Bristol Health Partners (BHP) has been designated as an Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC).
The AHSC will aim to achieve world-class health, clinical and economic outcomes for people across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “I’m delighted to see this significant advancement for the Bristol Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) in the West of England. This partnership between the NHS Trusts, CCGs, local councils and universities will prove more important than ever in helping to address the current healthcare challenges we are facing.
“The AHSC will unite expertise in healthcare provision, research and innovation, education and training to help people to live healthier lives – through improved prevention of diseases and a stronger integration of regional health services. The West of England Combined Authority works closely with partners from across the region to support the development of the life science sector. This is a key development for the sector and builds on the West of England’s strengths and expertise in AI, robotics, high-performance computing and quantum technologies.”
The AHSC designation by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NHS England and NHS Improvement builds upon BHP’s successes in research, innovation, education and training, and recognises the outstanding local collaborations between academia, public health, the NHS, social care and the voluntary and community sector that the Partnership has created.
Andrea Young, Chair of the Bristol Health Partners AHSC Board and David Wynick, Director of the Bristol Health Partners AHSC jointly commented: “The importance of collaboration across research, health and social care has never been greater than we have seen with COVID-19. From the rapid creation of the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol to supporting national testing and vaccine trials, the strength of these partnerships is reflected in how local expertise and resources are coming together in response to COVID-19.
“As an AHSC, we will strengthen our ability to unite our excellence in health and care provision, research and innovation, education and training to deliver healthier lives, through better prevention of illness and disease. We will work together to develop and deliver novel, evidence-based treatments and health and care innovations across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, promoting best practice to improve outcomes for our local population.”
Over the next five years, Bristol Health Partners AHSC will focus on six key areas including public health and prevention; mental health and neuroscience; cardiovascular science; surgical innovation; perinatal, reproductive and children’s health and delivering integrated, optimal and equitable care across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
Bristol Health Partners AHSC involves 11 organisations:
- Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
- Bristol City Council
- NHS Blood and Transplant
- NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group
- North Bristol NHS Trust
- North Somerset Council
- Sirona care & health
- South Gloucestershire Council
- University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
- University of Bristol
- University of the West of England
Following a highly competitive process, Bristol Health Partners was chosen to be one of eight AHSCs in England. The designations will run for the next five years.