The Better Care North Partnership* (HDR UK North) initiative will benefit patients across the UK and help address some of the most challenging health issues facing patients and the NHS. The major challenge 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 £15 billion 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.
Andy Clegg, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Leeds, based at the Academic Unit of Ageing and Stroke Research (AUASR) is leading the work to reduce anticholinergic medication burden, in partnership with colleagues in LCPMH and across the University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT), Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) and Bradford University.
Professor Clegg said: “HDR UK North is a hugely exciting initiative, which will enable us to use health data to develop personalised care for older people living with frailty and care home residents that is better targeted to their individual needs.
“We have fantastic expertise in frailty and health data research in Leeds, and the partnership will involve collaborative working with NHS colleagues from BTHFT and LTHT, along with leading researchers from northern Universities, NHS primary care, our local authorities and commercial partners.
“This close collaborative partnership will ensure we maintain a focus on using our research findings to directly improve health and care services for older people living with frailty across Yorkshire, the north of England, and the UK.”
* The following organisations are members of The Better Care North Partnership; Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Lancaster University, The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, University of Leeds, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust, University of Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts, Newcastle University, Salford Royal Foundation Trust, University of Sheffield, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System and Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The partners will also be working closely with the four Northern Academic Health Science Networks and researchers at Durham University to deliver this project.
The Northern Health Science Alliance, an alliance of 24 universities, NHS trusts and Academic Health Science Networks across the North of England, supported the bid through project management across a broad coalition of partners and in engagement with the NHS