A new Leeds and Social Care Hub launched on Tuesday 19 July, bringing together the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and various local partners to improve health outcomes across the region.
The hub will bring together a community of experts to improve healthcare in the region for patients. Members of the public, private, and third sector organisations, including NHS, local government, universities and other health organisations will work to address challenges including tackling health disparities and improving employment opportunities in the sector. This will ensure DHSC’s principal offices in Leeds are embedded in the region’s growing health industry and continue the work to make Leeds a national and international hub for the healthcare industry.
The aim is to position Leeds as the natural choice for professionals looking to pursue a career in health and social care spanning local government and public and private organisations, as well as for start-ups seeking to establish or expand their base in the city. This will help to retain and develop talent, all while providing a boost to the local economy. It will also promote the health and social care sector as a career of choice for local residents and graduates, so that workforces reflect the communities they serve.
Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: “The Leeds Health and Social Care Hub provides a welcome platform for us to forge closer and stronger working relationships with our partners in Leeds and the north of England.
“It will allow us to entice more talented health and care workers, as well as organisations, to the region, boosting both the local workforce and the economy.
“Together, we will work on a comprehensive vision to improve health and social care outcomes and come up with innovative solutions to tackle health disparities across the north of England.”
This will build on existing successful collaboration across different organisations and sectors, for example, in 2019 Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust partnered with Leeds City Council and a local charity to deliver information on employment, connecting residents living in Lincoln Green and other disadvantaged communities in Leeds with job opportunities. It resulted in 49 people starting a six-week employability programme and 29 people successfully securing employment at St James’s Hospital.
The Hub will act as a focal point for healthcare activity in the region, making Leeds the city of choice for organisations and businesses. For example, the new West Yorkshire Innovation hub has been set up to ensure residents can benefit from new innovations. It recently launched 10 innovation schemes including breast cancer surgery, cancer screening uptake in minority communities, and a special programme to support older people with cancer.
The partners will include Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, NHS England, West Yorkshire Integrated care System, University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, Leeds Health and Care Academy, Leeds and York Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
Sir Chris Wormald KCB, Permanent Secretary at Department of Health and Social Care said: “I believe the Hub offers a unique opportunity to accelerate delivery of our shared ambitions, not to mention significant potential to be replicated across diverse sectors in different parts of the country.”
Dr Sara Munro, Chief Executive Officer, Leeds & York Partnership NHS Trust said: “The hub brings together a diverse set of partners both locally and nationally that will be able to achieve so much more collectively.”
Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council said: “In order to develop and deliver successful policy, you need national, regional and local perspectives working together, and this initiative is a great opportunity to do just that.”
Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive Officer, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network said: “The Hub is a significant opportunity to build upon the existing collaboration between health and care across Leeds and West Yorkshire, aligning conversations around health, the economy, employment, and innovation to improve health and life outcomes for the region’s citizens.”
The project will focus on three main areas:
People and talent
Making the health sector in the region the employer of choice for many local people from all communities. This will include:
- Making career paths between organisations clearer and facilitating movement between organisations
- Expanding and diversifying the talent pool by making our roles attractive to local residents and supporting them to join our organisations
- Developing new apprenticeships, rotation schemes and various outreach initiatives and working closely with local universities to develop higher education offerings
Health and social care economy
Working together to develop Leeds as a location of choice for health and social care businesses, particularly innovative businesses and those in the digital health and medical technology sectors. This will include:
- Supporting the Innovation Arc, a project which aims to create a series of innovation neighbourhoods, as part of the work on developing the new hospital on the Leeds General Infirmary site and a key part of the government’s New Hospital Programme
- Supporting inclusive, collaborative partnerships between life sciences, businesses, academics, healthcare providers and policy makers
- Working to attract talent into the emerging health technology and maximising start-up opportunities
Policy and collaboration
Bringing together the experience and insight of all partners to address health and care policy challenges with a focus on health disparities. This will include:
- Establishing new ways of working where to jointly test ideas, explore policy solutions, and gather real-time insight.
- Creating a specific working group to address health challenges and ensuring work is backed up by excellent academic input from local universities
Lincoln Green employment and skills project
Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust is one of the biggest employers in Leeds with six hospitals across the city. An anchor institution – well placed to provide employment opportunities for people living in the area.
Leeds City Council collaborated with Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust, Learning Partnerships and a local charity to deliver information sessions and innovative employability courses, aimed at connecting residents living in Lincoln Green and other disadvantaged communities in Leeds with job opportunities. The project has been a great success:
- 49 people started the 6-week employability programme and 29 people successfully secured employment at St James’s Hospital.
- The learning from the Lincoln Green project has been taken and used to help the Narrowing Inequalities through Health and Care Careers programme which expands the model across different partners, and different careers.
- Since the pilot in 2019 there are a number of individuals that have taken advantage of the development opportunities to progress from the initial facilities technician (ward housekeeper / porter) roles to clinical positions.
- Due to the success of the pilot programme, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has committed to support three programmes a year.
Notes to editors
Structure and priorities
- The Hub has established a Steering Group, chaired by the DHSC Permanent Secretary, which will provide strategic direction and oversight. The group include representations from across the health and social care sector in Leeds and the West Yorkshire region.
- Additionally, it has set up a Working Group with representatives from education, health, public health, local government who will oversee the hub’s planned activities.
About the city of Leeds
- Leeds is an important part of the UK’s health and care infrastructure with a thriving voluntary community and social enterprise networks across the region.
- Leeds is the second Headquarters of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), including the newly established Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID).
- The city has a strong national presence with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, NHS Digital and other health bodies.
- Leeds and the wider region have become a key focus of the digital health, medical technology, and health data sectors.
- Leeds has a thriving voluntary community and enterprise sector with 1,180 registered charities.
- If you are a member of staff working for one of the partners, a business or innovator, we want to hear from you and know how we can work together to achieve our vision. Please get in touch [email protected]