Better access to evening and weekend GP appointments

In North Kirklees there’s now even better access for people to be able to visit a GP after work and on weekends under the GP extended access scheme that was launched in August.

Appointments are available between 6.30pm and 9.30pm each weekday with additional slots available on Saturdays between 9am and 4pm and Sundays between 9am and 1pm. The service offers pre-bookable appointments which can be booked through the patient’s own GP practice or by calling NHS 111.

Having these additional appointments available enables patients to visit a GP at a time that is convenient for them which fits better with their work and other commitments and also reduces pressure on both general practice and hospital emergency departments.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair or NHS North Kirklees CCG said:

“We all lead busy lives and this service benefits patients as it improves access and ensures that people can get the right care at a time that suits them, especially for those with work or other day-time commitments.”

Dr Stuart Lawson, Chair of Curo Health Ltd said:

“The service provides better access to care for patients when their practices are closed.

Patients benefit from direct and easy access to clinicians who will have access to their clinical records, can assess their condition and advise them about the best course of action needed to assist with their health or medical problem.”

Evening and weekend appointments are available for any patient registered with a GP in North Kirklees, as part of this scheme.  The appointments take place in Dewsbury Health Centre.


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West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership shortlisted for national award for support to carers

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership has been shortlisted for a prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) award in the System Led Support for Carers category. 

A Partnership formed from the NHS, councils, independent care providers, Healthwatch and hundreds of carer and community organisations; the Partnership is working together across Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield to further support 260,000 unpaid carers, including young people who care for parents and siblings.

Fatima Shah-Khan, Partnership lead for unpaid carers said: We want West Yorkshire and Harrogate to be a place where carers are identified, valued and supported so that all carers no matter how old or where they live receive the same level of care and attention. We have a great opportunity to work together and raise the profile of the care delivered by unpaid carers. We’re delighted to have been short listed for this award especially as we are at the start of our work and there is still much to do”.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for the Partnership said: “There are 260,000 carers across our area, many of whom struggle to cope with managing their caring responsibilities alongside work and /or other caring responsibilities. We have some great work going on in each of our local places. The value of the integrated care system is that we can share the good work, spread the learning and get improved services adopted everywhere. This will mean better support for all carers across our area, developed with carers and based on what works. It’s good news that our Partnership has been shortlisted for this award and more importantly carers are getting the recognition they rightly deserve”.

The value of the contribution delivered by carers across West Yorkshire and Harrogate is approx. £4.5 billion per year. For example this would mean the cost of care provided by one carer in Wakefield to the state would be approximately £19,000 per year. The Partnership’s programme of work includes identifying hidden carers – those who don’t see themselves as such – and improving support across the whole health care system whilst sharing the great work happening in local places.

Category winners will be announced on the 21 November 2018 in London.

You can find out more about the Partnership’s work to support carers at


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Help us help you this winter by getting your flu vaccination – it’s free because you need it

The flu marketing campaign will launch 8 October and run until 31 October. The campaign will consist of TV, radio and digital (social and display) advertising supported by search and partnership activity. It will target pregnant women, parents of children aged 2 and 3 years old and adults with underlying health conditions.

These groups are at particular risk from flu and vaccination is still the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus. That’s why the flu vaccine is free – because eligible groups really need it.

For most children, the flu vaccine is not an injection, just a quick and easy nasal spray. Children aged 2 and 3 receive the vaccine through their GP and children in reception and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 receive it in school.

If you have a child who is of the eligible age, make sure you sign the consent form allowing them to have the flu vaccine at school.

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your general practice, pharmacist or midwife to get it.

Visit for more information.

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Think you need medical help right now? Call NHS 111

Think you need medical help right now? You can call NHS 111 where a fully trained advisor will advise on the best course of action.

NHS 111 is much more than a helpline. You can speak to fully trained advisors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, who can put you straight through to relevant healthcare professionals, including nurses, emergency dentists, or even GPs.

The advisors can also arrange face-to-face appointments, and if you are assessed as needing an ambulance, one will be sent directly.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “If you need medical help fast but it’s not a life-threatening situation, you can call the NHS 111 number. When you call 111, a trained adviser will ask you questions to find out what’s wrong, give you medical advice and direct you to someone who can help you.”

