Birmingham’s expertise lauded in national health data report

Stethoscope and EKG

In the wake of the Prime Minister’s health-focused Industrial Strategy speech, Birmingham Health Partners (BHP) has welcomed the publication of a major report into the UK health data landscape.

The report – Mapping the Landscape of UK Health Data Research and Innovation – has been published by the Medical Research Council to highlight informatics achievement to date and encourage collaboration in the sector.

Highlighting BHP’s strong research capabilities in biomedical and health informatics research, the report also cites its strong links between the University of Birmingham and NHS partners (University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trusts). Working together as BHP, the organisations bring clinical and academic expertise together to translate informatics into relevant treatments, devices and diagnostics.

Aiming to highlight the impact of investment into health data research, the report referenced a number of developments which showcase both the individual and combined health data excellence of the BHP members, including:

  • The University of Birmingham’s status as a founder member of Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) along with the Universities of Leicester, Nottingham and Warwick.
  • UHB’s status as an Global Digital Exemplar, one of 13 Trusts spearheading the NHS’s Digital Revolution
  • A leading role in the nationwide 100,000 Genomes project, which collects and analyses health data to, in the future, treat cancers and rare diseases more effectively through the West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre
  • Qualifications including an MSc in Bioinformatics and MSc in Health Research Methods, as well as extensive CPD and postgraduate certificate courses
  • The Prescribing Information & Communication System (PICS), in use for more than ten years and providing a series of rich datasets available for use in research
  • Recipient of the MRC’s Clinical Infrastructure Award for deep immunophenotyping of patients for molecular study

Prof. Simon Ball, Director of Digital Healthcare at UHB and HDR UK Midlands Site Director, commented: “Health data is high on the news agenda, because its use can improve healthcare delivery to an individual and can support the development of treatments, devices and diagnostic tests.  The benefits of using health data in this way has been clearly identified in the Government’s Industrial Strategy. This report highlights that a significant amount of work is already undertaken across the nation and suggests how we might approach accelerating the translation of these benefits”.

Prof. David Adams, Head of College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Dean of Medicine at the University of Birmingham and Director of BHP, added: “This report makes clear that health data can only be used to its greatest effect if there is strong integration between clinicians, academics and industry. In Birmingham, we achieve this through Birmingham Health Partners. Together we are using health data to accelerate discoveries from the lab to the patient, for the benefit of all.”

As a regional driving force behind the implementation of the government’s life sciences Industrial Strategy, BHP works closely with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, forming the basis of a vibrant health data ecosystem. It also cultivates strong relationships with Global Digital Exemplars in the Midlands to implement health data strategies.

To view the report as a pdf, click here.