York GP surgeries helping people back into work – new service offered

New project supporting people off work due to anxiety or mental health issues.

A pioneering non-clinical health service recently launched in north and west York is helping people off work with mental health or anxiety issues return to employment.

The Work Wellness Service, funded through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and delivered by City of York Council through its York Learning team, is operating at surgeries run by York Medical Group and Priory Medical Group.

A Work Wellness advisor will be available through both practices to provide holistic support to patients so they can better reconnect with employment, ease their transition back to their current job or, alternatively, find new work.

Extra support to help rough sleepers off the streets in York

A proposal to give rough sleepers additional support off the streets and into safer, more stable lives will be made to senior councillors.

The recommendation will be to offer 16 emergency beds continuously to rough sleepers whatever the weather from 1 November to 28 February. Currently, under the national ‘severe weather scheme’ the beds are available only during these months when the weather is freezing or below.

Councillors will be asked to consider increasing the number of emergency beds in the city using £125,000 available over a three-year period to pilot an innovative scheme to meet the needs of the city.

In addition, the executive will be asked to allocate some of the agreed £20m housing investment fund over the next five years to build affordable one bedroom homes to help reduce homelessness among single people or couples.

The final suggestion is to recruit an officer to help individuals into private accommodation as well as acting as a contact for and offering support to landlords.

This is in addition to the existing 101-bed supported lodgings where rough sleepers are first accommodated. If they engage with support and education services, they are then allocated into the city’s 90 more independent accommodation units before, hopefully, supporting them into either private or affordable fully independent homes. Last year, we resettled 70 previously homeless people into permanent tenancies.

All known rough sleepers are routinely offered support and help into accommodation by the council and Salvation Army on the early morning walks undertaken several times a week. Everyone is offered a bed, even if it is just for one night. Sadly some persistently refuse any form of help, including mental health or substance misuse services.

However, rough sleeping has increased by 132% nationally since 2010 and the charity Crisis predicts there will be a 76% rise in rough sleeping nationally over the next decade. 29 rough sleepers were reported in York at the annual street count in November 2017, but during an informal street walk on 3 January 2018, nine were seen, others having been helped into accommodation or emergency beds.

At the end of September 2017 there were 58 households in temporary accommodation in York, 324 interventions having been made to prevent homelessness from April to September 2017. We are in the process of amalgamating all our temporary accommodation into a single scheme of 57 flats at James House which should be completed within 12 months. The planning application has been submitted and will be considered on 18 January 2018.

 New mental health strategy for York being discussed next week

Members of York’s Health and Wellbeing board will comment on York’s mental health strategy when they meet on Wednesday 24 January.

A newly formed mental health partnership will lead and co-ordinate the delivery of the final strategy which has the vision that ‘every single resident enjoys the best possible emotional and mental health and wellbeing throughout the course of their life’.

The report highlights that people with mental health conditions have a lower life expectancy and poorer physical health outcomes than those that do not.

The main focus of the strategy is to get better at spotting the early signs of mental ill health and to intervene earlier.

The other priorities are to:

  •          focus on recovery and rehabilitation
  •          improve services for mothers, children and young people
  •      ensure that York becomes a suicide safer city
  •        ensure that York is both a mental health and dementia friendly environment
  •     improve services for those with learning disabilities.

The strategy expands on the joint health and wellbeing strategy 2017-2022, of which mental health is a key priority.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Chair of the York Health and Wellbeing Board said: “This five year strategy looks to ensure that every resident in York enjoys the best possible health and wellbeing and will see us establish a city wide mental health partnership to improve mental health and wellbeing for people of all ages.

“Positive mental health and wellbeing is a key priority of the board. We want York to have services that support people in need without delay where there is no stigma and discrimination and where everyone has the best mental and emotional wellbeing. Working with partners across the city this strategy will help us to achieve this.”

The Health and Wellbeing Board meeting takes place on Wednesday 24 January from 4.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

To find out more about the report, or to attend, visit: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=763&MId=10242

Walk 2 Jog course returns

Back after its success in 2017, City of York Council is running two Walk 2 Jog courses, starting on Monday 26 February.

Walk 2 Jog is a ten week course that aims to build fitness from a short walk to a steady jog. Jogging is a great aerobic activity which can help weight loss and develop a healthy heart.

In February the council is running two courses.

The first course will see residents work their way up from walking to jogging 5k in ten weeks.

Those who have previously completed Walk 2 Jog can take part in our second course, with the new intermediate challenge of going from 3-7km and they can work towards the 5-10k challenge later in the year.

Councillor Ann Reid, interim executive member for leisure, culture and tourism said: “It is great to see the Walk 2 Jog courses returning. The courses have been well received and are a great way for people to get fitter.

“Jogging is popular, low cost and convenient and is an excellent way to achieve the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Most of us have our new year’s resolutions to keep to and these courses offer a fun, informative and supportive approach for non-joggers who want to up their speed and stamina as part of a group.”

Both courses start on Monday 26 February at 6.30pm at Rowntree Park. Each session lasts 60 minutes.

The cost is just £10 for a 10 week course. Those who complete the course will receive a free t-shirt.

For further information visit www.york.gov.uk/justjog.

Places are limited, to book your place contact the YorWellbeing team on 01904 553377 or email yorwellbeing@york.gov.uk .

York delays in treating ambulance patients revealed

On New Years Eve 47 patients had to wait for over an hour in ambulances as they waiting for treatment at York Hospital.

The full figures can be viewed by clicking here 

The statistics mirror problems at other hospitals across the region and country generally

As December went on delays gradually increased.

York had suffered earlier in the month with an outbreak of norovirus. At its peak 47 beds were closed.

By the end of the year 834 beds (90%) were occupied at the hospital.

