Author Archives: Aimee Haggas

Important information if you have flu or norovirus

As like many parts of England, there is currently a high prevalence of diarrhoea, vomiting and flu-like symptoms in our local community.

It is really important that if you, or someone you know, is suffering from symptoms that you help us, help you by taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and others.

Flu symptoms can come on very quickly and include a fever, exhaustion and an aching body. The best way to get better is to rest and sleep. Take paracetamol or ibroprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

More information about flu:

The norovirus, better known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. You may also have a temperature, aching body and headache. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about two days.

To help ease your symptoms drink plenty of fluids, such as water or soup to avoid dehydration. If you find you have a dry mouth, or your urine is dark in colour you could be dehydrated. Special rehydration drinks bought from a pharmacist can help. Take paracetamol to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains, and get plenty of rest. If you feel like eating, eat plain foods, such as rice, pasta and bread

More information about norovirus:

Both flu and the norovirus are very infectious and easily spread to other people.

To reduce the risk of spreading these:

  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap. A good hand washing technique lasts for two rounds of ‘Happy Birthday.’
  • Use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze.
  • Bin used tissues as quickly as possible.
  • If you have norovirus, you must stay off school or work, and not return until you have had no symptoms for two consecutive days.
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or care homes until you have no symptoms.
  • Do not share towels.
  • Wash clothes and bedding in a hot wash to kill viruses.
  • Flush away any poo or vomit in the toilet and clean the surrounding area with a bleach-based household cleaner.

When to get medical advice?

You don’t normally need to see a GP with either flu or the norovirus as there is no specific treatment for it. You can get further advice and over the counter medicine from your local community pharmacist. Visiting your GP with symptoms can put others at risk.

If your symptoms are developing and you feel worse, or you are concerned for young children you should call NHS 111 or go to

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Adult mental health workshop for service users and carers- Postponed until 2020

Unfortunately we have to postpone our workshop on Friday 15 November at Huddersfield Town Hall.

This is because during a General Election period specific restrictions are placed on the use of public resources and the activities that public bodies are involved with.

The workshop will be re-arranged for later in the New Year and we will share details once this is confirmed.  Information about the event will be available on the event page of our website:

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Four providers awarded Termination of Pregnancy contract for Kirklees

NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS North Kirklees CCG have announced a joint commissioning decision for the Termination of Pregnancy service.

Following a process using the Any Qualified Provider (AQP)* approach, four providers have been accredited and awarded a contract to provide the Termination of Pregnancy service for the population of Kirklees from 1 November 2019.

This ensures that there is an increase in choice for patients and that there is a consistent approach across Kirklees.

Helen Severns, Service Director for Integrated Commissioning for the two CCGs said: “Until now women have only been able to access the service with providers commissioned by their local CCG.

“Commissioning a service together, and through the AQP route, means patients now have greater choice and easier access to services across Kirklees, or out of the area if they wish, resulting in more timely assessments, follow ups and convenience for patients. All providers will work to the same service specification and quality standards.”

Three providers awarded the contract have already been providing the service in either Greater Huddersfield or North Kirklees; Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Marie Stopes and The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).

The fourth provider is National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service (NUPAS).

Under the new arrangements at the time of referral, health professionals will offer a woman the choice of providers that can meet her needs. Providers will also offer women sexual health advice, including contraception.


*Any provider who can demonstrate they are compliant and competent against the specified criteria in the tender documents are eligible to apply for an AQP contract.

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Speak up for patient safety

On world patient safety day (17 September), the CCGs in Kirklees are joining healthcare workers, policy makers and researchers across the world to speak up for patient safety.

We are part of a Learning Forum, hosted by NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG, for local hospitals, the ambulance service and providers of community and mental health services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to come together and share the learning from serious incidents which is likely to help other organisations prevent harm to patients, staff or the public.

In the last year the group has learnt how one hospital has reduced falls that cause harm by 62% through a number of quality methods including safety huddles and sharing learning through ward teams.

The group has also developed a patient and family support role for provider organisations to use when a serious incident occurs and methods to support health care workers through traumatic events.

