Our work in 2019

What would you do to improve health and care services in Calderdale?

Health and care leaders, frontline health and care staff, patient groups and experts came together to produce a ten-year plan. It was published in January 2019 and aims to transform the health service over the next 10 years into one that is fit for the future, sustainable and where taxpayers’ investment is used effectively. The plan includes:

• Making it easier for people to access support closer to home and via technology
• Doing more to help people stay well
• Providing better support for people with cancer, mental health conditions, heart and lung diseases, long-term conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis, learning disabilities and autism, and for people as they get older and experience conditions such as dementia.
• Tackling conditions that affect children and young people.

You can read more about the following:

Long Term Plan (https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/online-version/)

The NHS Long Term Plan Easy read (https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/easy-read-long-term-plan-v2.pdf)

Listen to the audio version (https://soundcloud.com/nhsengland/sets/long-term-plan)

Make sure your voice counts on these changes and take part in the survey here:


Survey closes on Friday 3rd May 2019

#WhatWouldYouDo? video

Click the download button to see the short #WhatWouldYouDo? video

Why does sharing my views matter?

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership will be responsible for producing a 5-year local plan, which will set out how to deliver the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan in our district. We need to hear from you about what would make health and care services better where you live.

What will patients get out of the NHS Long Term Plan?

Click the download button to see a video on what patients will get out of the Long Term Plan

NHS Long Term Plan Summary Report

Click the download tab for the Summary Report. It gives a brief outline of the work undertaken by the 6 local Healthwatch Organisations (Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield and North Yorkshire.)


  • Why we did it
  • Key findings
  • Next steps

Healthwatch: Our NHS Long Term Plan - full report

Click the download tab for the full NHS Long Term Plan report.

This piece of work was completed over 8 weeks, between March and May 2019. We gathered people’s views using two surveys and speaking with them at 15 focus groups. The surveys were completed face to face during outreach sessions with different groups and services in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate and Craven area, and were also available online.


  • Part 1: Findings – General survey and focus groups
  • Part 2: Findings – Specific conditions survey
  • Next Steps and Thanks

What is the issue?

During February and March 2019, we will be asking people to tell us about their experience of accessing the Single Point of Access for mental health services in Kirklees and Calderdale (SPA).

If you’d like the opportunity to give feedback, we are working on a short survey which will be available very soon but in the meantime you can contact Clare on 01924 450379 or email clare.costello@healthwatchkirklees.co.uk

If you are involved with any mental health support groups and you’d like us to come along to tell you more about this work, please get in touch using the contact details above.

What is the issue?

We’d like to hear from people who use Adult Social Care services in Kirklees and Calderdale. Whether that’s respite care, day services, supported living, home care or something else, if you would like to tell us your story, or if you care for someone and would like to tell us about your experience, please get in touch.
We want to hear from people who would be willing to share their experience of adult social care over a 6 month period – we will only ask for a short, regular phone call, at a time to suit you, or we can email or arrange a meeting. This would help us to get a detailed picture of what it’s like to regularly interact with Adult Social Care services. If you think you’d like to get involved, please get in touch with Clare Costello on 01924 450379 or email clare.costello@healthwatchkirklees.co.uk

How to get involved

We’d like to hear from people in Kirklees and Calderdale who use Adult Social Care services. Download this poster to find out how to get involved.

CAMHS experiences survey

As part of Healthwatch Calderdale’s work in supporting people, we’ve been working with a number of families of children displaying signs of autistic spectrum condition (ASC), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD) to help them navigate Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Much of this work has been on a one-to-one basis to try to help parents get the best outcome for their child. 

We now believe that by bringing this information together we can really highlight the difficulties families are facing.  We will share these stories with the service provider (CAMHS) and the commissioner (Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group), to ensure people’s voices are heard, highlighting the issues raised and making recommendations for positive change.  

It’s timely as the local authority’s latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection raised issues around autism assessments in children and we really want to feed our intelligence into this. 

 And we’ve created this survey so the wider public can share their views too – we believe your ideas can help lead to improvements and work towards making a positive difference for all. 

 If your child is displaying signs of autistic spectrum condition (ASC), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD) and has been referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), and you would like to give your feedback on your experiences, click the link to fill in our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CAMHS

 The deadline is Monday July 1. 

 If you have any questions you can contact Joanne Douglas at Healthwatch Calderdale on joanne.douglas@healthwatchcalderdale.co.uk 

What is the issue?

Healthwatch Calderdale is launching a range of engagement projects to collect the experiences of children and young people on health and social care.   

