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Neighbours campaign sparks positive action

A campaign which aims to combat loneliness across West Yorkshire and Harrogate has inspired hundreds of people across the area to take conscious steps to look out for those around them.

The ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign, commissioned by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership launched on the 15th of March with the aim of helping to prevent loneliness and improve the wellbeing of residents in the area.

Campaign activity has included the distribution of ‘helpful neighbour packs’ across Kirklees that includes a range of different resources to help residents take simple, positive action to look out for a neighbour in need.

Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week, people across West Yorkshire and Harrogate have shared their stories of how the movement has inspired them and those around them to make a positive difference in their local community.

The campaign has also received support from over 350 supporters including high-profile organisations such as Jo Cox Loneliness Foundation.

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

“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”.

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

“Looking out for the newly bereaved and others whose loneliness may trigger health problems is something we can all do. 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 – during Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond.”

Another key supporter, 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 wonderful to hear about the positive difference the campaign is making across the area. For many years, the Mental Health Foundation has built evidence showing the link between loneliness and mental health problems. 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.  I’m very proud my Trust and the Partnership is working together with our communities to highlight the causes and effects of loneliness and social isolation and importantly trying to do something to help.”

Since the launch, over 350 supporters have signed up to back the campaign, promoting its message throughout their organisation and within their community. The campaign has also received attention on social media, with the hashtag #OurNeighbours being used over 1000 times. In addition to the 30,000 helpful neighbour packs distributed, a further 600 people have downloaded a digital version of the pack from the campaign website.

To download your own helpful neighbour pack or find out more about the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign, visit: ourneighbours.org.uk

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Early May Bank Holiday!

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 (4th – 6th April).

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 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.

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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CCG Governing Body Vacancies

The local NHS is looking for local, enthusiastic people to help shape and drive the future of healthcare in Kirklees.

This is a great time to join NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) as we continue to work with patients and partners including local authorities to design our vision for health and care together.

The two CCGs work closely together, with a single senior management team, and the Governing Bodies and majority of committees are held ‘in common’ with each other. The creation of three new shared lay member roles across the two CCGs is designed to support the increased closer working of the two organisations.

The lay members will have responsibility for finance and remuneration, patient and public involvement and audit and governance.  They will help provide additional rigour, challenge and assurance to our decision-making process.

Full details can be found on the NHS jobs website www.jobs.nhs.uk  The closing date for each of these vacancies is 22 April 2019.

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Healthy Hearts seeks to tackle the region’s biggest killer

Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs are joining healthcare providers across the region to tackle the area’s biggest killer. The West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s Healthy Hearts programme aims to help reduce the impact of heart disease and prevent the number of heart-related illnesses, including heart attacks, stoke and diabetes.

The programme, created by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health Care Partnership, aims to reduce the number of people in the region affected by heart disease by 10% by 2021, meaning 1,100 fewer cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidents by 2021.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “The nine Clinical Commissioning Groups within the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health Care Partnership have committed to tackling CVD and diabetes.  We’ve been working together over the last year to share the learning from a number of local projects, including Bradford Healthy Hearts, to develop our own project for the region.”

Dr Youssef Beaini, clinical lead for the programme across West Yorkshire and Harrogate said: “We’re delivering Healthy Hearts in three phases. Phase one sees us working to help local GP’s identify patients with undiagnosed high blood pressure (hypertension), and we estimate there may be up to 18,000 across the region, which can often be an indicator of cardiovascular disease.

“We also estimate that there’s a group of nearly 40,000 patients across the region, who’ve already been diagnosed with hypertension, that will benefit from through simple improvements to their existing medication. In fact, we believe that phase one alone will prevent 285 heart attacks and 421 strokes across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, saving the NHS £8m.”

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG added: “It’s also important that people realise there’s a lot they can do to reduce the risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease, such as being overweight, smoking, drinking and having an unhealthy diet. It’s never too late to start looking after your heart. The Healthy Hearts programme will help patients make the kinds of lifestyle changes needed to stay healthy.”

Phase one of Healthy Hearts went live this month. Phase two, due to begin in autumn of 2019, will see an emphasis on lipid/ cholesterol management and phase three, set to begin in 2020, will see a concentration on glycaemic control in diabetes.

Further information about Healthy Hearts programme can be found by visiting https://www.westyorkshireandharrogatehealthyhearts.co.uk/

 

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Looking after your health this Easter

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 Easter break (19-22 April).

