John Rogers, our Chief Executive at Skills for Justice said: “We are delighted to welcome Sara to the Skills for Justice Board. Sara’s drive to improve service delivery, not only at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust, but throughout health and social care across the Leeds and West Yorkshire region, by involving service users, communities, and staff in decision making, very much aligns with our own mission to develop the support which reflects the needs of the sectors we serve.

“Over the last twelve months, the collective commitment to working together across our health and justice sectors to respond to the pandemic has reinforced both the organisational and public benefits of collaboration. With Sara’s thorough understanding of how workforce challenges are impacting healthcare delivery throughout our communities, we look forward to gaining her expertise to help us build on integrated ways of working into the future.”

Starting her NHS career as a student nurse and agency nursing assistant, Sara became a registered mental health nurse, with her clinical work spent in inpatient mental health settings, whilst also completing a PhD looking at the impact of acute mental health nurse attitudes on service users experience of care. Prior to being appointed to her current CEO role in 2016, she was the Director of Quality and Nursing/Deputy CEO in Cumbria.

Sara’s influential direction is furthered with additional system leadership roles. In the West Yorkshire Integrated Care System, Sara is the senior responsible officer for mental health learning disability and autism collaborative, and she is the workforce lead for the ‘one Leeds workforce’ on behalf of health and care partners, which has established a pioneering health and care academy.

Sara said: “I am delighted to join Skills for Justice as a Trustee because I see great opportunities to share both the ways we work at the trust with the ambitions we have for the Leeds health and care academy.

“Our workforce is our biggest asset – and our biggest risk if we don’t get it right. Now more than ever, the combined part that mental health and workforce development play in ensuring the sustainable delivery of services across our communities is integral to the future of both our healthcare and justice sectors, and these are my two core passions. I am very much looking forward to contributing to the valuable work that Skills for Justice do in supporting the diverse sectors they serve to improve their workforce, and in turn, people’s lives across the UK.”

Read more about Sara, and meet all of our board members here, and please join us in welcoming Sara by following her work on Twitter and LinkedIn today.