23. December 2009 12:23
GSK is to join other private sector companies in partnering with the NHS and higher education bodies to provide health education and training.
The new Health Innovation and Education Clusters (HIECs) are cross-sector partnerships between NHS organisations, higher education and private sector companies.
Through joint working, HIECs will provide professional education and training. They aim to promote innovation in healthcare by speeding up the adoption of research.
The 17 initial HIECs have been chosen by an Independent Award Panel from many applicants. The Government is investing over £11m to set up the projects in the next year, and just under £10 million in year 2.
Health Minister Ann Keen said: “HIECs are special partnerships that draw on the wealth of skills and experience of their members to improve the development of high-quality care and services by quickly bringing the benefits of research and innovation directly to patients.
“These projects will attract and encourage the best talent, who can recognise and rapidly adopt new and innovative healthcare and treatment.”
Sir Alan Langlands, Hairman of the Independent Award Panel, said: “The standard of applications has been really high and we have been impressed by the high-profile names that want to be involved in improving NHS care. HIECs will drive up quality standards in education and training and ensure fast adoption of innovation for the benefit of local people.”
The HIEC concept was developed from the recommendation in the NHS Next Stage Review that commissioning and provision of health education and training be separated. The overall responsibility for commissioning education will remain with the SHAs.