Partnership invests £1million to help keep thousands of people warm

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West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) is investing £1millon to help keep people warm this winter, so they can live a long, healthy life.

The funding will support affordable warmth by increasing low-income households’ energy efficiency rating, giving advice on reducing their energy bills, and helping people access additional support they are entitled to.

The  Partnership of NHS, local councils, housing associations and the voluntary community social enterprise sector is working across Bradford district and Craven, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield. The funding aims to benefit people, through a boost to existing projects such as home insulation, boiler repairs, financial savings and benefits advice and heating grants, with the aim of reducing health risks associated with poor housing and cold homes.

Across West Yorkshire 169,000 households, 18% of the 2.4 million people (Source Gov.UK Sub-regional fuel poverty data 2021), are having a difficult choice to make on whether to spend money on fuel or food – all influenced by a household’s income, energy efficiency and costs.

The impact of cold homes is estimated to cost the NHS £2billion every year in England and Wales, with people needing extra care from their GP and hospitals for illnesses such as heart attacks and stroke, respiratory illness, falls, hypothermia and influenza during – for example, hospital admissions for COPD are four times more likely in winter months.

Whilst the greatest impact of winter deaths is in the elderly, it happens across all ages, with people living in poorer communities more likely to be affected. It impacts on their mental health and wellbeing, as well as their children’s health, for example asthma and bronchitis.

Rob Webster, CEO-Designate for WY HCP said: ‘Once again our partnership is investing in prevention, this time to support people who will experience fuel poverty, and struggle to keep warm. We have made a pledge that no one living across West Yorkshire should suffer due to fuel poverty. This funding will help our efforts, and benefit thousands of people who are eligible for support, as well as those at increased risk of hospitalisation during winter because of their fuel circumstances’.

Robin Tuddenham, CEO for Calderdale Council, Chief Officer for Calderdale Commissioning Group and Co-Chair of WY HCP Improving Population Health said: ‘We are seeing increasing challenges for people in being able to afford fuel costs at this time when lack of warmth has a hugely negative impact on health and wellbeing. This is even before the large increases in fuel prices expected next year. We are working with those most affected to enable keep their homes warm, and to manage the impact of these costs with practical support and access to financial assistance through our voluntary and community sector. I welcome this funding from the Health and Care Partnership as we play our part in mitigating the devastating impacts of fuel poverty on health’.

Dr James Thomas, WY HCP Chair of the Clinical Forum, Clinical Lead for Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Group and Co-Chair of WY HCP Improving Population Health said:’ This is all about identifying people who are most at risk so that we can support and avoid the need for urgent care services. Social prescribers working with GP practice are an important part of the work, as they work alongside people to look at their wider health and wellbeing needs.’

Dr Sohail Abbas, a Bradford GP and WY HCP Chair of the Health Inequalities Network said:

‘Many people in West Yorkshire are spending a disproportionate amount of their income on energy bills. The impact of winter and cold homes on people health is well known and the pandemic has seen many families who could previously afford fuel now struggling, with many not knowing about the different benefits and grants available to help. We need to go upstream and tackle the causes of ill health and do all we can together to support our population’.

The next steps are to distribute funding to the West Yorkshire local places to increase resource allocations for targeted winter warmth initiatives.

Together we can protect each other and stay well this winter

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Find full story at the WYPartnership website


West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) is all set to run an area wide ‘Together We Can’ campaign this winter. The campaign started in Calderdale and Kirklees is being rolled out across West Yorkshire to help people access health and care services at the right time and place.

The campaign encourages people to choose well and to opt for convenient self-care, where safe to do so during the winter months.

If everyone ‘chooses well’ it could really make a difference to already stretched services. Together we can make a real difference.

The campaign has an easy to navigate website [togetherwe-can.com]. Here you will find help and advice and tips for keeping well this winter, as well as other useful information on how to stay healthy.


