Author Archives: Matt Thompson

Boost for children and young people’s mental health services funding in Kirklees

CCGs in Kirklees are to receive additional funding to ensure that children and young people have access to emotional health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges.

Last year, Kirklees was identified as a ‘Trailblazer’ for a national mental health programme, which included funding to set up two Mental Health Support Teams working across 39 educational establishments in Kirklees.   These teams will be operational from this September.

The additional funding announced last week (12 July 2019) will support the setting up of two further support teams in our area and expand the number of schools and colleges that receive help.   It’s anticipated that this further provision will be available from spring 2020.

Carol McKenna, Chief Officer for Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs said: “I’m delighted that our bid for additional funding has been successful.     We have a very effective partnership approach in Kirklees that’s making a real difference to local services and to the lives of children, young people and families who rely on them.  This extra money provides a boost to our efforts”.

Cllr Carole Pattison, Kirklees Council Cabinet member for learning, aspiration and communities said; “Receiving support with mental health issues is essential to children and young people having the best start in life.

“Kirklees Council is a strong supporter of this work and we are pleased that schools and colleges will be able to access further specialist teams, giving vulnerable young people the extra help they need.”

Mental Health support teams are made up of specially trained expert practitioners who provide early intervention support to children and young people with mild to moderate mental health issues. They also help staff in identifying and supporting pupils with mental health needs.

Kirklees children and young people will also benefit from the Link Programme, a £9.3 million national scheme which will see every school, college and alternative provision receiving training designed to raise awareness of mental health concerns and improve referrals to specialist help when needed.

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GP surgeries in Kirklees rated as ‘Good’ in national survey

GP surgeries in Kirklees have received positive feedback in this year’s national GP Patient Survey.

The annual GP Patient Survey is an England-wide poll, providing data on patient experience for every GP practice in the country. It is carried out by market research company Ipsos Mori on behalf of NHS England.

Between January and March this year patients of GP practices in Kirklees were asked to rate the service they received in areas including making appointments, their views on the care they received, how their health conditions were managed, practice opening hours and health services available when surgeries are closed.

According to the survey, around 80% of people in Kirklees rated the overall experience of their GP practice as ‘good’, with the majority of patients saying they were satisfied with the experience of making an appointment and with the care they received at their last appointment. Over 80% reported receptionists were helpful.

There was a small increase in level of satisfaction with the type of appointment offered to patients in North Kirklees, while practices in Greater Huddersfield scored above the national average on this indicator and in relation to ease of getting through to the GP practice on the phone.

Kirklees practices also ranked at or above the national average in in relation to ease of use of the practice websites.  Patients’ awareness of and use of online GP services is higher than the national average across our area.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair at NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions health and care services for North Kirklees, said:

“It’s really important that patients have a positive experience of health and care services in our area, and the results of this survey suggest that we’re going in the right direction.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair at NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group added: “The majority of contact the average person has with the NHS comes through their local GP practice, so any visit to the GP needs to be as positive as possible.

“It’s really important to complete this survey if you receive one as your feedback will help us to make any improvements to services provided at GP practices.”

To read the full report and to see how your local practice performed, see the full report here

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CCGs rated ‘good’ by NHS England  

Greater Huddersfield CCG and North Kirklees CCG have been rated ‘Good’ by NHS England in their annual performance assessments.  This positive rating very much reflects the hard work, effort and progress made over the course of this year by the two organisations.

Each year NHS England measures the performance of CCGs and grades them according to four ‘Ofsted-style’ headline categories: Outstanding; Good; Requires Improvement and Inadequate.

In reflecting on this achievement, NHS England particularly noted the substantial progress to build capacity and capability within the Kirklees CCGs and the good progress that has been made in terms of financial recovery and sustainability.

Highlights from the annual assessments include:

  • the establishment of a single management team across the two CCGs, increased integrated governance arrangements, and the appointment of a turnaround director
  • the progress being made in relation to integrated working across Kirklees, the two acute hospital systems, and the wider West Yorkshire and Harrogate Care Partnership
  • effective leadership of the Transforming Care Partnership, reduction in learning disability inpatient beds, achievement of the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) adult 12- week pathway, and the opening of Crisis Cafés
  • the Quality for Health ‘kite mark’ scheme for the quality assurance of voluntary and community service organisation
  • the support provided to our local primary care networks.

Key achievements for Greater Huddersfield CCG include an improved financial position and good performance against NHS Constitution standards.  In addition, the CCG worked as part of the wider Calderdale and Huddersfield health system to secure £197 million of capital funding to support hospital reconfiguration.

Specific achievements for North Kirklees CCG include an improved financial position and the delivery of a planned deficit of £11m as well as  good performance against constitutional standards for cancer and diagnostics services.

Carol McKenna, Chief Officer for both CCGs, said: “The achievement of these ratings is in no small part due to the hard work and determination of our staff, Governing Body and GP members.  While our CCGs still face some challenges, we can be confident that we are delivering on a wide range of work and have a strong platform on which to build for the future”.

More details about our gradings can be found on the NHS England website

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First shared lay members appointed for local CCGs

NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and NHS North Kirklees CCG have welcomed their first Governing Body lay members in a shared role.

Beth Hewitt and Hilary Thompson have been appointed as members of the Governing Bodies of both CCGs in a move aimed at supporting increased closer working of the two organisations.

Beth Hewitt will hold responsibility for Patient and Public Involvement, replacing Priscilla McGuire and Fatima Khan-Shah whose term in office ended in May. Beth will provide strategic and impartial focus, bringing her knowledge of the area to ensure that the voice of local people is heard in all aspects of the CCGs work.

Hilary Thompson has been appointed as Lay Member with responsibility for Finance and Remuneration, a new role for the CCGs. Hilary will have a lead role in overseeing key elements of financial management and governance to support the continuous improvement of the CCGs finance and governance processes.

Both lay members live in Kirklees and between them bring a wealth of public, voluntary and private sector experience to their role.

Beth has specialised in community, public and business engagement in the private and public sector. For the last five years she has supported small and medium-sized businesses to become more innovative and digitally mature.

Hilary has previously held senior roles with Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees and Kirklees Council.  She is now involved part time with Age UK at a regional level and holds several voluntary roles within Kirklees particularly championing the third sector.

Carol McKenna, Chief Officer for Greater Huddersfield CCG and North Kirklees CCG said: “I’d like to welcome both Beth and Hilary to our Governing Bodies and also thank their predecessors for their valuable contributions to the work of the CCGs.

“Introducing shared lay members will support the increased closer working of our two organisations. We already have a single management team, and the Governing Bodies and majority of our committees are held in common with each other. They will help us to continue to work together with patients and partners to shape and drive the future of health and care in Kirklees.”

A recruitment process is currently underway to appoint a shared lay member with responsibility for audit and governance. The new members will be in post for three years.

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.

Beth Hewitt – Shared Lay Member for Public and Patient Involvement

Hilary Thompson – Shared Lay Member for Finance and Remuneration

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Signposting helps reduce GP waiting times

GP practices across Kirklees are using a new signposting system to make sure their patients get the right service, first time.

Trained staff are on hand in each practice to advise patients about the most appropriate service for them.  This could be an appointment with a GP, nurse or other member of staff.  Or they may be signposted to a pharmacist, dentist or optician.  Practice staff can also provide information on how to self-refer to a range of community-based services.

Signposting also reduces the number of patients seeing a GP with problems that could be dealt with by another service, which in turn can reduce waiting times for people who really need an appointment.  Support and training has been provided to staff to help develop this signposting system across Kirklees. This has included developing knowledge, introducing new IT systems and forming stronger partnerships with other service providers.  Those providing the signposting service are not trained to offer clinical advice or triage.

Albion Mount Medical Practice in Dewsbury is one of the many practices that has introduced this system.  Karen Goodfellow, Practice Manager said: “This new system helps the reception staff to signpost patients to the most appropriate service for their needs and, in a number of cases patients may not need a GP appointment – freeing up an appointment for someone who really does need to see a GP”.

Sue Johnson, HR and Patient Services Manager at Elmwood Family Doctors in Holmfirth said: “We’ve received a very positive response from our patients who have been able to access alternative services, more suitable for their needs, in the local community – often without having to book.”

With demand for primary care services increasing, all GP practices in England have been asked to look at how they can make better use of the wider healthcare workforce, free up GP time, and reduce waiting times for patients.










Photo caption: Sarah Haigh, part of the reception team at Albion Mount Medical Practice.

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We’re getting together with our neighbours to end social isolation

‘Looking out for our neighbours’, the campaign to combat loneliness and isolation across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, is proud to support The Jo Cox Foundation’s ‘Great Get Together’ taking place from 21 – 23 June.

