You said, we did: Our conversations with the local community

You said, We did!

We want to make sure we make the most of patient feedback and listen to our population so that we can improve local services.

We welcome and regularly seek feedback, comments and suggestions from local people about healthcare services within the Vale of York.

In this section, we share information on what we have been doing in response to public feedback and how it is changing the way we do things. Below are some examples of where we have worked with our local community:

You said, we did





Consultations and surveys

We regularly ask our population for their views, and from time to time this includes the opportunity to have their say about a number of consultations and surveys.

For information on current consultations and feedback from surveys, please click here.


Examples from 2018/19

Working with carers in the East Riding area

You said: At a recent carer advisory group (CAG) meeting in the East Riding area a panel member raised an issue with signposting and information available for carers through their local GP service. They wanted to increase awareness with staff within GP practices about recognising and supporting carers, and promoting local carers’ services available.

We did: We contacted MyHealth practice in Strensall and Stamford Bridge and met with the operations manager to discuss how we could help support carers. The operations manager was very proactive, and began to implement some changes immediately.

Resulting in:

  • Two carers from East Rising CAG delivered a training session to the staff on the life of a carer to increase awareness of the challenges they face.
  • A new carers’ notice board in the surgery, including information about what is available for carers in the East Riding.
  • The surgery is updating website with useful numbers and signposting info for carers.
  • The surgery has offered the meeting room at Stamford Bridge surgery as a free space for carers groups to meet if they need to.

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Helping you stay healthy and well

You said:

During our time spent out in our community collecting pledges from our population as part of the NHS 70, you said that you wanted to help stay healthy and well. You also commented that you would like more health information and advice information to help share within your communities.

  • “I pledge to collect and share leaflets to spread awareness of available services in the community and encourage their use”
  • “I pledge to use the appropriate service to meet my needs, e.g. talk to a pharmacist before making a GP appointment or to call NHS111 before going to A&E.”
  • I pledge to keep looking after the residents of York through my job and make good relationships with other services in the NHS to enhance this.”

We did:

We took part in the self-care aware campaign, ‘Help Us Help You’ which encourages our community to take care of their health this winter.

Resulting in:

A multi-media campaign to help our population to stay well this winter. Through media, videos, newsletters, our website and social media and printed leaflets we launched the help us help you campaign.

The CCG teamed up with a number of Vale of York GPs to create a series of self-care videos, to help its population self-treat common illnesses such as cold and flu at home using over-the-counter medicines. These can be viewed here.

We produced a number of press releases and content which was shared around our community networks.

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Accessible Health Standards: December 2018

You said:

On a visit to the York Blind & Partially Sighted Society YBPSS, (now known as MySight York), the Head of Engagement was made aware that some of its members had recurrent issues in receiving information from the local hospital Trust in an accessible format they can read. The YBPSS business manager was concerned that there was an issue with the identification of patients who required accessible information the under the Accessible Health Standard.

We did:

This information was passed to the patient relations team to log and investigate further. The concerns were shared with relevant staff at the local hospital Trust, who immediately resolved for the individual patients. The hospital Trust confirmed that identification flags had been added to the patient database which would automatically alert staff to the individual’s requirements and preferred format of communication. Assurance was also sought on how the Trust would improve the service in the future.

Resulting in:

 As at January 2019 their action plan (which the CCG shared with YBPSS) includes:

  • The Facilities Department (who are responsible for Accessible Information) are developing a more detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which will be shared amongst the Department. This will focus on ensuring that all staff are aware of the importance of the identification flag and what to do should they encounter it. This will also be available to the wider Trust staff via the Trust website where all SOPs are available for guidance.
  • Raising awareness of the process within the Trust and consider making the Accessible Information eLearning mandatory for all staff.
  • The Matron responsible for the Trust specialist nurses is briefing the team about the need to provide information that their patients can easily read/understand, such as larger print.
  • Accessible Health Standards will be discussed at the next quarterly specialist nurse forum.
  • This information has been feedback to YPBSS and the members of public involved.


Increase awareness of carers within GP practices

You said: Increase awareness of carers within GP practices

We did: We have been working with the local Carer’s Centre to provide free training to healthcare professionals within GP practices to help raise awareness of how to identify and support unpaid carers.

It is an opportunity for professionals to learn more about the support available for unpaid carers across the city The aim is to Increase understanding of carers, their role and its effect on their lives, and is an opportunity to explore how we as professionals working in the health and social care field can help to: identify carers early; recognise them as ‘partners’ in care; help carers to maintain their own health and wellbeing.

2018/19 Carers awareness training for healthcare staff: NHS Vale of York CCG, Station Rise, York.

  • Monday 26th March 2018, 1:30-4:00
  • Monday 30th April 2018, 1:30-4:00
  • Tuesday 3rd July  2018, 1:30-4:00
  • Monday 8th October  2018, 1:30-4:00
  • Tuesday 5th February 2019, 1:30-4:00


Change in continence products

Carers said: It was recorded that negative feedback was being heard from service users and York Carers Centre (on behalf of local carers) about a recent change in continence products during June 2018. On investigation, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had procured a new supplier. Some service users and carers raised concerns about the quality of the product, which were causing pain and discomfort.

We did: The CCG’s Deputy Chief Nurse liaised with the hospital Trust’s Operational Manager about these issues.

