University and Trust sign up to historic health partnership

Posted on Thursday 1st December 2011
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Julie Moore, Chief Executive of UHB with Professor Charlie Craddock who will be Transitional Director of the BHP and Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University.

The University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust have today announced a groundbreaking joint working agreement to be known as Birmingham Health Partners (BHP).

The move will strengthen the relationship between the University and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QE). As a result, patients will benefit from new therapies delivered by expert clinicians working alongside research scientists and world-leading clinical trials teams.

Birmingham is one of very few centres internationally that can complete the full circle of translational medicine, the so-called bench-to-bedside process. The new agreement will fuel partnership projects in key research areas, including cancer, immunology and infection; experimental medicine and chronic disease.

The development builds on a long history of partnership achievement and is intended to strengthen and develop the global reputations of both institutions.

Landmark collaborations to date include:

  • The first Cancer Research UK Centre, which is leading international progress in developing treatments for a wide range of cancers and is a major centre for clinical trials.
  • The Institute for Biomedical Research (IBR), where clinicians and researchers work together to transfer basic medical research into the hospital clinic.
  • The Centre for Clinical Haematology, a leading clinical research facility which develops and delivers novel drug and transplant therapies for patients with blood cancers.
  • The prestigious Clinical Research Facility, allowing a seamless interface between academic and clinical research.

In January this year the two centres celebrated a milestone with the opening of the £20 million National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology, a joint trauma-care venture between the University, UHB, the Department of Health and the MoD. Based at the QE, it is headed by Professor Sir Keith Porter, the UK’s only Professor of Clinical Traumatology.

Other recent collaborative developments include the launch of the Centre for Burns Research (funded by the Healing Foundation), the completion of the next phase of clinical research infrastructure - which includes a bespoke human tissue biorepository - dedicated cell and gene therapy laboratories, and Birmingham’s participation in the national Translational Research Partnership programme.

Transitional Director of the BHP will be Professor Charlie Craddock, director of the Centre for Clinical Haematology. He said: ‘This visionary partnership between the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and the University of Birmingham will not only allow us to deliver world-class therapies to patients in the West Midlands region but will act as a magnet for inward investment by pharmaceutical companies and a catalyst for economic regeneration.

Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, commented: ‘There are very few places in the world which possess the strategic advantages of Birmingham for the assessment of new treatments. The Birmingham Health Partners will build on the combined strength of both institutions and demonstrate the sustainable benefits that alliances of this kind can achieve.’

Julie Moore, Chief Executive UHB, said: ‘The Trust and University already have a successful relationship in delivering excellent, innovative research projects and this latest collaboration will only enhance our reputation as a world-class academic and healthcare partnership.’

Councillor Sir Albert Bore, who is chair of UHB and also serves on the BHP board, said: ‘This new partnership is a timely and welcome development which will ensure the University and Trust maximise the marvellous facilities provided by the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.’

For further information please contact Jenni Ameghino, Press Office, University of Birmingham, 0121 415 8134. Mobile: 07769 924156.