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Past engagement

2022/2023 Engagements

A new model of urgent care delivery is being proposed for the populations of Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland which would see the opening of a new Integrated Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at The James Cook University Hospital, and increased opening hours at Redcar Primary Care Hospital, providing 24/7 access to urgent care for all residents of South Tees and the wider Tees Valley. Integrated Urgent Care (IUC) is currently in place across the other boroughs within the Tees Valley.  

The Redcar UTC is currently open from 8am to 9.30pm and under the new proposals this would see access increased to 24/7 opening, 365 days a year.

The IUC model will include home visiting, GP Out of Hours, and management of minor injuries and illness, with 24/7 Primary Care presence across all sites. The aim is to provide the right care at the right place, first time, minimising disruption and frustration for patients and improving efficiency and quality of outcomes whilst reducing the time to access Urgent Care services.

Proposals include a standardised offer, so that wherever a patient lives in Tees Valley, they will have the same access to the same high standard of urgent care around the clock. The proposals would also see the relocation of the GP Out of Hours service from North Ormesby Health Village to The James Cook University Hospital site.

An 11-week period of engagement with patients/carers and stakeholders was carried out between 1st August and Sunday 16th October 2022. This consisted of a survey, public meetings and targeted engagement with the local community. 

Please click here to read the findings of this engagement. This engagement report will help inform the next steps and the development of proposals to ensure services are equipped to best meet the needs of the local population.

NHS Tees Valley and McKenzie Group worked collaboratively between 9 May and 3 July 202 to carry out an eight-week period of public engagement regarding the provision of services from Hartfields Medical Centre, which is located at Hartfields Extra Care Village in Hartlepool.  

The engagement looked at the impact of a possible permanent closure, whilst also exploring alternatives to the branch being fully open and closed. This was the second phase of engagement following an initial engagement exercise in July and August 2021.

The 2022 engagement work included a survey, public meetings and targeted engagement through Healthwatch Hartlepool.

Please click here to read the engagement report. McKenzie Group, NENC ICB and stakeholders are currently considering the findings of this report.

Professionals across the North East and North Cumbria who are involved in maternity and the Best Start in Life agenda were invited to take part in a confidential survey designed to find out how they are using the products and services provided by the NHS NENC ICS Maternity Public Health Prevention in Maternity (PHPiM) team.

The information gathered by the survey will be used to inform the PHPiM programme team how to better communicate and engage with stakeholders to ensure collaborative working across the network. 

An online survey ran from 14 November to 12 December 2022, and the findings are currently being analysed.

For more information on this work, please contact Leisa Smith, Leisa.smith@nhs.net.

After a review of the RISE Mental Health Support Programme in 2019/20 it was felt to be timely to gather further feedback to ensure it is meeting the needs of Gateshead education providers.

During May 2022 we contacted schools across Gateshead asking them to provide feedback on the RISE programme. 46 representatives (headteachers, SENDCo, and other professionals) from 39 schools shared their views on the RISE programme, including schools who use alternate mental health provision to the RISE programme, but may use it in the future. Involve North East (INE) continued to support this project by delivering 3 presentations on our findings to key stakeholders between July and October 2022.

The final version of the report was approved and published in August - RISE Mental Health Support in Schools: Understanding the views and experiences of schools in Gateshead – Involve North East (involvene.org.uk)

Gateshead’s 5 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) took over the running of extended access services that were previously delivered by GP practices in October 2022. Ahead of this, the PCNs were keen to understand what extended access patients would find useful, in order to ensure that services meet their needs.

We developed a survey asking people about their priorities for extended access including evening and weekend appointments, appointments at alternate GP practices, and urgent mental health appointments over the phone.

During July 2022, we publicised our survey widely through local community Facebook groups, statutory organisations, and voluntary and community organisations in Gateshead. 526 people shared their views.

Patient views of extended access to GP services in Gateshead – Involve North East (involvene.org.uk)

As part of their Community Mental Health Transformation Programme, Gateshead Cares wanted to understand whether local mental health services are working, and people are getting the support they need.

In July 2022 we offered people living in Gateshead who had received support from local organisations around their mental health (including their GP practice, Talking Therapies, a charity such as Mind, or NHS services) within the last two years the opportunity to share their views and experiences.

We promoted an online survey and easy read version widely across 25 statutory and voluntary and community organisations in Gateshead, alongside relevant Facebook groups for residents of Gateshead. 109 people shared their views.

Patient experiences of accessing mental health support in Gateshead – Involve North East (involvene.org.uk)

Based on evidence indicating a link between financial stability and mental health and wellbeing, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, the Money and Pensions Service and other statutory and voluntary organisations developed a financial tool for mental health practitioners to use when engaging with their clients.

The tool was piloted during September and October 2022 by an NHS South Tyneside and Sunderland Foundation Trust Primary Care Mental Health Worker who carried out interviews using the question framework and signposting tool with their clients.

