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by Robyn Collery, Dietitian at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

Working as a Dietitian within the pathway of care team, and the wider Vanguard in Newcastle and Gateshead has been a unique and rewarding opportunity. I have been given full ownership and trusted to produce my own Nutrition & Hydration Intervention within the Gateshead care homes. I produced a four-module education programme and piloted it in five local care homes.....

Read the full article here:

Self Care volunteer programme shortlisted

We’re delighted this programme was shortlisted for a Bright Ideas Award. Although not a winner on the night, it is a great achievement in itself to be one of 21 projects shortlisted from over 200 nominations received. The picture shows the team at the awards evening; from left to right: Julie Latimer (Age UK Gateshead), John Roughly (Volunteer Facilitator), Marilyn Young (Volunteer Facilitator) and Paul Johnson (NEMHDU). The next cohort for the programme will run in the New Year and Julie Latimer at Age UK Gateshead will be the main contact for anyone wishing to get involved. Read more about the programme here.

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Communicating Complex Needs across the Interfaces of Care: enabling safe and timely transfers of care for older people

The care system is challenged to meet the needs of an ageing population and the increasing numbers of older people living with frailty means it has never been more relevant to focus on our patient’s whole journey rather than the discreet part of the system we are part of.  This conference which is organised by the Academic Health Science for the North East and North Cumbria and NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group is specifically aimed at:

  • Hospital Multidisciplinary Teams
  • Emergency Department Staff
  • Primary Care and Community Services: health and social care teams, third sector
  • Care Home Staff
  • Discharge Support Teams
  • Secondary Care Interface Teams
  • Mental health teams

Come along to hear our keynote speakers: Professor Chris Gray, Medical Director, NHS England (North East and Cumbria) and Liz Lees, Senior Clinical Doctoral Nurse - acute care, University of Manchester.

Topics covered will include:

  • learning from the experience of patients and their carers
  • care needs and system needs
  • interfaces between primary, community, secondary and mental health services
  • social care during hospital admission and supporting discharge services         
  • dementia and complex co-morbidities

Full details, including agenda, speaker profiles and venue information can be found here:

For further information please email

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Care Homes Matter: Learning Event for Care Home Staff: 29th September

This event aims to bring together a group of outstanding and dedicated professionals from Care Homes and other sectors all of whom understand the complex needs of older people living with frailty. We will celebrate and share their best practice with one another as well as learn and get ideas for continuous improvement. We are all holders of evidence, explorers of practice, testers of new care models and the best thing of all is; we are confident enough to have very loud voices about the care those living in care homes should receive.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Assessment and Transfer of Care
  • Medicine Management
  • Nutrition and Hydration
  • Care Planning and When to Ask for Help
  • Maximising Independence and Preventing Falls
  • Meaningful Activities for Dementia Care
  • Recognising End of Life and Facilitating a Peaceful Death
  • Portfolio Development: Capturing your Learning

For further information contact:

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Evaluation Opportunities!

We wish to undertake a mixed method evaluation of 3 components of the Vanguard programme:

  • Step up step down beds
  • Case Management  
  • Virtual ward

The focus for our 2017/18 evaluation work will (1) review evidence, (2) consider the health economic impact and also (3) capture staff experience of being involved in the changes that have taken place. 

Submission of bids for some or all of the work: 5pm September 13th 2017
Work to commence no later than 28th September 2017
The bids will be judged against the following criteria: Quality of methods, Skills of team, Demonstration of delivery to timelines and Value for money
If you have any questions with regards to this opportunity please email:

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Commission Opportunity: Care Homes & Local Communities

NG CCG wish to commission a research project which will identify how care homes currently work in partnership with local communities to deliver meaningful activities. As part of this work, NG CCG would like to identify the following:

  • Areas of best practice with regards to care homes opening their doors and working with local communities to deliver meaningful activities to their residents
  • Challenges faced when delivering this type of activity and how these are overcome
  • Identify a minimum of 10 case studies which illustrate best practice

NG CCG is looking for a good range of care home provision across the area and it would benefit the successful organisation to already have links with care home providers to ensure efficient and effective access to care homes. 
The project will run September through to March 2018. 
Please submit a written quote, no later than 12noon on Friday 8th September 2017. Quotes will be reviewed as soon as possible and an award for work will be made no later than 15 September 2017.
Please submit written quotes to
For further information please attached document which outlines the proposal in more detail.  If you require further information please contact Caroline Kavanagh via e-mail or telephone 0191 217 2822.

PoCcers: Shortlisted for the Nursing Times Team of the Year award.

That’s right the indomitable Pathway of Care Team (affectionately known as the PoCcers) have been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Team of the Year award. The PoCcers entry title for the award is the Clinical Engagement Superstars: meeting the challenge of frailty. For more information on the PoCcers click here.

