In response to the recent announcement by the Department of Health to create 'Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs)', the North East and North Cumbria have submitted an application to become an AHSN.
A collaboration of 34 partner organisations forms the North East Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC) and is part of an £11 million initiative launched by the Department of Health in 2009. The emergence of HIECs resulted from the outcomes of Lord Darzi’s Review (Department of Health, High Quality Care For All, 2008) where the focus was on high quality healthcare and delivering care as people want it. Innovation was cited to be a key driver for the continual improvement of healthcare services.
HIEC NE is one of 17 HIECs nationwide, each being selected by an independent panel and comprised of cross sector partnerships between NHS organisations (primary, secondary and tertiary care), the higher education sector (universities and colleges), industry (healthcare and non-healthcare industries) and other public and private sector organisations.
The purpose of the HIECs is to deliver high quality patient care through better trained clinicians and to accelerate the translation and adoption of research and innovation. HIECs draw on the wealth of skills and experience of their partners to improve the development of high quality care and services by quickly bringing the benefits of research and innovation directly to patients.
HIEC NE commenced activities 1st April 2010 and is currently hosted by RTC North Limited based in Sunderland. HIEC NE has an Executive Board and Advisory Board made up of senior professionals across health, education and industry.