Calderdale health plans in place to meet 'perfect storm' challenges

Winter is looking like a perfect storm which will put health and care services under pressure, but planning has  been done to meet the challenges.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 9:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 9:46 am
Health plans in place for Calderdale

Calderdale Council’s Director of Adult Services and Wellbeing, Iain Baines, said staff were tired but there would be a real push on vaccinations with the new Omicron Covid variant the latest issue of concern.

“I want to offer reassurance that we have done all the planning but as we work through winter you will see that we will rise to those challenges but it will be difficult,” he said.

Work done included with all partners including primary care and the voluntary sector.

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Coun Ann Kingstone (Lab, Skircoat) was concerned about people going to emergency departments who should be seen by their GPs and Coun Mike Barnes (Lab, Skircoat) said getting through to practices was an issue tempting some to go to the emergency department.

Coun Megan Swift (Lab, Town) said although such situations were improving services needed to talk to people directly about their experiences and also communicate better.

“I don’t think we are doing this right if we are not talking to people out there.

“They don’t think it’s better. It is better, it’s a lot better than it was but for some reason it’s still not working,” she said.

Dr Majid Azeb said higher volumes of work were being done and at his own practice, which served about nine per cent of Calderdale’s population, there had been a significant uplift.

From 6,800 consultations in 2020, these had risen by 20 per cent to 9,100 in 2021, with a 60-40 face-to-face/phone ratio of consultations, he said.

Coun Barnes asked if there were contingencies for patients discharged from hospitals but not able to return to home.

Mr Baines said a number of “discharge to home” beds were available for people who could not return straight home because they were awaiting a care package.

Coun Danielle Durrans (Lab, Ovenden) was worried about delays some patients had experienced getting mental health medication, this used to be able to be done by pharmacists but she had been told by a constituent this was not an option offered.

Dr Azeb said that should still be the case and it might have been an error relating to one patient.

Coun Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf) said the vaccination process was improving the situation regarding hospital beds – on one day this week he had been told 88 beds were blocked as patients awaited a suitable transfer, but the number of hospitalised Covid related patients was 30.

Debbie Graham, of Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), told the council’s Adults, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board of significant issues going into winter.

Additional £14 million funding from various sources had been sourced to help, she said.

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