Another step forward for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP)

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership has been named as one of four new areas in England that will be given additional freedom and flexibility to manage the delivery of local services.  The Partnership will join the Integrated Care System programme, putting the area at the forefront of nationwide action to provide better co-ordinated and more joined up care for 2.6 million people.

The Partnership breaks down the barriers between GPs and hospitals, physical and mental health, social care and the NHS.

This national recognition for the Partnership is a positive step forward.  It will bring control and influence over spending and transformation closer to local people and local places.

Working alongside community organisations and communities, the Partnership brings together health and social care organisations, including the voluntary sector and other care providers across the area to give people the best start in life with support to stay healthy and live longer. An important part of the work is tackling health inequalities whilst improving the lives of the poorest, the fastest.

The importance of joining up services for people at a local level in Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield is at the heart of local and WY&H plans. All decisions on services are made as locally and as close to people as possible.

The move to becoming an Integrated Care System is predicated on this continuing to be the case.

Rob Webster, WY&H Partnership CEO Lead and CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust said: “We’re delighted that our commitment to improve the health and care of those we serve has been nationally recognised.   Our approach to health and care is based on much closer working between our organisations. It is an antidote to traditional, top down approaches based on mergers or the creation of new organisations. I am personally pleased that our model of shared leadership and focus on prevention, wellbeing, communities, primary care, mental health, acute services and world class innovation is being supported. Our ultimate goal is to put people, not organisations, at the heart of everything we do locally and across WY&H so that we meet the diverse needs of all our communities”.  

The Partnership only works at a WY&H level – when it makes sense to do so and with the agreement of local partners. There are nine WY&H priorities including cancer, stroke, maternity, mental health and urgent and emergency care. This means at all levels the Partnership is:

  • Working to improve people’s health with and for them
  • Working to improve people’s experience of health and care
  • Making every penny in the pound count to offer best value to the taxpayer.

Julian Hartley, CEO for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Association of Acute Trusts [WYAAT] said: “It’s great news that West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership is seen as a leading health and care system and will be an integrated care system in shadow form. Across all six acute hospital trusts, through WYAAT, we have worked hard to collaborate in the interests of our patients, staff and wider communities. Our collective co-operation and leadership to support the goals of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership are clearly paying off and this news gives us the boost to redouble our efforts to offer the very best for our patients across the region.”

Rory Deighton, Director for Healthwatch Kirklees said: “Our partnership believes that it is impossible to improve the health of communities in West Yorkshire and Harrogate, unless we genuinely listen, learn, and engage with what people think. Engagement for us is not booking a village hall, and telling people what we are doing - it’s much more than that. It’s about building a different relationship between people, councils and the NHS. We can’t improve the health of communities in West Yorkshire and Harrogate unless we all work and think differently. Engagement for us is a changed relationship where people are partners in healthy communities, not just consumers of healthcare services.”

Dr Andy Withers, Chair of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Clinical Forum and Clinical Lead for Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are working towards approximately 50 local neighbourhoods serving populations of around 30-50,000 where GP practices, voluntary and community services, community health and social care services provide integrated health and care for local people. For example in Bradford there are ten primary care home communities and in Airedale Wharfedale and Craven there are three. The focus for these local partnerships is increasingly moving away from simply treating ill health to preventing it, promoting self-care and empowering local communities. Integrating all services as much as possible around the patient has to be the way forward”.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “With Local Government in the partnership we can work with the NHS to prevent a whole range of illnesses which is vital for improving wellbeing across all age groups and in particular those in our poorest communities who have suffered some of the worst health inequalities. This is absolutely central to our ambition to secure inclusive growth so that everyone is able to participate and fully share in the benefits of a growing economy.”

Fatima Khan-Shah, WY&H Lead for Unpaid Carers Programme said: “Carers have told us that we must get better at supporting the 260,000 carers across our area. We need to ensure services talk to each other and when developing them in the future ensure that they listen to the voice of the carer and community organisations that support them. Joining up health and care services locally and across West Yorkshire and Harrogate so people get the right care and support is absolutely the right thing to do”.



  • Please refer media enquiries to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership on 01924 317659 or email You can also contact Mobile 07811766006.
  • A first wave of eight shadow Integrated Care Systems was announced by NHS England and NHS Improvement in June 2017. They were placed into a development programme, along with the two health devolution areas (Greater Manchester and Surrey Downs). This brings a total of 12 Integrated Care Systems out of 44 across the country.
  • You can find out more about the local plans and the nine WY&H priority areas which include cancer, mental health, stroke; maternity care; urgent and emergency care here.
  • You can also read “Our next steps to better health and care for everyone” here.  This describes the progress made since the publication of the initial WY&H plan in November 2016, and sets out how the partnership will improve health and care for the 2.6 million people living across the area in 2018 and beyond.

Our work includes:

New model to tackle cancer diagnosis ‘ping pong’ helps speed up diagnosis of vague but concerning symptoms 

The roll-out of a pilot scheme to diagnose more quickly people with vague but concerning symptoms that could potentially be cancer is being supported across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

Hospitals and GPs in Leeds and Airedale have been part of a national pilot which helps people with vague symptoms to have their diagnostic tests coordinated by specialist teams.

The ten pilot sites make up the ACE 2 (Accelerate, Co-ordinate and Evaluate) Early Diagnosis Programme, a joint initiative by NHS England, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan, and supported by Cancer Alliances around the country.

