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Report on tackling health inequalities for BAME staff launched

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) Review into the impact of COVID-19 on health inequalities and support needed for Black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and colleagues has published its report setting out the critical next steps today (Thursday 22 October).

The review panel sessions, chaired by Professor Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, a leading figure in national health and care policy, included WY&H HCP leaders, members of the WY&H HCP BAME Network and voluntary and community sector partners.

All worked tirelessly through the summer to investigate and understand the disparities in the risks and outcomes of COVID-19, as well as learn from the experience of the organisations and colleagues that make up WY&H HCP.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every child, adult, family and community in West Yorkshire and Harrogate, with some of the biggest impacts seen for the most economically disadvantaged and those from BAME communities.

The review’s original work themes, such as population health inequalities and workforce were refined into four distinct themes, via panel member contributions, initial review of the evidence and further discussion by the panel. The review themes are:

  • Improving access to safe work for BAME colleagues in West Yorkshire and Harrogate
  • ​​​​​Ensuring the Partnership’s leadership is reflective of communities
  • Population planning (using information to make sure that services meet different groups’ needs)
  • Reducing Inequalities in mental health outcomes by ethnicity.

Report recommendations include:

  • Delivery of co-designed ethnically appropriate advice and support for people working in high risk roles to mitigate risk to their heath, their families and communities.
  • Equality of opportunities for BAME groups in all economic development and recovery plans, including work on apprenticeships, job creation and start up grants.
  • The coproduction of an anti-racism campaign. Recognising and appreciating that BAME is not one homogenous population.
  • Inclusive leadership standards which leaders pledge to personally uphold within their organisations, starting with recruitment and selection processes.
  • Development of independent discrimination panels with BAME representation to review all cases of racial discrimination in disciplinary and complaints cases.
  • All organisations in West Yorkshire and Harrogate engage in positive action to actively seek out local, ethnically representative talent with local recruitment targets for senior level roles.
  • Ensure that ethnicity recording is 100% in all settings and that this data, coupled with local insight, is used across WY&H HCP to inform the design and delivery of care.
  • Monitoring of service access, uptake and outcomes by ethnicity to identify inequalities.
  • Demonstration that services are culturally competent and are contributing towards reducing inequalities.
  • Work to address the determinants that lead to ethnic inequalities in mental health. This includes using procurement and employment opportunities to create community wealth among BAME populations, improving housing conditions for people from BAME communities, and equity in skills opportunities.
  • Work together to co-ordinate, lead and measure progress on reducing inequalities in mental health by ethnicity, including sharing good practice, improving use of evidence and coordinating training.
  • Support the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to provide ongoing mental health support to Black, Asian and minority ethnicity communities.  Colleagues from this sector should receive additional specialist emotional and practical support to continue this work.

Professor Dame Donna Kinnair said: ‘Despite historic events and the stark reality of the compelling evidence before us, I like many others want to know why people from BAME communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and continue, yet again, to be impacted by health inequalities and an unjust society. Being involved in this important review has given me both the opportunity to learn more about West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s cultural vibrancy, strong diverse communities and identities, and to facilitate a much needed conversation which builds on the work already well underway by the Partnership. There is much to be proud of and it gives me genuine hope for current and future BAME generations. I was honoured to be invited to chair the BAME review sessions for the Partnership’.

Rob Webster (CBE), WY&H HCP CEO Lead and CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust said: ‘Our Partnership has big ambitions to tackle health inequalities and support Black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and colleagues. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought these issues into even sharper focus, with people from BAME communities more likely to be affected and more likely to die from coronavirus. This report shows we were right to bring fresh eyes and external challenge to our plans. We will make the implementation of the recommendations a clear priority for the Partnership and ask our Partnership Board and BAME Network to hold us to account in the future. Together we can genuinely change the experiences of our communities and staff for good’.

Robin Tuddenham, CEO for Calderdale Council, Chief Officer for Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and Co-Chair for WY&H HCP Improving Population Health Programme said: ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the impact of deep-seated and long-standing health inequalities faced by our BAME communities and colleagues. This review gives us a powerful set of actions, building upon our focus and determination to deliver on this. The time to change and the opportunity to act is now’.

