GP staff have visited around 70 elderly care homes in Kirklees to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to those who want it.
Working together in groups, GP practices have provided the life-saving vaccine to residents and staff as part of the national roll-out, which is prioritising those most at risk from the virus.
Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair of Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “This is really fantastic news. We’ve been able to protect some of our most vulnerable residents and those who care for them from the virus.”
Dr Khalid Naeem, Chair of North Kirklees CCG said: “GP practices have been working in the evenings and at weekends to deliver vaccinations to care homes. I want to thank the primary care, CCG and local authority staff involved for the enormous effort they have made to get the vaccine out in such a short period of time.”
Paul Rowson, Manager of Ashworth Grange Care Home in Dewsbury said: “The past year has been a real challenge for everyone but we have always had faith that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and the availability of a vaccine has been our continued hope that we will return to normal.
“Dr Indira Kasibhatla and her team who came to complete the vaccinations were brilliant and the process was fast and efficient. We are just so relieved to know that our residents will be protected from this virus, as that has been the most important thing to us throughout.”
Ashworth Grange Care Home resident Ann Thompson (seated right) was amongst those to receive a first COVID-19 vaccination from her local primary care network. Ann is pictured with Dr Indira Kasibhatla of Albion Mount Medical Practice (front right) and care home manager Paul Rowson (standing second from left). Others pictured are Tracy Hiscoe, Deputy Manager; Sharon Troy, Care Manager.
Jessica Hibbins, Manager of Aden Lodge Care Home in Huddersfield said: ‘It was quite a nerve-racking yet exciting experience to be involved.
“Skelmanthorpe Family Doctors and Dearne Valley Health Centre were fantastic in communicating with us and administered the vaccine with great care and compassion. Our residents felt very safe and comfortable and are hoping this means they can hug their loved ones soon. This is a great step forward in the fight against COVID-19.”
Residents and care home staff have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. This should give good protection from coronavirus. They will need to have a second dose in 12 weeks’ time, for longer lasting protection.
The roll out of vaccines continues across Kirklees with three pharmacy centres and a large-scale site at the John Smith’s Stadium due to open. GP practices are also starting to deliver vaccinations to housebound patients in the highest risk groups.
Leader of Kirklees Council, Cllr Shabir Pandor, said: “It’s great news that some of our most vulnerable residents are getting a vaccination so quickly. My thanks and congratulations to everyone in the NHS and beyond for all their hard work in making this happen.
“Our council will do everything we can to support the vaccination programme to ensure everyone gets their jabs as quickly as possible.”
People living within 45 minutes of a large-scale centre may receive an invitation to attend for a vaccination. They will have the option to travel to one of these centres or wait for an appointment closer to home. Centres are currently open in Manchester and York with others including Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford planning to open soon.
Vaccines are being offered to those most at risk from the virus first, with more appointments being made available as supply increases. Kirklees residents should not contact their GP practice or NHS about the vaccination. Instead they should wait until they are invited.
Life-saving COVID-19 vaccinations will be delivered from three community pharmacies in Kirklees next week as the roll-out of the vaccine continues.
The pharmacies providing the vaccinations are: Boots in Huddersfield town centre; Honley Pharmacy (Medicare Chemists); and Knights Oakwood Pharmacy in Birstall.
Those who are eligible are being invited to arrange an appointment through the national booking service. Only people who have been invited to book an appointment will be able to get their vaccination at a local pharmacy.
Steve Brennan, lead for the Kirklees vaccination programme said, “The NHS vaccination programme is progressing really well across Kirklees and we’re working hard to vaccinate people quickly as supplies become available.
“Pharmacists are hugely experienced in vaccinating patients and we’re obviously delighted that we now have pharmacies supporting the vaccine roll-out in our area. This will help us deliver first vaccinations to people who are at the greatest risk from COVID-19 as quickly as possible.”
Pharmacists have excellent clinical skills and deliver the flu vaccine each winter. The pharmacy sites are safe with plenty of space to manage patients appropriately.
Vaccinations are also available at local centres provided by groups of GP practices and at a number of large-scale vaccination centres. Kirklees is set to get its own large-scale centre when the John Smith’s stadium opens.
People do not have to go to a large-scale centre or pharmacy for their vaccination. They can choose to wait to be contacted by their GP practice for an appointment if they prefer.