Relationships forged through the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, and specifically its cancer priority programme, mean the benefits of the scheme will be rolled out to other hospitals and patients across the region. GPs also play a vital role in the process, as the first point of contact for the patient presenting with the vague but concerning symptoms.

Cancer is the biggest cause of death from every illness in every age group in West Yorkshire and Harrogate, expected to affect one in two of the population born since 1960. There are currently more than 330,000 smokers in the area, and lung cancer is the most common cancer affecting local people.

Our Cancer Alliance is investing £900k in a ‘Tackling Lung Cancer Programme’ focussed on Wakefield and Bradford.  Lung cancer is our biggest killer. Our programme aims to bring together four evidence based interventions across health and social care systems to reduce the burden of disease and improve performance and outcomes for people affected by lung cancer. The interventions we are planning to deliver in unison are: prevention , awareness raising , risk identification, optimising pathways.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate health care partners tackle suicide prevention 

Organisations from across West Yorkshire and Harrogate are joining forces to adopt a ‘zero’ suicide approach, where every death by suicide is viewed as preventable.

Mental health providers, ambulance, police and fire services, local councils, prison services and voluntary community organisations are coming together to make a real difference through what is an ambitious but practical strategy to tacking suicide. The plan sets out how they will reduce suicide by 10% across the West Yorkshire and Harrogate area, and by 75% in targeted areas


New unit for children and young people with complex mental illness 

The proposed site for a new £13m child and adolescent mental health unit for West Yorkshire has today been revealed as St Mary’s Hospital in Armley, Leeds. The new unit was announced in December as one of 12 successful bids to receive NHS England capital funds in the Autumn Budget

The bid, led by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust on behalf of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership, will see a purpose-built specialist community child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) unit support young people suffering complex mental illness, such as severe personality and eating disorders.

There are currently eight general adolescent beds provided by Leeds Community Healthcare in Leeds. The new unit, to the west of the city will bring a significant increase - providing 18 specialist places and four psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) beds.  This will see more young people being able to access specialist care closer to home, reducing the need for out of area treatment.


We are currently looking at how we develop good care to prevent strokes, deliver effective care when people suffer a stroke and ensure that there is good support and rehabilitation for people after a stroke. We know that Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a major factor that causes stroke (AF causes fast and erratic heartbeat).   This work is about further improving the way we detect and treat people who are at risk of stroke.  The Joint Committee of the Nine CCGs agreed that we should aim to set an ambition of 89% (9 out of 10) identification and management of AF – which will save lives and reduce demand on acute stroke services.  We estimate that this will save 190 lives. We are working with GPs to make this possible.


260,000 unpaid carers across the area. A partnership approach with councils and voluntary organisations within a programme team.

All our acute hospitals have signed up to the ‘John’s Campaign’. This includes Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust; Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust; Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

The aim of the campaign is to give the carers of those living with dementia the right to stay with them in hospital, in the same way that parents stay with their children.

A Carer Passport is a record which identifies the carer in some way and sets out an offer of support

They can be used in the workplace potentially reaching 43,000 NHS employees. Carers are part of our workforce strategy for the area.

We are also working closely with Employers for Carers to support the NHS organisations in the 6 places across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to access the resources they provide. This will make it easier for organisations to become carer aware and proactively support their working carers.

Establishing young carers network across WY&H to encourage secondary school young carers into health and social care professions to heighten their aspirations.


  • There is widespread consensus that health and care needs today are very different from those that shaped the NHS at its foundation in 1948. Professional and institutional boundaries largely unaltered since the post-war settlement – between family doctors and hospitals, between physical and mental health, and between health and social care – do not reflect people’s current health and care needs.
  • There is widespread support among staff, policymakers and expert commentators for ending these divides, and the institutional and financial structures that reinforce them, as an essential step to meet changing health and care demands. It is to do this that the NHS and its partners are undertaking arguably the biggest national move to integrate care in any major western country.
  • The NHS Five Year Forward View, published in 2014, set out the NHS’ shared vision for
  • collaboration.
  • It is partnerships – not plans – that matter most. Every local partnership is at a different stage of its integration journey, normally predicated on the strength of local relationships.
  • The most mature partnerships are evolving further to become ‘integrated care systems’, in which commissioners and NHS providers, working closely with GP networks, local council, third sector and communities.
  • We are now using the term ‘integrated care system’ as a collective term for both devolved health and care systems and for those areas previously designated as ‘shadow accountable care systems’. Integrated care systems are crucial to improving health and care by:
  • supporting the integration of services, with a particular focus on those at risk of developing acute illness and hospitalisation;
  • providing more care through redesigned community- and home-based services, including in partnership with social care, the voluntary and community sector;
  • ensuring a greater focus on prevention of ill health and population health outcomes and allowing systems to take collective responsibility (in ways which are consistent with the existing statutory framework) for how they best use resources to improve quality of care and outcomes.
  • Integrated care systems will be supported by new financial arrangements. By making a collective voluntary commitment to deploy resources in a closely co-ordinated way.

Further reading

  • Making sense of integrated care systems, integrated care partnerships and accountable care organisations in the NHS in England – The Kings Fund, February 2018. You can read it here.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health & Care Partnership is hosted by NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group.
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