West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership scoops national prestigious awards

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) scooped a number of awards at the 40th Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards online celebrations on Wednesday 17 March.


The achievements of 24 winners — and 186 finalists — saw WY&H HCP being recognised by the HSJ for a number of outstanding achievements after a year in which it faced its toughest ever challenges.


Winning System Leadership System Leadership Initiative of the Year for their ambition to increase leadership diversity, Helen Hirst, Chief Officer for Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group and CEO Lead for WY&H HCP, System Leadership Programme said: ‘Our relentless focus on increasing the diversity of our leadership to better serve our communities in West Yorkshire and Harrogate has upped a gear during the pandemic, with delivery of a senior leadership fellowship programme and  changes in recruitment policy and practice in all our partner organisations.   We have supported our colleagues who work in health and care across our area with health and wellbeing resources and taken a clear stance with communications campaigns such as Black History Month and Islamophobia Awareness Month. We’re delighted to have received this award on behalf of all our colleagues and communities’.


Sayma Mirza, Senior Head of Collaboration for Bradford District and Craven and member of the WY&H BAME Network said: ‘The system leadership initiative aims to increase the representation of ethnic minorities in senior leadership roles, enabling us to further meet the needs of people living across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. We know when we are able to see things from everyone’s perspective we are better informed and positioned to meet the needs of those we serve. We want our people to dream with ambition and we will work hard to make those dreams a reality – winning the award is a tremendous boost to us all here at WY&H HCP and encourages us to keep pushing those boundaries’.


WY&H HCP was also highly commended in the Workforce Initiative of the Year category for its nationally recognised Working Carers Passport Initiative. 


Richard Parry, Kirklees Council, Strategic Director for Adults and Health and Karen Jackson, CEO for Locala Community Partnership, who are joint chairs of the WY&H HCP programme board for unpaid carers said: ‘The working carers passport is an agreement between the carer and their manager, on behalf of the organisation. The intention is for the carer to be able to manage their role alongside their caring responsibilities by implementing mutually beneficial and flexible working arrangements. We’re delighted that the importance of supporting unpaid carers has been recognised in these awards – and more delighted that carers are getting the care and attention they deserve in the work place’.


Rob Webster, Chief Executive, WY&H HCP CEO Lead and CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust won Chief Executive of the Year. Angela Monaghan Chair of the Trust said: ‘We are so delighted and proud that Rob has been recognised in this way. Rob’s widely admired leadership is founded on strong values, compassion, inclusion and lifting others. He is deeply committed to improving staff wellbeing, tackling inequality, improving diversity and, particularly, to making sure health and care system working serves the wider needs of local populations. He would never have sought out this recognition, but it is hugely deserved.’


The judges concluded that this combination of humility, support for staff and partners and a focus on population needs was the near perfect combination for a leader in today’s NHS. Rob is also the first mental health trust chief executive to secure the number one spot in HSJ’s Top 50 chief executives list, announced on Thursday 18 March. Other chief executives on the top list include Julian Hartley, CEO for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Dr Owen Williams, CEO for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.


Huge congratulations to others across the area who were nominated, including Locala Community Partnership finalist for Community Provider of the Year and to winners Leeds Community Healthcare Trust for winning ‘Freedom to Speak up Organisation of the Year for creating a culture of speaking, listening and following up.


Thea Stein CEO for Leeds Community Healthcare Trust said: ‘We are delighted that our hard work to create a culture of speaking up has been recognised in this way. Our aim is to make sure that everyone at Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust has a voice. I am equally pleased that our work to engage and support the wider health and social care system in Leeds has been recognised. Speaking up is an important practice that should be for everyone and free from organisational boundaries’.


Cllr Tim Swift, Chair of West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Board and Leader for Calderdale Council said: ‘I’m delighted that colleagues and communities have been recognised for their outstanding achievements during what has been an incredible difficult year for all. Tackling health inequalities across the Partnership is a priority everyone, and this has been reflected in those nominated and winners of these awards and Rob being awarded CEO of the year. Congratulations to all involved’.


WY&H HCP is made up of the NHS, councils, independent care providers, hospices, Healthwatch and hundreds of carer and community organisations; the Partnership is working together across Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield.


