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University hosts Health Innovation Partnership showcase

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The University of Reading hosted a Health Innovation Partnership (HIP) Showcase on the Whiteknights campus recently.

The event featured speakers from the University and the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust (RBFT), who established a formal partnership three years ago to foster collaborative research and innovation in education.

The HIP was established in September 2021, after the success of its predecessor the Joint Academic Board. It is a new formal group to expand on the existing collaboration between the organisations. Its work is overseen by a Strategic Partnership Board, jointly chaired by Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort and the CEO of RBFT, Steve McManus.

The HIP oversees a joint fund and joint initiatives in teaching, research and education within the specialisms of the two organisations. The joint fund has so far provided 38 projects, across 5 funding rounds, and their investigators with the opportunity to build a relationship across the organisations, sharing knowledge and access to new expertise.

Collaboration during pandemic

Introducing the session, Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort said the work that the two organisations did during the pandemic highlighted the value of their collaboration. “We worked quite closely during the pandemic, supporting Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust in whatever way it was possible for us to.”

RBFT’s Chief Medical Officer Janet Lippett said, “Everything we asked for from the University was provided to us – FFP3 mask fit testing fluid, spaces for meeting, car parking and webcams for COVID patients at the hospital to talk to their relatives.”

Janet and Deputy-Vice-Chancellor Parveen Yaqoob shared their reflections on ‘A Year in COVID’ – Parveen through a pre-recorded presentation and Janet through a video that captured life in Royal Berkshire during the pandemic.

There were a number of other thought-provoking presentations, on projects funded by the joint Collaboration Innovation Fund. These included:

  • Reading Pain Research Network – Richard Harrison, Mark Little, Deepak Ravindran and Emma Borg
  • Progression and opportunities in Teaching & Learning – Orla Kennedy and Jill Ablett
  • New clinical programme – Becky Green
  • Data Analytics in Healthcare – Eghosa Bazuaye and Vicky Li
  • University Department of Radiology – Mark Little
  • University Department of Stroke Medicine – Kiruba Nagaratnam

All the presentations from the HIP Showcase event are available on the Staff Portal.

The core values of HIP are central to its new initiatives, and focus on:

  • Working together – to create a culture for partnership and promoting collaboration
  • Commitment to excellence – recognising and supporting excellence in healthcare
  • People-driven – taking a people centric-approach
  • Nurturing innovation – creating an environment that values creativity and delivers change
  • Future focused – implementing changes to ensure the healthcare system is fit for the future

In October this year, it was announced that Professor Orla Kennedy will be the Director of the Strategic Partnership.

Orla is Professor of Public Health Nutrition and is a registered nutritionist and registered dietitian. She recently completed a six-year term as Teaching and Learning Dean with responsibility for Student Achievement working with the Schools of Biological Sciences; Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy; and Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences. 

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