Our Previous Work 2018

What is the issue?

In early March 2017 we received information from patients in Calderdale and Kirklees, who had used the posture and mobility service, that they were concerned over long waiting lists and equipment which was unfit for purpose.

We also found that positive feedback was submitted to the Healthwatch Calderdale website from some patients who did not have complex or changing needs.

Why are we covering this issue?

Healthwatch felt that we could help improve the experiences of posture and mobility services for young people and people with complex wheelchair needs.

What is the impact?

Posture and mobility services in Calderdale and Kirklees provide support to approximately 10,000 patients.

UPDATE: March/April 2017

Healthwatch Kirklees staff met with two parent groups to listen to their concerns around wheelchair services.

An online survey was created to gather additional feedback from everyone across Calderdale and Kirklees.

REPORT: Healthwatch findings

Click the link on the right to view the report outlining the findings of the work completed by Healthwatch
regarding Posture and Mobility Services (Opcare), the organisation commissioned by the NHS to provide wheelchair services.

CASE STUDY 1

Click the download button on the right to see Ellie’s story.

CASE STUDY 2

Click the download button on the right to see Olivia’s story.

CASE STUDY 3

Click the download button on the right to see Lucy’s story.

CASE STUDY 4

Click the download button on the right to see Katie’s story.

CASE STUDY 5

Click the download button on the right to see Alex’s story.

UPDATE: May 2017

In May Healthwatch met with the Quality Manager for both Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s to discuss the issues people were experiencing.

The Healthwatch report and case studies were presented to the Clinical Commissioning Group’s.

UPDATE: September 2017

Healthwatch Calderdale and Kirklees met with Opcare to discuss our report findings.

Issues with wheelchair services have been selected by Scrutiny panels in
Calderdale and Kirklees.

A scrutiny committee is responsible for examining all functions and responsibilities of the Council.

The Committee is made up of councilliors from the local area and they help to ensure that the Council delivers its key aims and objectives, by creating an open, transparent mechanism for Councillors to shape, question, evaluate and challenge the Council policies, decisions and performance.

UPDATE: October 2017

During October 2017, further engagement with Opcare’s stakeholders was completed via an online survey; this was to ensure that everyone who had used wheelchair services had the opportunity to have their say, including carers for adults and staff who refer people to posture and mobility services.

MEDIA: Opcare apology

Opcare issued an apology to family members of deceased patients who received postal versions of the survey.

Click download to see the apology released by Opcare regarding their error around patient databases.

MEDIA: Clinical Commissioning Group statement

On 29 November 2017, the Clinical Commissioning Groups released the following statement on Opcare’s Wheelchair Services.

Click the download button on the right to view the statement.

REPORT: Scrutiny committee January 2018

In January 2018, Healthwatch presented this issue to scrutiny committees in Calderdale and Kirklees.

Click on the download button to the right to see the committees response.

UPDATE: March 2018

We understand that Clinical Commissioning Groups’s in Calderdale and Kirklees have agreed to invest significant additional resources to reduce the current waiting lists for wheelchairs in Calderdale and Kirklees.

We are due to meet with the Clinical Commissioning Group’s and Opcare in April 2018 to understand better what this means for people in both area’s, and will provide a more detailed piece of feedback after that meeting.” Helen Wright Director Healthwatch Calderdale

UPDATE: May 2018

Healthwatch welcomes over £1m to clear backlog in demand for wheelchairs in Calderdale and Kirklees.

Kirklees and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Groups have committed to invest over £1,086,409 by September 2018 to clear a backlog in demand for wheelchairs.

What is the issue?

Healthwatch Calderdale were contacted by a number of adults with both undiagnosed and diagnosed Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC), who were concerned about the difficulties of accessing diagnostic assessments, as well as the lack of availability of post-diagnosis services locally.

Why did we cover this issue?

We wanted to have a better understanding of the issues that people with ASC face in Calderdale and Kirklees, so that we can tell the NHS system, and help to improve people’s experiences.

UPDATE: June - September 2017

We designed two surveys, one for people with ASC to complete so that they could tell us about their experiences, and another one for the parents, partners and carers of adults with ASC to use to give us their views and ideas.

We collected real life stories to show how having an Autism Spectrum Condition can affect people’s lives. We visited a number of support groups for adults with ASC and their parents, partners and carers, in which we asked for people’s views.

Click on the download button to see the survey for adults with ASC:

SURVEY - for parents, carers and partners of people with ASC

Click on the download button to see the survey for parents, carers and partners of people with ASC:

CASE STUDY TEMPLATE - for adults with ASC

Click on the download button to see the case study template:

REPORT: What did we find out about services for adults with autism in Calderdale - Interim Report

We were asked to produce an interim report of our findings for Calderdale CCG

Click the download button on the right to see the interim Calderdale feedback report.

