Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC)
The UCLPartners AHSC harnesses world-class academic and clinical specialty expertise to accelerate the development of new treatments, diagnostics and prevention strategies to transform the health of the population.
The UCLPartners AHSC is one of six accredited AHSCs in England and is the largest in Europe. The role of AHSC – awarded in recognition of depth and breadth of clinical and academic excellence – was originally granted in 2009 and was renewed for a further five years in April 2014. Over this period, we have sought to set a new benchmark for what can be achieved through academic and clinical partnership, by harnessing strengths and aligning resources from across our eight partner organisations to drive world-class research, translation, care and education.
The AHSC is the cornerstone of UCLPartners’ work in discovery science. The people and organisations involved in the AHSC work closely with the wider partnership, the NIHR Clinical Research Network North Thames and the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) to increase the rate at which new discoveries are available across the health system. By working together, the AHSC is able to support a population of six million people and over 40 health, social care and academic organisations. We believe this is the best way to ensure diffusion of innovation and best practice across our region, and to ensure that the focus of our academic efforts is grounded in those health issues of greatest concern to our clinical services and citizens.
The role of our Academic Health Science Centre is to:
- Increase strategic alignment of research, health education and patient care
- Improve health and healthcare delivery, including through increased translation of discoveries from basic science into benefits for patients
- Drive economic growth
UCLPartners Academic Medical Centres (AMCs)
We have developed an ambitious future strategy focused on six specialist programmes – or Academic Medical Centres – to achieve our aims.
The six AMCs build on the existing highly successful integration of the specialist hospitals and postgraduate medical institutes:
- Cancer based at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH)
- Cardiovascular based at the new Barts Heart Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital
- Child health based at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
- Eyes and vision based at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Infection, immunology and inflammation based at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and the joint institute in infection research, the Bloomsbury Research Institute, between UCL and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- Neuroscience based at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH
All six programmes relate closely to a NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) or BRC programme. The BRCs provide critical mass and resource from which to enable the AMC translational strategies. During 2016/17, we will support the NIHR BRCs within the UCLPartners partnership in their applications for re-accreditation, and will encourage alignment and shared best practice across our portfolio.
The AMCs are supported by two cross-cutting domains within the AHSC, which are integrated into all the programmes:
- Personalised medicine: a cross-disciplinary community that harnesses the breadth and depth of relevant research across UCLPartners, and supports the delivery of innovative patient-targeted medicines and therapies
- Populations and lifelong health: to improve synergy across the numerous population and clinical cohorts across UCLPartners
- Informatics: supporting adoption of health informatics to drive service improvement as well as research and its translation
To ensure we work as an integrated whole, UCLPartners provides an integrated platform for engagement, research coordination, platform-sharing, informatics and knowledge exploitation processes.
About Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs)
AHSCs emerged from a commitment by the Department of Health to speed up the adoption of medical advances by mainstream clinical practice, which currently takes an average of 17 years. The model seeks to build on and develop effective alliances between world-class academia and health services. AHSCs are well established in the United States, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands and Singapore, as well as in the UK. They have demonstrated the profound role played by cutting-edge research and teaching in driving innovation in healthcare.
UCLPartners AHSC members
UCLPartners’ AHSC is distinct from other AHSCs – which are often a partnership of a single hospital and university – because we bring together a cluster of world-class specialist institutions to deliver world-class clinical, research and educational outcomes. Our AHSC combines the expertise of five hospitals and three universities located within a three mile radius, to focus on selected specialist programmes.
Higher education institutions:
- Barts Health NHS Trust
- Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
- Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
- University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- AHSC UCLPartners AHSC champions 4P Medicine 2014
- UCLPartners AHSC annual report 2015/16
- UCLPartners AHSC annual report 2014/15
- AHSC Application 2013: UCLPartners AHSC
Other Academic Health Science Centres in England: