Author Archives: Matt Thompson

New Suicide Bereavement Service

A new service to support people bereaved or affected by suicide goes live on Monday (2 December) across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. The service is a response to the fact that people bereaved by suicide are more likely to suffer from severe depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, or even adopt suicidal behaviours themselves.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Suicide Bereavement Service will provide support through one to one peer support, peer support groups and advocacy.

The new service, an extension of the Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service, is central to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s plan to improve bereavement support, while it works to reduce the numbers of suicides too.

Support on offer, which will enhance suicide bereavement support services across the region, will include practical advice and signposting to other much needed services, for example counselling or financial advice.

A number of workshops are running throughout December and are open to all, irrespective of a coroner’s conclusion. People will be able to self-refer to the service or be referred by other people such as funeral directors, police, coroners, or NHS staff across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

Additional support will also be available to staff affected by suicide in the course of their duties; for example health, social care or emergency service staff. Help will also be available to people who have been bereaved historically yet feel they may benefit from peer led support.

Yorkshire and Humber has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership is driving a collaborative approach to reduce suicide and improve services. It is working towards reducing suicide by 10% across the region and by 75% in targeted areas.

Referrals can be made by visiting or by calling 0113 305 5800. Practitioners will be based in Bradford, Harrogate, Huddersfield and Leeds but meeting locations will be flexible. Support groups will begin in December at the following locations:

  • Kirklees group: Thursday, 5 December, 6pm-7.30pm at Support to Recovery – S2R CREATE SPACE, Brook Street, Huddersfield, HD1 1EB
  • Bradford group: Friday, 6 December, 6pm-8pm at Mind in Bradford – KenBurgh House, 28 Manor Row, Bradford BD1 4QU
  • Calderdale group: Wednesday, 18 December, 6-8pm at Halifax Fire Station, Skircoat Moor Road, King Cross, Halifax, HX1 3JF
  • Craven group: Wednesday, 18 December, 6-8pm at Settle Victoria Hall, Kirkgate, Settle, BD24 9DZ
  • Harrogate group: Monday, 9 December, 6pm-8pm at Mind in Harrogate – Acorn Centre, 101A Station Parade, Harrogate HG1 1HB
  • Wakefield group: Wednesday, 11 December, 6-8pm at Lightwaves Leisure Centre, Lower York St, Wakefield WF1 3LJ


People bereaved by Suicide in Leeds are able to access the linked Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service, funded by Leeds City Council. Referrals can be made by visiting or by calling 0113 305 5803. Leeds drop in group is first Tuesday of every month, Civic Hall in Leeds City Centre, 6-8pm.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘As someone personally affected by suicide, I understand the impact it can have on individuals, families and other people too. This service will provide essential help to those facing one of the hardest issues to face. This is something that I hope becomes less needed as we reduce suicides through our other work to help more people’.



West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership focuses on the health and care needs of local people across Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. The partnership is made up of a number of organisations who work together to help 2.7 million people in the area including the NHS, councils, Healthwatch, voluntary and community organisations. You can find out more at

You can read our Suicide Prevention Strategy and the Annual Report here.

Comments Off on New Suicide Bereavement Service

Filed under News

Think Self Care for Life

Local NHS organisations are encouraging people to ‘Think Self Care for Life’ this self-care week by making small changes that can make a big difference to physical and mental wellbeing.

Follow these small steps to a healthier you:

  • Get active. Exercise for at least twenty minutes a day, it’s ideal if you can incorporate this into your day. Ditch the car, walk to work, take the stairs or even dance around the kitchen table to your favourite songs!
  • Eat well. Swap unhealthy snacks for healthier options such as nuts, seeds and fruit. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
  • Make positive changes! Take steps to stop those bad habits that don’t serve you well. This Self Care Week make a plan to stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake or get active! Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking.
  • A good’s night’s sleep is as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating healthily and exercising so, make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours a night!
  • Stop! Busy lives mean we sometimes forget to slow down and stop.  Find time in your day to just quieten your mind. Mindfulness or yoga might be helpful.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: ‘’It’s never too early, or too late, to think about protecting your health. Often, one small change will make a big difference to your wellbeing.

