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Fourth NHS member for Birmingham Health Partners extends specialist expertise

Birmingham Health Partners (BHP), the second city’s University-NHS partnership, has further expanded its membership by welcoming the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (ROH) on board – its fourth NHS member. The ROH joins fellow Trusts University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB), Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals as BHP’s NHS members, with the University of Birmingham (UoB) and West Midlands Academic Health Sciences Network (WMAHSN) completing the alliance.

The ROH is one of Europe’s largest specialist orthopaedic units, offering a comprehensive range of treatments including joint replacement, orthopaedic oncology, spinal surgery, as well as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, pain management and a range of musculoskeletal services. Its dynamic portfolio of clinical trials and research programmes includes exploration of advanced therapies to regenerate diseased bone tissue; new prosthetics to restore normal joint function; and new pharmaceutical treatments which reduce the need for invasive surgery and speed up recovery.

It is also a renowned teaching and training trust, hosting students from Birmingham Medical School on placements since 1891, and was already an established collaborative partner of BHP organisations prior to formally joining the alliance. Most recently, a team from the ROH, UoB and the University of Bath identified a new and specific cell population that influences how arthritis affects the body and the levels of pain individual patients experience, paving the way for more precise pain-relieving therapeutics.

BHP Director Professor David Adams, who is Head of UoB’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences, explained: “Birmingham is home to a concentration of leading centres of excellence, and a particular area of expertise – both in patient care and research – is orthopaedics and trauma. UHB hosts the renowned Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and also, in partnership with UoB, the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction Microbiology Research Centre which improves trauma and orthopaedic care and outcomes for patients through translational research built on military, NHS and scientific partnership. Extending the partnership of BHP to the ROH – the longest-established hospital of its kind in the UK – is therefore a natural progression, and all partners are committed to collaborating on research that matters to patients: specifically in areas such as inflammation, arthritis, bone and soft tissue cancer, and trauma.”

Jo Williams, Chief Executive of the ROH, commented: “We’re excited to join BHP because it provides us with an opportunity to collaborate and innovate. As a specialist Trust, ROH is a knowledge leader in orthopaedics, and we look forward to being part of such a distinguished network of peers and the impact this will have in the future.”

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