Newcastle and Birmingham have failed in their attempts to become academic health science centres, although Oxford’s bid has succeeded.
The Department of Health on Friday announced the bid put together by Oxford Health Foundation Trust, Oxford University Hospitals Trust and the city’s two universities had won authorisation from the National Institute of Health Research.
The five current academic health science centres - in London, Manchester and Cambridge - which were designated in 2009 were all re-authorised.
The institute intends academic health science centres bring together NHS providers and universities to boost research, health education and patient care, helping to drive economic growth, although the designation brings no additional money.
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust chief executive Sir Len Fenwick told HSJ he felt: “a real sense of disillusionment, after having been shortlisted on the grounds of merit and also potential”.
He added: “However, an international panel of expert advisers felt otherwise and we believe in their opinion [Newcastle] failed to meet one of the basic qualifying criteria surrounding size and scope.
“We shall simply get on and excel without the badge.”
University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust made no comment.
Oxford Health Foundation Trust chief executive Stuart Bell said the city’s success would be “a major boost for the life sciences sector, which is such a key contributor to the prosperity of Oxfordshire and the wider Thames Valley”.
Lord Howe said: “I am delighted that international experts have recommended them as centres of excellence and am confident that this step will ensure that England continues to be at the forefront of medical research and treatment.”
Information obtained by HSJ