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.
A podcast all about eye health - 23.10.19
As part of the Improving Planned Care Programme, project teams are currently developing plans for service improvements around age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts and children’s eye services. These improvements may be in the form of a shared clinical pathway, a new use of technology or a workforce initiative for example, but all will reflect clinical evidence, best practice and patient insight.
In episode 2 of our We Work For You podcast, Steve Clark, Chair of the West Yorkshire Eye Health Network, talks about some of these eye conditions in more detail. Steve, who is also an experienced optometrist, explains what the symptoms of certain major eye conditions are and how those conditions can be treated.
In conversation with Christine Hughes, the Programme’s Communications and Engagement Manager, he also talks about a little known consequence of sight loss for many people ‘Charles Bonnet Syndrome’ and how we can keep our eyes healthy to reduce the risk of developing a major eye condition that could affect our sight.
This podcast episode all about eye health also features eye care service users Terry, Deanna, Sam, Adeel and Hajra who are all members of the Kirklees Visual Impairment Network. They talk openly about the impact of sight loss and share their experiences of living with a major eye condition.
£55k funding to support local eye care services - 07.10.19
We're delighted to announce that West Yorkshire and Harrogate has been awarded £55,000 worth of funding which has been made available by Health Education England through its workforce development fund. This funding will give local community and hospital-based optometrists the opportunity to undertake the ‘Professional Certificate in Medical Retina and Independent Prescriber’ training at the University of Bradford’s school of Optometry and Vision Science. Read more here.
A podcast all about improving planned care – 21.08.19
The first episode of the Partnership’s ‘We Work For You’ podcast features Dr James Thomas, Clinical Lead for the Partnership’s Improving Planned Care Programme. James explains what planned care actually is and how the programme is working to deliver the most appropriate and effective planned care for the people of West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
He talks about the so called ‘postcode lottery’ and why access to health services, and the eligibility criteria for them, should be the same for everyone. And how exactly is the Improving Planned Care Programme working to get rid of any variation that currently exists in West Yorkshire and Harrogate? Listen here to find out.
Building Health Partnerships in Calderdale and Wakefield - 06.08.19
For West Yorkshire and Harrogate, the aim of our collaboration with the Institute for Voluntary Action Research, through its Building Health Partnerships programme, has been to work with community and voluntary groups to improve the health of people across two specific localities, Calderdale and Wakefield. Each locality has focussed on a different initiative but they both emphasise the importance of prevention and self-care. Read more here.
Consultation on proposals for pharmacy drug reimbursements - 30.07.19
The Department of Health and Social Care is seeking views on proposals to reform some of the drug reimbursement arrangements for community pharmacy in England. Community pharmacies are paid by the NHS for each drug they dispense against an NHS prescription, as outlined in a publication known as the Drug Tariff. The arrangements generally work well, but improvements can be made to make sure that community pharmacies are paid fairly, and that the arrangements provide value for money to the NHS and taxpayers. Further information and links to the consultation documents can be accessed here. The consultation closes at 11:59pm on 17 September 2019.
Don’t risk your sight – stub out that cigarette! - 19.07.19
The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is warning the millions of smokers in the UK that they are putting their sight at risk if they continue to smoke. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate, the number of people who smoke is higher than the national average so the AOP’s warning is particularly relevant for our region. Over 75,000 local people are already living with sight loss and it is estimated that this number will rise above 93,000 by 2030. Read more here.
Why quitting smoking can improve the outcome of your routine operation - 14.06.19
Smoking can have a significant impact for patients who are going through planned care or ‘elective’ care which is treatment that people choose to have to help manage a health problem, rather than treatment that is required urgently or in an emergency. Planned care includes scheduled operations such as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery for example. Find out why today is a good day to stop smoking, particularly if you are about to undergo planned surgery, here.
How technology is helping us improve eye care - 14.05.19
A pilot scheme in North Kirklees and Wakefield will help reduce unnecessary delays in referrals, and take some of the pressure off GPs, by using technology that makes it possible for optometrists to connect to the NHS e-Referral Service and refer patients directly to the hospital eye service they need. Read more here.
Transforming musculoskeletal (MSK) services - 08.05.19
The Improving Planned Care Programme is transforming local MSK services and making positive changes that focus on clinical evidence, and on the patient as an individual. We have developed a new MSK pathway that sets out the various steps in the care of people referred onto MSK services by their GP or other healthcare professional. Read more here.
