Levelling Up Yorkshire and Humber: health as the new wealth post COVID

A plan to tackle spatial health and socio-economic inequalities and boost health outcomes as part of the recovery in Yorkshire and the Humber.

13 July 2020

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As we rebuild and recover from COVID-19, this report provides a plan for how we might tackle ever-increasing socio-economic inequalities and boost health outcomes in Yorkshire and the Humber by encouraging and supporting more cross-sector working.

We argue that:

  • Health and the economy are bound tightly together. Interventions designed to improve health, inclusive growth and wellbeing in Yorkshire and the Humber are in the interests of all local, regional and national partners, businesses and communities and should be a shared priority and endeavour. Leaders and clinicians across the NHS and social care have called for a ‘reset’ to the way we plan, commission and deliver health and care, building on the rapid progress already made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Organisations and businesses benefit significantly from healthier and more productive workforces. Through collaboration, the benefits can be even more transformational for individuals and for the wider economy and society. COVID-19 has shown the importance of a physically and mentally healthy workforce, and the importance of collaboration for increasing societal resilience.
  • On most economic and health measures, Yorkshire and the Humber needs to improve, but the region has many exceptional assets and strong and effective institutions which need to play an even stronger role in the regional recovery. Anchor institutions in the region can make health a much more visible focus for growth through their work with industry, research and development, and acting as large employers and the commissioners of goods and services. They can do this by adopting a stronger health-led and inclusive economic growth agenda, bolstered by increased ‘place-sensitive’ policy and strategy from government and national agencies.
  • The existence of place-based partnerships across the region – including Integrated Care Systems, Local Enterprise Partnerships and Combined Authorities – offers valuable and timely potential to unlock even more of this potential to achieve improved health and inclusive growth for Yorkshire and the Humber.

This report has been co-authored by the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, the NHS Confederation and Yorkshire Universities.

It forms part of the NHS Reset campaign's focus on economic and social recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.