We gathered feedback from the Mental Health Worker and the 9 clients who had used the tool. To gather feedback from potential future users of the tool, we facilitated 3 focus groups with Tyneside and Northumberland Mind’s Safe Space clients through which an additional 12 clients and 6 practitioners gave their views.

Money and mental health finance tool feedback report – Involve North East (involvene.org.uk)

Following on from our previous engagement work with Gateshead Outer West PCN in 2020 around patients’ knowledge and use of digital services, we again supported this PCN with engagement to help inform the development of their digital agenda.

Patients were surveyed during August and September 2022 to discover their current levels of knowledge and use regarding digital solutions in GP practices. GP practices in the Outer West promoted the online survey through sending a text to a percentage of their patients and made paper copies available in their practice.

We ran face-to-face engagement opportunities with 4 local community centres to ensure we gathered the views of people without digital access. We also promoted the survey through our contacts in local voluntary and community organisations and community Facebook groups.

478 people shared their views and taking the patient population as a whole, the data is representative with a confidence level of 95%.

Exploring patients awareness and experiences of using digital solutions in GP practices – Involve North East (involvene.org.uk)

County Durham Care Partnership are co-producing a strategy to improve the quality of care for local people and communities.

This strategy will set out how the local health and social care system can deliver the very best quality for the people of County Durham.

Colleagues from the local health and social care system have been working for several months on a quality workstream as part of a wider integration programme. The workstream outcome is to have a single coordinated approach to quality and safety measuring, monitoring and assurance across health and social care.

Early engagement work with colleagues was based on building up an understanding of what quality means to individuals within each organisation, where accountability/responsibility for monitoring sits and where concerns are escalated.

As part of this workstream three workshops have been held in recent months with several stakeholders representing health and social care providers of services and commissioning organisations in County Durham.

In December 2022 County Durham Care Partnership produced a survey to seek feedback on what good quality health and social care looks like in County Durham. The responses are now being analysed and will help shape the strategy as it develops.

For more information on this work, please email robert.milner@nhs.net.

NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board are currently reviewing the Tees Esk and Wear Valley (TEWV) specialist perinatal mental health service. 

A 'perinatal' mental health problem is one that you experience any time from becoming pregnant up to a year after you give birth.

A survey was shared with both partners and patients in December 2022, and the results are now being analysed. 

NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (NENC ICB) ran a survey in late 2022 to capture feedback from patients accessing Phlebotomy Services in Stockton-on-Tees.

Phlebotomy services are where patients go to have blood samples taken, which are examined to diagnose or monitor health conditions.

The ICB wanted to understand patients' preferences and experiences of accessing these services..

Data from this survey is now being analysed as part of this service review.

The current Short Breaks Services Statement for Families with Disabled Children from 2016 is being updated by commissioners in Gateshead.

To ensure that the new version will reflect the needs of local stakeholders, we have recently conducted an exercise to recruit parents/carers of disabled children to take part in one-to-one interviews to gather their views on the current Services Statement.

We have been gathering views around the information included, style, and accessibility of the statement. Please click here to read the short breaks position statement report relating to this engagement.

For more information please email jake.turnbull@nhs.net

As part of a service review of the Gateshead Autism Hub in December 2022, Commissioners asked for feedback from service users, their families, friends and other stakeholders, on what was working well, and what needed to be improved, both within the Hub and in autism services in Gateshead in general.

We have spoke to a wide range of stakeholders to inform this development – parents/carers of autistic children and young people, autistic adults, professionals working with autistic children and young people, autistic young people, volunteers from the Autism Hub.

Due to the wide range of stakeholders, we used engagement approaches appropriate to the stakeholder group including one-to-one interviews, focus groups, and interactive feedback activities.

Thank you to all who took part. The findings from this engagement are available here.

Contracting COVID-19 is a distressing experience that affects people differently, meaning you may have different care and wellbeing needs to others. Although most people who have a mild case of COVID-19 recover quickly, around one in ten patients will report prolonged symptoms that can last for several weeks or even months. These symptoms can include chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, a cough and loss of sense of taste and smell, among others. Where symptoms persist past twelve weeks, this is known as post-Covid syndrome.

If your symptoms last for more than twelve weeks, you may require support to ensure that you recover well. NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) have compiled a variety of self-help resources, as well as information on the services available locally that can assist you with post-Covid syndrome. This information covers things like diet, exercise and smoking (if applicable), getting back to work and when to seek further support.

Across the Tees Valley, Local Authorities and NHS Trusts offer a wealth of support to people living with post-Covid syndrome.

You can access this information by visiting: https://nenc-teesvalley.icb.nhs.uk/recovering-from-covid-19/.

During January and February 2023, those who have experienced post-Covid syndrome were invited to share their feedback on local services via an online survey.

