Imperial College London

Hospitals and university join forces to create ground-breaking NHS Trust

Hospitals and Imperial

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust launches today - <em>News Release</em>

Imperial College London and Imperal College Healthcare NHS Trust News Release

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Faculty of Medicine

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Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Academic Health Science Centre

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Under embargo for
Monday 1 October 2007

The UK's largest NHS Trust – Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust - launches today (1 October) through the merger of two of the country's best hospitals and integration with a world-class university.

Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and St Mary's NHS Trust have come together with Imperial College London to form the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre.

Made up of five hospitals – Charing Cross, Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea, Hammersmith, St Mary's and the Western Eye – and integrating with Imperial College London, the new Trust has an annual turnover of £760 million and employs 9,700 staff. Offering more than 50 clinical specialities, from conception to end of life care, the new organisation has one of the largest portfolios of services in the country and expects to treat more than one million patients a year.

An Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) integrates healthcare services with teaching and research, at a level never seen before within the UK. In a groundbreaking move for the NHS, the Principal of the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College London has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the new Trust in addition to his current role.

This approach – formally integrating the management structure of hospitals with medical education and research institutes – exists in other parts of the world and is a proven factor in offering the world's best healthcare, including the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA.

Professor Stephen Smith, currently Principal of the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College London, has been appointed Chief Executive and Principal of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Lord Tugendhat has been appointed chair of the new organisation and a transitional executive management board is also in place from 1 October.

Collectively the three organisations already have a world-leading reputation. Hammersmith and St Mary's have two of the highest clinical ratings in the country, rated second and third best Trusts for clinical performance, quality of care and safety. Imperial is ranked fourth in the world for biomedical research in the Times Higher Education Supplement World University Rankings.

To mark the launch of the new organisation Chief Executive and Principal Professor Stephen Smith, Chair Lord Tugendhat and Managing Director Mark Davies will visit five sites on 1 October, meeting with staff and students and opening new facilities. This includes the official opening of a new maternity ward at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, a tour of the new facilities within the Accident and Emergency Department of Charing Cross Hospital, welcoming new medical students at South Kensington and visiting St Mary's diabetes clinic to meet with new staff.

Professor Smith said:

"Our fusion of healthcare, research and teaching is breaking down barriers. It's about being clever in two different ways, and being joined up in our approach to them both. We must be good at discoveries and inventions, but then we must be positive and quick at introducing these advances into our healthcare system. Our bottom line is patient outcomes and we will never lose sight of the most important relationship, between our carers and our patients.

"Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is capitalising on a name that is already synonymous with world-leading research and innovation and from today we are looking to provide that same excellence in healthcare."

Lord Tugendhat said:

"This exciting new organisation is breaking new ground. Patients can be assured that by integrating two of the country's best hospitals and a world leading biomedical research university they will have faster access here in west London to the best available treatments and most up to date innovations in the world."

Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College London said:

"We've taken on an exciting challenge in creating a completely new relationship between a university and an NHS Trust, but it is a key step forward in advancing the standard of healthcare in this country.

"The College was founded 100 years ago with the mission to apply its science for the benefit of industry and society. Through the Academic Health Science Centre, Imperial will advance science to create a higher quality of healthcare for patients. We hope all its staff will be inspired to share in this mission of finding and delivering better outcomes to patients."

For more information, photos or details of case studies please contact Acting Head of Communications, Sarah Prestwood T 020 7886 7783

Notes to editors

  • Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and St Mary's NHS Trust have two of the best clinical ratings in the country and were recently rated the second and third best hospitals for clinical performance, quality of care and safety. [Dr Foster Good Hospital Guide 2006 - How healthy is your hospital (April 2007) Last year the two NHS Trusts collectively treated 231,000 patients through A and E and 790,000 outpatients.
  • Imperial College is one of Europe's largest medical research institutions and was recently ranked fourth in the world for biomedical research. [The Times Higher Education Supplement 2006 world university rankings.]
  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and has been ranked the top hospital in the United States for the past 17 years running, according to U.S.News & World Report's annual rankings of "America's Best Hospitals."
  • A public consultation on the creation of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust ran from 1 May to 31 July 2007 with more than 77 per cent of respondents in support of the merger. The Secretary of State gave his official approval in September this year.
  • It is expected that Imperial College would sponsor an application for the AHSC to become an Academic Foundation Trust in 2009. This would be subject to a separate consultation.
  • This proposal did not include any service changes. Any proposals for service change would require separate business cases and impact assessments and would be subject to the statutory consultation and scrutiny requirements.
  • In December 2006, the AHSC partners were selected as one of the UK's 11 Biomedical Research Centres. The award guarantees the partners research funding of £19.5 million per annum for the next five years, and makes the West London BRC the leading centre for the UK. BRCs will be leaders in translating scientific research into benefits for patients.
  • In April 2007, the partnership of St Mary's NHS Trust, The Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trusts and Imperial College London was announced as one of two Research Centres for NHS Patient Safety and Service Quality in the UK. The £4.5 million Research Centre will be based in Imperial College's Biosurgery and Surgical Technology section, at St Mary's Hospital, London.
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