The North of England has a heritage in applied health sciences. Based on this heritage and wealth of expertise in health data, the NHSA approached the UK Government with a bold plan for a project called Health North. In March 2015, the NHSA was asked by the UK Government to deliver the first phase of Health North, Connected Health Cities to unlock healthcare innovations in the English regions with the greatest health challenges
The NHSA worked with its members, the universities, teaching hospitals and academic health science networks to lead a single pan-regional bid to government for funding for an innovative approach to applied health research. The NHSA led on the formation of the business case that secured funding for the first stage of the project.
It was announced in the 2015 Budget that £20m would be put into the development of Health North: Connected Health Cities. The project is being delivered across the North where four regions are working together through a regional coordinating centre with the aim of transforming healthcare by assembling data, experts and technology in secure data facilities. These projects will generate new information that shapes health and social services to deliver better outcomes for patients and communities. This information-intensive project will feed back insight directly to NHS practitioners, service managers, commissioners, public health professionals, local authority planners, researchers and policy makers to identify variations in patient and population needs. Projects have now been put in place and work has begun on the launch projects.