17 June 2020
Kate O’Connell has been appointed as director for the pioneering Leeds Health and Care Academy and the Leeds strategic workforce.
Kate is currently the Chief People Officer at the University of Hull, where she has responsibility for workforce strategy and services, transformation, and student services, experience and governance.
From September, Kate will be the first, permanent director to lead the Leeds Health and Care Academy, which went live last year.
The Academy is an unprecedented partnership approach by the UK’s third largest city which is bringing together and transforming the learning and development for the city’s 57,000 people who work in health and care.
In spearheading this new way of thinking, learning and working together, it underpins the city’s aim to benefit citizens by create ‘one workforce’ across health and care.
The city’s universities will help position the Academy at the forefront of learning, with a portfolio based on world-leading evidence, research and education.
Kate said: “The challenges for all of us in dealing with the pandemic have intensified the need for transformation, especially in health and care services. It’s a privilege to be joining a citywide team which shares such a clear vision and commitment to improving health and care for all.
“I am delighted to have been appointed and look forward to starting this new role in September.”
With an exciting vision explained in this dynamic, short film, the Academy is a groundbreaking project of Leeds Academic Health Partnership (LAHP), one of the biggest of its kind in the UK.
Sara Munro, Chief Executive Officer at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, LAHP board member and Senior Responsible Officer for Leeds’ health and care workforce, said: “I am truly excited about the potential of our one Leeds workforce approach and the leadership Kate will bring.
“We were impressed by Kate’s strong vision and purpose for the citizens and communities of Leeds, especially the most disadvantaged among us. Her experience of complex partnership working, her understanding of this across the whole health and care system in the city and her excellent and engaging communication and leadership style will be invaluable.”
For more information, visit leedshealthandcareacademy.org
Kate has led a number of major transformation programmes. She has developed organisational culture change through vision, values and behaviours and has supported the leadership of national work across UK Universities on apprenticeships and continuing professional development for HR and OD professionals. Kate also brings a broad range of experience from roles in the private sector, local authority, the NHS, and regional roles with the National Apprenticeship Service and the Learning and Skills Council.
The Leeds Health and Care Academy is helping the city:
- tackle current workforce challenges across all sectors
- provide Leeds’ people with opportunities for work experience, apprenticeships and careers, with a focus on areas of highest deprivation, thereby supporting the city’s inclusive growth strategy
- equip the health and care workforce for the future, keep pace with changing models of health and care, such as the impact of digitalisation and new technologies
- offer a transformational experience of learning and working together, with a focus on the city and its people rather than on services and organisations
- be agile in responding to its population’s health and care needs
- implement its citywide health and care workforce strategy
- attract talented people work in its health and care sector.
Since going live, it has
- launched the Springboard Women’s Development Programme- with women from across health and care sector in Leeds, 50% of whom are from BAME backgrounds.
- brought together mental health first aiders at the city’s first network event
- recruited Careers Ambassadors to promote health and care careers across Leeds
- completed a pilot shadowing programme “Take your Colleague to Work” involving GPs and consultants. (To be extended to nursing workforce.)
- organised two citywide careers and recruitment events- involving over 30 employers and over 300 attendees at each event
- had more than 700 people at its two-day system leadership programme since its launch in 2018. A programme of fortnightly system leadership virtual events will launch at the end of June – specifically linked to system recovery (post-Covid)
- held a Delivering 21st Century Care event – listening to our future medical workforce. This brought together medical students, employers, the citywide digital programme and the University of Leeds School of Medicine to better understand the requirements of the current and future workforce when considering a career in health and care system.
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