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14.07.20

NHS Confederation partner in new report to level up health in Yorkshire

NHS Confederation, Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Sciences Network (AHSN) and Yorkshire Universities have combined their expertise to publish a joint report outlining ways to improve health within the Yorkshire region.

The new report, Levelling Up Yorkshire and Humber: health as the new wealth post COVID, details bold actions which the authors feel are necessary by both local and national leadership to embed a renewed focus on health in the area, tackle long-standing regional inequalities and level up future investment into Yorkshire’s health and life sciences assets post-coronavirus.

Population health has been at the forefront of people’s minds following the pandemic, with economic investment proving a pivotal point in the report.

Health inequalities have been highlighted by the virus and represented one of the significant challenges faced from region to region around the country, with costly health implications for the people of those areas.

In the North, where health inequalities are at some of their most visible in the country, there is a two-year gap in life expectancy when compared with the South – with data showing people in the North as much as 20% more likely to die early compared to their compatriots in other areas of the UK.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE

The report highlights the potential present in Yorkshire and the Humber with the greater, and more targeted, regional investment from central government. Unlocking this regional potential, in the eyes of the report’s authors, allows the addressing of health inequalities by focusing on health and wealth together, using the area’s unique assets as an economy to improve health and wellbeing, whilst contributing to inclusive economic growth: meaning a fairer society where everyone benefit.

Noting the significant impact that the coronavirus pandemic has played on the Northern economy, the report recognises the devastating impact this could have on the regional population’s mental health and wellbeing without preventative action being taken.

The release of the report from NHS Confederation and its regional partners in Yorkshire represents the start of a campaign to engage opinion formers and decision makers at all levels - local, regional and national – to raise awareness and develop prompt actions as set out in the report’s recommendations.

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“We have over 650 health and life sciences companies within Yorkshire and the Humber - more than Oxford and Cambridge combined."
 

The report has also launched at a time when leaders across the NHS and social care are calling for a ‘reset’ to the way we plan, commission and deliver health and care, building on the rapid progress already made during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) said: “We have over 650 health and life sciences companies within Yorkshire and the Humber - more than Oxford and Cambridge combined.

“These institutions played a significant civic role before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has only accelerated this contribution.  The regional joint working we have seen throughout the pandemic must continue as we begin to rebuild and recover.

“It means anchor institutions – hospitals, universities, local and combined authorities – all working together to engage communities and other partners, but also boosting the role they themselves play as large employers and significant contributors and influencers within the local economy.”

Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said: “We believe there is a vital role for the health and care sector to play within the wider economic and social recovery of local places.

“Nationally, there is a need for government to adopt a health-in-all-policies approach and to see health and public services as an investment. Locally, we are supporting our leaders to understand that the impact, value and responsibility of their anchor organisations goes well beyond traditional NHS boundaries.

“We believe cross-sector collaboration and place-based partnerships - including between Integrated Care Systems, Local Enterprise Partnerships and Combined Authorities – will play a key role in realising the potential of our regions, such as Yorkshire and Humber, and in achieving improved population health and inclusive growth more generally.”

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