Hello my name is Rob

“The measure of success for me is seeing a child comfortable in a parent’s arms – that’s the benchmark” Dr Emily Harrup told the audience at the Adam Bojelian Memorial Talk last week.

Dr Harrup, Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Care, spoke brilliantly about end of life care for infants, children and young people. Her work informed the NICE guidelines, which themselves relied on engagement of families and young people with short lives. Their wisdom had helped define what was the best possible care for short lives. I was struck by the power of the collective work that had gone into the guidleines.

“Jack’s advanced care plan ensured the quality of his death and allowed us to concentrate on ensuring the quality of his life” was one quote that epitomised work that is fully supported by qualitative and quantitative research too.

This may feel an extreme example to many people – how we work together for short lives – but I think it is a truly inspiring example of what happens when we truly engage people in developing and designing health and care. It’s why we want to make every effort to engage people and increase awareness of the work of our partnership. This will help to ensure people feel more informed and importantly know how they can get involved and shape our plans as they develop - if they want to. Giving people the option is very important to us.

We are adopting various ways to involve the public in our plans, locally and at a West Yorkshire and Harrogate level, for example in the work of cancer and stroke. Our motivation to do this is driven by a strong sense of duty and community rather than doing what some may view as ‘ticking a box’ or meeting legal obligations. Our partnership principles mean much more than that to us.

Regardless of terminology, i.e. participation, engagement or involvement we want to involve as many people as possible in the planning, design and delivery of care. This is essential if we are to implement credible plans of action that meet the needs of the 2.6million people living across our area. Importantly this includes providing good quality accessible information that meets the needs of everyone, including those with learning disabilities, visual impairments etc. in formats which are produced in partnership with them, wherever possible. You can see examples of this in our recent work on “Our next steps to better health and care for everyone”.

We are also including members of the public and voluntary and community organisation reps on our West Yorkshire and Harrogate programme boards, for example stroke, cancer, maternity and elective care. They often know far better than us what keeps people well and communities healthy.

With this in mind we will be holding an event next week that brings together over fifty chairs of public panels from across our partnership to discuss the work we do and to ask, if and how, they would like to get more involved.

We currently have a lay member group for the Joint Committee of the Clinical Commissioning Groups, which offers assurance to the work plan of the Joint Committee. We now want to open this up much wider.

The event aims to bring together our lay member assurance group, trust governors, council reps and Healthwatch colleagues etc. under one roof. It will include guest speakers from national, regional and local forums, for example Jeremy Taylor from National Voices, Fiona Weir, NHS England, Paul Bollom from Leeds Council, Victoria Pickles from Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Marie Burnham, Independent Lay Chair of the Joint Committee and Fatima Khan Shah, chair of the lay member group and our programme lead for unpaid carers.

All will explain the importance of working with communities and ensuring that people’s voices are heard loud and clear, whilst they remain at the very heart of the work we do at both a local and West Yorkshire and Harrogate level.

You can see some good examples of the work taking place in our recently updated engagement and consultation mapping report which highlights some of the activity that has been carried out in our six local places (Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield).

We have also updated our draft West Yorkshire and Harrogate engagement timelines setting out what we will be doing over the coming months and the local plans will be updated in the coming months.

The intention is not to replace the work taking place in local places, quite the opposite. It is to share good practice and to co-produce what a West Yorkshire and Harrogate public panel could potentially look like (if that’s what people want). There is also an opportunity for local public involvement panel chairs to work more closely together in their local places.

Authentic and meaningful public involvement underpins all of the work we do across our partnership and what we hope to achieve is another important step to delivering this.

We will also be thinking about how we can involve younger people on our West Yorkshire and Harrogate priorities – building on the work which took place in Bradford last year. This is especially important when you consider the wisdom that children and young people bring. Any doubts? I will let you all read a piece that kicked off the Adam Bojelian Memorial Talk [#AdsTalk18] last week. What does good care look like? By Adam Bojelian aged 13.

We will keep you updated.

Have a good weekend


What else has been happening this week?

