The Chancellor has announced Â£20m in the Budget to fund new health and social care information projects, aimed at tackling major health challenges by using â€˜big pictureâ€™ data.
The funding has been awarded to 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.
The University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust are included within the 16 partners of the NHSA.
The Governments Connected Health Cities initiative will see the NHSA bringing together the collective expertise of the Norths universities, teaching hospitals and local authorities and set up the worlds first health and social care partnership using large-scale data.
Professor Paul Stewart, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds, explained:
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 regions universities and hospitals. The funding will largely support an informatics approach joining Digital Cities/ health economies across the North.
Leeds already has enormous strengths and NHSA leadership in Health informatics exemplified through the recent £7m investment from the Medical Research Council in our Medical Bioinformatics Centre. By working with partners in the Northern Health Science Alliance, we are at the forefront of helping transform health and social services.
By analysing integrated information and feeding this back to key professionals, including NHS practitioners, service managers, commissioners, local authority planners, researchers and policy makers, the NHSAs project teams will be able to identify variations in patient and population needs.
In each of the areas, there will be a focus on at high priority NHS care pathways, including improving 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.