Author Archives: Helen Haythorne

Take 40 seconds of action to prevent a suicide

Health commissioners in Kirklees are calling on local people to take 40 seconds of action this World Mental Health Day.

Every year close to 800,000 people globally take their own life, about one person, every 40 seconds.

Suicide is the biggest killer of people under the age of 35 and the biggest killer of men under the age of 50, tearing families apart and leaving a devastating, lasting impact on many people’s lives.

NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and NHS North Kirklees CCG are supporting the World Health Organisation’s campaign encouraging people to start a 40 second conversation about how they are feeling.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “We know that many suicides are preventable. Starting a conversation with a family member, friend or colleague can make a huge difference to someone’s mental wellbeing. If you are worried about someone, or struggling yourself, please talk.”

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added: “You’re not expected to have answers, just listening can help. There are a number of organisations in Kirklees you can contact for support; if you’re looking for someone to talk to or a support group, Samaritans, Andys Man Club or Well-Bean Cafe. If you are struggling with low mood, stress or anxiety, contact the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. If you have any immediate concerns that you or someone you know is in need of urgent support you should always contact 999”.

Early this year the CCGs commissioned an out of hours ‘safe space’ crisis café in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, with voluntary and community sector providers. This is led by the mental health charity Touchstone. The Well-Bean cafe provides a safe space, one to one support and practical advice for people experiencing a mental health crisis as an alternative to going to hospital.

Around 40 members of staff to date, who work for the CCGs, have completed suicide prevention training, giving them the confidence to start a difficult conversation with loved ones, friends or colleagues.

Vicky Dutchburn, Head of Planning, Performance and Service Delivery for the CCGs said: “We think everyone should have some basic training on suicide awareness, just like CPR or first aid. We’re really pleased our workforce recognises that everyone can make a difference and so many have completed the training.”

People are being encouraged to share their advice for 40 seconds of action on World Mental Health Day, Thursday 10 October on social media using #40seconds and #WorldMentalHealthDay. 


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Dr David Kelly set to retire as CCG Chair

Dr David Kelly has announced his intention to retire from the role of chair of the governing body of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in April 2020.

David has chaired the Governing Body since NHS North Kirklees CCG was first established back in April 2013. During that time, he has been responsible for the clinical leadership of the CCG and has helped shape the future direction of health and social care in North Kirklees.  In particular, David played a key role in supporting significant changes to local hospital services and has been instrumental in improving GP services in North Kirklees.  He has also championed our successful public engagement approach and hosts our quarterly public events.

Dr Kelly said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as chair over the past few years but feel the time is now right both within the organisation and also from a personal perspective for a successor to now come forward.”

Carol McKenna, CCG Chief Officer said: “As one of the founding members of the CCG, David has made a huge contribution to its success.  This has been a very interesting and often challenging time for the NHS and throughout David has worked with us to deliver our ambitions of high quality care and sustainable local services.  I would like to thank him for his significant contribution and on behalf of all our staff and Governing Body, wish him well for the future.”

While David will be stepping down from his role with the CCG next year, he will continue to work as a GP at Brookroyd Surgery in Heckmondwike.

NHS North Kirklees CCG is currently in the process of recruiting to the role from amongst the GPs in the member practices and the CCG expects this process to conclude in November.


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August Bank Holiday 2019 – pharmacy opening

Pharmacy opening information for the August Bank Holiday can be found at the following link – August 2019.

Where to go for the right medical care

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Back to School Asthma campaign launched

The local NHS and Kirklees Council have launched a campaign to encourage parents and guardians of children with asthma to ensure their children keep using their asthma medication throughout the summer holidays – and all year round.

There is a peak in children going to hospital Accident and emergency departments for asthma in September each year.  This may be because some children experience fewer symptoms in the summer holidays and therefore stop taking their asthma medication regularly.  This causes anxiety for those involved, disruption to school attendance and increased pressure and cost to all parts of the NHS.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “There’s currently no cure for asthma, but there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms manageable so it doesn’t have a big impact on your life.”

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “With treatment, most people with asthma can live normal lives.  There are also some ways you can help keep your symptoms under control.”