REPORT: What did we find out about services for adults with autism in Kirklees - Interim Report

We also provided an interim report of our findings for Kirklees CCG

Click the download button on the right to see the interim Kirklees feedback report.

REPORT: Adults experiences of Autism Services in Calderdale and Kirklees - Final Report October 2017

CASE STUDY 1 - Why did Ann feel she needed to pay for a private autism assessment

CASE STUDY 2 - Why did Sue have to wait so long for her diagnosis

CASE STUDY 3 - Why is John left without support after getting a diagnosis

CASE STUDY 4 - Please turn the noise down, it hurts

CASE STUDY 5 - Steve has autism and sometimes struggles to make himself understood

CASE STUDY 6 - Pete has autism and felt alone and lost for most of his life

CASE STUDY 7 - Paul is a carer for people with autism, but no one cares for him

UPDATE: April 2018 - Feedback from Calderdale Council

REPORT: Calderdale Autism Hub Pilot - One year review

CASE STUDY: Calderdale Autism Hub Pilot - This is a place where I feel safe to talk about my struggles

CASE STUDY: Calderdale Autism Hub Pilot - I feel more confident as I am not judged or misunderstood

UPDATE: March 2019

Calderdale Autism Hub awarded funding for another two years following success of one-year pilot.

EVENT: April 2019

As part of Autism Awareness week 2019, Calderdale Autism Hub held event where they previewed autism awareness animations that one of the members of the group has developed with the support of the group.

They also displayed artwork and read poems they had written at the group sessions.

Go to the Featherdrop website to see the Autism Awareness Animations: featherdrop.net

UPDATE: May 2019

Healthwatch Calderdale meeting with Calderdale CCG and Calderdale Council representatives re services for Adults with autism in Calderdale.

UPDATE: June 2019

Healthwatch Calderdale engagement session at the Autism Hub in Halifax.

Healthwatch Calderdale heard some inspiring ideas from members of Calderdale’s Autism Hub. The support group for people with or without an autism diagnosis, asked Healthwatch Calderdale staff questions and the 14 members and two support workers talked about their own experiences of health and social care services, including ideas for improvement.

Among the questions they asked us were:

  • Are there any support services for people with autism apart from the Hub?
  • Why will the mental health team not work with people with autism who have mental health issues?

Here’s some of the things they told us:

  • Can GP practices have a flag that alerts a receptionist that the caller has autism? They said it would mean reasonable adjustments could be put in place.
  • They’d like to give their views on how autistic-friendly health facilities are.
  • They’d like to explore Communication Passports that alert a medical professional to their autism with information specific such as not liking being touched.
  • They asked if workplaces could have an autistic-friendly member of staff, in the same way they have a trained first aider?
  • One member told us he’d been discharged from mental health services as staff felt they were unsuitable for him, but not referred to a more suitable service. He said he often felt like he was having starting at square one again.
  • They told us they find the type size of leaflets in medicine boxes too small for many to read.
  • One member had found himself among friends when he attended Andy’s Man Club – he said everyone had been so accepting and that he felt it gave him a fighting chance of staying positive.

Healthwatch Calderdale is exploring some of the issues raised and will respond back and continue to work with the Autism Hub to make positive change for them and others.

What is the issue?

In the last 6 months we have heard stories from people who have had their Continuing Health Care packages changed and replaced with social care support instead. This is often for people with long term, severe illness.

Why are we looking at this issue?
These stories impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our community. We are concerned that funding pressures in the NHS are leading to assessments of people that are leaving people and their carers in a vulnerable position. We are aware of reduced Clinical Commissioning Group funding in this area, and want to understand the impact that this is having on patients and their carers.

What is the impact of this issue?
The numbers of people in receipt of Continuing Health Care packages are small, but the impact on their families if packages are changed is often significant.

We hope to be able to quantify the numbers of people impacted as we review this issue further.

UPDATE: February 2018

If you have a story to tell about Continuing Health Care packages then please contact ginny.woolfenden@healthwatchcalderdale.co.uk who is leading on this work across Calderdale and Kirklees.

UPDATE: March 2018

We are due to meet with representatives from the Continuing Health Care team in April 2018 to explore this issue further, to see how many people this is impacting and to feed back some of the stories that we have heard.

What is the issue?

If you are keen to understand more about plans for health and social care in Calderdale, you might be interested to look at the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Calderdale. You can download a copy of the report on the right.

