Annual Review 2021-22

From attracting significant research funding to the region to providing patients and the public the opportunity to have a say in the design of health and care services, Bristol Health Partners and our Health Integration Teams have achieved a huge amount in 2021-22.

Enabling new research funding

Our HITs have helped to secure more than £10 million in research funding, more than in any previous year. Read about our research funding success.

Contributing to service improvement

Thanks to our HITs, more than £4.8 million will be invested in projects to improve health and care services in the region. Read about our service change funding success.

Older people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) will be supported better as a result of several new HIT-co-ordinated projects awarded NHS Ageing Well funding from BNSSG Healthier Together. Dementia HIT and Active Lives HIT activities will address gaps in support for people with dementia and embed prevention in care pathways through physical activity.

In February 2022, BNSSG Clinical Commissioning Group agreed recommendations to reorganise and improve the area’s stroke services. The Stroke HIT’s public contributors were involved in shaping and designing these services, alongside other stroke survivors.

Embedding patient and public involvement

Eleven of our HITs now have public contributors with lived experience embedded within their leadership teams.

Two public contributors now sit on our new Research and Innovation Steering Group, with a further two on the Bristol Health Partners Board.

Lived experience contributors from our Kidney Disease, Eating Disorders and Drug and Alcohol HIT played a lead role in our conference, sharing their powerful stories about mental health challenges with delegates.

Communicating and engaging

Our Conference event programme took place online between 12 and 21 October 2021. Events were attended by academics, clinicians, commissioners and others from organisations across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Highlights:

  • 111 people attended the main conference event, which focussed on our first full year as an Academic Health Science Centre.
  • 79 representatives from our HITs attended the HIT Conversations session, identifying opportunities to work together and discussing how best to collaborate with diverse communities and the Integrated Care System.

HIT directors, including public contributors, represented Bristol Health Partners in regional TV and radio coverage throughout the year. Topics covered included an app to support people with bladder and bowel conditions, changes to the region’s stroke services and early diagnosis of dementia.

Active Lives HIT supported an inspiring outdoor photography exhibition on Bristol’s College Green to spark conversations about the importance of being physically active in later life.

Enabling region-wide work

Adversity and Trauma HIT secured a commitment from the Healthier Together Partnership – which covers Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire – to being trauma informed.

Training materials to help GPs manage people who present with mental and emotional health issues, are now available on REMEDY, one of the most widely used online GP resources across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Work was initiated and co-ordinated by our Improving Care in Self-harm (STITCH) HIT.

Bristol Immunisation Group HIT has supported regional work on vaccine hesitancy, building on their research about adolescent consent. The team’s partnership working and research has paved the way for a self-consent approach to become standard across the South West, resulting in increased vaccine uptake.

Influencing beyond our region

Research involving our Sexual Health Improvement (SHIP) HIT found that few UK online sexually transmitted infection test services meet national standards. Their findings, and their work with the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV to encourage policy-makers to make online STI testing safer, was covered in national media in 2022.

Our Eating Disorders HIT teamed up with researchers at Loughborough University and UK charity Beat to create an animated video that explores how social media affects people with an eating disorder..

Bristol Health Partners’ SHINE HIT is disseminating relevant national and international evidence on supporting healthier neighbourhoods through a partnership with the Cities & Health journal.

Training developed by Bristol Health Partners, People in Health West of England and ThisEquals Ltd for patient and public contributors about digital health and use of data is being used by OpenSAFELY. This is a highly secure, transparent, open-source software platform for analysis of electronic health records data, which is referenced in the Government’s NHS Data Strategy.


Foreword from our Chair

Our new Chair Maria Kane looks back on a year with Bristol Health Partners.

Director's reflections

Our Academic Health Science Centre Director, Professor David Wynick, reflects on the year.

Research funding

Securing funding for research that will inform our region’s health and care services.