Author Archives: Helen Haythorne

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, ourneighbours.org.uk.

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: ourneighbours.org.uk

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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 www.nhs.uk/smokefree

Alternatively, you can find your local community support to stop smoking in Kirklees at: www.kirklees.gov.uk/smokingcessation

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Women in Kirklees urged to have their smear test

During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (21 to 27 January) NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) want as many people as possible to know how they can reduce their risk of the disease and urge all young women to attend their cervical smear test when invited – it could save lives.

Cervical cancer can be prevented and there are steps that women can take to reduce their risk of the disease and look after their health:

This means:

  • Attending cervical screening when invited
  • Knowing the symptoms of cervical cancer and seeking medical advice if experiencing any
  • Taking up the HPV vaccination if aged 11-18
  • Knowing where to find support and further information

Every year in the UK, around 3,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.  Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix (the entrance to the womb from the vagina). It mainly affects sexually active women aged between 30 and 45.

For some people the thought of going for a cervical smear test can be embarrassing, often people think it’s painful, or it can seem a scary or daunting prospect for other reasons. However, the test takes five minutes, it’s painless, and you really can’t put a price on taking the right steps early on to protect your health.

Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and local GP said: “It is crucial that you attend your cervical screening appointment. One of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer is not going for a cervical screening test. So our message is clear – don’t ignore the invitation letter!”

Cllr Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member – Health and Social Care, Kirklees Council added: “We all lead busy lives and it’s easy to put aside a letter to sort out later, and then forget about it. I would urge all women who are due a test to make an appointment and attend, don’t let anything put you off, as this test could save your life.”

The NHS offers a cervical screening programme to all women from the age of 25.  You should be sent a letter confirming when your screening appointment is due. Contact your GP practice if you think you may be overdue for a screening appointment.

Robert Music, Chief Executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “Cervical screening provides the best protection against cervical cancer yet sadly attendance is at an all-time low. Going for a test can be difficult for some women and we want to ensure every woman knows where they can find support and information to enable them to book a test if they want to. No question or concern is too big or too weird and your nurse is there to make your test as comfortable as possible.”

Cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer; it’s a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix (the entrance to the womb).  Nationally, Between 90 and 94% of all screening results come back normal, with no abnormalities found.

The symptoms of cervical cancer aren’t always obvious, and it may not cause any symptoms at all until it’s reached an advanced stage. This is why it’s very important that women attend all of their cervical screening appointments.

If you do have symptoms, the most common is abnormal vaginal bleeding, which can occur during or after sex, in between periods, or new bleeding after you have been through the menopause.  Abnormal bleeding doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer, but you should see your GP as soon as possible to get it checked out.

Other symptoms include unusual vaginal discharge, discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse and lower back pain.

If your GP thinks you might have cervical cancer, you should be referred to see a specialist within 2 weeks.

Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “We want to increase the understanding about cervical screening and how vital it is for women to have regular smear tests because these tests really can save lives.  Smear tests are quick and painless. This simple test can highlight women who need early treatment and can, therefore, prevent unnecessary deaths.”

To find out more about Cervical Cancer Prevention Week visit the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website www.jostrust.org.uk. For more information about cervical cancer and the NHS Cervical Screening Programme visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cervical-cancer/

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Clinical Commissioning Group is a mental health trailblazer

NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCGs are among 25 trailblazer sites that will see the development of new mental health support teams for children and young people.  The teams will build on support already in place from school counsellors, nurses, educational psychologists and the voluntary sector to treat those with mild to moderate mental health issues in school and will help children and young people with more severe needs to access the right support and provide a link to specialist NHS services.

Full details were released today and you can find out more here.

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Top health tips for over Christmas and the New Year

The local NHS in Kirklees is reminding people of some tips to help them stay well over the Christmas and New Year period.

If you have a repeat prescription, please check that you have enough to last over the days that your GP practice is closed. That way you don’t risk getting ill if you run out or have to take up an out-of-hours GP’s time to issue another prescription.  Remember that you can now renew your prescriptions without having to telephone or visit the practice. You can order your medication at a time to suit you via your computer, smartphone or tablet when you register for GP online services.  Ask your GP practice for further details.

The cold weather sees a rise across Kirklees in health problems such as coughs, colds and flu.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Many of us will get a cold over the winter as the virus spreads very easily. Colds are spread by germs from coughs and sneezes which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

Cold symptoms are usually at their worst during the first two to three days, this is when you are likely to spread the virus. A cough in particular can last for two or three weeks.”

Cllr Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member, Health and Social Care, Kirklees Council said:  “There are some easy things you can do to help prevent you getting a cold.

“These include washing your hands regularly, not sharing towels and household items like cups with someone who has a cold and avoid touching your eyes or nose in case you have come into contact with the virus.

“The catch it, bin it, kill it method will make a huge difference in the fight against the spread of common colds and the more serious flu virus:

  • CATCH IT – Always carry tissues and use them to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • BIN IT – Dispose of used tissues as soon as possible
  • KILL IT – Clean your hands with soap and warm water as soon as you can and make sure you wash them frequently.

