the way the service will work and to help develop the plans.” Anyone aged 16 and over can use The Haven. It is open every evening, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including Bank Holidays. During January 2018 it is open from 6pm until 10pm and from the end of January it will be open until 11pm. No formal referral or appointment is required, carers are welcome and people don’t already have to be under the care of TEWV.

Acomb Health Centre, 1 Beech Grove, Acomb York YO26 5LN Telephone: 01904 752180 York’s adult community team has also moved from 126 Acomb Road to refurbished offices at: Acomb Garth, 2 Oak Rise, Acomb York Telephone: 01904 736150

New mental health hospital Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) have appointed construction firm Wates as the main contractor for the new mental health hospital, which will be located off Haxby Road. The new 72 bed hospital will provide two adult, single sex wards and two older people’s wards – one for people with dementia and one for people with mental health conditions such as psychosis or severe depression. Work is now continuing to finalise plans for the new hospital, which is expected to be completed in 2019.

York Time to Change Hub Based at York CVS, York’s Time to Change Hub, launched on Thursday 1 February. Through it, York CVS are working alongside people with lived experience of mental ill health to end stigma and discrimination. Let’s work together to make change happen. Want to find out more? Join us at the campaign hub meeting Monday 26 March at York CVS. Book a place via Eventbrite. Winter 2018 | Healthwatch York | 11

We care

We Care is a North Yorkshire Police scheme designed to support anyone who is vulnerable and needs some help and assistance when they are out and about in York. If the person with the card feels confused or lost they can present the card to someone in a shop or to a police officer and request help. The card gives a brief explanation of the We Care scheme and lists contact details for parents, carers, next of kin or friends who can be contacted.

The scheme, which has been designed with the support of York People First, enables people to go out into their community and live their lives, but at the same time feel a bit safer and more secure.

When someone joins the scheme a form is completed that collects important information about them. This information is stored securely by the police and is used to identify the scheme member if they ring 999 or 101. This means that the Force Control Room call taker will automatically be aware of any communication needs the scheme member has, for example difficulty with speaking on the phone. Police will then be able to ensure the appropriate level of assistance and service is provided to the caller, to enable them to complete their call.

It also provides important information to the police about a scheme member, so if they need to dial 999 or 101, the police are aware of any communication needs the caller has and can assist them and provide a level of service in line with their requirements. How does the scheme work?

If you require more information about the scheme, or would like to join, you can request a membership pack by emailing: WeCare@northyorkshire.pnn. or by writing to:

Members of the scheme carry a ‘help me’ card in their purse or wallet which they can use if they ever find themselves in need of help when out and about in York. 12 | Healthwatch York | Winter 2018

We Care scheme c/o PCSO Justin Piercy, North Yorkshire Police, Athena House, Kettlestring Lane, Clifton Moor, York, YO30 4XF

How do I access my medical records? Wherever you visit an NHS service in England a record is created for you. This means medical information about you can be held in various places, including your GP practice, any hospital where you’ve had treatment, your dentist practice, and so on. There are two types of medical record you can ask to see: + M  edical records held by a healthcare provider that has treated you + A  summary care record (SCR) created by your GP

Medical records

Summary care record (SCR)

Your medical record is a history of your healthcare, including treatments, medication, allergies, test results, X rays and scans. Whenever you visit an NHS service in England a medical record is created. This means medical information about you can be held in various places, such as your GP surgery, dental practice or hospital. You have a legal right to apply for access to your medical records and you don’t need to give a reason.

If you’re registered with a GP practice in England, you’ll have a Summary Care Record (SCR) unless you’ve chosen not to have one.

A request for your medical records should be made directly with the healthcare provider that provided the treatment, such as: + Hospital + Optician + Dentist

This is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR). Under the terms of the Data Protection Act a maximum charge of £50.00 can be made for you to access your records, which must be paid before the records are released. An SAR may not always be necessary – you may be able to approach the healthcare provider informally to ask to see your medical records. Most healthcare providers have SAR forms that you can complete and return by email or by post. To contact York Hospital about your medical records:

The SCR is an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records. Your SCR contains the following information: + Current medication + A  llergies and details of any previous bad reactions to medicines + Y  our name, address, date of birth and NHS number

You can also choose to include additional information in the SCR, such as details of long term conditions and significant medical history. Your SCR can be seen and used by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system to speed up your care and make sure you are given the right medicines and treatment. For example, when you’re visiting an urgent care centre or being admitted to a hospital, staff could view your SCR and check which medications you’re on and any allergies you may have. GP practices are required to provide their patients online access to their SCR free of charge. If you have any questions or concerns about your SCR, speak to a member of staff at your GP practice.

Email: Telephone: 01904 725680 Write to: Subject Access Health Records York Hospital, Wigginton Road, York YO31 8HE

There is more information about accessing your medical records on the NHS Choices website: healthrecords/Pages/what_to_do.aspx Winter 2018 | Healthwatch York | 13

What happens when your GP refers you to see a specialist? If your GP feels you need specialist assessment, investigations or treatment, they will refer you to hospital to be seen by an appropriate specialist consultant.

The specialist might suggest prescribing new medicines for you or they might want to make changes to the medicines that you are already taking.

