Showing the way with Leeds health and wellbeing expertise

Caption: Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council Executive Board Member for Health and Wellbeing with Àngels Chacón, URBACT 4D Cities Lead Partner

Leeds has showcased pioneering examples of best practice in work being done to tackle health inequalities and increase wellbeing to European experts visiting the city this week. This is part of the URBACT 4D Cities project, where 8 European cities are working together to develop strategies “from health to wealth” by looking for joint, effective and sustainable solutions for developing better, healthier lives and job opportunities.

A range of experts had the opportunity to see at first hand the innovative work being done by health and care teams to deliver better services and better outcomes for communities in Leeds during visits to Armley Helping Hands, the Kippax Integrated Health and Social Care Team and South Leeds Independence Centre (SLIC).

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council Executive Board Member for Health and Wellbeing said:

“We know that communities in Leeds face real challenges both now and in coming years as changes in the economy, lifestyle and life expectancy impact on the health and social services they need. We aren’t alone in this – communities in the rest of the country and across Europe face very similar challenges. Leeds is blazing a trail with ways of delivering services which meet some of those challenges and we are delighted that other cities want to learn from our examples of good practice.”

SLIC is a community rehabilitation unit, which opened in April 2013. It is an innovative 40 bed facility, integrating health and social care, where patients are supported in their rehabilitation and recovery.

By having a team with nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and clinical assistants, with access to other health care professionals such as dieticians, joint care managers and medical practitioners, patients can have care provided which is tailored to their specific circumstances. The result is recovery can occur more quickly and individuals are better placed to regain independence and health.

As part of the Europe-wide Healthy Cities Network, which puts patients and carers at the centre of healthcare innovation, Leeds has been able to share and learn from best practice in tackling the worsening health inequalities which blight deprived neighbourhoods.

Rob Webster, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust Chief Executive, said:

“Leeds is uniquely placed to be at the forefront of health innovation. Its network of health organisations, clinical and research resources and centres of health educational excellence, means it can achieve the highest rates of innovation and help transform health outcomes locally, nationally and internationally.”

Àngels Chacón, URBACT 4D Cities Lead Partner said:

“Health-related businesses contribute to economic growth and improved health outcomes, but this isn’t just about technical solutions, it is about finding innovative ways to help people live healthier lives. There is a real opportunity for the delivery of better health and care to also deliver economic growth and strength.”


Notes to editors

Best City for Health and Wellbeing

For Leeds to be the best city for health and wellbeing, it means making sure that people can access high quality health and social care services: but it also means that Leeds is a Child Friendly city, a city that creates opportunities for business, jobs and training: a city made up of sustainable communities and of course a great place to live. In short, our vision is that Leeds will be a healthy and caring city for all ages, where people who are the poorest, improve their health the fastest.

The board will focus on five outcomes:

• People will live longer and have healthier lives

• People will live full, active and independent lives

• People will enjoy the best possible quality of life

• People are involved in decisions made about them

• People will live in healthy and sustainable communities

URBACT is a European exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development. The URBACT 4D project aims to stimulate successful integrated policies on Health Innovation so they become driving forces for local development, both at economic and social levels.

For interview requests or further information, contact:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team

Leeds City Council

Tel: Please use temporary number 0772 227 5370

Fax: 0113 247 4736