Dr David Kelly, local GP and CCG chair said: “If you know your GP surgery will be closed over the Easter weekend, make sure you have enough medication to last the four day weekend. Making sure you have enough medicines to see you through the Easter holidays when GP surgeries are closed can make a big difference to your health.

“Often you will be able to get something from your local pharmacy or shop to care for yourself or a family member.”

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 Easter 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.

If you do need to see a GP, and an appointment is not available to your practice or it is closed. An extended GP access service is available at Dewsbury Health Centre. Appointments with a GP are available every day over the Easter break, including bank holidays. Patients can book an appointment through their GP practice and will be offered the most appropriate appointment.

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.

People are urged to only go to their local A&E department or dial 999 for critical or life-threatening situations. Make the right choice for any medical concerns over the Easter break, stay safe and enjoy the long weekend.

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Campaign targets social isolation

Photo taken of some of the partners who are supporting the campaign at the launch in Kirklees.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership is launching a new campaign that aims to help prevent loneliness and social isolation in communities today.

The ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign encourages local people to do simple things to look out for one another to help improve the wellbeing of other residents in the area.

According to research from The Health Foundation (December 2018), social isolation can increase the risk of having a stroke by a third, and older people who live alone are 50% more likely to visit A&E than those who live with others.

Findings published in Age UK’s new report “All the lonely people: Loneliness amongst older people” (2018) show that the number of older people who are lonely is rising quickly. This could be a major public health concern because if loneliness is not addressed it can seriously affect people’s health and well-being.

The ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign hopes to inspire people to  reach out to those who live alone or might need help, and encourage them to do simple things for them that will make a real difference to their wellbeing. This could be anything from picking up some shopping, to saying “hello” or even something as simple as giving a wave next time they see their neighbours.

Carol McKenna, Chief Officer for NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Tackling loneliness is something we can all very easily take part in. It doesn’t need to be much – a simple hello, a smile or asking how someone is feeling can make a huge difference to a person’s life. I’m fully supportive of this campaign – it’s a great example of how the smallest of actions when done together can go a long way towards creating a real impact on those around us”.

Around 200 organisations have pledged their support to take part in the campaign from local dementia friendly cafes, to sports clubs (including Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Wakefield Trinity Rugby Club Community Trust), Harrogate Football Club and the Yorkshire Sports Foundations, to housing providers, the Piece Hall Trust, Andy’s Man Club, Macmillan Cancer Charity, hospitals, councils and mental health and wellbeing organisations – the list is endless.

Amanda Evans, Service Director for Adult Social Care Operations, Commissioning, Public Health and Adult Social Care, Kirklees Council said:

“I am so pleased that we are supporting the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign. The evidence is really clear about the benefits of reaching out to those who face loneliness and isolation, and also the positive impact on the wellbeing of those who give of their time and through acts of kindness. This is such a great opportunity to help and encourage the communities of Kirklees to look out for one another and stay connected, by just being a little more thoughtful.”

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

“In August 2018, the Partnership allocated £1m to go toward supporting voluntary and community organisations.  Further funding from the Partnership’s Urgent and Emergency Programme Board will support the campaign. People of all ages can feel alone for a variety of reasons, for example following bereavement, a change in relationship or becoming unemployed. This important campaign is a helpful reminder that it’s often the smallest acts of kindness that make the biggest difference to a person’s life. As neighbours, we could all look out for each other a bit more and local organisations can also help bring people together in shared activities.”

The campaign starts on 15 March and will run across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. It’s been created with the help of over 100 residents across the region. 30,000 households across West Yorkshire and Harrogate will receive a hand-delivered ‘neighbour pack’ that will include a range of different resources to inspire and encourage residents to champion togetherness in their area and look out for those in need.

For those who don’t receive a hand-delivered pack, all resources are available to download from the campaign website, ourneighbours.org.uk.

Key to the success of the campaign will be local community organisations and groups working with and in their neighbourhoods.

Jo’s sister Kim Leadbeater, Ambassador for The Jo Cox Foundation, said: “I feel passionately about creating well-connected communities where everyone is happy and healthy and has a sense of identity and belonging, and it is heart-warming to see the work that Jo started on this important issue being continued in such a positive way in the county where we grew up. Much of my focus since Jo was killed has been on how we can build compassionate communities and bring people together. The national Great Get Together campaign which we run across the weekend of Jo’s birthday in June is the centre piece of this, and it would be wonderful to think that some of the connections which will be made through the ‘Looking out for your Neighbours’ initiative can be continued and we see lots of Great Get Togethers happening in June as a result! I believe if we all work together to prevent loneliness and its associated health risks, we can reduce the demand on health and care services and have a positive impact on the wellbeing of everyone, which is why I am delighted to support this campaign”.