“For instance, choosing to become more active will not only improve your physical health, it will also boost your mood, particularly if you choose to exercise outdoors in the fresh air.”

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG adds: “Thinking self-care for life is also about safely managing long term conditions and, understanding how to self-treat common conditions, such as coughs, colds and sore throats. Pharmacists can offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses as well as lifestyle advice.”

During Self Care Week, and everyday choose Self Care for Life and make self-care your life-long habit.

Comments Off on Think Self Care for Life

Filed under News

Join the fight against antibiotic resistance

NHS organisations in Kirklees are encouraging local people to join them in tackling antibiotic resistance by following the advice of their doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees CCGs are supporting the national campaign from Public Health England – “Keep Antibiotics Working”.  The 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: “Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant, meaning antibiotics may not work when you really need them. Taking antibiotics for everyday viral infections, such as colds or flu, are not effective. Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis.”

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, or shared with others.  It’s important that, when it comes to antibiotics, you always take your doctor, nurse or pharmacist’s advice.”

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 don’t need an appointment to speak to the pharmacist.

For further information on antibiotic resistance visit

Comments Off on Join the fight against antibiotic resistance

Filed under News

We’re moving …

NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees CCGs are moving to new, shared premises in Huddersfield town centre at the end of the month.

The CCGs have been working closely together for some years and share a Chief Officer and senior management team.   Moving to a single HQ is the next logical step. The relocation will deliver financial savings in the region of £100,000 across both organisations.

Around 190 staff will be moving from existing bases in Empire House, Dewsbury and Broad Lea House Huddersfield, when leases on existing premises come to an end. Some staff will be based in Kirklees Council offices to support more integrated working between local health and social care organisations.

We remain committed to working closely with the local communities we serve and will continue to hold our Governing Body meetings and public engagement events at venues across Kirklees.  Staff will also be able to work from a number of ‘hubs’ across the area.

The move will be completed during week commencing 9 December 2019.

Our new address is:

2nd Floor
Norwich Union House
Market Street

Further information and contact details will be published on our website in due course.

Comments Off on We’re moving …

Filed under News

‘Every Mind Matters’ Campaign Launch

We don’t need to wait until we are struggling with our mental health; there are lots of things we can do to protect ourselves and prevent problems escalating, just as we do with our physical health.

The new Every Mind Matters campaign encourages adults to be more aware of their mental health and helps them to discover simple steps to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

Every Mind Matters offers a range of useful resources that help spot the signs of common mental health concerns, provides practical self-care tips and guidance and, importantly, explains when to seek further support.

It also has a free NHS-approved online tool on the Every Mind Matters website, which helps people build an action plan to deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, improve their sleep and help them feel more in control.

To learn more about how to look after your mental health and create your own action plan, click the Every Mind Matters link below/ visit:

Comments Off on ‘Every Mind Matters’ Campaign Launch

Filed under News

‘Healthy Hearts’ project sees early improvement in blood pressure

A West Yorkshire project designed to reduce the number of strokes and heart attacks across the region has resulted in nearly 1,000 more patients having their blood pressure controlled.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s Healthy Hearts project aims to reduce the number of people affected by heart disease across West Yorkshire and Harrogate by 10% by 2021, resulting in 1,100 fewer incidents such as heart attacks and strokes.

High blood pressure is common, affecting at least one quarter of adults in the UK. It often has no symptoms, but when found, is one of the most preventable causes of early death.  According to studies, lowering blood pressure can reduce the risk of major cardiovascular disease events such as coronary heart disease, and heart failure.

Dr Youssef Beaini, Clinical Lead for the project said: “We have been working with local GPs to help identify patients with undiagnosed high blood pressure and improve their treatment. We are really encouraged by the early result we are seeing and that is all down to the hard work of GPs and nurses on the front line.

