Your health and accessing NHS Leeds services

A survey from ‘We are magpie’ – Leeds based campaigns agency.
They say:
“If you are in #Leeds we’e love to hear your thoughts on your local NHS services. Our survey takes around 5 minutes to complete but could influence health campaigns & services for years to come.
If you are over 16 and live in Leeds please answer this short survey about using health and care services. The survey takes around five minutes to complete and it is anonymous – we don’t ask for your name and nobody will contact you about your answers. By taking part in this survey you’ll support your local NHS develop a health awareness campaign to help people understand which service they should access when they’re unwell or injured. If you change your mind about doing the survey, simply close your web browser. If you have any questions about the survey, please email
To say thank you, we’ll donate £1.50 to ‘Leeds Cares’ (the charity for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust) for the first 500 fully completed surveys.
Thanks for your help!

Face coverings mandatory in shops and supermarkets from 24 July

The government  plans to make face coverings mandatory in shops and supermarkets from 24 July.

Use of a face covering is not a replacement for social distancing and keeping up regular hand washing.

A face covering is something that covers your mouth and nose. Under the new rules, people who do not wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100. Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

Should someone without an exemption refuse to wear a face covering, a shop can refuse them entry and can call the police. If people refuse to comply, police can issue a fine.

For information on how to use a face covering correctly, watch this video.

face covering

Public Transport

The new Government guidance means more people are likely to be using public transport. However, you are still encouraged to use other means of transport where possible. 

Public transport users must wear a face covering when travelling on buses and trains. In line with government guidelines, visitors to travel centres will need to wear a face covering from 24 July.

The exemptions for wearing a face covering in supermarkets and shops also apply on public transport.

Those exempt from wearing a face covering can download an assistance card to help communicate this to staff on bus and rail services in West Yorkshire. You can print them off or take a picture on your phone to show staff.

You should also continue using contactless payment if you can.

Taxis and private hire vehicles

You should wear a face covering when using taxis or private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you do not wear a face covering.

Follow the advice of the driver. For example, you may be asked to sit in the back left-hand seat if travelling alone. You may want to check with your taxi or private hire operator before travelling if they have put any additional measures in place.

Full guidance on face coverings including other exemptions, and how to make your own face covering, is available here.

New localised measures re Covid 19

The Government has announced that from today (Saturday 18 July) councils will be given specific powers to tackle localised outbreaks. This means the council will be able to intervene to shut down events, premises and outdoor spaces at short notice.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “We are pleased that the infection rate in Leeds is currently low and we have a comprehensive plan in place to keep it this way in order to keep residents safe and support the city’s recovery. Our plan is regularly reviewed and updated to make sure we are meeting our aims.”

To prevent the spread of the virus and the need for localised measures please remember:

  • As part of the NHS Test and Trace, businesses are being asked to keep a record of their customers and visitors for 21 days. You should assist by providing details when asked to do so.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Regularly wash your hands and wear a face covering if you’re using public transport.
  • Stay home if you or anyone in your household experience any symptoms and book in for a test.

End of Lockdown? written by Oliver Cross

Dear all,
AS the national lockdown lurches its way towards a resolution, I realise that the reopening of pubs, restaurants and other places I miss is leaving me less filled with joy than I had expected.

Firstly because viruses can’t be wished away, however much we wish they could,  and second because I think I  might have become institutionalised, which first happened to me when  I was aged about six and which  I wouldn’t want to go through again.

I was admitted to hospital with a big lump under my chin which everybody called ‘swollen glands’, although nobody told me what glands were because it was none of my business.

It was decided that I would have to have the swelling, or maybe the glands, surgically removed, which I’m sure would now be done in a day, but which then required me to stay in hospital for what seemed like half of my short lifetime – maybe  a fortnight or more.

My mother explained to me later that this was due to an administrative oversight – the hospital forgot to discharge me and my parents forgot to ask for their son back.

I was the only child in a men’s ward, probably because, this, being the 1950s, the children’s ward was packed with victims of polio, TB, diphtheria, rickets and other diseases a lot more dangerous – to children at least.

This gave me a special status; I became, for the first and last time in my life, a kind of novelty or ward pet, particularly to the nurses, who must have welcomed treating a patient who felt perfectly well and asked for no more medication than a daily dollop of yeast extract, a thick, syrupy substance once  given to all children to ‘build them up’ and now almost certainly now banned under obesity guidelines.

