Nottingham patients to benefit from £30 million investment

Nottingham is to receive a share of £30 million to transform healthcare using the science of data.

As one of six sites in the UK awarded funding from Health Data Research UK the Midlands partnership, made up of the Universities of Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Warwick, and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, aims to make pioneering improvements in people’s health.

Through analysis of large sets of medical data, to reveal patterns and trends, the groups can drive breakthroughs in how we prevent, detect and diagnose diseases.

Each of the sites have world-class expertise and a track record in using health data for scientific discovery. They are also working closely with NHS bodies and the general public to translate these research findings into benefits for patients.

Doctor Philip Quinlan, Senior Analysist at the University of Nottingham, said: “I am thrilled that the University of Nottingham is part of such a strong regional team to ensure patients in the Midlands can benefit from the developments in data driven health care research.

“The Advanced Data Analysis Centre at the University has been pioneering national data integration projects for several years, such as the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre, and to be leading the University of Nottingham’s involvement in this project is extremely exciting and supports the foresight of the University several years ago to invest in a dedicated data analytics team to support such important research.”

“HDR UK is about technology development and supporting health care research but also about creating career paths in academia for skills that are not traditionally academic. Many of the UK’s top talent in digital technologies end up in the commercial sector and we need to provide attractive career opportunities to ensure this talent can be retained within Universities to drive the future technologies such as artificial intelligence that have the potential to impact medical research. HDR UK brings the opportunity to solve this in coordination with other leading Universities in the UK. All in all a very exciting time for health data research in the UK.”

Professor Simon Ball, Director of Digital Healthcare at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Site Director for the Midlands, added: “The Midlands HDR UK Substantive Site award is hugely exciting, not just for our academic and NHS partners, but also for our patients. By bringing together excellence in research and healthcare informatics and data science across Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham and Warwick, we have a unique opportunity for innovation to improve diagnosis, refine prognosis and personalise treatment for patients regionally and nationally”

The successful Health Data Research UK sites are: Cambridge, London, Midlands, Oxford, Scotland and Wales/Northern Ireland.

Professor Andrew Morris, Director of Health Data Research UK, said: “I am delighted to make today’s announcement, which marks the start of a unique opportunity for scientists, researchers and clinicians to use their collective expertise to transform the health of the population.

“I am grateful to our funders who recognise the importance of collaboration at scale, and the pivotal contribution of health data research to the UK’s ambition to be a global leader in life sciences, for health and economic benefit.”

This is the first phase of investment to establish Health Data Research UK.  A further £24 million will be invested in upcoming activities, including a Future Talent Programme and work to address targeted data research challenges through additional partnership sites.

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