Dr Sohail Abbas, Chair of the WY&H HCP Health Inequalities Network added: ‘West Yorkshire and Harrogate has a diverse population which has a complex profile across the region as a whole and within the six local places (Bradford district and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield). Therefore activity in this arena should be locally-led and driven in order to address the nuances and differences of each area and to have the greatest impact. Integral to this review is the impact of interpersonal, institutional and structural racism on inequalities in health outcomes for the BAME population. Only by working together at both a West Yorkshire and Harrogate and local level can we really make a positive difference’.

Alison Lowe, CEO for Touchstone (Leeds) and Chair of the Voluntary and Community Sector Review Sub-group said: ‘Current events, such as COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter Movement, have brought into focus inequalities in health outcomes that disproportionately affect people from BAME communities. This makes the review carried out and the subsequent findings extremely important if the Partnership is to improve BAME people’s health and ensure a fairer society for all living across the area.’

An action plan will be developed to support the implementation of the recommendations. This will be considered and approved by the WY&H HCP Partnership Board in December 2020, who will periodically review progress against these recommendations. All information is and will be made available to the public. The action plan will be accompanied by a set of indicators to measure progress over time.

Kez Hayat, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and member of WY&H HCP BAME Network added: ‘I am pleased the Partnership is taking a proactive approach in engaging and involving members of BAME staff. It is crucial that such networks have the opportunity so that they can actively influence the big ambitions through their lived experiences and intrinsic knowledge in tackling the wider health and workforce inequalities. It will be crucial for the Partnership to continue to focus on ensuring visible diversity on decision making boards and in our wider organisations at all levels so it is truly reflective of the communities we serve’.

Cllr Tim Swift Chair of the WY&H Health and Care Partnership Board said: ‘I would personally like to thank everyone for their hard work and involvement in this report. This includes the WY&H BAME Network and community partners who have given their time freely without hesitation to do what is right for all communities across our area. My thanks also to Professor Dame Donna Kinnair for her leadership in challenging us all to think differently. As Chair of the WY&H Partnership’s Board I will be asking the Board to formally accept and commit to the recommendations, and to monitor the progress made carefully to ensure positive outcomes are delivered’.

You can access the report, which is also produced in alternative formats, the insight used to inform the recommendations and other supporting information at https://www.wyhpartnership.co.uk/publications from the 22 October 2020 at 10am.

Follow on Twitter @WYHPartnership and join the conversation using #WYHtacklinginequality

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GP Practices urge local people not to put off getting care if they need it

GP practices in Kirklees are urging people not to ignore possible cancer symptoms and to get care when they need it.

New nationwide research shows that currently nearly half (48%) of the public would delay or not seek medical help at all, expressing concerns about burdening NHS services as well as contracting or passing Covid on to others.

NHS services have put a range of measures in place so that people can be treated safely throughout the pandemic, including Covid protected cancer surgery hubs and a Covid friendly cancer drugs fund which means fewer trips to hospital.

People with mental health issues are also encouraged to access NHS support when they need it.

Dr Steve Ollerton, GP and Chair of Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “If you have concerns about a medical condition or need advice you should contact your GP practice as soon as possible. A delay in treatment can pose a risk to longer term health, so don’t put it off.  Appointments are available from 8am to 6.30pm on weekdays, in the evenings and at weekends.

“Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients, but you may be asked to discuss your conditions over the phone or online first to assess what would be most appropriate for you.”

Dr Khalid Naeem, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “The NHS is still here to help if you have concerns about your health. We understand why people may be worried about contacting us during the Covid pandemic but we have put measures in place to ensure that you can still safely access the care you need.”

Symptoms of cancer include:

  • Changes in bowel habits, including blood in your poo
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A lump
  • Persistent bloating
  • Pain that does not go away

The cancer Help Us Help You advert is now airing on TV.

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My Pregnancy Journey digital care planning tool now available for women in West Yorkshire and Harrogate

Women living in West Yorkshire and Harrogate can now use a new digital tool, My Pregnancy Journey, to help them make choices about their care in pregnancy, in labour and following the birth of their baby.

Better Births (2016) provides the blueprint for maternity transformation, which is driven locally by the Local Maternity System (LMS). Our LMS is transforming maternity services so that every woman can access information to enable her to make decisions about her care, and where she and her baby can find support that is centred around their individual needs.

Choices available to all women include the place of birth and choice begins as soon as a woman makes initial contact with maternity services and continues throughout her journey. In 2018, our LMS co-produced with women and families a booklet entitled My Journey, outlining the choices available to women at that time. We have now updated and re-created that booklet into a digital tool, My Pregnancy Journey, that can be accessed on a variety of platforms, such as laptops, tablets or smartphones.

