Reflections from Director David Wynick

Professor David Wynick, Director of Bristol Health Partners Academic Health Science Centre, reflects on 2020-21.

Our commitment to tackling health priorities is undimmed

In what has been an enormously challenging year, our commitment to tackling health priorities across our region has been undimmed.

The pandemic has changed the health and care landscape almost beyond recognition, prompting our Heath Integration Teams (HITs) to review how service changes due to COVID-19 have impacted patients across dementia, chronic pain and continence. Some have already reported what they have found, and others are awaiting results: this evidence could reshape how services are delivered post-pandemic and ensure that good working practices which have emerged are retained. Find out more about Bristol Health Partners’ COVID-19 response.

Amongst the turbulence of 2020-21, the launch of Common Ambition – an initiative to address HIV infections and stigma in Bristol’s African and Caribbean heritage communities – was a standout moment. It marks a significant step towards improving health inequalities in our city, by involving from the outset those communities who will benefit. Our Sexual Health Improvement Programme (SHIP) HIT has been central to getting this exciting project off the ground.

Work to redesign the BNSSG stroke care pathway has entered a crucial phase. Our Stroke HIT and the BNSSG Stroke Programme Board are integral to each other, with complementary workstreams. B

I am also pleased to see further progress on improving support for professionals working with children and young people, families and adults, using trauma informed practice. This work speaks to our three priority themes as an Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC): to address mental health, health inequalities, and the health of children and young people.

Our AHSC designation builds upon our track record in research, innovation, education and training, and recognises the outstanding local collaborations between academia, public health, the NHS, social care and the voluntary and community sector that we have created across BNSSG. We have already seen an increase in opportunities to leverage additional external funds into the region, along with other benefits, as a result of this designation. We are excited to be working closely with colleagues to ensure the academic research, implementation and evaluation activities we undertake through our HITs, and more widely, are embedded within the Healthier Together Integrated Care System and support its work.

Professor David Wynick