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.
Engagement gives people an opportunity to have their say on services. By gathering people's views, it helps us understand what matters to people.
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.
In this section you can read about some of the latest activities to drive behaviour change, increase uptake of blood tests and make the public aware about the signs and symptoms of diabetes, stay active, in control and healthy. You can also hear from people who have attended the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme or have taken part in other activities aimed at preventing diabetes.
Elise Featherstone, Graduate Digital Project Manager for the partnership’s Digital Programme tells us her story about living with and managing type 1 diabetes.
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. About 8% of people with diabetes in the UK have type 1 diabetes. It’s a serious and lifelong condition where your blood glucose (sugar) level is too high because your body can’t make insulin. It’s got nothing to do with diet or lifestyle and there is no known cure.
Here's Elise's story:
"Originally from the North East I moved to Leeds in 2015 to study Graphic and Communication Design at the University of Leeds. After graduating I decided to make the permanent move to West Yorkshire.
"My diagnosis came at an early age in 2002 when I was just 5 years old. I became unwell with symptoms including weight loss and tiredness, I was eventually rushed to hospital by my GP where I was treated for a week at the Great North Children’s Hospital Diabetes ward.
"Although diabetes does not run in my family exactly one year after my initial diagnosis my twin sister was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Having been through my ill health and diagnosis a year before my family were able to recognise her symptoms very early on - preventing initial deterioration of her health and could quickly adjust.
"Growing up with diabetes at a young age is restrictive. As a child, it was difficult to understand why my eating and activities differed from other children but being able to grow through it with my twin was monumental in understanding I wasn’t isolated.
"After suffering a diabetic seizure during my sleep in 2012 due to a low blood sugar my confidence and control of my diabetes spiralled. I didn’t want to be in that position again so ensured my blood sugar levels remained higher, an unhealthy and dangerous cycle. With the introduction of new glucose warning technology my control is now healthy and within target, however, I still occasionally experience anxiety around sleep and my blood sugar.
"The advancement of diabetic technology is truly life changing. After being prescribed the Freestyle Libre sensor-based glucose monitoring system in 2018, my HbA1c and health have dramatically improved. I feel more independent - and for the first time since being young, I am able to feel significantly more in my fingertips after switching from finger prick glucose monitoring to the sensor. I also feel far less anxiety around my sleep as the Libre sounds an alarm via my phone when my blood sugar is dropping through the night.
"Today I don’t allow my condition to define what I can or cannot do. I believe transparency and openness is essential in raising awareness and understanding for the million others like me living with the condition not to hide it, to embrace injecting in public and openly address any questions or advice around living with type 1 diabetes."
Both of Steve’s parents developed diabetes later on in life. Although Steve, who lives in Huddersfield, wasn’t excessively overweight and didn’t smoke he knew that his family history and genetics meant he was at greater risk. When he went to a well-man clinic and was told his blood sugar levels were in the pre-diabetic range it didn’t come as a total shock. He took his GP’s advice, at Rose Medical Practice, and signed up to the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.
At 50 he was one of the youngest on the programme.
“I was a bit cynical at first, we all were,” he said. “That was until we realised that this wasn’t about a fad diet but about making small changes.
“For me, those small changes meant things like cutting out a sandwich at supper, eating more pulses instead of bread and reducing my portion sizes. It wasn’t about eliminating everything or changing the world – and that was a real eye-opener for me. I liked how programme sessions were pitched, you didn’t get preached at and everything was easily do-able.”
Steve got a pedometer too which helped create a sense of competitiveness with himself and kick-started the couch to 5k, choosing to run in a morning rather than cutting into his evenings.
He said: “I liked the way the way you could build up slowly to the 5k. It never felt it was getting easier but you were doing more without really realising it. I’m a keen gardener too which keeps me active and burns off the calories.”
The impact was life changing. Steve’s blood sugar levels came down and he’s no longer assessed as high risk. The weight came off too – and has stayed off so Steve is now at his perfect weight for his age and height.
“Talking out loud and writing down everything you ate helped as it made you think and realise where you might be going wrong. For example, I was a regular at the tuck shop at work. I started to make sure I had breakfast every day and took slow energy release healthy snacks to work with me, such as nuts and bananas so I never felt hungry.”
Choosing the healthier option has become second nature to Steve who’ll often have home-made soups at lunch and keep his main meal to an evening. Steve has also built things into his normal day so they’ve become part of the daily routine, such as having regular breaks from the computer and moving around.
“It’s all psychological and not feeling as though you have to do something extra or miss out on something you love,” he said. “The earlier you can intervene the better. You don’t send people who are speeding at 100mph in a 30mph area to a speed awareness course – but you’ll send people who are going a little bit faster than they should. And that’s what it’s like being pre-diabetic.”
Asked what advice he’d give to someone who’s referred to the Healthier You programme Steve had this to say: “It’s not too radical, be opened minded and go with it. The difference is amazing – without appearing to do very much you can achieve a lot!”
We are working with GP practices across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to identify and write to all patients at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to offer them a free place on the NDPP. To make things as easy as possible we have developed a pack with all the information practices need to identify eligible patients, do a mail merge, download template letters etc. We are already seeing an increase in referrals in those areas where practices have issued letters.
