What matters to you – finding out what the people of South Tyneside think



The Joint Commissioning Unit (JCU) has commissioned Kooth an online counselling and advice for people aged 11 to 25.  Anyone in South Tyneside who is aged 11 to 25 can use the Kooth website.

Kooth is an award winning online counselling and support service.  It is a safe, confidential and anonymous way for you get emotional wellbeing and mental health support.

On the Kooth website you can:

  • Read interesting and helpful articles about issues like bereavement, anxiety, stress, and more
  • Get support anonymously from the Kooth community
  • Speak to fully trained and qualified counsellors and emotional wellbeing practitioners via web-chat, who are available until 10pm, every single day of the year

Visit Kooth.com

Intelligence from Kooth usage, reported in quarterly reports to the JCU, has identified that the most significant issue affecting the mental health of users is identity and sexuality, suggesting a gap in local services. In response, the JCU has commissioned Humankind to deliver a prototype service to:

  • Deliver the Rainbow Flag award to develop schools’ understanding of how to provide better support. The first training session took place on 31st January 2020.
  • Develop a support group for children and young people who require support or advice around their identity or sexuality. This was launched at the end of January 2020.

The quarter 2 Kooth report along with the Rainbow Flag award flyer and the LGBT+ support group flyer can be found below:

LGBT+ South Tyneside

Rainbow Flag Award

Kooth Quarter 2 Report

Expert by Experience

A young care leaver has been appointed by the Joint Commissioning Unit (JCU) as an expert by experience to undertake engagement work with children, young people and their families.  South Tyneside is introducing new Healthy Minds Teams within schools.  The role of the new teams is to support children and young people with low level therapeutic support and deliver preventative/early intervention.

We want to make sure that the teams are set up in partnership with children, young people and carers. The aim of the role will be to run engagement and co-production sessions; gaining views from parents and helping them to develop ideas on how the teams might look.

Through engagement with communities, the expert by experience will have the opportunity to feed in families’ views and ideas when the JCU are developing new models; influencing change and representing the views of families and young people.

A job description for the role is below:

Expert by experience sessional work – job description

Commissioning Officer Role

Since September 2019 a young person with learning disabilities has been employed by the Joint Commissioning Unit to engage with schools to represent the views of children and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism.  The Commissioning Officer is part of a team working to make changes to health, care and education services in South Tyneside.  An important part of the Commissioning Officer’s role is to find out how children and young people would like to be engaged with.

A full job description for the Commissioning Officer role is below:

Job Description – Commissioning Officer

Health Ambassadors

South Tyneside Health Ambassadors are a group of 14-18 year olds who are trained volunteers who work for the Public Health team.  They have four main roles: to offer peer support and advice both formally and informally; to run their own health campaigns around key issues for young people; to find out how children and young people would like to be involved and engaged in specific campaigns and service improvement; and they support health services to become more young person friendly.

Over the last 12 months  our current health ambassadors have delivered a mental health anti-Stigma event to 100 young people and professionals; they have designed a mental health anti-stigma campaign; they have interviewed the Lead Member for Children & Young People; they have visited the Sexual Health and Lifecycle Mental Health service; they have been interviewed by BBC Radio Newcastle, they have interviewed adult staff for health jobs; and written their own blog which is published online among many other opportunities.  Much of their work was directed by feedback from questionnaires and informal ‘chat’ with children and young people – how they wanted to see the work carried out.

Further information about the Health Ambassadors, including an application for the Association of Public Service Excellence awards 2019, can be found below.

Mental Health Champions Ambassadors Case Study

APSE Application Form Young Health Ambassadors

Carers Joint Strategic Needs and Asset Assessment (JSNAA), November 2019

As part of the Carers JSNAA, various engagement took place with members of the public. This included:

  • Attending Carer Groups;
  • Surveys within town centres;
  • Focus groups.

The purpose of the engagement was to gather primary data in relation to the current status of Carers within the borough.  The engagement was utilised throughout the JSNAA to ultimately inform the key priorities for South Tyneside.  People involved in the engagement work included unpaid carers and non-carers; over 100 members of the public provided information to feed into the JSNAA.

