Patient Information

Patient transport – if a patient is going to hospital for non-emergency tests or treatment they are normally expected to make their own way there.  Advice is to try to get a friend or relative to take someone to hospital.  Attached are two documents that provide information about local travel arrangements.

Local travel information for North Durham

Local Information – North Durham CCG

Briefing Note for Health Journeys Feb 2017

Frequently asked questions

PTS FAQ for Patients – North Durham CCG

Some people who have a medical need can receive free transport to and from hospital (non-emergency patient transport services – PTS).  A patient’s GP or healthcare professional who refers them to hospital should discuss, with the patient, whether or not they have a medical need for transport.


Great North Care Record

NHS organisations across the region are working to roll out the Information Sharing Gateway (ISG) and Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG).  This is the first stage towards the long-term goal of a Great North Care Record.

The MIG allows secondary care to view structured data from the primary care (GP) record to support clinical decision making.

MIG 2b – patient poster

MIG 2b- patient leaflet


Continuing Health Care

This book (in easy read format) is about money from the NHS to pay for help and care. This is called NHS Continuing Healthcare.

  • What is NHS Continuing Healthcare?
  • Who can get NHS Continuing Healthcare?
  • Who will help you find out about NHS Continuing Healthcare?


Breast cancer and how to spot it

An easy read version of the NHS Be Clear on Cancer, breast cancer in women over 70 campaign leaflet.

This leaflet tells you how to spot signs of breast cancer and how you should see your doctor if you have any of these signs.


An Easy Guide to Breast Screening

This leaflet tells you how Breast Screening works – A leaflet by the NHS.


Things you might want to ask about asthma

This information is from Asthma UK which may be useful for patients and families. These include, information All about Asthma, an Asthma Medicine Card and an Asthma Attack information card.


Value Based Clinical Commissioning Policies (VBCCP) –  Across the country most, if not all, CCGs have a set of policies and procedures for limiting the number of low clinical value interventions.

All CCGs in the North East have adopted a common set of policies since 2010. These are the VBCCP.

Here is ours:

Value Based Commissioning Policy April 2019

Please see the frequently asked questions for more detail.


Rapid Specialist Opinion (RSO) -.

As from the 17th October 2016 a new Rapid Specialist Opinion (RSO) service was introduced in North Durham CCG.

The aim of this service is to ensure patients are receiving the most appropriate treatment for their condition in the most appropriate place.

Referral letters will be looked at by consultants or specialists and reviewed in the light of agreed clinical evidence and expertise. Hospital outpatient appointments should usually only be made when available practice and community based solutions have been tried.

It is NHS North Durham CCG’s responsibility to make efficient use of resources and we aim to bring care from all our GPs up to the standard of the best.

Please see the RSO-Frequently-Asked-Questions , RSO  patient leaflet and  RSO storyboard_ for more information.

The patient leaflet will be given to patients if their treatment comes under the Rapid Specialist Opinion (RSO) service.

Please also see the Rapid Specialist Opinion Poster  that is available for general information in GP Practice surgeries.

Last updated 22/03/18


Help with costs – the NHS is mainly for the benefit of people living in the United Kingdom.  If a person is accepted as an NHS patient it is generally free, although there can be charges for some things.  Being exempt from charges will depend on a number of conditions described in this booklet.  It provides information about who does not have to pay changes and also tells you about the help you might get with costs of:


  • NHS prescriptions,
  • NHS dental treatment,
  • NHS funded sight tests,
  • Glasses and contact lenses,
  • Necessary travel costs if referred by a GP or other healthcare professional for NHS care,
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports.


HC11 Help with costs, applies from 1 April 2013