A £3.4m data initiative has been launched to address major health challenges in social care.
The Better Care North Partnership (HDR UK North) brings together 15 organisations in the north of England and aims to improve the care and services for patients by supporting the better use of data and analytical tools.
It will also focus on projects that aim to benefit some of the most vulnerable patient groups who are at the greatest risk of Covid-19.
The Northern Health Science Alliance, a coalition of 24 universities, NHS trusts and Academic Health Science Networks, supported the bid for funding in engagement with the NHS.
One of the major challenges for the partnership is addressing the issue of frailty, an area of unmet clinical and social care need that affects 10% of people aged over 65, rising to 25-50% of people aged over 85 years.
This accounts for £15bn of expenditure in the UK and is likely to have a growing impact due to the ageing UK population.
The partnership will initially focus on improving monitoring of residents in care homes to detect deterioration, reducing the burden of use of anticholinergic medicines, and optimising prescribing of antibiotics, thereby reducing the potential for antimicrobial resistance.
The partnership will be co-ordinated by a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool led by Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed who is currently David Weatherall Chair of Medicine, NHS Chair of Pharmacogenetics at the University of Liverpool, Director of the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science and Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine.
Professor Sir Pirmohamed said: ‘This partnership brings together world-class Universities, digitally enabled NHS institutions and academic health science systems.
‘The partnership is underpinned by multidisciplinary world-leading expertise in population-based learning health systems research and a history of collaborative working, to address major challenges in frailty, an area of unmet medical and social care need.
‘We serve over 16 million people in the North where the rates of poverty, morbidity, premature mortality and poorer clinical outcomes are higher than in other regions. As our population gets older, frailty and more widely, multimorbidity, exert huge system pressures.
‘This partnership will help us to use all available data and advanced analytical techniques to gain actionable insights for optimising delivery of care for those who need it most.’
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