Author Archives: Aimee Haggas

Ambulance Trust awarded integrated urgent care contract

NHS Commissioners in Yorkshire and the Humber have today announced that Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has been awarded a contract to provide integrated urgent care services across the region for the next five years.

The contract, worth £17.6 million in 2019/20, has been developed in line with a new national service specification to provide the region’s population of 5.4 million with access, where appropriate, to clinical advice and treatment when they have an urgent healthcare need.  The contract incorporates the NHS 111 call handling service with core clinical advice and will feature a range of developments, including being able to issue prescriptions and increasing the number of bookings into GP and urgent care appointments.

Agencies across the Yorkshire and Humber region have worked together to commission NHS 111 telephony, a call handling service and core Clinical Advice Service (CAS). The contract award follows a nine-month long procurement process undertaken on behalf of the region’s twenty-one Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) along with NHS England North Region – Yorkshire and the Humber.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service currently provides the NHS 111 service across Yorkshire and the Humber. The Trust is now working with commissioners to implement the new service, which will start on 1 April 2019.

Martin Pursey, Head of Contracting and Procurement at NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG, which is the lead commissioning organisation for the service, said: “I have confidence that by working together with the ambulance service, we will be in a strong position to meet the ongoing and developing requirements in respect of integrated urgent care across our region and through this, ensure that more people receive care and support out of hospital”.

Rod Barnes, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Having provided the region’s high performing and well regarded NHS 111 service for the last six years, the opportunity for the Trust to transition to the new Integrated Urgent Care service is warmly welcomed.

“In line with our Trust’s strategic ambitions to ensure patients and communities experience fully joined-up care responsive to their needs and with excellent outcomes, we are excited to have the opportunity to develop our NHS 111 service to deliver integrated urgent car through collaboration with primary care colleagues, other providers and commissioners.”

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Will you be part of the GP survey?

More than two million people are being given an opportunity to tell the NHS about their experiences of using services at the GP practice they are registered with.  The GP Patient Survey invites a sample of people aged 16 and over from over 7,000 practices across England to take part.

The survey, which started this month, provides detailed information about the range of ways people interact with primary care staff and how good that experience is.

Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair of Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “The patient survey plays a key role in understanding what’s working and what needs to improve.  It is a key source of information for understanding the impact of recent changes introduced in primary care, such as extended opening hours and other initiatives, which were carried out in response to what patients said in previous years’ surveys.”

Patients who are randomly selected to take part will receive a letter over the next few weeks, along with a questionnaire.  They can complete it – by post or online – until the end of March and there is a range of options to make it more inclusive for people who need support to help them take part. Their information is handled securely and no-one is identified when the findings are published.

The questionnaire asks not just about the care provided by GPs, but also about seeing other healthcare professionals such as on-site pharmacists, mental health specialists and practice nurses.

Dr David Kelly, Chair of North Kirklees CCGs added: “The survey aims to find out more about people’s experiences of using online services, telephone services and face-to-face appointments.  It also looks at how much support people get with managing long-term conditions and medication.”

Patients who are not invited to take part in this year’s survey can still provide useful feedback to their GP practice teams by filling in a Friends and Family Test (FFT) form at their practice any time.  It is open to everyone, any time and every practice is involved.  More than 1.2 million pieces of feedback on NHS-funded services are given this way every month and they help to continuously improve and take the pulse of healthcare across England, with nine in 10 patients who give feedback rating their experience positively.

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We’re here for you longer

North Kirklees CCG is reminding patients that GPs are here for you longer this winter with appointments available in the evenings and weekends.

The availability of GP appointments outside of traditional working hours reduces pressure on both general practice and hospital emergency departments by providing patients with more choice, greater convenience and increased access to healthcare appointments, when they need them.

Pre-bookable and on the day appointments are available between 6.30pm – 9.30pm each weekday with slots also available on weekends; Saturday 9am-4pm and Sunday 9am -1pm at Dewsbury Health Centre.

All appointments can be booked through the patient’s own GP practice or when your GP practice is closed, by calling NHS 111 for urgent non-life-threatening medical help. Some local GPs also offer evening and weekend appointments at their surgery and patients will be offered the most appropriate service when calling.

Dr David Kelly, CCG Chair, said: “We all lead busy lives and this service is ideal for patients who work, or who find it hard to access appointments during the day. It’s particularly important that we look after ourselves this winter. If you feel unwell don’t wait until it gets worse, access the correct healthcare when you need it.  This could be booking an appointment to see a local GP so you can get well again sooner.”

Appointment are available every day over the Christmas and New Year period but times will vary between 24 – 28 December and 1 January 2019. Patients are advised to check the CCGs website for more information.

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Changes to Governing Body

NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has welcomed three new faces from GP practices to their Governing Body.

Dr Indira Kasibhatla, a GP at Albion Mount Medical Practice, Dewsbury and Julie Pieske, Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Mirfield Health Centre have both been appointed as practice representatives. Rachael Kilburn, a member of the Governing Body for six years stepped down from her role at the end of October.

Dr Oliver Hirst, has also been appointed as an Independent GP Advisor supporting the work of the primary care commissioning committee.

The Governing Body has re-appointed Dr David Kelly as Chair for a third term, following endorsement from member practices.

He said: “We thank Rachael for her valued input into the work of the CCG and wish her well for the future. We also welcome Indira, Julie and Oliver to their new roles with the CCG.”

Members of the Governing Body are responsible for ensuring that the CCG runs effectively, efficiently and economically, that decisions are made in an open and transparent way, and that the interests of patients and the public remain central to the goals of the organisation. The new members will be in post for three years.

The next public meeting in common for Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs is on Wednesday 14 November, 10.30am-1.30pm at Textile Centre, Huddersfield.

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Choose Self Care for Life: Choose to invest in your future self

Pharmacy staff hold self care poster

Staff at Well Pharmacy in Heckmondwike are supporting Self Care Week

Invest in your future self this Self Care Week (12 – 18 November) by making small changes that can make a big difference.

Local NHS organisations are encouraging people to choose Self Care for Life – to make improvements in their life to protect their physical health and mental wellbeing.

Follow these small steps to a healthier you:

  • Get active; advice is to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day, it’s ideal if you can incorporate this into your day by ditching the car and walking to work, or walking the dog, taking the stairs or even dancing around the kitchen table to your favourite songs!
  • Eat well. We all know that healthy eating is crucial to our health so we can start by swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy options such as nuts, seeds and fruit. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
  • Make positive changes! Take steps to stop those bad habits that don’t serve you well. This Self Care Week make a plan to stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake and get active! Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking.
  • Rest. A good’s night’s sleep is as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating healthily and exercising so, make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours a night!
  • Stop! These days we lead have such busy lives that we sometimes forget to slow down and stop. Find time in your day to just quieten your mind. Mindfulness or yoga might be helpful.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: ‘’It’s never too early or too late to begin to make small, simple changes that will enhance and protect your health now and, in the future, and often, one small change will make a big difference to your wellbeing.

“For instance, choosing to become more active will not only improve your physical health, it will also boost your mood, particularly if you choose to exercise outdoors in the fresh air.”

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG adds “Choosing self care for life is also about safely managing long term conditions and, understanding how to self-treat those common disturbances to normal good health, such as coughs, colds, sore throats etc. and taking advice from the pharmacist if you’re unsure of symptoms. Pharmacists can also help with lifestyle advice.”

During Self Care Week, and everyday choose Self Care for Life and make self care your life-long habit.

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