Our vision is ensuring that all people are given the best start in life, can remain healthy and age well. Our Partnership and its constituent organisations across all sectors are key in terms of direct provision of health and care services for our communities but also as large employers and the impact we have on wider determinants of health such as social and economic development.
Across the partner organisations in West Yorkshire, we have over 100,000 employees and 260,000 unpaid carers and 148,000 volunteers.
Tackling health inequalities and preventing ill health is central to our mission. We want to create a culture where diversity is seen as a strength. We have a big ambition to ensure that we increase the diversity of our leadership, so that it represents the population we are here to serve across the full range of health and care sectors including universities, those working in voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and unpaid carers; our ‘One Workforce’.
Our People Plan, organisational development plan and skills for care strategy are key in creating the culture and conditions whereby our people can thrive and fulfil their potential through shared learning, developing together, collaborating on complex issues and innovation to enable the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts for the benefits of the population in West Yorkshire.
Since our Partnership began in 2016, we have worked hard to build the relationships needed to deliver better health and care locally and across West Yorkshire with people and communities to improve lives. We are pleased with the progress we have made so far. Co-production and collaboration have been and remain at the core of how the partnership operates.
We have strong place arrangements, mature provider collaboratives and inclusive and transparent system leadership.
Leadership is distributed with autonomy actively promoted and encouraged. Style is values based and focused on collaboration rather than competition.
We have responded to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people from an ethnic minority background through our commission of an independent review; the recommendations from which are being implemented through our workforce and culture group amongst other forums. We have also launched our Health Inequalities Academy which enables us to take a whole system approach to population health.
As well as this, we have launched the Health Equity Fellowship Programme for our Partnership and are looking for 30 fellows to join us.
Find out more about our Health Inequalities Academy at: wypartnership.co.uk/health-inequalities-academy
The opportunity for learning from COVID-19 was captured through our joint work with the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) to gain rapid insight into learning and innovation across a range of themes including digital and leadership and team development. We found a broad range of changes to behaviour, ways of working and personal impact. This learning is brought to life through the reflections of our colleagues who have been working together to improve the health and care of people across West Yorkshire in the first 100 days of COVID-19.
We have a thriving partnership race equality network that works closely with the system leadership and development programme to work as a progressive system tackling complex societal, structural and organisational inequity for our people.
The system development and leadership team continue to work together with the network to support their development needs and the development needs of the wider system, notably co-designing and delivering the fellowship programme in 2020 to increase the diversity of our leadership.
System leadership and development is key in enabling us to fulfil our mission and 10 big ambitions. We will continue with our distributed leadership model to enable continued ownership and a sense of belonging to organisation, place (Bradford district and Craven, Calderdale,
Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield) and at a West Yorkshire level. Significant system development progress has been made over the last five years thanks to this model and from using Myron’s Maxims as our founding principles for how we do our work:
A forward plan for the next 12 months has been formulated with a proposal to begin the co-creation of a system organisational development plan during the Spring of 2022 with colleagues and communities within our Partnership.
At its core will be our mission, values and behaviours which will rely on continued leadership, role modelling and unleashing the talent that we have in our Partnership. This will be through improved access to varied opportunities and career paths across the full breadth of our sectors to ensure continued development of leadership that represents the diversity of our communities.
We have worked hard to build a way of working based on our founding principles:
Specifically, we will:
Looking after our people by creating an environment of compassion and inclusion and enabling a sense of belonging is important to us so that people can fulfil their potential.
In a context of workforce shortages, pre-existing burn-out, high demand and the related unprecedented workload, ensuring our colleagues wellbeing is of utmost priority. The issues related to COVID-19 have exacerbated this, sharpening our focus on employee health and wellbeing further. In addition to this there may be challenges surrounding balancing home life with work and enabling flexible working and leave to support colleagues in meeting personal commitments such as caring responsibilities whilst at the same time fulfilling role requirements and career aspirations.
