Monthly Archives: January 2020

STAR Awards

Do you know someone who has gone the extra mile to make a difference for others in South Tees? We want to celebrate them!

Healthwatch South Tees (operating name for Healthwatch Middlesbrough and Healthwatch Redcar and Cleveland) want to let you know about their STAR Awards.

We believe those who go the extra mile for others, within the health and social care field, across South Tees should be recognised and celebrated. Now they can be if they are nominated for a Healthwatch South Tees Award of Recognition.


  1. The local community voice is key to the work of Healthwatch and improving health and social care services. People often tell us about their positive experiences of services and groups on offer in the local area, and the difference these have made to their wellbeing.
  2. We believe those who make a positive difference should be recognised and so the Healthwatch South Tees Award of Recognition celebrates those who make a difference to the people they support and their communities as well as going that extra mile to help others.
  3. We hope the STAR Award also offers the opportunity to share good practice across South Tees.


Who can be nominated?


  1.  The STAR Award aims to recognise any member of the local community who has helped to make a difference in someone’s health and social care. Anyone across the South Tees locality can be nominated.
  2. An individual, team, department, organisation or service etc can be nominated whether they are a professional, volunteer, patient or member of the public.
  3. We want to be flexible in our approach to nominations but focussed on recognising those who have made a real difference to someone’s wellbeing and have gone above and beyond expectations to have a positive impact.
  4. Anyone can submit a nomination, based on their own experience, or someone they know.


We are taking nominations now and the closing date is 4 pm on Monday 2 March 2020. For further information, including examples of previous winners can be found here


HPV stigma must end says South Tees CCG

South Tees CCG is supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to tackle the myths and stigma around the common virus HPV and get the facts out. 

Across the UK, cervical screening is moving to testing for HPV first, it is a far more sensitive test but also means many more women will be told they have HPV. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is running its #SmearForSmear campaign during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20-26 January) to tackle the misconceptions about the virus. 

In the majority of cases, HPV infection goes away without doing the body any harm. Sometimes it causes cells to change which, if not treated, could develop into cervical cancer. Testing for HPV is a far more accurate test estimated to prevent almost 500 diagnoses of cervical cancer every year

South Tees CCG and the UK’s cervical cancer charity want as many people as possible to understand the importance of cervical screening and to feel informed and comfortable when they get their results.

New research conducted by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has found a third of women consider HPV a taboo topic and would not want anyone to know if they had it. A quarter haven’t heard of HPV and one in five would feel embarrassed if they were told they had the virus. Calls to the charity’s Helpline about HPV have already risen 50% over the past year. It is expecting this to significantly rise as more women are tested for HPV and is calling on health professionals to be prepared for increases in questions from patients and encouraging open conversation. 

Robert Music, Chief Executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust: “HPV can be confusing but it is nothing to be ashamed of. 80% of us will get at least one type of HPV in our lives and in most cases the immune system will get rid of the infection without it causing any harm. We need to get the facts out about HPV and get rid of harmful myths and stigma around this really common virus.”

For more information:


Cervical screening saves lives

The ‘Cervical screening saves lives’ campaign will launch across the North East on 15 January 2020 to encourage women to attend their cervical screening test.

Following a successful campaign in Middlesbrough, the ‘Cervical screening saves lives’ programme is launching across the North East with the support of the NHS, local authorities and Northern Cancer Alliance.  The launch will coincide with the national cervical cancer prevention week 20-26 January 2020, both of which aim to raise awareness among women aged 25-64 of the risks of cervical cancer and the importance of attending for cervical screening.

Research shows that cervical screening prevents at least 2,000 cervical cancer deaths each year in the UK. However, on average, one in four women are not attending their cervical screening test and uptake across the North East as a whole is significantly lower.

A number of GP practices across Teesside, Darlington, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby are also taking part in the Salons for Screening incentive scheme, offering discounts at local businesses for women who have taken their test. Visit to find out more about the Screen Stars reward card.

Sheron Robson, programme manager with Northern Cancer Alliance, said, “While some women will have made an informed choice to decline screening, research shows that for many, non-attendance is mainly due to a lack of knowledge of the risks of cervical cancer and understanding of the benefits of screening.

“We would encourage women to get on board with this exciting campaign and visit the website to see which businesses are offering fantastic rewards.”

Many local GP practices will also be signing up to become a ‘No Fear service’, offering a range of supportive measures, such as booking appointments online, back-to-back buddy appointments, requesting a female practitioner, and bringing a friend along for support.

NHS gambling addiction service expands as new clinic opens in Sunderland

The NHS Northern Gambling Service has opened a new clinic in the North East which will see and treat more of the thousands of people across the north of England suffering with gambling addiction.

The service’s new base at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland is now home to a Consultant Psychologist, Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Mental Health Nurse. Alongside the 11-strong team in Leeds they will provide care for those with severe addictions. They will also provide treatment and support to people with additional and complex mental health conditions as well as those who may present with more risk – such as a risk of suicide.

In England* around 265,000 adults (0.4% of the population) are classified as higher risk problem gamblers, with around 2.4million (3.6%) classified as being “at risk” from developing a serious gambling problem. However, fewer than three per cent of those affected currently receive treatment or support.

The NHS Northern Gambling Service, run by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT), launched in September 2019. It is the first NHS gambling service of its kind to launch outside London. A further base covering the North West of England will soon be launched in Manchester.

The North East clinic is part of commitments made in the NHS Long Term Plan. In June 2019, NHS England announced it would be commissioning a network of new gambling addiction services for adults and children across the country as part of these commitments, although the NHS Northern Gambling Service will only be treating adults initially.

People can get support through psychological therapies, addiction treatment programmes, mental health treatment, family therapy and peer support from those whose lives have already been adversely affected by gambling. The Service can also offer separate support to family members and carers of those affected by problem gambling.

How to seek help from the NHS Northern Gambling Service

The NHS Northern Gambling Service works closely with a range of people and organisations including GPs, local councils, NHS trusts, national and local charities, Citizens’ Advice, the criminal justice system, debt agencies, substance misuse services and homeless agencies.

One of our core values is that ‘any door is the right door’ which means people can be referred in via a number of routes no matter where they are or who they are receiving help from. People can also self-refer.

Contact the NHS Northern Gambling Service on 0300 300 1490, email: or visit their website to find out more.

A range of other options for people seeking help for gambling addiction can be found on the national NHS website at