Imperial College London

Imperial named Academic Health Science Centre

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First 18 months shows new approach can transform patient outcomes <em>- News Release </em>

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Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare News Release

For immediate release
Monday 9 March 2009

Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust today welcomed the Department of Health’s formal designation of their partnership as an Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC).

AHSC status has been awarded to just five partnerships in the UK, and designation signals international excellence in biomedical research, education and patient care. The prestigious AHSC status was awarded after a rigorous six-month review process led by an all-international scrutiny panel of medical experts.

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Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London have been working together as an AHSC since October 2007 following the merger of Hammersmith and St Mary’s NHS Trusts and the new Trust’s integration with Imperial College London.

Professor Stephen Smith, who holds the joint appointment of Chief Executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, said that the AHSC’s performance during its first 18 months clearly illustrated the benefits of bringing healthcare services, research and education together under single leadership.

“We have passionately believed in this approach for a long time and today’s announcement confirms our vision for the AHSC which is already bringing great benefit to patients.

“During our first 18 months as an AHSC, we have achieved the lowest standardised mortality rates in the country of any multispecialty NHS Trust, developed and introduced a new test that can diagnose TB more accurately than ever before and pioneered the use of robotic technology to treat complex aneurysms, previously considered too high risk to operate on. The benefits for patients could not be clearer.”

“We are determined that patients will continue to reap the benefits of this ground-breaking initiative and we will work in partnership with patients, academics, clinicians and other healthcare providers to ensure that the UK is delivering integrated research and healthcare that is truly world class.”

Rector of Imperial College London, Sir Roy Anderson said:

”I’m delighted that our AHSC partnership has been formally recognised by our international peers for the world-class quality of its research, education and patient care. Winning formal AHSC status is testament to the leadership and vision of our principal and chief executive, Professor Stephen Smith, and the determination and passion of so many people across the AHSC who have worked hard to turn this vision into a reality. We can be proud of our successes achieved in the first 18 months, and look forward to making many more advances in healthcare that will directly benefit our patients.”

Chairman of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Lord Tugendhat said:

“We are delighted to be recognised as an AHSC. This approach is recognised internationally as delivering better healthcare outcomes and it is excellent news for local people and the UK as a whole that it has been adopted here. Patients will have access to the latest, cutting edge treatments and we will work our with NHS partners to ensure that the benefits are disseminated to the whole population. I congratulate Professor Stephen Smith and everyone involved in this exciting, innovative project, which was of course the first of its kind in the UK.”

Since the AHSC’s creation, it has achieved a number of firsts:

  • Achieved the lowest standardised mortality rates in the country of any multispecialty NHS Trust
  • Launched the largest community-based preventative cardiology programme in the countrywith its partner NHS Westminster
  • Developed and put into practice a new test that can diagnose TB more accurately than ever before
  • Been the first in the UK to roll out the World Health Organisation’s surgical safety checklist which was proven to reduce complications and inpatient deaths. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust was the only European pilot site for this study.
  • Pioneered the use of robotic technology to treat complex aneurysms, previously considered too high risk to operate on.
  • Opened an implant retrieval centre to systematically evaluate why some hip replacements fail and to devise new solutions to this problem.
  • Pioneered new robotic surgery techniques to carry out precision knee replacement surgery
  • Opened a new clinical trials unit to carry out research into the causes of arthritic disorders
  • Undertaken a ground breaking gene therapy trial which has the potential to give Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy sufferers the chance to preserve muscle function
  • Opened a new clinical research facility dedicated to tackling liver disease, the fifth most common cause of death in the UK.
  • Formed new Clinical Programme Groups, integrating the delivery and management of education, research and patient care in the AHSC

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For more information please contact:

Rory Hegarty/Cymbeline Moore
The Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Press Office
Telephone: 020 8383 3005
Email: cymbeline.moore@imperial.nhs.uk

Laura Gallagher
Imperial College London Press Office
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7594 8432
Mob: +44 (0)7803 886 248
Email: l.gallagher@imperial.ac.uk

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