The government has been criticised for failing to anticipate the heavy demands for care that arise over each festive period.




Have a healthier new year plea

With 2017 drawing to a close it is that time of year when, after the excesses of Christmas celebrations, attention shifts to the New Year resolutions.

What’s on your New Year checklist?  Whether it is no alcohol in ‘Dry January’; being more active; look after yourself better, especially your mental health by reducing the stress in your life; or stop smoking the council’s YorWellbeing service can offer advice and support to help you. Our YorWellbeing team also offer free health checks plus information, advice and support to help you have a happier and healthier 2018.

For information, advice and support get in touch with the YorWellbeing service by emailing yorwellbeing@york.gov.uk, calling 01904 553377 or visiting www.yorwellbeing.org.uk.

There are many things that affect how healthy and well a person is. The Yorwellbeing service will:

  • provide advice and support on lifestyle factors such as healthy eating, exercise, alcohol and smoking
  • encourage positive lifestyle and behaviour changes
  • work to reduce health inequalities across the city.

Councillor Carol Runciman, executive member for health and adult social care said: “The start of the New Year is a time for reflection. Our YorWellbeing service does a great job offering information, advice and support to help and can help you live a happier healthier lifestyle. Get in touch by phone or email or visit the website and our team will be happy to help.”

What’s on in York: New Year men’s health course

Men looking to start the New Year by getting fit are being invited to join York’s latest men’s health course starting on Wednesday 17 January.

The course follows the inaugural men’s health course in September which had fantastic results. Eleven men had measurements taken at the start and end of the ten week course with a combined weight loss of 20.7kg, with two men losing 3.8kg and 3.6kg. The combined total waist circumference loss was 40.5cm with two men losing 7cm and 6cm from their waistline.

The ten week course, which is led by the council’s YorWellbeing service in partnership with York City Knights, will take place at York St John University sports park and will again see attendees take part in a series of physical activity sessions combined with educational workshops on modifiable lifestyle factors.

Starting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17 January, the programme offers 90 minutes sessions designed to help individuals to become more aware of ways in which they can live happier and healthier lives.

The idea for this programme came from York City Knights fans and each session will be made up of a 45 minute educational workshop and a 45 minute physical activity session with access to the strength and conditioning suite used by the York City Knights first team.

The programme will run every Wednesday evening from 7.30pm until 9pm, from Wednesday 17 January up until Wednesday 21 March, aiming to engage with those individuals wanting to become more physically active and improve their health. The cost of the programme is £30 for the full 10 week course but people are urged to book in advance as spaces are limited.

The physical activity sessions will be tailored so they are appropriate to the requirements of the participants and the course is open to people of all ages and abilities.

Educational workshop topics will include:

  •     Incorporating physical activity into your daily lifestyle
  •     Meal planning and healthy diet choices
  •     Negative effects of smoking and alcohol on the body
  •     Promoting positive mental wellbeing.

Councillor Ann Reid, interim executive member for leisure, culture and tourism said: “It is fantastic to see the men’s health course return after the success of the first course.

“This is a great opportunity for men to take part in a range of physical activities at top class facilities used by York City Knights players and get useful lifestyle advice from our YorWellbeing team. Places are limited so I would advise booking in advance.”

Neil Gulliver, Foundation Manager at York City Knights, said: ‘The first men’s health pilot was a resounding success and it was great to see such a range of ages and experiences all come together to improve their health. Both the Knights and the Foundation have the community at the centre of everything we do and we are proud to help more men lead healthier, happier lives.’

To book a place email yorwellbeing@york.gov.uk or call 01904 553377.

A video from the first men’s health course is available to view at https://youtu.be/nk65dJmDl7Q

Public meeting to discuss future of Windsor House site

Plans for Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children

Windsor House which would be demolished under the plans

Residents are being invited to give their views at a Westfield ward meeting being held on 15th January 2018. The meeting is being held at Hob Moor school with the Windsor House item being discussed from 7:30pm

No details are given of access arrangements. There are concerns that any intensification of the use of the Windsor House site on Ascot Way, would exacerbate traffic congestion and parking problems in the area.

A decision on whether to proceed with the centre idea is due to be taken at a Council executive meeting being held on 25th January 2018

A special website gives more details of the disability centre plans.

Disability Centre of Excellence Monthly Updates

What we have done

  • Final feasibility design, layout and site options have been presented by Gilling Dod Architects to a group of key staff, managers, parent / carers and partner agencies.
  • A potential land option for the Centre of Excellence has been agreed by Council Executive in December. This is the site of Windsor House Older Person Accommodation, which is planned to close. This land is adjacent to the Hob Moor Oaks Special School playing fields. Discussions are taking place with Hob Moor Federation of Schools about co locating part of the new provision and its outdoor amenities and space on some of the surplus playing field land.
  • A report is being prepared for the Council Executive meeting on 25th January 2018. This report will ask Elected Members to commit the capital needed to build a Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children and their families and seek agreement for the preferred site layout
  • The report also contains information about how staffing roles and structures will develop in the future in order to deliver a new way of working within a Centre of Excellence.

What we plan to do next

  • We will communicate the decision following the meeting on 25th January to parent /carers, staff and partner agencies.
  • If there is agreement to progress the project to an implementation phase, we will continue to adopt a co production approach of involving parent /carer, staff, children and young people and partner agencies in each stage of the future development.
  • Finally, hope you all have a great Christmas and new year. Thank you all for your time, energy, enthusiasm, ideas and input that has helped shape and develop this project to the stage we are at now.

 How you can be involved

Please send ideas, questions, feedback to feasibility@york.gov.uk

For more information please contact william.shaw@york.gov.uk

Keep checking web pages for the latest information and areas that we are working on that we want feedback on