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Alan Johnson names England's five health science centres

England’s five academic health science ‘super trusts’ have been announced by health secretary Alan Johnson, including three in London.

The partnerships accredited by an international panel are:

  • Cambridge University Health Partners: Cambridge University; Cambridge University Hospitals, Papworth Hospital, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough foundation trusts

  • Imperial AHSC: Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare trust

  • King’s Health Partners: King’s College London; Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital, and South London and Maudsley foundation trusts

  • Manchester AHSC: Manchester University; Central Manchester University Hospitals, Christie Hospital, Salford Royal, and University Hospital of South Manchester foundation trusts; Manchester Mental Health and Social Care trust; Salford PCT

  • UCL Partners: University College London; University College London Hospitals and Moorfields Eye Hospital foundation trusts; Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Royal Free Hampstead trusts

Not accredited

Oxford University, with Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals trusts, was rejected, as was Birmingham University’s partnership with five trusts and two primary care trusts.

The Oxford group said in a statement the decision was “disappointing for our patients and for the whole of the Oxfordshire community”, but they would continue working in partnership.

The centres are intended to attract research funding and encourage developments to be more quickly transferred to healthcare practice.

Mr 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 London chief executive Ruth Carnall welcomed the accreditation of three centres in the capital.

She said: “Academic health science centres are a major part of Lord Darzi’s original vision for better healthcare in London and they are now being rolled out nationally.

“Today’s announcement means London will have a strong network of three AHSCs, bringing together world leading research, teaching and patient care.

“The go-ahead for these centres means London, and Londoners, will continue to benefit from having cutting-edge medical advances and leadership at the heart of their NHS.”

See Super trusts unite and conquer

See this week’s HSJ for reactions from Oxford and panel chair Sir Ian Kennedy

Readers' comments (3)

  • Is the term "super trust" an HSJ one?

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  • A cunning plan for London Trusts to sidestep the possible implications of the MPET review?

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  • It is great that the centres are now named, but it is disappointing that so much is centred in London, I cannot help think that this is another type of health inequality.

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