Leeds Student Medical and The Light Surgery Local Care Partnership

Leeds Student Medical and The Light Local Care Partnership covers the city centre and student areas of Leeds. This LCP population is made up of people who are registered at the practices. Within this LCP, a substantial number of people do not live in the footprint.

As a local care partnership, we formed at the end of June 2020. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial focus was on the sharing of information, knowledge and support between members and their respective organisations.

Our partnership is made up of primary care, universities and university unions, communities, third sector representation, and elected members. This is working well to cover the services and support this population engage with.

We focus on building relationships to deliver improved services with conversations, connections, assets, and strengths. The critical population group are students. However, as this footprint also geographically covers the city centre, we know some communities live and use the area (such as the homeless, refugees and asylum seekers, and the LGBT+ community) who experience inequalities and challenges around health and care.

Current priorities

Autism health access project

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterised by social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech, and nonverbal communication challenges.

Advonet is leading this project within the LCP, and the objective is looking to improve access to healthcare for autistic patients registered to The Light Surgery and Leeds Student Medical Practice. The project intends to provide support and services to autistic people and those with learning disabilities. The Autism Health Access Project offers a range of services, including:

  • Training and support for healthcare professionals: the project provides training and support to healthcare professionals to help them better understand the needs of autistic people and provide more effective care.
  • Information and advice for autistic people and their families: the project offers information and advice to individuals with autism and their families on how to access healthcare services and navigate the healthcare system.
  • Advocacy support: the project provides advocacy support to autistic people who are having difficulty accessing healthcare services or who are not receiving appropriate care.
  • Networking and collaboration: The project works with healthcare providers, advocacy groups, and other organizations to promote collaboration and improve healthcare outcomes for autistic people.

The Advonet Autism Health Access Project is an important initiative that aims to address the healthcare disparities faced by autistic people. By providing training, support, and advocacy services, the project is working to ensure that autistic people receive the care and support they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

Community mental health transformation

Leeds Student Medical Practice and The Light LCP is one of three sites piloting the city-wide community mental health transformation. More about the transformation can be found on the Mindwell Leeds website.

Using a 90-day learning cycle, a city-wide core community offer is currently being designed, with a blueprint developed in May 2022. We will then personalise the blueprint, enhancing it to the needs of our local population. We will be testing the new model in July 2022.

In preparation for this, we have formed a working group and are currently mapping what’s already in place in their local area, and what local people think about the current provision.

  • By mapping the services and support available for people in their area, partners will understand where potential gaps are and where relationships need to be built with organisations; as well as strengthening each other’s knowledge of how each works, and where best to signpost people. To do this, the working group are working through anonymised case studies based on characteristics of some of their patient population.
  • At the end of 2021, Healthwatch Leeds undertook local engagement exercises to get views of local people to understand their needs and what matters to them. The report can be found here.

Along with analysed GP data packs which are currently being created for the LCP, the working group will have a fuller picture of need and demand in their area to personalise and test out this model.

If you would like to be involved in this transformation work, or to find out more information, please email [email protected] who will be able to link you with your local LCP working group or wider reference groups.


Addiction refers to a chronic and often relapsing condition characterised by compulsive substance-seeking and substance use despite the negative consequences that result. Addiction can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environmental factors, and individual vulnerabilities.

The number of people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction in our LCP area is quite high, and it was also noticed that gambling addiction has increased among students.

The LCP formed an addiction working group to find out what matters to the people affected, and understand support already available locally and nationwide. Using this knowledge base, the working group will then be able to identify gaps they could resolve or create an intervention process if required. We learned from accident and emergency data that students had a high attendance rate but rarely returned to the emergency ward as repeat users. The emergency ward is frequently used by residents with poor attendance rates compared to students, but scored high in repeat users.

The group decided to organise a proactive wellbeing awareness event in 2022 to educate the student population on services available and how to access help to support their needs. The event will be organised yearly and led by the University Student Wellbeing Board. The group is looking to work with the Primary Care Network on a reactive approach to support people frequently visiting A&E, and offer an intervention plan.

How to get involved

We are keen to include more partners across the patch, in particular those who can support our current priorities and community groups. If you would like more information or to join us, please contact [email protected].

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