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Working together for Leeds, March 2016

In the first of a series of blogs from the newly formed Leeds Health and Care Partnership Executive Group, Tom Riordan has a message for staff about some of the challenges and changes happening in Leeds.


Hello everyone, I’m Tom Riordan.  Some of you will know me already as the Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, but today I’m writing as the Chair of a new group – the Leeds Health and Care Partnership Executive Group.


We are the Chief Executives and accountable officers from each of the key organisations in Leeds that are going to try and make the changes we need in the health and care system in the city. There is a list of who is on the Partnership Executive Group, along with some carefully selected photos of each of us, alongside this blog!


We realise that often our corporate communications can feel a bit technical and may be aimed at particular organisations, so we want to try and break into that and get a message to everyone that we all have a part to play in changing the way we work together and our shared culture in Leeds.  This regular blog and the short video that accompanies it, aim to make that a little bit easier by sharing messages about some of the big things that are happening in the city, so we break down barriers and work more and more as if we are ‘one organisation’, to ensure we do the best for the people of our city.


Why is this so important?  Like everywhere in the country we face some big issues – things like our ageing and growing population and more people living longer with complex needs and long-term conditions.  This creates a changing set of challenges in the system to make sure we can give everyone the personalised, individual care they want in a way that feels like it comes from one joined-up service, rather than lots of different organisations.  It’s about how we can remove the boundaries to make that happen.


Leeds Partnership Executive Group_2


Another big challenge we must address is the financial one, there’s a gap between the money available to provide services and the growing demand we face.  So we refer to something called the ‘Leeds pound’, which is about how we can operate together, rather than separately, in a way that achieves maximum efficiency and effectiveness in the way we offer services.


If we do work together in the right way, then Leeds is well placed to respond to these challenges.  We’re the third biggest city in the country, with some major health assets across the public, private and third sector, alongside our fantastic universities.  We’ve already got a lot to show for the partnership work we’re doing: we’re the one place in the country that has cracked the single patient care record; we’re seen as a national leader for children’s safeguarding; we’ve hit the 4 hour waiting times target for Accident and Emergency; and there are many more.  So we have lots that works and we’ve taken major steps forward, but we know we can do more. The way we integrate services is really important to that.


Collectively, in this first message, the main thing we want to say is a very big thank you.  We realise that people are working extremely hard, how much pride you take in our health and care services and the difference you are making every day.  We need to build on that by working together better than we ever have, in smarter ways within a culture of mutual respect across our different roles and contributions.  We’re really keen to listen and to learn from you, so if you have ideas about how we can work together better and what we need to do as leaders to make the changes we need happen, then we’d love to hear from you and we’ll be engaging with you to do this in the months ahead.  Watch this space and thanks for reading!