Carol McKenna, CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Maternity Programme and Chief Officer for NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and NHS North Kirklees CCG said:

“There is no better time than now for our Local Maternity System to bring this innovation to women living in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. We know that people need to be able to find the information they need quickly and easily, and for many of us that means using a handheld device or a computer.

The My Pregnancy Journey tool is easy to use, offers a function that allows women to find out about services close to and convenient for them and is available round the clock. We believe that this flexibility is at the heart of personalised care and hope that women and families will use it to help them get the right care for them in the right place at the right time.”

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Partnership celebrates ethnically diverse staff during Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) is giving voice to its diverse workforce and raising the profile of people at all levels of the Partnership during October.

WY&H HCP is making strides to ensure it has a leadership that better reflects the population it services. This Black History Month it will give Black, Asian and minority ethnic [BAME] staff a platform to raise their profile. This includes celebrating the work of BAME staff through weekly blogs, podcasts, and social media take over days with contributors from across WY&H HCP.

Staff from the vibrant and active WY&H HCP BAME Network from diverse backgrounds will have an opportunity to contribute and actively get involved with the major developments the Partnership is working on. This includes supporting carers, improving mental health and addressing health inequalities. The latter is part of an independent BAME review supported by the Network, which will see a report launched at the end of the month. WY&H HCP has also recently launched a new BAME Fellowship Programme to recognise talent and ensure a more diverse leadership – one of its top 10 big ambitions.

In the UK Black History Month takes place in October, celebrating the history, achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP said: “It’s time we realised that Black History is our history. By bringing diverse voices to our Partnership, we are making visible changes to the way on which we do our work, ways that celebrate and raise the profile of our BAME colleagues. This is one of our 10 big ambitions in the Five Year Plan to tackle health inequalities, including for BAME communities and staff. It is only right that we give voice to some of the most talented individuals in our organisations during Black History Month and every other month. We are proud of our diversity – both in our communities and our workforce. I look forward to reading the rich stories of our colleagues.”

Fatima Khan-Shah, WY&H HCP Programme Lead for Unpaid Carers and Personalised Care and BAME Network Member added: “This idea has been developed by members of our Partnership’s BAME staff network. It builds on the work already underway by the leadership group and network colleagues. It is all about giving an opportunity for people, regardless of their roles, to share their experiences with others. During Black History Month we want to highlight the diverse workforce that makes up our Partnership. As part of our commitment to diversify our leadership and raise the profile of our BAME colleagues, all our press releases will include a quote from a member of our Partnership’s BAME network alongside our senior leaders.“

Zubair Mayet, Engagement Manager for NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group and member of WY&H HCP BAME Staff Network commented: “Black History Month is a significant event in the UK as it highlights the positive contributions made by Black and ethnically diverse communities to the UK. For many people from our diverse communities, this year has been emotionally challenging from the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities to international events such as the killing of George Floyd. I’m delighted that we will be using this month to shine a spotlight on our diverse colleagues”.

For more information on Black History Month, including events taking place in this region visit: https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/

You can find out more about WY&H HCP BAME Review at www.wyhpartnership.co.uk/meetings/supporting-our-black-asian-and-minority-ethnic-communities-and-staff-review-panel-meeting

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Using GP practices safely

GP surgeries in Kirklees have remained open throughout the pandemic. They have made changes to the way they work, limiting face-to-face contact where possible, to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

If you have concerns about a medical condition or need advice you should contact your GP practice as soon as possible.  A delay in treatment can pose a risk to longer term health, so don’t put it off.

Appointments are available from 8am to 6.30pm on weekdays, in the evenings and at weekends

Frequently asked questions about using GP practices safely during the pandemic

  • How should I contact my GP practice?

Please contact your practice by phone or online through your GP practice’s website. Please do not attend your surgery unless you have an appointment.

You can use the NHS app to order repeat prescriptions to access your medical records. This can be done at any time of the day or night.

  • Can I have a face-to-face appointment with my GP?

When you contact your GP practice, your needs will be assessed and you will be offered an appointment that’s right for you.

Face-to-face appointments and home visits are still available for those who need them, although many people will continue to access GP services via phone or video.

Practices offer a range of services on a face-to-face, basis including phlebotomy (blood tests), immunisations and vaccinations, cervical screening and health checks.

