NHS, education and social care organisations in south London have become one of only 17 networks across England to receive government funding to improve healthcare delivery and education in the region.

The collaboration, made up of around 30 organisations, forms the South London Health Innovation Education Cluster (HIEC) – one of the new government funded networks aimed at delivering high quality patient care through better trained clinicians and faster translation and adoption of research and innovation.

South London HIEC brings together members of south London’s two major healthcare networks – the South West London Academic Health and Social Care Network and King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre. This includes all south London’s primary care and mental health trusts, 17 NHS hospitals, the London Ambulance Service and the local Health Protection Unit, as well as six universities, further education providers and social care teams.

Members of the HIEC will work together to improve patient care and local health services by more rapidly delivering the benefits of research and innovation directly to patients, for example through the early adoption of new technologies and introduction of improved processes. Early work will include a review of current education and training aimed at health professionals across south London and is expected to lead to the introduction of new programmes, as well as enhancements to existing training courses.

The South London HIEC has identified four areas to focus on initially: mental health; infection prevention and control; diabetes, and stroke.

The new HIEC will be jointly led by the South West London Academic Health and Social Care Network and King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre.

Commenting on the successful bid, St George’s Chief Executive David Astley said: “This is an exciting development for South London, as the diversity of this region brings unique challenges to local services. The collaborative solutions of researchers, doctors and nurses will be put into practice by the HIEC to deliver real benefits to local people.”

The Department of Health announced successful HIEC applications following a rigorous selection process, including a formal interview by the National Award Panel chaired by St Alan Langlands.

Notes to editors

For further information contact: Kami Paulson, kami.paulson@kcl.ac.uk , 020 7188 4058 or Clair McInally, clair.mcinally@kcl.ac.uk , 020 7188 4043

South West London Academic Health and Social Care Network is a new, pioneering membership network of organisations spanning health, social care and higher education, and working with the third sector and industry. Its mission is to provide world-class health and social care services to people living in south west London. This will be achieved by the Network’s members working together to develop and share evaluated best practice in health and social care. Visit www.swlondonahsn.org

King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC), a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.

King’s Health Partners is one of only five AHSCs in the UK and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity. Visitwww.kingshealthpartners.org

For more information, please contact the Communications Unit on 020 8725 5151 or email communications@stgeorges.nhs.uk. Outside working hours, please page us by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548.