This is a period of significant change for Bristol Health Partners, especially in terms of its leadership. I would like to take this opportunity to formally recognise the fantastic input of our board members, and the amazing personal contributions made by outgoing chair Deborah Evans, Chief Operating Officer Mary Perkins, and Director Peter Mathieson, the chief architect of the partnership as we know it today.
These changes come at a time when the board has made a commitment to fund the partnership for the next five years. So this is an opportunity for Bristol Health Partners to redefine where it wants to position itself, both within the partner organisations, and on a national and international stage. The board has the opportunity to shape the remit for the new director, whoever they may be, and set the agenda for the next five years. We are entering a new phase, and I believe that it is an opportunity to bring new energy and a fresh perspective to what's already been achieved, and build on the foundations that have been laid down.
In November the board agreed to refresh the partnership's strategy and this is an important piece of work to take forward. It raises some interesting questions about our future direction. Bristol Health Partners is unique in that the partner organisations have voluntarily entered into it, and it's funded by the partners rather than by central government. This gives us a tremendous opportunity to deliver our agenda, driven by the priorities of the partner organisations and the needs of the Bristol community.
There is enormous potential in the Bristol health community, and the calibre of health research and education in Bristol is something to be proud of. Bristol Health Partners is a significant vehicle to drive quality, excellence and innovation. Perhaps we have been understated about some of our strengths and achievements in the past. The partnership offers an opportunity to put us on a national and international platform.
We are already making a mark, creating a strong identity and telling the story of our achievements. The Health Integration Teams (HITs) are core to this success. I am looking forward to meeting the leaders of all 13 of our HITs. The teams are working on a great range of interventions that could have a massive impact on the NHS both locally and nationally, including prevention, chronic disease management and the long-term effectiveness of health care interventions. It will be vital to share outcomes and the benefits of the HIT approach as we progress.
Whilst I am new to North Bristol Trust, and have a very full agenda for the coming year, I see Bristol Health Partners as complimentary in building our reputation for excellence and quality care.
I look forward to working with the board and the partner organisations in crystallising our future direction. I am thrilled to be taking up the reins at this time of transition, with the opportunity to continue to achieve our potential and extend our reach.