GP practices are unable to carry out spirometry tests (lung test) and ear syringing as these are aerosol generating processes. These have been paused until we receive further guidance from NHS England.

  • Are face-to-face appointments safe?

All practices have procedures in place designed to reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.

GP practices are following national infection control guidance. Staff are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks.

Protective screens have been installed in many waiting areas and wherever possible social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Limiting the number of patients who are in the surgery at any one time also reduces the risk that the virus will be passed on.

If you need a face to face appointment please attend alone where possible and on time.

You will be asked to wear a face covering if you are able to, and use hand sanitiser when you enter the building. If you usually have the support of a carer at your appointments, they will be asked to do the same.

Please follow any additional instructions given to you by your GP practice about attending the surgery, such as waiting outside, or using a different door.

  • Why can’t I have a face-to-face appointment?

We understand that a telephone or online appointment may not be a patient’s first choice.

Coronavirus is still circulating in our community and limiting the number of people who visit GP surgeries helps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. It also ensures that our premises remain safe for those people who really do need to be seen face-to-face or who are unable to access online or telephone services.

Extra cleaning procedures and social distancing rules mean that practices have less room in reception or waiting areas to accommodate patients than before.

  • Can my carer attend my appointment with me? Face-to-face, on the phone or online?

Yes, if you usually have the support of a carer at your appointments they can still attend with you.

If you have a face-to-face appointment your carer will be asked to follow all the infection control measures in place at the surgery and wear a face covering.

Your carer can help you to complete an online consultation or can complete one on your behalf if they have been granted authorisation.

If you want your carer to join you for a face-to-face, online or telephone appointment please make your GP practice aware at the time of booking and they may give you some further instructions.

  • Are telephone/online appointments as good as face to face ones?

Telephone and online consultations are very effective, and have been available in many practices for some years.   Some people find them more convenient than face-to-face consultations.

The GP or heath professional who speaks to you will have full access to your health records and be able to provide advice, prescribe medication or refer you for further tests or treatment. They will also be able to decide whether a face-to-face appointment would be beneficial.

  • What is the difference between online consultation and video consultation?

Online consultation is when your completes a secure online form about a health issue. Pictures can be added to this form if it is appropriate. You will get a text or email confirming what to do next. This may result in a telephone or video consultation. All GP practices have the software to offer patients online consultation. You can find out how to do this through your GP practice’s website.

A video consultation is when you are talking to a health professional over video. If you are asked to have a video consultation, your GP practice will give you instructions how to do this.

  • Do you have more information about how to contact my GP practice remotely? 

This helpful video explains how you can contact your GP practice remotely, what you need, and what you can expect.

  • Why doesn’t my practice offer video consultations?

All GP practices in Kirklees can provide video consultations. If you have asked for video consultation and your practice says this isn’t possible please talk to the Practice Manager.

  • When will GP services get back to normal?

Coronavirus is still in our community and as a result, these new ways of working are likely to be in place for some time to come.

Over the longer term the use of new technologies such as video, online and telephone consultation will continue to have a place in primary care, alongside face-to-face appointments.

We are working with Healthwatch Kirklees to understand more about your experience of healthcare during the pandemic.  This will help us to improve and develop services in the future.

  • What do you mean appointments are available 8am – 6.30pm, evenings and weekends? My surgery doesn’t open at this time.

A GP extended access service is available to all patients in Kirklees. These appointments are available early morning, evenings and weekends. This appointment may take place at a different surgery to the one you usually go to, and with a different doctor or nurse than the one you usually see. If you are offered a face-to-face appointment by your GP practice they may offer you an extended access appointment.

  • Are you sure all practices are open? The surgery I go to is closed.

All GP practices in Kirklees are open. Some GP practices have more than one building where they see patients. We call these ‘branch sites.’

Branch sites are often small and we have agreed with one practice that they can close this building. This is because national infection control guidance cannot be followed and it would not be safe for staff or patients to keep the building open.

You can still call the telephone number or use online consultation to contact the team. The team who work at the branch site are working at the main surgery and if you need to attend the practice you will be asked to use the main surgery.

The branch site that is closed is: Bond Street Surgery. Branch site of Wellington House Surgery.

  • I think I need a referral to another service. Is there any point in booking an appointment if other services are closed?

If you have any concerns about your health you must contact your GP practice. It doesn’t matter if this is for a new or existing health condition. The health professional you speak to will have the latest information on specialist referrals.

