The report is “a bitesized account of what the Healthwatch Northumberland team has been up to over the previous year.  You can read about what you’ve told us about health and social care, how we’ve helped people find answers and how we’ve made a difference.”  

Healthwatch will be expanding on the report at their AGM on 16 October (more details to follow).”

You can download a copy now or contact Healthwatch to be sent a hard copy.


On 4th July the government published the new statutory guidance: Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.  Northumberland is an early adopter of the new guidance.
This is significant for the sector as it highlights the responsibilities of charities and the requirements on all those working in sports and faith-based organisations have been strengthened, requiring them to co-operate with the local police, council and health partners where requested. This is in line with the important role these groups play in promoting children’s welfare.

VoiCeS Northumberland is to host a briefing on Friday 28th September in Morpeth to give detail on each of the key messages in the guidance, to outline how your organisation can comply with this statutory guidance and offer you tools and resources to support its implementation in your organisation.  The briefing will be lead by Robin Harper-Coulson (NSCB Business Manager) and Caroline Friend (VoiCeS Northumberland)

Booking is essential.  Please e mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your place.

The asylum process can be difficult to understand and complex to navigate, and processes are constantly changing.  Migration Help has just finalised the latest update of their Asylum Advice booklets – a unique and comprehensive source of information about the asylum process in the UK.  

The guide helps explain the different stages of the asylum process and gives those seeking asylum in the UK the knowledge to make informed decisions about their situation.  As well as bringing the information up-to-date with the latest government processes, this update also has new sections and has been translated into Kurdish Sorani, meaning the resource is now available in 16 languages.

Alongside updating information about the asylum process, two new sections have been added. The ‘specialist support and other information’ section gives guidance and information about support services for people facing discrimination or issues based on individual experiences or identities.  A ‘Useful Contacts’ section has also been added to the end of the booklet, which can signpost clients to other services that can be accessed for support in a variety of areas.

You can view, download and print the guide in any of the 16 languages from Migration Help’s website.

As part of the Great Exhibition of the North, the Northern Voice community is being launched to gain a deeper understanding on a range of topics that pertain to the North of England.  Through taking part in a range of interesting surveys, polls and forum topics, participants will be able to share their views and opinions on the things they love about the North and the things they think could be improved.  

The Northern Voice panel aims to be a great way for you to get your voice heard and, as a thank you for your participation, you will be entered into monthly prize draws to win some great prizes.

Find out more and sign up to the ‘Northern Voice’ panel

Due to staffing pressures, the urgent care centre at Hexham General Hospital will not be open overnight (22:00 to 08:00) for at least the next four weeks.


This decision has been taken as a last resort and is only done to ensure that that the service can continue to provide the best possible care during the hours where there is peak demand.  The matter will be kept under constant review and as soon as there is an update it will be made available.


If anyone requires assistance between 22:00 and 08:00 please seek help either through NHS 111 or – in an emergency – 999.