A RECORD number of people attended the annual conference and AGM of an independent organisation championing health and social care across the county.

Around 200 members of the public, health professionals and representatives of voluntary and community organisations attended Healthwatch Northumberland’s conference.

The event was a chance to hear about the work of the organisation for users of health and social care services across the county, and also to hear from those running and commissioning services on current issues.

Guests heard about new developments in work around mental health services for young people and a review of the Ageing Well in Northumberland programme.

There was also information on the work of patient participation groups at GP surgeries in Northumberland and how to get involved.

Healthwatch Northumberland chairman, David Thompson, said “There was a real buzz about the day and we had some interesting and challenging questions.

“We based the content of the conference around the things people told us concerned them most – mental health and dementia, GP services and access to services. The themes of the event were around communicating, engaging, listening and changing, to help make services better for everyone.”