Practice News

doctor holding stethoscope
26th May

Newcastle Medical School looking to recruit volunteers

Newcastle Medical School are looking for volunteers to create a version of their own health record on Patients Know Best (PKB) to share and interact with medical students.

PKB is used with education institutions right across the UK to allow future healthcare professionals to learn the tools of digital healthcare.
Students will be able to see information that you input to your record - for example a diagnosis or record of your symptoms - and can interact with you via messages as well as with questionnaires and care plans which provide an action plan for managing your condition.

This will allow students to practice consultation skills remotely and get a longitudinal view of your health and wellbeing, even if they are unable to see you face-to-face.

Previous patient volunteers have mentioned that they enjoyed communicating with students through the platform over longer periods of time – outside of usual interactions with students in GP surgeries or Hospitals. Volunteers have noted that students ask innovative and thought-provoking questions when communicating online.

What is Patients Know Best (PKB)?

PKB is a digital NHS-approved platform that allows service users and health care professionals to access their health and care records anywhere, anytime. It provides a patient-controlled record which means patients can see who has access to their information, and they can choose who they wish to share this with.

PKB is not yet widely used by health care teams in North-East England but is commonly used in other parts of the country. In these areas, patients can communicate directly with their health and care teams, access a library of tailored resources and see test results with advice and explanations about what they mean.

The Education version of the platform is separate to the main PKB platform so your data will not be shared outside of the Medical School.

Next steps
If you are interested in volunteering, please email for more information.

Patient wearing hearing aid
25th May

Give your thoughts on adult hearing services

Do you use Adult Hearing Services? Give NHS Tees Valley CCG your thoughts


NHS Tees Valley CCG is currently reviewing non-complex, age-related adult hearing services across the Tees Valley. These services are provided for people usually aged 55+ who have a non-complex hearing need that can be met by a service often delivered in their community. They offer comprehensive support following a referral from their GP, such as a Hearing Needs Assessment, fitting of hearing aids, follow-up assessments and more.

These services are commissioned using an 'Any Qualified Provider' model, meaning there are multiple options for patients as to where they receive their care. Across the Tees Valley, there are six providers:


County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT)
Minor Ops
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust (NTHFT)
Outside Clinic (domiciliary care only)
In order to ensure that these services meet the needs of local people, NHS Tees Valley CCG is capturing the views and experiences of patients regarding their referral, making an appointment, treatment and follow-up care. If you have used Adult Hearing Services in the Tees Valley, please consider completing an online survey by clicking here. This survey is anonymous and will help to highlight what is working well within these services, as well as what could be improved.

In addition, focus groups are also being planned with partner organisations across the Tees Valley, where participants will have an opportunity to provide their thoughts and feedback on Adult Hearing Services in greater detail. If you would like to take part in a focus group, please get in touch with the relevant organisation for your Local Authority area:


Darlington - Healthwatch Darlington:
Phone: 01325 380145