Chris Pointon, Co-founder and Global Campaign Ambassador for the #hellomynameis initiative is also supporting the campaign. He added:  “A simple introduction can go a long way in starting a human connection and striking a conversation. We live in a very diverse society and it is everyone’s responsibility to look out for other people and be kind and considerate.”

To download your neighbour pack or to find out more about the campaign, visit: ourneighbours.org.uk

Ends

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National No Smoking Day

Join others up and down the country and make today the day you decide to quit. Join millions of people who have used the NHS Smokefree online support to help them stops smoking.  You can choose from an app., email, SMS and/or face to face guidance at www.nhs.uk/smokefree

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

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“Help Us, Help You” before it gets worse

The main aim of the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign is to raise awareness and encourage people to take responsibility for managing their own health, by visiting trained pharmacists for minor health concerns before it develops into something more serious.

Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair, NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local GP added: “Make your pharmacy the first place you go for help and advice. Many pharmacies are open long hours including evenings and weekends and you don’t need an appointment to speak to the pharmacist.”

With approximately 11,700 locations around England, pharmacies are staffed by qualified healthcare professionals and experts in medicines, who can offer a medical assessment, advice, reassurance and over the counter medicines for a range of minor health conditions including coughs, colds, sore throats, stomach troubles, aches, pains and more, as well as a private consultation room if needed. Being seen in a pharmacy doesn’t need an appointment and can provide a faster and more convenient service.

Pharmacists train for five years in the use of medicines, managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice. Pharmacy technicians are also highly trained, registered health professionals to ensure that they can help the NHS treat more people safely, conveniently and well. If your health concern is more serious, they can also refer to GPs and A&E where necessary.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “Pharmacies in England provide a service to around 1.2 million people every day. If you are suffering from a minor health concern, don’t wait for it to get worse. Speak to your local pharmacist for the right advice, right away. Help us, help you, before it gets worse.”

Visit nhs.uk/pharmacyadvice for more information.

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We’re Proud to be ‘Looking out for our Neighbours’

We are excited to announce that we are supporting a brand new community campaign from West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.

‘Looking out for our Neighbours’ is a new campaign that aims to help prevent loneliness in our communities by encouraging people to do simple things to look out for one another.

Although lots of people in North Kirklees are already doing great things to help those around them, there is still more we can all do to positively impact on the wellbeing of others.

A Health Foundation report (December 2018) highlighted how living alone can make older people 50% more likely to find themselves in A&E than those living with family. Pensioners living alone are also 25% more likely to develop a mental health condition. ‘Looking out for our Neighbours’ aims to change this – by inspiring people to do small things to reach out to the people around them.

The campaign will launch on the 15th March across West Yorkshire and Harrogate and has been co-created with over 100 residents in these areas, drawing on their neighbourly experiences.

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

“People of all ages can feel alone for a variety of reasons, especially in winter. This important campaign is a helpful reminder that it’s often the smallest acts of kindness that make the biggest difference to a person’s life. As neighbours, we could all look out for each other a bit more and local organisations can also help bring people together in shared endeavours. That’s why our Partnership has allocated £1m to support voluntary and community organisations in our local areas – Bradford District and Craven, Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield – bringing greater connection and happiness to our communities.”

As part of the campaign launch 30,000 households across West Yorkshire and Harrogate will receive a hand-delivered ‘neighbour pack’ that will include a range of different resources to inspire and encourage residents to champion togetherness in their area and look out for a neighbour in need. The pack will focus on the simple acts of kindness that will make a huge difference to the people around them – such as meeting for a cuppa, offering a lift or even just saying ‘hello’.

“A simple introduction can go a long way in starting a human connection and striking a conversation. We live in a very diverse society and it is everyone’s responsibility to look out for other people and be kind and considerate.”

Says Chris Pointon, Co-founder and Global Campaign Ambassador for the #hellomynameis initiative.

The key message of the campaign will also be promoted across supporter’s social media channels and through advertising in each of the areas.

