Vision for health and wellbeing launched in Leeds

The vision for Leeds to be a healthy and caring city for people of all ages took a step forward today with the launch of the Leeds Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS).

The JHWS was launched at the first meeting of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board. The board is accountable to Leeds City Council, and brings together the local authority and health services in the city, as well as partner organisations, all with the shared ambition of improving the health and wellbeing of local people. The board’s primary purpose is to provide overall strategic leadership to improve the health and wellbeing of residents, and ensure that the health of the poorest improves the fastest.

The JHWS will provide a commissioning framework for health services, social care and public health, and also services such as housing, education and employment that can have a direct effect on people’s health and wellbeing.

The strategy aims to make Leeds a healthy and caring city for people of all ages, with the following five outcomes being at the heart of it:

• 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 involved in decisions made about them; and

• People will live in healthy and sustainable communities.

In working to achieve these outcomes, the health and wellbeing board will ensure that people who are the poorest will improve their health the fastest, and the stark differences in life expectancy between the city’s most affluent and most disadvantaged communities will be reduced.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board said:

“Our vision is for Leeds to be the best city for health and wellbeing, and the Health and Wellbeing Board brings together the council, local NHS services and partner organisations to work on achieving this. The board is committed to identifying need and tackling issues of health inequality and disadvantage in the city.

”The JHWS provides a strategic, cross-city approach to ensure that we maximise the impact of every pound of public money that is spent on health in the city, whilst also making the most of our collective resources.

“We expect all our partners to use the JHWS when making decisions about spending money and planning services over the next few years, and are confident that if this happens we can truly make Leeds the best city for health and wellbeing.”

The JHWS will be used to review existing plans and strategies across the city to make sure that these are focused on the right things. The health and wellbeing board has identified four prime commitments that they believe will make the most difference to the lives of people in Leeds. These are:

• To support more people to choose healthy lifestyles;

• To ensure everyone has the best start in life;

• To improve people’s mental health and wellbeing; and

• To increase the number of people supported to live safely in their own homes (reducing avoidable hospital and care home admissions).

Councillor Mulherin added:

“To ensure that we start making progress towards Leeds being a healthy and caring city for all ages we have identified four prime commitments, which will underpin our work and start making a real difference to health outcomes for people in the city.

Details of the Health and Wellbeing Board and the JHWS can be found here


Additional info

Before the health and wellbeing board assumed its statutory responsibilities in April 2013, a shadow health and wellbeing board acted as an advisory body to the council’s executive board, NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds board and the three clinical commissioning groups. Its role was to oversee relevant transitional arrangements for health, social care and public health in the city.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk