15 July 2020
This month marks the last time Sir Alan Langlands chairs our board meeting as he prepares to step down this summer.
As we get ready to say goodbye, it comes with huge thanks for his vision, wisdom, guidance and support throughout our first four years.
Sir Alan took the seed of an idea and has helped turn it into the flourishing, influential and dynamic partnership we are today. And there are already rich reflections to be had.
From our first strategy being approved in late 2017, and with a core team at that time of just three people, the hard work and commitment of our partners has meant we have together laid significant foundations for citywide transformation.
Our pioneering Leeds Health and Care Academy, launched last year, is helping create ‘one workforce’ for the city’s 57,000 people
Kate O’Connell, newly appointed director of the Leeds Health and Care Academy
who work in health and care. Its exciting portfolio is starting to transform learning, development and recruitment into the sector, and will implement the city’s health and care workforce strategy.
As the pandemic crisis began to unfold, the Academy team quickly moved its activities online, with the system leadership training, for example, now successfully underway across the city.
From September, newly appointed Academy director Kate O’Connell, supported by a dedicated Academy team, will further develop its portfolio to help equip our health and care workforce not just to embrace change but to lead it.
The Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health, launched in 2016, takes a closer look at each person’s biology to personalise care, rather than medicine’s more traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Its aim is to speed up the development and deployment of new ways to diagnose, treat or predict ill health. Its flagship programmes focus on frailty and cancer.
Current work includes studies to understand
- how to reduce frailty for care home residents by reviewing the impact of specialist medicines
- the impact of a new, more precise genetic test for people diagnosed with prostate cancer, and
- how, as part of the Leeds Lung Health Check trial, analysing people’s blood samples could help detect lung cancer earlier and therefore save more lives.
Last year we established the region’s first, cross-sector healthtech partnership to drive economic growth and improvements in health and care by accelerating healthtech innovation.
Signatories to the partnership include five universities, the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership [LEP], the Association of British Healthtec
h Industries [ABHI], and the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.
As the pandemic has further increased the urgency of this work for other regional bodies, we are exploring with them how we can strengthen this even further by taking this forward together.
Our fourth and final foundation programme, Living in Leeds, which is in the planning phase, aims to make Leeds a ‘research-ready’ city by making it quicker and easier for researchers and care providers to access people’s data.
This will enable researchers and care providers better understand how to improve health and care for Leeds’ people more quickly, efficiently and in new, more lasting ways.
Together, under Sir Alan’s chairmanship, these foundational programmes are starting to help our city understand and respond to what local people need to stay healthy, continually learn and ultimately become the best city for health and wellbeing.
Sir Alan said: “It has been a privilege to lead this partnership from its inception to the strong entity it is today. I’m proud of what has been achieved in the first few years and would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and continued commitment to the vision.
“The challenges ahead might seem formidable but they also present exciting and important opportunities.
“With the continued dedication of such talented leaders to take it forward, I have no doubt Leeds Academic Health Partnership will achieve its unique and transformational endeavour: to help Leeds continually learn, collaborate and adapt, and to help its citizens live healthier lives for longer.”
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