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Sheffield Children’s welcomes South Yorkshire strategy launch

24 March 2023

Sheffield Children’s leaders have welcomed the focus on the importance of a child’s first 1,001 days in South Yorkshire Integrated Care Partnership’s (SY ICP) strategy which has been launched this week.

The strategy aims to improve the health of communities in South Yorkshire, including Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster, by tackling deep-seated inequalities in health outcomes and access, making the most of the resources available, and making sure local health and care services support wider regional objectives.

Central to the strategy is to promote the importance of a child’s first 1,001 days – giving South Yorkshire’s children and young people the best start in life, with a focus on development in early years so that every child in the region is school ready.

John Williams, Deputy Chief Executive at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I welcome the launch of our local integrated care partnership’s strategy this week. It has the full support of everyone at Sheffield Children’s and I’m sure its delivery will make a significant contribution to improving the health of communities across South Yorkshire and tackling the inequalities in health outcomes and access to services which unfortunately exist across the region.

“But what I, and my colleagues at Sheffield Children’s, are really excited by is the focus in the strategy on promoting the importance of a child’s first 1,001 days. That clearly ties in closely with the ambitions of our Clinical Strategy, launched in October 2022, which supports our guiding principle of ‘providing a healthier future for children and young people.’”

Sheffield Children’s is a specialist centre for children’s health providing physical and mental health care for children and young people from across the South Yorkshire region, and beyond – both nationally and internationally.

The Trust provides integrated physical and mental health care in hospital, in the community, at home, in school and even in the skies (through its Embrace transport service), and is driving the future of children’s healthcare through pioneering paediatric trials and research across a wide portfolio of clinical specialties. The Trust has many specialist services, with clinicians considered amongst the best in the world.

John added: “Reducing health inequalities and giving our children and young people the best start in life can only have a beneficial impact on their health, wellbeing and happiness throughout their childhood and indeed into their adult lives. Fewer children and young people needing care at Sheffield Children’s would be a good thing, enabling us to focus our services on those who still do need our care and attention.”

As part of their strategy launch SY ICP have started a campaign – our #OurFutureSouthYorkshire – offering a platform for communities to tell their stories, in digital words, images, videos or in writing, about what matters for the future.

This could be education and skills, communities and families, the work we do, good homes, transport and active travel, clean air and green spaces, and how we grow our economy, to name just a few.

They want to start a conversation exploring one Big Question: What South Yorkshire do you want the next generation to grow up in?

Sheffield Children’s are right behind the campaign and John Williams added: “I’d encourage everyone to contribute to the #OurFutureSouthYorkshire conversation. ‘What South Yorkshire do you want the next generation to grow up in?’ is a big question but I’m sure our communities will come up with some interesting and innovative answers and an enthusiasm to play their part in improving the lives of our children and young people.

“It’s a fact that the 328,000 children and young people in South Yorkshire aren’t doing as well compared to the national average. We have some of the highest deprivation rates, health inequalities and worst health outcomes in the country but the organisations in the partnership, working together with our communities, are committed to improving life for future generations.”

SY ICP are asking everyone – 1.4m people at home, at work and across communities in South Yorkshire – to take part in the conversation through events and workshops, informal gatherings, creative pursuits, or just by posting on social media.

The key is to add your individual or collective thoughts to the conversation by using the hashtag #OurFutureSouthYorkshire or by emailing in at

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