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Expanded membership signifies ambition for Birmingham Health Partners

The second city’s University-NHS partnership Birmingham Health Partners (BHP) has expanded its membership by welcoming Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) on board, joining the University of Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BWC), and West Midlands Academic Health Sciences Network (WMAHSN).

SWBH’s inclusion extends BHP’s research and education capabilities, and builds on many years of successful collaboration between the Trust and BHP members, working on studies and trials in specialties as diverse as cancer immunotherapy, rheumatology and heart disease. The Trust provides acute hospitals and community healthcare services to a population of around 500,000 people across Sandwell, City and Rowley Regis Hospitals, as well as operates the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, the regional Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre, and is the regional base for the National Poisons Information Service. It is also currently developing the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, which will provide acute care services when it opens.

The news also follows publication of a joint report from BHP, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) which showcased the huge potential of the West Midlands’ life science ecosystem and recommended a joined-up approach to regional leadership and collaboration, in order to tackle the specific health burdens of the West Midlands and beyond.

BHP Director Professor David Adams, who is Head of the University of Birmingham’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences, explained: “Our city and region is home to a concentration of multidisciplinary health and life sciences excellence, and has the potential to strengthen the UK’s position as a world leader in the sector. This can only happen if we work inclusively and collaboratively across the Midlands. With a strong track record of research partnership between BHP’s founder-members and SWBH already in place, it is a natural next step to bring the Trust on board as a full member – demonstrating BHP’s regional leadership, commitment to delivering on our recommendations, and dedication to improving the health of our diverse population.”

Professor David Carruthers, Medical Director of SWBH, commented: “We are delighted to be part of BHP and contribute to the development of research in the West Midlands. This will build on the strong track record that SWBH has in delivering research that involves and is relevant to our patients. This partnership will reinforce our commitment to the development of our staff as well as improving the health of our local population through high quality research opportunities.”

BHP is committed to achieving health and economic impact through harnessing the combined strength and expertise of its members.