Communications & involvement report, November – December 2020

A summary of our recent communications and involvement activity

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Recent media coverage

We’ve issued 17 media releases in the past two months, covering a range of topics including coronavirus and the new vaccine, self-care, mental wellbeing, cancer and local good news stories:

You can find all our press releases on our website

Current communications activity

Covid-19 vaccination programme – our team is leading the #TeamLeeds communications approach working closely with all our partners to on the vaccination programme including providing updates for health and social care staff, elected members and other key stakeholders. In addition we have been working with colleagues to support a recruitment campaign targeting the city’s university students to begin with and are linking in with national and regional efforts to increase vaccine confidence, while also managing expectations for those eager to get vaccinated.

Covid-19 response in addition to the vaccination programme we continue to support efforts to remind people of accessing services appropriately, advise people of how services are currently experiencing a delay and supporting efforts to get people tested should they have symptoms. In December, we ran a Christmas MindMate campaign aimed at young people. Our #NHSHereForYou campaign continued to highlight the importance of seeking appropriate medical help for health concerns.

Take care Leeds data shows that people aged 60 and above are at greatest risk of developing health complications should they get COVID-19. It’s important that people continue to stay safe while also staying socially connected and active without increasing physical contact. We have worked with colleagues in partner organisations to develop and launch a wellbeing safety campaign aimed at the over 60s, Take Care Leeds.

Other key areas of work include:

Campaigns – we are aware that a number of activities need to continue to encourage appropriate health seeking behaviour.  Therefore we have been supporting regional and national information and awareness campaigns, for example antimicrobial resistance, diabetes, domestic abuse, Islamophobia and Movember

We are supporting communications around the EU exit, mental health and have continued to support public health colleagues with the 2020-21 flu vaccination campaign.

Internal communications – we have continued our regular (three times a week) briefings for primary care and CCG staff and support our chief executive with a monthly team briefs via Microsoft Teams Live.  In December, we ran a very popular Christmas-themed campaign to engage with colleagues on Workplace (our internal social networking channel).

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

Website accessibility – we are working to ensure that all our websites and extranets continue to meet accessibility standards introduced in September.

Winter – 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. This has included a maildrop to every home in Leeds, co-designed with partners in the city as well as topical messages in response to changes in the weather that could affect health and wellbeing.

City/regional meetings and representation – we continue to hold key roles as part of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate communications network and the Leeds citywide communications network.

Involvement activity

As a result of the ongoing pandemic, all our involvement activities currently take place online. We continue to consider alternative approaches to patient and public involvement.

Mental Health (MH) community commissioning review – The engagement plan is going to the January Patient Assurance Group (PAG) to gain assurance on planned ‘level 2’ involvement via workshops, focus groups and surveys. The engagement will run from January to March 2021.

Children’s Constipation Service – We interviewed families to gather insight into their experience of using the existing service. Their stories will provide themes which will feed into the Children’s Constipation Service action plan.

Insight reviews

  • Belle Isle primary care access – Draft report considers access to primary care in the LS10 area.
  • Young people – Mapping of ‘youth voice’ activities and projects that support young people’s engagement has begun. This aims to support a better understanding of the needs and preferences of young people in Leeds, and increase their involvement in our engagement work as well as ensuring we have a way of capturing the voices of young people.
  • Maternity Strategy Refresh – Final draft of the insight report is completed and has been sent to the Chair of the Maternity Voices Group for assurance and comments.
  • Experiences and impact of childhood trauma – A paper for the Children’s and Maternity Commissioning Team to explore the health and care needs and preferences of people who have experienced childhood trauma.
  • Leeds Crisis Services – We compiled an insight review, on behalf of the Leeds Health Partnerships, on people’s experiences of accessing mental health crisis services in Leeds.

Insight repository – The project brief is due to be completed in January 2021.

Primary care networks (PCN) engagement – We recruited a CCG volunteer to support the first phase of work we planned to carry out to support and strengthen patient participation groups (PPGs) in the Cross Gates PCN. This work has been put on hold for now due to the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Developing a citywide network – A project brief for the citywide network was sent out to potential providers in December. Feedback from bidders will be reviewed in January

CCG volunteers – We held an online refresher session for our volunteers, a festive peer support group and a joint session with Leeds Voices Health Ambassadors .10 volunteers attended Level 2 Safeguarding training provided by our CCG Safeguarding team in November, and we continue to provide online volunteer mentoring.

Patient Assurance Group (PAG) – no PAG meetings were held in November or December, however, preparations were made in readiness for the PAG in January.

Patient participation groups (PPGs) – We are developing a PPG strategy tying together the different pieces of work into overall aims and objectives for Leeds PPGs. The PPG toolkit has been developed and will be rolled out digitally to practices from January. We held an online PPG Network Support Group and worked with 100% Digital Leeds to deliver online ‘digital champion’ training to PPG members.

Winter preparation engagement – Leeds Voices are leading an engagement to understand the communication needs of key seldom-heard communities and coproduce essential winter/Covid messages for those communities.

People’s Voices Group (PVG) – We continue to support the PVG and associated sub-groups. These include the Digital Inclusion, Big Leeds Chat, and citywide network subgroups.

Networked Data Lab – We are continuing to provide support and guidance to the Business Intelligence Team with the engagement aspects of their Networked Data Lab. We will hold interviews in January 2021 for a part time engagement officer to lead on this project.

Upcoming activity

Annual reports  – Over the next four months we will be preparing for our CCG and engagement annual reports for 2020-21.

Community Neuro service review – Staff engagement is planned for March 2021, with options, and level of engagement, being agreed following this. Patient and public engagement will take place April/May 2021.

Covid-19 – we will continue to support the Leeds system with clear and consistent communications about coronavirus, the vaccination programme, as well as local and national restrictions.

Campaigns – we will be working with colleagues to develop new campaigns and communications plans around antimicrobial resistance, advance care planning and mental health. Our work on winter messaging and over 60s, Take Care Leeds, wellbeing campaign will continue.

We will continue to support regional and national campaigns.

Mental health – we are developing resources and activities designed to raise awareness of services that can help people with their emotional health and wellbeing. In addition we are considering options for a positive messages campaign to lift people’s moods in light of the ongoing restrictions due to the pandemic.

Internal communications – we will continue to look at new ways to engage staff working remotely via our internal communications channels. We will also be increasing efforts to share information that supports emotional health and wellbeing of our colleagues.

Leeds Voices Evaluation – in January we will be supporting the delivery of the Leeds Voices Evaluation. This will involve key third sector partners and health ambassadors.

Primary care engagement – We are working with primary care colleagues to prepare for the public engagement in advance of the closure of The Avenue GP practice in March 2021. Engagement plans are due to go to the January PAG, the survey will run throughout January and February and online public events will take place in early February.

Winter pressures – the health and care system in Leeds is currently under significant pressure. We will continue to work colleagues across the city to ensure clear, consistent and effective communications so that people understand how services may be affected and how they can help.