BOURNEMOUTH University (BU) and University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust (UHD) are celebrating a full year of partnership.

UHD gained university status as a part of the merger of Poole Hospital and The Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trusts in October 2020.

The existing partnership between the former organisations and BU was formalised via a joint Memorandum of Understanding.

A spokesperson from Bournemouth University said: "The BU-UHD partnership aims to develop a culture of innovation, research and education across the workforce and raise the profile of opportunities across Bournemouth University and University Hospitals Dorset.

"Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, year one of the BU-UHD Partnership programme has supported the formation of many new collaborative relationships and raised the profile of opportunities that our new partnership brings across BU and UHD."

Achievements of the partnership have included: the first participants being scanned in the university’s Dorset LEP-funded MRI scanner, researchers supporting UHD’s transformation team with insight into evidence-based bed layouts and BU’s Orthopaedic Research Institute being embedded into UHD, supporting patient care and helping to prevent and lessen hip pain in patients.

The partnership has also supported students into placement opportunities, with joint staffing appointments across the two organisations and members of UHD staff supporting teaching at the university.

Dr Ruth Williamson, chair of the BU-UHD steering committee and deputy chief medical officer, said: “Our collaboration will continue to develop a range of training programmes, student placements and joint research proposals that support future service delivery.

“Our ongoing work is to share how as local anchor institutions, we are developing local people for local jobs to support our communities. We very much look forward to building on the work undertaken in 2020/21 to deliver more benefits in the coming year.”

Professor John Vinney, vice-chancellor of Bournemouth University, said: “We are delighted to be working so closely with our local healthcare partners, to work for the benefit of patients, staff, students and the local community in delivering integrated care and supporting healthcare through research, while our students are getting hands-on experience for lifelong careers in healthcare.”

Read more about the BU-UHD partnership on the Bournemouth University website.