Services are being integrated at a local level within the six defined ‘places’, with decisions being made as locally as possible. Work is also carried out at a wider partnership level when this is sensible – for example when the best outcomes will be achieved through a change being made for a greater number of people than just in a local area, to share best practice and reduce the variation in outcomes across different areas or to achieve better outcomes overall by tackling complex and difficult problems.
Changes underway across the partnership include:
- New model to tackle cancer diagnosis: Hospitals and GPs in Leeds and Airedale have taken part in a national pilot of the ACE 2 (Accelerate, Co-ordinate and Evaluate) Early Diagnosis Programme, in which people with vague but concerning symptoms have their diagnostic tests coordinated by specialist teams. The benefits of the scheme will be rolled out to other hospitals and patients across the region.
- Tackling lung cancer: A programme running across health and social care in Wakefield and Bradford is based around the four intervention areas of prevention, awareness raising, risk identification, and helping people get the care they need by optimising pathways.
- Suicide prevention: Organisations from across West Yorkshire and Harrogate are joining forces to adopt a ‘zero’ suicide approach, where every death by suicide is viewed as preventable. Mental health providers, ambulance, police and fire services, local councils, prison services and voluntary community organisations are delivering an ambitious but practical strategy to reduce suicide by 10 per cent overall, and by 75 per cent in targeted areas by 2020/21.
- New adult community eating disorder service: The partnership has set up two new adult eating disorder community teams to support adults with severe and enduring eating disorders as part of the national new care models pilot for tertiary mental health services. The pilot aims to provide more care closer to home, reduce out of area placements and save around £1.3 million which will be reinvested in community services.
- Crisis care: Safer spaces for adults, children and young people in mental health crisis are providing a community alternative to admission to hospital and reducing attendance at A&E departments.
- Unit for children and young people with complex mental illness: A new £13 million unit is being built at St Mary’s Hospital in Armley, Leeds. It will support young people suffering complex mental illness, such as severe personality and eating disorders, and will provide 18 specialist places and four psychiatric intensive care unit beds. The unit will see more young people able to access specialist care closer to home, reducing the need for out of area treatment.
- Support for carers: A range of work is underway, including the following:
- Hospitals have signed up to the ‘John’s Campaign’, giving carers of people with dementia the right to stay with them in hospital.
- A ‘carer passport’ has been introduced which identifies carers and sets out an offer of support that can be used in the workplace, potentially reaching 43,000 employees.
- Organisations are being supported to access resources from Employers for Carers, making it easier for them to become carer aware and proactively support their working carers.
- A young carers’ network is being set up to encourage secondary school young carers into health and social care professions to heighten their aspirations.
- Red bag scheme: Red bags containing key paperwork, medication and personal items are handed to ambulance crews by carers and travel with patients to hospital, where they are then handed to hospital staff. Having these essential items to hand is reassuring for patients at what can be a distressing time and means hospital staff won’t need to contact care home staff to ask questions which can delay treatment.