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13 December 2018

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The Connected Health Cities (CHC) programme, led in the North West Coast by the Innovation Agency, has been named Healthcare Project of the Year at the 2018 Bionow Awards.

The prestigious award recognises CHC’s innovative use of technology and NHS data - advancing research and improving health services across the North of England.

Each of CHC’s 19 projects link data from a variety of sources. The data is used to understand how patients move around their local health and social care services, providing big picture insights that were previously unavailable to NHS decision makers. 

This creates a ‘learning health system’ which allows research teams to design more streamlined and efficient services, improving care for the benefit of patients. The information also enables care providers to better plan, deliver and evaluate their work. 

Led by the Northern Health Science Alliance, the CHC programme is funded by the Department of Health and is divided into four regions – North West Coast, Greater Manchester, Yorkshire and Humber; and North East and North Cumbria.

In the North West Coast, the CHC collaborative partnership is led by the Innovation Agency with the University of Liverpool, Lancaster University and Aimes secure data centre.

The North West Coast focus is on creating learning health systems to support front line staff to improve pathways for reducing emergency admissions in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), epilepsy and alcoholic liver disease.

Innovation Agency Chief Executive Dr Liz Mear said: “We are very proud of the great strides made by our Connected Health Cities team, delivering valuable insights into how data can be used to improve the way services are delivered – targeting resources where they are most needed.

“I believe this work lays the foundations for a new way of planning services, analysing the needs and patterns of illness within our population before designing care pathways. I am absolutely delighted that CHC has been recognised with this prestigious award.”

CHC’s Chief Operating Officer Dr Amanda Lamb who received the award said: “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the many people and organisations that have dedicated themselves to the delivery of the CHC vision.

“Thanks to them we have been able to treat children with asthma at home rather than in hospital; coordinate better care for those with fragility or for vulnerable families; to better plan services for people with COPD, liver disorders and epilepsy; to save lives and reduce disability after a stroke; and to produce tools that can help us to tackle antibiotic usage.”

Richard Deed, Technology Director at award sponsors Trustech said: “The key element in selecting the winner was that through bringing together a complex number of partners and organisations, the project has been able to harness and make use of clinical data.

“It is a project of magnitude and truly connects the North. The project is able to identify healthcare improvement opportunities and is currently applying this to 20 care pathways including alcohol misuse, COPD and, stroke and childhood obesity. The immediate challenge now for CHC is to sustain its activity and to continue to deliver patient benefit by harnessing the power of data for other clinical applications.”

To find out more about the work of Connected Health Cities please visit www.connectedhealthcities.org connect on Twitter (@CHCNorth) or search the hashtag #DataSavesLives.

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