Leeds health summit on boosting care as funding stretched

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health experts have gathered to discuss how to meet the massive challenge faced by the NHS and social care system in Leeds.

Managers, politicians, patients and city leaders met at a special summit to talk about the continuing cut to public service budgets, which come as the health service faces rising demands from an aging population and increasing birth rate.

That could lead to health and social care in Leeds facing a £633m funding shortfall within the next five years, as revealed in the Yorkshire Evening Post last month.

This week’s meeting looked at how innovations in technology could be used to plan care better – but participants said this would need improved organisation, the trust of patients and planning to link information effectively.

Coun Lisa Mulherin, chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “It wasn’t about simplistic solutions, but making sure that we are engaging with people to make sure our planning and vision for the future match up.

“No one should be in any doubt how challenging it will be to provide the levels of care and support people want and need in the years to come. That is why we have to use all the skills, information and good ideas at our disposal, sharing good practice from the rest of the country and far beyond. We also need everyone in the city to play their part, keeping an eye on their own health and that of friends, neighbours and family.”

Julian Hartley, chief executive at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, told delegates:“The healthcare system in Leeds has much to be proud of, but we cannot be complacent and need to use the knowledge of everyone – service users, staff, our NHS colleagues elsewhere to name just a few – to make sure that we are delivering the best services we can now and in the future.”

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