Whatever the need is, NHS 111 will ensure that you get the right care, from the right person, as quickly as possible. So, if you think you need urgent non-life-threatening medical help, call NHS 111.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added: “If the adviser thinks your condition is more serious, they will direct you to hospital or send an ambulance. If you don’t speak English, tell the adviser what language you want to speak and they will arrange interpretation. You can call 111 any time of the day. The call is free, from landlines and mobiles.”

‘Help Us Help You’ know what to do. Visit for more information.  This webpage also contains useful advice on when you should use other NHS services. 


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Quit smoking with the right support for you

Smokers in Kirklees are being encouraged to take part in Stoptober, the 28-day stop smoking challenge from Public Health England, which begins on 1 October 2018.

Quitting smoking is easier with the right support. The most successful quit attempts are made with a combination of quit methods, so this year Stoptober is providing a free online Personal Quit Plan, which helps smokers find the right support for them – with options including face-to-face support, nicotine replacement therapies (such as patches, inhalers or lozenges) and e-cigarettes.

The best way to quit is with expert help from stop smoking services together with stop smoking aids. Your local stop smoking support can be found here – Some GP practices, pharmacies and community organisations in Kirklees offer this service.

Dr David Kelly local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “If you are a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you. Become part of the movement and join thousands this Stoptober who are determined to become smokefree.”

To date, Stoptober has driven 1.7 million quit attempts and quitting success rates are at an all-time high. Stoptober also offers a range of extra free quitting support including a Stoptober app, Facebook messenger bot, daily emails and Stoptober online communities.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added: “Stopping smoking can significantly improve your lifestyle and health in ways you might not expect. Once you stop smoking, some of the benefits are immediate.”

After 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal, after 8 hours carbon monoxide level in the blood reduces by half and oxygen level return to normal and after 48 hours carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris and the ability to taste and smell greatly improves.

Search ‘Stoptober’ to get your free Personal Quit Plan and find the support that’s right for you. 


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Report on wheelchair services in Kirklees and Calderdale published

NHS North Kirklees CCG has published an independent report on wheelchair (posture and mobility) services in Calderdale and Kirklees.

Produced by PCAN, a Kirklees-based charity supporting parents and carers of children with additional needs, and commissioned by NHS Calderdale, NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees CCGs, the report gathers the views of over 450 wheelchair users and their families, schools, community groups and care professionals.

The information gathered in the report will be used to make improvements to the current NHS Posture and Mobility service across these areas, and in developing plans for a new service to be implemented from 1 October 2019.

Dr Farrukh Javid, Clinical Lead for Posture and Mobility Services in Calderdale and Kirklees, said: “We’ve been working in partnership with the voluntary and community sector to engage people who use wheelchair services in Calderdale and Kirklees over the past 12 months.

This report represents a major step in shaping the service we provide for people using the NHS wheelchair service in our areas, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved so far.

The CCGs have invested in the service and worked closely with Opcare, the service provider, to reduce waiting lists and ensure we get the right equipment to our service users. Now we plan to use these findings to prepare for the future, and build a service that supports its users in living their lives, some of which are among the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Thank you to all of you who have been involved in our most recent engagement. The report of findings is now published, and can be found here:

The CCGs have now considered all responses received and would like to encourage people who use posture and mobility (wheelchair) services, including families and carers, to continue working with the CCGs to design the service specification.

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Don’t put off the flu vaccination – it’s free because you need it

As we head into autumn it’s time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their families by getting a free flu jab, say local GPs.    

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said; “Vaccination really is the best protection against the virus and it’s free for those who need it most.  Flu is potentially a very serious illness so it’s really important that people with an increased risk get their flu jab this winter”.

People aged over 65 years, children aged from two years and up to school year five, pregnant women, anyone who is the main carer for another person or who is in receipt of carer’s allowance and those with long-term health conditions such as diabetes and asthma are  eligible for a free flu jab this year.