Please don’t contact your GP, pharmacy or NHS for a vaccination. The NHS will be in touch when it’s your turn.
Vaccination centres that were due to deliver vaccines today, Thursday 14 January 2021, are operating and delivering vaccines to patients who have an appointment.
As heavy snow continues to fall across our region we are advising those people who have booked a COVID-19 vaccination today only to travel if they feel safe and confident in doing so.
The majority of those booked for vaccinations will be over the age of 80 and their safety is very important to us. If people do not wish to travel or are unable to get to their appointment due to the weather, they are advised to cancel and rearrange for another time.
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At the start of this year Kirklees was selected as one of seven national accelerator areas for Urgent Community Response. A service aimed at providing support to our frail and elderly population quickly.
In this blog, Becca Spavin, Programme Lead has provides an update on the work so far.
As part of the NHS’ Long Term Plan to support England’s ageing population and those with complex needs, local health service and council teams have been asked to provide Urgent Community Response (UCR) for their frail population by 2024.
These Urgent Response teams will give those who need it fast access to a range of qualified professionals who can address both their health and social care needs and deliver:
A Kirklees Provider Alliance has come together to collaboratively deliver the Urgent Community Response pilot locally.
The Alliance is made up of Third Sector leaders, Locala, Local Care Direct, Kirklees Council, Primary Care Network Clinical Directors, Curo and My Health Huddersfield GP Federations, Kirkwood Hospice, SWYPFT, Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs, YAS, 111, Mid York Hospital Trust and Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust.
The alliance has jointly developed, consulted upon and have now mobilised a new Urgent Community Response service in Kirklees. The aim of this service is to provide a 0-2 hour response for patients diagnosed as severely frail (and moderately frail from YAS and Care Homes) in order to prevent avoidable admissions and readmissions by managing the patient at home with appropriate ongoing community support.
An Urgent Community Response Hub will provide clinical triage and either refer onto a face to face appointment or signposting to another service. This hub is being hosted by Local Care Direct.
Following this triage, if the service criteria is met and the triage process indicates that an urgent response is needed, then Kirklees residents will be able to access a response from a team of skilled professionals (provided by Locala and the GP Federations – Curo and MyHealthHuddersfield) within two hours, to provide the care they need to remain independent and avoid an admission to hospital.
Alongside this 0-2 hour response, a two day standard will also apply for teams to put in place tailored packages of intermediate care, or reablement services, for individuals in their own homes, with the aim of restoring independence and confidence after a hospital stay.
The service launched on Monday 2 November 2020 and the number of referrals received from primary care and Care homes continues to grow. The service is not yet fully mobilised – and both capacity and demand is fluctuating. Being a pilot means we will have the opportunity to tweak, test and learn as we go along – but it’s been a fantastic experience so far to work collaboratively with so many providers towards a shared aim for Kirklees.
There is still plenty to do to develop the service further – for example working with 111 and Yorkshire Ambulance Service around referrals into UCR. That said, it is important to recognise the efforts already made and successes to date.
Becca Spavin, Programme Lead
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The Governing Bodies of NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees CCGs have agreed to support the submission of an application to NHS England to dissolve the two organisations and create a single CCG for Kirklees.
The decision was taken today (25 November) at a meeting held in public.
Chief Officer Carol McKenna said, “Becoming one CCG is the next logical step for us and the best way to support the needs of our population into the future. Having the same boundary as Kirklees Council, will make it easier for us to work together to improve health and social care services for local people.”
As part of the process of bringing the two organisations together, the CCGs will undertake a public engagement exercise with feedback being used to inform and support the formation of the new organisation.
The CCGs have been working closely together for some years and share a Chief Officer and senior management team. Most staff work across both organisations and last year moved into shared headquarters in Huddersfield. The CCGs have a single commissioning strategy and hold their Governing Body and most committee meetings in the same place, at the same time.
The decision to create a single CCG for Kirklees was supported by the GP membership of both organisations.
The move will not result in any change to local health services or impact directly on patients, their families or carers.
The CCGs will make an application to NHS England to become a single organisation from 1 April 2021. A decision is expected before the end of 2020.
Local residents are taking part in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ mini-series.
Over twenty people from diverse backgrounds star in a series of online documentary style films from across Bradford district and Craven, Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Wakefield and Leeds.
They bring everything you’d look for in a reality show, including lots of fun and tips on how you can look out for your neighbours safely whilst spreading a bit of joy this winter.
