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UCLPartners gets the green light to improve healthcare for over six million people

People in London and the south east will see improvements in their healthcare, after an NHS England announcement that medical research will be fast-tracked to frontline NHS services.

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The Department of Health confirmed today (Thursday 23 May) the designation by NHS England of 15 new Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) covering the whole of the UK. The established health and science network UCLPartners – of which Queen Mary, University of London is a member – has been named as one of these AHSNs.

UCLPartners had previously been one of five accredited academic health science systems in the UK, aiming to translate research and innovation into real improvements for patients and populations – in London, across the UK, and globally.

The partnership joins three universities – University College London, Queen Mary, and the The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with five NHS Trusts, including Barts Health NHS Trust.

UCLPartners is the only AHSN that is already delivering quality improvements to healthcare at scale. It is also one of the largest in the country, serving a diverse population of over six million people in north east and north central London, south and west Hertfordshire, south Bedfordshire and south west and mid Essex.

Professor David Fish, Managing Director of UCLPartners says: “We have some of the country’s leading experts within our general practices, hospitals, community health providers and universities. Together we can achieve greater benefits than are possible when organisations or individuals work in isolation. Our ambition is to improve patient care and make better use of innovation and research to drive economic benefits for the population we serve.”

Through a more joined up approach to healthcare, UCLPartners is already delivering direct benefits to patients and their families. One example is its partners’ work to reduce cardiac arrests among patients in hospital. A network of researchers and clinicians from 15 hospitals are sharing best practice in how to identify early signs of deterioration among patients in hospital. This initiative has halved the number of cardiac arrests on wards in some hospitals.

NHS England’s Chief Executive, Sir David Nicholson, said: “The NHS is full of brilliant people with brilliant ideas. To spread ideas right across the NHS means working collaboratively with all those who have an interest.

“AHSNs offer a more systematic delivery mechanism so that innovation spreads quickly and successfully through the NHS, making the best possible use of precious NHS resources and in ensuring the most advanced treatments, technologies and medicines are available to patients.”


UCL Partners includes:

Higher Education Institutions:

  • University College London (from 2009)
  • Queen Mary, University of London (from 2011)
  • The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (joining in 2013)

NHS trusts:

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (from 2009)
  • Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (from 2009)
  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (from 2009)
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (from 2009)
  • Barts Health NHS Trust (from 2011)
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