Penny Woodhead, Chief Quality and Nursing Officer for Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCG said: “Patient safety is about maximising the things that go right and minimising the things that go wrong. We are committed to continuously improving patient safety. Learning from others, listening to patients and working together with our health and care partners is essential to delivering quality in healthcare.”

The Learning Forum has been running for four years and was highlighted by NHS Resolution, the organisation who share learning with the NHS to improve safety, as an example of good practice last year.

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CCGs welcome shared lay member

NHS North Kirklees CCG and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG have welcomed a new member to their Governing Bodies.

Martin Wright has been appointed as the shared Lay Member for Audit and Governance. He replaces David Longstaff whose term in office came to an end in July.

Martin is a qualified accountant and has worked for a number of NHS commissioning organisations across West Yorkshire over the last 29 years. Most recently, he was Chief Finance Officer for NHS Leeds North CCG before taking early retirement in March 2019. In his role as lay member Martin will act as the Conflict of Interest Guardian and Freedom to Speak Up Guardian for the organisations.

Martin Wright

Carol McKenna, Chief Officer for Greater Huddersfield CCG and North Kirklees CCG said: “I’d like to welcome Martin to our Governing Bodies. Martin brings with him a wealth of NHS knowledge and experience which will complement the expertise of our Governing Body members. We look forward to working with him.”

The appointment follows the recent announcement by the two CCGs of shared Patient and Public Involvement and Finance and Remuneration lay members. All three roles support increased closer working of the two organisations and are three year terms.

Members of the Governing Bodies are responsible for ensuring that the CCGs run 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 organisations.

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New provider of wheelchair services for Calderdale and Kirklees announced

Ross Care, specialist providers of wheelchair services and mobility equipment across the UK, will provide NHS posture and mobility (wheelchair) services across Kirklees and Calderdale from 1 October 2019.

This follows a procurement process by NHS Greater Huddersfield, NHS North Kirklees and  NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs): the NHS organisations in charge of planning and buying wheelchair services for Calderdale and Kirklees.

The CCGs are working closely with the current service provider, Opcare, to make sure the change goes smoothly, and that all patient records are carefully and confidentially handed over to Ross Care so they deliver a service that continues to support the independence of people using wheelchairs from October 2019.

Dr Farrukh Javid, Clinical lead for wheelchair services for Greater Huddersfield, North Kirklees and Calderdale CCGs said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in the process of appointing a new wheelchair service provider for Kirklees and Calderdale.

“The CCGs have worked in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, including the voluntary and community sector, to hear from and involve people who use wheelchair services, carers and families in Calderdale and Kirklees, over the course of this process.

“Their advice, views and suggestions on how we can improve this service to meet their needs, has helped us develop a new service specification, which Ross Care will deliver from 1 October and the CCGs are very keen for their ongoing involvement in the process to ensure our wheelchair service continually meets the expectations of service users and carers.

“My thanks also to Opcare for their support in working with the CCGs to reduce waiting lists and improve service provision over the past few years. Thanks to this hard work we will be in a position to launch a new service that will support people who use wheelchairs to maximise their independence.

“Finally, I’d like to thank all of the organisations that applied to provide the wheelchair service across Kirklees and Calderdale during the procurement process.”

James Parramore, Managing Director of Rosscare, said:

“Ross Care is delighted to have been given the opportunity to work in combination with the Commissioning Groups and community representatives to see the service go from strength to strength through continuing innovation to best meet local requirements.

“We believe that a partnership approach, alongside the experience Ross Care has developed in other areas, will help ensure an excellent service for all in Calderdale, Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees.


For more information about the work done with people who use wheelchair services to co-design the new service to launch from October 2019, visit our You Said, We Did page.

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Safeguarding nurse named Queen’s Nurse

A community nurse from Kirklees has been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse by community nursing charity The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) in recognition of her commitment to high standards of practice and patient-centred care, leadership and learning.

Christina Fairhead, Designated Nurse Safeguarding Children for Greater Huddersfield CCG and North Kirklees CCG has worked in the nursing profession for 41 years, with 29 years spent in community services.