  • I have coronavirus symptoms can I have an appointment?

Yes. If you have an additional concern about your health please contact your GP practice. If you are asked to attend a face-to-face appointment this may be at a different GP practice to your own which has additional infection control measures in place so that they can treat patients with coronavirus symptoms.

If you have one of the coronavirus symptoms (new continuous cough, high temperature, loss of taste or smell) you must request a test as soon as possible  and stay at home (self-isolate). You can request a test by visiting the NHS website or by calling 119.

If you live with anyone, or are in a support bubble, they should also stay at home. Get more information about how long to self-isolate.

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Your GP practice is here to help

GPs in Kirklees are reminding people to get in touch if they need medical help.

Surgeries have remained open throughout the pandemic, although they have made changes to the way they work to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Dr Steve Ollerton, GP and Chair of Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “If you have concerns about a medical condition or need advice you should contact your GP practice as soon as possible.  A delay in treatment can pose a risk to longer term health, so don’t put it off.   Appointments are available from 8am to 6.30pm on weekdays, in the evenings and at weekends.

“Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients, but you may be asked to discuss your conditions over the phone or online first to assess what would be most appropriate for you.”

There were over 189,000 appointments provided by primary care across Kirklees in July 2020. 59% were carried out face to face, compared to 39% by telephone[1].

Catherine Wormstone Head of Primary Care for Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs said: “Coronavirus is still in our community and we must continue to do everything possible to reduce its spread. This includes making changes to how GP services operate. We also need to be clear that these new ways of working will be in place for some time to come. I would urge people to continue to support our efforts to keep patients and staff safe during this challenging time.”

Patients are being asked not attend their surgery unless they have an appointment.  Instead, they should contact the practice by phone or online through their GP practice’s website. Reducing the number of people who visit their GP practice helps to protect patients and staff from the risk of infection.

To avoid having to wait on the phone, patients are also encouraged to use online services to order repeat prescriptions or access their medical record. This can be done at any time of the day or night, even when the practice is closed.

[1] NHS Digital https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/appointments-in-general-practice

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Health project wins prestigious HSJ value award

A collaborative project designed to improve heart health across West Yorkshire and Harrogate has been awarded the ‘Cardiovascular Care Initiative of the Year’ at the HSJ Value Awards 2020.

Healthy Hearts, brings together health and care professionals, including GPs and community pharmacists, with NHS organisations and community groups to improve care for people with cardiovascular disease (CVD).  The project is led by the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and delivered by Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network.

The initiative received the prestigious award in recognition for the outstanding contribution made to delivering better services and driving better outcomes over the past 12 months.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be named as a winner. Through this initiative, more than 17,500 additional people have had their blood pressure controlled to a tighter target (less than 140/90).

‘In addition, over 2,000 people have been identified at risk of cardiovascular disease and been offered a statin. This alone means that nearly 500 people could avoid a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years across our area. This is a great, life-saving example of what can be achieved when partners come together’.

 

Dr Steve Ollerton, Huddersfield GP and clinical champion of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts initiative, said: ‘This award is testament to the hard work of our partners to help reduce cardiovascular disease across our region. We have known for some time this was a high priority for our patients. We have demonstrated that by working at scale using simplified processes you can have an impact on both our patients’ outcomes and help our clinicians to work more efficiently.’

 For more information about the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts, visit www.westyorkshireandharrogatehealthyhearts.co.uk

 

 

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Take control of your blood pressure

NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are telling local residents they’re in control of their blood pressure as part of ‘Know Your Numbers Week.’

Every year during “know your numbers week” people are encouraged to get a blood pressure check as part of Blood Pressure UKs annual campaign. Unfortunately, due to COVID 19, this year community events are not able to go ahead and community pharmacists are not able to offer their usual free service. However, there are still ways for you to get involved and know your risk.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts website is a good place to start www.westyorkshireandharrogatehealthyhearts.co.uk/blood-pressure. Answering six questions about your lifestyle will help you to understand if you are at risk of high blood pressure.

Using a simple and reliable blood pressure monitor at home can also help you to find out whether your blood pressure numbers are under control. The readings are often more reliable than getting it checked at a hospital clinic or at your GP practice, as people tend to be more relaxed in their own surroundings. There are helpful tips about how to check your blood pressure at home on the Healthy Hearts website, along with advice on understanding the readings.