You can find out more about the Partnership’s work at www.wyhpartnership.co.uk or on twitter @wyhpartnership

WY&H Partnership supports Young Carers Action Day

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) is set to launch a new young carers App on the 16 March as part of Young Carers Action Day. The App has been coproduced with young carers following feedback on what support they need to make their caring role easier. Feedback included the importance of virtual anonymous support and advice on how to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.


The theme of this year’s Young Carers Action Day is about protecting young carers’ futures and making sure that all young and young adult carers get the support they need to go after their dreams.  Young Carers Action Day is an annual event led by the Carers Trust. It raises awareness and calls for action to increase support for young people with caring responsibilities.


Young carers and young adult carers have done an amazing job before and during the pandemic with many finding themselves with increased caring responsibilities coupled with less time spent at school, in college or with friends.  Many have found their lives turned upside down with feelings of stress or anxiety heightened, with nowhere to go for support.


WY&H HCP is committed to addressing the inequalities that young carers face. The launch of the APP called ‘YC support’ will enable young carers to access information on how to look after their health and wellbeing as well as support available to them in their caring role, including local the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) who can offer bespoke advice and support to young people.


The ‘YC support’ app was produced by ‘Expert Self Care’, an organisation who provide health information, promote self-care and signpost services through trusted mobile apps, led by Dr Knut Schroeder, a Bristol based GP and Health App Developer.


As a result of findings from what young carers said, WY&H HCP has also launched a support network to help them stay happy, healthy and well. . The Partnership is running an awareness raising campaign with local carers organisations across education settings with the aim of reminding teachers to look out for the signs that students may also be carers and that simple things put in place can make their life better – for example keeping their phone on when in lessons.


Karen Jackson, CEO for Locala Community Partnerships and co-chair of WY&H HCP Carers Programme said: ‘Young carers have told us that their teachers aren’t always aware of their caring role. Teachers can be an enormous support to young carers. The reopening of schools provides us with an opportunity to remind them to look out for the signs’.


Richard Parry, Kirklees Council’s Director for Adults and Health, and co-chair for WY&H HCP Carers Programme said: ‘In the coming months, as we build back better we will be working with our local partner organisations and young carers to listen carefully to how better we can further support young carers so they have every chance in life to fulfil their potential and achieve their ambitions’.

Shielding Experts webinar February 3rd, 2021

As the number of cases of COVID-19 rises rapidly, and the third national lockdown continues, shielding advice has once again been issued to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.


Advice to shield at home until at least 21 February has been re-issued to over 100,000 people in West Yorkshire and will be reviewed during this period should it need to be extended.


West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP), along with the Local Resilience Forum, West Yorkshire Prepared, will host ‘The Shielding Experts’ webinar on Wednesday 3 February, providing a valuable opportunity to listen to people about their experiences of shielding.


Attendees will hear insight from research and surveys, and importantly the personal experiences of those who shielded, including staff, to inform our health and care practice this winter and beyond. The aim is to support people who live and work across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to put the right conditions in place to enable those with the highest clinical risk to stay happy, healthy and safe.


This session is suitable for people who work across the health and care sector or anyone involved in the shielding response in local places, including the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, local NHS and council staff. Speakers include shielding experts by experience as well as Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP; Hannah Davies, CEO for Healthwatch, Leeds; John Walsh, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust; Ann-Louise Caress, University of Huddersfield; Dave Thompson, Kirklees Council, and Rachael Loftus, Head of Regional Health Partnerships.


Rob Webster said: ‘Over 100,000 people have been shielding in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Our councils and VCSE partners have been magnificent throughout the pandemic, supporting people through local partnerships, including hundreds of volunteers. This opportunity to share their experiences, which have often been hidden behind closed doors in every community, is invaluable in improving services further in the future’.


Rachael Loftus said: ‘Councils are working hard to ensure that clinically extremely vulnerable people have the right support to enable them to follow the shielding advice. We know how hard shielding is for people and we hope that our webinar will contribute to improving the quality of their care and increase understanding of the people who are making extraordinary efforts  and significant sacrifices to stay safe at this time’.


Connie Cluderay, from Leeds said: ‘As a shielder, I welcome the opportunity to share my story.  It’s great that people want to take part in the conversation and listen to us’.


