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UCL celebrates 70 years of working with the NHS

5 July 2018

NHS at 70. Screenshot: UCL video.

To celebrate 70 years of the National Health Service, researchers and clinicians from across UCL have spoken about what the NHS means to them and how their work impacts the nation’s health.    

In a series of short films launched today, academics describe how UCL works with the NHS in a number of different ways to improve patient care, and, by working with major teaching hospitals, to train the next generation of health professionals.

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) researcher Dr Jeff Bezemer works with surgeons, using video recordings to review how they and their colleagues communicate in operating theatres. This research is being used to improve processes in operations.

Talking about work the IOE and he conduct with the NHS, Dr Jeff Bezemer said:

“We have always worked really closely with […] clinicians. In fact we have not approached them so much as research participants but as co-researchers. They have been very much central to the entire research process, starting from the very questions that we want to address.

“Part of doing research is developing resources that have a life beyond the research project: in our case, materials based on videos that we make in NHS settings. And we make those resources available to everyone working in the NHS.

“We also use those resources to develop simulation scenarios, to develop team training sessions and we have done lots of roadshows going around the country into different NHS spaces to work with clinicians there using those resources.”

Throughout UCL’s history, the academic community has spearheaded and revolutionised public health care, from the first operation done under anaesthetic (Robert Liston, Professor of Clinical Surgery, 1846) to the first family planning clinic in London (Marie Stopes, UCL alumna, 1921).

We’ve been at the forefront of genetics too, with UCL alumnus, Francis Crick, UCL identifying the double helix structure of DNA with James Watson in 1962 and more recently, we’ve led pioneering research into the genetic causes of Alzheimer’s disease (Professor John Hardy, UCL Institute of Neurology, 2015).

UCL has a unique partnership with several hospitals through the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs).

In 2017, UCL’s three BRCs were awarded more than £167m in collaboration with partner hospitals (£111.5m for the University College London Hospital BRC, £37m for the Great Ormond Street BRC and £19m for the Moorfields Eye Hospital BRC). UCL has received more funding than any other UK university.

Today, UCL’s impact on the NHS reaches far beyond medical advances. We’re researching how electronic health records and primary data collection can impact health policy and practice, and the behavioural and psychological factors affecting adherence to medicine.

Speaking in the anniversary film, UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur added, “As a world-leading research intensive university we cover many disciplines and almost all of them work with the NHS, from Engineering to our Faculty of the Built Environment - the Bartlett, from the Social Sciences to Arts and Humanities. Our interaction with the NHS is incredibly broad and highly successful.

“The NHS is extraordinary. I’m so proud to be working with the NHS and happy 70th birthday.”

Media contact

Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations
T: +44 (0)20 3108 8515 / +44 (0)7769 141 006
E: rowan.walker@ucl.ac.uk

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