Top tips for managing your child’s asthma include:

  • Making sure that they always use their preventer inhalers as explained by their doctor or asthma nurse, even if they have no symptoms. These inhalers are usually brown, orange, red or purple, and need to be taken every day.
  • Having a reliever (blue) inhaler and spacer, to leave at school or nursery. Take the inhaler home at the end of each term to check the expiry date and check how much is left. Remember to take it or a new one back at the start of next term.
  • Making sure your child has enough medicine in their inhaler to last through the holiday.
  • Taking your child to their GP surgery if their asthma is stopping them doing exercise, when playing sports or keeping them awake at night.
  • Ensuring that your child has an annual asthma review with their GP or practice nurse.
  • Making sure children with asthma have the flu jab and pneumonia jab when offered. This will protect them against serious illness. If you are unsure which injections your child should have, please speak to your GP or practice nurse.

Cllr Musarrat Khan, Cabinet member for Health and Social Care, Kirklees Council said: “We are committed to ensuring our children and young people enjoy the best health as we continue to work in partnership to promote, protect and improve the physical and mental health of our young people across Kirklees.”

If your child suffers from asthma you may have received a text message from your GP as a reminder for them to take their asthma medication as prescribed.  Look out for campaign posters and flyers located in local GP practices and pharmacies.

Further information and advice about asthma can also be found on the NHS website and on the Asthma UK website

Thanks to our colleagues at NHS Leeds CCG for permission to use the following films.


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Musculoskeletal and pain services are joining up

From 1 October 2019, Musculoskeletal (MSK) and pain services in North Kirklees will be joined up and provided by Connect Health.

This joint service will cover:

  • Orthopaedics (the area of medicine dealing with conditions affecting bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves)
  • MSK Rheumatology
  • MSK Physiotherapy
  • MSK Pain Management

This new model of care was developed based on evaluation of the current provision, feedback from patients, engagement with clinicians and the national NHS England MSK Mandated Framework.

A procurement process took place in 2018 to find a provider to for this service, the existing contract ending on 30 September 2019.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “This new combined service will ensure that local people receive the best personalised MSK and pain management services for  their needs, in a timely manner, receiving the right care in the right place at the right time – first time.”

The core service will be located in locations across North Kirklees. Patients who are already being treated for pain management will continue to be seen by the current provider, In Health Pain Management Solutions.

Sadie Booker, Service Manager for Connect Health said: “Connect Health is delighted to be working together with North Kirklees CCG to help deliver an exemplary service for the people of West Yorkshire. Our aim is to support the provision of musculoskeletal and persistent pain conditions providing increased choice of how and when patients access our services, bringing care into the community and closer to home.

We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to it benefitting both patients and clinicians.” 


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Long term plan engagement report welcomed

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) leaders have welcomed the publication of a Healthwatch public engagement report ‘What would you do?’.

In 2018, the government announced that the NHS’ budget would be increased by £20 billion a year. In January 2019, the NHS in England published a long term plan for spending this extra money, covering everything from making care better to investing more money in technology and helping more people stay well.

The Healthwatch report brings together over 1800 public responses to the NHS Long Term Plan from surveys and fifteen focus groups held in Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield –  which targeted many people including those with mental health conditions,  dementia as well as young persons, carers and faith groups.

The report highlights the importance of: ‘partners working together to make it easier and affordable for people to say fit and eat healthily,as well as ‘more pro-active support around weight loss’; and concerns around ‘better emergency support for people in mental health crisis’ – an area the Partnership is working hard to address.

The voice of carers taking part in the focus groups endorses the Partnership’s approach that: ‘carers need more support to keep them safe and healthy including regular health checks, respite care and flexible appointments to fit round caring responsibilities’.

The Partnership’s vision is for everyone to have the best health and wellbeing possible. Public conversations are essential to the way the Partnership’s work – engagement, particularly with the people delivering and receiving services, results in better outcomes.

Report findings build on the engagement work taking place locally as well as that supporting WY&H HCP’s priorities which include cancer, mental health, maternity services, and improving care for people with learning disabilities.

Comments received around quicker appointment times are an important part of the WY&H primary care and urgent and emergency care work. For example, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) had been awarded the contract for NHS 111 telephony, call handling and core clinical advice service in Yorkshire and the Humber. This will see an increase in clinical advice and direct booking; clinical validation for emergency department referrals and managing dental calls for children under five.

WY&H HCP recognise and value the significance of having peoples’ voices at the very heart of all they do and remain fully committed to actively listening whilst taking into consideration these views wherever possible.

