Three key themes have been set out by Bristol Health Partners Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) for the next 12-24 months as the Partnership continues to work collaboratively across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire’s (BNSSG) health and care providers, local authorities, academia and the community sector.
The three key themes are:
“We have selected these initial priority areas for our AHSC because the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for co-ordinated and creative action across these themes in the BNSSG integrated care system (ICS). By using the unique opportunities and reach we have as an AHSC, we will ensure excellent system-wide working and a truly integrated approach to tackling the local challenges within these themes,” said Robert Woolley, Chair of Bristol Health Partners AHSC and Executive Co-Lead for the BNSSG Integrated Care System (ICS).
David Wynick, Director of Bristol Health Partners AHSC said: “Through the work of our Health Integration Teams (HITs), there is already progress on improving support for professionals working with children and young people using trauma informed practice, reviewing how service changes due to COVID-19 have impacted patients across areas of chronic pain, dementia and incontinence and addressing HIV infections and stigma in the African and Caribbean communities in Bristol.”
David added: “In addition to continuing the work undertaken by our HITs, we will also work with our partners and those from across our network in the coming months on opportunities to address these crucial themes. Opportunities such as the Bristol Poverty Institute Annual Conference where we will be co-leading a workshop on 28 April on the topic of mental health and the local welfare system.”
Since Bristol Health Partners was designated as an AHSC in April 2020, the Partnership has welcomed several new organisations as members: Sirona, NHS Blood & Transplant, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council. With the onboarding of the new partners, the AHSC has already began its work under a new four-year collaboration agreement since the beginning of this month.
The new agreement also sees funding contributions from across a wider number of AHSC partners.
“Our AHSC designation and resulting membership of the national network, provides additional opportunities for us to accelerate the translation of innovative research into patient and public benefit. We do this both through collaborative cross-AHSC projects and connecting with health policymakers. For example, we have recently contributed to a combined AHSC response on the importance of embedding research in our ICS and the rules that will govern how they work,” said David.
Further updates on Bristol Health Partners AHSC will be available at the virtual annual conference taking place in October 2021.