Information Now

25 May 2019 Info NOW News


  • InformationNOW – mental health  and learning disability information on NTW Foundation Trust
  • Holiday plans?
  • Experiences of mental health services in Newcastle and Gateshead
  • Safe Surgeries
  • Frightened or unable to speak aloud – Silent 999 calls – press 55
  • Common Ground in Sacred Space, Newcastle Cathedral
  • Fast Food, marking the end of Ramadan
  • European Union (EU) Settlement Scheme Applications

Research & Reports

  • Pensions advice and planning
  • Closing the gap report
  • Opportunities for Action
  • Take part in research
  • The Great British Sewing Bee
  • Disabled access day 2021
  • Action on Elder abuse – petition


Lorry, bus and coach driver rules – tachograph

New on InformationNOW this week!

Newcastle Funding Fair, 6 June
Economic Justice, 19 June

New organisation
Doctors of the World

InformationNOW – Mental health and learning disability services at Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

We have been working with Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) to up date our mental health articles and ensure that you can find the services you need.    NTW NHS Foundation Trust offers: urgent support services – crisis and home based treatment; and the Newcastle Psychiatric Liaison Team (based in the RVI,) as well as community services, such as: adult Autism diagnostic service, an adult atttention deficit disorder ADHD service and an Adult Community Learning Disability Team.  We will keep you up to date as we publish their information.We have also written some information about supported living for people living with a learning disability – we will be adding in the organisations commissioned by the Council.

Holiday plans?

The Guardian has published their 10 classic UK trips by public transport.  Northumberland features as a great destination, alongside the Yorkshire moors and the Lake District.  Looking for some ideas, want to reduce air pollution?  Plan your break now.

Experiences of mental health services in Newcastle and Gateshead

Throughout autumn 2018, 139 individuals from six different local communities shared their views and experiences of local mental health services with Healthwatch Newcastle and Healthwatch Gateshead. They also worked with three partner organisations that carried out consultations. Their findings led to four main recommendations:

  • more accessible and inclusive information
  • better staff training
  • shorter waiting times
  • someone to talk to

A report was sent to mental health service commissioners and providers. We have asked them to let us know how they intend to respond to our recommendations and are currently awaiting their responses.

They also identified some issues and recommendations specific to particular groups. Read the partner reports

InformationNOW has articles on mental health and 24 hour mental health support

Introducing Safe Surgeries Newcastle and Gateshead!

HAREF (Health and Race Equality Forum, that tackle health inequalities in Newcastle and Gateshead) have been working closely with Doctors of the World (DOTW) UK to ensure that the number of Safe Surgeries increase in the City.

Launched in May 2018, Safe Surgeries are GP practices which commit to taking steps to tackle the barriers faced by migrants in accessing healthcare. At a minimum, this means declaring themselves a ‘Safe Surgery’ for everyone and ensuring that lack of ID or proof of address, immigration status or language are not obstacles to patient registration.

The Safe Surgeries network connects participating practices together to share resources, training, policy updates and to enable peer to peer support, and practices follow seven steps to inclusive registration, outlined in the Safe Surgeries toolkit:

  1. Safe Surgeries don’t insist on proof of address documents
  2. don’t insist on proof of identification
  3. never ask to see a visa or proof of immigration status
  4. do what they can to assure patients their information is safe
  5. use an interpreter, where needed
  6. display posters to reassure patients that the surgery is a safe space
  7. empower front line staff with training and an inclusive registration policy

We can all encourage our GP Practices to sign up.

Useful information – frightened or unable to speak aloud

Silent 999 Calls:   Make sure you follow the prompts to get help and confirm the emergency by pressing 55.(Source BBC).

Common Ground in Sacred Space, Newcastle Cathedral

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery, Newcastle Cathedral’s  heritage project, Common Ground in Sacred Space, has been awarded £4.2 million. The project plans to re-establish the Cathedral as a dynamic community hub and a key attraction in Newcastle city centre with significant improvements to the public space outside and an overhaul of its interior to accommodate more visitors, activities and events.

Fast Food, marking the end of Ramadam for homeless people or those on a low income, Civic Centre, Ceremonial Way

Clean Slate will be marking the end of Ramadam on Sunday 26 May with a feast shared with the homeless community and those on a low income. It’s held outside the Civic Centre in Newcastle. There are free goodies and haircuts for those who might fancy a trim.

European Union (EU) Settlement Scheme Applications

Are you a European Union (EU) citizen from outside the United Kingdom (UK) living in the UK?  You will need to apply for Settled Status if you want to stay in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

If that’s you or anyone in your family, Riverside Community Health Project, are registered to help with applications through the EU Settlement Scheme; this will enable you and your family members to stay after the UK leaves the EU.    You can apply yourself  as well.

If you know any families that will be needing support to apply for EU settled/pre settled status, please pass this information on. They have 8 staff who have been trained by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) to allow them to support  clients.