The purpose of our projects is to discover what matters most to children and young people in terms of health and social careWe want children and young people to know that their voice is important – we will report on their experiences, sharing what they have told us with the people with the power to make change happen.  We hope that these voices can be used to help shape the future of health and social care. 

We have heard from a number of parents and carers of children displaying signs of autistic spectrum condition (ASC), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD) regarding their children’s experience of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).   We’ve helped these families with their CAMHS concerns on a one-to-one basis, working with them to help them get the best outcome for their child.  Now we’re hoping to bring together all these voices, and others to ensure they are heard and to try and make a positive difference for all. 

We hope to highlight what these families face and then put forward practical and achievable ideas to address the issues identified. 

Over the coming months Healthwatch Calderdale will also be going into schools, youth groups, running online surveys, and working at the heart of the community to listen to children and young people. 

If you’d like more information about our work, contact Joanne Douglas on joanne.douglas@healthwatchcalderdale.co.uk 

CAMHS: Our findings

Healthwatch Calderdale has been working with young people and families to assist them accessing support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Calderdale.

Much of our work is on a one-to-one basis, but in 2019 we decided to bring together our work to find out more about the challenges people face accessing CAMHS and the life impact.

Click the download tab or here to read our full report

Our work has already been presented to the partnership organisations and we’ve asked for a response by December 20.

Our findings show:

  • Some children are missing out or falling behind in their education because of the lack of support available while they wait for assessments under CAMHS umbrella services.
  • Patients continue to face long waiting times.
  • Those with mental health needs and ASC are left without the support they need for both conditions, due to omissions in mental health care for people with ASC.
  • Carers experience a lack of support.
  • Parents cite communication concerns when dealing with CAMHS, including calls not being returned.
  • The health and employment of parents/carers was negatively impacted because of dealing with their child’s health and care needs and lack of support.
  • All of the above gives people a negative perception of the CAMHS service locally.

We will work with partnership organisations to continue to amplify the voices of those we hear from and support them to get the best they can for their loved one.

Provider response:

On behalf all members of the Open Minds Partnership, I would like to thank Healthwatch Calderdale for their report on Feedback from Calderdale Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) from families of children displaying signs of autistic spectrum condition (ASC), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD).

The organisations who form the Calderdale Open Minds Partnership are giving the views and feedback gathered by Healthwatch Calderdale and presented in this report their full attention.  We would like to invite representatives from your organisation to our next Open Minds Partnership Steering Group meeting on Thursday 16 January 2020 at the NHS Calderdale CCG offices, to discuss its content and how we can work together to improve peoples’ experience.

While there is still much to be done to improve emotional health and wellbeing services of young people in Calderdale, the Open Mind Partnership felt that this report does not give a wholly accurate picture of current services and system transformation over the past 12 months. The Partnership felt it would have been a good opportunity for this survey to have been coproduced, encouraging feedback on both the achievements made as well as identifying improvements.  It is helpful and powerful to be able to share positive feedback as well as areas for improvement with the workforce and the system who also provide vital support to children and young people.  

Following our telephone conversation yesterday, The Open Minds Partnership will respond to the recommendations with a full, transparent and honest response, hopefully by Thursday 9 January, paving the way for further discussion with yourselves at the Open Minds Partnership Steering Group meeting the following week.

Have your say on future telephone and video outpatient clinics at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Healthwatch Calderdale has been asked to do some community engagement about changes the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) is making to the way it delivers outpatient care.  

CHFT is planning to introduce outpatient telephone/video consultations in the future as well as the face-to-face outpatient appointments it already offers.  By making these changes it is hoped that patients will require less time off work to attend hospital outpatient appointments, have less delays with their treatment, shorter waiting times and fewer unnecessary hospital appointments. 

 CHFT wants to find out if there are any barriers to using the services for people with protected characteristics.  On behalf of CHFT, we have been asked to talk about these changes to local people/carers of local people who have   

  • A learning disability  
  • A sensory impairment  
  • A developmental disability  
  • A cognitive impairment  
  • A mental health condition  
  • A physical or mobility impairment  
  • A long term condition 

 As well as  

  • older people 
  • people who do not speak English, or who only have a basic or limited command of the English language 

The issues we are exploring are whether the people in the groups listed above would be able to access the telephone/video care system without difficulty; what difficulties there may be and how the hospital trust can overcome such difficulties. 

