Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on health in our region and placed unprecedented pressure on our NHS and healthcare services. Even before the pandemic, poor health and wellbeing has been a key challenge in our region - with long-term sickness identified as the largest contributor to economic inactivity.
There are also significant health inequalities. On average, people in poorer parts of our region have a life expectancy 10 years lower than those from more affluent areas. The pandemic has exacerbated these problems.
As one of the largest healthcare training providers in the UK, and home to the world-class Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, we are well placed to make an even greater contribution to addressing these challenges. We will expand our healthcare provision to equip the NHS for future challenges and address the chronic shortages in the workforce. We will also integrate our research and innovation with local health services, and work with communities to tackle health inequalities.