Chancellor commits £20m of funding to Health North initiative

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has committed £20 million of funding to the ‘Health North’ initiative, which will be led by EPVC for Health and Life Sciences, Professor Ian Greer. 

Health North will build on the North’s strengths in health science, enabling better care for patients, and promoting innovation through analysis of data on the effectiveness of different drugs, treatments and health pathways.

The Northern Health Science Alliance formed by the leading northern universities, teaching hospitals and Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) will set up the world’s first partnership using large-scale data to drive public sector reform in health and social care across a 15 million-strong population in the North of England.

Professor Greer, who is Chairman of the North Health Science Alliance, will work with Life Sciences minister, George Freeman, to help unlock future medical innovations that will build on the health science expertise and teaching hospitals of the North. 

Professor Greer said: “This exciting scalable network will build on existing partnerships and investments, as well as the North’s thriving digital and life science sectors, to drive health and care transformation and economic growth – it will deliver the Northern Powerhouse in health.”

The Chancellor has announced £20 million in the Budget to fund four health and social care information projects, ‘Connected Health Cities’, which will be the first investment of the Government’s ‘Health North’ programme proposed in January to unlock healthcare innovations in the English regions with the greatest health challenges.

This programme of work, which will be delivered by the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), will assemble data, experts and technology in secure locations to generate new information that shapes health and social care services to deliver better outcomes for patients and communities.

By analysing integrated information and feeding this back to NHS practitioners, service managers, commissioners, public health professionals, local authority planners, researchers and policy makers, the project teams will be able to identify variations in care and needs.

In each of the areas where this will be developed there will be a focus on at least two high priority NHS care pathways, such as:

  • Improving support for families with obese children
  • Reducing anti microbial resistance
  • Reducing alcohol-related A&E attendance
  • Reducing late detection and irreversible damage from chronic kidney disease
  • Reducing the risk of breast cancer among high risk women
  • Increasing the risk-reduction afforded by treatment with statins
  • Reducing relapse and hospitalisation among people with schizophrenia
  • Reducing the risk of unplanned hospital admissions among people with dementia


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