“If you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body. This means that you may be at risk of a heart attack or a stroke. You may also be at risk of damage to the blood vessels in your kidneys or eyes. The higher your blood pressure is, the greater your risk becomes.

“We know we have a long way to go and estimate that there are over 40,000 patients across the region, that we still need to tackle. If we do, we believe that we can prevent around 700 heart attacks and strokes across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, saving the NHS approximately £8m.”

Dr Steve Ollerton, Healthy Hearts Clinical Lead for NHS Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs added: “If you don’t already know your blood pressure, it’s worth getting checked out.  Many community pharmacists offer free blood pressure checks or you can visit your GP surgery. High blood pressure can be controlled and there are lots of things that we can all do to reduce the risks that lead to heart attacks and strokes. It’s never too late to make changes to your lifestyle and start looking after your heart.”

For more information about how you can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke visit

Comments Off on ‘Healthy Hearts’ project sees early improvement in blood pressure

Filed under News

Wheelchair Drop-In Session

NHS North Kirklees CCG is pleased to share details of the first drop-in session for wheelchair service users being held by the new provider for Calderdale and Kirklees: Ross Care, in partnership with Blatchford.

Carers, professionals and other stakeholders are also welcome at the session, which is being held so that you can meet the new people behind the service from Ross Care & Blatchford and raise questions about what this new provider means for you, your family and, carers.

The event takes place on 15 October 2019, from 12:00pm-6:00pm at:

Wheelchair Service Centre Unit G7, Navigation Close
Lowfields Business Park

Google map embed code:

No prior registration is needed so please come and visit the new team.


Service update

The contract with Opcare Limited to provide the Posture & Mobility (Wheelchairs) Service in Calderdale and Kirklees will end on Monday 30th September 2019.

Following a formal procurement process, a new contract has been agreed with Ross Care in partnership with Blatchford. This begins on Tuesday 1st October 2019.

Because of the move from one provider (Opcare Limited) to another (Ross Care & Blatchford), waiting times may be longer than we would like whilst the new service provider gets up and running, and they work with service users currently in the service. We’re sorry about this and assure everyone that the CCGs and Ross Care & Blatchford will do all that we can to reduce waiting times as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Ross Care will prioritise urgent cases or cases where there is potential for patient harm should there be a delay

Ross Care and the CCGs are, and will continue, to work closely together to establish the service, monitor performance and provide opportunities for service users, carers, families and other key stakeholders to be involved in shaping the new service.


Key points

  • We are currently in a period of transition, and there may be some disruptions between the old and new services.
  • Equipment repairs and urgent requests for equipment will be provided for by Opcare, as usual, until 30th September 2019.
  • All new, non-urgent referrals for assessment will be handed over to Ross Care.
  • Some service users who have been assessed recently by Opcare may experience a short delay as their equipment will be ordered and delivered by Ross Care after 1st October.
  • Any current complaints people have made to Opcare will continue to be dealt with by Opcare from Tuesday 1st October 2019.
  • The service will continue to operate from the same premises at Lowfields Business Park, Elland.
  • Ross Care will take over the existing telephone number from Opcare. This means that people will continue to use the same number for urgent and non-urgent enquiries.

We’re listening

If anyone has concerns or complaints, we usually recommend that people go to the provider first, as this can result in a quicker response and resolution of any technical or medical aspects of the concern or complaint.

Until 1 October 2019, questions or complaints about the current service should be directed to Opcare:

If you are not satisfied with any complaint responses received from Opcare you can escalate your concerns to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. You can find out how to do this at:

If you would like to provide feedback about your experiences to the CCGs please do so using the contact details on the  NHS Calderdale CCGNHS Greater Huddersfield CCG or NHS North Kirklees CCG web sites.

Comments Off on Wheelchair Drop-In Session

Filed under News

Public Engagement Event Information

You are invited to the NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCGs) public engagement event to be held on Thursday 17th October 2019 from 2.00pm – 4.00pm at Brian Jackson House, 2 New North Parade, Huddersfield HD1 5JP

The CCGs hold regular events to give the public an opportunity to hear about the work that the CCGs have been doing, our priorities and plans for the future.