Together we can protect each other this winter.  Together we can make a real difference so please:

  • Access online services. You can book appointments or order repeat prescriptions through the NHS App. Visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 if you need urgent medical help 24/7.
  • Remember GP practices are here to help and will ensure you get the right care appropriate for your needs.
  • Be COVID-19 aware. Take up vaccines and boosters and get a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Stay safe by following the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Get the Flu vaccine. If you’re over 50, pregnant or have a long-term medical condition, get your free flu jab today.
  • Take good care this winter there’s lots you can do to stay well and protect yourselves and others around you this winter.
  • Visit your local community pharmacy for medical advice and treatments for things like colds, tummy troubles, rashes, and pains.
  • We can all spread the kindness this winter by looking out for each other and our neighbours. Visit: ourneighbours.org.uk


Partnership invests in care workers with immediate pay rise

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West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP), an integrated care system, has agreed a £12million funding package to support staff in the independent care sector today at its Partnership Board (Tuesday 7 December).

Longstanding issues with pay and competition for staff from other sectors have come to a head, particularly in the context of seasonal workforce recruitment in the retail and hospitality sectors. As a result, the sector is facing additional recruitment and retention challenges which in turn is leading to further pressure on families and carers, as well as the health and care sector. More people are awaiting hospital discharge or experiencing problems with community care service delivery and variations in experience of care.

Cllr Tim Swift, Chair of the Partnership Board and Leader of Calderdale Council said: ‘At the Partnership Board meeting today we supported a proposal to use NHS resources provided for West Yorkshire priorities to enable the health and care system to bring forward the increase in national living wage for social care staff in West Yorkshire from April 2022 to December 2021. Whilst this will not resolve all the issues, it demonstrates that we are all committed to working together in the interests of our population across traditional boundaries between local government and health, supporting the independent sector to address the problems impacting on social care’.

Rob Webster, CEO for WY HCP said: ‘Our partnership values the role social care plays in the lives of people. Care workers are key to someone being able to live independently in their own home and can make all the difference between getting someone back home or keeping them in an NHS hospital. Caring is an important profession, and we are happy to be supporting our social care staff and partners as we join up care across West Yorkshire’.

Richard Parry, WY HCP Sector Lead for Adult Social Care and Director for Commissioning and Adult Social Care at Kirklees Council said: ‘The single biggest factor affecting staff turnover is basic pay, but closely followed by feeling valued. One way we can reduce this is by implementing the national living wage before April 2022, for those not currently receiving it. This will not only improve pay rates but will help demonstrate parity of esteem alongside NHS colleagues and recognise the incredible contribution of our social care workforce throughout the pandemic and beyond.  It’s the first step we are taking collectively across West Yorkshire to demonstrate our commitment and value to and for the independent care sector’.

Pay rates for workers on the minimum wage are set to rise in April 2022, with the rate for those aged over 23 rising to £9.50 an hour from £8.91. The rise means a full-time worker will get £1,074 extra a year before tax.

Jo Webster, Corporate Director for Adults and Health at Wakefield Council and Chief Officer for NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group said: ‘I welcome the £12million funding package across West Yorkshire, which will be used to support the important work of Wakefield care workers.

The Wakefield district already benefits from improved collaborative working between council and NHS services, which is contributing to improvements for local services. And today’s news will ensure that we are providing adequate funding to ensure that further work is underway to address the wider needs of the sector to ensure the workforce continues to be valued and recognised’.

Louise Bestwick, CEO Bradford Care Association said: ‘We are very grateful that WY HCP are leading the way and taking decisive action to support the social care workforce. This demonstrates that our workforce is valued and an integral part of the health and social care system. This is a very important first step on the journey towards equity and parity with the NHS. It will provide a much-needed moral boost to our dedicated social care workforce who continue to work tirelessly to support and care for the most vulnerable people in our communities’.

Jill Holbert, from Calderdale is the Co-chair of the Registered Managers Network, she said: ‘The dedication and commitment shown by all social care staff prior to and during the pandemic is difficult for me to put into words. I cannot express enough the importance of social care staff being valued, supported, and rewarded for the work they do day in and day out. The effort for social care staff has been incredible and I would support any proposal to increase wages without question. Attracting new people into the sector is vitally important and with increases in hourly rates, this may become more appealing for people working or considering working in health and social care and may help services with the recruitment process which at this time is extremely difficult.’

