A HEALTH and care partnership has received over £1 million to provide more mental health and wellbeing support for staff.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership has been awarded £515,151 by NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop the first mental health and wellbeing ‘hub’ catering for all staff working in the sector across the region – which includes Bradford district and Craven.

Comprising bodies including the NHS, local authorities, Healthwatch and voluntary and community organisations, the partnership employs over 100,000 people – with the support of 270,000 unpaid carers and thousands of volunteers.

The hub, which it is hoped will be up and running within weeks, will identify additional specialist support to supplement what happens locally.

Sara Munro – the chief executive officer lead for the partnership’s mental health, learning disabilities and autism programme – said: “NHS England and NHS Improvement has made a commitment to fund a wave of hubs, which will work in partnership with occupational health services and others to support the mental health and wellbeing of all colleagues. This includes those who may be disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic.

“We are pleased to be receiving the funds – it will help to ensure all staff get equal access to care during these difficult times. Our ultimate aim is for colleagues to have a good life in and outside of work.”

The partnership has also received £640,000 to develop and pilot a range of occupational health and wellbeing initiatives across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, to ensure staff have quick and easy access to targeted support and follow-up care.

Brendan Brown, chief executive officer of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and the lead for the partnership’s workforce programme, said: “The pandemic has placed an incredible amount of pressure on colleagues across all health and care services, including unpaid carers and volunteers. It is vital we do all we can to make sure they receive the care they need to do their valuable work in a supportive environment, where they are free to speak openly about their worries and wellbeing. I’m delighted we have received this funding.”