Connected Health Cities Directors Statement

Spanning the whole of North England and its population of fifteen million people, the aim was to address healthcare challenges that cross organisational boundaries where a collective and collaborative approach was required from disparate organisations. 


We set for ourselves three principal objectives: to test the learning health system methodology for data driven transformation of healthcare in the real world; to develop a social licence for the use of data driven transformation; and to develop new models of partnership with service providers, academia, industry and citizens.

The CHC programme was launched at a time when public trust in the reuse of healthcare data was at its lowest. CHC developed an innovative approach to public involvement that set a new benchmark and has been widely adopted. We have shown that data driven transformation of health services does not occur simply by making health data available for analytical purposes. It is essential that the people and organisations providing those services and generating the data are integral to the analytic work. A deep understanding of the local context, its complexity and the perspectives of those involved is crucial for success. Therefore, a holistic approach is required bringing together all stakeholders including patients, public, practitioners, providers, industry and academia. We have piloted multiple successful care pathway transformation projects across the Northern footprint with each delivering significant knowhow and system impact. However, the lasting legacy of CHC goes beyond our service transformation work; the development of an open innovation culture has enabled the building of quality foundations, both physical and relational, to co-create and spread solutions across a wider community of practice. The very fact that this has been delivered with citizens as our central partner is what has made CHC truly transformational.

by Professor John Ainsworth, Dr Amanda Lamb, Dr Liz Mear, Professor Niels Peek, Professor John Wright, Professor Joe McDonald

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