St George’s, University of London is part of a collaboration of NHS, education and social care organisations to form a major new government-funded network that aims to improve healthcare delivery and education in the South London.

The collaboration, made up of around 30 organisations, forms the South London Health Innovation Education Cluster (HIEC) - one of 17 the new government funded networks aimed at delivering high quality patient care through better trained clinicians and faster translation and adoption of research and innovation.

South London HIEC brings together members of south London’s two major healthcare networks – the South West London Academic Health and Social Care Network and King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre. This includes all south London’s primary care and mental health trusts, 17 NHS hospitals, the London Ambulance Service and the local Health Protection Unit, as well as six universities, further education providers and social care teams.

Members of the HIEC will work together to improve patient care and local health services by more rapidly delivering the benefits of research and innovation directly to patients, for example through the early adoption of new technologies and introduction of improved processes. Early work will include a review of current education and training aimed at health professionals across south London and is expected to lead to the introduction of new programmes, as well as enhancements to existing training courses.

The South London HIEC has identified four areas to focus on initially: mental health; infection prevention and control; diabetes, and stroke.

The new HIEC will be jointly led by the South West London Academic Health and Social Care Network and King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre.

Commenting on the successful bid, Professor Anne Greenough, Lead of the South London HIEC and Director of Education and Training for King’s Health Partners said: "We are delighted that our bid was successful, as we believe it will bring many benefits for our local population, as well as for patients from further afield. Our successful bid is testament to the comprehensive range of world class expertise that exists across south London in education, health and social care."

Director of South West London Academic Health and Social Care Network, Laurence Benson, adds: “South London is home to around three million people and includes some of the most affluent, as well as some of the most deprived, neighbourhoods in the country. This diversity brings unique challenges to the local services who are committed to meeting the needs of the population they serve. But we’re lucky to have the commitment of first class researchers, working alongside exceptional doctors and nurses, to devise and deliver new solutions – the HIEC’s job is to put these solutions into practice and deliver real benefits to local people."

The Department of Health announced successful HIEC applications following a rigorous selection process, including a formal interview by the National Award Panel chaired by Sir Alan Langlands.