James Creegan, Chair of Kirklees Care Association said: ‘We are delighted WY HCP has recognised the importance of the social care work force and their invaluable contribution to ensuring our most vulnerable people get the care they need and deserve. Being able to bring forward the national minimum wage increase by four months should make a difference to the people who work tirelessly and show that they are truly valued as professionals within the health and social care system. Whilst this will not solve the problem of workforce recruitment or retention it might go some way to stabilising a difficult situation faced by many independent providers of social care. It demonstrates that our partners are committed to ensuring the social care workforce is treated with equity and valued in the same way as their NHS colleagues’.

Michelle Atkinson from Leeds Care Association said: ‘Leeds Care Association welcome the news that WY HCP have recognised the pressures the independent sector social care workforce is experiencing and are able to implement the national living wage from December because of NHS investment. It will make a real difference to the staff who work in the sector.  This investment recognises the importance of the skill and commitment of staff within the sector, who have worked tirelessly to support the wider system over the last two years’.

Gaynor Saunders, Chair of the Independent Sector Liaison Group, Wakefield said: ‘On behalf of the Independent Sector Liaison Group for care providers in Wakefield, I wish to pay tribute and thanks to all of those involved, who have pushed for this funding to support care workers at a time when they are feeling deflated, undervalued and worried about how they are going to support their own families at this time of year. Bringing the national living wage forward to December from April 2022 places WY HCP as trailblazers to uniting the health and social care sector. This small, but not insignificant decision, will undoubtedly restore faith in hardworking and committed staff who have endured probably the worst two years of their working life. It will hopefully encourage them to remain in the sector and continue to support those people who sadly, will need health and care services through the difficult winter’.

Given the challenges faced it seems the most sensible thing to do during these pressurised times. It will help to fund a winter support package to tackle the rising needs of people and staff shortages in the sector.

Further work as part of WY HCP’s People Plan is underway to support the wider needs of the sector, including recruitment, training, and career development opportunities and ensuring the value of the workforce in the sector is recognised.

Young people spread kindness across West Yorkshire

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Over 30 local young people organisations have signed up to support a campaign to #SpreadTheKindness across West Yorkshire.  With thousands of others getting involved online or via local events.

In September the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership launched an exciting new phase of the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ community campaign. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the campaign had inspired over 49,000 people to get involved by making a positive difference to their neighbours’ lives through acts of kindness. With phases two and three then reaching over 731,982 people and online audiences.

#SpreadTheKindness set out to reach 15–24-year-olds living, in education or working across the area.  A campaign coproduced with young people aims to encourage young people to check in and share positive messages with friends either online or in person. It also aims prevent loneliness in the community, which has an impact on young people too.

2,500 of the five-ways to kindness postcards inspired young people to share kind and supportive words with each other.

A photo montage of some of the highlights from the campaign has been created and can be viewed online.

Highlights of the campaign include photographs and videos, feedback from young people and supporters case studies, all captured during the three-month campaign and summarised in an evaluation report available to read here.

Read further and testimonials here

You can find out more about the campaign and supporters at https://ourneighbours.org.uk/


Partnership Board meets in public 7 December 2021

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West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s Partnership Board will meet in public on Tuesday 7 December 2021 at 2pm. The meeting will be held virtually to ensure people are not at any unnecessary risk of COVID-19.

The Partnership Board further strengthens joint working arrangements between the NHS, councils, care providers, hospices, Healthwatch, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. Together, the Partnership improves health and care of all people living across the area.

The Board is an important group for the Partnership, which covers Bradford District and Craven, Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield. It brings together elected members, executive and non-executives, and independent co-opted members in one decision making process.

Chaired by Cllr Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council and Chair of Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board, the meeting will focus on the Partnership’s COVID-19 response and recovery including the development of the area’s ‘People Plan’, and support for minority ethnic communities and colleagues.  Board members will discuss the Partnership’s governance arrangements in response to the Government’s national proposals to further join up health and care services.  They will also hear from a member of the planned care citizen panel.

