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Health clusters to improve training and patient care

12 May 2009

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Business and education organisations are being invited to join forces with healthcare teams to form Health Innovation and Education Clusters (HIECs).

The Department of Health will provide £10m towards the cost of setting up the clusters, which will bring together organisations from across the NHS, higher education and private sector organisations.

It is hoped the partnerships will deliver high-quality care to patients by improving the knowledge and skills of NHS staff.

The clusters will aim to provide the best practice education and training for health staff, including doctors and dentists, and bring the latest innovations to NHS patients.

Health minister Lord Darzi (pictured) said: “HIECs are special partnerships that draw on the wealth of skills and experience of their members to improve the development of high-quality care and services by quickly bringing the benefits of research and innovation directly to patients.”

The Department of Health has published a guide – Breakthrough to real change in local healthcare: a guide for applications to create Health Innovation and Education Clusters (HIECs) – to help organisations wishing to apply.

Applicants will be received over the next four months and then a national selection process will take place in September.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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