This plan has been developed by leaders in the NHS and local Council, working together with the Health and Wellbeing Board, and highlights a vision for the future of health and care in Calderdale. The plan tries to address three key gaps:

The Health and Wellbeing gap – some people have poorer health than others, and that is often linked to deprivation. In Calderdale, if you live in the most deprived areas, you can expect that you life will be 9 years shorter than someone in the least deprived area. The plan will try to narrow that life expectancy gap.

The Care and Quality gap – there is not always high enough quality services to meet people’s health needs. The plan aims to improve the quality of health and care services, to improve people’s experience of services, and the outcomes of interventions with their health.

The Productivity and Finance gap – in Calderdale, health and social care professionals forecast a combined health and social care finance gap of £100m by 2021/22. That means that if services were to stay as they are, then the Clinical Commissioning Group and Adult Social Care would be £100m short of the funding they need. The plan looks at how these financial challenges can be addressed.

Development of this plan is ongoing, and if you have views that you would like to share about the draft plan, then we would be interested to hear them. Any comments will be fed back to the Health and Wellbeing Board, so they can consider them whilst discussing the plan.

If you would like to share your views about what is included in the document, you can send your comments to us through our contact form or by email to info@healthwatchcalderdale.co.uk.

What is the issue?

National hypermobility charities have reported issues around the care and services for people diagnosed with hypermobility syndromes.

Why are we covering this issue?

Healthwatch Calderdale have concerns that the local services for individuals with hypermobility syndromes are not fit for purpose, and that people with hypermobility syndromes can live with the conditions but without diagnosis and appropriate treatment for a long time.

We feel it is important to identify some of the key experiences of local people to challenge local providers to improve their awareness of syndromes which impact around 1 in 15 of the population.

UPDATE: November 2018

The hypermobility syndromes survey is now closed. We had just over 250 responses to the survey as well as significant interest from participants in providing case studies. We will analyse the survey data over the coming months and hope to publish a report and case studies early next year (2019).

UPDATE: July 2018

Healthwatch Calderdale’s hypermobility syndromes project featured in the Hypermobility Syndromes Association Journal (volume 9), produced by the national charity, Hypermobility Syndromes Association (HMSA).

UPDATE: February 2018

We asked people to attend focus groups to find out peoples experiences of hypermobility in Yorkshire.

UPDATE: April 2018

Healthwatch Calderdale has written articles regarding the Healthwatch Yorkshire and Humber hypermobility project for the national magazines produced by Ehlers Danlos Support UK and the Hypermobile Syndromes Association.

These are to be published in the next few months. It is hoped that these articles will ensure that we reach as many adults as possible with hypermobility syndromes across Yorkshire and the Humber.

UPDATE: May 2018

Healthwatch Calderdale is currently using the information gathered from the focus groups to formulate the next step of the project, which is a survey.

This summer between July and September 2018, we will be asking adults with hypermobility syndromes across Yorkshire and the Humber to help us by providing more detailed information via a survey about their health and social care experiences. The survey will be available online over this three-month period. Feedback can also be given via telephone.

UPDATE: July 2018

Healthwatch Calderdale hypermobility syndromes project featured in the summer 2018 edition of the “Fragile Links” magazine, produced by the national charity Ehlers Danlos Support UK.

UPDATE: August 2018

The hypermobility syndromes survey is now open until 31st October 2018:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/hypermobility

For more information, please see

What is the issue?

Healthwatch Kirklees have scoped the issues for migrant communities by visiting different organisations and speaking to service users and professionals who work with these communities.

Why are we covering this issue?

Healthwatch Calderdale acknowledge that similar issues are arising in our area and need to be examined further.

A key issue in this area is access to GP services for Syrian refugees.

What is the impact?

There are approximately 50 individuals on the Home Office Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement programme in Calderdale. Their vulnerability criteria include; women and girls at risk; survivors of violence and/or torture; refugees with legal and/or physical protection needs; refugees with medical needs or disabilities; and children and adolescents at risk.

Access to healthcare for Syrian refugees in Calderdale - What did we learn?

