population health West Yorkshire

“Our greatest asset is our people”: West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership population health achievements and aims

West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership has released its Annual Review for the Improving Population Health Programme. Here, we will cover some of the most important points, including progress, challenges and strategies for the future.

Dr James Thomas, medical director for the ICB, and Robin Tuddenham, CEO for Calderdale Council and place lead for Calderdale for the ICB, introduced the review. They noted challenges from the last year including COVID-19, the cost of living crisis, and climate change, and commented: “Our greatest asset is our people – the staff that we work with in statutory organisations as well as in our vibrant VCSE sector that are driven by a passion and desire to make a difference,” the document reads. “We take inspiration from them every single day, as well as our communities that have shown unbelievable strength and resilience in the face of adversity over the last year.”

Vision and ambitions

The vision set out by the review is to “embed a culture of improving population health and reducing inequalities through increasing system capacity, capability and intelligence.”

The review’s associated aims are to improve health outcomes for all “by contributing to data, intelligence and insight and embedding a population health approach across our partnership”; to tackle inequalities in experience, outcome and access; to help support broader social and economic development; and to enhance productivity and value for money.

The programme is split into six delivery teams, which are also used by the review to signpost progress and ambitions. These are adversity, trauma and resilience; climate change; core determinants of health; health inequalities; prevention and targeted prevention; and suicide prevention

Adversity, trauma and resilience

The vision under this priority area is to “work together with people with lived experience and colleagues across all sectors and organisations to ensure West Yorkshire is a trauma informed and responsive system by 2030.”

Achievements signposted under this priority area include developing the West Yorkshire Adversity, Trauma and Resilience Framework and Academy; launching a new digital hub offering resources to support trauma informed health and care; and developing new and existing networks dealing with specific issues such as cyber bullying, violence against staff and developing a trauma informed justice system.

For the future, the review sets out hopes including to continue to support all place strategies and to be trauma informed and responsive by 2030; to use evidence and embed knowledge of trauma and adversity in work across the region; to build on existing resources and capability across the system; and to collaborate across all sectors to ensure accessible and appropriate services.

Climate change

Here, the aim is “to reduce our environmental impact, everyone working and volunteering in health and social care in West Yorkshire needs to act.”

Achievements under this header include refreshing the climate change strategy for the partnership with ambitions goals and actions to help organisations achieve them; advising the national NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme on a sustainability module; and carrying out three carbon literacy training events.

Moving forward, the review hopes to achieve a series of objectives, including publishing a world-first study of sustainability in hospices; refreshing green plans to show how it will achieve net zero carbon by 2038; and implementing a new strategy so that climate change becomes an integral part of decision making for all organisations.

Health inequalities

The review shares the aim to tackle unjust difference in life expectancies across West Yorkshire by addressing some of the preventable differences that contribute towards inequality.

Some of the achievements noted by the review include becoming the first Partnership of Sanctuary in the country for going “above and beyond to welcome people seeking sanctuary into West Yorkshire”; continuing to develop the West Yorkshire Health Inequalities Academy; and establishing a CORE20Plus5 leadership group for the partnership, building on a joined-up system approach.

The review sets out future ambitions in this category including delivering a three-year action plan to ensure services are accessible and welcoming for all; launching a dedicated web resource for colleagues and partners on activities around health inequalities; and developing and launching the West Yorkshire Inclusion Health Unit to help support socially excluded groups.

Housing and health

The aim in this area is to ” work to ensure that great practice in health and housing is routinely shared across our partnership, and to support opportunities for investment to integrate this wherever possible.”

Achievements in housing and health include investing £1 million in funding across the region to help keep people warm in winter; working with Groundswell UK to carry out peer led research highlighting the experiences of homeless and rough sleepers accessing health care; and commissioning the West Yorkshire Transforming Care Team to ensure an understanding of needs and demand for supported accommodation.

A look ahead from the review results in ambitions including working together with the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership to make sure new homes meet dementia standards; identifying and prioritising the top three issues to support good mental health and tenancy sustainment; and delivering a “your home, your choice” campaign to help empower older people and their relatives to choose healthy housing options or live well independently at home.

Prevention and targeted prevention

The partnership states that “by focusing on national requirements from the NHS Long Term Plan alongside local priorities we identify and share good practice at place to accelerate and influence regional and national prevention agendas.”

Achievements under this banner include launching the Mums Can campaign to create awareness and support for pregnant women wanting to quit smoking; providing ongoing support for the Root Out Racism Movement which successfully secured over £600,000 of targeted prevention funding; and signing up to the Smokefree Pledge, committing to implementing the long-term plan for tobacco across West Yorkshire.

The review hopes that future work will include continuing to support acute trusts in scaling up A&E navigator programmes; supporting secondary prevention, reducing disparities and improving life expectancy; and working with the Long-Term Conditions and Personalised Care Programme and local places on targeted prevention initiatives in priority areas.

Suicide prevention

“Our collective ambition is to reduce suicide rates across West Yorkshire over the next five years, with a focus on health inequalities.”

The review notes achievements under the suicide prevention umbrella, including providing and promoting free suicide prevention training across the region; linking West Yorkshire Police to the Leeds and West Yorkshire Suicide Bereavement Service; and creating and growing a dynamic suicide prevention network of change makers across West Yorkshire.

In future, the review hopes to develop a network of cross-sector suicide prevention champions to widen influence and target those most likely to be impacted by worsening poverty; focusing on a culture shift to prevent staff suicide; carrying out work in the criminal justice system including prisons; and developing a child suicide prevention network.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA)

Finally, the review notes: “We work closely with West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) on delivering our shared goals outlined in our 10 big ambitions and our corporate objectives to improve population health and reduce health inequalities.”

Other achievements recognised in the review include promoting health in the housing strategy and the health and housing dashboard; promoting employment opportunities through a public health approach to unemployment; carrying out rapid needs assessment and gap analysis of homelessness support to contribute to a housing first model; and leading poverty and cost-of-living initiatives, particularly in the VCSE sector.

To read the review in full, please click here.