Tag Archives: patient

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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New community diabetes service means treatment closer to home

Diabetes nurses

Patients with diabetes in North Kirklees are now being treated closer to home thanks to a new and innovative service.

The Community Diabetes Nursing Service, provided by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, has been rolled out by NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as part of its Diabetes Redesign.

It will benefit all adult diabetes patients throughout North Kirklees with the main aim of preventing them from going to hospital for treatment.

Instead, they will be able to access a range of services in their own communities including their local GP practices and health centres. Patients who are housebound will also be able to receive support and reviews in the comfort of their own homes.

There are almost 10,000 patients with diabetes aged 17 and over in North Kirklees with an estimated 3,000 patients still undiagnosed. It is expected the new service will reduce the need for hospital referrals by a minimum of 25 per cent.

The new service, which patients will be able to access through their GPs, will be delivered by two newly-appointed community diabetes nurses – Kathryn Jolly and Jo Bissel.

It is aimed at those using insulin but who need help to gain better control, patients who have type 2 diabetes and are considering treatment with injectable therapies, and patients who use insulin but require specialist advice about dose adjustment.

The nurses will work closely with Dewsbury and District Hospital and Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust as well as with primary care to support practices, community staff and care homes to enhance the overall healthcare experience of patients living with diabetes.

Kathryn said: “The focus of the service is to provide education and support to practice nurses and other community healthcare professionals, including care home staff. Having access to this specialist knowledge will result in improved diabetes patient care.

“It also means that we will be able to see the more complex diabetes cases closer to patients’ homes such as local health centres and not in hospital, making it easier for patients to get appointments and resulting in improved care. We also hope our input will result in fewer hospital admissions.”

Jo added: “Our aim is to build stronger links between primary and secondary care to provide excellent care for patients at the right time and in the right place.

“Our service will be proactive with the focus being patient-centred, evidence-based and dynamic to meet the needs of patients with diabetes.”

Dr David Kelly, chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “One of the CCG’s aims is to deliver as much care as possible closer to people’s homes so that services are more accessible and convenient.

“I am really pleased and proud that the new Community Diabetes Nursing Service can now be added to a growing list of healthcare services being offered in community settings rather than at hospitals. I am sure patients will benefit from having treatment closer to their homes and having the benefit of a service that promotes self-management and wellbeing.”


For more information contact the Media Hub at media.hub@nmecomms.nhs.uk or ring 07824 463578.

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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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The other side…

This week’s blog is by Dr Nadeem Ghafoor not Dr David Kelly.

Monday morning and it’s my date with destiny – I am first on the waiting list for surgical repair of a torn cruciate ligament in my knee. Eight weeks on the waiting list – no professional privileges sought and none offered. Today, I am just like anyone else on a NHS waiting list.

Dr Nadeem GhafoorMy brother and I arrive at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport (exercising my right of choice!) at 6.30am, pay for a parking ticket (cheaper than parking at Manchester Airport – but only just) and make our way to the surgical ward.

We are greeted at reception and asked to take a seat. A few minutes pass by before my name is called out by one of the nurses and I am taken on to the ward. My brother follows but is turned back by the nurse. “No visitors are allowed to accompany the patient,” she says as she leads me down the corridor. I turn back to my brother and give him a reassuring nod as if to say ‘don’t worry, I’m good’ but I am only acting! All sorts of things are going through my mind but I try my best not to show it.

I am shown to my bed, given a gown and asked to wait for the anaesthetist. After several minutes struggling to work out which way the gown goes, I eventually figure it out – or at least I think I do. My attention quickly turns to the tv which is hanging from a bracket over my bed. I switch it on with the thought of passing some time, only to be faced with a screen message asking for a credit card payment before I can view any of the channels on offer. None of these appeal much, so I decline and instead settle for the flick football app on my i-phone to pass some time.

I do not have long to wait however, the anaesthetist is in and out before I know it and five minutes later I am in theatre and before I can say “please make sure you operate on the right leg”, I am out cold.

Not sure which general anaesthetic I was given, nor how long I was out for, but when I eventually come round its all over, my leg is in a bandage and pain free to boot. Now that’s what I call service!

Next morning, and I am bombarded by health care workers – the physio, pharmacist, discharge nurse – in that order, one after another. Brekkie on the go, I am handed a pair of crutches, asked to walk up and down the corridor and then to close the ward door on my way out ! That simple. Who says the NHS is in meltdown? Certainly not me!

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