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Leeds Health and Social Care Hub - Partner Perspective: University of Leeds

Written by: Leeds Health and Social Care Hub - 1st August 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 Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice Chancellor, and Laura Stroud, Professor of Public Health and Education Innovation and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Health, both from the University of Leeds.

What does your organisation do?

The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK, employing over 8,700 staff, with over 38,000 students, including 10,000 postgraduate students. Our campus is truly international, with staff from over 100 countries, and around one-quarter of our students encompass 170 different countries.

Our 2020-2030 academic strategy – Universal Values, Global Change – is rooted in our desire to make a difference in the world. It sets a blueprint for a values-driven university that harnesses expertise in research and education to help shape a better future for humanity. Working through collaboration we will tackle inequalities, benefit society and drive change.

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

Leeds city and its surrounding region has an established track record for consistent, effective, and deep collaboration between partners. This has allowed us to develop a ‘partnership first’ approach, shown though our Anchor Network and the Leeds Academic Health Partnership, which benefit both the region and individual partners equally.

One outcome from this approach is the development of a rich regional health ecosystem that includes entrepreneurs, educators, providers, and policy makers. This positions the region to enthuse and train the health workforce of tomorrow, providing disruptive solutions to health challenges – driving their adoption within the health system

Leeds city, and the wider region, has a diverse population when measured by a range of characteristics. This perfectly situates the region as a testbed for innovation: allowing testing and refinement across a range of patient populations prior to wider roll-out and adoption across the UK.

Key strengths of Leeds University

We offer an excellent educational experience and are ready to play our part in the training and career development of the current and future workforce and leaders. We have strengths in Science and Humanities and of course, we train many of the health and care professionals who will work in the Region.  

Key highlight of the work of Leeds University

We have a strong research culture – particular strengths in the Faculty of Medicine and Health include oral health, rheumatic and musculo-skeletal disease, aging and frailty, cancer and cardiometabolic disease, with excellent clinical trials capability. Our mission is to transform human health and well-being by working collaboratively across education, research and innovation.

Why is being a Hub partner important for you?

At the centre of the University 2020-2030 strategy is the imperative for Higher Education Institutions to make a positive impact on the world. To make positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally, we must collaborate. The Hub is critical for this; a coalition of the willing in the health and care space. We deliver transformational, fundamental, challenge-led research to advance knowledge and tackle major issues; a research-based educational experience for students and professional learners from diverse backgrounds – to develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. However, these will only really make a positive difference through collaboration with our partners to realise this potential.

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