Over 1.1 million patients to benefit from expanded academic health science centre in north west London

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust have joined the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC). This brings together 21,500 clinicians and other NHS staff, researchers and academics to drive innovation and improved care for the direct benefit of over 1.1 million patients each year in north west London.

With existing members Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare Trust, the extended collaboration is set to achieve major advances in health and healthcare by aligning the research, education and clinical services of four organisations with international reputations in all these areas. The new partners bring particular strengths in research and care for cancer and heart and lung diseases.

The Imperial College AHSC was the UK’s first AHSC, formed in 2007 as a partnership between Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare Trust, with Department of Health designation. For the first time, the Imperial College AHSC will now bring together these four organisations that are world leaders in medical research, clinical care and education.

The AHSC will build on existing collaborative projects between the partners, including the West London Genomic Medicine Centre, which is playing a key role in the successful delivery of the 100,000 Genomes Project; the RM Partners Cancer Vanguard, which is developing new models of cancer care; and joint lung cancer research projects.

Professor Jonathan Weber, Imperial College AHSC director, said: “Our aspiration is to harness the clinical and academic capabilities of the partner organisations to develop new and better approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients. Expansion of the Imperial College AHSC provides exceptional opportunities to create a step-change in our research and education activities increasing the impact we can have on patient care, not only in our own organisations but across the NHS and beyond.”

Professor Alice Gast, president, Imperial College London, said: “We warmly welcome our new partners in Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre. Each institution in the Imperial College AHSC is world-leading in its own right, and we can achieve even more by working together and combining our expertise and our strengths. This expansion represents an important and exciting milestone in our mission to enhance and transform healthcare in the UK and across the world.”

Dr Tracey Batten, chief executive, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “More than ever, the NHS needs to encourage and support staff to find better ways of caring for patients and helping them to stay as healthy as possible. The connections and opportunities offered by the AHSC have already brought huge benefits. We are delighted to welcome our two new partners to expand these connections and opportunities even further.”

Bob Bell, chief executive, The Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This strategic alliance will promote an integrated research vision with the capacity to strengthen translational research into heart and lung disease. Patients will be the ultimate beneficiaries, with our combined expertise offering an unparalleled national collaboration. This will improve outcomes now and support enhanced research for future generations.”

Cally Palmer, chief executive, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to partner with Imperial AHSC to accelerate our work together in research, treatment and care, and education so that we can provide our patients with the very best cancer care based on the latest research.”