From bench to bedside to population

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 10 March 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b990
  1. Geoff Watts
  1. 1London

    The new academic health science centres in England define their role

    “The moment has been a long time coming,” declared Alan Langlands, sometime chief executive of the NHS in England. The moment he was referring to—the imminent emergence of a system of academic health science centres in England—was greeted last week with a conference held at Guy’s Hospital in London.

    Arranged by King’s Health Partners, one of the aspirants to academic health science centre status, the meeting set out to review the hopes embodied in these (mostly) embryonic organisations. The culmination of several decades of fretting over what Sir Alan described in his opening address as the health service’s essentially “casual” relationship with research, the new centres are intended to close the gap between medical academia and the NHS.

    It was the health minister Ara Darzi who in his High Quality Care for All: NHS Next Stage Review first announced the plan to foster a group of academic health science centres. Each, he said, would bring together a small number of health and academic bodies …

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