‘Looking out for our neighbours’ is an award winning social movement that aims to prevent loneliness and its associated health risks throughout West Yorkshire and Harrogate. It succeeds by encouraging people to do simple things to help out their neighbours.
Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP said: “We are really pleased to be connecting a group of neighbours from across West Yorkshire and Harrogate and hearing them discuss a series of topics about life during the pandemic. We hope to show that physically distanced doesn’t mean we have to be socially apart – it’s the smallest of things that will help us through these difficult times and sharing the positives can really boost someone’s feelings of wellbeing and bring areas of positivity to our lives. We continue to work together with local communities and hundreds of VCSE organisations to support this important work”.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Partnership encouraged over 49,000 people to get involved by making a positive difference to their neighbours lives through acts of kindness a part of the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign.
As we enter one of the most challenging winters we have faced there has never been a better time to inspire neighbourly spirit and simple acts of kindness through social media, letters and texts. The campaign will also cover seasonal topics and hope and goodwill as we head into the festive period.
Matthew McLoughlin, from Huddersfield who has taken part in the series said: “Being part of ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ has been a joyous experience that has restored my faith in humanity. It was a coming together of the hearts of different communities which are all beating as one”.
Lisa Holmes, from Birstall who also took part said: “I felt a little bit out of my comfort zone doing something like this but really enjoyed the experience. I really learnt a lot listening to other people and how they are coping throughout the whole COVID-19 situation – some interesting views and some which I had not considered”.
The first episode launched this week and new episodes will be streamed every fortnight at https://ourneighbours.org.uk/ where you can also find links to local health and care support to help you.
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GP practices across Kirklees are encouraging patients to know their risk of developing type 2 diabetes this World Diabetes Day, 14 November 2020.
Every two minutes someone finds out they have type 2 diabetes, a potentially serious health condition that can cause long-term health problems. It can lead to sight loss, kidney failure, loss of limb, and makes people at least twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
GP practices are inviting patients, who have had a blood test in the last two years which shows that they are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, to join the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Eligible patients will receive a letter between now and January.
Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “There are around 20,000 people at risk of type 2 diabetes in Kirklees. The Healthier You programme can help you put your health back in your hands by supporting you to make changes to your diet, get more physically active and lose weight. Taking action now is really important to reduce your risk.”
Support from the NHS National Diabetes Prevention Programme is currently being provided through online group meetings, telephone calls and an app.
Dr Khalid Naeem, Chair North Kirklees CCG said: “Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, but certain factors can increase your risk. This includes being overweight, over 40 years of age and your family history. Younger people from a Black or Asian minority ethnic group also have a higher risk. We also know that the risk of COVID-19 related in-hospital deaths are doubled by type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is found in nearly one third of people who die with COVID-19. So it’s important now – more than ever – to know your risk and take action.”
People interested in knowing if they are at risk of developing the condition can complete the Diabetes UK risk online tool. It takes just a few minutes. Search ‘Know Your Risk’ online.
Jon Scott, Operations Manager – NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme from the local Healthier You programme said: “Research shows that by joining the programme, and making positive changes to lifestyles, people can greatly improve their health and wellbeing and reduce risk.”
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To celebrate Black History Month, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) is giving voice to its diverse workforce and raising the profile of people at all levels of the Partnership during October.
WY&H HCP is making strides to ensure it has a leadership that better reflects the population it services. This Black History Month it will give Black, Asian and minority ethnic [BAME] staff a platform to raise their profile. This includes celebrating the work of BAME staff through weekly blogs, podcasts, and social media take over days with contributors from across WY&H HCP.
Staff from the vibrant and active WY&H HCP BAME Network from diverse backgrounds will have an opportunity to contribute and actively get involved with the major developments the Partnership is working on. This includes supporting carers, improving mental health and addressing health inequalities. The latter is part of an independent BAME review supported by the Network, which will see a report launched at the end of the month. WY&H HCP has also recently launched a new BAME Fellowship Programme to recognise talent and ensure a more diverse leadership – one of its top 10 big ambitions.
In the UK Black History Month takes place in October, celebrating the history, achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK.
Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP said: “It’s time we realised that Black History is our history. By bringing diverse voices to our Partnership, we are making visible changes to the way on which we do our work, ways that celebrate and raise the profile of our BAME colleagues. This is one of our 10 big ambitions in the Five Year Plan to tackle health inequalities, including for BAME communities and staff. It is only right that we give voice to some of the most talented individuals in our organisations during Black History Month and every other month. We are proud of our diversity – both in our communities and our workforce. I look forward to reading the rich stories of our colleagues.”
Fatima Khan-Shah, WY&H HCP Programme Lead for Unpaid Carers and Personalised Care and BAME Network Member added: “This idea has been developed by members of our Partnership’s BAME staff network. It builds on the work already underway by the leadership group and network colleagues. It is all about giving an opportunity for people, regardless of their roles, to share their experiences with others. During Black History Month we want to highlight the diverse workforce that makes up our Partnership. As part of our commitment to diversify our leadership and raise the profile of our BAME colleagues, all our press releases will include a quote from a member of our Partnership’s BAME network alongside our senior leaders.“
Zubair Mayet, Engagement Manager for NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groupand member of WY&H HCP BAME Staff Network commented: “Black History Month is a significant event in the UK as it highlights the positive contributions made by Black and ethnically diverse communities to the UK. For many people from our diverse communities, this year has been emotionally challenging from the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities to international events such as the killing of George Floyd. I’m delighted that we will be using this month to shine a spotlight on our diverse colleagues”.
If you have concerns about a medical condition or need advice you should contact your GP practice as soon as possible. A delay in treatment can pose a risk to longer term health, so don’t put it off.
Appointments are available from 8am to 6.30pm on weekdays, in the evenings and at weekends
Frequently asked questions about using GP practices safely during the pandemic
How should I contact my GP practice?
Please contact your practice by phone or online through your GP practice’s website. Please do not attend your surgery unless you have an appointment.
You can use the NHS app to order repeat prescriptions to access your medical records. This can be done at any time of the day or night.
Can I have a face-to-face appointment with my GP?
When you contact your GP practice, your needs will be assessed and you will be offered an appointment that’s right for you.
Face-to-face appointments and home visits are still available for those who need them, although many people will continue to access GP services via phone or video.
Practices offer a range of services on a face-to-face, basis including phlebotomy (blood tests), immunisations and vaccinations, cervical screening and health checks.
GP practices are unable to carry out spirometry tests (lung test) and ear syringing as these are aerosol generating processes. These have been paused until we receive further guidance from NHS England.
Are face-to-face appointments safe?
All practices have procedures in place designed to reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.
GP practices are following national infection control guidance. Staff are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks.
Protective screens have been installed in many waiting areas and wherever possible social distancing guidelines are maintained.
Limiting the number of patients who are in the surgery at any one time also reduces the risk that the virus will be passed on.
If you need a face to face appointment please attend alone where possible and on time.
You will be asked to wear a face covering if you are able to, and use hand sanitiser when you enter the building. If you usually have the support of a carer at your appointments, they will be asked to do the same.
Please follow any additional instructions given to you by your GP practice about attending the surgery, such as waiting outside, or using a different door.
Why can’t I have a face-to-face appointment?
We understand that a telephone or online appointment may not be a patient’s first choice.
Coronavirus is still circulating in our community and limiting the number of people who visit GP surgeries helps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. It also ensures that our premises remain safe for those people who really do need to be seen face-to-face or who are unable to access online or telephone services.
Extra cleaning procedures and social distancing rules mean that practices have less room in reception or waiting areas to accommodate patients than before.
Can my carer attend my appointment with me? Face-to-face, on the phone or online?
Yes, if you usually have the support of a carer at your appointments they can still attend with you.
If you have a face-to-face appointment your carer will be asked to follow all the infection control measures in place at the surgery and wear a face covering.
Your carer can help you to complete an online consultation or can complete one on your behalf if they have been granted authorisation.
If you want your carer to join you for a face-to-face, online or telephone appointment please make your GP practice aware at the time of booking and they may give you some further instructions.
Are telephone/online appointments as good as face to face ones?
Telephone and online consultations are very effective, and have been available in many practices for some years. Some people find them more convenient than face-to-face consultations.
The GP or heath professional who speaks to you will have full access to your health records and be able to provide advice, prescribe medication or refer you for further tests or treatment. They will also be able to decide whether a face-to-face appointment would be beneficial.
What is the difference between online consultation and video consultation?
