Leeds Health and Care One Workforce Strategy: 2024

1) Foreword

Leeds Health and Care organisations came together in November 2019 to agree the Strategic Workforce Priorities which would underpin collective delivery of the city’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the Leeds Plan.  There was a clear and shared understanding that the Leeds system was already operating with notable workforce gaps which needed to be addressed, that the workforce of the future would require different roles and skills to deliver different models of care, that health and care is critical in driving inclusive growth, and that many of our health and care providers were also anchor institutions in their own right.  Under the guidance of the Leeds One Workforce Strategic Board, a series of projects were designed and initiated to drive forward the Strategic Workforce Priorities in an increasingly integrated way, with the ambition of optimising investment and resource, focusing expertise, coordinating activity and ensuring benefits were realised for the whole Health and Care system. In October 2020, collaborative work was initiated to review and re-shape the projects in response to environmental changes, including the implications of Covid-19, the updated NHS People Plan, and the emerging future of integrated care systems. 

A pivotal part of delivering the One Workforce agenda was the launch of the ground-breaking Health and Care Academy in April 2019, established as a project of the Leeds Academic Health Partnership.  The Academy was designed through extensive consultation with partners and external input from KPMG, and represents a unique opportunity to transform system-level education and learning across Health and Care within Leeds, growing and shaping the workforce both now and for the future.

As we move into the next phase of integrated health and care and rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic, we will undoubtedly adapt with the evolution of Place Based Partnerships and a strengthening of Integrated Care Systems.  However, at the heart of our One Workforce approach, Leeds partners will continually work together to enable our health and care colleagues to thrive and in so doing, support the best possible health and wellbeing for the people of Leeds. 

2) Our Ambition

In Leeds, we have a bold ambition and a clear vision for our people: Leeds will be the best city for health and wellbeing.  Leeds will be a healthy and caring city for all ages, where people who are the poorest improve their health the fastest.

The Leeds Health and Care sector continues to work together to make Leeds the best place to train and work in at any age.  Together we provide opportunities for skills, jobs and wealth creation, engaging and recruiting those in our most disadvantaged communities and inspiring the next generation health and care workforce.  This will ensure we have the highly diverse, skilled workforce we need to work with the people of Leeds, now and in the future.

Our ambition does not stop there.  We are committed to working together as equals, recognising the strength and value of our diverse partners. Our vision for One Workforce is not about creating a single entity, but about connecting us all through shared purpose and accountability, ensuring that development and progress is truly inclusive, and supporting each other to succeed.   

3) Shared Strategic Workforce Priorities

Our seven Strategic Workforce Priorities, developed in 2019, continue to provide a cohesive focus for Health and Care organisations across the city:

1. Introducing New Roles
2. Growing & Developing Registrants
3. Working Across Organisations
4. Preventing ill-health
5. Narrowing Inequalities
6. Learning Together
7. Improving Health & Wellbeing
Connect care closer to home, without destabilising services or workforce.
Attract and retain registered HCPs, ensuring no gaps in priority services.
Enable new service delivery through addressing system barriers.
Embed the prevention of ill-health across all services and roles.
Engage with, recruit and develop diverse workforce from local communities.
Develop skills, leadership and digital expertise to support 21st century care.
Ensure staff across our health and care services are well at work.

By collaborating on our shared priorities, we can focus the extensive expertise, energy and resources from across our partnerships, to the activity that will make the biggest difference.

We recognise that to deliver our shared priorities, we must address urgent workforce pressures as well as focus on the medium and longer term activity.  In order to achieve this, we remain connected and agile across our partnerships enabling us to address urgent workforce needs wherever they arise in our system, whilst also maintaining a sustained focus on building and developing our essential workforce for the future.    

4) Shared Values and Principles

Health and care partners across Leeds all have their own organisational values which align with their distinct vision and purpose, but there are some common threads which connect us across One Workforce.  We recognise and support these values in others across our health and care system through decisions, actions and behaviours:

  • Person-centred and caring
  • Inclusive and collaborative
  • Learning and improving
  • Respectful and empowering
  • Acting with honesty, integrity and accountability

In addition, our partnership recognises the founding principles of the Leeds Health and Care Academy in that our decisions and actions aim to:

  • Advance inclusivity, through supporting, connecting and developing diverse people from diverse health and care organisations
  • Narrow inequalities in our population and our workforce
  • Optimise the Leeds Pound, ensuring value for money and investing in our local communities and services

5) Achieving our Goals

In order to achieve our shared One Workforce ambition, every partner actively contributes to our Leeds partnership, providing leadership, expertise, resources and opportunities on topics which resonate with their organisational strengths and needs.  Underpinning our Strategic Workforce Priorities, our statutory partners also fund a small Leeds Health and Care One Workforce team, which works for the benefit of the whole health and care system, driving and enabling the realisation of our shared and inclusive ambition. 

a) One Workforce Programme:

Working collaboratively with our health and care partners our One Workforce Programme translates our seven strategic workforce priorities into deliverable, focused projects that enable sustainable impactful change.  Whilst these projects evolve and change over time, our strategic plan is focussed on how we introduce new roles into primary care, grow our registrant workforce, work across organisational boundaries, prevent ill-health, narrow inequalities in the workforce, learn together, and improve health and well-being.  We have a well-structured and connected programme of projects which enables us to embed the outcomes and learning into our system and partner organisations and through regular monitoring and refresh, we will ensure real, sustainable change that benefits Leeds Health and Care. With inclusivity across partners as a guiding principle to ensure a truly system-led approach, we enable partners to share best practice and experiences as a community of practice. 

