Our Partnership is made up of organisations working closely together to plan services and address the challenges facing health and care services across the area.
In this section you will find links to useful information and publications about our partnership.
We are committed to meaningful conversations with people, on the right issues at the right time. We believe this is an important part of the way we work.
In this section you will find all Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made to our Partnership. You can also ask a question of your own.
Professor Sean Duffy is the Clinical Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance and Strategic Clinical Lead for the Leeds Cancer Programme.
Hello my name is Sean
Monday 4th February is World Cancer Day.
Individuals and organisations around the world will be taking the opportunity presented by this annual event to raise awareness, promote understanding, lobby for improvements in the quality of life for those affected by the disease and share ground-breaking, potentially life-changing research, using the day as a launchpad.
For others, World Cancer Day will be like any other on the frontline as they deliver compassionate care and support to patients, carers and families affected by cancer – some awaiting diagnosis, some undergoing active treatment, others receiving palliative care and support.
For most patients, World Cancer Day itself will mean little or nothing. They are constantly dealing with the very personal impact of a cancer diagnosis, coming to terms with what that means for them and their loved ones, experiencing the ups and downs of living with a long-term health condition, or maybe accessing palliative or end of life care.
According to the official website, World Cancer Day began back in February 2000, at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium, held in Paris. The Paris Charter aims to promote research, prevent cancer, improve patient services, raise awareness and mobilise the global community to make progress, putting firmly at the centre of the world health stage.
Cancer survival in this country is the highest it has ever been, more cancers are being diagnosed early and patients’ reported experience of their care has never been higher. However, despite significant progress, there remains much to be done to narrow the gap between the UK and comparable countries to deliver the very best survival outcomes for patients in England – and to stamp out unacceptable geographical and tumour site variations in care and treatment.
At a national level, it is encouraging to see that the priority given to cancer continues in the recently-published NHS Long Term Plan. It makes a commitment to increasing the proportion of people diagnosed at stage 1 or 2 of their cancer to 75 per cent over the next 10 years (it is currently around 52 per cent in West Yorkshire and Harrogate), making more cancers curable and leading to an additional 55,000 people each year surviving for five years or more following their cancer diagnosis.
Actions will include raising awareness of the symptoms of cancer with the public and clinicians, speeding up diagnosis by removing barriers to referral for GPs, investing in improved screening programmes and testing facilities, and extending lung health check programmes. Those diagnosed will also benefit from safer, more precise treatments, including advanced radiotherapy, with fewer side effects and shorter treatment times.
With survival rates increasing, the plan also includes clear actions to help people live well with their cancer. Over the next three years, every patient with cancer for whom it is clinically appropriate will get a full assessment of their needs, an individual care plan and access to support for their wider health and wellbeing.
There is also clear recognition that none of the transformation necessary can be achieved without the right people with the right skills in the right places, and strong and committed leadership to inspire, motivate and encourage.
As one of 19 Cancer Alliances around the country, it’s our job to lead the transformation and improvement necessary across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to deliver on the ambitions of the Long Term Plan, working closely with the NHS Trusts, CCGs, local councils, community and voluntary organisations and our charity colleagues which make up our Alliance and which are delivering on the ground.
Together, we have a big job to do, but our forward thinking and ambitious work programmes as an Alliance are already in line with the objectives of the Long Term Plan. For example, our multidisciplinary diagnostic centres in Leeds and Airedale for patients with vague but concerning symptoms are enabling earlier confirmation for those patients who do have cancer, while speeding up diagnosis and reducing anxiety for those who don’t. Our Community of Practice is supporting shared learning and will lead to the role-out of other similar projects across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
Cancer patients each have their own individual and wide-ranging needs at the end of treatment, and sign-posted support tailored to each individual can make a huge difference to their lives. Whilst in general people’s health needs are met, many have told us that more could be done to provide practical, emotional and financial support.
The acute Trust in Bradford has joined forces with colleagues at Cancer Support Yorkshire on a Macmillan-funded project, facilitated by the Cancer Alliance, piloting an approach to personalised support co-ordination, initially focusing on head and neck, gynaecological, gastrointestinal tract and colorectal cancer.
From now on, the offer of support to help people with their personal finances, the ability to maintain social networks and psychological wellbeing as well as chronic physical problems such as fatigue and pain, will be formalised and discussed in a face-to-face appointment as an integral part of patient care. They are then signposted to support services as appropriate.
These and other projects demonstrate the importance of taking the global commitment to tackling cancer and improving care, along with the national ambitions to drive up clinical outcomes, patient experience and quality, and translating these into what matters to people living in our local communities, reflected in our place-based plans.
Our Cancer Alliance will be taking the opportunity presented on World Cancer Day to focus on lung cancer, a huge issue for us across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, where it kills more people than any other cancer – and the actions we are taking to tackle the issue.
You can read more on the Cancer Alliance website about our four-pronged approach in Bradford and Wakefield, where we will be working with local partners to introduce targeted lung health checks for people most at risk in two of our local places with the highest smoking prevalence, as part of a wider Tackling Lung Cancer programme.
While not everyone who develops lung cancer is or has been a smoker, smoking is the greatest risk factor – as it is for so many cancers. We’re backing Public Health England’s current Health Harms campaign, which highlights the harm to health caused by every single cigarette (you may have seen the TV ads running at the moment).
We’re also working with colleagues across our area to encourage a Smokefree NHS.Our ambition is to see over 100,000 fewer smokers by 2021 and to see the next generation of children grow up protected from the health harms of tobacco, in a place where smoking is unusual.
This sits well with the theme of this year’s World Cancer Day, which is ‘I Am and I Will – the launch of a three-year campaign calling for personal commitment and recognising the power of individual taken now to impact the future.
As professionals, as patients, as parents, as carers, as people - we can all do something to make a difference to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.