Our overall system-wide approach to health and wellbeing is a blend of recovery in the immediate term, along with prevention in the medium to longer term through developing a culture of compassionate and inclusive leadership which promotes staying well as the norm, and creates the conditions where employees thrive.
Prioritising the health and safety of our workforce during the pandemic was mobilised quickly through significant design and development work conducted on health and wellbeing starting with the curation of a suite of resources by Bradford district and Craven place, including promotion of national offers, which then fed into the work of the West Yorkshire wide ‘looking after our people alliance’.
Our ‘looking after our people alliance’ (LAOPA) is a group of cross-sector professionals (social care, voluntary sector, care homes and the full breadth of health including primary, acute and mental health) representing our five places, plus expertise from our mental health and wellbeing hub. Together, the group provides leadership for our cross-system work on promoting health and wellbeing, encapsulated in the pyramid:
During the pandemic, much focus was given to ensuring interventions were available for need in the top layers of the pyramid in addition to the ongoing review of risk assessments, supporting staff to take up the COVID-19 vaccination and supporting those staff who have been deployed or who have been shielding to return to work safely and with confidence. The group also oversees the use of the successful enhanced occupational health funds for 2020/21 and 2021/22 which is being invested in a number of place-based initiatives and also some system wide projects including focus on long-COVID, menopause, musculoskeletal (MSK: bones and joints), and compassionate leadership. These scaled up offers are available to all colleagues across our system, with a particular focus on those who haven’t had as much access e.g., voluntary/care homes.
We are rolling out the Working Carers Passport which has been adopted by all NHS Acute Trusts and Mental Health Trusts and has the potential to reach 11,500 NHS carers across these organisations. We will continue to champion and support the further rollout to ensure the working carers passport is part of business as usual in how we support working carers in our trusts and across the wider partnership.
In summer 2020 we conducted an independent review into the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people from minority ethnic backgrounds. This resulted in several recommendation to support our workforce including risk assessments, bespoke information, and communication on priorities such as vaccination, implementation of an overhaul of recruitment practice and coaching and mentoring support.
We will continue our focus on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues through the work of our ‘Looking after our people alliance’, delivering support through our mental health and wellbeing hub and enhanced occupational health initiatives.
We will continue to support colleagues to take up the COVID-19 vaccines and flu jab to keep themselves and people they care for safe.
We will also pay attention to the wider impact of experience, belonging and inclusion on staff health and wellbeing; using available data such as staff surveys to better understand how to support staff continuing with developing, delivering and evaluating offers and interventions. Building on the output of the West Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Summit in May 2021 we will explore and implement initiatives that enable the creation of a positive culture of health and wellbeing and proactive team support through the exploration of the role of compassionate leadership (through leadership support circles, wellbeing conversations, masterclasses and communications campaigns and system wide group based interventions such as Schwartz rounds).
We will continue to prioritise the implementation of the workforce recommendations from the independent review of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people from minority ethnic backgrounds including the implementation of the curated recruitment toolkit. This brings together best practice across and beyond West Yorkshire and coaching and mentoring support which was launched in Autumn 2021.
Independent Review – ‘Tackling health inequalities for ethnic minority communities and colleagues’. You can read the review, supporting information and listen to podcasts and watch films at www.wypartnership.co.uk/publications/tackling-healthinequalities-for-ethnic-minoritycommunities-and-colleagues
We will continue sharing and spreading support to introduce the working carers passport to achieve wider spread across our health and care sector.
Making as many of these offers available to all members of the health and care workforce, including those in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector has been a key priority so raising awareness of systemwide offerings continues.
We plan to undertake a longer-term evaluation, as part of our 2020/21 enhanced occupational health funding, into barriers for those not accessing health and wellbeing offers. Together, this will give us a full picture of impact, and how data can be used to drive continual improvement.