When things got sorted out I remember sobbing uncontrollably on the way home from the hospital. I had become institutionalised; so used to living on the ward, that I couldn’t imagine life outside it.

Now I wonder whether my unease over relaxing the coronavirus rules is connected with this institutionalisation. Perhaps I have become, over the lockdown months, so comfortable with the present limitations that I’m frightened of moving on from them.

On the other hand, it could be that, having invested so much time and effort into the collective effort to stem the disease, I don’t want to go out into the great wide world and walk straight into a stray coronavirus particle.

Thank you Oliver, until next time….

Happy Birthday to our NHS 🎂

72 years ago today the NHS was launched by Aneurin Bevan, Minister of Health, at Park Hospital in Manchester  For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella to provide care for free.

We want to say Happy Birthday to our amazing National Health Service and a huge thank you to all the people who make it great – both the frontline staff, and all those working in the background to keep it running smoothly and look after us all.  This year has made us all appreciate you more than ever.

Rainbow with NHS written below it

Please click this link for a statement from NHS England about the birthday and thanking everyone for their support

Following on from the ‘moment of remembrance last yesterday the NHS is inviting everyone to come together today to mark their birthday:

“On Sunday 5 July, the day the NHS was founded, the whole country is invited to come together at 5pm to applaud all those who have been helping us through the pandemic and recognise the vital community connections that continue to support us all.

Broadcasters will suspend normal transmissions at 5pm.

Everybody will be encouraged to stop what they’re doing and join with others (following social distancing advice of course) in their streets or neighbourhoods to applaud not just the NHS and other key workers but all those who have volunteered or helped keep services and community networks going.

Following the applause, we hope people will enjoy a drink or a cup of tea and reflect with family, friends and neighbours on the bonds that have sustained us in recent months and will continue to do so”

There are a number of other things happening to commemorate this anniversary:

Rankin portraits of NHS staff

People’s Picture – Rainbows for the NHS

NHS Parliamentary awards


Caring Together’s Virtual “Afternoon Tea”

Dear all,

I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who was able to spend an hour with us last week at our virtual afternoon tea. Some of you made some amazing snacks and cakes, I think Hilary is still waiting for a slice of cake Shirley. I even put some lippy on, a very rare event I assure you. It was so lovely to spend this time with you all.

I have attached a picture of us all on zoom 🙂 including a picture of a delightful afternoon tea hamper with tasty goodies that Sylvia won and received the next day. And another thanks goes to Viv and Abigail for your joyous singing, a light relief indeed. And to Sylvia who led the way in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ over the airwaves to Clarita, who recently turned 90, and again to us all; for all Birthday’s missed, and yet to happen. This included Caring Together’s 25th. Also our gracious thanks go to Hilary too, and to family who helped with getting some of you on zoom, and finally to Maureen for sharing yet more of her memories – I have attached a special audio recording below of Maureen’s “A Summer Childhood” story below for those who could not join us, all the best Lisa Argyle


Just press play.

Shared Moments: Day 99 written by Maureen Kershaw

Dear all,

Day 99 – The weather for eating a ’99’ ice cream here too. Who named it the ’99’? I suppose I should have investigated a long time ago as they seem to have been around for most of my life. Were there 99 flakes to a box at one time? There certainly aren’t now and why is it that the ice cream vendors’ flakes, when added to the cone don’t disintegrate –  yet mine always end up a crumbly mess before reaching the ice cream?

The ’99 Steps’  which ran between Burley Road and Belle Vue Road, I believe, were something I took the locals’ word for in the accuracy of numbering. I hadn’t the desire to walk up or down them but today most of them have disappeared to make way for housing or offices. I wonder if the ’99p’ shops have all disappeared now? There weren’t many around and frankly for the sake of one penny it was more convenient to visit ‘Poundland’ and besides, I doubt whether shops will allow a bag of 1p coins for change in future.

99 days since I went into Lockdown, although the official day stands at 94. Students have been flocking back to the City over the last couple of weeks in readiness for the changeover of rentals on the 1st July. Parties, late night drinking, walking around in large groups and as for the Parks……I cannot begin to imagine the litter which will have been discarded on Woodhouse Moor by last night, judging by the queue for drinks outside the ‘One Stop’ shop. It’s as though nothing has changed which of course is far from the truth as daily life has changed so much, well it has for me.