This event will be focusing on the wide range of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) that are available in Kirklees. It will be an opportunity to hear from the providers of CAMHS services such as South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust and Northorpe Hall. As well as hearing from the providers of the services, you will be able to take part in discussions, share your views and ask questions.

To attend the event, please book your place here as seating will be limited.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Comments Off on Public Engagement Event Information

Filed under News

Do you know your numbers?

NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging local residents to get their blood pressure checked as part of Know Your Numbers! Week – the UK’s biggest free blood pressure testing event held at ‘Pressure Stations’ around the country from 9th to the 15th of September 2019.

This comes as charity, Blood Pressure UK cautions that ignoring health warnings, particularly about poor diet and excess salt intake, is leading more young people to develop hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) – putting them at risk of having an early stroke, especially when they don’t know their blood pressure numbers.

With unhealthy lifestyles and poor diet contributing to more young people in their 30s, 40s and 50s being diagnosed with hypertension, around 1 in 3 people in the UK are now living with high blood pressure (the single biggest cause of death) – with 6.5 million[1] people still remaining undiagnosed.

Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are eating too much salt, not enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not enough exercise.

Blood pressure testing is also available in a variety of settings such as:

  • at a pharmacy
  • as part of your NHS Health Check
  • at your GP surgery by a GP, practice nurse, healthcare assistant or self-service machine
  • in some workplaces
  • at some health events
  • at home – you can buy a variety of low-cost monitors so you can test your blood pressure at home or while you’re out and about. It’s important to make sure you use equipment that has been properly tested. The British Hypertension Society (BHS) has information about validated blood pressure monitors that are available to buy.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “High blood pressure is one of the most preventable and treatable conditions but if untreated, increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. As an individual, having your blood pressure checked is the most important step that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.”

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added:  “It’s important that people have their blood pressure checked and if it is high, speak to a healthcare professional to make the necessary lifestyle changes to help manage it.  All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years.”

Katharine Jenner, CEO of Blood Pressure UK comments:

“Diseases caused by high blood pressure (such as stroke, vascular dementia, coronary heart disease and chronic kidney disease) cost the NHS over £2.1bn ever year, yet over 80% of premature cardiovascular deaths could be prevented by better public health.

“The majority of the UK population would benefit by improvements in diet and lifestyle such as eating less salt, more fruit and vegetables and doing more exercise, and once you know you are at risk, you are much more likely to take action.  So if you are one of the missing 6 million with high blood pressure, simply having a 5 minute check could add an extra healthy month to your life, helping you to live well for longer.”

[1] Using the 16 million figure from PHE for England this has been extrapolated to give a figure of 19 million for the UK.

Comments Off on Do you know your numbers?

Filed under News

Our Annual Report Launch at AGM

NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation that plans and pays for local healthcare services on behalf of patients registered in the area, will be formally presenting their Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-19 at their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 18 September 2019, 4.30pm – 5.30pm, Council Chamber, Dewsbury Town Hall, WF12 8DJ.

The annual report sets out the CCG’s challenges and priorities, the engagement and partnership work that has taken place, a focus on the activity that the CCG has carried out and its performance over the last 12 months.  This document also includes an operating and financial review of the year.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG, said: “Our annual report provides a review of our activities over the past year and highlights our achievements.

It is also an opportunity for us to share the progress we have made in delivering our key aims and objectives and demonstrates our commitment to the vision for our residents in North Kirklees to live ‘longer, healthier, happier lives’.

I would encourage people to attend our AGM to learn about the work we do and it’s also an opportunity to ask questions about our commissioning work and plans.”

The annual report is designed to provide information on the work which has been carried out during the past year and is available on the NHS North Kirklees CCG website at

There will be an opportunity at the meeting for the public to ask a question.  If you wish to submit your question in advance of the meeting, please email

Comments Off on Our Annual Report Launch at AGM

Filed under News