City Data Review, Leeds

To test progress towards shared ambitions and the effectiveness of the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB), the Board conducted a comprehensive and well-evidenced review process based on information sharing. This example of how local areas are working to implement overall system change forms part of our care and health improvement digital and information resource.


The challenge

Leeds has set an ambition to be the best city for health and wellbeing with a vision of improving the health of the poorest the fastest. Their Health and Wellbeing Strategy, overseen by the HWB, sets out their priorities and outcomes to be achieved.  To deliver these meant Leeds had to do things differently.

The solution

To test progress towards shared ambitions as well as the effectiveness of the Board, the HWB conducted a comprehensive and well-evidenced review process based on information sharing.

The review process looked back on the last 12 months and was made up of four components:

  1. a review by each partner member on the HWB of their organisation’s activity that contributes to the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
  2. progress reports against more than 30 sets of recommendations made by the HWB over the last 12 months.
  3. the latest performance data on the indicators of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
  4. an HWB member development session.

At the member development session, Board members used the latest national review of HWBs, The Power of Place commissioned by the LGA, to conduct a self-assessment; testing themselves against the statement ‘the most effective HWBs are reasserting the importance of action to address the wider determinants of health and exercise a place leadership role’.

The impact

The review process combined qualitative and quantitative information from a wide range of sources, which provided a rich picture of health, care and wellbeing in the city. The result was a shared, collective view of decisions, actions, and initiatives that were directly contributing to their Health and Wellbeing Strategy, from both the individual organisations represented on the Board as well as the collective partnership.

‘The Power of Place’ report gave the HWB the opportunity to reflect on a number of ‘areas for action’ and to identify what was working well, what more could be done and what needed to be improved. This directly informed the shaping of the future work planning and focus of the HWB into 2018/19.

The Board agreed that numerical performance indicators only told part of the story for health and care services in Leeds and that wider factors such as information from citizens, staff, service users and other assessments provided greater context for understanding people and place.

In addition to the above, the influence and credibility of the HWB Strategy grew significantly over the twelve months.

How is this approach being sustained?

To ensure the approach to information sharing continued, the HWB commissioned a data review across the health and care system to fully understand what data is held across the city and how it can be brought together to provide a more complete picture of health, care and wellbeing for Leeds.

Furthermore, a shared Office of Data Analytics has been established in the city, with a starting focus of health and wellbeing, and a Chief Analyst, jointly funded by all Leeds-wide health and care organisations, has been appointed to lead this work. This team will look at combined data from across the whole system and support more joined-up reporting to the HWB.

Lessons learned

The annual performance review not only generated much thought, insight and understanding, but led to sharing of good practice. Further discussions have helped health and care leaders in Leeds to move forward within the realm of information sharing, making sure partners, politicians and citizens shape the design and delivery of services. Leeds know they can get better use from the collective data that is available and that only by bringing all types of information together, including quantitative and qualitative, can the priorities for the health and care system and citizens be achieved.

The review process has directly informed the decision making, work planning, and place based leadership of the Health and Wellbeing Board and wider partnership.

This case study has been developed in partnership with the Centre for Excellence for Information Sharing.
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