The Oxford Academic Health Partners (OAHP) is delighted to have been designated as an NIHR/NHSE/I Academic Health Science Centre following the recent competitive designation process. The designation comes into effect from 1 April 2020 and is for an initial period of five years. The OAHP includes Oxford Health NHS FT, Oxford University Hospitals NHS FT, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford, who have been working closely together for the last six years in key areas including clinical research, multi-disciplinary education and healthcare innovations supporting the local needs and identified priorities. OAHP’s vision is to respond to major challenges facing healthcare such as healthy ageing, multimorbidity and mental health, antimicrobial resistance and the best use of digital tools to improve care and patient self-management.
The OAHP is currently focusing their staff, facilities and expertise to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, and using the close collaborations between the partners to make rapid progress in areas such as clinical trials of new treatments for COVID-19 patients in the NHS. Daily examples of the excellent work and progress in this area can be seen across the media, with partners joining colleagues across the UK and beyond.
Professor Sir John Bell, Chairman of the OAHP said: “the strength of the partners and our plans are clear in all aspects of our work and our commitment to improve every aspect of patient care, research, innovation, education and training in ways that will benefit the changing NHS and its patients as a whole.”
Professor Keith Channon, Director of the OAHP, said: “This success reflects very strong working relationships between the Partners and the intention is now to deliver even more for current challenges, ongoing patient care, and in teaching, education and training and research and innovation.”
“Each partner has its own special set of skills and areas of expertise and together the OAHP can bring these together and work not only across Oxfordshire but regionally and nationally.”
Professor Linda King, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Global Partnerships at Oxford Brookes University said: “The AHSC designation is fantastic news for the health community in Oxford and demonstrates the collaborative strength of the partners in world-class research, education and healthcare.”
Stuart Bell CBE, Chief Executive of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Through the Oxford Academic Health Partners we are able to bring together world-leading research across mental and physical health, informed by our hard-working clinicians and the needs of our patients today and in future. This is very welcome news for all concerned.”
Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals said:
“This partnership is one of Oxford’s main strengths in the field of research and teaching; to have two specialist NHS Trusts and two leading universities working so closely together, supported by the Oxford Academic Health Science Network, the local NIHR infrastructure, including two Biomedical Research Centres, and a vibrant commercial life sciences environment, affords Oxford a significant national reach and impact.
“It is also good news for patients in Oxford and the Thames Valley area, who often have access to the latest innovative diagnostic methods and treatments before they become available more widely and benefit all NHS patients.”
A launch event will be held later this year at which the work of the OAHP will be explained in more detail.