Dr Steve Ollerton, Healthy Hearts clinical lead for Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs said: “Home monitoring offers a way for you to take control of your health and feel confident. It gives you a practical way to Know Your Numbers without visiting your GP or pharmacist, and it really can save lives.”

There isn’t always an explanation for the cause of high blood pressure, but not doing enough physical activity, being overweight or obese, eating too much salt, regularly drinking too much alcohol and having a family history of high blood pressure can all play a part. It’s never too late to start looking after your heart.

Dr Khalid Naeem, 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 stroke, heart attack or heart failure. If you have any doubts or concerns about your readings at home please contact your GP surgery.”

If you are asked to attend the GP surgery for a face to face appointment please follow the social distancing guidance in place and wear a face covering if you are able to.

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How to get help this bank holiday

If you, or someone you live with, has coronavirus symptoms (high temperature and / or a new continuous cough and/ or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)

  • Get a test to check if you have Coronavirus by calling 119 or request online.
  • Stay at home.
  • Please do not go to your GP practice or community pharmacy.

If your symptoms get worse 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.

Find out where the local testing sites are in Kirklees.

If you, or the people you live with, think you need advice from a GP or Practice Nurse for a health concern:

  • GP practices in Kirklees will be closed on Monday 31 August.
  • Appointments with a GP or practice nurse are available over the bank holiday weekend, including Bank Holiday Monday, through the extended access service.
  • This is not a walk in service. Appointments can be booked in advance through your GP practice.
  • If you have an appointment at the extended access service please wear a face covering if you able to.
  • You can contact your GP practice through online consultation. Visit your practice website to find out how.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you take regular medication?

  • Check you have enough medication to last over the bank holiday.
  • Order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time. Over ordering of your medicines may mean someone else has to go without their medicines.
  • Order your usual prescription online or by an app. Do not go to your GP practice or pharmacy to order prescriptions and only phone them if you cannot order online or by an app. You can order repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available. You can find out about ordering medicines online at nhs.uk

Community pharmacy services over the bank holiday

  • Some community pharmacies will be open on Monday 31 August. They may have different opening times.
  • Always check the NHS website or your pharmacy’s own website for details.
  • Community pharmacy opening hours on Saturday 29 August 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.
  • Please wear a face covering if you are able to when attending a pharmacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urgent health concerns

  • 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 https://111.nhs.uk/, 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.

Dental Services

If you think you need urgent dental treatment, do not go to a dentist.

Instead:

  • call your dentist
  • use the NHS 111 online service if you cannot contact your dentist or you do not have one

They can give you advice, help you contact an urgent dental service or arrange treatment if needed.

Do not contact a GP. They cannot provide dental treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency medical help

For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.

Try to avoid going straight to A&E instead of calling an ambulance.

Mental health

Mental health support and guidance is just a phone call away, 0800 183 0558 for anyone registered with GP practice in Kirklees.

Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and people don’t have to have used mental health services before.

Carers, or those concerned about a loved one or friend, can also call for advice

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New resources to help people talk about end-of-life care

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership has produced a new resource pack designed for patients, their carers and families, and professionals to help them to have conversations about their future wishes and to record these in the form of an advance care plan. It will help people to have what can be quite difficult conversations in a supportive and compassionate way.

The guide includes easy-to-navigate sections on why advance care planning is important and when and how these conversations should be started.  It includes top tips and links to a wide range of other resources, including videos and e-learning.

Recording future wishes can be empowering and a way for people to feel more in control when the future seems uncertain. If at a future time, the person is no longer able to make their wishes known, they will have the assurance that their wishes will still be heard.

Dr Andrew Sixsmith, GP Partner and Clinical Advisor to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership said:

“Often people are not given the opportunity to consider and express their future wishes in a timely way and this can lead to regret on behalf of both families and professionals.  Starting these discussions early gives the opportunity for conversations to evolve over a period of time without any pressure on the individual or family to make rapid decisions.”

With this in mind, alongside the new Advance Care Plan resource, the Partnership has updated the material for people living with a long term condition, including those with dementia.

Dr Sara Humphrey, GP Partner with a Special Interest in Older People; Associate Clinical Director Frailty/Dementia and GP Advisor to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership said:

“It’s particularly important for people living with dementia that they are offered these opportunities in a timely way.  This ensures that, if they choose to, people with dementia are able to make their wishes known regarding future care, helping the people who care for them and about them  to understand what they would have wanted if they are no longer able communicate this themselves.”

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