Healthwatch County Durham GP Access Survey

As a result of a public vote Healthwatch County Durham has been asked to look at the different ways in which GP surgeries across the County are managing their appointment systems, comparing triage systems, where a GP will call patients back for a telephone consultation versus the care navigation system, where trained staff talk to patients and signpost them to the most appropriate professional or service. 

Healthwatch County Durham would like to find about patients' experiences of these systems and identify good practice as well as those things that could be done better. 

The deadline for completing the survey is mid-September and here is the link online:

NHS England consultation on reducing prescribing of over the counter medicines

NHS England is running a public consultation on reducing prescribing of over the counter medicines and would welcome the views from patients, members of the public and NHS staff.

NHS England launched a public consultation on 20 December 2017 in relation to reducing prescribing of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for minor, short-term health concerns which could save the NHS millions of pounds a year and encourage more people to self-care.

You can see the full consultation document on the links included and a locally produced summary sheet of some of the key information contained within the consultation document is available too.

You can respond to the consultation by using the online form and scroll down to the ‘online consultation’

Alternatively, written responses can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The consultation will close on Wednesday 14 March 2018.

Healthwatch County Durham Cervical Screening survey

Healthwatch County Durham is surveying women to find out about their experiences of cervical cancer screening.  We are keen to find out about your experiences so that we can produce a report to improve future services and encourage more women to take up the screening offer.

All women who are registered with a GP are invited for cervical screening.  Women aged 25 to 49 are called every 3 years and women aged 50 to 64 are called every 5 years.

Only women who haven't been screened since the age 50 or those who have recently had abnormal tests are called for screening over the age of 65yrs.

If you’d like to get involved, please click this link

Cervical cancer can be prevented.  One of the steps you can take to reduce your risk of the disease is to attend cervical screening when invited.    

The survey will be open until 19th February 2018.


Dementia Services review

As part of the national NHS five year forward view for mental health, NHS North Durham and NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are currently looking at the Dementia services available in your area.

To help us do this we would be grateful if you would spare a couple minutes to answer a few questions about your views and experiences of local services.  With the answers you provide we will be able to identify if there are the right amount of services in place and if they are working correctly. This information will then be able to be used to help design what services and support is provided locally in the future.

To give your views you can either;

  1. Use an online questionnaire to share your views -

  2. Alternatively you can contact Daniel Blagdon at the CCG by telephone on 0191 389 8617 to provide your feedback.  Please note that you may need to leave a message with your name and contact number so that we can call you back.

It would appreciated it if your responses could reach us by Friday 16 February 2018.


Have your say on our budget proposals for 2018/19

Over the last six years the council have faced one of the greatest financial challenges in our history and will, by March 2018, have had to save more than £200 million. The outlook remains challenging as Government funding continues to reduce and demand for some services is rising. Uncertainties around Brexit, possible new business rate retention rules, social care funding and welfare reforms all add to a complex picture.

There is still a way to go to reach savings of £250 million by 2022 and we need your help again to balance the budget for 2018/19 for which we need to find a further £15.3 million.

To view our proposals, have your say and see what we are doing to ensure the future prosperity of the county visit