A HEALTH trust welcomed one of its local MPs to take a tour of a new research centre which is set to raise the profile of research in the area.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust invited Dr Paul Williams, Labour MP for Stockton South, for a visit to the Synexus research facility, based at the University Hospital of North Tees.
During the visit, he also witnessed the formal signing of a new partnership between the trust and Teesside University, carried out by the trust’s chief executive Julie Gillon and professor Simon Hodgson, Teesside University’s pro vice-chancellor (research and innovation).
Professor Samir Gupta, the trust’s clinical director for research and development, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to welcome Paul Williams for his first official visit to the trust and to give him a tour of this fantastic facility.
“Synexus, who are a commercial clinical research company, will help bring a wider variety of trials to the area, give more people the chance to take part and build on the fantastic progress the trust has made in research participation in the last few years.
“It was also an opportunity to allow Dr Williams to witness the signing of a new partnership with Teesside University which will allow the two organisations to work closely together to help improve healthcare in Teesside through education, training, research and innovation.”
Dr Williams said: “As a GP I know the importance of innovation in health care. Developing effective treatments and continually improving outcomes for patients is key to ensuring our NHS remains strong.
“I am sure that staff in both organisations will benefit hugely from this exciting collaboration. Ultimately patients are everyone’s priority and this formal partnership agreement will lead to even better healthcare for people here on Teesside.”
The partnership with Teesside University will see the two organisations pool their expertise and resources to create education and training programmes, as well as research and innovation projects.
It aims to enhance the quality of life and lifespan for people from a range of perspectives and will cover work on areas including disease treatment and prevention, social and physical well-being, mental health and human behaviour, as well as the development of new technologies and ways of working.
Professor Simon Hodgson, said: “This latest partnership with our region’s health providers, is the latest development around our University Research Grand Challenge in Health and Wellbeing and emphasises our commitment to addressing the big research questions that make a real, practical difference to people and communities around us, as well as on the national and international scale.
“We are delighted to be signing this formal partnership with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and look forward to working together on some game-changing education and research projects.”
Linda Nelson, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement), in Teesside University’s School of Health & Social Care, added: “The University has long enjoyed a strong working relationship with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and this formal partnership will allow us to explore and develop further exciting new opportunities built on broader and deeper collaboration across both organisations.”
The first part of the event included presentations from professor Gupta, the trust’s research and development manager Jane Greenaway, Synexus director of operations Rupi Bancil and from Mr Williams.