Many other health partnerships are focussed on clinical research, but the model we have in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is different. We cover not only clinical and biomedical research, but also public and population health, and primary care. We do not focus solely on illness: we also address lifelong health and how to prevent illness in the first place.
In recognition of our academic excellence and expertise in these areas, Bristol Health Partners was made an Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) on 1 April 2020 by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), NHS England and NHS Improvement. We are one of only eight AHSCs in the UK. The others are:
"AHSCs are regional partnerships bringing together expertise from universities and NHS organisations. Working with local partners including local authorities and industry, they improve health and care services by translating early scientific research and discoveries into benefits for individual patients and local and national populations."NHS England
Working with our Integrated Care System
We were the first AHSC in England to develop a fully integrated relationship with its Integrated Care System (ICS). We provide the Research and Innovation Steering Group for Healthier Together, which is our local ICS.
We work with the Healthier Together ICS to prevent illness and disease, join up services more effectively and better integrate research with innovation to ensure that people living in our area benefit from the best available evidence. We review ICS programmes, identify current and potential research and innovation connections, and help to establish new relationships between research experts, those making decisions about services, and people with lived experience of using those services. How we work together has been recognised as an example of best practice in the NHS’s recent guidance for integrated care systems.
Our relationship with our ICS has been recognised by NHS England as an example We have reviewed ICS programmes, identified current – and potential – research and innovation connections, and begun to establish new connections between research experts and those making decisions about our health and care services. We were pleased to see our efforts recognised as an example of best practice in the NHS’s recent guidance for integrated care systems.
AHSC designation and funding
Being associated with an AHSC can be helpful when applying for funding to support health and care projects and activities. If you want to include information about Bristol Health Partners AHSC in funding applications, we have developed some suggested text for:
Find out more
For any questions or further information about our Academic Health Science Centre status, please contact us.