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Birmingham Health Partners announces theme leads to drive strategy

The second city’s clinical-academic alliance, Birmingham Health Partners, has appointed three strategic theme leads to support the implementation of its new five-year mission: to work together, transforming Birmingham’s healthcare through high impact innovation.

Taking the new role of Health Inequalities Lead, Dr Joht Singh Chandan is a Clinical Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Birmingham where his research focuses on identifying and addressing health inequalities – with a particular interest in abuse and violence prevention inspired by many years of working as a voluntary police officer.

As the UK’s third-poorest city, with a diverse ethnic profile and socioeconomic demographics, Birmingham experiences significant health disparities. Joht will develop a detailed action plan for improving population health in the city, underpinned by his experience of issues that impact widely on health and wellbeing; factors that prevent early detection; and barriers to accessing healthcare.

Joht said: “We shouldn’t see reducing health inequality as just the responsibility of public health bodies. The determinants of inequality are so interlinked that not only can we not tackle issues in isolation, we can’t tackle them as one institution. Working across the partnership and linking health data platforms, we’ll be able to work in a much more representative and inclusive way to improve physical and mental health outcomes for our local communities.”

Tasked with optimising data integration across the partnership, Professor Simon Ball has been appointed Academic Lead for Data. A Consultant Nephrologist, Simon has had various roles in developing electronic health care records and using data to improve patient care and support research. His other roles currently include Associate Director for the Midlands Health Data Research UK and Senior Responsible Officer for the West Midlands Secure Data Environment (WMSDE).

Simon said: “NHS Trusts in Birmingham were among the first to adopt electronic health records systems, meaning we have access to a wealth of data – including blood tests, scans and biopsies – spanning several decades. This can provide valuable insight into an array of diseases, health conditions and care pathways – but only if it is integrated. Working together, BHP and the WMSDE can ensure our data is analysed, learnt from and used to optimise healthcare across our region.”

Leading the ‘Reducing Bureaucracy in Clinical Trials’ programme is Amy Smith, an experienced Senior Programme Lead with considerable experience in clinical trials across multiple BHP NHS Trusts and NIHR infrastructure. The programme responds to the challenges identified by Professor Adam Tickell and Lord O’Shaughnessy, ensuring patients in Birmingham get access to clinical trials more quickly. 

Amy said: “I am very proud to be leading this exciting project which showcases BHP as a leader in clinical trials.  Through trust, transparency, and collaboration we will harness the extensive knowledge and expertise within BHP, delivering improved setup times. Ultimately our aim is to make trials accessible to a diverse range of patients, quicker – increasing our attractiveness to funders and industry partners.”