Musculoskeletal and pain services are joining up

From 1 October 2019, Musculoskeletal (MSK) and pain services in North Kirklees will be joined up and provided by Connect Health.

This joint service will cover:

  • Orthopaedics (the area of medicine dealing with conditions affecting bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves)
  • MSK Rheumatology
  • MSK Physiotherapy
  • MSK Pain Management

This new model of care was developed based on evaluation of the current provision, feedback from patients, engagement with clinicians and the national NHS England MSK Mandated Framework.

A procurement process took place in 2018 to find a provider to for this service, the existing contract ending on 30 September 2019.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “This new combined service will ensure that local people receive the best personalised MSK and pain management services for  their needs, in a timely manner, receiving the right care in the right place at the right time – first time.”

The core service will be located in locations across North Kirklees. Patients who are already being treated for pain management will continue to be seen by the current provider, In Health Pain Management Solutions.

Sadie Booker, Service Manager for Connect Health said: “Connect Health is delighted to be working together with North Kirklees CCG to help deliver an exemplary service for the people of West Yorkshire. Our aim is to support the provision of musculoskeletal and persistent pain conditions providing increased choice of how and when patients access our services, bringing care into the community and closer to home.

We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to it benefitting both patients and clinicians.” 


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New provider of wheelchair services for Calderdale and Kirklees announced

Ross Care, specialist providers of wheelchair services and mobility equipment across the UK, will provide NHS posture and mobility (wheelchair) services across Kirklees and Calderdale from 1 October 2019.

This follows a procurement process by NHS Greater Huddersfield, NHS North Kirklees and  NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs): the NHS organisations in charge of planning and buying wheelchair services for Calderdale and Kirklees.

The CCGs are working closely with the current service provider, Opcare, to make sure the change goes smoothly, and that all patient records are carefully and confidentially handed over to Ross Care so they deliver a service that continues to support the independence of people using wheelchairs from October 2019.

Dr Farrukh Javid, Clinical lead for wheelchair services for Greater Huddersfield, North Kirklees and Calderdale CCGs said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in the process of appointing a new wheelchair service provider for Kirklees and Calderdale.

“The CCGs have worked in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, including the voluntary and community sector, to hear from and involve people who use wheelchair services, carers and families in Calderdale and Kirklees, over the course of this process.

“Their advice, views and suggestions on how we can improve this service to meet their needs, has helped us develop a new service specification, which Ross Care will deliver from 1 October and the CCGs are very keen for their ongoing involvement in the process to ensure our wheelchair service continually meets the expectations of service users and carers.

“My thanks also to Opcare for their support in working with the CCGs to reduce waiting lists and improve service provision over the past few years. Thanks to this hard work we will be in a position to launch a new service that will support people who use wheelchairs to maximise their independence.

“Finally, I’d like to thank all of the organisations that applied to provide the wheelchair service across Kirklees and Calderdale during the procurement process.”

James Parramore, Managing Director of Rosscare, said:

“Ross Care is delighted to have been given the opportunity to work in combination with the Commissioning Groups and community representatives to see the service go from strength to strength through continuing innovation to best meet local requirements.

“We believe that a partnership approach, alongside the experience Ross Care has developed in other areas, will help ensure an excellent service for all in Calderdale, Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees.


For more information about the work done with people who use wheelchair services to co-design the new service to launch from October 2019, visit our You Said, We Did page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CCGs rated ‘good’ by NHS England  

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

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

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

Highlights from the annual assessments include:

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

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

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

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

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

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First shared lay members appointed for local CCGs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Members of the Governing Bodies are responsible for ensuring that the CCGs run effectively, efficiently and economically, that decisions are made in an open and transparent way, and that the interests of patients and the public remain central to the goals of the organisations.

Beth Hewitt – Shared Lay Member for Public and Patient Involvement

Hilary Thompson – Shared Lay Member for Finance and Remuneration

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Long term plan engagement report welcomed

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) leaders have welcomed the publication of a Healthwatch public engagement report ‘What would you do?’.

In 2018, the government announced that the NHS’ budget would be increased by £20 billion a year. In January 2019, the NHS in England published a long term plan for spending this extra money, covering everything from making care better to investing more money in technology and helping more people stay well.

The Healthwatch report brings together over 1800 public responses to the NHS Long Term Plan from surveys and fifteen focus groups held in Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield –  which targeted many people including those with mental health conditions,  dementia as well as young persons, carers and faith groups.

The report highlights the importance of: ‘partners working together to make it easier and affordable for people to say fit and eat healthily,as well as ‘more pro-active support around weight loss’; and concerns around ‘better emergency support for people in mental health crisis’ – an area the Partnership is working hard to address.

The voice of carers taking part in the focus groups endorses the Partnership’s approach that: ‘carers need more support to keep them safe and healthy including regular health checks, respite care and flexible appointments to fit round caring responsibilities’.

The Partnership’s vision is for everyone to have the best health and wellbeing possible. Public conversations are essential to the way the Partnership’s work – engagement, particularly with the people delivering and receiving services, results in better outcomes.

Report findings build on the engagement work taking place locally as well as that supporting WY&H HCP’s priorities which include cancer, mental health, maternity services, and improving care for people with learning disabilities.

Comments received around quicker appointment times are an important part of the WY&H primary care and urgent and emergency care work. For example, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) had been awarded the contract for NHS 111 telephony, call handling and core clinical advice service in Yorkshire and the Humber. This will see an increase in clinical advice and direct booking; clinical validation for emergency department referrals and managing dental calls for children under five.

WY&H HCP recognise and value the significance of having peoples’ voices at the very heart of all they do and remain fully committed to actively listening whilst taking into consideration these views wherever possible.