We work in partnership with the Women’s Activity Centre to run a nationally recognised diabetes education programme. The centre has been helping raise the quality of life of South Asian women in Calderdale by running initiatives to improve their health and wellbeing, alleviate loneliness and isolation since 2011. Here are three stories from women who have all benefitted from following a six-month intervention at the centre. We’ve used different names to protect their identities. See the Women's Activity Centre short video for more information.
Jade is in her sixties and was left feeling isolated and subdued following the death of her husband, who also had diabetes. Feeling herself being drawn into a life of isolation and loneliness, Jade took up the offer of the six-month project to help her control and deal with her diabetes.
Initially Jade was very lonely and staff said she seemed distracted. This changed after being encouraged to take part in the wide range of activities on offer, including exercise classes, running on the treadmill and group activities. Being with staff and others who speak Punjabi and Urdu helped Jade settle into her environment and she began to actively take part.
Jade committed to at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, reduced her carbohydrate intake and engaged in one-to-one support. Slowly but surely the isolation lifted and Jade now has a more positive outlook. She’s also lost a bit of weight and seen her blood pressure reduce from around 176/85 to 144/66.
The centre says: “It’s fantastic to see that Jade hasn’t had to attend hospital or visit her GP after her first intervention. She’s continuing to watch her carbohydrate intake and keep her exercise levels up.”
53 year-old Manjit has a family history of diabetes with both parents and her brothers and sisters having the condition. Manjit spent a lot of time at home, had little interaction with others and often felt lonely and isolated.
After attending the centre and being with people she could identify with she has found a new inner spirit. In particular, Manjit enjoys cooking, using the treadmill and taking part in group discussions. She’s also benefitting from one-to-one encouragement and support which has improved her wellbeing and feels more able to manage her diabetes in the long-term.
Although Manjit didn’t need to lose weight her blood pressure was slightly on the high side. However, by increasing her daily exercise and reducing her carb intake her blood pressure has improved.
Manjit is proof that although there are some things you can’t change, like a family history of diabetes, there are other small steps you can take to keep yourself fit and healthy.
When Maly first came to the centre staff said she was quite withdrawn. Her parent, sisters and brother all have diabetes.
At home she rarely socialised or interacted with others and had limited access to activities including culturally adapted services. The centre offers a variety of cultural services and Maly began to get involved. She also took part in the exercise classes, uses the treadmill and took part in group discussions.
The centre says that the one-to-one interaction with centre staff as well as meeting other women has helped show such fantastic results rather than by following any particular course or intervention.
57 year-old Maly has lost 4 lbs in weight and her blood pressure is slightly lower too. She’s taken advice from the centre to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day and watch the type of foods she eats. The centre is also looking at other areas to support Maly in making positive changes to boost her overall health and wellbeing to manage her diabetes the best way she can.
The NDPP is a free community based behaviour change programme. Here are some stories from those who have attended the 9 month programme and have significantly reduced their chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
John was offered a place on the National Diabetes Prevention Programme by his doctor. At first he was sceptical but after also hearing from a friend that the programme produced great results decided to give it a go. In particular, John found the food app useful.
“The app helped me to be aware of portion sizes, as well as balancing food types”, he said.
John increased his cardio vascular activities and became more aware about how his mind set affected his behaviour and mood.
“I use various techniques to take my mind off comfort eating - I write, focus on interests and activities and drink water rather than alcohol.”
The results have been excellent. “I lost 15% of my initial weight, I have a better blood score, my knee pain has gone and my mental health has been helped,” he said.
The healthier and lighter John has had lots of positive comments from family and friends too.
“I was losing weight and feeling good about myself. I’d give the programme a 5 star recommendation.”
“Writing down everything I ate made me thing much more about what I was eating,” said Steve, who joined the programme after being advised by his GP following a blood test.
Steve said he also became more mindful of portion sizes and checking food labels. At first, Steve set himself a target of walking 6,000 steps a day but quickly increased that to 10,000 - the recommended daily target. He also cut down on the snacks and gave up alcohol completely.
“Joining the group definitely had an impact. I feel healthier and fitter than I have done for some time.”
Russell knew he was overweight but hadn’t bothered to do anything about it. That changed when he was told by his doctor that his blood pressure and sugars were high – and then along came coronavirus.
“I’m male, over 55 and have asthma so I’m in a lot of the high risk groups,” said Russell. “Being obese was also high-risk.”
The course helped Russell cut down on his eating and drinking and increase his physical activity.
Russell said: “I was eating too much because I was bored, drinking too much and not doing enough exercise. I changed my eating habits. When I’m hungry I choose a healthier option. I now don’t drink during the week and I do a lot more exercise.”
The results speak for themselves. Russell has lost six stone, his blood pressure is lower and his blood sugars came down to the extent where he is no longer considered to be pre-diabetic.
“I found the course helpful as it allowed me to do things which worked for me but also gave me a lot of tips and encouragement along the way,” he said.
When asked what his one piece of advice would be to others joining the programme, Russell said: “It’s something you have to want to do. The course can help you but it can’t do things for you.”
He added: “If you want to change and make yourself healthier then it would be as useful for you as it was for me.”