Throughout June the campaign delivers one simple message ‘Get together with your neighbours’. Whether it’s simply saying hello, having a cup of tea or doing something for your neighbour, the Great Get Together is the perfect reason to connect with those in your neighbourhood.

Kim Leadbeater, sister of the late Jo Cox MP and Ambassador for The Jo Cox Foundation says:

“I feel passionately about creating well-connected communities where everyone is happy and healthy and has a sense of identity and belonging. It’s wonderful to know that some of the connections being made through the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign can be continued as part of The Great Get Together, which takes place on the weekend of Jo’s birthday in June. I believe if we all work together to prevent loneliness and its associated health risks, we can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of everyone.”

The ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign, commissioned by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership launched on the 15th of March and has inspired hundreds of people to engage in positive action and neighbourly activity across the whole area.

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

It’s ‘great to be getting together’ with the Jo Cox Foundation to share the message that tackling loneliness and preventing social isolation improves all of our lives. Many people feel lonely at some point in their lives, whether this is due to bereavement, divorce or other life changing events and without the support of family and friendships it can be very difficult to overcome. A simple act of kindness can make a huge difference to everyone’s day.  I’m delighted the campaign has reached so many people and long may this continue over the summer and beyond”.

Since the launch, over 350 organisations and community champions have signed up to back the campaign, promoting its message throughout their organisations and within their communities. The campaign has also received attention on social media, with the hashtag #OurNeighbours being used over 1000 times. In addition to over 35,000 helpful neighbour packs distributed, a further 600 people have downloaded a digital version of the pack from the campaign website.

Carol McKenna, Chief Officer for North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group says:

“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”.

To download your own helpful neighbour pack or find out more about the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign, visit: You can also search #OurNeighbours to see the positive difference the campaign is making across the area on social media.

Campaign background

‘Looking out for our neighbours’ is a social marketing campaign commissioned by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership. The campaign aims to prevent loneliness and its associated health issues by encouraging communities to look after each other. The campaign aims to inspire communities to engage in simple wellbeing activities that will positively impact on their neighbours. Find out more at:

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Healthy Hearts Survey

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts campaign needs your view on how we treat and prevent heart attacks and strokes across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Get involved by filling out a short survey at


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CANCELLED Governing Body Meeting – 12th June 2019

Notice that the Governing Body meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall on 12th June 2019 has been cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. The next meeting is 10th July 2019  from 10:30 until 13:30 at Briar Court Huddersfield and we look forward to seeing you then.

Please remember that the meeting is held in public and anyone is welcome to attend. Questions for the Governing Body can be submitted in advance

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Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends sessions are being held across Kirklees this week, in support of Dementia Awareness Week. The session lasts an hour, is open to all and could change the life of a person with Dementia.

The Dementia Friends sessions are run by volunteer Dementia Friends Champions (trained and supported by the Alzheimer’s Society) and provide more information about what dementia is and how it affects those who have it, and what you can do to help create dementia friendly communities. After the Dementia Friends Information Session, there is an opportunity to turn your deeper understanding of dementia into a practical action such as:

  • getting in touch with  someone you know who lives with dementia
  • volunteering for an organisation that helps those with dementia
  • campaigning for change
  • wearing a badge and telling 5 friends about Dementia Friends

The action doesn’t have to be time consuming and all actions make a difference.

If you’d like to know more, please visit and if you’d like to book a space, you can do so at or by calling 01924 504900.


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Spring Bank Holiday Information

NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging local people to check they have their essential medication and to choose the right health services over the May bank holiday (25th – 27th May).

Be prepared for common ailments by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home. Useful items to have handy include appropriate pain relief for adults and children, cough, colds and sore throat remedies and antihistamines.

For non-urgent, minor conditions, pharmacists are equipped to give advice on over the counter medications and treatments. A number of fully trained pharmacy teams will be available throughout the bank holiday weekend and should be your first point of call for any minor health condition. Most pharmacies (over 90%) now offer private consultation rooms for a confidential conversation, if required. Please check your local pharmacy website or the CCG at this link for specific opening times.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including the entire bank holiday weekend for more urgent health concerns. The service is now available online at, as well as by phone (dial 111) and should be accessed when your GP surgery is closed. You will receive a phone or online based assessment, and they will be able to refer you to the correct service as required.

People are urged to only go to their local A&E department or dial 999 for critical or life-threatening situations.

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