Parents show their support for local preventable sight loss campaign - 08.05.19
It’s a shocking statistic that 50% of all cases of sight loss are preventable. One of the ways we can all help to bring that percentage right down is by having regular eye tests, at least once every two years, and by encouraging others to do the same. That's exactly what Havercroft Parent Forum members are doing. Read more here.
The first of our West Yorkshire and Harrogate policies to be agreed for implementation - 03.04.19
Policies for spinal services and liothyronine for hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland) are the first of our West Yorkshire and Harrogate policies to be agreed for implementation across all nine clinical commissioning groups.
Both policies were considered by the Partnership’s joint committee on Tuesday 5 March and the decision was made for them to be implemented across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
Flash glucose monitoring for people with Type 1 diabetes – 02.04.19
We are currently working with diabetes specialists in West Yorkshire and Harrogate to update our policies on flash glucose monitoring, following the publication of new guidance from NHS England, and agree a single policy for all nine clinical commissioning groups. Read more here.
Evidence-Based Interventions - 18.03.19
NHS England’s Evidence-Based Interventions (EBI) policy will be implemented across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. The policy aims to reduce unnecessary medical procedures and prevent avoidable harm to patients by making sure that treatments routinely available on the NHS are appropriate and clinically effective. The EBI policy will ensure that people who would benefit from one of these ‘traditional’ procedures are offered them but for most people, there is a safer and less invasive alternative. Read more here.
A new public lay member for our programme - 07.03.19
The Partnership is delighted to welcome new lay member Pam Essler to the Improving Planned Care Programme. Pam has recently joined the programme’s Clinical Thresholds Working Group to represent the patient’s perspective on planned care. Read more about Pam, the Clinical Thresholds Working Group and the Improving Planned care programme here.
Our response to the Low Priority Prescribing consultation - 20.02.19
In the programme update posted on 04.01.19, we told you about the NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioners’ consultation on items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care. This consultation focusses on eight items which have the potential to release £68m per year to spend on higher priority areas in the NHS.
The consultation closes on 28 February 2019 and you can read an overview, and access the consultation document, on the NHS England website here.
Along with other healthcare organisations, we have responded to the consultation to feed in the Partnership’s views. In summary, we agree that implementation of this policy will lead to a more equitable process for making decisions about guidance on medicines. We have also provided our views on some of the medications and products detailed within the consultation. You can read our response to the consultation in full here.
Low Priority Prescribing consultation - 04.01.19
Towards the end of 2018, NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioners launched further consultation on prescribable items of low priority for NHS funding. This follows on from the commissioning guidance that was produced on items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care, and conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care.
The latest consultation contains recommendations on eight new items which have the potential to release £68m per year to spend on higher priority areas.
The items that are subject to the consultation fall into three categories:
Our vision for eye healthcare in West Yorkshire and Harrogate - 12.12.18
The demand for eye healthcare (ophthalmology) services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate increases year on year. This growing demand, particularly around age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, diabetic eye disease and glaucoma, leads to capacity issues within the system and results in longer waiting times for patients and frustrations for service providers. To help address this problem and plan for future demand, we need to make the best possible use of existing eye healthcare services and other resources related to eye care that are already out there. Read more here.
How we can transform musculoskeletal services in Calderdale - 12.12.18
The Improving Planned Care Programme, in conjunction with the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR), held and event in Halifax that focussed on musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions that affect joints and bones. The aim of the event was to explore how partnership working can help improve health outcomes for local people who live with MSK conditions, and how we can work together to reduce the numbers of people who are affected by these conditions through awareness and prevention. Read more here.
Procedures of Limited Clinical Value - (Evidence Based Interventions) - 04.12.18
The conclusion from NHS England's consultation on Evidence Based Interventions has now been published. Evidence Based Interventions link in with one of the Partnership’s key areas of work in its ‘Improving planned care’ programme which is to review the procedures currently being carried out in West Yorkshire and Harrogate that are of limited clinical value. Read more here.
Working together to reduce unnecessary sight loss - 06.11.18
Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve is damaged, often by the pressure of fluid inside the eye. For around 10% of those in the UK who register as being blind, having glaucoma led to their sight loss. This doesn’t have to be the outcome. For people with the condition, early diagnosis and treatment can help stop their vision getting worse and sight loss can be avoided. Read more here.