York dental services report will be published “before the end of the year”

The York Council says that a report on the future of dental health in the City – promised last year – will be published before the end of 2019

The new timetable has been supplied in response to a Freedom of Information request.

There has been continuing concern in the City about lack of vacancies at local dentists for NHS patients. Recently the only recorded vacancies for new patients on the NHS web site were, ironically, at the Bupa practice.

NHS web site listings

Healthwatch York published a report into dental services in the City last year. (Their web site is down at the moment)

The FOI response says, “An Oral Health Strategy has been drafted for children and young people, in response to data obtained from an oral health needs assessment carried out recently. This strategy will be published by the end of 2019“.

However, it goes on to say that the Councils public health department doesn’t monitor the waiting list for services. It says that is a an NHS responsibility.

We have been unable to find any recent figures indicating the overall length of dental waiting lists in the City.

Bootham Park Masterplan published

City of York Council has today published a draft masterplan for the Bootham Park Hospital site, following the public consultation which took place last year.

Bootham Park

The masterplan, developed jointly between the York Council and the York teaching Hospital NHS Trust, proposes “a viable option for the development of the site, one that meets the needs of York residents by providing care accommodation, public open space, key worker housing and more”.

The key features of the plan include.

  • A Nursing home included on YTHT land (part of former nurse’s accommodation site).
  • Residential development aimed at the senior living market to the
    east of the chapel.
  • Child care nursery located on northern edge of YTHT land –
    directly accessible to the York Hospital site
  • The main former hospital building to be converted to extra care
    apartments (potentially incorporating step down care linked to
    York Hospital). Unlisted elements to be removed and a new block
    built to the north east in order to provide a viable number of units.
  • Unlisted and some grade 2 listed elements to the west
    removed in order to accommodate a Medical Training and
    Research Centre of Excellence with associated Key Worker
    Accommodation (medical staff).
  • A linear ‘’atrium’’ provides a main access and control point but
    also visually separates the form of old and new elements.
  • Landscaped area to the north redesigned to provide a semi
    private garden and courtyard space in the centre of the listed
    building group reinstated as landscape open space.
  • Unlisted cottages off driveway entrance from Bootham removed and replaced with apartments.
  • Existing listed gatehouse reinstated as residential accommodation.
  • Potential café/pavilion proposed adjacent to reopened pedestrian access off Bootham.

The plan involves building on the Union Terrace car park. The coach park would be retained with a multi storey car park, constructed above it,containing 250 spaces. It is claimed that this change will improve access to the hospital site from the south and provide a better “gateway” appearance for a key route into the City centre.

The Council says, “York residents will now be invited to contribute further to the development of the masterplan, by giving their views on the proposals so far.

The Bootham Park Masterplan Consultation will launch in September 2019″.

NB. NHS Property Services have recently engaged in a failed commercial sale and continue to re-market the site.

A copy of the draft masterplan can be downloaded by clicking this link

York council election manifestos compared

4. Housing and Health

There has been a small reduction in the Council housing stock in recent years. This is the resulted from the central government policy which saw discounts increased for “Right to Buy”.

In response the Council has started to build new Council houses and has announced ambitious – by recent standards – plans to build over 600 additional homes. It has also started to buy homes on the open market to add to the rented housing pool.

On homelessness, hyperbole rules in the manifestos. All, of course, will end it. While the numbers on the housing waiting list has been stable, the numbers of rough sleepers has fluctuated. Labour support the Manchester/Finland model (where keys to a home are given to rough sleepers without any behaviour, substance abuse or mental health treatment conditions (That’ll go down well with the neighbours)

meanwhile the coalition is building on sub-urban playing fields and has made little attempt to find replacement open spaces, sports facilities or parks. Partly as a result of this, the City has an obesity problem. Life expectancy in some poorer wards is now relatively low.

Hopefully the new Council will realise that the is more to creating a home than simply bricks and mortar.

NB: Only 1 of the 202 Council candidates – who have declared where they live – is a Council tenant.

York Celebrates Autism event

To help people learn more and talk more about autism, partners across York are welcoming everyone to the city’s first ever York Celebrates Autism event.

The drop-in event will be held on Saturday 6 April from 10am-1:30pm, at Spark:York CIC, (17-21 Piccadilly, York YO1 9PB) during World Autism Week.

Co-created by partners including United Response, City of York Council, the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), The Retreat and Creased Puddle, this is an event for everyone.