Click here to have your say in this project

 We are running engagement sessions with groups over the summer and working to a deadline of 13 September 2019 

CHFT Outpatient: the results of our engagement work

On Wednesday December 11, Healthwatch Calderdale presented its engagement work into the use of telephone/video appointments to the Outpatient Clinic Transformation Board at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

Click the ‘download’ tab or here to read the full report

We explained that, if all issues could be mitigated, the feedback shows members of the public are favourable to having appointments via telephone/video.

There were some exceptions, including people with hearing difficulties, and we asked that be taken into consideration.

The board will now assess the feedback we received and develop an action plan setting out the way forward.

Healthwatch Calderdale would like to thank all the groups and people who provided feedback to us.

Overview of feedback to CHFT Outpatient engagement work


Healthwatch Calderdale is submitting evidence to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee inquiry into dental services.

The Committee is holding an inquiry into dentistry services and it is asking for feedback about the provision of NHS dental services.

We have used evidence gathered from the clients and groups we work with to provide feedback to the inquiry, but it’s also open for members of the public to comment on too.

The main themes we are submitting evidence about are:

  • access to an NHS dentist
  • access to urgent dental care
  • access to interpreters for those unable to speak English
  • patients being unaware they have been de-listed by their dentist
  • cancelled appointments
  • inappropriate dental work being carried out
  • penalty charges
  • information from reviews left on Healthwatch Calderdale’s website by patients of local NHS dentists.

The inquiry is looking at the relationship between the NHS and dentistry and whether or not current arrangements are satisfactory and how access to NHS dentistry can be improved, among many other areas.

People can submit their views about NHS dentistry by clicking here before Friday 13  September, 2019.

Click here link: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-and-social-care-committee/news/dentistry-services-inquiry-launch-17-19/

Submission to House of Commons inquiry into NHS dental services

Healthwatch Calderdale gathered feedback from members of the public about local NHS dental services. The information has come via our NHS Complaints Advocacy services; general requests for information; the review section of our website; or from other community organisations we work closely with.

The issues we submitted include:


  • Access to an NHS dentist: including out of date information on the NHS Choces website and access to NHS dental care for people in care home.


  • Access to urgent dental care: evidence submitted includes people’s experiences of calling 111 for dental care.


Healthwatch Calderdale submitted evidence to the Commission for Equality in Mental Health in August 2019.

We used evidence gathered from the clients and the groups in our feedback. The main themes which we provided feedback on were:

Addressing the social, economic and political determinants of mental health
  • difficulties in daily life as a result of mental health problems specifically regarding work, finances education and impact on family
Ensuring equal access to support for mental health
  • lack of specialist mental health services
  • lack of choice in mental health care
  • lack of knowledge of autistic spectrum condition in generic mental health services
  • difficulties in obtaining mental health support for people with autistic spectrum condition
  • autism diagnoses from outside of area not been accepted within area. People being referred for further diagnostic assessment and subsequently being ‘undiagnosed’
  • discharge from mental health services of people reporting suicidal feelings/escalating mental health problems followed by suicide attempts
  • Lack of reasonable adjustments in mental health services for people with disabilities under the Equality Act 2010
  • access problems to mental health services where a person’s behaviour is difficult
  • staff attitudes and behaviour in mental health service impacting on people’ access to crisis service

We also submitted suggestions from either our clients or proposed based on our experience of supporting people with mental health needs for improving quality and outcomes in mental health support.

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.

Update Nov 2019: Report for Adult Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel - 'Improving services for adults with autism in Calderdale'

Following meetings between Healthwatch Calderdale, Calderdale CCG, and members of the Autism Strategy Group, Calderdale Adult Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel asked for a report to be brought to the panel on 14/11/19.

The report outlines some of the issues we continue to hear about from adults with autism in Calderdale, and makes a number of recommendations for the panel to consider.

Click the download button on the right to see the report Healthwatch Calderdale prepared for the Calderdale Adult Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel:

Calderdale CCG and SWYTF draft response to Healthwatch Calderdale report 'Improving services for adults with autism in Calderdale'

Calderdale CCG and SWYFT submitted a draft response to the Healthwatch Report prior to the Calderdale Adult Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel on 14/11/19.

In their draft response they provide feedback on the recommendations made by Healthwatch Calderdale in their 2017 report ‘Adults experiences of autism services in Calderdale and Kirklees’.

Click the download button on the right to see the draft response from Calderdale CCG and SWYFT to the Healthwatch Calderdale report – it is attached to a copy of the Healthwatch Calderdale report:

Healthwatch Calderdale report presented to the Calderdale Adult Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel on 14/11/19

Click the download button on the right to see the introduction given by Healthwatch Calderdale to the Scrutiny Panel regarding their report about improving services for adults with autism in Calderdale: