From left, Catherine Cochrane, Professor David Graham and Kathryn Thomson
The University of Liverpool, in partnership with NHS Trusts, universities, patients and industry across Merseyside and Cheshire, is developing a new initiative to ensure research outcomes are adopted quickly for the benefit of patient care.
The Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC) will employ a team of outreach staff who will work with leading scientists and healthcare professionals to translate research outcomes and innovation into education and patient care. Based at the University of Liverpool, the Merseyside and Cheshire HIEC will focus on six key themes, including Drug Safety; Children’s Health; Mental and Physical Health; Cancer; Infection and Public Health.
As part of the Drug Safety programme, scientists will investigate how adverse drug reactions (ADRs) can be prevented. It is estimated that ADRs cost the NHS in the region of £750M per annum. The HIEC will offer all NHS staff involved in prescribing drugs, a new training module in ‘safe prescribing’.
Professor David Graham, Head of the University’s Medical School and Director of the HIEC, said: “The HIEC will improve the education and training of the healthcare workforce and speed up the adoption of innovation and research in hospitals. It will increase the pace of change in the NHS, and positively impact on patient care.”
The Merseyside and Cheshire HIEC is part of an £11 million initiative launched by the Department of Health. It is one of 17 nationwide selected by an Independent Award Panel Chaired by Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
Ann Keen, Health Minister, said: “HIECs are special partnerships that draw on a wealth of skills and experience of their members to improve on the development of high quality care and services by quickly bringing the benefits of research and innovation directly to patients.
“The Merseyside and Cheshire HIEC will attract and encourage the best talent who can recognise and rapidly adopt new innovative healthcare and treatment.”
Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive of Liverpool Women’s NHS Trust and Chair of the Merseyside and Cheshire HIEC, said: “The HIEC for Merseyside and Cheshire represents a strong partnership of organisations that are committed to improving health education and patient care. We will focus our efforts on key issues affecting the local population, and develop projects that break down barriers to innovation, achieve economies of scale and quickly translate benefits to patients.”
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