Two West Midlands organisations chosen for prestigious healthcare programme

West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) has collaborated with partners from across Europe to develop UPrAIHSe, a ground-breaking skills programme which will upskill healthcare leaders.

UP-rAIHSe, a training course fully funded by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology in health (EIT Health), takes a team comprising senior medical, nursing, management and technology professionals through a focused programme of learning. The course covers how to co-design, procure and implement innovative technology, and how to spread its adoption.

Neil Mortimer, Head of Digital Health at WMAHSN, said: “Over the last few years of working closely with partners across Europe, we have found that our healthcare organisations face the same challenges; it can be really difficult to introduce new technologies into healthcare systems. It made perfect sense to work together on designing a leadership programme, and I know we’ll all learn from each other.”

Representatives from Hexitime, a skill exchange and timebank, and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust were selected to join applicants from hospitals in Madrid, Valencia and Rome on the programme.  Together, they will take part in online tutorials and classes, and receive expert mentoring support from WMAHSN’s digital health team.

Before the pandemic, the programme was scheduled to take place across venues in the UK, Spain and Sweden. However, following COVID-19 restrictions, WMAHSN and the partners acted quickly to redesign the programme so it could be held virtually.

Applications to join the learning programme were received earlier this year from hospital organisations across Europe. Following a high number of applications from healthcare professionals keen to take part in the programme, two UK winners were selected to join the prestigious training series.

Ellen Hughes, Digital Health Innovation Manager at WMAHSN, said: “It’s fascinating to hear how organisations from different countries wrestle with the same problems that we do.  We’re delighted that out of all the applications, two from the West Midlands were selected to take part and learn alongside their European counterparts”

John Lodge and Dr. Hesham Abdalla, Hexitime founders, said: “We are delighted that Hexitime has been selected to participate in such a prestigious programme, and excited at the opportunity it presents to explore collaborations with European health systems.”

Michelle Brookhouse, Director of Transformation & Engagement at UHCW, said: “At UHCW we are proud to have a forward-thinking culture and engaged staff who help to put us at the forefront of innovation in healthcare and ultimately improve outcomes for our patients.

“We are so excited to be selected to join the programme, we believe it will help us to develop our patient-centred ideas and share them with the wider healthcare community to reach a better standard of healthcare worldwide.”

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