Teesside University and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have signed an agreement to form a powerful strategic partnership which will enhance innovation in healthcare and education in the Tees Valley.

The partnership will see the two organisations work together and pool their expertise and resources to establish collaborative education and training programmes as well as research and innovation projects.

It aims to enhance the quality of life and lifespan for people from a range of perspectives and will cover work on areas including disease treatment and prevention, social and physical well-being, mental health and human behaviour, as well as the development of new technologies and ways of working.

The partnership was formally signed during a ceremony at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s Synexus Research Centre and was attended by Professor Simon Hodgson, Teesside University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Julie Gillon, Interim Chief Executive at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Labour MP for Stockton South Dr Paul Williams.

It reinforces the commitment of the two organisations to work together in collaboration to improve healthcare in the Tees Valley through advanced education, training, research and innovation within the healthcare environment.

Teesside University has a long history of supporting the health sector, providing a wide range of high quality and innovative training and education programmes to the sector within the UK and internationally, working closely with both care providers and service users. In addition, the large majority of its research in the support of the health sector was rated in the last national research assessment as being world leading or internationally excellent quality, with 100% of  the impacts of research in this area being rated as outstanding or very considerable in terms of reach and significance (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Professor Simon Hodgson said: “This latest partnership with our region’s health providers is the latest development around our University Research Grand Challenge in Health and Wellbeing and emphasises our commitment to addressing the big research questions that make a real, practical difference to people and communities around us, as well as on the national and international scale.

“We are delighted to be signing this formal partnership with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and look forward to working together on some game-changing education and research projects.”

Linda Nelson, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement), in Teesside University’s School of Health & Social Care, added: “The University has long enjoyed a strong working relationship with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and this formal partnership will allow us to explore and develop further exciting new opportunities built on broader and deeper collaboration across both organisations.”

Professor Samir Gupta, Clinical Director for Research and Development at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This exciting partnership will allow the two organisations to work closely together to help improve healthcare in Teesside through education, training, research and innovation.

“This will help us to continue to provide the very best care to our patients.”

Dr Paul Williams MP said that Teesside University and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust are two beacon institutions in the Tees Valley and the partnership is fantastic news for patients.

He added: “As a GP I know the importance of innovation in health care. Developing effective treatments and continually improving outcomes for patients is key to ensuring our NHS remains strong.

“I am sure that staff in both organisations will benefit hugely from this exciting collaboration. Ultimately patients are everyone’s priority and this formal partnership agreement will lead to even better healthcare for people here on Teesside.”