Lurene Joseph, Chief Executive of Leeds and Partners and Chair of the LIHH
Anna Addison

Member Article

More jobs and improved health on the cards for Leeds

Health and social care service providers in Leeds are joining forces with a global supplier of healthcare solutions in a move that could create hundreds of jobs and improve patient care across the city.

Leeds and Partners, the city’s promotional organisation, is co-ordinating a collaborative partnership between US-based Alere and service providers in Leeds as part of a new healthcare framework thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Alere is a world leader in the provision of healthcare IT solutions and the new framework, which includes GPs and hospitals, will look at the benefits of using the city’s current IT assets to see if they can be improved for patients by using Alere’s healthcare platform.

The collaboration has been set up to progress the establishment of a Health Information Exchange in Leeds to deliver a single electronic health record that all NHS services could use, carefully integrated with social care services. This would mean a patient’s entire care team could access comprehensive information and work together on care, while also allowing patients to take a more active role in their own health and wellness.

As part of the collaborative framework, the NHS will securely hold all patient data which will not be shared by the health and social care partners in Leeds. The partners expect to demonstrate how sophisticated technologies can create the clinical excellence and financial outcomes needed to transform the region’s and country’s health system.

The framework will see GPs, hospitals and Alere work together over six to eight weeks to find out more about existing working arrangements in the sector and help define in greater detail how the shared vision to create a connected health and care record for Leeds could work in practice and then specify the associated technical requirements.

Alere will site its operations to support this project in Leeds with a variety of other professionals recruited, including new clinical and technology positions in local clinics and hospitals. In addition, if the current phase proves successful, wider adoption of the new system could lead to hundreds of new jobs in Leeds over the next two years.

The project will not only improve services and create jobs and investment in Leeds, but following a successful rollout, also has the potential to transform healthcare across the UK and beyond.

Jason Broch, GP and Clinical Chair of the NHS Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are looking to collaborate with Alere to demonstrate how we can work with partners from both health and social care and the private sector to deliver innovative solutions that have a profound impact on the care our patients receive.

“With the Alere platform in place, people would be constantly connected to the health care system. Through self-management, patients will have access to their own health records, providing them with a greater understanding of what they can do to stay healthy, and through the deployment of telehealth software, health and care professionals will be able to remotely monitor people they provide care and support to.”

The collaborative framework will support the work of the Leeds Innovation Health Hub (LIHH), which is chaired by Leeds and Partners, and is made up of key partners in the city’s health and social care ecosystem, including health providers, health commissioners, the local authority, universities and the private sector.

Key projects, such as the Leeds Care Record, are already underway within the LIHH as part of the Leeds Informatics Strategy. The Alere programme aims to accelerate the work that is already in place and at a lower cost.

Lurene Joseph, Chief Executive of Leeds and Partners and Chair of the LIHH, said: “The LIHH is adopting a game-changing approach in order to establish Leeds as the UK’s leading centre for health and innovation.

“We are delighted to be forming a strategic partnership with Alere, which will add pace to delivering this ambition. We will be looking to establish a longer-term relationship with Alere in order to drive economic growth and job creation in the city.

In light of the challenges faced by health service providers and the innovative solutions required, policy makers have identified health as a fundamental driver of economic performance. The LIHH has been working to establish Leeds as the UK’s leading city for health and innovation, in which success could significantly improve services and increase jobs and investment. The implementation of the single electronic health record could be delivered in Leeds well ahead of the challenge set by the Secretary of State for Health.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Our vision is for Leeds to be the best city for health and wellbeing and to achieve this, we have established a citywide approach to improve health outcomes for children, young people and adults across Leeds.

“We are already working hard to integrate services around the needs of people, not organisations. By looking at this together we can help people more by making decisions based on a more complete picture of the needs and assets in the city with the additional benefits of creating new employment, research and training opportunities in Leeds and firmly establishing the city on the map of health innovation.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Anna Addison .

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