Chancellor George Osborne has announced £20m in the Budget to boost the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA).NHSA is a partnership between Universities and NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England to improve the health and wealth of the region by creating an internationally recognised life science and healthcare system.
Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are included within the 16 partners of NHSA.
The NHSA will set up the world’s first partnership using large-scale data to drive public sector reform in health and social care across a 15 million strong population in the North of England.
The money announced by Mr Osborne will fund four health and social care information projects, “Connected Health Cities”, which will be the first investment of the Government’s “Health North” programme proposed in January to unlock healthcare innovations in the English regions with the greatest health challenges.
This programme of work, which will be delivered by NHSA, will assemble data, experts and technology in secure locations to generate new information that shapes health and social care services to deliver better outcomes for patients and communities.
Professor Chris Day, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Newcastle University’s Faculty of Medical Sciences, is on NHSA's board of directors.
He said: "The award is further evidence of the pre-eminence of the North of England in digital, medical and life sciences.
"As in many other recent examples - the population of the North will be the first to benefit from the cutting edge research going on at our leading universities and hospitals.
“I am particularly pleased that this latest award connects our world-class research in medical sciences with the excellent work going on in the analysis of “big data” related to health and wellbeing.”
By analysing integrated information and feeding this back to NHS practitioners, service managers, commissioners, public health professionals, local authority planners, researchers and policy makers, NHSA’s project teams will be able to identify variations in care and needs.
In each of the areas where this will be developed there will be a focus on at least two high priority NHS care pathways, including improving support for families with obese children, reducing alcohol-related A&E attendance and reducing the risk of breast cancer among high risk women.
The Connected Health Cities will also enable new medical discoveries by working with the national Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research. This collaboration will ensure that the benefits can be rapidly shared across other regions.
published on: 19 March 2015