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Health research and innovation

2nd March 2009

Mike Cooke, chief executive of Nottinghamshire Healthcare trust, draws together health research and innovation, and Italian wine tasting.

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While the health research and innovation field is complex and exciting the researchers need to be more "service facing."

In addition, the NHS has to become more receptive to translating research and innovation into clinical practice.

However, translating research is a bit like tasting Italian wines – complicated yet rewarding.

Of the four classifications of Italian wine, the superheavyweights include Brunello, Barolo and Barbaresco.

The health research equivalent is the academic health science centres: Imperial College Healthcare trust, plus Oxford and Cambridge.

A broader class of Italian wines are denominazione di origine controllata (DOC). Within the similar class in the NHS are perhaps nine collaborations for leadership in applied health research and care, plus the bioscience research centres and units, all with real quality and depth.

There are some 300 DOC wines in Italy with a preference for doing things locally. Does this sound like the NHS?

A third classification includes authentic wines with strong local ownership and can be among the best.

“I reckon 20 health innovation and education clusters and a full range of topical and comprehensive local research networks fit nicely into this category.”

Fourthly, we have Italian table wine, best tasted on holiday.

What is best for the future development of the NHS is a system of health research generation and implementation that works as a whole. Further understanding of Italian wine may add a little something to a higher education and health service partnership too.

 

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