About Academic Health Sciences Centres
An Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) is the UK government's description of the research and healthcare structure adopted by many of the world's leading academic institutions and hospitals.
On 9 March 2009 the Department of Health announced the successful accreditation of five Academic Health Sciences Centres in the UK.
Based on breaking down barriers and increasing cooperation and focus, the AHSC concept seeks to combine basic and translational health research, clinical care and education to create world-leading improvements in healthcare.
Leading international examples of this integrated approach include:
The centres are tasked with delivering on the commitment set out in Lord Darzi's strategy for the future of the NHS, High Quality Care for All. They will speed up the time it takes the NHS to access new and better quality treatments and approaches to improving health because of the unique partnerships between researchers and NHS staff working at the front line delivering patient care.
The criteria for designation as an Academic Health Sciences Centre, established by the Department of Health, required applicants to meet a high standard. The international panel for designation was clear that continuing to get the basics right is essential for the ongoing credibility of the AHSC. AHSCs are required to continue to meet the designation criteria and to comply with the existing regulatory, performance and monitoring regimes. The Department of Health reserves the right to suspend or remove designation. Designation is awarded for five years and the centres are subject to review with a re-application process.