Local place based planner meeting

We welcomed Rachael Loftus, Head of Regional Health Partnerships to the meeting this week. Rachael is new in post and will be out and about meeting people over the next few weeks, supporting the connectivity between the six local places (Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield) and WY&H partnership priorities.

Colleagues gave an update on the work taking place in their local areas. For example Wakefield is looking at opportunities to work further faster in relation to health care and housing. This links to the recent report on “Housing and health: opportunities for sustainability and transformation partnerships”. This report sets out areas where sustainability and transformation partnerships and emerging integrated care systems can make more of the contribution of the housing sector to improving health. You can read The Kings Fund blog here to find out more.

Work continues on the integrated commissioning framework in Kirklees; and Harrogate and Rural District colleagues gave an update on their progress via a newly formed group who will be looking at health and care integration too. James Drury from Bradford updated the group on their recent visit from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who is doing a series of local reviews to inform future policy. The CQC wanted to understand how Bradford’s health care system works to help more people stay connected and supported to stay in control. Finally Ian gave an update on medicines optimisation in care homes and how West Yorkshire and Harrogate has been approached to be a personalised care demonstrator site. There has been interest from our local places.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Programme Leads Meeting

Programme leads met on Thursday, including maternity, cancer, urgent and emergency care, preventing ill health, primary and community care. The meeting was chaired by Ian Holmes, our partnership director. There was a discussion on the role of the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and the work they will be going to support the health and care partnerships – namely around innovation. The networks are located in various areas of the country and the intention is to implement innovative work, for example atrial fibrillation, transfer of care around medicines, maternal and neonatal health, where appropriate across our area. This work is being supported by NHS England, NHS Improvement, and Office for Life Sciences, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN funding. There was also a discussion around the 2008 Bercow Report: A Review of Services for Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs. Colleagues will be taking a good look at the report recommendations.


How do we change the relationship within our system so that people are partners in their own wellbeing, not just consumers of health services? This was the question discussed by Rory Deighton (Director for Healthwatch Kirklees), Corinne Harvey (Public Health England), Keith Wilson (Director for the Urgent and Emergency Care Programme) and other colleagues when they met this week to discuss whether we could scale up the learning from Healthwatch Kirklees work before Christmas, to a wider West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership footprint. Working in partnership with Kirklees Council public health colleagues, Healthwatch Kirklees explored via social media how we might influence the way that people talk, and think about health and wellbeing. In the 12 week trial over 11,000 people engaged in conversations via social media through 126 tweets, animations and posters. Our partnership has agreed to explore this idea further, to understand how this work aligns to other work taking place for example, with the Leeds 3Things approach, or the Wigan Deal and whether these ideas should operate at a local “place” level, or could be replicated across the West Yorkshire and Health Partnership (if appropriate).

Carers programme

The carers programme met on Thursday. This is chaired by Fatima Khan-Shah and includes colleagues from councils and health services. The group is looking at how we involve community organisations who specialise in supporting unpaid carers. This will build on the outcomes from the carers event in December. The group are also planning a primary care and quality markers event – aimed at GPs, GP Federations, Local Medical Committees and community care colleagues etc. This will be supported by NHS England. There was also a discussion around Carers Week, which takes place in June. You can read more about our approach to improve the support for unpaid carers in West Yorkshire and Harrogate here.

Mental health

The first meeting of the new Mental Health Safe Space Network took place on Tuesday. The network includes voluntary and community reps, and amongst other things, is a place to share good practice, innovation and learning, whilst making the most of opportunities for future collaboration.

Local Health and Care Record Exemplars (LHCRE)

Colleagues working on the LHCRE bid for Yorkshire and Humber met with WYAAT Trusts reps this week. The workshop aimed to bring together a clinical view of the digital journey for each of the organisations, with the aim of identifying common themes. There was also an update on the bid and a presentation from the North West Apprenticeship Service to discuss potential opportunities.

What’s happening next week?

  • The Urgent and Emergency Programme Board meets on Monday.
  • The Elective Care and Standardisation Programme meet on Tuesday.
  • On Wednesday the Memorandum of Understanding editorial group meets.