• Partnership to boost AI adoption across Merseyside Health Trust
    Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

News & Views

Partnership to boost AI adoption across Merseyside Health Trust

Mar 20 2024

A strategic partnership to optimise patient outcomes though Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare across Merseyside has been announced by the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre and the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

The announcement closely followed Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt's budget announcement of £3.4 billion funding to support digital transformation in the NHS as part of wider plans to boost productivity. The collaboration will embark on a series of scoping projects to explore the adoption and integration of advanced digital technologies, from AI to quantum computing, with the intention to address challenges such as:

  • Outsmarting disease with faster and more accurate detection and diagnosis·         
  • More personalised healthcare·         
  • An upskilled workforce empowering healthcare professionals with the skills to harness digital technologies for improved productivity and patient care, with less time spent on administrative tasks         
  • Advanced AI systems for enhanced prediction and decision-making across the board, including mental health care        
  • Located at  Sci-Tech Daresbury in the Liverpool City Region, the Hartree Centre is the UK's only supercomputing centre dedicated to industry engagement.  

Kate Royse, Director of the STFC Hartree Centre said: "Our mission is to equip UK industry with the knowledge, skills and compute needed to fully unlock the potential of advanced digital technologies. This collaboration is not just about technology; it's about enhancing the digital skills of the UK NHS workforce and making digital technologies more accessible. From automating tasks, to monitoring at-risk patients, the ultimate aim is to optimise patient outcomes, to the benefit of the whole of society."

Professor Joe Rafferty CBE, Mersey Care’s Chief Executive Officer, recently hosted a major expo of international tech leaders to set out his Trust’s vision of being an anchor institution in digital healthcare research:   “We’re the largest provider of some of the most specialist mental healthcare in the NHS. This scale and the data we produce allows us to talk about the interrelationship between physical, mental and social health. Our vision is not merely to create a world class digital research centre but to do so in order to deliver the best results possible to our patients, service users and our communities where we know health inequalities adversely affect lives, economies and opportunity”.

Paul Vernon, Head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, said: “There has never been a better time for UK organisations to take advantage of the incredible innovations happening within AI, and this collaboration is an exciting example of its real potential to generate long-term societal and economic impact. By empowering UK industry to embrace cutting edge digital technologies, we are supporting the government's vision of cultivating a competitive and pioneering digital economy, and to position the UK as a global AI superpower."

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