Hannah Davies, Chief Executive of Leeds Healthwatch said:

‘Healthwatch are passionate about people’s voices being kept at the centre of health and care plans, and would therefore like to give big thanks to all the people that took park in this important work. We and our West Yorkshire, Craven and Harrogate Healthwatch colleagues will continue to work together and be the critical friend to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, especially as they embark on major plans over the next five years. There are some really clear messages that came out in the report around inequalities in services now, but also what people think the future NHS should look like, and we will continue to work to try to help improve the access to, quality of and experience of health and social care services for all in our region’.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP said:

‘I would like to thank Healthwatch colleagues on producing this important report, which has reached so many diverse groups of people. As a Partnership we have consistently developed our work based on the views of public and people, alongside evidence on population health. It’s interesting to note that people said they wanted to be: ‘listened to, trusted and taken seriously as experts of their own bodies’. This is central to the work we are doing on personalised health care and joined up services. Working alongside partners, stakeholders and the public in the planning, design and delivery of all our work is essential if we are to get this right’.

Other findings set out in the report included ‘better use of IT and electronic records’ and ‘to have all hospitals having the same computer systems or ones that talk to each other’. People also said they want the NHS to work: ‘towards stopping folk getting ill rather than curing illnesses’ – all areas being prioritised by WY&H HCP.

WY&H HCP will be using the findings from this eagerly awaited report, alongside other engagement work to develop their Five Year Plan, expected winter 2019. This Plan will build on the ‘Next steps to better health and care for everyone’ published in February 2018.

Whilst ensuring WY&H HCP work aligns fully to the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan; the WY&H Plan will include a stronger focus on supporting carers and preventing ill health. It will also set out WY&H HCP’s intention to support children and families more, whilst tackling health inequalities and improving the lives of the poorest, the fastest. It will also recognise the huge contribution community organisations and volunteers make; and the vital role of the 260,000 unpaid carers who care for family and friends day in day out and whose numbers are more than that of the paid workforce. The impact of housing, employment and household income on a person’s health are ever present in the Partnership’s approach. All areas mentioned in the Healthwatch engagement report.

The engagement findings are an important part of developing the Five Year Plan and will help identify further public involvement needed.

You can read the engagement report at


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Top tips to avoid the misery of hay fever

For those who suffer with hay fever, summer can be a miserable time.

Hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollens and the effects of hay fever can range from being quite mild, to having serious effects on your normal daily life. Common symptoms include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing and itchy, red, swollen, watery eyes.  If you have asthma, you might also have a tight feeling in your chest, be short of breath and wheeze and cough.

Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.

Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair, NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local GP said: “The best way to control hay fever is with antihistamines. Antihistamines are available from your pharmacy and if you’ve any questions remember your pharmacist can help you, particularly if you’re already taking medication.”

Antihistamines are medicines also used to relieve symptoms of allergies, such as hives, conjunctivitis and reactions to insect bites or stings.

Speak to your pharmacist if you have hay fever.  They can give advice and suggest the best treatments, like antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to help with itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and a blocked nose.

Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG and local GP said added: “There are some things you can try to help protect yourself including putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen, wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes and showering and changing your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash pollen off”.

You can be prepared for the effects of hay fever by listening to your local weather forecast, which will provide updates on the pollen forecast.  You can find out more on the Met Office website  Visit for more information about hay fever.

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New home oxygen service provider appointed

NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have awarded the contract for the Home Oxygen Assessment and Review Service for patients in the Kirklees area to Baywater Healthcare.

All clinical assessments for home oxygen therapy will now be carried out by Baywater Healthcare’s team of qualified respiratory nurses. This is a new service for Greater Huddersfield patients, while in North Kirklees the service was previously provided by The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. The service is now being delivered across both clinical commissioning group areas to provide a consistent and equitable service for patients across the borough.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “This new service will be a huge benefit to some of our most complex and needy patients. They will have regular and easy access to respiratory nurses who can help them manage their lung condition safely in their own homes where required.”

Patients will be provided with support and information regarding their treatment and recommendations for additional therapies appropriate for their health needs.  Clinics are held across Kirklees at The Grange Group Practice, Dewsbury Health Centre and there are satellite clinics at Kirkburton Health Centre, Meltham Group Practice and Cleckheaton Health Centre.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG added: “The service will provide all home oxygen users with regular assessments and reviews, delivered by a specialist nurse to help provide education around equipment, check patients are using the correct amount of oxygen and are not over or under using and also provide education to health care professionals around prescribing.”

Diane Gray, Chief Operating Officer, Baywater Healthcare: “Patients are at the heart of everything we do, and we will work with local GP practices and the Clinical Commissioning Groups to deliver quality health services. Our core purpose is ‘Enhancing Lives’ and we believe the way we deliver this service will do just that for the patients of Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees.”


