Author Archives: Matt Thompson

Kirklees senior health leaders say thank you ahead of NHS anniversary

Senior health leaders from Greater Huddersfield CCG and North Kirklees CCG have thanked local health care workers as part of marking the 72nd anniversary of the NHS and social care.

COVID-19 has created a number of challenges for health and social care staff, including new demands and a need to adapt quickly to deliver services and maintain a high standard of patient care, whilst dealing with the effects of a global pandemic.

Within Kirklees, GP practices and CCG staff have dealt with unprecedented changes and challenging conditions with commitment, passion and patience. As part of the NHS anniversary this weekend senior leaders have put the focus on their efforts by thanking their colleagues directly for all their hard work.

Carol McKenna, Chief Officer, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and NHS North Kirklees CCG, said: “This weekend, I’ll be reflecting on the hard work undertaken by CCG and local practice staff for adapting to changes with amazing speed, whilst ensuring Kirklees residents can still access the services they need.”

Dr Khalid Naeem, Clinical Lead for NHS North Kirklees CCG said “CCG staff and local GP practices have gone above and beyond the usual call of duty, keeping calm, providing clarity to patients, putting others first before themselves.”

Dr Steve Ollerton, Clinical Lead for NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added “We do not underestimate the challenges everyone has faced and remain grateful for their passion and the commitment they are giving to the people of Kirklees as we continue to tackle COVID-19 together.”

Staff across both CCGs and practices will also take a moment this weekend to reflect on the help and support of keyworkers and local people who have adapted to changes in their lives to help protect the NHS and their communities.

The commitment, courage and sacrifice shown by so many will be recognised over the weekend nationally. Landmarks will be illuminated blue and the whole country is invited to join others in their street or neighbourhoods to say ‘thank you together’ on Sunday 5 July, the date the NHS was founded, for a collective round of applause.

Further information about how people can get involved with commemorating the NHS birthday is available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/nhsbirthday/.

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GP practices in Kirklees receive Pride award

More GP practices in Kirklees have received recognition for meeting the needs of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients this Pride Month.

Six practices across Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees have received an award from the LGBT Foundation’s Pride in Practice programme for making services more accessible for LGBT people in their communities.

This follows the news in February, when Blackburn Road Medical Centre was announced as the first practice in Kirklees to complete the programme, achieving gold.

GP practices took part through a pilot funded by the Government Equalities Office, co-ordinated by NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), delivered by LGBT Foundation.

The CCGs aim to commission health services that give protected groups equal access, experiences and outcomes.  Supporting GP practices to achieve the Pride in Practice award is one way they are doing this.

Pride in Practice works in partnership with practice staff to better meet the needs of their LGBT patients and empowers LGBT community members to work with health professionals to find shared solutions to barriers, ensuring patient voice and lived experience is at the centre of the programme.

The programme includes myth-busting training, support to deliver effective active signposting and social prescribing for LGBT communities.

Practices that have achieved an award have made changes across the whole patient journey including from what people see when they enter the building to the language that is used.

Penny Woodhead, Chief Quality and Nursing Officer, for the CCGs said:

“We’re really proud to see more practices in Kirklees complete the Pride in Practice programme. This shows their commitment to provide primary care services that are LGBT inclusive and understand the needs of our communities.

“Pride in Practice is important now more than ever as GP practices are making changes in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our practices have access to ongoing support and insight from the LGBT Foundation to help them to continue to provide inclusive healthcare.”

The Pride in Practice programme is endorsed and informed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of General Practitioners, Care Quality Commission, and the Government Equalities Office.

GP practices that have achieved the Pride in Practice award:

  • University Health Centre, Huddersfield- Gold
  • Blackburn Road Medical Centre, Birstall- Gold
  • Cleckheaton Group Practice- Gold
  • Elmwood Family Doctors, Holmfirth- Silver
  • Kirkburton Health Centre- Bronze
  • Windsor Medical Centre, Dewsbury- Bronze

Photo caption: The Team at Blackburn Road Medical Centre presented with their gold award. Image was taken in February, before the Coronavirus pandemic

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It’s Men’s Health Week

This year, Men’s Health Week (15 – 21 June) is focusing on the theme of  ‘Take Action on COVID-19’.

