Keele University has this week launched its third Keele Deal, with a focus on working with local partners to address regional and national healthcare priorities.
Keele Deal | Health will build on the existing relationships that the University has with key public and private sector healthcare organisations across Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire and Wolverhampton.
This week’s launch event was the first of a number of engagement sessions that will see the University and its partners working together to shape the priorities of the new deal, and will ultimately enable focused and collaborative approaches and programmes to address some of the region’s most significant health challenges.
Partners from across the region were invited to a launch event at Keele’s Smart Innovation Hub, where the vision for the new deal was outlined.
Among the guests at the launch event was Sir David Behan, the Chairman of Health Education England, who praised the collaborative approach adopted by those involved in the deal.
Sir David said: “As I have been spending the last twelve months learning about health education and training, one of the names that keeps coming up is Keele.
“A big question is what will health and care look like in the next forty years, and I think what you are doing here is creating the workforce that will be needed for those next four decades. I wish that every university I went to was collaborating the way you are, and I want to pay tribute to the work you are all doing in coming together.”
Keele’s Chief Operating Officer Dr Mark Bacon said: “Our deals demonstrate our commitment to our civic role, and they are developed in partnership with those that we want to work with in order to achieve our shared vision.
“It’s a unique commitment by partners across the region to generate high value employment and academic growth by using Keele’s world-leading research and facilities to create jobs and support businesses to grow and thrive.”
Through the deal, a new community will be developed – Keele Health and Social Care Partners – which will seek to drive improvements in health and social care for regional populations, bringing additional social, cultural and economic advantages for individuals and the communities in which they live.
Speaking about the deal, Professor Pauline Walsh, Executive Dean for the University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, said: “Keele has a strong history of partnership working with our local NHS and care partners, delivering a wide-ranging and world-leading research, education and collaborative portfolio.
“Through the strength of our existing partnerships, we have developed one of the best Medical Schools in the country and have achieved fantastic rankings for our health education courses – recently being ranked in the Top 10 in The Guardian 2019 league table for our medicine, allied health professionals and nursing and midwifery provisions.
“The fundamental principle behind the deal is that we can achieve more in partnership – using our collective strength to access new opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of our populations.”
Keele Deal | Health builds on Keele University’s existing impact on both the healthcare sector and local economy, examples of which include:
– 76% of Keele-trained nurses remaining locally, with 43% of all health-related graduates staying within the Keele Deal | Health impact area
– Keele-led research bringing approximately £12m per annum to the local health economy
– Keele University Science and Innovation Park hosting nine life sciences companies, employing around 360 people in total. Independent assessment shows that the average gross value added (GVA) per worker in MedTech in the West Midlands is £65,000, therefore estimating that these Keele-based companies generated more than £23m GVA in the last year.
– The University-led Healthcare Business Network has connected more than 150 local SMEs who are in the healthcare sector and/or its associated supply chains, enabling more local collaborative working.
Professor Walsh added: “Despite our progress and achievements to date, we believe that there are opportunities to develop further through our partnerships, and that is why we have launched Keele Deal | Health – a public statement of our recommitment to furthering our impact on local health and care issues.
“Our proposal for Keele Deal | Health will see the University working with local partners to address three priority areas: workforce development; collaborative research and innovation; and driving quality care through evidence-based service transformation.
“We are looking forward to engaging with our partners in the coming months and years to deliver on our ambitious shared priorities in order to ensure that we collectively improve and innovate the health and care of the future for our local communities and beyond.”
Keele Deals are established through collaboration and negotiation with local civic partners, businesses and other industry and sector organisations. The first such agreement – the New Keele Deal – was launched in January 2017 and set out ambitious plans to support local economic growth across Staffordshire through projects designed to stimulate business innovation, leadership development, smart energy and health innovation.
The second commitment – Keele Deal | Culture – was announced in January 2019 and aims to boost the creative economy by enabling more resources for cultural and creative industries, strengthening local cultural institutions, creating the right environment for creative industries to flourish, and to ensure that public arts can be enjoyed by more local people.