Our mission, as a Partnership, centres on reducing health inequalities, enacted in part through seeing diversity as a strength, promoting representation of our communities in the diversity of our workforce and leadership and creating a culture, whereby people are accepted, respected, and celebrated for who they are. We have a strong reputation in West Yorkshire for being a partnership of great employers.
Our challenge is now to build an inclusive climate to further enhance our attractiveness for the next, and future generations of employees, from the full breadth of communities that we serve, as well maintaining for current employees. This means an understanding and appreciation for all protected characteristics, working with our networks and national organisations who excel at Inclusion. The challenge is for our One Workforce approach to be truly representative of all the individuals from across the full breadth of our partnership where people thrive and fulfil their potential.
The balance of our efforts, thus far, has been directed towards supporting and improving the experiences of colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds. This recognises the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 against a backdrop of poorer experience, overall, of ethnic minority colleagues. We will continue with our efforts on achieving race equality through continuing to develop the Race Equality ‘network of networks’ (REN). Our REN is convened across West Yorkshire with members represented on each of our programme boards including the People Board which, which ensures that they have opportunity to input and influence our programmes at organisational and system level.
We have co-created a recruitment toolkit which brings together best practice on recruitment and promotion practice across West Yorkshire and beyond as a direct recommendation from the independent review to overhaul recruitment practice.
We have co-designed and delivered our award-winning Fellowship Programme (which has already supported over 30 colleagues - accurate September 2021) aimed at developing the next senior leaders in our partnership to enhance representation of ethnic minority colleagues in leadership positions.
To ensure we have a diverse workforce which reflects the communities we serve we are looking at how we can increase the take up of apprenticeships and other training opportunities amongst less represented group.
We are ambitious for the continued growth of a West Yorkshire talent pool through the Fellowship Programme to support our system ambition to increase the percentage of leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds and support aspiring leaders into senior leadership or board level positions.
We will also work with the national NHS England / Improvement neXt programme aimed at increasing Board level diversity. We will launch a multi-faceted mentoring programme to develop talent at all levels to build the pipeline and pool for career progression into senior roles and will commence the design of a fellowship programme for first line management level leader.
We are implementing and evaluating the recommendations from the independent review into health inequalities to ensure these are effective. Following the review of recruitment practice, we launched our best practice toolkit in October 2021 to reduce the disparity experienced by ethnic minority colleagues across elements of the recruitment process.
We will also use the learning from developing our REN and extend this to exploring priorities with colleagues from other protected characteristic backgrounds including disability, gender, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and age. This will commence with convening groups of organisational staff network chairs and representatives from organisations who don’t have a staff network to explore priorities and actions.
Our actions will also be informed and our progress monitored through intelligence and data such as the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES), Medical Workforce Race Equality Standard (MWRES) and the Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)
To ensure we attract, nurture, develop and retain a talented and diverse workforce within our system and plan effectively to address workforce supply issues now and in the future.
West Yorkshire, like the rest of the UK, faces workforce shortages across the whole health and care sector. Initiatives such as the 50,000 new nurses, 27,000 new allied health professionals and zero % target for vacancies around health care support workers are contributing towards addressing this, but the pandemic has impacted some areas more than others and new challenges have emerged. The social care sector in particular facing significant recruitment and retention challenges, but they are not alone.
One consequence of the pandemic has been a significant increase in applicants for healthcare courses across our higher education institutes (HEIs) and we are consistently growing our numbers of students in line with predicted workforce need as much as possible. However, the number of learners that the system can support is constrained by the availability of appropriate clinical placements which was significantly impacted throughout the pandemic and we need to look at alternative solutions to enhance our learning environments and clinical placement capacity.
Addressing known workforce supply issues is a key priority but we also need to ensure we adopt a more strategic approach to workforce planning which takes account of changes in how care is delivered to our communities, new ways of working, new roles, and digital innovations.