Led by the Men’s Health Forum, a national charity with a mission to improve the health of men and boys, Men’s Health Week will encourage men to take action to protect themselves and avoid spreading the virus as well as advising them how to get the best out of the lockdown and the ‘new normal’.

A recent report by Public Health England highlighting differences in the risk and outcomes from COVID19 identified the risk of dying among those diagnosed with the virus was higher in males than females.

You can find more about Men’s Health Week, the Men’s Health Forum and COVID-19 here.

Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important if you need to stay at home.  You’ll find useful resources, hints and links on the Every Mind Matters website.

Call our 24/7 mental health helpline on 0800 183 0558 for confidential help and support.

Andy’s Man Club  is a non-judgemental talking group for men

There’s more information about the signs and symptoms of coronavirus plus advice on what to do if you feel unwell on the NHS website.

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NHS North Kirklees and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) online event

NHS North Kirklees and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)  are holding an online engagement event on Wednesday 24 June at 12:00pm – 1:00pm.

We are holding the online event to give the public an opportunity to hear about the work that the CCGs have been doing, our priorities, challenges and plans for the future.

The event will be focusing on the CCGs response to Covid-19 in Primary Care. You’ll have the opportunity to hear about the impact on GP practices, the work that has been taking place, and hear Dr Steve Ollerton talk about how his role as a GP has changed.

The event will be held on Microsoft Teams Live Event and joining instructions will be sent nearer the time.

To receive the link to the event, please register here.

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24 hour mental health support available now

Facing an extended lockdown, unable to see friends and family, job uncertainty; many of us are finding times tough.

Statistically one in four of us will be affected by a mental health issue at some point in our lifetime and current uncertainty, pressures and concerns are exasperating this for many.

But help is at hand. A free helpline has been launched during Mental Health Awareness week, offering support to adults experiencing emotional distress

0800 183 0558

Offering confidential help and support 24 hours a day, the helpline will provide a listening ear, emotional support and guidance to adults with new or existing mental health conditions. It will also provide information, advice and support to carers.

The service is available now for anyone registered with a GP in Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield and Barnsley.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Greater Huddersfield, North Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield and Barnsley have worked together to commission the telephone helpline, investing almost half a million pounds into the new mental health helpline for local residents. The new service, awarded to NCHA Care & Support, will complement mental health services already available in the local area.

Vicky Dutchburn, Head of Strategic Planning, Performance and Delivery at NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “We are committed to supporting our local residents maintain a healthy mind by putting in place direct access to support which is available 365 days a year. The service was identified as a priority area by the NHS in the Mental Health Forward View, but comes at a time when more people are experiencing stress and anxiety due to the Coronavirus.”

Tracey Ward, Contracts Manager for Personalised Support and Assistive Technology, NCHA Care and Support:  “We are living in troubling times and know this is having an impact on many people’s mental health. More than ever people are going to need support and guidance to get the help they need. We are delighted to have been appointed by Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group to offer this new 24 hour helpline, to support anyone seeking support for their mental health needs and their carers.”

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New care record system in Wakefield and North Kirklees set to streamline care

The Yorkshire and Humber Shared Care Record is being rolled out across Wakefield and North Kirklees with the aim of improving care for people who use NHS and social care services.

There are hundreds of clinical computer systems across Wakefield and North Kirklees. They all hold clinical information about patients who have used services provided by their GP, in a community healthcare setting, by mental health teams, at a local hospital or through social services. Each record may hold slightly different information. The Yorkshire and Humber Shared Care Record will bring together certain important information from all of these systems so that medical and care information held about a patient can be accessed through one easy-to-use system.

Initially, the sharing of clinical data will be enabled from GP practices in Wakefield and North Kirklees to The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

All of your records will still be strictly confidential. They will only be looked at by staff who are directly involved in your care.

The Yorkshire and Humber Shared Care Record will support people working in health and social care services to provide you with better and more joined-up care. It will make care safer because everyone involved in treating you will have access to the most up-to-date and accurate information about the medicines you are taking and any allergies that you have, for example. It will also help to avoid unnecessary or duplicate tests and procedures, and reduce paperwork for doctors, nurses and other staff, giving them more time to spend on patient care.

Dr Khalid Naeem, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “The Yorkshire and Humber Shared Care Record will save significant time and provide access to the right information to deliver the best care to our patients.  During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this is more important than ever.”

Paul Curley, Chief Clinical Information Officer, The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “As doctors, nurses and health care professionals, one of our best resources in ensuring swift and accurate diagnosis and treatment is comprehensive information about a patient’s health and medical history. The Yorkshire and Humber Care Record ensures that key information is available to those who need it, reducing the risk of errors due to unavailable information. We are also working to make this information available to patients on their computers or smartphones. The current pandemic acts as a timely reminder of the importance of knowing key medical details about patients, in order to swiftly identify vulnerable patients and advise shielding.”

You can choose not to have a Yorkshire and Humber Shared Care Record. It is your choice but sharing your medical and social care information through the Yorkshire and Humber Shared Care Record will make it easier to provide the best quality care and support for you.  If you have concerns, please speak to a member of staff at your GP practice.  If you choose not to have a Yorkshire and Humber Shared Care Record, please notify your GP practice.

For more information visit the Yorkshire and Humber Care Record website at https://yhcr.org/.  A number of partners, including The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust are involved in the Yorkshire and Humber Care Record.

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Kirklees Cares, we’re here for you this bank holiday

In preparation for the May bank holiday, we’ve put together details on how services are working differently and how to access them before and during the long weekend. If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you. If you feel unwell and don’t know what to do, follow the steps below.

Everyone should stay at home in line with government guidance this May bank holiday.

If you, or someone you live, with has coronavirus symptoms (high temperature and / or a new continuous cough):

  • Stay at home. If your symptoms worsen or you feel that you cannot manage at home, please refer to the NHS111 online coronavirus service. Only call 111 if you can’t get online or you’ve been instructed to.
  • Please do not go to your GP practice or community pharmacy.

 

If you, or people you live with, don’t have coronavirus symptoms and you think you need advice from a GP practice or pharmacy for a health concern:

  • GP practices in Kirklees are open on Friday 8 May.
  • If you think you need to talk to your GP practice, contact your GP practice online or by phone to be assessed.
  • If your practice is not open for any reason you will be directed to another nearby service.
  • If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, you’ll be advised on this.

Find out more about how GP practices are working in Kirklees.


Community pharmacy services over the bank holiday

  • Many community pharmacies will be open for a minimum of three hours on Bank Holiday Friday (8 May), with some pharmacies being open for longer.
  • Always check the NHS website or your pharmacy’s own website for details.
  • Community pharmacy opening hours on Saturday 9 May 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.

Dental Services

If you think you need urgent dental treatment:

  • call your dentist
  • if you cannot contact your dentist, or you do not have one, use the NHS 111 online service
  • If a clinical appointment is necessary, this will be arranged at an urgent dental care centre.

 

Find out more on how to get medical help from home

 

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New investment to boost mental health services in Kirklees

NHS Commissioners in Greater Huddersfield, North Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield, Leeds and Barnsley have invested almost half a million pounds into a new mental health helpline for local residents.

The contract worth £490,000 to provide a 24 hour, 7 day a week mental health helpline has been awarded to NCHA Care and Support. It has been developed in line with national guidance. The new service will complement mental health services already available in the local area.

The six CCGs have worked together to commission the telephone helpline which will support people experiencing emotional distress. Trained telephone advisors will be able to signpost and refer people into local services for further help. Evidence shows by providing access to mental health support 24/7 provides an alternative to attending A&E.

The telephone helpline will be available to anyone registered with a GP practice in the six areas. People do not have to have used mental health services before. Carers, or those concerned about a loved one or friend, will also be able to telephone for advice.

1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health problem in their lifetime.

Vicky Dutchburn, Head of Strategic Planning, Performance and Delivery at Greater Huddersfield CCG, which is the lead commissioning organisation for the service said: “We are committed to supporting our local residents maintain a healthy mind by putting in place direct access to support which is available 365 days a year. The service was identified as a priority area by the NHS in the Mental Health Forward View, but comes at a time when more people are experiencing stress and anxiety due to the Coronavirus.”

