Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health, visited Bristol on 26 November to launch the National Institute of Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (NIHR CLAHRC West). She also gave the inaugural Elizabeth Blackwell Institute public lecture, and heard from University of Bristol researchers on their work on combating key public health issues.
The CLAHRC West launch was attended by more than 120 researchers, clinicians, public health and third sector representatives, who heard from a broad range of speakers, including CLAHRC West Director Jenny Donovan, Mark Pietroni, Director of Public Health at South Gloucestershire Council, Robert Woolley, Chief Executive of University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Andrea Young, Chief Executive of North Bristol Trust, Steve West, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of England, Ulrike Harrower from Public Health England, and Martin Jones, Chair of Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group.
At the launch, Dame Sally said: "From what I've seen already, you've absolutely got the point of the CLAHRCs. We designed this idea of collaborations for leadership in applied research and care…to bridge that gap between research and the NHS, research and care services, research and public health practice, bringing academia and delivery together. And patients and their carers clearly have to be bang in the middle of that… We all know that it takes far too long for science to get into practice, and this is one of the ways NIHR wants to help that happen. We believe that doing it locally, within the AHSN (Academic Health Science Network) boundaries, you have the opportunity to make a big difference. You wouldn't have won it if you didn't do high quality research. And we do expect - and with Jenny as the leader I know it will be - the highest quality of research."
Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of England, Steve West said: "Let's grab hold of this opportunity with both hands. Let's not let it slip through our fingers, let's not look back in five years' time and wonder 'what was that all about?'. Let's make a difference. Let's make sure that we are the best. The best in terms of identifying evidence base, to inform our decision making, to make sure that we're delivering excellent care. And then I think we can shout out about that across the globe. Because there's no doubt in my mind that we're doing some really interesting things. Sometimes we don't scream about it, sometimes it's not seen, let's make sure it's seen and let's use the CLAHRC to best effect."
Jenny Donovan said: "I am delighted that Dame Sally was able to join us during our launch event and formally open the CLAHRC West. This is a remarkable opportunity to find out the best ways to improve the health and well-being of people in the West, and work collaboratively with our partners to deliver those improvements. The launch event showed what a tremendous amount of work has already happened, and I shall look forward to CLAHRC West taking forward the challenge that Dame Sally, and all those who were kind enough to participate in the event, have laid down for us."
The presentation slides for each speaker are available on the links below, with videos for each available on the CLAHRC West launch playlist on YouTube.
Jenny Donovan, Director of NIHR CLAHRC West: Overview of the NIHR CLAHRC West
David Wynick, Director of Research and Innovation: Collaboration and integration across the West
Richard Martin, ReachWest research lead: ReachWest: research participation across the West
The 'Big Ideas' sessions, workshops focusing on different big issues spanning health research, public health and service redesign (no videos area available for these sessions)
David Evans, Professor of Health Services Research and patient representative Cathy Rice: Co-ordinated patient and public involvement (PPI) in the West
David Relph, Director Bristol Health Partners: Health Integration Teams (HITs) in action
Salena Williams, Senior Lead Nurse, and David Gunnell, Professor of Epidemiology: Improving Care in Self Harm (STITCH) HIT
Ashley Blom, Professor of Orthopaedic surgery: Musculoskeletal HIT
Matthew Hickman, Professor of Public Health: Addictions HIT
Sarah Purdy, Professor of Primary Care: Avoidable Hospital Admissions HIT