Agenda item

Being the Best City For Health Requires the Best Workforce

To consider a report summarising the city’s challenges relating to workforce. The report presents information on three potential and developing solutions, seeking the Boards consideration of it’s’ role in progressing, steering and directing future work to address the challenges.


Tony Cooke, Chief Officer Health Partnerships Team, presented a report summarising the city’s challenges relating to workforce and three potential and developing solutions. The Board was asked to consider it’s’ role in progressing, steering and directing future work to address the challenges, in the short term these were identified as:

-  The impact of nursing bursaries (25% drop in applications)

-  The impact of Brexit (96%fall in people coming to the UK to work)

-  The number of health and care practitioners due to retire within the next 5 years (600,000)


The challenges ahead had highlighted the need to systematically “Grow your own workforce” with a focus on the establishment of a Health and Care Academy for Leeds, promotion of the living wage and supporting disabled people into employment.

Health & Care Academy – The Health and Social Care Academy would support a better targeting of employment opportunities in the city’s more deprived areas. In answer to a query the Board received assurance that the Health Academy would focus on business as well as clinical skills, recognising the role of small and medium businesses in the health and care sector.

Work Related Long Term Illness - 32,000 people in Leeds received Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) - financial support for those who were unable to work through disability or illness. Of these, it was suggested that a large number had work related anxiety or musculoskeletal issues; and with the right support available to employers, that skilled and/or experienced workforce could be retained.


Dave Roberts, LCC Financial Inclusion Manager, provided the Board with information on the ‘Living Wage’, in particular:

-  The influence the public sector had on the private sector

-  60% of children living in poverty are from working households

-  The proven link between poverty and ill-health


Discussion followed on the proposal for public services to collaborate and develop a strategy to encourage momentum within the private sector for the Living Wage, noting a seminar had been proposed by the Integrated Commissioning Executive (ICE) as an initial focus for the strategy. Comments included:

-  Quality Care work  – Paying appropriate wages will encourage staff retention, boost health and care outcomes and alleviate child poverty

-  One approach to training - 57,000 people in Leeds work in the health and care sector and were largely trained within the organisation they work for. ‘One approach’ to training would encourage rotation throughout the health and care sector settings and break down barriers between the health and care settings in the public/private sector.

-  The opportunities for joined up learning and training, recognising that there were issues across the public and private sectors which required the same training – such as moving/handling technique

-  Awareness that many working in the health and care sector do so whilst they gain non-health and care related qualifications and/or language skills. Once complete, they often move out of the health and care sector

-  The impact of the Apprenticeship Levy and whether this could be invested in health and care apprenticeships


a)  That, having considered the role of the Health and Wellbeing Board in overcoming challenges relating to workforce; the comments made during discussions be used to provide direction for progress towards the priorities of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2016-21.

b)  To support the engagement of members in discussions about the Living Wage and attend the Low Pay Seminar when arranged.

c)  To oversee/raise the profile of the Supporting Disabled People into Employment Project to ensure it remains consistent with the city’s health and wellbeing priorities and participate in a ‘health, wellbeing and employment workshop’ in October 2017.

d)  To continue to note and support the development of Leeds Health and Social Care Academy and to receive regular updates on progress.

e)  To note that the City Workforce Work stream should be used to understand and plan responses to these challenges and keep the Board up to date with progress.


Supporting documents: