Pioneer status gives Leeds a healthy future

Caption: Members of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing board celebrate Pioneer status

Leading figures from Leeds health and social care met with government ministers and service integration experts at an event in Westminster to inaugurate the Health Pioneer status the city has been awarded.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing board, and Dr Andy Harris, Chair of the Citywide Transformation programme, were part of a delegation from the city who met with other pioneer city teams and health minister Norman Lamb MP.

The city has been recognised for the pioneering work already being done to make sure health and care services in the city work together to deliver a seamless service.

It is one of only fourteen chosen from over 100 around the country chosen to become ‘pioneers’, demonstrating the use of ambitious and innovative approaches to delivering integrated care.

Councillor Mulherin said:

“We’re aiming to make sure Leeds citizens get high quality and seamless health and care services which improve the experience of everyone who uses them, even at a time when while funding is under pressure. Pioneer status also puts us in a strong position to lobby for resources to make integration work as well as possible.”

“We will now be well-placed to use examples of good practice from around the country as well as sharing knowledge we have with other communities. We’re recognised internationally for the progress we have made, but confirmation of Pioneer status is a real vote of confidence in the way we are moving the health and care agenda forward in the city.”

Experts believe integration of health and care is crucial to delivering effective health and wellbeing and health and care professionals in the city say it offers people in Leeds the chance to increasingly have services delivered around their needs, not the needs of the organisations delivering them.

Alison from Alwoodley cares for her partner, Chris. She is enthusiastic about health and social care staff working more closely together and the benefits this can bring for people like herself and Chris. She said:

“When you’re in a doctor’s consulting room you tend to be focusing on the one problem you’ve gone to see them about, not all the other things going on in your life. The community matron saw the whole picture. She was our main link, putting out contacts in whatever direction was necessary.”

Dr Andy Harris, Clinical Chief Officer for NHS Leeds South and East CCG said:

“Essentially today will be a chance to introduce pioneers and partners to one another and clarify shared expectations of and commitments to the programme. We can make progress agreeing and understanding how the support programme will work and begin to develop implementation plans.

“Linking health, care and wider services together more seamlessly will mean people experience better health outcomes supported by care that more closely matches their needs and a better understanding of how they can manage their own health.”

The national partners will provide tailored support to pioneers. In return, the pioneers will be at the forefront of sharing and promoting what they’ve learned for wider adoption across the country.


Issued by:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team

Leeds City Council

4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 0772 227 5370

Tel: 0113 395 0393

Notes to editors:

1. Twelve health and social care teams now work in Leeds to coordinate the care for older people and those with long-term conditions.

2. The NHS and local authority have opened a new joint recovery centre offering rehabilitative care – to prevent hospital admission, facilitate earlier discharge and promote independence. In its first month of operation, it saw a 50% reduction in length of stay at hospital.

3. Leeds has set up a programme to integrate health visiting and children’s centres into a new Early Start Service across 25 local teams in the city. Children and families now experience one service, supporting their health, social care and early educational needs, championing the importance of early intervention.

4. Patients also benefit from an innovative approach which will enable people to access their information online.

5. The pioneers will work across the whole of their local health, public health and care and support systems, and alongside other local authority departments as necessary, to achieve and demonstrate the scale of change that is required.