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Healthcare and academia to develop new mental health research hub

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is joining forces with the University of Liverpool and a “leading global mental health and data analytics company” to establish a new research hub that will harness the power of digital for the benefit of patients up and down the region.

By leveraging the potential of data analytics and digital solutions, the research hub, and the partnership in general, is aiming to improve the quality of life for mental health patients in one of England’s most deprived areas.

As well as expanding access to cutting-edge research, the collaboration will also look to demonstrate how health systems can entice the next generation’s thought leaders by positioning mental health as a go-to field for innovative and state-of-the-art research.

Mersey Care’s Chief Executive, Professor Joe Rafferty CBE, said: “We look forward to the opportunity to work with our partners on this new initiative. Investment in mental health research has huge potential to reduce health inequalities, improve outcomes for our populations and boost the economic growth for our region.”

The alliance will combine the expertise of one of the world’s leading public health innovation organisations, the University of Liverpool; and one of Europe’s leading institutions for mental health innovation, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

It will also preside over the development of new tools to boost the delivery of care, including the enhancement of a Management and Supervision Tool (MaST) that uses analytics to help mental health professionals make more informed decisions.

Professor Rafferty continued: “With the implementation of [provider’s] MaST, which manages risk for service users and patients, we’ve already demonstrated the impact that digital solutions can have and we’re looking forward to continuing to develop innovations for the benefit of our communities.”

Professor Iain Buchan, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Innovation at the University of Liverpool added: “Our partnership will drive advances in predictive mental health care, evolving through close coupled science and service to meet the needs of those we serve.

"This collaboration will bring together data scientists with mental health researchers and professionals to create a learning system that improves prediction, refines interventions and evaluates outcomes by default.”

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NHE May/June 2024

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