The University of Winchester and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) have signed a partnership agreement that will see the two organisations collaborate on research and education activities.
The Memorandum of Understanding for Collaborative Research and Education was formally signed by Alex Whitfield, chief executive of HHFT, and Professor Joy Carter, vice-chancellor of the University, at an event on Monday 19 February.
The agreement formalises the partnership between HHFT and the University which began in April 2013 with the establishment of the Hampshire Collaboration for Health Research and Education in which both institutions are equal partners.
The collaboration aims to increase research and education opportunities for both hospital staff and University academic departments. Since 2013, at least 20 projects, involving 10 clinical specialties and five academic departments, have been undertaken.
Professor Joy Carter, vice-chancellor at the University of Winchester, said, “We are thrilled to be formalising our strong links with Hampshire Hospitals with the signing of this new agreement.
“Building on the firm foundation of work already carried out, and the excellent research capabilities here at the University, this collaboration will provide a springboard for exciting research and education ideas, benefiting both academic knowledge and clinical practice.”
Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, actively supports research to improve patient experience and treatments.
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, said: “This document formalises something which is already a living, breathing entity. It has been brought to life by many people who are already collaborating across a huge range of initiatives.
“Hampshire Hospitals and the University of Winchester share the same values and the same aspirations for the populations we serve. Our vision is to provide outstanding care for every patient, and this collaboration absolutely supports that. It is a catalyst for innovation, it supports our staff to maximise their potential and it encourages some of the very best staff to come and work in our area.”
The collaboration is led by Professor Simon Jobson, director of health and wellbeing at the University, Professor John Ramage, consultant gastroenterologist and visiting research fellow, and Barbara Parry, research advisor and collaborative research Fellow, at HHFT.
The partners are working together to identify future research and education collaborations and share expertise. The partnership also offers opportunities to bid for research funding outside what is generally available to health researchers and the collaboration recently secured its first Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) grant, winning £55,000 for a project entitled ‘A Digital Infrastructure for Hampshire Health’.