Newcastle Hospitals is expanding vital research and diagnostic partnerships to strengthen its role at the forefront of advanced clinical trials and innovation.
The trust has received £3 million from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to establish one of 14 HealthTech Research Centres across the country, which will develop and evaluate new innovative technology solutions enabling better diagnosis for people.
In the same week, the Department for Health and Social Care announced the trust will also host one of 12 new NIHR Regional Research Delivery Networks.
The new HealthTech Research Centre continues a partnership with Newcastle University, working with businesses to support the development of diagnostic tests.
This will now expand to include wider diagnostic devices and digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, enabling people to better monitor their health, diagnose illness sooner and improve management of conditions.
Vicky Macfarlane Reid, executive director for business, development and enterprise at the trust, said: “This new funding is fantastic news and will strengthen the golden thread between the NHS, academia and industry, accelerating development and use of the most cutting-edge tests and technologies.
“This will provide patients and healthcare workers with access to faster and more accurate diagnostics and enable more tailored treatment for patients with infectious disease, long-term conditions, rare disease and age-related conditions.”
The centre will come into effect from 1 April 2024 and will replace and build on the success of the current NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative.
From October 2024, Newcastle Hospitals will also host a new NIHR Regional Research Delivery Network, transitioning from the region’s current Local Clinical Research Network.
In the last nine years, NIHR funding has supported the set up and delivery of many clinical trials including finding treatments for COVID-19.
The trust’s associate medical director for research and professor of clinical rheumatology at Newcastle University, Professor John Isaacs, said: “This successful bid will allow us to continue working together to ensure patients across the region have access to high-quality clinical research.”
Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals are both part of Newcastle Health Innovation Partners (NHIP). NHIP is one of eight prestigious Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) across the UK, bringing together partners to deliver excellence in research, health education and patient care.