Two fresh initiatives aimed at enhancing the health and wellbeing of the populace in Leeds have been unveiled.

The Leeds Health and Wellbeing Strategy strives to sever the connection between poverty and suboptimal health, while the Healthy Leeds Plan delineates the transformation of the health and care system over the next five years to augment health outcomes for the community.

These plans emanate from the Leeds health and wellbeing board, a collaborative effort comprising senior representatives from various city organizations, including Leeds City Council, the NHS, the community sector, and Healthwatch, representing public viewpoints.

Both schemes seek to address health disparities within the city, with statistics indicating that 26% of the population resides in the 10% most deprived communities nationally. The life expectancy disparity between the most affluent and least affluent areas in Leeds is 14 years for women and 11 years for men.

Research underscores that individuals’ health is influenced not only by the services they receive but also by their place of residence, the quality of housing, employment opportunities, and the local environment. Improving these aspects can contribute to illness prevention.

At the core of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy are 12 priorities where city leaders concur they can make the most significant impact. These priorities encompass enhancing housing, maximizing the benefits of cutting-edge research and technology, and providing better support for caregivers.

Councillor Fiona Venner, Chair of the Leeds health and wellbeing board, and executive member for children’s social care and health partnerships at Leeds City Council said:

“It’s more important than ever that we work together to improve people’s health and wellbeing and ensure everyone can live healthier lives.

“We know that people’s health is affected by the jobs they have, the homes and communities they live in and the quality of services they receive.

“This strategy recognises that by creating improvements in all these areas, we can help people be healthier for longer.”

The Health and Wellbeing Strategy is closely aligned with the Inclusive Growth Strategy which recognises that a healthy city is reliant on a healthy economy. This work also supports the city’s zero carbon ambitions, recognising the positive impact that a green city can have on health and wellbeing.

Tim Ryley, Accountable Officer, Leeds Office of the West Yorkshire NHS Integrated Care Board, said:

“The new Healthy Leeds Plan reaffirms the commitment of health and social care partners in Leeds to work together to address the biggest challenges we collectively share.

“Now more than ever, it is essential that we put more focus on improving people’s health and preventing them from becoming ill in the first place.

“Equally, people need to be assured that when they need to access health and care services, they can do so in an equitable way and that the care they receive will be tailored to their needs. This new plan will help us to achieve these ambitions.”

The Leeds Health and Wellbeing Strategy can be accessed at: www.leedshws.org.uk.