Professor Jonathan Knight, Vice-President for Enterprise, and Professor Julie Barnett, Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), welcomed delegates to the in-person event which took place on 15 November to discuss the future of the Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – a strategic partner for the University of Bath which has over 30 research partnerships with the RUH, as well as studentships, placements, and shared efforts as major civic institutions in the region.

The event was chaired by Professor Nick Pearce, Director of the Institute for Policy Research (IPR). He said:

We’re here to discuss the RUH’s future strategy and vision and how we as a University can strengthen our partnerships with the RUH, with the NHS, with local government, and with health and social care providers in the wider community. It’s a time of significant change in the NHS. It is still dealing with the COVID pandemic, and with the huge backlog of demand for health and social care that the pandemic has generated. There is important structural reform too. We’ll be talking about that today as we look ahead to the 2020s, an ageing decade that will bring new pressures and demands to our health service, as well as new opportunities.

Cara Charles-Barks, CEO of the Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, presented the new strategy and vision of the RUH, designed around five strategic pillars. Speaking at the event, she said:

The NHS is fundamentally changing and, for us at the RUH, that creates a huge amount of opportunities. What we really wanted to do today was to start a conversation about where we think there are future opportunities for us to work more collectively together, in partnership around some of the opportunities that we know will come up over the next five to 10 years. Anyone in the NHS or in local government can’t see themselves as singular organisations anymore. We are part of a wider partnership and it’s much more about what we can do at scale together as opposed to what we individually achieve as organisations.

Bernie Marden, Medical Director of the Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, continued the presentation by looking at challenges in healthcare. He said:

We’re increasingly a consumerist society and in healthcare we’re no different to anybody else. People quite rightly expect to be treated in a way that is respectful of their needs, is as individual as possible, is convenient and accessible. In the health service we haven’t always positioned ourselves in a way that pays any attention to that. We’re having to adapt to that and find the right balance in terms of how we configure our services to be more responsive.

Following the presentations Professor Nick Pearce chaired a Q&A session for the delegates, providing an opportunity to engage in dialogue and discussion.

The event was led by the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and supported by Research and Innovation Services (RIS).

Contact the Business Partnerships and Knowledge Exchange team in RIS with your enquiries about working in partnership with the RUH:

View the full recording of the event

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