Yesterday at 3pm the local Community Group “Caring Together” enjoyed  ‘Afternoon Tea’ by Zoom and we dressed accordingly for the occasion! Over hot and cold drinks, scones and cake we chatted and were entertained with a couple of songs; I read one of my stories “A Summer Childhood”, Our Patron Hilary Benn MP joined us from his office at the House of Commons, telling us all how he has dealt with changes since Lockdown. We of course were all in our  living rooms and kitchens. I was sitting in my ‘office’ – the kitchen, but as I was wearing a floaty top with pearl accessories, decided to sit against a plain grey wall rather than the paler shade tiles with a view of the microwave and steamer.

The local  PCSO was outside Little London Community Centre – but suddenly disappeared from our gallery so must have been called into action. Hilary Benn apologised in advance, warning he was waiting to Vote and said he would have to leave upon hearing the bell but – staying with us throughout – there was clearly no urgency to Vote on ‘whatever’. I just hope the Government are not proposing to change the name of the ’99’ ice cream cone.

Thank you Maureen, I have checked the Cadbury’s website and they can’t find a reason behind it either, I wonder if anyone else can? Until next time……


Online cooking classes from Ministry of Food

If you fancy brushing up your cooking skills while staying at home, Jamie’s Ministry of Food are offering a free, 8 week, online cooking course starting on Tuesday 7th July.  It will be delivered using Zoom and will be a 1 hour session each Tuesday.  There’s an option of 10am or 12noon.

You will need to provide your own ingredients for this.

If you are interested you can call Ministry of Food on 0113 242 5685 or One You Leeds on 0800 169 4219.

‘Monday Mind Workout’ – Answers from Monday 29th June 2020

Dear all, please find below the answers from yesterday’s workout. How did you do?

  1. Dark Sunday or Saturday? Black Sabbath
  2. Unemployment card – UB40
  3. Champagne and orange – Buck’s Fizz
  4. First book in the bible –Genesis
  5. Lads that run an establishment selling animals –Pet Shop Boys
  6. They gather no moss – Rolling Stones
  7. Refined Association –Culture Club
  8. The direction where it is lovely –Beautiful South
  9. Merlin – Wizard
  10. Nosey feline is dead –Curiosity Killed the Cat
  11. Sinatra is off to make a film – Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  12. They need straightening out –The Kinks
  13. B.A., B.Sc. and M.F.A. – Three Degrees 
  14. Cadbury’s very warm – Hot Chocolate
  15. Could be joiners or cabinet makers –The Carpenters 
  16. Sun Casts Them – The Shadows
  17. 7.Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter – Four Seasons
  1. Anne, Mary, Elizabeth or Victoria –Queen 
  2. Stag, Cowboy, Dung and Colorado – Beatles
  3. Late night athlete on deck C – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  4. Throw Small Fruit– Chuck Berry
  5.  22.John Toilet – LuLu
  1. The Legend of the Chocolate Bar– Aerosmith
  2. Best Pal is Prickly Bush –Buddy Holly
  3. Both of You –U2

‘Monday Mind Workout’ – Monday 29th June 2020

Good morning,

Today’s ‘Monday Mind Workout’ is themed around cryptic clues for bands or singers past and present. E.g Enticements = Temptations

  1. Dark Sunday or Saturday?
  2. Unemployment card
  3. Champagne and orange
  4. First book in the bible
  5. Lads that run an establishment selling animals
  6. They gather no moss
  7. Refined Association
  8. The direction where it is lovely
  9. Merlin
  10. Nosey feline is dead
  11. Sinatra is off to make a film
  12. They need straightening out
  13. B.A., B.Sc. and M.F.A.
  14. Cadbury’s very warm
  15. Could be joiners or cabinet makers
  16. Sun Casts Them
  17. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
  18. Anne, Mary, Elizabeth or Victoria
  19. Stag, Cowboy, Dung and Colorado
  1. Late night athlete on deck C
  2. Throw Small Fruit
  3. John Toilet
  4. The Legend of the Chocolate Bar
  5. Best Pal is Prickly Bush
  6. Both of You

Best of luck and let me know how you get on.