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Why do we need to make changes?

We all want to be confident that high quality health and care services will be there when we need them.

But demand for these services is increasing, and the money available to provide them can only stretch so far.

People are living longer and the NHS can treat more specialist conditions. This is good news, but it means there is a higher demand for health and care services, and we know the gap between what we need and what we can afford is growing.

There’s a difference in life expectancy of almost 10 years between the most wealthy and the most deprived areas of Leeds. Rates of lung disease, liver disease, infant mortality and mental illness are higher in some parts of the city than others.

The ways people want to receive care are changing, too. We expect high quality, flexible services that fit in with our lives and the needs of families and carers.

As a city, Leeds must make some important changes in order to protect our services now and for future generations, address health inequalities and continue to improve the quality and flexibility of care. Read more: How will the changes be made?

What do we need to do?

1. Get better at preventing ill-health

First and foremost, we must support people of all ages to stay well so they rarely need to use health and care services. Where this isn’t possible, we must ensure people get the help they need early enough to prevent their health getting worse, to the point that they end up in hospital or long-term care. In order to have an earlier impact on people’s health, we need to do more to help people manage mental and emotional health problems too.

2. Help people to take more control

We must make it easier for people to make informed choices about how to minimise ill health, and ensure they have the information, tools and support to manage ongoing health problems.

3. Make the system fairer

We must actively address differences in life expectancy across areas and communities in Leeds and ensure that everyone has access to high quality health and care services.

4. Take new approaches to improving care

It’s important that people’s experience of services continues to improve. We already monitor services to ensure they’re high quality and safe, but now we are also working with experts at the Leeds Institute for Quality Healthcare to make the most of new technology and international expertise. This will help us make practical improvements where needed, tapping into the most up to date research.

5. Use resources wisely

We must make services better, smarter and simpler to use, while remaining best value for money.

Tell us what you think – get involved!