People living with autism, as well as academics and artists will be giving talks and performances covering everything related to autism:

10.15 – Jo Jo Hall will be performing her theatre piece ‘In my shoes’ about being a woman with autism

10.40 -The Prehistory of Autism – Callum Scott from the University of York’s archaeology department

11.05 – Women and autism – Dr Katja Oswald

11:30 – Lived experience of autism – Rose Anne

11.55 – Transitions project – Dr Lorna Hamilton

12.20 – Sleep and children with autism – Dr Victoria Knowland from the SleepSmart project at the University of York

12.45 – Riding Lights theatre group performance.

An activity space will be available for the children of people attending the event, and parents will be responsible for their own children.

Popular falls prevention service moves into Holgate on its second anniversary

A project to help prevent people falling in their own homes is expanding into a fifth ward in the city, in its second year of operation.

Having started in Clifton ward in March 2017 as part of the council’s YorWellbeing Services, work to prevent falls in homes extended to Guildhall ward, then to Micklegate and Fishergate wards. Now it’s rolled out into Holgate. 

These wards were identified by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) as having homes with higher trip risks than the city average. These include hazards such as missing stair rails, uneven flooring or poor internal lighting, especially for children aged under five and older people.

The partnership of housing, health and safety experts including North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Age UK York carry out free home visits to check and repair simple trip hazards in homes whether rented or privately owned.

Visits are arranged and carried out with a falls prevention practitioner and a joiner. They offer practical advice specific to the resident and their home and can make simple improvements there and then such as fitting a grab rail or banister rail, fitting brighter light bulbs, securing loose carpets or suggesting exercises to help improve residents’ strength and balance. They will also signpost residents to other relevant services.

Since its launch two years ago, the team has put thousands of fall prevention measures in place. These include fitting 733 grab rails, 277 banisters, 391 brighter light bulbs, 13 window restrictors, 11 carpet trims and four drop down toilet rails. 

Residents of Clifton, Guildhall, Micklegate, Fishergate and Holgate can request a free home visit for advice and help on preventing falls, please call 01904 567456 or emailreducingfalls@york.gov.uk

To find out more about the service and pick up some advice on reducing the risk of falls, please visit www.york.gov.uk/reducingfalls

Hospital patients get quicker access to social care

Patients and their relatives can get on-site help from a team of adult social care experts for any support needed to help them prepare to leave hospital and when they are back home.

Talking Points will open for monthly sessions at York Hospital from 26 March 2019. Drop-in support will be available between 2-3:45pm on 26 March, 9 April, 28 May, 25 June and 23 July for patients or relatives/friends of patients who are in hospital.

The Talking Point team can be found at the entrance to Ellerby’s Restaurant on the ground floor at Junction 2. Staff will be available for face-to-face conversations which allow them to provide timely, appropriate advice and support to residents about a variety of adult social care issues.

The hospital Talking Point is the latest addition to adult social care in York, allowing people to be seen quickly to discuss social care needs for themselves or their family. The original Talking Point opened at Lidgett Grove ‘Church Community Cafe, Acomb in March 2018, with an additional Talking Points opening shortly after at Oaken Grove in Haxby. Every week, people can also speak with expert social care staff York Explore on Museum Street.

So far, people using the service have expressed over 95% satisfaction with the outcome of their conversations and actions taken, with all saying they would recommend Talking Points.

Further Talking Points will continue to open across the city as the programme develops.

Find out more about where and when you can visit Talking Point at www.york.gov.uk/TalkingPoint .

LiveWellYork web site to launch

Community groups and residents are invited to celebrate the launch of www.livewellyork.co.uk, a city-wide source of high-quality information and advice, at venues around the city on Thursday 14 March.

The Live Well York website promotes opportunities for residents to enjoy healthy, active and independent lives and supports our commitment to early help and prevention, and to help people live independently and well.

Having been in development for a year, Live Well York is being used by over 1,000 people every month and is now launching formally. It offers residents:

  • some 800 community activities
  • an events calendar with around 70 events posted each month
  • over 100 volunteering opportunities
  • a Service and Products directory with over 80 services listed
  • 750 reviews with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5.

Developed by a partnership of City of York Council, York CVS, Explore York, Age UK York, Healthwatch York and Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group, the website offers links to good quality information and advice on topics from travel, housing, caring, money and legal matters.

To prevent information being duplicated, the website navigates people to other sites such as Healthwatch York’s Mental Health directory, the Young Person’s Survival Guide, a map of the council’s community hubs and AccessAble’s accessibility information.

