Leeds health masterminds launch £680k partnership to '˜improve care and boost local economy'

The brightest minds from some of the biggest health care bodies in Leeds have joined forces in a groundbreaking partnership to bring fresh ideas and investment to the city.

The Leeds skyline. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The Leeds Academic Health Partnership (LAHP) has been formalised, featuring Leeds City Council, six NHS organisations, Leeds’ three universities and an associate member.

It will aim to make use of the city’s research capabilities and the local health and social care system in order to “speed up the adoption of research and innovation, creating inward investment, and raising the national and international profile and reputation of the city and its statutory authorities”.

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Up until April, the LAHP had been run on an informal basis with the University of Leeds acting as the host and it will remain informal until it becomes “independent” in 2017/18.

The partnership will collectively cost 11 organisations £683,000 over the next year.

Sir Alan Langlands, LAHP chair and vice chancellor at the University of Leeds, said: “The Leeds Academic Health Partnership will look at what’s on the horizon, work with national, international and regional partners and ensure Leeds is ready to make the most of the opportunities available.”

The impact of the LAHP will be measured on a project by project basis, collating the numbers of lives saved, lives improved, jobs created and inward investment secured.

It is hoped to offer a means through which smaller firms, particularly in health informatics and medical technologies, can get more rapid access to the NHS, wider health system and university expertise. The partnership will be “an opportunity for economic growth through attracting students”.

The three largest partners, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds City Council and the University of Leeds, will each pay 15 per cent of the total cost or £102,450, while the others will also pay a percentage. Any funds raised will also be split.

Coun Lisa Mulherin, the council’s executive member for health, said: “This is an important development for Leeds.

“We have lots of great work already happening across health and care services in the city, whilst our three universities are highly regarded and extremely popular in this field.

“We want to build on these assets by working together to make the maximum difference to people’s lives, the added value of formalising this partnership will significantly help us to do that.”

Visit leedsacademichealthpartnership.org for further information.