Foreword from Chair Andrea Young

Our chair Andrea Young looks back on Bristol Health Partners has achieved in 2019-20. Andrea is also Chief Executive of North Bristol NHS Trust.

Our partnership is nationally recognised

The past year has certainly been one to remember. Despite the recent and continuing challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Partnership has much to celebrate.

The year culminated with our designation as one of only eight Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) in England by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NHS England and NHS Improvement.

This is a fantastic achievement which recognises our success in developing and fostering outstanding local collaborations between the NHS, academia, public health, social care and the voluntary and community sectors across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

As part of this exciting new chapter of Bristol Health Partners, we welcome four new partners: Sirona care & health, North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council and NHS Blood and Transplant. I look forward to continuing our work and strengthening our achievements in health and care research, education, service improvement and innovation.

The Bristol Health Partners AHSC designation is true testament of the impact that our unique Health Integration Team (HIT) model has on improving the health and care of our local communities and I look forward to seeing this model and our wider partnerships develop further, in the coming months and years.

I am also proud to welcome two new HITs to our existing portfolio: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Bladder and Bowel Confidence (BABCON). These two HITs will be carrying out work in two very different and important areas of health and social care.

This year marked the beginning of an unprecedented crisis, one that will continue to affect not only our local health and care system but, infrastructures and all aspects of life on a global scale. There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has created unimaginable challenges for governments and health and care systems but it has also highlighted the importance of our collaborative approach, our ability to rapidly mobilise local expertise and presented opportunities for us to harness the power of the relationships we have fostered. From the rapid mobilisation and creation of the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Bristol to our invaluable research contributions to finding a vaccine, our local coordinated response to COVID-19 is something we should all be proud of.

Although the pandemic is far from over, I have confidence in the strength of our collaborations, established and new, and experience to carry us through whatever challenges lie ahead.