Improved collaborative working between the Council and NHS to improve health for Wakefield district residents

Wakefield Council and NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are set to trial innovative future working arrangements to improve the health of people living in the district and ensure consistently good care.

Picture of Jo Webster

Jo Webster will take on the additional responsibilities of the new joint role from 1 April 2021

The new interim arrangements will see the introduction of a joint role working across the Council and Wakefield CCG to build on the effective integration and collaborative ways of working that already exist between the organisations. The new role will be responsible for leading health promotion, ill health prevention, adult social care and planning all health and care services for the district. This will incorporate the role of the Council’s Corporate Director for Adults and Health, along with Wakefield CCG’s Chief Officer role.

Jo Webster, who is currently Chief Officer at NHS Wakefield CCG, has agreed to take on the additional responsibilities as part of the interim arrangements, with these coming into effect for 12 months from 1 April.

The creation of a joint role aims to help people live longer in good health by addressing the causes of ill health and bringing services closer together so people who need care have a better experience. The ambition is to work with community organisations and GPs to support local neighbourhoods to become the foundation for health improvement. The role will also enable strengthened collaboration across commissioners and organisations that provide care services. 

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “I am delighted that we are building on the already successful integrated working arrangements with the CCG. Jo has been working alongside the Council’s Corporate Management Team for many years and this new arrangement will deepen that relationship in a way that benefits the district’s residents. 

“The changes that are planned to commissioning of health services in the NHS White Paper and the fact that the council has a vacancy in the Corporate Director for Adults and Health role create an opportunity for the CCG and the Council to take the work we have been doing to get health and social care services working more closely together to the next level.

“If people are healthy they are much more able to have a good life and contribute to the social and economic prosperity of the district. These working arrangements will help ensure improving health is an ambition in all the Council’s plans. 

“We are focused on improving the lives of residents, enabling everyone to have good and healthy lifestyles, reducing inequalities and managing demand for services. This new approach will enable us to do just that.

“As always, we will continue to seek opportunities to further integrate services and work collaboratively to deliver the best services possible for Wakefield’s residents.” 

Jo has been Chief Officer of NHS Wakefield CCG since it was established in 2013 and her 25 year career in health and care has been characterised by a commitment to promoting collaborative approaches to improve population health outcomes. In 2018, Jo also became Strategic Lead for Health and Care Transformation and Integration for Wakefield Council, forging a new leadership role with overall responsibility for integrating health and care commissioning for the whole of the district.

Speaking on behalf of Wakefield CCG, Adam Sheppard, CCG Chair and Clinical Leader said: “Our shared ambition is for residents of the Wakefield district to have a good life – fundamental to this is prioritising investment in keeping people well rather than dealing with the care consequences of ill health.

“Through this new interim arrangement, we want residents to have more control over their own health and to work with professionals in the health and care system to develop joined up services that meet their needs.”