Working alongside communities, the Partnership Board aims to give people the best start in life with support to stay healthy and live longer. Many factors determine whether someone leads a long and healthy life, including good housing, access to green space, and building an inclusive economy that creates more good jobs, reduces health inequalities, and promotes opportunity for all. These important factors are at the heart of the Partnership Board.

The Partnership Board is also influenced by the voice of local people. It has co-opted four independent members of the public and has a strong commitment to listening to the public’s views.

The Board meets in public every three months and gives people the opportunity to ask questions and have their say.  Members of the public will be able to ask a question at the start of the meeting via a video link.  All questions submitted will receive a written response after the meeting and will be published on the Partnership’s website.

Members of the public are asked to email their questions to westyorkshire.stp@nhs.net before Monday 6 December at 5pm – highlighting the question to be asked at the Board. People can also call 01924 317659 to submit questions. Members of the public who want to ask a question will then be sent a Microsoft Teams link to the meeting.

The agenda, papers, and link to watch the meeting live can be accessed at: www.wyhpartnership.co.uk/meetings/partnershipboard/papers from Tuesday 30 November.

You can find out more about asking questions to the Board at:  www.wyhpartnership.co.uk/meetings/partnershipboard/questions

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, named Integrated Care System of the Year in national prestigious awards

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West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) was awarded the title of Integrated System of the Year on Thursday, 18 November, by the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

Comedian and presenter Sue Perkins, along with HSJ editor Alastair McLellan, announced the winners of 23 categories following a process involving two judging stages, 136 judges and 1,008 entries.

The achievements of 24 winners — and 186 finalists — saw WY&H HCP being recognised by the HSJ for a number of outstanding achievements after a year in which it faced its toughest ever challenges.

The judges recognised that the Partnership’s strength provides greater opportunities to deliver its Five-Year-Plan ambitions, ensuring people are given the best start in life, are able to remain healthy and age well. Working arrangements are co-produced by partner organisations – NHS providers, commissioners, local authorities, hospices, voluntary community social enterprises and communities. The politically led Partnership Board is supported by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and Local Resilience Forum.

Rob Webster CBE, and CEO for the Partnership said:’ I’m delighted the hard work, dedication, and commitment of over 100,000 colleagues, 400,000 unpaid carers and volunteers has been recognised. They have worked tirelessly together at every level to deliver the best care and support possible to people in the most challenging of circumstances. This award belongs to each and every one of them’.

Cllr Tim Swift MBE, and Chair of the WY&H HCP Board said: ‘This award is well-earned recognition for the way we work together to deliver care with and for communities. The judges paid tribute to the whole of our workforce and the positive strides we are making to give everyone the best start in life with every opportunity to live and age well. I’m particularly pleased to know that the judges recognised our ambition to reduce health inequalities, alongside our determination to tackle this head on. Receiving this award gives us all the boost we need at the present time’.

The Partnership also received a highly commended for the System-Led Support for Carers Award for its COVID-19 Vaccination Programme for Unpaid Carers.

This saw 53,000 unregistered carers come forward to receive a vaccine during the pandemic, which enabled them to support loved ones and family, without fear of becoming too ill to care.

The Partnership was also shortlisted for Staff Engagement; Connecting Services and Information Award; and NHS Race Equality, alongside other organisations across the area including the Airedale Digital Care Hub which has become an invaluable resource to Bradford District and Craven (BDC) Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) for Digitising Patient Services Initiative.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was also short-listed for three awards including for Patient Safety and Acute Sector Innovation of the Year. Congratulations also to Leeds Shielding Support Programme who were shortlisted for the Partnership with Local Government Award; and to Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust shortlisted for the Environmental Sustainability Award. Leeds Children’s Hospital and DigiBete CIC, DigiBete Diabetes App for Children and Young People were also shortlisted.

All in all it was a good evening of recognition for all working in West Yorkshire and Harrogate health and care services.

Partnership appoints integrated care system CEO-designate

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Rob Webster has been appointed new CEO-designate for West Yorkshire Integrated Care System (ICS).

The announcement follows an open and robust partner and stakeholder recruitment process with NHS England and NHS Improvement recommending that he should be CEO-Designate for West Yorkshire ICS, ready to take up the post from April 2022 should Parliament confirm the current plans.

