Communications and Involvement Report (November – December 2021)

A summary of our recent communications and involvement activity.

Media relations

We are continuing to see that our proactive media releases championing healthy lifestyle choices, raising awareness of health issues and promoting services are well received by local outlets. Recent examples include

Help us to help you by choosing the right service

The NHS in Leeds and Leeds City Council work in partnership on exciting national project to use data to improve health and social care

Health and care providers in Leeds urge; in this busy time, please be kind

Urgent eye care at home frees doctors for emergency departments

Booster jabs hit record level in Leeds and West Yorkshire

Your NHS is here for you this Christmas and New Year

Grab your COVID-19 booster before New Year

You can find all our press releases on our website:


During the last two months, our campaigns and communications activity has been dominated by issues relating to the pandemic, including the vaccination programme and system pressures. This work is being led by the CCG, in partnership with colleagues across the local healthcare system.

Campaigns – we continue to work with colleagues to develop campaigns that support the Leeds system and our patients:

  • MindMate young people’s winter mental health campaign – we led on a social media campaign raising awareness of the crisis support available for young people in Leeds over the Christmas / New Year period, which can be particularly challenging for young people. We worked with an agency to create a combination of paid and organic social media posts, with a series of animations, which ran for three weeks. The posts direct young people to a page on the MindMate website that lists local mental health support services, who can offer support face-to-face, via phone, or online chat.
  • Seriously resistant – although COVID has delayed the rollout of our annual campaign, we are working with the citywide antimicrobial stewardship group to develop a refreshed campaign for 2021-22. In November, we took part in World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, developing a communications toolkit for partners that included internal and healthcare professional articles and guidance as well as press and social media content.
  • UTC promotion – we are developing a 12-18 month behaviour change campaign to encourage people to use urgent treatment centres. The campaign is based on insight we commissioned into people’s understanding of alternatives to emergency departments.
  • Over 60s harm minimisation – we continue to support a communications campaign aimed at helping people over 60, who might be especially vulnerable to the impact of COVID, to stay self and well.

We also continue to work with colleagues in the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership on several regional campaigns:

  • Together We Can is an integrated multi-media campaign which uses communications and promotion to signpost people to the health and care they need, whilst reducing pressures and protecting our NHS services. Highlighting the strain our services are under, the campaign aims to educate people on self-care and protecting others around them, empowering them to take the right course of action – to get the right care, at the right time, by the right health service professional. In Leeds, we are also using insight to carry out additional targeted promotion with key population groups, including over 65s and parents of young children.
  • Primary care be kind – In response to increasing incidents of unacceptable behaviour, we are working with colleagues to develop an insight-led campaign to tackle abuse of primary care colleagues. The campaign was initiated in Leeds but has now been scaled up across West Yorkshire.

In addition, we continue to support national health and awareness campaigns and initiatives including Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Alcohol Awareness Week, Leeds Baby Week, Carers’ Rights Day and White Ribbon Day.

City/regional meetings and representation – communications and involvement colleagues continue to hold key roles as part of the West Yorkshire and citywide networks.

Covid-19 – we continue to take a lead role in supporting Leeds system with clear and consistent communications about coronavirus and the vaccination programme, sharing key updates with system communications leads via a weekly digest. During this period, we have supported a number of national and local media opportunities and promoted and provided resources an increasing number of pop up and walk-in clinics. We have also ensured that the most current information about new initiatives is available on our website and promoted through our social media.

Targeted work includes a campaign to help increase take up amongst under 25 year olds, and we continue to work with council colleagues to provide resources to support communications and engagement activity in areas of low take up.

Internal communications – we have continued our regular (twice weekly) briefings for primary care and CCG staff and support our chief executive with a monthly team briefs via Microsoft Teams Live.

Primary care communications – we continue to support practices by providing patient-facing materials, social media advice and media relations guidance, including press releases to highlight good news stories.

System pressures – We continue to develop communications to address the significant pressures experienced by the city’s health and care providers.

Winter planning – we continue to work colleagues across the city to ensure clear, consistent and effective communications during this period of unprecedented pressure on health and care services. Our campaign schedule for the winter focused on three pillars: staying well, choosing well, valuing our workforce. These will remain our three key campaign priorities over the winter.

Transition to ICS – as the CCG prepares to become part of the new statutory integrated care system on 1 July 2022, the team are working with colleagues to help ensure a consistent approach.

Involvement activities

As a result of the ongoing pandemic, most of our involvement activities currently take place online.

  • Aberford proposed branch surgery closure – we have been advising Garforth Medical Practice on engagement requirements for their proposed branch closure. The engagement report went to the Primary Care Operational Group and the Commissioning Committee, which approved the proposed closure at the end of March 2022. The CCG is now undertaking a rapid options appraisal of the needs of patients, in relation to the ongoing provision of primary care services.
  • Big Leeds Chat – An external organisation has been commissioned to carry out an evaluation of the approach to involving people using the Big Leeds Chat method.
  • CCG volunteers – We have carried out our annual review of the programme, meeting our 12 volunteers individually to review progress; two people have now stepped down. We are also planning a programme of training/information-giving for the new year.
  • Citywide and regional meetings – we continue to attend and support a variety of local and regional involvement meetings.
  • Citywide network – We have reviewed provider bids and met with our preferred provider. We are now confirming arrangements and will move from exploratory group to operational group and agree a work plan
  • Community Mental Health Transformation – we continue to support LYPFT and the involvement lead for this work. We supported the recruitment of volunteers to help support four different involvement workstreams.
  • Community Neuro Rehab service redesign – Feedback from the engagement has informed the new model.
  • COVID-19 vaccination experience survey –the tender for external analysis of the LTHT and CCG survey responses (over 28,600 in total) was put out to market in December.
  • Falls work – work has developed which means engagement is not now required. Instead, guidance has been provided on strengthening mechanisms for routine collection of patient feedback to contribute to ongoing service improvement.
  • Integrated Care Board Constitution engagement – we are supporting the WY Health and Care Partnership by engaging with Leeds stakeholders on the ICB constitution.
  • Leeds Voices – in preparation for the VAL contract ending on 31 December, we held online workshops bringing together citywide partners to discuss a new approach to collaborative involvement. Leeds Voices staff have produced an evaluation report and a celebration document covering their work over the past four years.
  • Networked Data Lab – Research on topic 2 – inequalities accessing mental health care for children and young people – concluded in December. We are currently working on an engagement mechanism for topic 3 – adult social care.
  • Planned and long-term care procurements – The dermatology procurement is now completed. The ENT/Audiology combined impact assessment was completed and the procurement documents are awaiting sign off. An insight review is underway to support the service re-design.
  • Patient participation groups (PPGs) – we continue to support PPGs, including developing a PPG email toolkit, which was shared with 10 PPGs and practices to pilot in November. A review of the pilot will take place in January.
  • Spasticity management – we have completed an engagement screening document for this work. We are at the early stages and have recruited a CCG volunteer. A workshop took place between the CCG and providers in December and a further meeting will take place in January to look at specific pathways.
  • Stroke strategy – We are supporting the development of a stroke strategy for Leeds for the next 5 years, through attendance at the monthly Stroke Strategy Group. We are focusing on involving third sector groups and local people with experience of stroke to act as a virtual reference group to help steer development of the strategy. The draft strategy is due April 2022.