We have adopted a range of initiatives to ensure we can retain and grow our workforce to meet current and future needs of our population. These include:
Health Education England (HEE) are working with our system partners across West Yorkshire to continue the introduction of new roles within our health and care provider organisations. New roles are now a key component of the multi-disciplinary workforce. Examples include:
There are currently around 480 trainee ACPs in West Yorkshire working towards their qualification across our system.
In June 2021 we commenced an integrated rotational trainee nursing associate pilot programme aimed at reducing the burden on acute Emergency Department admissions to maximise opportunities to escalate and refer patients to neighbouring services in a way that prevents them from becoming acutely unwell.
The Trainee Nursing Associates (TNA) Programme continues to be expanded across the system with consistent take up of the apprenticeship with 455 TNAs currently on the programme. An additional 100 new trainees are expected to commence before March 2022.
We have utilised HEE investment to support development of these roles as part of the Cancer Alliance workforce innovation programme. This programme of work is collaboration with Macmillan to grow and transform the cancer workforce, including newer cancer care coordinator and pathway navigator support roles as well as advancing clinical practice for Nurse and Allied Health Professionals.
We have worked with colleagues across the health and care sector to develop a retention action plan to deliver high impact actions to ensure we retain our existing workforce.
Our Health Education England supported Learning Environment and Placement work (LEAP) is bringing together all providers, Higher education institutes, and sectors to explore the opportunities for health and care placement expansion to support the required workforce growth. The LEAP programme is working with all system partners to support the recovery of placements lost during the pandemic and embrace the opportunity that the pandemic has provided for alternative learning environments.
We are developing innovative solutions to support the expansion of placement capacity including blended placements, multi-professional and coaching models of supervision, partnerships with private, independent, and voluntary organisations, collaborations with local councils and specialist placements within the senior HEE and workforce team.
We continue our focus to ensure greater take up of the apprenticeship levy across the health and care sector and in under-represented groups. We are working with our provider organisations to better understand how we can ensure apprenticeship opportunities are maximised to fill those roles where future supply is at risk.
For example, we are currently exploring the potential to use apprenticeships to grow the pharmacy technician workforce, allied health professionals and address shortages in maternity and radiography. We are also raising awareness amongst primary care hub managers to develop primary care’s understanding of apprenticeships and how apprenticeships support recruitment, retention, and career progression.
Alongside the traditional recruitment campaigns that continue, we have adopted a range of solutions to raise awareness of the many roles that exist within the health and care sector and to encourage greater take up of paid and unpaid roles within the VCSE.
For example, in mental health we are working with several entry level workforce solutions including Kickstarter, the Prince’s Trust programme and working local HEI’s to develop resources for schools to highlight careers in LD and Autism. The MHLDA have also recently held a virtual recruitment fair which attracted over 400 attendees and are developing a virtual recruitment hub.
The Local Maternity System undertook a system wide recruitment campaign for newly qualified mid-wives rather than through individual Trusts.
Our local places are also running various outreach programmes within school, colleges, and other local community groups to raise awareness of the range of careers within health and care and targeting specific recruitment initiatives within local communities which is also supporting social and economic development.
Whilst international recruitment of nurses and other clinical roles was impacted during the pandemic, this is now underway again with many Trusts continuing to use existing relationships to support ethical IR and to ensure the pastoral care is in place to support those who are joining our workforce and communities. The mental health, learning disabilities and autism collaborative are also working together on an international recruitment programme which is expected to deliver 115 Mental Health and Learning Disability nurses by March 2022.
During 2021 we also commenced a pilot with Health Education England (HEE) to develop a strategy on Global Partnerships for the West Yorkshire ICS. The initial focus of the work was to work with partners overseas to develop future workforce supply pipelines for roles within mental health and cancer. We will expand the scope of this work to support current and future workforce supply.
During 2021 we began work in collaboration with West Yorkshire Universities to develop a Health and
Care Workforce Observatory across West Yorkshire which will provide greater insight and intelligence to inform future workforce planning.
