Strategic Alliance will target region’s healthcare needs
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has moved to strengthen its position as the region’s leading NHS teaching institution by announcing a strategic alliance with The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The 10-year agreement will see the two organisations work together to meet the region’s healthcare needs and enable the NHS workforce in Lancashire to work at an optimum level, directly benefitting the patients of East Lancashire.
UCLan already trains doctors in the area, in partnership with ELHT. As an area with acute medical workforce needs, the long-term strategic alliance will deliver clinical placements, joint research programmes across Pennine Lancashire and shared academic and clinical staff posts.
Announcing the alliance, the Executive Dean of UCLan’s Faculty of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, Professor Cathy Jackson said: “This is a significant step forward in our relationship with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. It will provide an opportunity for our students to practice in the diverse region of East Lancashire and support the local health care economy.
“By introducing joint clinical and academic posts we aim to attract some of the world's leading doctors to the region, which is an area that suffers from some of the worst health inequalities in the UK.”
By combining our significant expertise and organisational influence, ELHT and UCLan will be able to drive improvements in care for NHS patients across East Lancashire and beyond.
Kevin McGee, Chief Executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are really excited that our two institutions have joined together in this important strategic alliance and for our future collaborations.”
“At East Lancashire Hospitals, we are committed in supporting our local community, and what better way to do this than to create a partnership to train and educate the clinicians who will care for our patients tomorrow and many years into the future.”
“By combining our significant expertise and organisational influence, ELHT and UCLan will be able to drive improvements in care for NHS patients across East Lancashire and beyond.
“The alliance has already created a unique learning opportunity through the Mackenzie Scholarship. This provides an entirely free place together with a living bursary for one successful candidate each year on the UCLan MBBS (Bachelor Medicine, Bachelor Surgery) five year programme, which includes a clinical placement at ELHT. This scholarship shows our joint commitment to clinical education, research and creating strong career choices for local students.”
This scholarship is part of a wider, long-term UCLan strategy to attract and retain local doctors to NHS employment in the region and is specifically for potential students whose circumstances mean they are unlikely to study medicine despite being academically capable, in order to promote social mobility and widen participation.
As a leading university committed to transforming lives, we are working with ELHT to meet skills demands in East Lancashire’s healthcare economy.
UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas commented: “As a leading university committed to transforming lives, we are working with ELHT to meet skills demands in East Lancashire’s healthcare economy.
“At the University, we adopt a ‘one health approach’, which is based around end-to-end health provision which puts the patient at the centre of care. The university provides healthcare professionals across a broad range of disciplines including medicine, paramedic practice, nursing, physician associates, midwifery, mental health, physiotherapy, pharmacy and dentistry. Our aim is to provide highly skilled practitioners who can operate within an integrated care approach to improve the health and wellbeing of our community.”
Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, Chair of the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for Lancashire and South Cumbria, told a recent medical education conference how the University and ELHT can work together to improve the large health inequalities in the region within the financial resources available; delivering robust community services, strong GP services and hospital interventions.
“We need enough of the right sort of staff in the right places when we need them and we need new models of care and a new model of workforce to deliver it. We are working with UCLan to identify options and develop workforce in a flexible way. It provides us with a great opportunity to change the way we work to enable us to find regional people who want to work here. A home grown, home developed workforce who can build relationships with practitioners in the area and stay and work here.”
Pictured above: ELHT Chief Executive Kevin McGee, Chair Professor Eileen Fairhurst and Professor Mike Thomas, UCLan Vice-Chancellor.