UCL News


UCL Partners becomes one of UK's first Academic Health Science Centres

9 March 2009

UCL Partners (UCLP) has today been designated as one of the UK's first academic health science centres.

The Partnership is one of just five bids which satisfied the Department of Health's rigorous selection process, which included peer review of the application by an international panel of experts. The successful outcome demonstrates that the partnership possesses excellence in research, education and patient care.

UCLP comprises five of London's biggest and best known hospitals and research centres: UCL (University College London), Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH), Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Partnership will bring together the combined skill and expertise of its clinicians and researchers to focus initially on seven areas: infectious diseases; neurological disorders; eyes and vision; cardiovascular; child health; women's health; and immunology and transplantation.

Commenting on the award of AHSC status, Sir Cyril Chantler, Chairman of UCL Partners, said:

"This is fantastic news, and a great tribute to the skill, expertise and team work of clinicians and researchers within UCL Partners. More than that, it is a tremendous boost for our plans to work together to improve the health of the patients that we serve, developing new techniques and treatments for patients in London, the UK and beyond. Our partners are already world leaders in many areas of medical research. With today's news, we can raise our sights higher still."

For further information please visit the UCL Partners website at www.uclpartners.com or contact Neil Goodwin, Project Director, UCL Partners, on +44 (0)7831 886 834 or at neil.goodwin@uclh.nhs.uk

Notes to editors

1. The establishment of Academic Health Science Centres was one of the major reforms recommended in Health Minister Professor Lord Darzi's review, "Healthcare for London: a framework for action", published in July 2007 by NHS London. It sets out how London needs to change in order to meet Londoners' health needs over the next ten years. Lord Darzi reaffirmed the importance of Academic Health Science Centres as a central plank of NHS reform in his "NHS Next Stage Review Final Report - High Quality Care for All", published on 30 June 2008. The report recognises that "the potential of AHSCs to deliver research excellence and improve patient care and professional education is tremendous."

2. In the US, where the academic health science partnership model is already well established, the top 16 ranked hospitals in 2005 were all academic health science centres.

3. As measured by citations in academic publications monitored by the independent ISI Essential Science Indicators service, UCL and its partners are world-class in a number of fields:

  • Neuroscience - top in Europe and 2nd in the world
  • Clinical Medicine - top in Europe
  • Immunology - second in Europe

UCL is the most highly cited University in the UK overall.

4. UCL Partners is the only Academic Health Science Centre with three National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centres, an important component of Academic Health Science Centres. The three Biomedical Research Centres are:

* the UCLH/UCL Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre;

* the Moorfields Eye Hospital/UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Biomedical Research Centre

* the GOSH/UCL Institute of Child Health Biomedical Research Centre.