Hannah Davies, Chief Executive of Leeds Healthwatch said:

‘Healthwatch are passionate about people’s voices being kept at the centre of health and care plans, and would therefore like to give big thanks to all the people that took park in this important work. We and our West Yorkshire, Craven and Harrogate Healthwatch colleagues will continue to work together and be the critical friend to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, especially as they embark on major plans over the next five years. There are some really clear messages that came out in the report around inequalities in services now, but also what people think the future NHS should look like, and we will continue to work to try to help improve the access to, quality of and experience of health and social care services for all in our region’.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP said:

‘I would like to thank Healthwatch colleagues on producing this important report, which has reached so many diverse groups of people. As a Partnership we have consistently developed our work based on the views of public and people, alongside evidence on population health. It’s interesting to note that people said they wanted to be: ‘listened to, trusted and taken seriously as experts of their own bodies’. This is central to the work we are doing on personalised health care and joined up services. Working alongside partners, stakeholders and the public in the planning, design and delivery of all our work is essential if we are to get this right’.

Other findings set out in the report included ‘better use of IT and electronic records’ and ‘to have all hospitals having the same computer systems or ones that talk to each other’. People also said they want the NHS to work: ‘towards stopping folk getting ill rather than curing illnesses’ – all areas being prioritised by WY&H HCP.

WY&H HCP will be using the findings from this eagerly awaited report, alongside other engagement work to develop their Five Year Plan, expected winter 2019. This Plan will build on the ‘Next steps to better health and care for everyone’ published in February 2018.

Whilst ensuring WY&H HCP work aligns fully to the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan; the WY&H Plan will include a stronger focus on supporting carers and preventing ill health. It will also set out WY&H HCP’s intention to support children and families more, whilst tackling health inequalities and improving the lives of the poorest, the fastest. It will also recognise the huge contribution community organisations and volunteers make; and the vital role of the 260,000 unpaid carers who care for family and friends day in day out and whose numbers are more than that of the paid workforce. The impact of housing, employment and household income on a person’s health are ever present in the Partnership’s approach. All areas mentioned in the Healthwatch engagement report.

The engagement findings are an important part of developing the Five Year Plan and will help identify further public involvement needed.

You can read the engagement report at


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Safeguarding nurse named Queen’s Nurse

A community nurse from Kirklees has been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse by community nursing charity The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) in recognition of her commitment to high standards of practice and patient-centred care, leadership and learning.

Christina Fairhead, Designated Nurse Safeguarding Children for Greater Huddersfield CCG and North Kirklees CCG has worked in the nursing profession for 41 years, with 29 years spent in community services.

Her community roles have included Practice Nurse, School Nurse, Health Visitor and Sure Start Health Manager. Over the last 14 years Christina has worked in various NHS child safeguarding roles in Leeds and Kirklees.

Christina said: “I love working in the community and in particular children’s services. I have always worked in areas of challenge. Safeguarding children is much more than child protection. It’s about helping to ensure children become the best they can be and, through leadership and guidance, promoting the health and welfare of children in all commissioning decisions.”

The Queen’s Nurse title is given to a limited number of registered nurses working in primary or community care each year. The title demonstrates the nurses’ commitment to quality care, advocacy for patients, families and carers, and to learning and development.  Recipients benefit from joining a network of nurses with access to sharing best practice and opportunities to influence policy.


woman holding certificate and badge

Christina Fairhead, Queen’s Nurse


Christina was presented with the honour at a special ceremony in London last week.

Christina said: “It’s a real privilege to be called a Queen’s Nurse. I feel incredibly proud to join a network of nurses of such high calibre. It’s something I never expected, and I am committed to sharing the benefits with colleagues so that we can continue to support children and their families to be the best they can be.”

Penny Woodhead, Chief Quality and Nursing Officer for the CCGs said: “Christina is an inspiration. She is passionate about ensuring children are at the centre of decisions and continually provides expert guidance and leadership in relation to safeguarding children.

“The process to become a Queen’s Nurse is quite challenging and we’re extremely proud that Christina has been selected.”

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive of the QNI added: “On behalf of the QNI I would like to congratulate Christina and welcome her as a Queen’s Nurse. Queen’s Nurses serve as leaders and role models in community nursing, delivering high quality health care across the country. The application and assessment process to become a Queen’s Nurse is rigorous and requires clear commitment to improving care for patients, their families and carers. We look forward to working with Christina and all other new Queen’s Nurses who have received the title this year.”

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Top tips to avoid the misery of hay fever

For those who suffer with hay fever, summer can be a miserable time.

Hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollens and the effects of hay fever can range from being quite mild, to having serious effects on your normal daily life. Common symptoms include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing and itchy, red, swollen, watery eyes.  If you have asthma, you might also have a tight feeling in your chest, be short of breath and wheeze and cough.

Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.

Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair, NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local GP said: “The best way to control hay fever is with antihistamines. Antihistamines are available from your pharmacy and if you’ve any questions remember your pharmacist can help you, particularly if you’re already taking medication.”

Antihistamines are medicines also used to relieve symptoms of allergies, such as hives, conjunctivitis and reactions to insect bites or stings.

Speak to your pharmacist if you have hay fever.  They can give advice and suggest the best treatments, like antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to help with itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and a blocked nose.

Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG and local GP said added: “There are some things you can try to help protect yourself including putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen, wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes and showering and changing your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash pollen off”.

You can be prepared for the effects of hay fever by listening to your local weather forecast, which will provide updates on the pollen forecast.  You can find out more on the Met Office website  Visit for more information about hay fever.

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Signposting helps reduce GP waiting times

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

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

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

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

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

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










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

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