Online consultation is when your completes a secure online form about a health issue. Pictures can be added to this form if it is appropriate. You will get a text or email confirming what to do next. This may result in a telephone or video consultation. All GP practices have the software to offer patients online consultation. You can find out how to do this through your GP practice’s website.
A video consultation is when you are talking to a health professional over video. If you are asked to have a video consultation, your GP practice will give you instructions how to do this.
I have a video consultation. What should I do to prepare?
Do you have more information about how to contact my GP practice remotely?
This helpful video explains how you can contact your GP practice remotely, what you need, and what you can expect.
Why doesn’t my practice offer video consultations?
All GP practices in Kirklees can provide video consultations. If you have asked for video consultation and your practice says this isn’t possible please talk to the Practice Manager.
When will GP services get back to normal?
Coronavirus is still in our community and as a result, these new ways of working are likely to be in place for some time to come.
Over the longer term the use of new technologies such as video, online and telephone consultation will continue to have a place in primary care, alongside face-to-face appointments.
We are working with Healthwatch Kirklees to understand more about your experience of healthcare during the pandemic. This will help us to improve and develop services in the future.
What do you mean appointments are available 8am – 6.30pm, evenings and weekends? My surgery doesn’t open at this time.
A GP extended access service is available to all patients in Kirklees. These appointments are available early morning, evenings and weekends. This appointment may take place at a different surgeryto the one you usually go to, and with a different doctor or nurse than the one you usually see. If you are offered a face-to-face appointment by your GP practice they may offer you an extended access appointment.
Are you sure all practices are open? The surgery I go to is closed.
All GP practices in Kirklees are open. Some GP practices have more than one building where they see patients. We call these ‘branch sites.’
Branch sites are often small and we have agreed with two practices that they can close their building. This is because national infection control guidance cannot be followed and it would not be safe for staff or patients to keep the building open. This is reviewed regularly. Any changes to closed buildings will be updated on this page.
You can still call the telephone number or use online consultation to contact the team. The team who work at the branch site are working at the main surgery and if you need to attend the practice you will be asked to use the main surgery.
The branch sites that are currently closed are:
Bond Street Surgery. Branch site of Wellington House Surgery.
Chickenley Medical Centre. Branch site of Grove House Surgery.
I think I need a referral to another service. Is there any point in booking an appointment if other services are closed?
If you have any concerns about your health you must contact your GP practice. It doesn’t matter if this is for a new or existing health condition. The health professional you speak to will have the latest information on specialist referrals.
I have coronavirus symptoms can I have an appointment?
Yes. If you have an additional concern about your health please contact your GP practice. If you are asked to attend a face-to-face appointment this may be at a different GP practice to your own which has additional infection control measures in place so that they can treat patients with coronavirus symptoms.
If you have one of the coronavirus symptoms (new continuous cough, high temperature, loss of taste or smell) you must request a test as soon as possible and stay at home (self-isolate). You can request a test by visiting the NHS website or by calling 119.
If you live with anyone, or are in a support bubble, they should also stay at home. Get more information about how long to self-isolate.
Always check your pharmacy website or phone for details to confirm opening times, as these may change from the time of publishing.
Community pharmacy opening hours on Saturday 11 April will be the same as normal.
Pharmacists and their teams are an essential part of the NHS and need your help and support during the coronavirus pandemic. Please always treat staff with respect, they are doing their best to provide you with the medicines and advice you need.
Important information on prescriptions during the COVID-19 epidemic
Order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time. Over ordering of your medicines may mean someone else has to go without their medicines.
Order your usual prescription online or by an app. Do not go to your GP practice or pharmacy to order prescriptions and only phone them if you cannot order online or by an app. You can order repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available. You can find out about ordering medicines online at www.nhs.uk
If you have a prescription to collect:
If you are 70 or over, have a long-term health condition or are pregnant you should arrange collection by a relative or friend, or ask your pharmacy for help with delivery
Ask any relatives and friends who are delivering your medicines to make sure they have seen you pick up the bag
If your medicines are being delivered make sure you keep a safe distance when you receive them.
For everyone else, if you are going into a pharmacy in person, follow social distancing rules and the rules put in place by the pharmacy to protect you and their staff
Pharmacies may have altered opening times to manage their workload
Sales of some medicines may be restricted in quantity by pharmacies to ensure that there is enough for everyone.
Urgent dental treatment
All routine dental treatment has been stopped at the moment.
If you think you need urgent dental treatment, do not go to a dentist.