We will continue to build on the work already underway to support expansion of new roles, develop our clinical placement capacity, develop innovative and novel approached to attract talent and to increase our capacity and capabilities to support strategic workforce planning. Our focus will include the following.
Supporting a collaborative approach across community health services and primary care networks to develop a system wide approach to the utilisation of the Alternative Roles Reimbursement Scheme to ensure these new roles supports further integration of care and avoids destabilisation of existing workforce supply. This will be part of wider strategy to develop workforce models for community health services and primary care to support further collaboration and integration.
Working with the care sector to develop a workforce strategy for social care which reflects the current challenges around recruitment and retention and provides a sustainable workforce for the future. A key element of this will be to explore solutions to address the inequity in pay, status, providing career opportunities and developing news roles and skills which reflect the changing needs of the sector.
We are working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) to develop ‘Step into the health and care’ bootcamps as part of the WYCA Skills Programme to develop to raise awareness amongst young adults of the broad range of jobs and careers within the sector and to run bespoke sessions aimed at addressing current vacancies and hard to fill roles.
Social and economic development. We will work with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and other partners to ensure all opportunities for the health and care sector to support economic and social recovery are maximised. This will include working with our anchor institutions to support local employment and social mobility amongst those most disadvantaged parts of our communities. This will require us to review how we approach recruitment and selection to ensure our processes are not a barrier to achieving this ambition.
Taking the learning from the recent research by Durham University on the ‘The structure, dynamics and impact of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector’ we will strengthen our commitment to supporting our VCSE organisations to develop their workforce to ensure it is resilient and sustainable.
To deliver the workforce of the future we need to develop our capacity and capabilities to deliver system wide strategic workforce plans which reflect population health management, new models of care and digital innovations. A key element of this will be to continue to develop the Health and Care Workforce Observatory and ensure this is aligned with the development Health Education England (HEE) are doing on multi-year workforce planning.
We will continue to embed a system wide learning environment and placement approach, underpinned by a clear strategy to ensure a transparent, fair, and efficient placement management system that effectively supports all health and care learners in West Yorkshire. This will not only increase placement capacity but provide an enhanced educational experience for all students and reduce pre-registration attrition.
West Yorkshire staff working and learning together in multi-professional teams across our system maximising skills, experience, and innovation to work more effectively together so people have the best possible care in the right settings.
We have had to be agile in response to the pandemic to adapt to new ways of working and explore innovative ways to deliver care. It is important as we plan for re-set and recovery and emerge from the pandemic that we do not lose those new ways of working and innovations that support our workforce to deliver care more effectively and respond to changing circumstances.
The expansion of new roles, changes in how care is delivered and further advances in technology and innovation will require our workforce to work in a different way to realise these benefits both to the workforce and to our patients. Implementation of new ways of working alone will not be sufficient to deliver change, we also need to focus on the leadership and culture change required to embed these transformations.
We have progressed with a number of initiatives to support new ways of working and to embed those innovations adopted as part of our response to COVID-19 and our rapid insights work made a key recommendation for sustainability of our approach to learning and innovation was that we create a culture and infrastructure of continual learning and innovation; incorporating the development of improvement and innovation skills in our workforce.
We successfully commenced the first phase of a rotational paramedic programme in September 2021 with six specialist paramedics rotating between Yorkshire Ambulance Service and six early adopter primary care networks (PCNs). The programme is set to grow with further phases set for 2022 that will initially see an additional five specialist paramedics and incorporate a further PCN.
We have built capability within the system to deliver this framework, which is a logical, seven step process to systematically explore and address all the components of a service and its workforce to suggest more efficient and safe ways of working.
Reviews underway include paediatric community nursing, mental health community provision, maternity, obstetrics and gynaecology within an acute trust and specialist palliative care.
