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Working together for Leeds, June 2016

In the second blog from the Leeds Health and Care Partnership Executive Group, Tom Riordan, Phil Corrigan and Julian Hartley talk about two new important pieces of work in Leeds: the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

Our last blog on behalf of the Chief Executives and accountable officers from across health and care services in Leeds, highlighted the importance of us all joining things up and removing barriers, so we can take on our challenges together and give the people of Leeds the best care possible. This time we’d like to tell you about two important and connected pieces of work to help us do that.


The first is the new Leeds Health and Wellbeing Strategy. This is overseen by the city’s Health and Wellbeing Board, but belongs to everyone in Leeds. It’s a wide reaching strategy, based on lots of engagement and setting out for all 760,000 people across the city how we are going to improve their health and wellbeing over the next five years. Although it covers lots of issues we’ve tried to keep it simple and clear. You can find out more about it here, including our ‘strategy on a page’ and a short animation.


The second important piece of work is called our Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which is something the Department of Health has asked each local area in England to develop. It will inform funding decisions about Leeds for the next five years. It’s about the way we’re going to change what we do across health and care, to achieve our ambitions and meet rising demand with less resource. There’s a briefing about the STP for managers here.


These two pieces of work fit together and they are important to us all. The Health and Wellbeing Strategy recognises that our health and wellbeing is defined by the entirety of how people live their lives and what’s available in their communities – not just health and care services, but things like transport, housing, the environment and employment. We have to make progress on all of these things if we really want to be the best city for health and wellbeing. All the main partners have signed up to this ‘whole city’ approach. The Strategy puts people and the connections between us all at the heart of the Leeds approach. It gives us shared purpose around the outcomes we’ll focus on together and the difference we want to make, so everyone, across the whole workforce and the city, can see what part they play.


The Sustainability and Transformation Plan takes this ‘whole city’ approach and focuses on what specifically we’ll do across the health and care system to respond positively to things like: changing health needs; our growing and ageing population; and our financial constraints.


Our challenge is to do this in a way that means we can continue to provide first class services to the people of Leeds. Although the focus on this Plan is on health and care, we want to draw on all the city’s assets to make it happen. The key is working together and across all the health and care organisations in the city we’re committed to this.


A real positive for us in Leeds is the strengths and skills we already have in our communities, our third sector and our wider partnerships. We believe we can do more to make the most of this, working with people in different ways to help build resilience in individuals, families and communities. This means increasingly recognising that health and wellbeing isn’t just about services doing things to people or for people – though there will always be times when this is necessary – but about sharing responsibility to improve our own health. There are lots of great examples of this approach in Leeds already, like the way we’ve been tackling social isolation through community projects. Leeds has the infrastructure for a really strong social movement that could change how we address our health and wellbeing challenges, now we need to make the most of that.


So our Health and Wellbeing Strategy and our Sustainability and Transformation Plan both represent the next step towards working as one health and care system for Leeds and using our shared resources – the ‘Leeds pound’ – and our shared talents for the benefits of everybody. Look out for lots more information about both the new Strategy and the STP in the coming weeks, they reflect our confidence and optimism that with the right approach Leeds we can be the best city for health and wellbeing.


Tom Riordan

Chief Executive, Leeds City Council



Phil Corrigan

Chief Executive, NHS Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group



Julian Hartley

Chief Executive, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust