Previous Engagement and Consultation

In this section:

Information contained below and on the pages in this section (links available on the left of this page) is related to engagement with patients and the public that has taken place.

Some of this activity is specific to the North Durham area and our patients, while others has been undertaken jointly with other Clinical Commissioning Groups in the region as we work together to look at ways to learn from patient experience and use this to improve the services for the future.

Dementia services

In early 2018, Dementia Services were reviewed by the CCG and included feedback from patients, carers and their families.

We talked to dementia patients and carers at local dementia arts projects, memory cafés, dementia cafés, relevant groups involved with Beamish museum, the Alzheimer’s’ Society and others.

An online version of the survey was developed to make it easier for relatives and family carers to respond. The survey was also sent to local patient groups, health networks, Durham Dementia Action Alliance(DDAA) and the Area Action Partnerships across the County.

A summary engagement report was made available to groups who had participated and through the DDAA network. The report outlines the outcomes of the discussions and how these have been included in the decision-making process. The comments and suggestions showed what type of support and personal outcomes were most important for people. This information was given to the Commissioning Team to help with their decisions.

Stroke services

Engagement with patients around stroke services took place over August to October 2017.

The aim of the engagement was to understand what services and information patients received on discharge from hospital.

Packs including a letter, a questionnaire and a freepost envelope were sent to patients via their GP practice. The questionnaire was also available online via survey monkey, which closed on October 12th 2017.

The CCG worked in partnership with Healthwatch who also organised one-to-one appointment sessions across Barnard Castle, Stanhope, Chester-le-Street, Stanley, Peterlee and Tudhoe.

The Engagement Teams of Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield and North Durham CCGs attended stroke groups to have face-to-face conversations with stroke survivors. These groups were attended by people who had experienced a stroke over a year ago and some as many as fifteen years ago.

The questionnaire and the above appointment sessions were also communicated via our social media platforms and Healthwatch. A total of 155 patients and or carers responded to the survey.

The full engagement findings were written into a report by Healthwatch and the CCG detailing recommendations for the future service. All of these recommendations were accepted by the CCG Executives and were implemented in March 2018.

Patients who were involved in the engagement were sent a thank you letter and a short explanation of the results of their feedback. They were also given the option to have a full report sent out to their home address.

The full Healthwatch and CCG report is available to read.

Mental Health Crisis Service

 As part of the review into the Mental Health Crisis Service and Home Treatment, engagement was an integral part of this process. The conversations with patients and carers focused on understanding their experiences.

An online survey was created along with a paper version and this was shared widely via groups and social media. The team went along to meetings such as the County wide mental health forum, Cree Groups and also Home Group Happy clubs for people to experience physical activity.

All key points were gathered, including 26 surveys. These findings will be included into a wider report which also covers feedback from Mental Health Crisis Service staff and service managers, GPs and other professional groups.

The feedback will be shared via groups we worked with and those who took the time to give their views and experiences.



In line with guidance from NICE in November 2017, County Durham patients were transferred to local community-based services to receive their routine monitoring appointments. To help this

transition, we worked closely with County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust (CDDFT) to talk directly to these patients. We did this by visiting the Ophthalmology clinics in Darlington.

These conversations helped to understand patients’ concerns. They were kept informed about accessibility of services now and in the future, whom to contact if they had a query and confirmation that they would still receive good clinical care closer to home.

Community Services

Community Services are local services eg: district nurses, physiotherapy, diabetes services etc. These services were review during September 2017 and involved patients and NHS staff. The aim of this was to understand how care in the future could be improved to meet patients’ needs. The engagement targeted Patients, their carers, GPs, Practice nurses, a wide range of community services staff (Community nurses, District nurses, Vulnerable Adults Wrap Around Service etc).

The CCGs, Community Services staff and practice nurses worked together to reach individual teams across their local area. The engagement also benefitted from the support of Community Services staff who spoke directly with their patients and gathered the views of friends, relatives and family carers.

The summary engagement report was also published on the CCGs’ websites as part of the regular updates about the progress of this project. The same report was also fed into the County Durham Integration Steering Board as part of the work that is being developed to help shape future Health and Social Care services.

Improving mental health Services for people with Dementia in County Durham and Darlington

Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) worked with the local Clinical Commissioning Groups (Darlington CCG, Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG and North Durham CCG) to seek the views of local people on the future location of assessment and treatment beds for older people who have dementia in County Durham and Darlington. This consultation ran from 4 January – 28 March 2016.

Most people who are living with dementia are supported at home, including nursing or residential homes. Some people with complex needs may need to spend a short time in hospital where they can be fully assessed and treated before returning to their home environment or moving to more appropriate accommodation.

TEWV provides specialist inpatient assessment and treatment services for people who have dementia. The consultation focused on the fact that there are currently three 10 bed wards in County Durham and Darlington – one ward at Bowes Lyon Unit, Lanchester Road Hospital in Durham and two wards at Auckland Park Hospital in Bishop Auckland – and future configurations of these beds.

Developments over recent years to the community services, such as specialist support for care homes and general hospitals, mean that fewer people with dementia need to spend time in hospital. Inpatient care is now the exception rather than the norm and occupancy levels and the number of admissions have reduced over the last two years.

The public consultation document provided more detailed information about a number of options for the future location of inpatient services and explains how people could have their say. A series of public meetings were also held across the county as well as targeted sessions for patient, their families and staff involved in  these services.

Further updates about the outcome of the consultation will be added to this page once they are available.


The National Mental Health Strategy – No Health without Mental Health

County Durham Implementation Plan 2014-2017

This Implementation Plan, available here, has been developed in partnership with a wide range of organisations, people that use mental health services and carers. The plan identifies the key priorities that we will focus on over the next three years. We would like your views on the plan, we particularly want to know if we have the right priorities. There are a number of ways you can comment. You could come along to one of our roadshows, complete the online survey here or complete the form, available here, by hand and post it back to us. The document ‘What do you think?’ and the poster here explain this in further detail.

The period of engagement will run from 9th May – 20th June. The final document will be presented for agreement to the Health & Wellbeing Board in September.

Please click below to view the:

Call to action – have your say on local health servicesNHS-belongs-to-the-people_328x212

Patients, the public and staff have the opportunity to join in a discussion about the future of the NHS so it can plan how best to deliver services, now and in the years ahead. 

For more information, visit the Call to Action page.