People across Leeds are invited to play their part in making Leeds the best city for health and wellbeing after leaders endorsed a new health and wellbeing strategy. Following a wide range of contributions from local people and experts, the focus of the strategy is on reducing health inequalities and building stronger connections across communities to help people live happier lives.
The refreshed strategy aims to reflect a far wider range of factors and opportunities than before and builds on the first strategy from 2013. By taking into account more views from across the city as well as factoring in the changing environment people in the city face in 2016, the new strategy will underpin activity across not just the health sector, but across city plans more generally.
The strategy focusses on five areas:
- People will live longer and have healthier lives
- People will live full, active and independent lives
- People’s quality of life will be improved by access to quality services
- People will be actively involved in their health and their care
- People will live in healthy, safe and sustainable communities
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
“The new Health and Wellbeing strategy belongs to everyone in Leeds, putting people at the centre of everything we do. Following key engagement with health and care partners and people in Leeds we have set an ambitious five year plan driven by a clear vision that Leeds will be a healthy and caring city for all ages, where people who are poorest improve their health the fastest. Covering a wide range of issues, this strategy also sets a strong approach which retains our commitment to a relentless focus on reducing health inequalities in Leeds.
“We can be enormously proud of the work done in Leeds during the first years of the city’s health and wellbeing board. Many indicators of health have improved and we have a much more integrated approach to improving the city’s health. This doesn’t just involve health and care professionals finding ways to tackle challenges and get better value, but recognising everyone in the city is an asset where we can all work together to address the challenges we face.
“In common with other local authorities we face enormous reductions to funding, with millions lost from the council’s public health and care budgets, increasing demand on NHS services and a growing, ageing population. We have taken these factors into account as we develop the new strategy and we will continue to build on this, changing and adapting to meet new circumstances and challenges. I hope people will recognise the role everyone can play in helping Leeds to be the best city for health and wellbeing and a place where people live better, longer and happier lives”
Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, said:
“Leeds is leading the way in many aspects of health, and the three Clinical Commissioning Groups in the city are working closely with each other, hospital trusts, other NHS colleagues, the council and a wide range of community groups to make the healthcare we deliver meet the needs of our communities.
“We are well placed to make the most of new opportunities and the new health and wellbeing strategy gives us a road map to back up our activity.”
Tanya Matilainen, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Leeds, who represent the voice of the local people in health and care said:
“The health and wellbeing strategy has been updated using a wide range of expertise, and I have been pleased to see how the voices of local people have been listened to in developing the strategy. At a time when there are so many pressures and uncertainties on the health and care system it is good to know that Leeds remains committed to improving the health of the poorest people most quickly and promoting the need to think about health in a wider context, not ‘just’ the health and care sector.”
The new health and wellbeing strategy was formally launched on Monday 11th July at a special event at the John Charles Centre for Sport to inspire increased physical activity as a key element of improving health for people in Leeds.
Notes for editors
The full details of the health and wellbeing strategy are available at: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/Best-City-for-Health-and-Wellbeing.aspx
The city’s first strategy covered from 2013 to 2015, following significant changes brought in by the national government which saw responsibility for public health returned to local government and the creation of health and wellbeing boards, responsible for overseeing the health of communities.