The context to the discussion with current carers related to national statistics and the current National Action Plan, and whether or not this was a true reflection for the borough.  The discussions with the non-carers centred on their knowledge base of current services and how it may impact them in the future.

The survey was carried out in Jarrow, Hebburn and South Shields to find out if people among the general population had an informal caring role and if they did, did they know where to get help and support if needed.  If they were not currently a carer but became a carer or if they knew someone who was a carer, would they know where to go or where to signpost them for help and support?  Results of the survey can  be found below:

Carers Survey November 19

The feedback from the people involved in the engagement was used to directly inform the JSNAA of local statistics.  The Joint Commissioning Unit provided verbal feedback to the carers groups on how the information from the engagement had been utilised but were unable to feedback to the public as the survey was anonymised.

Launch of Autism in Mind South Tyneside (AIM) – Me, myself and Autism, 5 September 2019

The launch was to enable people to find out more about AIM and how it will be delivered in South Tyneside along with the opportunity to hear from autistic adults who have completed ‘Me, Myself and Autism’ and the impact the course has had on their lives.  Families and carers and staff from social care,  health and third sector organisations took part in the launch.

The aim of the launch was to set the scene around Autism services in South Tyneside and the commissioning of new service and what the programme entails.  AIM has been commissioned in South Tyneside to provide pre and post diagnostic support for autistic adults who do not have an associated learning disability and live in South Tyneside.  AIM’s preventative support is delivered through weekly Connect Support Prevent sessions.  AIM supports autistic adults with any challenges they are facing in their lives and offers a 10 week autism specific self-awareness and understanding course, Me, Myself & Autism.  AIM provide preventative support to avoid individuals from finding themselves in crisis situations.

This was a celebration event and opportunity for AIM to network with stakeholders.  The audience was given opportunities to ask questions about the new service and the response of audience engagement was observed.  Past participants shared their lived experience.

South Tyneside Joint Commissioning Unit contacted all attendees following the launch to thank them for attending.  AIMS set up network contact lists and have made contact following this event.

AIM presentation September 2019

Autism Hub

The new Autism Hub on Gordon Street in South Shields, commissioned by the Joint Commissioning Unit (JCU), was launched on 10 January 2020.

The centre, which is the first of its kind in the North East, will provide drop-in sessions for all ages, with no diagnosis or referral necessary.  The Toby Henderson Trust will provide support for children and young people from Monday -Wednesday while Autism in Mind will support adults on Thursdays and Fridays.

The centre has been launched as a direct response to feedback from those with autism and their families who felt there was a lack of support in the borough, which evidence shows can lead to crisis.  A co-production event took place on 18 December 2019 with families, experts by experience, with the outputs from the event being used to shape what the Autism Hub offers.

Autism Hub- Co-production summary

Autism Hub co-production communication cards

In the spirit of true co-production, and recognising that each person who attended the session is an expert in their own right, feedback was collated in a We Said, We Did” document which is below.

We Said We Did Autism Hub Co-production

Launch of South Tyneside Enabler Partnership, October 2019

“South Tyneside wants people with learning disabilities and autism and their families to have a good life.  We want people to have their own say about how they live their lives”

One of the ways we want to achieve this is by improving the support we offer people in the community – and South Tyneside Enabler Partnership (STEP) is a key part of this.  STEP recognises and supports the values of individuals, their skills and relationships and the contribution that local communities can make as an alternative or to supplement professional health and social care services.

This approach has been piloted in Jarrow where Your Voice Counts, who help vulnerable people find a voice and gain control over their lives, run a successful drop-in.  A drop-in has also been launched in Boldon with STEP drop-ins planned for a further four community localities across South Tyneside.

A networking morning with engagement tables took place with families, carers, and staff from social care, health and third sector organisations.

Always Events – Integrated Rehabilitation and Structured Education for Patients with one or more Long Term Condition – Patient Engagement

The ambition is to increase the uptake and reduce inequality of education and rehab support that enables people to live well with one or more Long Term Condition (LTCs).  The engagement work has been carried out through Always Events.