Cllr Rebecca Charlwood, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board said: ‘This event will give people who have been shielding at home the opportunity to share their personal experience. The pandemic has been hard for all, and especially for people who have been isolating at home and very often alone without family and friends close by. Our communities have been fantastic, offering kindness, practical support, and compassion throughout. It’s really important to bring people together to share the overall experience and learning’.


Robin Tuddenham, Co-chair of the Local Resilience Forum and CEO for Calderdale Council said: ‘The way that partners have come together with our communities to support those shielding has been one of the really positive experiences from the pandemic. It’s a story of kindness and quiet determination, with our voluntary and community sector playing such a pivotal role. This event will provide an opportunity to listen and learn, and in particular understand the lived experience of those who have shielded, and what this tells us about how to build back a stronger health and care system in West Yorkshire.’


Further details about the webinar and how to book can be found here

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership launch staff suicide prevention initiative

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) will launch an innovative staff suicide prevention campaign targeted at more than 100,000 health, care, voluntary and community service colleagues working in organisations large and small across the area.

Launching on the 4 February ‘Time to Talk’ day, the campaign aims to get people in the workplace talking about mental health to prevent the risk of suicide. Over 160 organisations have already registered to get involved (accurate 25 Jan).

Preventing suicide in targeted areas by 2022 is one of WY&H HCP’s 10 big ambitions. National figures published by the Office of National Statistics on 1 September 2020 show that Yorkshire and the Humber region had the highest suicide rate in England at 12 suicides per 100,000 population over a three year period between 2017 and 2019. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate, there was an increase from 10.6 per 100,000 between 2016-18 to 11.9 between 2017 and 2019.

WY&H HCP’s ‘Check-in’ campaign aims to prevent staff suicide and promote a wellbeing culture by normalising the conversation around suicide and mental health as well as providing training, including links to credible sources such as the Zero Suicide Alliance, and signposting to support in and out the workplace.

The campaign, co-produced with people who have direct experience of suicide, has been created by staff coming together from NHS services, councils, Healthwatch and community groups, including the Samaritans and Platform 1 in Huddersfield.

WY&H HCP has secured funding from NHS England/NHS Improvement to the end of March 2022 of more than £1million to develop and maintain a Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub for all staff working in health and care services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. The campaign will link to this important support.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP said: ‘While people at risk of suicide may try to hide how they are feeling, they often give out warning signs, when at work. You might notice changes in their behaviour or be aware of events in their life that could be affecting them. Many of us may be unsure what to say, or how to approach the situation. By knowing what to look for, having the skills and confidence to have a conversation and provide support, you can make a huge difference to someone’s life. I’m urging everyone to get involved so they know the signs and how to respond by doing the online training provided at www.zerosuicidealliance.com

Dr Sara Munro, CEO for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and CEO Lead for WY&H HCP Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism Programme said: ‘We hope that this vital initiative will help normalise the conversation and increase confidence so suicide and mental health can be discussed, without stigma or judgement, as part of everyday workplace conversation. The Partnership is establishing a staff mental health wellbeing hub which will complement local help whilst bringing together many different sources of support, and suicide prevention is integral to that work’.

Professor Brendan Brown, CEO for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Workforce Programme said: ‘Whether front-line, office, service or community, neighbourhood based, we all work incredibly hard to provide care and support to our communities, and this can take its toll. This campaign will help us work together to create a culture in which we acknowledge ourselves as people who also need care and support – where looking after ourselves and our colleagues is seen as a vital part of our role and responsibility in order to continue to provide the best health and care for everyone across West Yorkshire and Harrogate’.

Cllr Tim Swift, Chair of WY&H Partnership Board and Leader of Calderdale Council, said: ‘I’m delighted that over 160 organisations across West Yorkshire and Harrogate have signed up to this important campaign, including community led groups, Healthwatch, councils and hospitals. By spotting the signs in both our work and personal lives we can all prevent suicide and support one another better to have good mental health’.

Open to all, you can join the campaign now at https://bit.ly/2Nh0wfr or find out more about this important work at staffcheck-in.co.uk/toolkit from the 4 February 2021.