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How partnerships with universities accelerate innovations and improvements in health and wellbeing

30th August 2018

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By Professor Alison Chambers, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University

It was in Greater Manchester that post-war Health Minister Aneurin “Nye” Bevan first launched the National Health Service (NHS) 70 years ago.

Since then, the city has been at the heart of revolutionary health innovations and agendas - from the first baby born from IVF treatment at Oldham General Hospital in 1978, to devolution with the city hosting one of the most ambitious health reorganisation projects in the history of the NHS.

Manchester Metropolitan University is making invaluable contributions to the emerging healthcare landscape, through research, shaping the future workforce across health and social care and collaboration.

The University has a history of working with health and social care providers across the UK and overseas. Researchers in the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care have internationally leading expertise across a range of pathways, working with service users and carers to influence, design and evaluate research impact and deliver outcomes in co-production with partners.

As a University, we couldn’t be more proud of our close working relationships with our NHS partners and we’re very keen to put people, families and communities at the very heart of what we do.

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

One University partner that captures this vision is Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, a leading provider of community and mental health services which serves a population of 1.3 million across six boroughs across Greater Manchester, delivering the best care to patients, people and families in local communities.

The partnership brings together academic and clinical professionals, to apply research to clinical practice and catalyse innovations. Together they will deliver excellence in research, innovation, workforce development and education to promote a progressive mental health and community wellbeing agenda.

The joint venture ensures that the workforce is equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and qualifications needed to deliver healthcare excellence in primary and secondary care across Greater Manchester. Despite being a new partnership, a number of projects have already started which highlight the commitment to ensure improved health outcomes within mental health and community settings.

Nuffield Health

Another partner of Manchester Metropolitan University is Nuffield Health, one of the leading not-for-profit UK healthcare organisations.

The University’s academic community and capability in nursing and allied health education and practice, alongside Nuffield Health’s experience and expertise in relation to health promotion and healthcare delivery, offers a unique opportunity.

The aim is to develop a reforming Health and Wellbeing Partnership in Manchester, with healthcare research development and innovation in one central location at the heart of the health and social care devolution project.

So far, the partnership has collaborated across a range of national priority areas including health promotion and disease prevention, rehabilitation, healthy ageing, lifestyle and behaviour change, and workplace health.

Individuals are becoming more and more concerned with their own health. At present, healthcare takes a “one size fits all” approach – leading to professionals exploring new ways to address individual differences.

Health risk assessments have been used in the corporate environment as a method to gauge employee wellbeing, including at Nuffield, where employees are given a snapshot of their health, to varying degrees dependent on the assessment that is being undertaken.

Research undertaken by Danielle Burns in the Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Manchester Metropolitan will use psychometrics to distinguish the mental toughness of employees which will, in turn, help Nuffield identify how an individual prefers to receive information, ahead of the health risk assessments.

Professor Alison Chambers will be a panelist during the Developing Successful Partnerships in Healthcare event on 5 September, which takes place during NHS Expo 2019 in Manchester. Book your place here

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