Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University London have unveiled plans for an Academic Centre for Healthy Ageing in the UK – hosted at Whipps Cross Hospital – to improve the quality of life for millions of people in London.
Older people often suffer with multiple health conditions which generate complex healthcare needs. With one of the fastest growing and most deprived populations in the country, residents in East London also experience poor health at a much earlier age than those in more affluent parts of the capital, bringing about unique healthcare challenges.
Despite changes to NHS policy and practice to help improve the way care and support is provided, there are still gaps in the research and knowledge required to make the changes.
Putting the health and wellbeing of older people at centre stage
The new centre will create a collaborative network of clinicians, researchers, educators, policymakers and the local community to transform how services work for older people, supporting them to live well and independently. The centre will also work across the region to support and inform better clinical services through healthcare training underpinned by the latest research.
Thanks to £6.6 million awarded by Barts Charity, the centre will be a network across Barts Health, Queen Mary University London, and partner care provider organisations hosted at Whipps Cross Hospital.
This generous grant will enable patients in East London to receive better care and treatment to enable people to live a longer, healthier life.
“Waltham Forest has a vision to become a centre for care excellence focussed on healthy ageing and caring for people living with, or at risk, of clinical frailty. Taken together with the redevelopment of Whipps Cross Hospital – due to begin in 2025 – the Centre marks another step on the road to delivering our vision of improved health outcomes for local people.”
“With a growing population of older people, healthy ageing is something that is important to everyone. We are delighted to support this innovative partnership, which will contribute to both improved services across North East London and to developing NHS policy and practice across the country. By working with, and listening to, diverse local communities, clinicians, and caregivers, our new centre will build an evidence base with real-world impact, to enable better care and patient experience to help all of us age more healthily.”
Ralph Coulbeck, Chief Executive, Whipps Cross Hospital
“We look forward to working with the local community to identify what their needs and priorities are around the health of older people. We hope the ACHA will be a step change and help put the health and wellbeing of older people in North East London centre stage. It will bring academics and health and social care professionals in the hospital and the community together with public health colleagues to focus on the best ways to support older people and will develop training and dissemination initiatives so that evidence from research is shared and embedded in practice. ”
Professor Steph Taylor, Professor of Public Health and Primary Care at the Wolfson Institute of Population Health, Queen Mary University of London
“ACHA presents an incredibly exciting opportunity, and one Whipps Cross is thrilled to be a part of. By embedding academic expertise in our existing clinical structures, ACHA will not only help us meet the needs of our local population efficiently, but also utilise their knowledge in setting a dynamic agenda for future research. Together, we will be able to harness the benefits of a Living Lab structure to create solutions that have genuine positive impact on patients, health and social care workers, and anyone growing older in North East London. ACHA will be the springboard for local innovation, with international impact.”
Dr Mark Rawle, Consultant Geriatrician and Older Person’s Services Research Lead, Whipps Cross Hospital