Rob comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience nationally and locally. He has been the lead CEO for the West Yorkshire ICS since March 2016, which he has carried out successfully alongside his role as Chief Executive for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

His ICS role has involved working together with health and care leaders, organisations, and communities to deliver ambitious plans for improved health, care, and wellbeing, including those set out in the ICS’s Five-Year Plan. Crucially, he has played a lead role in ensuring services have been maintained and staff and citizens supported throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rob Webster CBE said: ‘It’s a privilege to have been confirmed as CEO-Designate for the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and our Integrated Care System. Our work in West Yorkshire in the coming years will be built upon an established track record of strong system leadership and working across health and care with our communities. I am in no doubt that this will be a period of significant challenge for all of us, as well as a significant opportunity. Together, we can make meaningful and lasting improvements that improve outcomes for all, whoever we are and wherever we live’.

Cathy Elliott, Chair-Designate for the NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board said: ‘This important appointment is great news for us all. With a strong focus on distributed leadership, Rob firmly believes in the power of the NHS, councils, Healthwatch, hospices, the voluntary community social enterprise sector and communities being equal partners at a local and system level for better joined up care for people, delivered locally. An ethos which will continue to move us forward into the future together. I’m very much looking forward to working with Rob for and with our West Yorkshire partners.’

 Cllr Swift, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Board and Leader of Calderdale Council, said:  ‘We welcome the certainty that this announcement brings and look forward to continuing to work with Rob, to make integrated care a reality for the people we collectively serve. Supporting colleagues across all partner sectors, preventing ill health, and tackling health inequalities for everyone, so that no matter where people live or work, to deliver and receive the best quality of care possible, are amongst his key priorities – ones I very much welcome’.

Richard Barker North East and Yorkshire Regional Director for NHS England said: ‘The leaders of our integrated care systems (ICS) have a vital role working with all system partners to deliver excellent care and improve the health of the communities we support. Getting our leadership structures and governance right is important but integrated care is about practical, real improvements for local populations and the ICSs are uniquely placed to more this forward in bold and innovative ways.’

Rob‘s confirmation follows the Second Reading of the Health and Care Bill on Wednesday 14 July 2021. The Bill contains a series of measures which would formally establish ICSs and give their governing bodies – including an NHS Integrated Care Board – a broader range of responsibilities, empowering them to better join up health and care, improve population health and reduce health inequalities.

While it is not possible to pre-empt the decisions of Parliament, the Bill received a positive vote at Second Reading. This means there is a degree of confidence that the measures relating to ICSs will become law. In turn, that means the NHS locally, regionally, and nationally – alongside all partners – has a responsibility to prepare for when those measures are expected to come into effect, which is currently April 2022.

You can find out more about the Partnership’s work at www.wyhpartnership.co.uk or on twitter @wyhpartnership

Open letter from WYPartnership regarding Covid19 this winter

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Health and care services across West Yorkshire, which include hospitals, GPs, the ambulance service, councils, mental health, community services and social care providers have come together to ask for your support as we head into what is likely to be the busiest and most challenging winter the sector has faced.

At the current time we are seeing pressures across the entire system and this is only likely to increase as we move further into the winter period.

All our health and care services are seeing unprecedented increases in the number of people needing help. This means most of our services are dealing with a huge increase in the numbers of people accessing care whilst operating with significant staff shortages.

With restrictions eased and young people back in schools, anyone can be forgiven for thinking the worst of the pandemic is behind us. The reality is very different, and the months ahead are going to be very challenging.

COVID-19 infection rates across our area remain high with significant numbers of people requiring hospital treatment. This winter, flu and respiratory illness are back with us and are likely to be extremely infectious after last year’s lockdown as our immunity will be much lower.

Here are seven simple steps we can take together so we can face and overcome a winter like no other.

