The Connected Health Cities (CHC) pilot programme was devised and delivered by the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA).

The £20m pilot which became Connected Health Cities was funded by the Department of Health in 2015. It recognised the potential value of health data, with appropriate care system and citizen engagement, to both drive improvement in the provision of care and to create an economic asset across the North that was understood and supported by citizens.

The programme demonstrated the NHSA’s ability to mobilise, across our population of 15m people:

  • Our world-class academic expertise in health data.

  • Our population through a sustained and meaningful discussion with our citizens.

  • Our outstanding health and care system, to deploy the findings of the programme and create impact for the health and wealth of the region.

The North of England is a vibrant life sciences cluster. The cluster includes leading academic and hospital expertise in digital health, some of the best care providers in the UK, engaged citizens, and innovative companies. Conversely, our region also has some of the worst health outcomes and a vast and widening gap in healthy life expectancy compared to the rest of the country.

CHC’s ground-breaking LHS was created to put informed consensual use of citizen’s health data at its heart. CHC developed, tested and implemented continuous improvement within the health and social care system of northern England with measurable benefits for patients, their families and their communities.

Achievements and impact

Connected Health Cities has:

  • Put the citizen at the heart of this work and produced an exemplar of involvement and consultation, building trust amongst our patient population and developing a learning health systems approach that can be replicated.

  • Co-created the programmes through innovative engagement projects, including citizen juries and the hugely successful social media campaign #DataSavesLives.

  • Established Trustworthy Research Environments (TREs) within regional Data Arks to deliver a common governance and operational platform, allow data interrogation and research to meet all the required standards, and support data-driven innovation and improvement.

  • Delivered 16 pathway projects which are continually improving care in the NHS - saving lives, money and capacity.