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

“Tackling loneliness is something we can all very easily take part in. It doesn’t need to be much – a simple hello, a smile or asking how someone is feeling can make a huge difference to a person’s life. I’m fully supportive of this campaign – it’s a great example of how the smallest of actions when done together can go a long way towards creating a real impact on those around us”.

As well as ourselves, the campaign is also being backed by a number of other high-profile supporters including organisations such as Jo Cox Loneliness Foundation, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Healthwatch, hospitals, councils, housing organisations, rugby clubs and many community and voluntary groups.

Kim Leadbeater, Ambassador for The Jo Cox Foundation says:

“I am delighted to support the ‘Looking out for our Neighbours’ campaign. In my role as an ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation I feel passionately about creating well-connected, compassionate communities where everyone is happy and healthy and has a sense of identity and belonging. I believe that if we all work together to prevent loneliness and its associated health risks, we can reduce the demand on health and care services and have a positive impact on the wellbeing of everyone”.

A campaign website will be promoted from 15th March. Here, anyone in the region can sign up to the movement, get a personalised helpful neighbour pack and download campaign resources.

Chris Pointon sums it up well, as he concludes:

“This campaign is a gentle reminder for us all to look out for others – a simple ‘hello, my name is…’ or ‘can I help you in any way’ goes a long way to making someone feel included and cared for. I am more than happy for both myself and the #hellomynameis campaign (that my late wife and I started) to support the Looking Out for our Neighbours campaign.”

If you’d like to help tackle loneliness in the community you live and/or work in then please let groups organisations know about this work and ask them to pledge their support here.

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Free lung MOT for high risk smokers in North Kirklees

High risk smokers in North Kirklees are to benefit from a £4.5 million targeted lung health check scheme, designed to identify a range of health problems and speed up access to potentially life-saving treatment.

People in parts of North Kirklees aged between 55 and 74, who currently smoke or who have ever smoked, will be offered a free lung health check in the community close to their home, along with access to specialist stop smoking advice and appropriate follow-up, including CT scanning, if needed.

One of 10 NHS England schemes being launched around the country today (February 8) – North Kirklees is part of the £70 million national Targeted Lung Health Checks project – one of the first to be rolled-out following the recent publication of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Plan sets out an ambition that by 2028, the proportion of cancers diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 – at which point treatment leading to cure is more likely – will have risen from the current 50 per cent of patients to 75 per cent.The lung health check programme is part of how NHS England is planning to deliver the required improvements.

Lung cancer kills more people in West Yorkshire and Harrogate than any other cancer, with high levels of the disease diagnosed at late stage. There is now robust evidence that earlier diagnosis can be effectively encouraged through a combination of targeted lung health checks in high risk areas, public awareness, clinician education and better access to diagnostic testing.

Professor Sean Duffy, Clinical Lead with the WYH Cancer Alliance, welcomed the additional investment in North Kirklees and encouraged all those targeted for the health check to take up the invitation.

“The lung health check schemes bring huge benefits in spotting a wide range of illnesses, including bronchitis and emphysema – not just cancer – and it’s an opportunity to access support, advice and potentially treatment much earlier than might otherwise be the case.

“We understand that it’s not always easy or convenient for people to access health services, which is why these checks will be delivered on the doorstep, in local communities, close to home. It’s a great opportunity for people to get checked out and take advantage of the free service.”

Dr David Kelly, GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG, said: “Being included in this project is really great news. It means that people who are most at risk can be offered checks and will be able to get help earlier if they need it. Early detection of lung conditions means that NHS treatment is more likely to be successful. After today’s confirmation, we look forward to working with our partners on the detailed plans for the project, to ensure we bring maximum benefit to those people who are targeted.”

Cllr Musarrat Khan, Kirklees Council Cabinet member for Health and Social Care, said: “We are hugely committed to helping people in Kirklees stay well for as long as possible. We strongly encourage people to take advantage of the free lung check programme – early diagnosis can save lives.”

Rob Webster, Chief Executive Lead West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, also welcomed the announcement:“Lung cancer claims more lives than any other cancer across WY&H and we know this is directly related to smoking.

“There are around 351,000 smokers across our area and we are working with our public health colleagues to help people to quit, raise awareness and prevent other forms of cancer wherever possible. Working with our hospital partners to create smoke free zones to reduce tobacco use is also a priority as are these very welcome lung health checks’.

You can read the related NHS press release by following this link.

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