Talk health Kirklees

“Talk health Kirklees” is an open and honest discussion with local people about the things we could do to get better value from NHS spending.

The NHS budget is under significant pressure.   A growing and aging population, an increasing number of people living with long-term health conditions, and demand for new drugs and treatments all contribute to the financial challenge.

Nationally, NHS England has identified a gap between the money needed to provide services and the budget available.   It is expected that £22 billion of this gap will be closed by making efficiency savings across the NHS, including in Kirklees.

The NHS budget is just the same as everyone’s household budget – we can only spend the money we have.  When the bills get higher we have to tighten our belt and cannot always commission more services.

What does this mean for Kirklees?

Together, NHS North Kirklees CCG and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG spend more than £500 million each year to ensure people receive the healthcare they need.  Both CCGs are committed to delivering safe, high quality local health services, but must keep within their budget.

While the CCGs have received an increase in funding, demand for services and associated costs such as medicines, treatments and the staff needed to provide them have increased too.   As a result, there is a gap between the cost of healthcare in Kirklees and the money available to pay for it.

The scale of the financial challenge in Kirklees is greater than we have faced before and means that we must work even harder to deliver the required efficiency savings and achieve value for money.

We have to do more with the money we have and take very tough decisions about what we can afford and what we cannot afford.

Here are just some of the things that are costing more money in Kirklees

  • medicines that treat and prevent blindness, prevent death from heart disease, and prevent severe disability from arthritis and related conditions
  • the amount we pay for hospitals, mental health and community services
  • packages of healthcare people receive to support them in their own homes
  • improvements to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Here are some of the things Kirklees CCGs are doing to reduce NHS spending

  • put in place an integrated community service to provide better support for those with long-term conditions, support them to manage their own illnesses and avoid a hospital stay
  • re-designing services to ensure people get more care close to home
  • working to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and get people out of hospital more quickly
  • stopped the routine prescribing of a range of products that are available widely in shops and pharmacies, including gluten-free food
  • discouraging unnecessary use of antibiotics and reducing the number of prescriptions for paracetamol and other widely available products
  • reviewed the packages of care people receive at home
  • working to make sure that people with mental health needs receive more care closer to home and have fewer hospital admissions
  • increasingly, our staff are working across two or more organisations, which is helping to reduce management costs.

We are using national data to help identify areas where we could make further improvements in quality at the same time as getting the maximum health benefit for the people of Kirklees from the money we spend.

Money that is saved through changes like this can be spent on things that have more of an impact on people’s health.

Join the conversation

Voluntary, community or other interest groups are invited to play the ‘NHS Challenge’ game.  This fun but thought provoking board game puts you in charge of the NHS budget with the opportunity to make decisions about local health services.    The game takes about an hour to complete and we’ll come along to introduce and facilitate the discussion. For more information or to book a session contact: or call 01924 504938.

Alternatively, if you have views on how we can meet our efficiency challenge please drop us a line to:

We also host regular public engagement events which offer the opportunity to have your say about the services we commission and inform our future plans.   Find out more here.

We recently consulted on a range of changes to NHS services in Kirklees. You will find details of feedback received here.