The Northern Health Science Alliance is delighted to welcome the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy as a key driver for the health and wealth of the country.
We, and our counterparts across the country, have had the opportunity to feed into the strategy as formal members of Sir John Bell’s Life Sciences Strategy Advisory Board for the past eight months and it is gratifying to see our contribution articulated in the strategy.
A new strategy is timely, the 2011 Life Sciences Strategy was a good starting point to help capitalise on the opportunities offered by this important sector but disproportionately favoured certain regions in the UK, something we hope to see readdressed by this document.
Currently the sector suffers from a number of uncertainties, for example around Brexit and bodies like the European Medical Agency looking to leave the UK, and this strategy goes some way to put the UK on the front foot.
UK Life Science Strategy Commitments
The creation of a handful of data driven innovation hubs is something the North is very well-placed to deliver on, and in fact is already delivering on with its Health North: Connected Health Cities (CHC) programme which ties together health, care and civic data across the North.
The focus and recognition of the importance of clusters and ‘place’ as drivers of delivery and growth is also encouraging. The North is acknowledged as a rapidly developing clinical and health research cluster and we hope that with this recognition in the strategy we can secure the continued growth of our already thriving health economy.
The North leads on clinical research and the commitment in the strategy to further develop the UK’s clinical research infrastructure is an opportunity that the North can capitalise on through our highly collaborative network of Clinical Research Networks.
Health and wealth is inextricably linked and the North, as recent analysis in the BMJ by CHC architect Professor Iain Buchan demonstrates, suffers disproportionately to the South in terms of health outcomes with Northerners nearly 20% more likely to die early than there Southern counterparts.
The Life Sciences Strategy will ultimately be judged on its industrial capabilities but also its impact on health inequalities. The strategy needs to be part of a long term commitment to address these inequalities as well as supporting the long-term strength of the sector and the UK as a whole.
For any more information contact Hannah Davies, Communications Manager at the NHSA hannah.davies@theNHSA.co.uk, 07342882383