University of Northampton

Closer links and boosting research potential at the University of Northampton (@UniNorthants) are on the horizon with a new health and wellbeing alliance.

Today (Thursday 1 July 2021), Kettering General Hospital and Northampton General Hospital achieved University Hospital status, working with UON, the University of Leicester and other academic partners and called University Hospitals of Northamptonshire (UHN) NHS Group.

This will help forge closer working links between UON and the other partner organisations and help UON to develop research, academic and placement provision in the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology and Faculty of Health, Education and Society.

Conversations have already started between partners about workstreams involving UON to strengthen the academic and placement provision for health students – including opportunities for PhD students – as well as strengthening research and enterprise at the University.

The creation of Lecturer Practitioner roles in health – clinical staff who would be seconded on a part-time basis to lecture at UON providing strong links between practice and education – is also being explored.

There are further opportunities for the development of hospital clinical staff with UON’s established CPD and postgraduate courses, such as the Doctor of Professional Practice in Health and Social Care and researcher training.

The partnership should also help identify and undertake collaborative research in areas where UON and the partners have mutual interests.

Some of this research is already underway. For instance, the Biosciences department and Northampton General Hospital are looking into the genetics of sepsis.

There is also interest in research being conducted by UON’s Sports Science team. They are looking into how certain exercises can help reduce the likelihood of people falling.

Bolstering links with UON’s Dementia Research and Innovation Centre has also been discussed. The centre is developing training for primary care practitioners into the signs and symptoms associated with dementia and already has long-standing working relationships with international dementia partners.

Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, said: “We welcome this excellent news about an ambitious and wide-ranging partnership that we hope will reap benefits for the health and wellbeing of members of our community.

“The partnership will also help bring two Universities and two hospitals even closer together. The ink has hardly had time to dry on the agreement, but we are already involved in a number of exciting discussions about collaborative research projects that we are looking forward to pursuing.”

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