The Always Events were launched on 7 August 2019, below is the slide pack from the launch event.

North East Always Events cohort launch 7.8.19

During the event patients, carers and professionals were asked to think about how access, knowledge and information could be improved.  A summary of suggestions and feedback is below.

Always Event Cohort Launch August 2019 – Flipcharts

Attendees were also asked to map out the patient journey, see below.

Mapping Patient Journey August 2019

As part of this engagement work patients were sent a link to a Long Term Conditions survey.  results of the survey are below.

Rehab survey summary data Aug 19

A full report of the engagement work, themes and feedback is below.

Always Events Report 2019

Palliative and end of life care in South Tyneside

The CCG has now received the final report following completion of the co-design process aimed at developing a new model for palliative and end of life care services in South Tyneside. The report summarises the process which was undertaken and outlines a recommended future model based on a ‘spoke and hub approach’, within which there is a strong emphasis on enhancing care in the community to enable people to be cared for in their own homes and communities if that is there wish. The hub represents a bricks and mortar facility which will be based in South Tyneside and include access to inpatient beds, enabling increased choice at the end of life.

The report was approved by the CCG’s Governing Body on 26th September 2019 with approval to continue to work with colleagues from across the system to develop the emerging model further.

The report is below:

Palliative and End of Life Care in South Tyneside Coproducing New Service Proposals

A presentation was delivered to third sector colleagues at HealthNet on 4 October 2019 to keep them abreast of progress.

Palliative and End of Life Care update HealthNet Oct 19

Palliative and end of life care Co-design Engagement Programme – what we did

We asked you to help us to develop the support that is provided to people who are in the last months or years of their life in South Tyneside, known as end of life care.

While the closure of St Clare’s was a sad moment for our community, it created an opportunity for us to look at how services that provide care for people at the end of life care are delivered. We worked with colleagues from across health and social care and chose an independent organisation to complete this work. It involved working with partners, families and carers across the borough to find out what is important to people towards the end of their lives.

We wanted to understand what is most important to people living in South Tyneside who have experienced end of life care and understand what people want. We wanted to create a new model that can deliver the best possible care in the borough.

We involved stakeholders, including local groups and families who have experience of palliative care services in the borough. We worked together to review the work and speak to people who are involved or have an interest in end of life care.

What we did

  1. Engagement 

Working with families and carers, staff, ‘seldom heard’ groups and the voluntary and community sector.

  1. Worked with partners to design what end of life care should look like

Workshops were held in May 2019 with those people who were involved in the first part of this process to jointly develop a future model for end of life care services based on what people have told us so far.

  1. Reporting

A report summarising the work completed along with its recommendations was presented to the CCG in August 2019.

How people were involved

We understood that discussions around death and dying can be uncomfortable and difficult but people were keen to be involved.

The different ways people were involved included:

  • Online survey with stakeholders
  • Interviews with family members / people on the end of life register
  • Interviews with staff
  • Interviews with GPs
  • Focus groups with staff
  • Focus groups with members of the public
  • Focus groups through the voluntary and community sector
  • Stakeholder co-production workshops

Personal Assistant Market Development, 5 November 2019

The event on 5 November was part of a successful funding bid for Personal Health Budgets (PHB) with NHS England and Vision of South Tyneside for Personalised Care to scale up and expand the PHB and Personal Assistant (PA) market in South Tyneside.  The event was to present where we are now and where we want to be.  Strategic Alliance partners, health and social care staff, education staff, third sector organisations and families and carers took part in the event.

Personal Health Budgets presentation 5 November 19

Personal Health Budgets pilot November 2019

The aim of the event was to inform and then support the next steps of expanding the PHB and PA market.  A contact distribution list was set up to support individuals and to invite them to future events and for attendees to be champions.

Development of a new Autism Strategy, July 2019

South Tyneside Joint Commissioning Unit held a focus group with parents of children and young people with Autism.  The aim of the focus group was to discuss which services work well, areas for improvement and to explore which services may be required in the future.

Feedback from those involved in the focus group was on the issues facing both children and families of people with Autism.  Issues around transition from children to adult services were highlighted along with the quality of provision.  Issues were also identified around access to further education opportunities.

