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King's Health Partners accredited

09 March 2009

King’s Health Partners has been formally accredited as one of the UK’s first Academic Health Sciences Centres (AHSCs). Five AHSCs have been approved by the international expert panel appointed by the Department of Health.  The four founders of King’s Health Partners comprise King’s College London, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (

Department of Health Press Release

NHS patients to benefit as top flight academic health science centres named

Health Secretary Alan Johnson today announced the successful Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) following peer review by an international panel of experts.

The centres, partnerships between world-class academic medical research schools and leading NHS organisations, have been recognised as having the potential to compete globally with established centres such as those in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Sweden and the Netherlands.

The centres will be well-placed to compete on the world stage for talent and funding, drawing in economic benefits for the UK as a whole.  The selection process was carried out by a panel of internationally renowned clinicians and researchers. 

The award of AHSC status will enable the centres to speed up the process of taking research breakthroughs into NHS patient care - the aim is to improve treatments in the NHS and across the world.  Universities and NHS organisations will work together to deliver world-class research, education and patient care for the benefit of their local communities, then promote the application of their discoveries in the NHS and across the world.

Alan Johnson said: 'I congratulate the successful candidates, who have demonstrated their enthusiasm and commitment to the vision of bringing together world-class research, teaching and patient care to improve health in local communities as well as internationally through their global reach.  NHS patients will reap the benefits of the work of these new centres.

'In times of economic uncertainty it is even more important that we continue to support this country’s knowledge industries to ensure that we benefit from the competitive edge which they provide.'

Panel member Victor Dzau, Chancellor for Health Affairs of Duke University, and CEO of Duke University Health System, said: 'I would like to thank all the applicants for the time and effort they have put into this process. I have been studying the issue of how academic health sciences centres can play a role in the transformation of healthcare for a number of years and I'm sure that many of the applications we reviewed will contribute to this transformation.

'The centres which are being designated today are the exemplars of partnership and innovation and I know they will all contribute to the vision outlined in High Quality Care for All and help to enable global competitiveness here in the UK.'

The successful centres named today are:

• Cambridge University Health Partners

• Imperial College

• King’s Health Partners

• Manchester AHSC

• UCL Partners

Designation is for 5 years and the successful centres will be subject to review. There will be another opportunity in two years time for partnerships to apply for AHSC status.

The centres are delivering on the commitment set out in Lord Darzi’s strategy for the future of the NHS, High Quality Care for All. They will speed up the time it takes the NHS to access new and better quality treatments and techniques because of the unique partnerships between the work of top quality researchers and NHS staff working at the front line delivering patient care.

Notes to editors

1. Any further media enquiries should be directed to the DH Newsdesk on 020 7210 5221.


2. Panel membership was as follows:

• Professor Sir Ian Kennedy

Chairman, Healthcare Commission, London

• Professor Hans Büller

President, Erasmus Medical Centre, Netherlands

• Professor Paul Shekelle

Director, Southern California Evidence-Based Practice Center, RAND Corporation; Associate Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

• Dr Victor Dzau

Chancellor for Health Affairs, Duke Medical Centre, USA

• Prof Jan Carlstedt-Duke

Professor in Molecular Endocrinology, Karolinska Institute, Sweden

• Mr Jeff Lozon

President & CEO, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada

• Professor Ed Holmes

Distinguished Professor, UC San Diego; Vice Chancellor/Dean Emeritus of Health Sciences, UC San Diego; Chairman, National Medical Research Council, Singapore; Deputy Chairman, Biomedical Research Council, Singapore

• Professor Tony MBewu

President, Medical Research Council of South Africa

• Dr Bob Goldstein

Chief Scientific Officer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, New York, USA

• Professor Peter Brooks

Executive Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia



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