We will work with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and other partners to ensure all opportunities for the health and care sector to support economic and social recovery are maximised. This will include working with our anchor institutions to support local employment and social mobility amongst those most disadvantaged parts of our communities. This will require us to review how we approach recruitment and selection to ensure our processes are not a barrier to achieving this ambition.
Taking the learning from the resent research by Durham University on the ‘The structure, dynamics and impact of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector’ we will strengthen our commitment to supporting our VCSE organisations to develop their workforce to ensure it is resilient and sustainable.
Strategic workforce planning. To deliver the workforce of the future we need to develop our capacity and capabilities to deliver system wide strategic workforce plans which reflect population health management, new models of care and digital innovations. A key element of this will be to continue to develop the Health and Care Workforce Observatory and ensure this is aligned with the development Health Education England (HEE) are doing on multi-year workforce planning.
We will continue to embed a system wide learning environment and placement approach, underpinned by a clear strategy to ensure a transparent, fair, and efficient placement management system that effectively supports all health and care learners in West Yorkshire.
This will not only increase placement capacity but provide an enhanced educational experience for all students and reduce pre-registration attrition. Reviews underway include paediatric community nursing, mental health community provision, maternity, obstetrics and gynaecology within an acute trust and specialist palliative care.
(Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign) funding has been awarded to West Yorkshire for mental health and urgent and emergency care. This is being led by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (mental health) and Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust (urgent and emergency care). We will ensure the learning from these initiatives are shared to maximise the potential benefit across a wider footprint.
We are currently working with organisations to review the opportunities for digital staff passports to be implemented to enable more effective deployment of staff and trainees across the system.
Our mental health trusts are making progress with establishing a collaborative staff bank to support the movement and flexibility of staff, reducing agency costs and improving staff and service user experience. We will also progress the actions to develop a GP flexible staff pool across West Yorkshire to improve access to services.
Yorkshire Imaging Collaborative are rolling out shared imaging reporting solution and home working stations to enable greater collaboration and pooling of workforce resource and offering flexible working arrangements, crucial during the pandemic and helping with retention.
Digital workforce. We will work with the West Yorkshire Digital and Innovation Boards to jointly develop a digital workforce strategy.
This is to ensure we are developing a ‘digital ready’ workforce and to ensure implications for workforce are built into transformational workstreams to fully realise the benefits to the workforce resulting from digital innovation. Our further development as a system will rely on embedding our approach to digital and further development of new ways of working and skillsets as part of our workforce plan including quality improvement methodology.
We will continue to share examples of innovative working models and different approached to shift management and job planning to support staff to benefit from flexible working opportunities and to support an agile workforce.
We will continue to utilise the frameworks and tools available; Calderdale Framework, CLEAR and the HEE Star to work with stakeholders and providers to identify solutions and new ways of working in order to address challenges and maximise efficiencies in health and care service delivery.
We are working with providers to design a preceptorship programme for Physician Associates (PAs). The 2-year programme will support transition into practice by providing protected time for newly qualified PAs to focus on training and development. During the programme the preceptees will also learn and develop the skills needed to be educators themselves and will be ‘educator ready’ on completion of the programme.
Student led services will change how care and practice-based education are delivered, the Learning Environment and Placement (LEAP) Programme is establishing student led clinics at Higher Education Institutions, mobile clinics and hospital-based student led services such as long COVID, Maternity and MSK clinics. Such clinics will enable patients to see a health professional sooner, sometimes on a self-referral basis, support the system in reducing waiting lists, ease the service pressures on our workforce and provide a vital learning experience for our students who are our future workforce.
Practice based learning in the future will include the use of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technology to provide our students with a broader more enriched experience. For example, in early 2022 wearable cameras will be used to livestream theatre work to our operating department practitioner students allowing multiple students to benefit from a placement that would traditionally only be able to be accessed by one student at a time. We are also looking at other professions that could benefit from this approach and are looking to expand it to support paramedic, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetic and mental health nursing placements.