A newly available vaccine for the over 65s is expected to significantly boost effectiveness by improving the body’s immune response. This is important because older adults’ bodies typically do not respond as well to the flu vaccine due to their naturally weaker immune systems.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG, said; “Your GP practice will be in touch to let you know if you’re eligible for the free flu jab.  It’s really important that you go along to your local flu clinic or book an appointment with your surgery or pharmacist as soon as you can to make sure that you and your family are protected throughout the winter period”.

If you’re eligible or want to check whether you or someone close to you is, contact your GP practice, midwife or usual healthcare provider. Visit for more information.


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Do you know your heart age?

Adults in Kirklees are being encouraged to take a few minutes out of their day to get to know their heart age by taking a free online, ‘Heart Age Test’. This test, from Public Health England, asks physical and lifestyle related information to let the person know if their heart is at a higher age than their actual age.

Having a heart age older than your actual age means that you are at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke, which are the two main forms of cardiovascular disease, which is the second leading cause of death in the country.

Nationally, it is estimated that over 50 deaths a day from these conditions could be prevented if people had a better understanding of their heart health. Each month around 7,000 people die from heart disease or stroke and 80 per cent of these deaths could be prevented (around 19,200 deaths a year)1.  In 2016, there were 724 deaths from heart disease and stroke in Kirklees2.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Adults over 30 are encouraged to take a few minutes out of their day to take the free, online Heart Age Test, which gathers physical and lifestyle related information, as well as blood pressure for a more accurate reading, to provide an immediate estimate of someone’s ‘heart age’.  You can get your blood pressure checked for free at most pharmacies.”

In Kirklees, 39% of people that have taken the test and have a heart age of at least five 5 years older than their actual age3.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added: “Addressing these changes in midlife will also reduce the risk of dementia. Modern life can make it tricky to be healthy, but making positive lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, whether this is through stopping smoking, making healthier food choices or increasing the level of physical activity that you do. The Heart Age test provides advice on how people can achieve these goals.”

To find out your heart age, search ‘Heart Age’ go to:

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How well 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 10-16 September 2018.

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 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.”

Hemini Bharadia, Know Your Numbers! Week Campaign Manager, Blood Pressure UK says: “High blood pressure does not discriminate on age or gender – people are dying unnecessarily because they fail to take such simple steps to reduce their blood pressure. Know Your Numbers! Week is the perfect opportunity to have your blood pressure taken for free and put you in control of your health.”

For further information on Blood Pressure UK and Know Your Numbers! Week, go to: 

This campaign also coincides with Public Health England’s relaunch of the Heart Age Test, which urges adults to take three minutes out of their day to take the test. The test can be accessed on the One You website at . 


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Approval of Flash Glucose Monitoring

Flash Glucose Monitoring has now been approved by NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus in the following circumstances:

  • Patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus and;
  • Aged four and above and;
  • Under specialist care and;
  • Using multiple daily injections of insulin, or insulin pump therapy,
  • Whom the specialist considers the use of the device will be cost- effective


Meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Meet current NICE criteria for insulin pump therapy (HbA1c ≥69.4 mmol/mol (8.5%) or disabling hypoglycaemia as described in NICE TA151) where a successful trial of a Flash Glucose Monitoring System (FGS) System may avoid the need for pump therapy
  • Recently developed impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia such that there is an inability to detect the onset of hypoglycaemia because of absence of warning symptoms. The individual must also demonstrate a willingness to engage with further education where applicable and a high level of engagement with glucose testing and management. (Note that for persistent hypoglycaemia unawareness, NICE recommends continuous glucose monitoring with alarms and FGS do not currently have this function).
  • Two or more admissions to hospital per year with diabetic ketoacidosis or hypoglycaemia
  • Patients or carer of a patient who have considerable difficulties in finger prick testing due to physical or mental health limitations
  • Patients or carer of a patient with functional impairment that impacts on their ability to interpret standard finger prick testing results

Reluctance to carry out finger prick testing (e.g. due to distress or inconvenience) alone is not considered to be criteria qualifying the use of FGS.

Further information can be found in commissioning statement:

NHS North Kirklees CCG

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