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Campaign targets social isolation

Photo taken of some of the partners who are supporting the campaign at the launch in Kirklees.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership is launching a new campaign that aims to help prevent loneliness and social isolation in communities today.

The ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign encourages local people to do simple things to look out for one another to help improve the wellbeing of other residents in the area.

According to research from The Health Foundation (December 2018), social isolation can increase the risk of having a stroke by a third, and older people who live alone are 50% more likely to visit A&E than those who live with others.

Findings published in Age UK’s new report “All the lonely people: Loneliness amongst older people” (2018) show that the number of older people who are lonely is rising quickly. This could be a major public health concern because if loneliness is not addressed it can seriously affect people’s health and well-being.

The ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign hopes to inspire people to  reach out to those who live alone or might need help, and encourage them to do simple things for them that will make a real difference to their wellbeing. This could be anything from picking up some shopping, to saying “hello” or even something as simple as giving a wave next time they see their neighbours.

Carol McKenna, Chief Officer for NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Tackling loneliness is something we can all very easily take part in. It doesn’t need to be much – a simple hello, a smile or asking how someone is feeling can make a huge difference to a person’s life. I’m fully supportive of this campaign – it’s a great example of how the smallest of actions when done together can go a long way towards creating a real impact on those around us”.

Around 200 organisations have pledged their support to take part in the campaign from local dementia friendly cafes, to sports clubs (including Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Wakefield Trinity Rugby Club Community Trust), Harrogate Football Club and the Yorkshire Sports Foundations, to housing providers, the Piece Hall Trust, Andy’s Man Club, Macmillan Cancer Charity, hospitals, councils and mental health and wellbeing organisations – the list is endless.

Amanda Evans, Service Director for Adult Social Care Operations, Commissioning, Public Health and Adult Social Care, Kirklees Council said:

“I am so pleased that we are supporting the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign. The evidence is really clear about the benefits of reaching out to those who face loneliness and isolation, and also the positive impact on the wellbeing of those who give of their time and through acts of kindness. This is such a great opportunity to help and encourage the communities of Kirklees to look out for one another and stay connected, by just being a little more thoughtful.”

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“In August 2018, the Partnership allocated £1m to go toward supporting voluntary and community organisations.  Further funding from the Partnership’s Urgent and Emergency Programme Board will support the campaign. People of all ages can feel alone for a variety of reasons, for example following bereavement, a change in relationship or becoming unemployed. This important campaign is a helpful reminder that it’s often the smallest acts of kindness that make the biggest difference to a person’s life. As neighbours, we could all look out for each other a bit more and local organisations can also help bring people together in shared activities.”

The campaign starts on 15 March and will run across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. It’s been created with the help of over 100 residents across the region. 30,000 households across West Yorkshire and Harrogate will receive a hand-delivered ‘neighbour pack’ that will include a range of different resources to inspire and encourage residents to champion togetherness in their area and look out for those in need.

For those who don’t receive a hand-delivered pack, all resources are available to download from the campaign website,

Key to the success of the campaign will be local community organisations and groups working with and in their neighbourhoods.

Jo’s sister Kim Leadbeater, Ambassador for The Jo Cox Foundation, said: “I feel passionately about creating well-connected communities where everyone is happy and healthy and has a sense of identity and belonging, and it is heart-warming to see the work that Jo started on this important issue being continued in such a positive way in the county where we grew up. Much of my focus since Jo was killed has been on how we can build compassionate communities and bring people together. The national Great Get Together campaign which we run across the weekend of Jo’s birthday in June is the centre piece of this, and it would be wonderful to think that some of the connections which will be made through the ‘Looking out for your Neighbours’ initiative can be continued and we see lots of Great Get Togethers happening in June as a result! I believe if we all work together to prevent loneliness and its associated health risks, we can reduce the demand on health and care services and have a positive impact on the wellbeing of everyone, which is why I am delighted to support this campaign”.

Chris Pointon, Co-founder and Global Campaign Ambassador for the #hellomynameis initiative is also supporting the campaign. He added:  “A simple introduction can go a long way in starting a human connection and striking a conversation. We live in a very diverse society and it is everyone’s responsibility to look out for other people and be kind and considerate.”

To download your neighbour pack or to find out more about the campaign, visit:


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National No Smoking Day

Join others up and down the country and make today the day you decide to quit. Join millions of people who have used the NHS Smokefree online support to help them stops smoking.  You can choose from an app., email, SMS and/or face to face guidance at

Alternatively, you can find your local community support to stop smoking in Kirklees at:

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