Tracey Ward, Contracts Manager Personalised Support and Assistive Technology, NCHA Care and Support said:  “We are living in troubling times and know this is having an impact on many people’s mental health. More than ever people are going to need support and guidance to get the help they need. We are delighted to have been appointed by Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group to offer this new 24 hour helpline, to support anyone seeking support for their mental health needs and their carers.”

NCHA Care and Support is now working with commissioners to implement the new service, which will start this month.

In addition, support for health and social care staff and volunteers in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield has also been put in place. All healthcare workers, those working in care homes, providing home care (domiciliary care) and the thousands of volunteers who have registered to support their local health and care services respond to COVID-19 can access the support for 12 months.

Health Assured has been awarded a contract by Greater Huddersfield CCG to provide support for up to 15,000 individuals through the Employee Assistance Programme starting from this month. A 24/7 helpline offers structured counselling sessions, legal information, management support, help with financial issues and family and relationship matters. People can also access information through an app.

The support is in addition to wellbeing offers already in place at workplaces and resources put in place by the NHS nationally.

Vicky Dutchburn added: “It’s important we look after the people who look after others. We recognise working through the Coronavirus pandemic can be challenging and emotional. Staff and volunteers are balancing additional demands of work and family life during this time. This support has been put in place to help staff and volunteers stay healthy and protect their emotional wellbeing.”

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Help us help you: GP practices remind local people to get care when they need it

GP practices in Kirklees are reminding patients to get in touch if they need medical help.

The plea comes in response to new findings that four in ten people are too concerned about being a burden on the NHS to seek help from their GP.

Although they are working differently, GP practices are still open. Patients should contact their practice by telephone or online via the surgery website if they have any concerns about their health. They should not go to the surgery unless they have a confirmed appointment.

Dr Steve Ollerton, GP and Chair of Greater Huddersfield CCG said; “We’re still here to help. If you have concerns about a medical condition or need advice you should contact your local GP practice as soon as possible.  A delay in treatment can pose a risk to longer term health, so please don’t put it off.”

Many GP appointments are now being delivered by phone or video, but face-to-face appointments and home visits are still available for those who need them. Some people may be offered an appointment at a different GP surgery to the one they would normally attend.

Dr David Kelly, GP and Chair of North Kirklees CCG said; “There’s no need to avoid contacting your GP surgery. The covid-19 crisis means we’re working in a different way and using telephone or video consultations where possible, but we are still very much here for you.”

People are being urged to contact their GP practices, particularly if they have concerns about an existing condition, or have any cancer symptoms – such as a lump in their breast, changes in bowel habits, blood in their pee or poo, unexplained weight loss, moles that appear to change or a cough lasting for three weeks or more.

Parents are also reminded of the importance of booking routine immunisations appointments for their children.  These are still being delivered to help protect children against a range of potentially serious infections.

All our GP practices will be open on the early May bank holiday – Friday 8 May.  If you need medical help on Saturday or Sunday, call your own surgery or NHS 111 for details of the GP out-of-hours service.

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GP practices in Kirklees respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

GP Practices in Kirklees are responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19) by following national advice from NHS England and the Government.

Practices are providing a ‘total triage system.’ This means patients will receive a consultation either on the telephone or by video link with a clinician. The clinician will then decide if the patient needs a home visit or if the patient needs to come to the surgery, or an alternative nearby practice. A face to face appointment will be made if necessary.

It is important that patients do not walk into their GP practice, whether that’s to make an appointment, hand in a prescription request or to ask about any other enquiries. All patients are asked to call their surgery first.

David Kelly, Clinical Chair of North Kirklees CCG and local GP in Heckmondwike said: “We understand this may not be a patient’s first choice of receiving a GP or practice nurse appointment. Telephone and online consultations are very effective, and have been running in most practices for a number of years.”

Dr Steve Ollerton, Clinical Chair of Greater Huddersfield CCG and local GP in Skelmanthorpe added: “These steps have been put in place to ensure we can continue to deliver primary care services, and make sure we are protecting our primary care workforce and patients who are asked to attend the practice. This does not mean that practices are closing or locking their doors.”

Patients are reminded to follow the latest NHS advice which is always available at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

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