Bristol Health Partners have become the first Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) in England to develop a fully integrated relationship with the Healthier Together Integrated Care System (ICS) for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The decision was approved at a Healthier Together Partnership Board meeting on 8 July.
The new structure aims to utilise the academic research, implementation and evaluation activities, undertaken by the Bristol Health Partners, to support the work of the ICS.
Researchers will work closely with patients and healthcare professionals to agree what works best to improve health and care across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
This may include recommending new technologies, able to better support patients, or help measure whether changes to services are working for patients and practitioners.
Professor David Wynick, Director of Bristol Health Partners AHSC, said: “We are the first AHSC to have developed this very close formal relationship with our ICS and we are excited about the opportunities it presents. We hope it will lead to the delivery of world-class health, clinical and economic outcomes through improved prevention of illness and disease and better integration of health and care services in our region.”
This new partnership is expected to lead to more local patients benefiting from a health and care system that learns from the best evidence from around the world.
Robert Woolley and Julia Ross, Chief Executives at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS FT, and NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG respectively; and executive co-leads of Healthier Together, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Bristol Health Partners AHSC and be the first area in the country to formalise this arrangement.
“Our area has considerable strength in health research and this partnership can only further integrate this research into the delivery of our services and development of our dedicated health and care workers.
“This is an exciting opportunity, and we look forward to developing this relationship further to ensure sustainable, high-quality care for everyone in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.”
The membership of the new Research & Innovation Steering Group of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICS, includes directors of research, clinical strategy, public health, social care, senior innovation leaders and education from their core funding partners.
It also includes public contributors and senior representatives from primary care, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West, NIHR Clinical Research Network West of England, West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN), Healthier Together ICS, university research institutes, and People in Health West of England.