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Leeds Health and Social Care Hub: Leeds Health and Care Academy

Written by: Leeds Health and Social Care Hub - 16th October 2023

The Leeds Health and Social Care Hub provides a new way of collaborative working between national government and local NHS organisations and partners, including local government, social care, voluntary organisations, education and industry.

The ‘Partner Perspective’ feature series focus on the Hub partners to find out more about their organisation and why they’re part of the Leeds Health and Social Care Hub. This month we’re talking to Kate O’Connell, Director of Leeds Health and Care Academy.

What does your organisation do?

The Leeds Health and Care Academy provides shared learning and development opportunities for all health and care staff and volunteers who work across the city. We also facilitate and manage collaborative workforce projects that aim to improve education, recruitment, engagement, wellbeing and workforce planning, and narrow inequalities across all organisations and sectors that make up Leeds health and social care services. Through our work, our ambition is to develop a sustainable partnership culture for health and care in Leeds.

What is it that makes Leeds and the surrounding region a good place for this sort of partnership?

We are a highly diverse city which creates a hive of opportunity. This is underpinned by the incredible skill and dedication of our existing health and care workforce. Due to the fact that Leeds already has strong foundations in collaborative working, the Hub partnership is able to build from these existing productive and trusted relationships.

How does the Leeds Health and Care Academy work?

As a unique partnership organisation, we work with, and on behalf of, the entire health and social care sector in Leeds. This includes the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, primary care, NHS, local government, independent providers and educators – we work to enhance the workforce support offered, working with teams and organisations to increase the positive impacts that can be made for the people of Leeds.

The Academy facilitates a number of impactful workforce programmes. Some examples of our recent work are:

  • Narrowing inequalities through health and care careers: this transformational programme sees the city work in partnership to provide attractive and progressive health and social care careers within disadvantaged or under-represented communities in Leeds, removing traditional barriers to recruitment and employment, and providing practical support to help people succeed
  • Leeds Health and Care Learning Portal: we recently launched a digital learning platform that can be accessed for free by anybody working or volunteering in health and social care in Leeds. The portal ensures that high quality eLearning and virtual development opportunities are accessible to everybody – improving inclusive learning across the workforce
  • Collaborative Apprenticeships: our collaborative apprenticeships programme sees us work with employers and training providers to offer a range of career enhancing apprenticeships, connecting people across all the different health and social care settings in Leeds. Apprenticeship cohorts include people from a wide variety of specialisms and employers, encouraging collaboration as we jointly invest in our future talent

Why is being a Hub partner important for you?

This partnership creates real opportunity to better join up the brilliant work taking place across the city with national policy, funding and infrastructure. The Hub can help us advance quality and amplify impact, learning from each other to deliver better outcomes and experiences in health and social care.

What one word would you use to describe the Leeds Health and Social Care Hub?

Ambitious!