The information and feedback gathered was used to inform the Autism Joint Strategic Needs and Assets Assessment and the Autism Strategy and Action Plan.

Manage Your Mental Health

Young people have talked to Young Healthwatch about their mental health and their experiences of services.

As a group Young Healthwatch wanted to learn about the types of things that affect young people. To help do this they held monthly drop in sessions at South Tyneside College and over three months spoke to 250 students about different topics to see what the common themes were. The three most common were:
• Mental health
• Sexual health
• Drugs and alcohol

Young Healthwatch meet as a group monthly to discuss the findings and from the information they collated over 65% of students told them their mental health and wellbeing was most important to them with common things such as stress and anxiety being present daily. They told Healthwatch that they often did not know who to talk to or where to go.

Young Healthwatch South Tyneside decided it was important to raise awareness of mental health services available to children and young people in South Tyneside and to also review people’s experiences of any services they may have used and how services could be improved.

Young Healthwatch report is below.

Young Healthwatch Mental Health Report 14.8.19

Manage Your Mental Health Question Time

Young Healthwatch South Tyneside are reviewing mental health services for children and young people in South Tyneside and want the views of young people about the types of services they use, their experiences and how things could be improved.  On Wednesday 15 May 2019 a Question Time took place at South Tyneside College 2-4pm.  The event was attended by 40 people  including professionals, parents and carers and young people.  There were over 100 questions asked by young people about support for mental health, services and waiting times.

Manage Your Mental Health Question Time May 19

A report on Mental Health Question Time is included in the mental health report above.



Alliance Leadership Team

The South Tyneside Alliance Leadership Team was established to enable South Tyneside Health and Wellbeing Board to develop integrated commissioning and to align health and care services to improve the health and wellbeing of local people across the whole life-course.

Health and Care Alliance Leadership Team talk to South Tyneside residents about what matters to them May 18

Urgent Care in South Tyneside

At the 4th September Local Engagement Board/Health Fayre the CCG spoke to attendees about urgent care in South Tyneside.  The feedback from members of the public was presented and discussed, along with information gathered at the CCG’s Patient Reference Group, at an Urgent Care Rapid Process and Improvement Workshop (RPIW) on 4 October 2018.

Urgent Care feedback

Urgent Care RPIW – Invitation

Urgent Care Workshop Agenda – 4th October 2018

The feedback was used to help create a plan for Urgent Care in South Tyneside:

Urgent Care Workshop 2018 – Update

Family Health Services in South Tyneside

As part of Transformational Commissioning, a short survey was developed with the purpose of gathering information relating to the provision of family health services. The survey also asked about having a ‘Family Hub’ situated in four localities within the borough and how this idea was perceived by the people who would use it.

Family Hub

Family Hub Survey

Shared Lives

The Shared Lives scheme provides long term placements, short breaks and emergency support to adults with learning disabilities.  Individual support is provided in an approved carers’ home so that the person can live in a family surrounding.

The Joint Commissioning team, working together with the Shared Lives team, were tasked with reviewing the Shared Lives concept and looking to see if there are any opportunities for development.

Shared Lives

Personalisation Champions

Three Champions with learning disabilities are part of the South Tyneside Learning Disabilities and/or Autism Strategic Alliance.  Their role is:

To raise awareness about personalisation in South Tyneside;
To find out whether people have choice and control over the services they use and the support they get;
To be champions around the work of transforming services in South Tyneside.

Full details of the Champions work can be found below:

Personalisation Champions

Choice Survey

In March 2019 patients attending outpatient appointments at South Tyneside Hospital will be asked about the choices they were offered for their first appointment:

Choice survey South Tyneside Hospital March 2019

Members of the public were invited to complete an online survey via twitter:

Choice survey online February 2019

A report summarising both surveys will be published here soon.

#Manage your Mental Health Campaign

Young Healthwatch South Tyneside are reviewing mental health services for Children and Young people in South Tyneside and want the views of young people about the types of services they use, their experiences and how things could be improved.  Further information and the link to the survey is in the following leaflet.

Young Healthwatch manage your mental health campaign