Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board

Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) is at the centre of setting the strategic direction of the local health and care system, and all key local health and care strategic decisions go to the board. This case study forms part of our integrated care systems (ICS) resource.

 The HWB has developed partnership principles in which they work as ‘Team Leeds’, taking collective responsibility as if one organisation, with an unrelenting focus on improving the health of the poorest the fastest.

The HWB has a strong focus on the social determinants of health, and the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Strategy is recognised as the key driver for tackling inequalities, alongside the Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy.

The Leeds Health and Care Plan is part of the health and wellbeing strategy and focuses integrated improvements to the health and care system.

Listening to people is central to the work of both the HWB and partners across the city, with findings fed into strategic planning and service delivery. Recent examples include:

  • ‘Big Leeds Chat’ – a city-wide event attracting 500 people to discuss health and wellbeing priorities as one health and care system
  • a workshop to hear from communities with some of the poorest health outcomes – asylum seekers, gypsies, travellers, refugees, homeless people and sex workers.

“Partnership working is at the centre of our approach to making Leeds the best city for health and wellbeing, improving the health of the poorest the fastest, and making Leeds a healthy and caring city for all ages. Through our health and wellbeing board (HWB) we bring together partners to create the environment in which local people can live healthier independent lives by creating healthy, safe and sustainable communities. In our city, wellbeing starts with people, and we put people’s voices at the centre of decision-making.”
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Chair, Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board

Leeds is a partner in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, a first-wave integrated care system (see separate snapshot[add link]). Key developments overseen by the HWB include:

  • Strengthened joint commissioning and pooled funding through an integrated commissioning executive with a jointly appointed director which brings together the clinical commissioning group (CCG), adult social care, public health, children’s services and NHS England. An integrated commissioning framework has been developed and will enable a ‘one city budget, one commissioning’ approach. For example, an integrated approach to care home provision to improve quality of care and support provider sustainability.
  • In establishing primary care networks, Leeds is building on well-established neighbourhood teams that combine multi-agency community health and care services to create ‘local care partnerships’. The intention is for a wide range of health and care services to work as a team to wrap around people and communities. Elected members, voluntary and community organisations and housing managers are part of this development.
  • The ambition to build one workforce for Leeds has led to the development of Leeds Health and Care Academy, an essential component of the workforce strategy.
  • ‘Leeds Resilience Plan’, approved by the HWB, is an exemplar of collaboration. Winter 2018-19 saw some of the lowest levels of delayed transfers of care recorded locally, improved flow through community care beds, and improved discharge management. A ‘home first’ approach has been agreed and will be embedded through the workforce in 2019.

Tony Cooke, Chief Officer, Health Partnership

Arfan Hussain, Senior Governance and Partnership Officer