University launches plan to support the Liverpool health agenda

The University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (HLS) has announced new plans for a major strategic realignment that aims to improve health outcomes throughout the Liverpool City Region and beyond.

Following an extensive consultation exercise with staff the strategy outlined in a recent report centres around four newly configured Institutes: Life Course and Medical Sciences; Ecology, Infection and Veterinary Sciences; Population Health; and Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology.

The plans aim to deliver world-class, research-connected teaching and to deliver scientific research excellence with societal impact. This will provide the very best environment for tomorrow’s students, and create a platform for the University to engage in effective partnership working across the region to translate our fundamental research strengths into life-changing benefits, both locally and globally.

These Institutes will be supported by four new enabling directorates designed to operate across the Faculty and to provide the vital professional services that facilitate the delivery of both fundamental research and scientific excellence with societal impact. The Directorates will cover research and impact, clinical, education, and infrastructure and environment.

The proposals have now received the full support of the Executive Board and are entering the first phase of implementation alongside consultation discussions with Trade Unions.

Addressing chronic health inequality

Research conducted at the University shows that living below the poverty line has a devastating and lasting impact on children’s health and life chances – this is really concerning given that around one in three children across the Liverpool City Region – as high as one in two in some communities – are living below the poverty line.

Early life events shape health throughout the life course which explain, in part, the high levels of cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental ill-health in the Liverpool city region.

Professor Louise Kenny, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health and Life Sciences, said: “There is a real imperative for change as we move forward into a new era of differing local and global socio-economic demand. We have a civic responsibility to utilise and develop our standing as the largest provider of health and life science capability and resources in the UK and to support the staff and students that make us the internationally recognised Faculty we are.

“Project SHAPE will enable us to realign our expertise through a new structure and vision, which enables us to work in a more agile way and respond to unmet societal needs locally, nationally and globally.”

World class teaching and research

Professor Kenny said: “Our new vision and structure aim to strengthen our impact on the health and wellbeing of our city, our country and our planet, by focusing on areas where we believe we have, or can develop, world-leading expertise to enhance our global position and support the local health agenda exploring new synergies of collaborative working.”

Graham Pollard, Faculty Director of Operations added: “The new structure underpinned by the four directorates will enable us to foster excellence in research connected teaching, improve research outputs and impact in key strategic areas in support of our NHS partners to improve local health outcomes.”


In developing the proposals staff from across the Faculty and University were consulted with feedback received informing the final Towards Strategy 2026 and Beyond report, downloadable here.