The specialist is responsible for: + G  iving you the first prescription for any new medicine that you need to start taking straightaway; and

Your doctor may already have done some simple tests, such as blood tests or a chest X-ray, + Giving you enough medicine to last at least the first seven days, unless you need to take but a hospital referral is usually necessary for the medicine for a shorter amount of time. more specialised tests. It doesn’t automatically After this, you will need to contact your GP mean there is a serious problem, just that your surgery if another prescription is required. doctor is unable to make a diagnosis or your symptoms are proving difficult to treat. The specialist will discuss with you whether you should attend hospital for ongoing followYour GP will write a referral letter to the up care or whether you should be discharged specialist, outlining your symptoms and back to your GP. If the specialist thinks you do investigations so far. need to be seen again, the hospital will give GP practices and hospitals use different ways of you another appointment or tell you when to arranging appointments: expect this. If you do not hear anything, you should contact the specialist’s office, rather + Your GP practice may give you a reference than your GP surgery. number and a password you can use to book, change or cancel your appointment + If you have any specific questions related online or by phone. to your hospital care, your specialist will be able to help you with this, so it is important + You may receive a letter from the hospital that you can contact your specialist’s office. confirming your appointment. You need to reply as soon as possible and tell the + If you have any general questions related to hospital if you can attend on the date your health, your GP surgery will be able to offered. help you. + You may receive a letter asking you to phone the hospital to make an appointment with a specialist. A leaflet about what happens when your GP refers you to see a specialist or consultant, Normally, if the specialist thinks you need any which includes a useful checklist, is available test, investigation or surgical procedure, they to download at: are responsible for: + Arranging the test, investigation or doctors/Documents/What-happens-whenprocedure, explaining how and when you you-are-referred.pdf will receive a date and what to do if the date is not suitable for you. To request the information in alternative formats and languages: + Giving you the results and explaining what they mean (this may be done in a separate Contact 0300 311 22 33 or appointment with the specialist or by letter). Email: 14 | Healthwatch York | Winter 2018

Signposting Universal credit Universal Credit is a new benefit to support people who are working and on a low income or who are out of work. Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance plus elements for: + + + + +

 ousing H Being a carer Childcare costs Disabled children An ill or disabled adult

You can find out more at: what-youll-get

York Blind and Partially Sighted Society (YBPSS) website launches

The York Blind & Partially Sighted Society website contains news updates, details of local events, guidance on sight loss and a wealth of information about the organisation and the services that we provide.

Wewebsite were delighted to launch our new Our address is

at September’s AGM.devices, After including co Itwebsite works across a variety of different manyand months consultation phones tablets.of This guide will also with talk you through ho site and use the accessibility features. If you’re our members and with designers at not famili internet, then the back page of this leaflet provides some Castlegate IT, we are now live at:

Everyone who is entitled to claim Universal Credit is expected to make their claim online on the Apply for Universal Credit website:

The site contains information about all the services we offer, as well as all our latest news, activities and events.

You can also find links to other websites with lots of information and tips on sight loss and eye conditions.

If a person and their partner make a joint claim, only one person needs to complete the online claim form, but they need to enter details for both people. Anyone who needs help with their claim can call the Universal Credit helpline free on: 0800 328 9344 Lines are open between 8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday (closed on bank and public holidays). The introduction of Universal Credit has replaced six other benefits and has led to some big changes: + + + +

 here is one monthly payment T Living costs and rent are paid in one payment There is one payment per household Payment is based on the household’s circumstances at the end of each month.

The introduction of Universal credit has had an impact on many peoples’ lives. Contact Healthwatch York if Universal Credit has had an effect on your health or wellbeing. A number of local organisations can provide advice about claiming Universal Credit:

Be Independent Be independent equipment service provides simple daily living aids for disabled people, people recovering from surgery, elderly people and their carers to support lifelong independency. You can now rent equipment for a short or long period, for example when you are expecting a visitor with specialist equipment needs or when you are planning to stay in York and are unable to bring your equipment with you. You can also buy equipment if you prefer. You can call Be Independent on 01904 645000 or visit www. to download a catalogue.

Delivery options are available or  itizens Advice York C items can be collected from Be Age UK Independent at 3&4 Geralds Court, York Carers Centre James Street, York YO10 3DQ GP Surgeries Advice Service – for Priory medical group patients + Christians Against Poverty + City of York Council Welfare Benefit Advisors + + + +

Winter 2018 | Healthwatch York | 15

Contact us:











RTEG-BLES-RRYJ  Freepost  Healthwatch York 15 Priory Street York YO1 6ET  01904 621133  07779 597361 – use this if you would like to leave us a text or voicemail message  @healthwatchyork  Like us on Facebook ABC

























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Provide information about local services to make sure you know how to access the help you need Signpost you to independent complaints advocacy if you need support to complain about a service you’ve received

Healthwatch gives us the opportunity to create a health and care system that really meets our needs. City centre



Healthwatch York will help you and your family get the best out of your local health and social care services. You can be involved in shaping these services according to what your community wants or needs.

Listen to your views about local services and make sure these are taken into account when services are planned and delivered. We want to know what is working well, and what isn’t

proud to be part of

Healthwatch York helps you influence local health and social care services – hospitals, care homes mental health services, GP surgeries, home care services and others.

We want to put you at the heart of health and social care services in York. We:

Healthwatch York is a project at York CVS. York CVS works with voluntary and community groups in York. York CVS aims to help these groups do their best for their communities, and people who take part in their activities or use their services.



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What is Healthwatch York?

16 | Healthwatch York | Winter 2018

We are here

Healthwatch England As well as operating locally, Healthwatch plays a role at national level. Local Healthwatch passes on information and recommendations to Healthwatch England. Healthwatch England takes evidence from local Healthwatch and uses it to create a strong picture of what matters most to consumers up and down the country.

Healthwatch York Winter 2018  

Our magazine covering what's happening in health and social care in York. In this edition, help us decide what to do this year, find out mor...

Healthwatch York Winter 2018  

Our magazine covering what's happening in health and social care in York. In this edition, help us decide what to do this year, find out mor...