The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Patients in Leeds to benefit from £20m budget investment in research projects

20 March 2015

Leeds Teaching Hospitals today welcomed the budget announcement of £20m to fund new health and social care information projects, aimed at tackling major health challenges by using ‘big picture’ data.

The Chancellor announced funding for the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), a partnership between universities and NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England to improve the health and wealth of the region. Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust and the University of Leeds are included within the 16 partners of the NHSA which seeks to bring together the collective expertise of the North’s universities, teaching hospitals and local authorities and set up the world’s first health and social care partnership using large-scale data.

Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Julian Hartley said: “This investment reflects the strength of our partnership with the University of Leeds and other academic and health centres in the North of England. It also recognises the great strength of our expertise in health informatics.

“For example, we are working with the University of Leeds to create a new purpose-built space for the MRC Centre for Medical Bioinformatics, housing 40 staff with the technology they need to bring together clinical and social science research, mathematics and computer science to open up new ways to understand health and human behaviour.”

Professor Paul Stewart, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds, said: “The ultimate end game is to deliver better outcomes for patients and communities. This is about creating a health ecosystem to unlock healthcare innovations, by connecting people and research, by connecting health and social care services, and by sharing existing information to address the greatest health challenges in the region.

“This will drive public sector reform in health and social care, and the 15 million people in the North of England will be the first to benefit from the world-leading research going on in the region’s universities and hospitals.

By analysing population-level information and feeding this back to key professionals, including NHS practitioners, service managers, commissioners, local authority planners, researchers and policy makers, the NHSA’s project teams will be able to identify variations in patient and population needs.

There will be a focus on NHS care pathways, including support for families with obese children, reducing alcohol-related A&E attendance, reducing the risk of breast cancer among high risk women and reducing the late detection and irreversible damage from chronic kidney disease.

In his budget day speech, the Chancellor said: “We are funding the Health North initiative from the great teaching hospitals and universities there.”