“Following these steps will also help prevent the spread of flu, which is much more serious.”

An easy way to also prevent the spread of flu is to also get the flu vaccination. People aged over 65 years, children aged from two years and up to school year five, pregnant women, anyone who is the main carer for another person or who is in receipt of carer’s allowance and those with long-term health conditions such as diabetes and asthma are eligible for a free flu jab this year.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said “GPs don’t recommend antibiotics for colds because they won’t relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

Colds are self-limiting illnesses which means that given enough time you will recover without needing to receive medical treatment.”

Should you develop a cold (or even flu), there are a few ways you can help yourself feel better more quickly, including making sure you:

  • Rest and sleep
  • Keep warm
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

A pharmacist can also provide treatment, advice and recommend flu and cold remedies.

Bank holiday pharmacy opening information, and winter health advice, can be found at the following links: 

For more advice visit https://www.nhs.uk/staywell

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Joined up Yorkshire and Humber

The NHS and local councils in Yorkshire and Humber want to find out your views about what sort of information should be used to improve the healthcare and services you receive and to help make Yorkshire and Humber a better place for everybody.  Please answer this short survey about how your information should be used.​

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Keep Antibiotics Working

Local NHS organisations are supporting the national campaign from Public Health England – “Keep Antibiotics Working”.  This campaign warns that taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Antibiotics are being used for everyday viral infections, such as colds or flu, where they are not effective.  Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.”

As antibiotic resistance increases, common procedures such as caesarean sections and hip replacements could become life-threatening without antibiotics to ward off infections. Cancer patients are also much more vulnerable if antibiotics don’t work; both cancer and the treatment (chemotherapy) reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infections and antibiotics are critical to both prevent and treat infections in these patients.

Dr Steve Ollerton local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “To help prevent antibiotic resistance, antibiotics should only be taken as prescribed and never saved for later, use or shared with others.  It’s important that, when it comes to antibiotics, you always take your doctor, nurse or healthcare professional’s advice.”

Don’t forget, community pharmacies are a good place to start for advice and treatment for minor health conditions such as coughs, colds and aches and pains and you won’t need an appointment to speak to the pharmacist.

For further information on antibiotic resistance visit www.nhs.uk/antibiotics 

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Better access to evening and weekend GP appointments

In North Kirklees there’s now even better access for people to be able to visit a GP after work and on weekends under the GP extended access scheme that was launched in August.

Appointments are available between 6.30pm and 9.30pm each weekday with additional slots available on Saturdays between 9am and 4pm and Sundays between 9am and 1pm. The service offers pre-bookable appointments which can be booked through the patient’s own GP practice or by calling NHS 111.

Having these additional appointments available enables patients to visit a GP at a time that is convenient for them which fits better with their work and other commitments and also reduces pressure on both general practice and hospital emergency departments.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair or NHS North Kirklees CCG said:

“We all lead busy lives and this service benefits patients as it improves access and ensures that people can get the right care at a time that suits them, especially for those with work or other day-time commitments.”

Dr Stuart Lawson, Chair of Curo Health Ltd said:

“The service provides better access to care for patients when their practices are closed.

Patients benefit from direct and easy access to clinicians who will have access to their clinical records, can assess their condition and advise them about the best course of action needed to assist with their health or medical problem.”

Evening and weekend appointments are available for any patient registered with a GP in North Kirklees, as part of this scheme.  The appointments take place in Dewsbury Health Centre.

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West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership shortlisted for national award for support to carers

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership has been shortlisted for a prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) award in the System Led Support for Carers category. 

A Partnership formed from the NHS, councils, independent care providers, Healthwatch and hundreds of carer and community organisations; the Partnership is working together across Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield to further support 260,000 unpaid carers, including young people who care for parents and siblings.

Fatima Shah-Khan, Partnership lead for unpaid carers said: We want West Yorkshire and Harrogate to be a place where carers are identified, valued and supported so that all carers no matter how old or where they live receive the same level of care and attention. We have a great opportunity to work together and raise the profile of the care delivered by unpaid carers. We’re delighted to have been short listed for this award especially as we are at the start of our work and there is still much to do”.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for the Partnership said: “There are 260,000 carers across our area, many of whom struggle to cope with managing their caring responsibilities alongside work and /or other caring responsibilities. We have some great work going on in each of our local places. The value of the integrated care system is that we can share the good work, spread the learning and get improved services adopted everywhere. This will mean better support for all carers across our area, developed with carers and based on what works. It’s good news that our Partnership has been shortlisted for this award and more importantly carers are getting the recognition they rightly deserve”.

The value of the contribution delivered by carers across West Yorkshire and Harrogate is approx. £4.5 billion per year. For example this would mean the cost of care provided by one carer in Wakefield to the state would be approximately £19,000 per year. The Partnership’s programme of work includes identifying hidden carers – those who don’t see themselves as such – and improving support across the whole health care system whilst sharing the great work happening in local places.

Category winners will be announced on the 21 November 2018 in London.

You can find out more about the Partnership’s work to support carers at www.wyhpartnership.co.uk

ENDS.

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