Health Inequalities Academy brings standing ovations, tears, hopes and dreams

Posted on: 14 November 2023

Health Inequalities Academy collage.pngOur Health Inequalities Academy ‘two years on’ events on 8 and 9 November 2023 brought over 250 colleagues together to explore progress, share learning and highlight the work taking place to improve the lives of people and communities most impacted by health inequalities.

Day one explored how we’re building capacity in our system to address health inequalities. Opening the event with a specially recorded message, Rob Webster CEO said he was proud of the Health Inequalities Academy and how it’s being copied elsewhere. We looked at how the £1m winter warmth funding has been used to support people in Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale; Kirklees; Leeds and Wakefield District.

Workshops provoked interesting discussion around the Core20PLUS5 work happening across the region and four of our Improving Population Health Fellowship fellows showcased their projects.

Wan and attendeesWe were introduced to CARA and the findings of a pilot study looking at the challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers and a panel of non-executive directors (NEDS) shared their experiences around #WYTacklingInequality and bringing about positive change.

Day two, held at the Kala Sangam Arts Centre, Bradford brought standing ovations, laughter tears, hopes, dreams and even a bit of dancing.

Keynote speaker, Wan Abdullah, started the day with her moving story of healing and her own experience of support and care in West Yorkshire including across perinatal, mental health and social care services.

Iman Elsayed of Mafwa Theatre Earlier this year we were proud to become the first Partnership of Sanctuary. In a video made for the event, we shared our journey since achieving the status together with what we’ve been doing and what we plan to do next.  

Bevan Healthcare, Leeds Gate Gypsy & Traveller Exchange, Safe Surgeries and Yorkshire Ambulance Service ran workshops around their work supporting groups at risk of health inequalities. We heard more about the CORE20PLUS5 Community Connectors approach designed to support integrated care systems, like ours, to drive targeted action in healthcare inequalities improvement in areas including maternity care, severe mental illness, chronic respiratory disease, early cancer diagnosis and hypertension.

Inclusion health was high on the agenda with Associate Director Sarah Smith talking about support for socially excluded people who experience multiple risk factors for poor health and Bevan’s Street Paramedic, Dominic Maddocks looking at the challenges faced by homeless people and the integration needed between services.

A group of attendees on stage taking part in am interactive sessionThere was audience participation too with Iman Elsayed showing how Mafwa Theatre brings refugees, asylum seekers and settled communities together in Leeds through drama, arts, gardening and cooking.

The day ended with reflections looking at the power of WE and how WE, the people of West Yorkshire have a dream. A dream where how long and how healthily we live will not be determined by who we are, where we live and how much we earn.

A big thank you to everyone who attended and especially to all our speakers, facilitators and organisers. Hear what our vox poppers thought about the event in our short video. For a full list of speakers see our events programme.

For more resources to support our work to tackle health inequalities colleagues can register for our new webpage bringing together resources such as guidance, training modules, case studies, video, podcasts and more.

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