Image of a middle-aged black women with an older white man in the backgroundThe West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership is made up of equal partners from across health and care sectors, including the NHS, local councils, social enterprises, hospices, Healthwatch, the voluntary and community social enterprise sector (VCSE) and the education sector. It includes a directly employed workforce of around 110,000, and approximately 300,000 unpaid carers. The VCSE sector in West Yorkshire includes around 14,900 registered and unregistered groups supporting people in many areas of their lives from youth groups, ageing well support, sports, and wellbeing clubs to name a few. The sector employs around 43,100 full time equivalent posts, which makes up 3.7% of employment across the area.

On top of this there are an estimated 147,000 regular volunteers giving their time and energy to help young and old people to live their best life possible, around the clock, 365 days per year. Volunteers who make a huge contribution to delivering care to our communities.

This People Plan sets out our ambitions for our ‘one workforce’ which includes those working in health, social care, the VCSE, unpaid carers and recognises the contribution (approximately 400,000, as many do not access formal support) made by our education sector in developing the current and future workforce.

The workforce remains under significant pressure, with the response to COVID-19 ongoing and the focus on the recovery of our services. This plan will describe how we will continue how we will continue to support our ‘one workforce’ to ensure they can continue to provide the best care to our communities.

We also recognise that there are significant workforce challenges across all parts of the health and care system, which need to be tackled in the here and now. This requires a more strategic approach to provide longer term and sustainable solutions. Our People Plan sets out not only our immediate priorities, but also the future areas of focus.

Our response to the pandemic has demonstrated the need to be dynamic and agile and be able to respond rapidly to changing circumstances and priorities. It is in this context that the People Plan has been developed which aims to set out our strategic ambitions for the future, underpinned by ‘live’ action plans for delivery. 

This also means exploiting the opportunities that greater collaboration with other strategic partners can bring, such as the university sector and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in looking at different ways to address inequalities and the approach to skills  development to maximise the potential of the health and care sector to support social and economic growth.