Her community roles have included Practice Nurse, School Nurse, Health Visitor and Sure Start Health Manager. Over the last 14 years Christina has worked in various NHS child safeguarding roles in Leeds and Kirklees.

Christina said: “I love working in the community and in particular children’s services. I have always worked in areas of challenge. Safeguarding children is much more than child protection. It’s about helping to ensure children become the best they can be and, through leadership and guidance, promoting the health and welfare of children in all commissioning decisions.”

The Queen’s Nurse title is given to a limited number of registered nurses working in primary or community care each year. The title demonstrates the nurses’ commitment to quality care, advocacy for patients, families and carers, and to learning and development.  Recipients benefit from joining a network of nurses with access to sharing best practice and opportunities to influence policy.


woman holding certificate and badge

Christina Fairhead, Queen’s Nurse


Christina was presented with the honour at a special ceremony in London last week.

Christina said: “It’s a real privilege to be called a Queen’s Nurse. I feel incredibly proud to join a network of nurses of such high calibre. It’s something I never expected, and I am committed to sharing the benefits with colleagues so that we can continue to support children and their families to be the best they can be.”

Penny Woodhead, Chief Quality and Nursing Officer for the CCGs said: “Christina is an inspiration. She is passionate about ensuring children are at the centre of decisions and continually provides expert guidance and leadership in relation to safeguarding children.

“The process to become a Queen’s Nurse is quite challenging and we’re extremely proud that Christina has been selected.”

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive of the QNI added: “On behalf of the QNI I would like to congratulate Christina and welcome her as a Queen’s Nurse. Queen’s Nurses serve as leaders and role models in community nursing, delivering high quality health care across the country. The application and assessment process to become a Queen’s Nurse is rigorous and requires clear commitment to improving care for patients, their families and carers. We look forward to working with Christina and all other new Queen’s Nurses who have received the title this year.”

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Patients make a difference to their local GP practice

GP practices in Kirklees are joining practices throughout the country to promote Patient Participation Awareness Week (10-15 June).

This is a time to highlight the valuable role patients play in supporting their local GP practice through their patient participation group (PPG) and celebrate the work led by local volunteers that’s making a difference in primary care.

Working in partnership with GPs and their practice teams, PPGs act as a ‘critical friend’ to the practice and ensure the patients view is at the heart of local provision so that services are of high quality and can continuously improve. Groups also provide practical support in the surgery, helping to improve communication between the practice and patients, and encourage patients to take more responsibility for their health.

PPGs are made up of registered patients of the practice who have an interest in supporting local healthcare to improve for both patients and the practice. Each is unique, responding to local need. Some hold meetings for their members, while others run on a more “virtual” basis. All are volunteers.

The PPGs are involved and support their practices in a number of ways across Kirklees. At Calder View Surgery, members run regular walking and art groups. Parkview Surgery PPG hold monthly carers meetings with Carers Count. North Road Suite PPG has held internet training sessions to help patients access online services.

Members of Oaklands Health Centre PPG hold a dementia café every month for patients and carers. The PPG at Elmwood Family Doctors selected some of the decoration, music and information for display in waiting rooms during its refurbishment. At The Waterloo Practice, PPG members have demonstrated health apps and an A-Z of useful patient information is on display in the waiting room.

Two people sat at a desk with a computer. One people is looking at the computer and typing. The other person is looking at the camera and smiling.

Supporting online transformation: the PPG at Kirkburton Health Centre hold events to help patients get online.


Tony Clifton, Chair of the patient participation group at Oaklands Health Centre, Holmfirth said: “We support the practice in any way we can to help improve patient experience. Being part of a PPG you get to see and hear the challenges of the practice and find out what’s new, as well as listening to the ideas of other patients. It’s a good feeling when you see the impact our involvement is having on the practice and the patients.”

Clare Townend, Practice Manager at Calder View Surgery, Dewsbury said: “Our PPG is an integral part of our team, they make a huge difference to our practice, not only for patients but our practice staff too. They feedback concerns, challenge us when necessary and help us to communicate with our patients. I’d like to thank every member of the PPG who give their time to run activities, produce information and take time to tell us what’s working and how we can improve.”

Patients interested in joining their local PPG should speak to their practice manager.

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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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