Resulting in: Following this, the CCGs Deputy Chief Nurse, Head of Engagement and Patient Experience Lead attended an event hosted by and held at York Hospital. The event focused on understanding the issues raised by patients and carers, and members of the  continence advisory team and staff from the provider (Hartmann) were available to answer questions and give support. Samples of all like-for-like product types were brought along for patients and carers to view and give assurance that the quality was the same as with the previous supplier.

It was a proactive and positive event and the CCG were reassured that issues were being resolved swiftly. Individual cases were looked into. Learning around better communication, and involving the most vulnerable patients carefully in the process was taken from this event. The feedback at subsequent carers forums has been more positive.

Working with the Learning Difficulties and Disabilities community

You said:

We regularly attend the Learning Difficulties (LD) Forum in York. At one of the forums attendees raised a number of concerns around barriers to accessing health care within the LD community, and wanted more information about women’s health and screening.

The main issues raised were around communication to patients with a learning disability, not offering enough time at appointments and understanding of what screening is.

We did:

Working in collaboration with the learning disability (LD) community, a GP and nurse from the Vale of York CCG attended an informative session at the Learning Disability Forum (LDF) CVS on 28 September 2017 as part of a question and answer session around screening, women’s health and what stops people from going to see their GP. 

We listened to the feedback and created an action plan to address these concerns.

We worked with a local advocacy group, the forum and our GPs to take this forward. This work has continued into 2018 and 19.

We are aware that on average, the life expectancy of women with a learning disability is 18 years shorter than for women in the general population; and the life expectancy of men with a learning disability is 14 years shorter than for men in the general population (NHS Digital 2017).

It is important that we focus on health inequalities within this group of our population.

Within the Vale of York if we are able to see service users with a learning disability we can help recognise health problems early, prevent lifestyle issues and help support them with fears around screening.

More information on health inequalities for those with a learning disability can be found here.

We sent out a survey to practices to ask about their identification of patients with a learning disability and uptake of cancer screening and health checks.

In 2018 a questionnaire was completed by 16 GP practices in Vale of York CCG.  The responses were representative of 80% of the patient population. There were differences between GP practices and it was identified that update of cancer screening  and health checks was low.

Cancer screening


Number eligible

Number screened

Percentage uptake (LD)

CCG overall % uptake

Cervical screening 25-49





Breast screening





Bowel screening





Health check uptake

Click here to view the data for health check uptake.

This data and the feedback from our population were used to put a case forward for:

  • Improved communication to patients with a learning disability
  • Employment of a specialist LD team in primary care (within GP practices)

In April 2018 the Quality Lead for Primary Care attended a Healthwatch Assembly to discuss the project, and gather feedback.

Resulting in:

Review of leaflets available to patients:

We reviewed the literature and resources that was available for patients with a learning disability. We updated the GP website, where clinicians go to download information and leaflets for patients, with the latest version of easyread documents.

GP website:

Increasing funding to employ Learning Disability Nurses

Within the central locality, we supported the GP practices across York to introduce two Learning Disabilities nurses and a care navigator in early 2019 to help with:

  • Increasing the number of health checks
  • Improving communication and the accessibility of information to those with a learning disability
  • Training staff within practices

Progress so far:

  • In early 2019 one nurse has been recruited, and the second post is being advertised.
  • On 7 March there will be a clinician training event for all practices and there will be a carer event in conjunction with the LD forum in the summer.
  • A new template has been created for the annual healthcheck, including an easy read invite.
  • The team of nurses will also be advising practices on clinical coding, so that they are not missing patients with a learning disability.
  • This was reported at the Primary Care Commissioning Committee on 1 March 2019. To view the report please click her eand go to pages 19-21.

How we have fed back to our partners and population:

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Examples in 2017/18

Community equipment and wheelchair service

Following extensive engagement with patients and local stakeholders to understand issues relating to services at the time; and how we might improve these, the CCG and a number of other North Yorkshire commissioners made the decision to re-procure Community Equipment and Wheelchair services.

Between December 2015 and February 2016 we engaged with, and collated the views of, over 500 individuals and incorporated these views into the development and delivery of the new. We produced a ‘You Said We Did’ document which details 34 outcomes from our work supporting a wheelchair and community equipment forum from May 2016 to April 2017. Examples include:

People said: Equipment is often delivered with no information on how to use it
What’s changed? The new service providers set up all equipment and demonstrate its use to people in their home, leaving literature as supporting information.

People said: We don’t know whether/how to return equipment when it is no longer needed
What’s changed? The new service providers clearly label equipment with a phone number to ring for collection and collect the equipment within 5 working days.

People said: There are lots of different providers and repairers – it’s confusing.
What’s changed? There is now just one service provider for community equipment and one for wheelchair services. There is one contact number for each service so people know who to call.

People said: There are long waits for wheelchair repairs and independence can be severely impacted, particularly when a powered chair needs repair.
What’s changed? The new wheelchair service specification includes suitable and realistic repair standards. Delays due to parts being ordered should be minimal as the new provider has multiple suppliers for sourcing wheelchair spare parts

The full range of you said, we did comments can be viewed below.

You said, we did: our response and action from listening to feedback from community equipment and wheelchair service users

We worked closely with local Healthwatch and set up a service user forum to help facilitate and feed into the transition between old and new provider, and to ensure that service user feedback was acted upon.

To find out more click here.

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