The feedback is currently being analysed and will enable health professionals to review the effectiveness of the services available to support in the planning of future service delivery.

North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (NENC ICB) is working in partnership with Voluntary Organisations' Network North East (VONNE) and Cumbria Council for Voluntary Service (Cumbria CVS) on a programme of work which seeks to increase the involvement of voluntary and community sector organisations in engaging children and young people in mental health research.

The Research Engagement Network Development (REND) Programme recognises that mental health services for children and young people are experiencing a significant rise in demand across the country, and to help reverse this trend it is essential that we develop a deeper understanding of the diversity of views and the experiences of children and young people, as their families, in our communities. 

£64,000 of funding has been made available for the North East and North Cumbria region, to fund up to two VCSE organisations in each of the four Integrated Care Partnership areas.

The programme will support awarded VCSE organisations to co-design a programme of engagement with their respective communities and develop an evaluation plan to monitor the outcomes of each approach.

VCSE organisations of all sizes involved in supporting children and young people under 18 years old, and/or their families based in the North East and North Cumbria, were invited to apply, and the closing date for applications was 26.02.2023. The successful applicants were informed on 10.03.23.

If you have questions about the REND Programme, please email necsu.icb.involvement@nhs.net.

NHS leaders have been calling on people in Newcastle to share their views as they listen to patients’ views on urgent care services in the city.

Urgent care – for those times when you need medical help today, but it’s not an emergency – is centred on three Urgent Treatment Centres, at Ponteland Road, Molineux Street in Byker, and Westgate Road (which is temporarily closed).

In addition to these centres, patients also get urgent care support from NHS 111 (online and by phone), GP practices, pharmacists and services based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) such as the minor injuries unit.

To get local people's perspectives on current services and what they think they should look like in future, we ran a survey, which was available online and in print from 30 January to 12 March 2023.

We also funded voluntary sector organisations to hold asset-based focus groups with their service users.

The engagement findings will be collated into a summary report prior to a series of public events, where local people can discuss the services in more detail.

To find out more, please email nencicb-ng.involvement@nhs.net.

North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board is working to improve the uptake of physical health checks for people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) in Newcastle and Gateshead.

It is well known that people living with SMI are at higher risk of physical health problems. The life expectancy of people with SMI is 15-20 years lower than the general population.

In 2020 work was carried out with patients with SMI living in Newcastle and Gateshead to explore the barriers/enablers to accessing physical health checks. Since July 2021 GP practices in Newcastle and Gateshead have provided an Enhanced Service around the provision of health checks for people with SMI and patients should receive an annual comprehensive assessment.

Involve North East was asked to gather feedback from patients who had received a check after July 2021 to understand their experience and help identify where timely adjustments to the health check process could be made, in order to improve patient experience and uptake.

After consultation with relevant organisations, it was felt that the best way to gather feedback was at the point of contact with the GP practice. Patients/carers were able to share their views via an online survey, with reminders provided by practice staff. 

The survey was promoted widely by local voluntary and community sector organisations and posters were distributed through November 2022. Thirty-three patients/carers provided feedback on their experiences, 32 completed a questionnaire and one took part in an interview.

Please click here to read a summary of the feedback and recommendations provided by Involve North East.
For more information please contact jake.turnbull@nhs.net.

Between October and November 2022, working with statutory, voluntary and community organisations in Gateshead, we sought the views of children, young people and their parents and carers about their experiences of mental health provision.

We wanted to find out what they felt was working well and what could be improved, in the way we provide mental health services to children and young people in Gateshead. We asked them what good mental health means to them, how and where they find support, and also about their experiences of talking to health professionals, and their experiences of accessing mental health services.

Please click here to read the report which summarises our findings.
For more information please email jake.turnbull@nhs.net

Between February and March 2023, NHS in Tees Valley carried out a four-week public engagement exercise to seek the views and experiences of those who have accessed the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Service within Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland.

As part of the engagement, the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board asked patients to complete a short anonymous survey. A summary of the responses will be included in a report to recommend any future changes to the MSK service. 

This was a listening exercise and no proposals have yet been developed regarding any changes to the services currently available. No decisions would be reached regarding any service change without additional patient engagement.

If you have any queries, please email necsu.icb.involvement@nhs.net.

The Waiting Well programme aims to engage with patients to support them to adopt healthier lifestyles whilst waiting for surgery.  


Eight areas across North East and North Cumbria have received funding to deliver the programme. NENC ICB conducted engagement from December 2022 to March 2023. This included seven 30-minute stakeholder interviews, and a series of patient focus groups arranged with support from Healthwatch organisations and other voluntary and community sector organisations. 193 individuals participated in the focus groups. 
The programme was generally perceived well by both members of the public and stakeholders, who discussed how patients can often feel ‘left or abandoned’ whilst awaiting surgery which can impact upon their physical and mental wellbeing. Most participants said they would feel happy if invited to participate in Waiting Well, perceiving that something positive was happening, that they had not been forgotten or that it was part of the preparation process for their surgery.


Some members of the public were less certain of the benefits of the programme due to a lack of information, or felt the programme might add pressure to an ‘already stretched’ healthcare system or there might be personal barriers to access. Some indicating they, or others, may feel patronised or apprehensive about the programme.


Some patients spoke of the provision of regular support from a named contact to enable patients to build trusted relationships, and recognition that some will require more intensive support than others. 


Please click here to read a full report from the engagement. The report has been shared with the ICB project team to inform planning of the rollout of the Waiting Well programme across the NENC.   

2023/2024 Engagements

We'd like to understand the thoughts and experiences of people in the Tees Valley regarding early mental health support for children and young people, by listening to children and young people, their parents and carers and other key stakeholders (such as people working in educational settings and local organisations) about what currently works well, what can be improved, and what they'd like to see from these services in future.

The THRIVE Framework is a person-centred and needs-led approach to delivering mental health services for children, young people and their families.

Here is a short video that explains iTHRIVE in more detail.

Getting Help is an element of this framework and comprises of children, young people and their families who would benefit from short term, evidence based help and support. This support will have clear aims and goals with criteria for assessing whether the aims and goals have been achieved. 

Between 4 December 2023 and 9 February 2024, we are listening in a variety of ways:

  • Facilitated conversations about mental health with children and young people, mainly in schools and across voluntary sector services
  • A survey for young people aged 11-25
  • A survey for parents and carers of children and young people
  • A survey for stakeholders, current providers and staff
  • Interviews with local authority colleagues.

We are keen to work with anyone who supports children and young people, or parents and carers (whether that's in schools, community settings, Family Hubs or elsewhere).

  • If you would like to hold a facilitated conversation with children or young people, you can download a facilitated discussion guide to ask questions and record key themes. Notes from your discussion can be submitted online at: https://eu.surveymonkey.com/r/GettingHelpDCRT

Discussion guide attachment can be found here.

Recording template can be found here.

If you’d like paper copies of the children and young people survey, or the parent and carer survey (including pre-paid return envelopes), you can request them by sending an email to necsu.icb.involvement@nhs.net. We can also provide A3 posters to promote this listening exercise.

The children and young people survey is also available in easy read and audio formats.

The feedback we receive will be analysed independently to produce a report that will be publicly available. We will continue to involve patients, families, members of the public and stakeholders in conversations around how we develop and improve the mental health support offer for children and young people.

Please consider sharing this information with people in the Tees Valley who you think would be interested in taking part.

We've listened to people who live and work in Newcastle about what they think of urgent care services in the city.

Urgent care services are for when you need medical help today, but it's not an emergency or immediately life-threatening.

The listening exercise took place between January and June 2023, in which we heard from over 1200 local people. A report has been drafted, bringing together thoughts and experiences gathered via questionnaires for patients, members of the public and NHS staff, focus groups led by voluntary and community sector organisations, a series of public events and in-depth interviews with professionals working in health services.

The report focusses on key themes such as understanding of urgent care, accessing and attending services, experiences of these services and being re-directed to other health and care settings if appropriate.

In Autumn 2023, our partners at Newcastle GP Services (NGPS), together with Newcastle University's School of Pharmacy, wanted to look at an innovative new way of supplementing some health services, by making services more accessible across Newcastle through a community health bus.

Working with local communities, we therefore undertook some initial development and engagement work, to help inform the scope of the service. Through a survey of the public and patients as well as health professionals, a wide range of issues was reviewed, including how likely they and others in their community would be to use the service, what initial set of services should be included in the new service, and what locations and times of day the service should operate.

We also looked at what potential barriers there might be to using the service. The work was undertaken independently by Involve North East, who then produced a report. The findings of the report are available here.

The feedback from the engagement exercise has now been reviewed by the project team and it has helped shape the design and scope of this new service, which will be launched shortly. Thank you to all those who took the time to help the team design this innovative new service.

More information on the service including when and where the team will be can be found here: https://newcastle-gp-services.co.uk/community-health-services/ 

Clinics will be delivered by a qualified nurse with experience in primary care, and pharmacy and nursing students in training.


The contract for providing services at St George Medical Practice and Riverside Medical Centre is due to expire in February 2024. Listening to the views of patients was an important part of informing the new contract.

Patients were invited to complete a survey and to attend some drop-in sessions, so that they could give their views, express concerns and ask questions.  A report was produced to provide an overview of the feedback gathered during the five-week engagement period.  The themes of the patient engagement findings report were used to help consider and inform what future services are needed at St George and Riverside Medical Practice. 

We will write to patients of the practice to inform them of future arrangements once these are confirmed.

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