Future and further improvements to Live Well York include:

  • a sports and active leisure directory
  • improved accessibility with Easy Read pages
  • training and work experience opportunities
  • including information for care homes on how to set up activities
  • growing the number of partners to ensure a joined-up approach to providing good quality information and advice.

Find out more about what the website can offer you, or how you can contribute to it at  https://www.livewellyork.co.uk/

Bootham Park hospital sale confirmed

Will go on open market shortly

 The government has confirmed that the empty Bootham Park hospital building and surrounding site will be sold on the open market.

There had been hopes in some quarters that the Listed building could be saved for some sort of community/health use.

A joint statement from Chief Executive of City of York Council, Accountable Officer at Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group and Chief Executive of York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was issued today.

“We have been notified by the Department of Health and Social Care that they plan to proceed with the sale of the Bootham Hospital site. We have worked hard together to develop an alternative plan to make the site deliver for York, so we are very disappointed with this outcome.

“Our efforts certainly don’t end here. We will continue working together to help NHS Property Services work with any bidders to understand the importance of the site and the opportunities it could offer the people of York.

“We would like to thank all the residents and the local community for contributing to discussions about the future of the site. We understand that you will share our disappointment at this news.

“We have many opportunities as a partnership, neighbouring landowners and planning authority to represent your many comments and ideas for Bootham Park – from transport links to respecting the site’s heritage –  in our discussions with bidders to shape their plans for the site.”


Go alcohol-free for Dry January 2019 says York Council

Another part of the Council says drink more water!

City of York Council is supporting calls for residents in the city to try having a Dry January in 2019 and enjoy the benefits from having a break from drinking.

A YouGov poll released this month has revealed that one in ten people who drink – an estimated 4.2 million people in the UK – are already planning to do Dry January in 2019.1 Dry January participants stop drinking alcohol for one month to feel healthier, save money and improve their relationship with alcohol long term.

Current low risk drinking guidelines say that men and women shouldn’t drink more than 14 units per week. If you do drink as much as 14 units, then it should be spread evenly across three or more days.

Dry January is run by the charity Alcohol Change UK.  Signing up for Dry January increases the chances of getting the most out of the month. You can download Try Dry: The Dry January App to track your units, money and calories saved, plus many more features. Or you can sign up at dryjanuary.org.uk for regular support emails with tips and tricks from experts and others like you.

In York 30 per cent of adults drink over the recommended 14 units of alcohol per week, compared to the England average of 26 per cent.

Taking part in Dry January helps people to drink more healthily year-round, according to independent research conducted by the University of Sussex with over 800 Dry January participants.2 It showed that Dry January participants were still drinking less in August:

  • Drinking days per week dropped on average from 4.3 to 3.3
  • Units consumed per drinking day on average from 8.6 to 7.1
  • Frequency of drunkenness on average from 3.4 per month to 2.1 per month.

For all of these measures, people who drank more riskily before Dry January saw bigger decreases in the amount and regularity of their drinking – suggesting that Dry January is particularly helpful for heavier drinkers.3

The research also showed that:

  • 93% of participants had a sense of achievement
  • 88% saved money
  • 82% think more deeply about their relationship with drink
  • 80% feel more in control of their drinking
  • 76% learned more about when and why they drink
  • 71% realised they don’t need a drink to enjoy themselves
  • 70% had generally improved health
  • 71% slept better
  • 67% had more energy
  • 58% lost weight
  • 57% had better concentration
  • 54% had better skin.

A poll found that 8% of UK adults are planning to do Dry January, or one in ten of those who drink.

If you drink very heavily or regularly Dry January may not be for you, so check with your GP or local alcohol service before you start. Where an individual is experiencing physical symptoms when they stop drinking (which may include but are not limited to: shakes, sweating, restlessness, insomnia, nausea, stomach cramps or hallucinations) they should seek medical help urgently.

The charity behind Dry January

Alcohol Change UK is the charity formed by the merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research. In addition to running Dry January, we work for a world free from alcohol harm. We fund, commission and share research; work to ensure more and better support and treatment; encourage better policy and regulation; shift drinking cultures through our campaigns; and work to change drinking behaviours by providing advice and information. Find out more.

How to sign up

People can sign up for Dry January at dryjanuary.org.uk, or by downloading the brand-new app Try Dry: The Dry January app via the App Store or Google Play. People who sign up to Dry January are more likely to make it through to the end of the month without drinking. They get access to support, tips and tricks, and more. The app allows people to track their units, calories and money saved not drinking, plus track their drinking year-round.