Click the download button on the right to read the final report…

CASE STUDY 1

Click the download button on the right to read peoples experiences of services in Calderdale: Overlooking a patient’s communication needs led to delays in treatment…

CASE STUDY 2

Click the download button on the right to read peoples experiences of services in Calderdale:
The unfamiliar NHS health system felt uncaring and confusing…

CASE STUDY 3

Click the download button on the right to read peoples experiences of services in Calderdale:
Poor communication increased a dental patients fear and pain…

CASE STUDY 4

Click the download button on the right to read peoples experiences of services in Calderdale:
Language barriers could have led to child neglect allegations…

CASE STUDY 5

Click the download button on the right to read peoples experiences of services in Calderdale:
Lack of an interpreter led to repeated visits to the GP and medication being taken incorrectly…

Response to the report from Calderdale Local Medical Committee

Click the download button on the right to read the response…

Response to the report from Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Click the download button on the right to read the response…

Response to the report from Calderdale CCG

Click the download button on the right to read the response…

Response to the report from Calderdale and Kirklees Local Dental Committee

Click the download button on the right to read the response…

Response to the report from Dental Commissioning Manager for W Yorkshire

Click the download button on the right to read the response…

March 2019 - Health Literacy and Safeguarding Workshop

Click the download button on the right to read about the event and what was discussed…

What is the issue?

The Public Health team at Calderdale Council has submitted a bid to Sport England for a significant amount of funding to launch a social movement in Calderdale, encouraging inactive people to become active to improve their health.

This is part of the council’s ambition that Calderdale become the most active borough in the North.

Why are we covering this issue?

There are further stages to establish whether Calderdale will be successful in their bid, but there could be significant opportunities to involve the communities and request their views.

What is the issue?

For the past couple of years we have heard stories from patients about penalty charges from the NHS Business Services Authority.

Penalty notices are sent to patients who have incorrectly claimed free dental or prescription charges. The charges include the cost of the treatment and also a penalty fine of up to £100.00.

Why are we covering this issue?

Healthwatch Calderdale think that people who are most vulnerable within our local area are receiving penalty fines incorrectly.

UPDATE: April 2018

We are currently working with the British Dental Association about this issue.

Healthwatch Calderdale and Kirklees have also written to Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to tell them we think that people are being unfairly fined.

We are awaiting a response.

What is the issue?

Providing Independent Health Complaints Advocacy offers interesting insights in to the way in which complaints are dealt with by different providers in Calderdale. Often there are ongoing and underlying issues with how complaints responses are produced and delivered, with many of these related to poor communication.

Why are we covering this issue?

It’s important that Healthwatch Calderdale take the learning from providing advocacy and try to improve how complaints are dealt with by providers in Calderdale.

UPDATE: August 2017

Healthwatch Calderdale met with senior managers at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust to discuss the way that the complaints process is administered in their organisation.

UPDATE: April 2018

Healthwatch Calderdale are currently reviewing how long external organisations are taking to respond to patient complaints.

What is the issue?

Healthwatch Calderdale were approached by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust who asked us to help them get an understanding of patient experience of the new electronic patient record for outpatients.

Why are we covering this issue?

Healthwatch Calderdale were approached by several members of the public who raised concerns about new electronic booking systems for hospital appointments and we wanted to investigate this matter further.

UPDATE: November 2017

We talked to lots of people about their experiences of the electronic patient system via social media and outreach sessions in outpatient departments at Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Click on the download button on the right so see the survey we used.

UPDATE: January 2018

The final report of what patients told us has been sent to CHFT.

We have asked that they respond with a statement on how they are going to address the feedback from their patients.

To read the full report click the download button on the right.

What is the issue?

GPs are facing challenges regarding access to appointments for their patients, and many other health services offering immediate access, such as Accident and Emergency, or NHS 111, are struggling with demand.
In part, this can be due to GP surgeries and other health services working with a significant number of people who are routinely booking frequent appointments or presenting to emergency services, but who may be doing so when there is not necessarily a clinical outcome that would benefit them.

Why are we covering this issue?
Healthwatch Calderdale was approached by North Halifax Community Wellbeing Partnership to do some engagement work with people who make frequent use of health services, with the expectation that the learning could influence the way that GP practices deliver support to some of their most intensive service users in the future.

What did we do?
Individual patients were identified by the GP practices, and Healthwatch Calderdale undertook a small number of focused telephone interviews to get a better understanding of why and how people were accessing health services, which services they preferred to use and why, what self-care strategies people have used, how much they knew about local resources and support, and the barriers to improving their self-care strategies.

Click the download button on the right to see the questions we asked…

Update for North Halifax Community Wellbeing Partnership – Interim feedback 08/01/19

Report presented to North Halifax Community Wellbeing Partnership - 18/06/19

The patients we interviewed fell into two groups; one group that didn’t use health services frequently, and a larger group that did.
In brief, the people that use health services more frequently:
• Reported a greater number of non-medical issues which affected their health and wellbeing
• Were more likely to suffer from mental health problems
• Used fewer self-care strategies, and had much less knowledge of local resources that could be used to support them
• Encountered a greater number of barriers that limited their access to support, and ability to develop effective self-care strategies

Click the download button on the right to see the final report…