Follow the Cancer Alliance on Twitter @profseanduffy and on Facebook, @WYHCancerAlliance
Have a good weekend,
The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance Board met last week. Business on the agenda included:
The NHS Long Term Plan was published on January 7th. This is an important document which helps to set the context for the next phase of our Partnership’s work. Colleagues from across our areas met on Monday to set out a process to review and refresh priorities, as well as identify any potential new one which have emerged; either from the Long Term Plan or our Partnership way of working since we published our ‘Next Steps to Better Health and Care for Everyone’ in February 2018. The aim is to publish our own five year plan in the autumn. We will keep you updated as the work progresses.
Part of this work includes engagement support from Healthwatch across our area. Colleagues from across our six local areas (Bradford District and Craven, Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield) met on Tuesday to discuss the next steps. This included including representatives from Healthwatch and communications / engagement functions. Further guidance is expected from NHS England. This will help shape the work we do around the Long Term Plan in our local areas. We will also be updating our engagement and consultation mapping document to help us move forward. You can read last year’s here.
Thursday 31 January was Young Carers Awareness Day. This year the campaign aimed to raise awareness of and improve support for young carers’ mental health.
We are planning the first in a series of careers events to support young carers who live in West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership. There are around 260,000 adult carers living across West Yorkshire and Harrogate in Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. This number includes thousands of young carers taking on a caring role from as young as six years old. Often they are caring for parents who have long term health conditions, mental health difficulties, experience alcohol and substance use/ misuse. Many young carers find it difficult to cope with the added pressure of education and exams with many feeling socially isolated and unable to take part in after school and weekend activities. Juggling caring responsibilities with their school work and social development puts them under tremendous pressure when it comes to studying for their exams or considering their career aspirations and opportunities. This can result in lack of confidence, low self-esteem and in some cases depression or mental health problems. A survey by Carers Trust found that 26% have been bullied at school because of their caring role - with 1 in 20 missing school. Areas of concern we very clearly want to address at a West Yorkshire and Harrogate and local level.
In partnership with the Local Workforce Action Board, we are developing a programme to encourage young people to consider one of more than 350 different careers in the sector. These special career events for young carers aged between 13-15 years old will take place over the next 12 months. The work is supported by Barnardo’s, Calderdale Young Carers Service and Ahead Partnership, an organisation that specialise in working with employers, educators and healthcare providers to engage, inspire and motivate young people around skills, career options and future employment. We will keep you updated.
The West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) is an innovative collaboration, which brings together the six NHS trusts (Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust) who deliver acute hospital services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. The purpose of the association is for the hospitals to work together on behalf of patients to deliver more joined up, high quality, cost effective care.
The Committee in Common met this week. This is made up of all the hospital Chairs and Chief Executives. At the meeting it was agreed to formally establish the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Pathology Network. They also received updates on the work of the Cancer Alliance and the pharmacy programme. They also discussed the NHS Long Term Plan identifying as key priorities: how acute trusts support the development of primary and community care networks, and how we deepen our collaboration through WYAAT.
To support flexible working and collaboration across our trusts, the WYAAT trusts have signed a portability agreement that enables colleagues who are cleared to work in one of our organisations to be able to work in another WYAAT trust without the need for an honorary contract and all the associated checks. The employing organisation continues to be responsible for the individual’s employment. You can read more about this on the new WYAAT website.
In last month’s update we shared with you that we have submitted recommendations to NHS England for two arterial centres for vascular services in West Yorkshire: Leeds General Infirmary, co-located with the Major Trauma Centre, and Bradford Royal Infirmary. The arterial centres will provide all complex elective and emergency surgery and interventional radiology (IR). Day case (minor surgery and interventional radiology), diagnostics and outpatient clinics will remain at the local hospitals. Following further engagement with staff and the public NHS England will make a final decision later this year.
As part of our recommendation, we agreed that vascular services in West Yorkshire will be delivered as a single service across the whole of West Yorkshire, bringing together the expertise and resources from all five trusts. Vascular surgery consultant Neeraj Bhasin from Calderdale has just been appointed to the post of Regional Clinical Director to create this service and recruitment for the Head of Nursing and General Manager roles is ongoing.
Some exciting collaboration work between Bradford and Airedale has been taking place to develop and further improve stroke care between the two hospitals. The stroke service vision is for the executive and operational stroke teams from both sites to work together, in partnership with our CCGs, to help review and improve the stroke service, driving forward performance and making quality improvements to the service. Over recent months good progress has been made that the teams are immensely proud of and which you can read more about on the WYAAT website here. For more information contact Sayma Mirza, Head of Collaboration, Sayma.firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01535 292419.
Following public engagement over the last two years around the future of hyper acute stroke care (care received in the first 72 hours), proposals have been put forward to change the way stroke care is delivered for Harrogate patients. Work is currently underway to implement this, with a changeover date of 3 April 2019. Under the proposals, people requiring hyper acute stroke care will be taken directly by ambulance to a larger hyper acute stroke unit - most likely to be Leeds or York - in order to ensure that the treatment they receive is timely and effective. Patients will be transferred back to Harrogate District Hospital as soon as possible after initial treatments or discharged home and will receive their ongoing rehabilitation care locally. A communications and engagement plan has been developed and agreed locally, and is being implemented over the coming months.
The WYAAT trusts’ communications leads are working together as part of the wider West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership to support engagement around the NHS Long Term Plan, and the launch of the ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign - expected to launch in March.
As mentioned above, the new WYAAT website launched last month to share our achievements – take a look! www.wyaat.wyhpartnership.co.uk/
WYAAT has also launched its twitter account @WYAAT_Hospitals with the hashtag #hospitalsworkingtogether. Follow us and find out more about all the work going on.