Health & Wellbeing

Health inequalities undermine Yorkshire’s economic performance and potential. The north of England lags behind the UK average for health and wellbeing, with a two-year gap in life expectancy between the North and the South, with people in the north of England 20% more likely to die early. There is a huge opportunity to use the region’s unique assets to improve health and wellbeing, whilst contributing to inclusive economic growth: meaning a fairer society where everyone benefits.

Universities and the Health and Care Sector, especially the NHS, are inextricably linked. Universities are vital educational providers for the Health and Care Sector, and the research and innovation expertise and activities of universities in Yorkshire have demonstrated unique interventions and contributions in prevention and treatment, including the wider determinants of health.  

The YHealth4Growth Campaign is a regional partnership between Yorkshire Universities, the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network and NHS Confederation to tackle increasing socio-economic inequalities and boost health outcomes in Yorkshire by encouraging and supporting more cross-sector working. The Campaign has published reports and held events designed to highlight the growing importance and value of health as a driver of greater prosperity and wellbeing. In 2024, following the success of the initial campaign, the YHealth4Growth ‘White Paper’ on Health and the Economy was produced.

Yorkshire Universities has also been instrumental in developing and supporting the Health and Care Workforce Observatory, sponsored by Health Education England and the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership. The Workforce Observatory, led by the University of Bradford, aims to provide a forum to pool relevant intelligence so that the Health and Social Care workforce can be analysed, planned, forecast, grown and developed in an evidence-informed manner. This will enable integrated system-wide workforce planning and development. 

The Image states "Empowering local places for health and prosperity: new perspectives from Yorkshire and the Humber".

In February 2024, the YHealth4Growth white paper, which addresses widening health and economic inequalities in Yorkshire and the Humber, was published. The paper was written in the context of mounting pressure on the health service and wider public sector, an uncertain outlook for the UK economy, and the ongoing impact of the pandemic. It puts forward 10 recommendations for national and regional leaders and for business, which build on those set out in the initial 2020 YHealth for Growth report.