UCL News


Six million to benefit from new NHS initiative

6 January 2010

Six million people in London and Essex will benefit from a new, groundbreaking NHS initiative announced today.





Some of the UK's best known medical institutions will come together to research and pioneer new treatments for common diseases such as chronic lung disease, provide a new focus for preventing major illnesses such as stroke and heart disease, and support better choice and care for maternity care.

The three academic partners behind the initiative - called a Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC) - are Queen Mary University of London (NEL Health), University College London (UCL Partners), and Anglia Ruskin University (postgraduate Medical Institute). Healthcare providers and commissioners have also offered support for the initiative as they recognise the HIEC's value in achieving their vision as real, practical and tangible.

Together, the partners in the HIEC account for roughly 10 per cent of the NHS budget in England, and the population they serve includes some of the most disadvantaged and diverse communities in the country. Our approach will break new ground in the NHS. Researchers and clinicians on the front line from all professions will be drawn together across a large population to really improve the quality of patient care. This new model of research and care will be led by patient need, and transformed by the ability to collaborate across primary care trusts and research organisations. At a time when the public sector needs to be even more aware of delivering value for money and cutting waste, we will also be able to reduce unnecessary duplication of activities and effort.

Commenting on the value of the HIEC at the frontline, Bernadette Porter, Nurse Consultant (Multiple Sclerosis) said: "There are many examples of patient focused, high quality models of care led by nurses and allied health professionals across the region. The HIEC provides a platform to learn from each other across numerous boundaries - which has to be good for our patients."

Teresa Kearney, a Nurse Practitioner leading a general practice in Essex said: "This is an exciting opportunity for us to blur traditional boundaries, innovate and share best practice for the benefit of the patients we serve."

Caroline Alexander of Tower Hamlets PCT commented that: "From a commissioner point of view this will really help to strengthen the link between strategy and timely translation into practice in the development of new models of care"