Through working together as a collective, we bring funding into Health and Care in Leeds to enable us to realise our ambitious strategic priorities, building on our strengths and supporting areas of our system which are under pressure.  The One Workforce Programme continues to constructively challenge perceptions and long embedded practices to ensure they are fit for purpose and represent our overall ambitions for integrated health and care in Leeds.  Through innovation and creativity as a collective, we will seek to provide workforce solutions to our changing and challenging sector.

b) Leeds Health and Care Academy:

The Leeds Health and Care Academy is designed to deliver ‘system-based, transformational learning’ within our diverse health and care workforce, creating a driving force behind the cross-organisational learning and capabilities needed to deliver our shared strategic workforce priorities.  Funded and directed collaboratively by our partner organisations, its portfolio is structured around five key areas of activity, and programmes are carefully selected and designed to ensure that they add to and enhance the inspiring organisational learning offered throughout our partner organisations.

i. Talent pipeline: These are collaborative programmes which continually evolve to support entry and progression into our diverse health and care careers through a variety of training and educational pathways e.g. T Levels, Apprenticeships and the ICare Ambassador Programme.

ii. System leadership, culture and change: This area is focussed on developing skills and behaviours underpinning integrated care. Working closely with partners and city-wide programmes such as Team Leeds, Hearts and Minds, the Academy aims to strengthen the capacity, capability and culture which enables all of our colleagues to work together with a truly person-centred approach.

iii. Health and care practice: This portfolio area allows partners to share and advance leading clinical and care practices across organisational boundaries. Starting with Long Term Conditions Training and Pressure Ulcer Prevention Training, the creation of a shared digital platform will enable significant growth and reach by 2024.  

iv. Digital, data and technology: Even before the digital adaptations during the Covid pandemic, Leeds Health and Care saw increasing opportunities for improved experiences and outcomes for citizens through the growth and adoption of digital, data and technology.  The Academy’s goal is to develop these capabilities and competencies across our shared workforce in order to progress these innovative approaches effectively as a joined-up system. Ensuring access to training for the whole workforce, we will also work with specialists and leaders to ensure that our system works collaboratively to fully utilise the digital opportunities available to the health and care sector.

v. Essential learning: Providing core knowledge and skills training for the Leeds health and care workforce, which is recognised and transferrable across organisational boundaries, we are working collaboratively with the third sector and smaller providers to develop this shared provision.  As we work towards establishing an Academy Learning platform, we see the opportunity to engage a much wider audience in the opportunity to learn together. 

c) Workforce Planning and Transformation:

In the increasingly complex and pressured context of health and care workforce planning, our partner organisations across Leeds are balancing immediate service needs with long term analysis, predictions and change. In order to improve system resilience and better integration, organisational workforce analysis needs to be considered collectively to better understand and inform the Leeds system.  City-wide workforce analysis and planning will better enable us to deliver our shared workforce priorities allowing us to focus on long term strategic needs of a changing health and care system and ensuring we are better prepared for the future.  Our approach to collective workforce planning and transformation is predicated on the need for better data sharing and building capability across our city, themes which are supported across our Academy and One Workforce projects.  Workforce planning needs to underpin real, collaborative change and will be organised and aligned with system-wide service improvement programmes. Working collaboratively with workforce data and insights teams such as HEE, Skills for Care, Skills for Health and the West Yorkshire Workforce Observatory, Leeds will learn from other systems and contribute to the wider network.

d) Strengthening our System:

Leeds One Workforce recognises its important roles in a variety of wider systems and is committed to contributing to, and learning from, our diverse partners.  Our primary focus is contributing strategic workforce leadership and support within the Leeds health and care system to help achieve our city’s health and wellbeing goals.  In order to achieve this, we lead strategic and collaborative HR and OD development programmes such as Team Leeds Hearts and Minds, and provide coordinated city workforce support through the Place Based Partnership Development Group to facilitate cultural and structural change.  We believe in a responsive and agile city workforce leadership team which supports others in critical service challenges.  In addition, we aim to strengthen our local Leeds system through working with, and supporting, other city-wide services such as Digital, Estates, QI, and Communications, to connect, align and optimise the impact of the essential development work across these teams.

More widely, we work as part of West Yorkshire ICS to contribute effectively in a ‘team of teams’, sharing our strengths and successes, and seeking support and learning from others.  Examples include leading the Vaccination Programme Training at the inception of the Covid Vaccination programme, and hosting the WY Talent Retention Hub to build on and share the impact of the emergent Leeds Talent Pool.  As an active member of our wider networks, we are able to draw funding into the city to support the impact and scale of our work.  We collectively connect beyond our Leeds and West Yorkshire system reaching into policy, media, funding and providers to influence, share learning and improve health and wellbeing for all.

6) Summary

In summary, our strategic approach to developing and sustaining One Workforce in Leeds Health and Care is built on common purpose and deep partnership working.  Our clarity of focus, real investment and structured approach means that we can see the positive impact of our collaborations, and we will continue to grow and develop these as we work towards our 2024 goals.  We will of course, remain agile and responsive to the challenges we face and empower our workers to do the best for our people of Leeds.  We will ensure that no part of our Leeds Health and Care One Workforce is left behind.

If you would like to download the strategy document, please click here.