  1. Health and care services are here to help. You can save time by booking appointments and seeking medical advice online by downloading the NHS App or contacting your GP using the online form available on each practice website. There is a Health A-Z at www.nhs.uk/conditions/ with useful information and advice on common conditions. You can also visit your local council website to find out more about how you can receive the early help or care you need.
  2. Talk before you walk by going online to www.111.nhs.uk or calling NHS 111 if you do not have internet access.  Sometimes you know something doesn’t feel right, but you know it’s not life-threatening and you can’t get to your GP practice or your local pharmacy is closed,
  3. Health needs that are not a life-threatening emergency but are urgent include severe pain, suspected broken limbs and stomach pains. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, the friendly team at NHS 111 will be able to advise you on the best way of getting the help you need.
  4. Jabs + testing = our way out. Life-saving vaccines and regular testing are the best way to protect everyone from COVID-19. It’s not too late to receive a vaccine. Please have your second dose as two doses are needed for full protection, get a booster and flu jab when offered.
  5. Get a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms. Please don’t visit a healthcare setting (GP practices, pharmacies, accident, and emergency) if you have symptoms.
  6. If you are concerned about your or someone else’s mental health you can get help through 0800 183 0558 in Leeds, Wakefield, Calderdale, and Kirklees and 0800 952 1181 in Bradford, or contact our NightOWLS service for children and young people on 0300 2003900. People who are Deaf can text the NightOWLS service on 07984 392700.  If you are worried about a vulnerable child or adult, you should contact your local council.
  7. Continue to be kind to our staff and each other. This includes helping us by socially distancing where possible and wearing a face mask in healthcare settings.

We want to thank our colleagues, volunteers who continue to work hard during the busiest time on record and to everyone living across West Yorkshire for your patience and kindness.

Thank you

West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership

Background information

  • West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (an integrated care system) focuses on the health and care needs of local people across Bradford District and Craven, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield. The Partnership is made up of a number of organisations who work together to help 2.4 million people in the area including the NHS, councils, community services, care providers, hospices, Healthwatch, the voluntary community social enterprise sector. You can find out more at www.wypartnership.co.uk
  • There are different ways to get tested for COVID depending on if you have symptoms or not. To find out how to get tested, go to nhs.uk/get-tested. Please do not go to a GP practice or your nearest emergency department asking for a COVID test.
  • People can get their COVID or booster vaccine at a centre near them by using the NHS national booking service online www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccination or by calling 119.
  • GP practices have continued to remain open throughout the pandemic and see people face to face when it is clinically appropriate to do so. General practice is here for you. Face-to-face appointments are available to patients where there is a clinical need. If you have a strong preference that your consultation is carried out face-to-face then please talk to your practice. You will be asked to first discuss your conditions over the phone or online with a member of the healthcare team to assess what would be most appropriate for you and which practice member would best provide it. You can find out more about ‘Why your GP practice is working differently’ at https://bit.ly/3o3i0uh
  • Many adults, most children and all pregnant women are eligible for a free flu vaccine, so for more details and to book your appointment visit https://bit.ly/3pR1FeW
  • People can feedback to any of the health and care services in West Yorkshire direct. You can also contact the NHS Friends and Family Test to improve patient experience by https://www.england.nhs.uk/fft/. To find out more about how to give your feedback on NHS services please visit https://www.nhs.uk/contact-us/give-feedback-or-make-complaint/  It’s very important people feedback on any concerns they may have or on any compliments they would like to share.
  • A phone call or text could mean the world to someone right now. Darker days can be tough especially for those who may be feeling lonely, or isolated. We can all play a role and ‘do our bit’ by looking out for our neighbours. Check in and help those that need it most. #OurNeighbours ourneighbours.org.uk

Shine a light on World Diabetes Day

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West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) is set to support World Diabetes Day marked every year on 14 November and is asking all local communities to get involved.

World Diabetes Day, the world’s biggest diabetes awareness campaign, was set up in response to the growing health threat posed by diabetes. By encouraging health care and other organisations to come together it aims to help people with diabetes feel more seen and heard. This year the theme is around access to diabetes care.

Dr Tahir, Clinical Diabetes Lead for the WY HCP and Bradford District and Craven System Programme said: “It’s almost 100 years since Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin – a medicine which has saved millions of lives around the globe and has been a catalyst for other life-changing initiatives.

