Tag Archives: feedback

Patients shape new wheelchair service

Patient power is the driving force behind a new three year, £4.5 million wheelchair services contract serving more than 8,000 patients with mobility needs in North Kirklees Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale.

The service specification tender document was based on the experience and needs of service users given during discussions about how a new service could deliver better quality services for patients.

Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG, Dr David Kelly said: “We held a number of discussion events with service users so they could tell us what they wanted from the service within the available budget. The messages they gave us were very clear and we were able to build a new service specification for a ‘one stop shop’ service which we believe will bring huge improvements for people with mobility needs and their carers.

“Putting patients at the heart of service planning and delivery is exactly what we promised we would do when we were established and this is the first major contract that has been designed by patients for patients.”

The contract to provide the service from October 1, 2014, was won by Opcare Ltd – one of the UK’s largest prosthetic, orthotic and wheelchair service providers. Opcare will retain a base at The Lodge, Lockwood, Huddersfield but will offer community-based clinics on a weekly or fortnightly basis to bring services closer to patients’ homes. In North Kirklees this will be the Eddercliffe Centre in Liversedge.

The other big changes will be:

  • Shorter waiting times because the referral, assessment and equipment provision and repairs service will be seamless
  • Therapists and rehabilitation staff who will visit at home, at work or at school –to increase convenience for patients
  • A returns and repairs drop off point for equipment with an on-site workshop which has stocks of spares

All existing service staff wishing to transfer have been offered roles within the Opcare structure, and those who have chosen to transfer are keen to push the service forward through the new structure.

Speaking for Opcare Ltd, Hayley Munro, Bid and Project Manager, said: “We are very pleased to be able to provide a new wheelchair service for people in Calderdale, Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees and hope the transition to our service will be fairly smooth. We have kept the contact number patients are familiar with along with the service base, but the similarity ends there: we will be describing and explaining our services to patients as we come into contact with them and look forward to hearing their feedback on it,

“Patient experience is at the heart of our plans for improvements and whilst some of these may take time to come to fruition, we are hopeful that they will start to see improvements very quickly and are keen to create a patients’ forum so we can gather their views and look to continually improve the service we provide.”

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Survey to help improve services

Health and social care services for people in Kirklees are provided by a number of different organisations. Health services are bought on behalf of local people by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups. NHS Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees are reviewing these services and looking at what will be needed in the future.

We want to ensure that all services are joined-up and effective. Our aim is to make sure people who need healthcare or support will get the right care in the right place at the right time, first time, provided by staff with the skills to meet their needs.


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Meeting the Challenge – shaping the future of out local healthcare

Monday (4 March) sees the start of the Meeting the Challenge public consultation on proposed changes to our local hospital and community health services.

These are very significant changes that we are confident will help us to save more lives and put our healthcare services on a par with the best in the country, providing you, as patients, with better experiences and results.

It is vitally important that you get to have your say on these proposals and over the next few days, you will receive a summary document through the post summarising the reasons behind these proposals and why change is needed. It will outline exactly what is being put forward and what that means for you.

I would encourage you to read and absorb this information and complete the questionnaire which you will find enclosed in the document. You can return this to us via; FREEPOST Meeting the Challenge Consultation.

I would also urge you to come along to our public meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall, 8pm on Monday 11 March where you can air your concerns, get your queries answered and ultimately, tell us what you think.

We want to make sure you can make an informed contribution to this consultation exercise and there will be a series of roadshows and drop-in sessions across north Kirklees over the next three months.

Everything you need to know about the proposals, the process so far and how you can get involved can be found on the dedicated website; where you will also find a downloadable version of the consultation questionnaire.

This is an important process that will shape the future of our local healthcare so I cannot stress enough how crucial it is for you to get involved in this consultation.

If you would like us to come to one of your community meetings or need any further information, contact the Meeting the Challenge team on 01924 317757.

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Changing health – what’s your story?

Huge improvements in the way the NHS treats and cares for patients is just one of the reasons our local hospital services are being reviewed.

We know it’s important to be efficient and use resources wisely. We also know that if we increase specialisation, make use of the latest techniques and technology and move more treatments closer to home, then we’ll continue to see the same dramatic improvements that we’ve seen over the last ten to 15 years.

Not so long ago if you needed a hip replacement, you’d be looking at a ten day stay in hospital …. that’s now down to three or four. This isn’t because hospitals are shoving people out of the door too soon, it’s because surgical techniques and patient aftercare have constantly improved to give patients a quicker, better result.

Likewise, many surgical procedures which would once have meant ‘opening the patient up’ can now be done through keyhole surgery. So a lengthy cut right into a patient’s body has been replaced by techniques which create smaller entry wounds. Small wounds pose less risk of infection which means they can be more easily managed and obviously heal far quicker, leaving minimal scarring. Again, the result is a shorter stay in hospital.

Operations which used to mean at least one overnight stay are now routinely done as day cases – and sometimes in places other than a hospital. Examples include: cataract removal, carpal tunnel surgery and vasectomy. That’s mainly due to greater use of local anaesthetics – another area of medicine where there have been significant developments in recent years .

I could go on … but I’m really interested in hearing YOUR stories about your treatment. If you’ve recently had surgery or have stories from a few years ago to compare with what’s happening now, I’d love to hear them. You can use the contact form to get in touch and with your permission we’ll put a selection online – anonymously if you prefer. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Filed under Chair's blog: Dr David Kelly