Self Care: Enrolment is now open

This September brings a new opportunity for older people in Gateshead and Newcastle to help shape health services locally. The programme will give you the skills and confidence to connect with your community, helping people to have a strong voice in local healthcare.

This is a chance to get involved, meet new people, as well as an opportunity to think about your own health and well-being. Delivered in partnership with NEMHDU (North of England Mental Health Development Unit) the course runs over five Fridays in September, 10-3pm (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th) with 16 places on offer. The course will be delivered at Gateshead Civic Centre, a free lunch will be provided and we will refund your travel. Find out more about the Self-Care programme here.

To find out more, please contact Lindsay Pearson on 0191 2172881 or email

NE Vanguard Network

Newcastle Gateshead CCG is involved in the successful NE Vanguard Network which has brought the learning and sharing of our work to others in the region and nationally. The group meet on a monthly basis and have hosted 2 learning and sharing events throughout 2016.

Members of the Vanguard network come from Northumbria ACC, Northumberland PAC’s, Sunderland MCP, NE Regional Urgent and Emergency Care Vanguards as well as Newcastle Gateshead EHCH. The group enables learning and sharing amongst each vanguard but also with other areas (non-vanguards).

The Regional Network has also commissioned a joint evaluation in 2016/17 to cover a number of key areas that cut across all new care models work. This includes:

  • The use of technology in the delivery of care
  • Culture and relationships to support change
  • Health economics – is what we’re doing making a difference?

A final report of this evaluation that has been completed by an independent group of NE Universities is expected in May 2017. A regional learning and sharing event to consider the findings and outcomes of the regional Vanguards evaluation work is planned for 27 June 2017.

A further piece of work, specifically picking up some of the culture and relationships work across the area has been developed with Newcastle University Business School focussing on ‘Middle Managers’ is also underway with findings expected in September 2017.

Latest development for the network include a co-ordinated and joint approach to sharing our learning across the STP, other parts of the region as well as nationally. Watch this space for further plans / events and information coming soon!

Audit Report

The Care Homes Vanguard Programme has been through an internal audit and has achieved a substantial assurance rating, which is the highest level of rating that can be awarded. The purpose of the audit was to ensure that processes and programme management were strong to ensure that the work progressed as planned.

There were two actions to be agreed following the audit, which included establishing a regular reporting structure to the CCG’s own executive committee and governing body as well as building the programme KPI’s into the monthly integrated delivery report of the CCG.

£1.6 million for older people’s care in Newcastle and Gateshead

A pioneering NHS programme aimed at improving care for older residents in Newcastle and Gateshead is set to benefit from £1.6 million of funding.

The funding will enable the Newcastle Gateshead Care Home Programme to build on its work, which has brought specialists in elderly care out of hospitals to care for people in their own homes, residential and nursing homes.

The programme, which is led by NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG in partnership with local councils, care homes and voluntary organisations, works to improve healthcare services and prevent ill health among older people.

NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been awarded the funding for 2017 – 2018 from NHS England – a share of £101 million to fund the continued delivery and spread of other new care model programmes nationwide.

The CCG was awarded ‘Vanguard’ status in 2015, after being recognised nationally for reducing hospital admissions by 14% among Gateshead care home residents, placing a national spotlight on the area as an example of good practice.

The programme has also gained national acclaim for its work in linking local GP practices with care homes, giving care home residents dedicated and regular access to a GP and providing closer links to hospital specialists including geriatricians and old age psychiatrists. The arrangement has resulted in better care planning and avoidance in unnecessary hospital admissions if a resident becomes unwell.

Dr Dan Cowie, clinical lead for NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG, said: “The award of this funding is a testament to the successful work that the programme has already achieved, and will help us to share our learning more widely.

“The work of the Care Home Programme has given health and care professionals across Newcastle and Gateshead invaluable insight and knowledge into the key issues facing older people’s care. This includes detailed exploration into meeting the needs of older people, focusing on safety, quality and experience in care homes; not only focusing on those receiving the care but equally those providing the care.”

Progress has been made across the UK since the vanguards were launched, with emerging evidence that significant improvements are being made including reducing pressure on busy GP services suggesting wider learning for reform outside of older people’s care. 

Dr Cowie added: “Not only will the older population of Newcastle and Gateshead benefit from the funding – in the near future we will be able to apply our learning to the recently announced transformation plans for all health and care services on a much bigger scale.”

In addition to the funding, NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG will continue to receive support from NHS England and other national bodies to implement their plans, including how they harness new technology including the use of mobile apps and shared computer systems.

Samantha Jones, Director of the New Care Models Programme said: “The vanguards are making great progress and have already made a tangible impact on the lives of patients and the working lives of staff.  2017/18 is a crucial year for the vanguards, in particular how we further spread their work across the wider NHS and care services.  This funding, as well as the support we offer to them, will help them to continue to move at pace.” 

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