“The last few years have also seen huge advances in the adaptation and take up of digital and remote technologies, providing alternatives for people to access the care and treatment they need to reduce the risk of or manage their diabetes. In West Yorkshire, for example, a third of GP practices are using Healthy.io allowing patients to use smartphone-powered home health technology to test for early signs of kidney damage. We also refer people to a number of national and local initiatives. This includes the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme; a free 12-week NHS Digital Weight Management Programme; and the Healthy Living app, a free online self-management support programme for adults with type 2 diabetes.”

The number of people in the UK living with diabetes is approaching  five million with a further 12million at risk. Around 350,000 people are living in West Yorkshire.

Dr James Thomas, WY HCP Chair of the Clinical Forum and Clinical Chair of Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and perhaps the biggest threat to people’s health in this country with more people having the condition than cancer and dementia combined. It’s serious and can be a killer, if left unchecked, increasing the risk of heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and blindness. It is, however, largely preventable and we are using World Diabetes Day to promote the various ways in which people can recognise the signs and take action to reduce their risk.

“We can’t change our age, ethnicity or family history – but we can take action to reduce our weight, waist and blood pressure. Even the smallest change can have a massive difference on our overall health and wellbeing.”

You can show your support for World Diabetes Day in various ways, for example, shine a blue light, wear blue for the day, change your profile pic, contacting someone you know with diabetes, paint your nails blue or put the blue circle – the global symbol of diabetes – in your window. There’s also a World Diabetes Day app which you can download and use to take selfies and tweet photos. Remember to tag in @WYPartnership and use the hashtags: #WorldDiabetesDay and #LetsDiaBEATthis.

As part of our Let’s DiaBEAT this campaign, WY HCP has produced a range of resources to support patients and staff including  a video where we have animated Dr Waqas Tahir and which describes who is more at risk, how to recognise the signs of diabetes, what you can do about it and what support is available.

Visit Diabetes UK and the World Diabetes Day website for more information, resources, ideas and events.



As well as the human cost, type 2 diabetes treatment accounts for around 9% of the annual NHS budget. This is around £8.8 billion a year and set to increase unless we focus efforts on prevention interventions


World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. It became an official United Nations Day in 2006 and is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922

New fellowship programme to tackle health inequalities in West Yorkshire

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West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) is launching a new Health Equity Fellowship Programme and is looking for 30 fellows to join.


The role of the fellows will be to actively support WY HCP’s work to tackle health inequalities. The programme will further develop the skills and expertise of people within the Partnership to tackle the causes of health inequality, to build more equitable organisations and communities.

Rob Webster CBE, CEO for WY HCP said: “Addressing health inequalities requires a whole system approach. We know that COVID-19 has exacerbated health inequalities and we need to take an approach that accelerates the actions we are taking at every level in our system. Joining the fellowship will help fellows recognise and challenge the causes of inequality with the skills, honesty and tools  needed to meet our ambitions.”

Dr James Thomas, WY HCP Chair of the Clinical Forum and Clinical Chair of Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group;  and Robin Tuddenham CEO for Calderdale Council and the Accountable Officer for Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group are Co-Chairs of the WY HCP Improving Population Health Programme, they said: “We’re delighted to be launching the Health Equity Fellowship Programme. Working towards the ambition to equip all staff with an understanding of the individual and collective action we can take to create a more equitable health and care system is one of our strategic ambitions to reduce health inequalities. We’re looking forward to welcoming the 30 fellows to this important work”.

Applicants from different sectors and places are encouraged to apply. Funding is available to support applications from the voluntary community social enterprise (VCSE) sector to backfill time for a minimum of five fellowship positions, from the 30 available.


Fellows will be expected to dedicate one day a week of their time to attend training and work on a health equity project from our inequalities programme. The projects could be delivered in the applicant’s usual place of work or it could contribute to wider joined up approaches taking place across the area.


The selection process starts from 1 November with a lunch and learn session from 1:30pm to 2:30pm and will close to interested colleagues by 3 December ready to join the programme in March 2022.


For more information see the Health Equity Fellowship Programme leaflet.