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CHC Hub - Industry Partnerships

The Pre-Competitive Collaborative Consortium (PCCC) and the Data Access Consortium (DAC) created the framework for teams to tackle mutual challenges including new developments in areas such as procurement, delivery, adoption and sustainability of data and technology solutions. By engaging with start-ups and small businesses in the North of England, CHC were able to support wealth generation and business growth.

The Pre-Competitive Collaborative Consortium (PCCC) 

A collaborative, cross-sector innovation space for health system, industry and academic partners was developed and trialled as part of the CHC programme: the Pre-Competitive Collaborative Consortium.

The PCCC reached a membership of 22 technology companies, ranging from micro SMEs to multi-nationals, working with clinicians, researchers and change specialists from academia and NHS partners across the CHC footprint.

A true partnership between industry, NHS and academia, the PCCC ecosystem served as a trusted space for knowledge sharing; solution development, providing mentorship, network development and idea creation. The CHC hub provided the members with hands-on, creative and focused workshops.

The PCCC prioritised two workstreams and tackled two key industry challenges to successful innovation.

  • Sustainability: Championing change and adoption of innovation Working with NHS and academic change champions to define and promote success factors that embed innovations within the NHS.

  • Transferability: Evidencing the benefits of innovation 

  • Working with early adopter sites to capture marketable metrics of value: a ‘kite-mark’ of trustworthiness.

Data Access Consortium (DAC)

As part of the programme of work on providing access to routinely collected data, four Data Arks were created by CHC. These formed the foundation for developing the Trustworthy Research Environments, establishing the secure analytics platforms used for data driven innovation and improvement. A multi-stakeholder group, the Data Access Consortium (DAC), was then established in 2018 to discuss the standards for acceptability of using this data beyond the initial set of projects.

The DAC stakeholder group included representation from patients, information governance expertise, industry, researchers and NHS organisations as direct members and feedback on draft documentations were included from the wider community. 

The group developed principles of common access rules while recognising that each region has bespoke needs.

These included:

  • Definitions of acceptable research use and organisations,

  • The legal basis for using health data in research and

  • Codes of practice for health information exchange, Arks and research.

This overarching code of practice for CHC was agreed by all four regions as key guidance for the ongoing strategic development of the TREs and has been published and available to be used by other project teams who do similar work in the UK and globally. This formed the basis for the programme of work undertaken by CHC across the North of England and in collaborations formed with stakeholders and industry.

A PCCC Case Study – ORCHA

Building on the relationship and mutual objectives identified by working together in the PCCC, a spin-off collaboration was developed between ORCHA and the CHC hub. Based in the North-West of England, ORCHA have pioneered the evaluation of health apps, and worked with the CHC hub team to create a unique partnership to design a skills development and career development intervention for young people.

Working in collaboration with school children, workshops revealed what 11-18 year olds need to understand to consider a career in the health tech and data science space. Building upon this insight, ORCHA & CHC Hub co-produced the “#DataSavesLives Careers Zone’. This careers information service was embedded into ORCHA’s Digital Healthy Schools (DHS) online programme in the 19/20 academic year. This is a space for young people and their teachers to access a bespoke module of information, signposting, tools and real-life examples of the diverse roles available in the sector, bringing these to life with inspiring case studies and videos.

“As a small northern-based digital health company, it has been really valuable to work with the Connected Health Cities programme. Together we have been able to develop a tool to support our young people to navigate a career in digital health and data science.” Liz Ashall -Payne , CEO/founder , ORCHA

“The CHC hub team’s drive to promote diversity in health technology and data science has also had a notable impact on ORCHA. The CHC hub’s recognition and inclusion of work underrepresented groups in digital and health technology is demonstrated by supporting and promoting ORCHA and its employees. These efforts have impacted on ORCHA’s productivity and enabled myself and other staff to develop networking links across sectors and regions.” Lisa Simmons , Clinical Implementation Manager , ORCHA

Case Study Industry Engagement and Impact - AIMES

As part of the CHC programme, AIMES acted as a technology partner for the development of the Data Ark infrastructure (Trustworthy Research Environment, TRE), initially for the North West Coast AHSN region (Innovation Agency) but subsequently extended to two other regions.

“ The Connected Health Cities programme was probably the single most important stimulus to the development of TRE architecture and infrastructure here at AIMES. As a result of this development we are now supporting transformative digital healthcare developments here in the UK in areas such as oncology, cardiology and mental health”. Professor Dennis Kehoe, CEO, AIMES

AIMES is a cloud computing and data science company specialising in healthcare data and is a spin-out from the University of Liverpool. The technology developed as part of CHC has now been deployed by a number of universities, NHS Trusts and important new research programmes across England including HDR UK, Cancer Research UK and SBRI.

In total it is estimated the expansion of the technology across England has generated additional financial value (GVA) of around £3m at AIMES and led directly to the creation of around 10 new high technology jobs in Liverpool.


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