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Midlands Minister Liam Byrne announces creation of three Academic Health Sciences Centres in the West Midlands

West Midlands Minister, Liam Byrne MP, will visit The University of Warwick’s Medical School on Monday 31 March to announce the creation of three Academic Health Sciences Centres (AHSC) in the region.

Warwick AHSC will be the first in the Midlands and it will bring together all the NHS trusts across Coventry and Warwickshire in a way in which they can draw on the University of Warwick’s world-leading research expertise in systems biology, engineering and medicine with all of the NHS trusts across the sub-region. The new centre will particularly focus on innovative approaches to education and training for the region’s health professions, and applied research to enhance the improvement of clinical systems, and recruitment to clinical trials.

Another two AHSCs are planned in the West Midlands. Liam Byrne believes these new collaborations could be key to making the West Midlands one of the leading healthcare regions in the world. He will join key figures from education and healthcare sectors from across the West Midlands at Warwick Medical School to examine how AHSCs will improve the quality of patient care.

The University of Warwick will work closely with the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority to develop a plan for the creation and development of an AHSC led by the University.

One of the first major outcomes of the new collaboration will be the establishment at University Hospital in Coventry of a new Million pound plus anatomy training and clinical skills centre that will be used to train both Warwick Medical School students and local surgeons and physicians in training. More details on that particular investment are expected within the next month.

The University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Regional Engagement and Dean of Warwick Medical School, Professor Yvonne Carter said she was excited by the proposal. "The establishment of Warwick AHSC is a fantastic opportunity for the West Midlands. Not only will patients benefit from better services and access to state-of-the-art treatments, but it will focus international attention on this region as a centre of excellence for medical research, education and training."

Press Opportunity - Journalists are invited to Warwick Medical School at 12.45pm for a press opportunity with Liam Byrne MP. Mr Byrne will be observing medical students demonstrating clinical skills and state-of-the-art facilities. Please contact Peter Dunn, 07767 655860, if you would like to attend.

Notes to editors:

There is currently only one other Academic Health Science Centre in the UK, based at Imperial College London

For more details please contact:

Kelly Parkes, Communications Officer, University of Warwick,, 07824 540863

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick,, 02476 523708, 07767 655860

PR25 28th March 2008