Important information for you and your family, if you have come to live in the UK from another European Union country (EU) – ACT NOW to ensure you can stay after BREXIT.  Please visit for more information translated into 26 languages.

The current closing date for applications is 31 December 2020, but  please apply early.

If you want more information and help to apply contact Riverside Community Health Project on 0191 226 0754. option 1.

Pensions advice and planning

Pension scheme members nearing retirement are ill-prepared for the problems they face when accessing their pensions, ranging from paying too much tax, to running out of money before the end of their days, or even losing their life savings to scams, according to a new survey of trustees.

Research conducted by Wealth at Work and the Pensions Management Institute has revealed that only 21 per cent of trustees are providing or facilitating regulated advice for their members at retirement.  The joint report warns this may be the last opportunity to help savers avoid making expensive mistakes that could affect them for the rest of their lives.

Trustees of defined contribution schemes are legally required to signpost to free and impartial services, such as the government’s Money and Pensions Service. However, the same requirement does not apply to defined benefit.

If you are not sure whether your have planned properly and over 40 years old, get advice from the Pensions Advisory Service.

Closing the gap report – NHS workforce

The NHS are in crisis according to Closing the Gap by the Health Foundation.  The NHS Forward plan highlights the workforce issue, and on Monday 20 May, at the patient, public engagement session for our local clinical commission group, NGCCG, Jackie Cairns, Director of System Enablement, also commented on workforce.  Issues with doctor’s pensions, early retirement of GPs, specialist vs generalist hospital roles and removal of bursaries for nurses were also highlighted.  Some solutions might include: offering cost of living grants to support nursing students along with a 5 year job guarantee and reducing NHS workforce sickness absence.  Jackie also noted that the new Medical School at Sunderland University might make a difference to retention of doctors in the North East.

Take part in research

VOICE encourage patient and public participation to help us understand how to improve health and well being, make technological advances, and look at housing, culture and society.

Do you want to know more about how research impacts on your everyday living?  Hear about research projects and how they translate into changes in health and care on 19 June, Newcastle.

We need to understand more about brain changes and speech impairment after stroke.  Your typical, unimpaired speech might help.  Contact Jac on  0191 208 1288 to record your voice.

Flind out more about what causes ageing on 1st July.  There are lots of skin creams and dietary supplements that are marketed for their ‘antioxidant’ activity to protect against ageing. Where is the evidence that they work?  You need to register for this free event.

The Great British Sewing Bee

The sixth series of this programme is looking for talented home sewers to take part in the programme.  If you are interested, or perhaps know of a talented sewer. For more information – the closing date is 27 May.

Disabled Access Day 2021

Do you want to get involved in Disabled Access day 2021?  You can take part by being a partner, supporter, member of the public.  You can register to take part.  Venues that get involved must have access to a Changing Places toilet  for the event itself though. InformationNOW has information on accessible and public toilets.

Action On Elder Abuse – Petition

Sections 145 and 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 provide for a sentencing uplift in cases of racist and religious crime, homophobic and transphobic crime and disability hate crime, but do not apply to crimes against an older person. The Law Commission is now reviewing this legislation and seeking input so this is an opportunity to raise this gap in their work.

Lorry, bus and coach driver rules

If you are a community or voluntary or statutory organisation that runs passenger vehicles, then you need to be aware that the law changes in June.  Gov.UK are making people aware that any vehicles first registered on or after 15 June 2019, which require a tachograph to be fitted, will need to have a type 1C unit tachograph. These are also called smart tachographs.  Drivers of vehicles which require tachographs, but fail to have one fitted or have the wrong type fitted, could face legal action.  A tachograph is a device fitted to a vehicle that automatically records its speed and distance, together with the driver’s activity selected from a choice of modes.

Read more about the rules on drivers hours and which vehicles require a tachograph to be fitted.

Newcastle Funding Fair  on Thursday 6 June 1pm – 4pm

‘Domain’ at Northumbria University Students Union , 2 Sandyford Road, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 8SB

The Newcastle Funding Fair is a partnership event run by NCVS and Newcastle City Council.  It brings people with ideas together with funders. There is an opportunity to make appointments with funders and to talk through your idea and to find out about the Newcastle Fund itself.  Find out more and book your place as a Delegate or as an Exhibitor.  Download their handy tool to help you communicatyour idea quickly and clearly to funders

Economic justice for the North East, Wednesday 19 June, 5.30 to 8pm, Biscuit factory, 16 Stoddart Street, NE2 1AN

Jamie Driscoll, May for the North of Tyne Combined Authority will join a number of local leaders from VONNE, Tyne & Wear Citizens and trade unions to begin the debate about how to improve our local economy; job insecurities; infrastructure and youth prospects.  Register for your free place.


Last updated: July 30, 2020

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