Academic health science centre

An academic health science(s) centre (AHSC; also known as an academic health science(s) system, an academic health science(s) partnership or an academic medical centre) is a partnership between one or more universities and healthcare providers focusing on research, clinical services, education and training.[1] AHSCs are intended to ensure that medical research breakthroughs lead to direct clinical benefits for patients.[1] The organisational structures that comprise an AHSC can take a variety of forms, ranging from simple partnerships to, less frequently, fully integrated organisations with a single management board.[1]

There are currently AHSCs operating in a number of countries including Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.[2]


AHSCs currently in operation in Australia include:


Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

In Canada, AHSCs are also referred to as Academic Healthcare Organizations. AHSCs currently in operation in Canada include:

United Kingdom

The sprawling campus of St Thomas' Hospital, part of King's Health Partners

In 2007 a review of healthcare in London led by Professor Lord Darzi, A Framework for Action, recommended the creation of a number of AHSCs.[2][4] In October 2007 Imperial College Healthcare became the first AHSC to be established in the UK when the Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine merged with the Hammersmith Hospital and St Mary's NHS trusts.[4] Four more AHSCs have subsequently been established in the UK and one is planned.[4]

Funding mainly comes from NHS and work was already "in hand to identify the funding" when expressions of interest were solicited.[5] When contracts were signed with NHS in 2013, AHSCs shared among themselves around £60 million of funding.

With a clear purpose, structure and approach of individual AHSCs is a matter for local decision especially with the contrasting approaches adopted as well as the differences in opinions voiced out by network founders.[6]

The following AHSCs are currently in operation in the UK:[7][8][9]

United States

An aerial view of the Texas Medical Center
The Yale – New Haven Hospital campus in Connecticut

AHSCs currently in operation in the United States include:

Other Countries

Kyushu University Academic Medical Center

AHSCs currently in operation in other parts of the world include:


  1. 1 2 3 "The role of academic health science systems in the transformation of medicine" (PDF). The Lancet. 13 March 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  2. 1 2 "A Framework for Action". Healthcare for London. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  4. 1 2 3 "University interventions aim to help heal a 'broken' NHS". Times Higher Education. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  5. Academic Health Science Networks: Engaging with Improvement, NHS Confederation, June 2012
  6. Johnson, Sarah (26 April 2013). "Academic Health Science Networks: their role and development". London: The Guardian, 26 April 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  7. "Super trusts: unite and conquer". Health Service Journal. 20 October 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  8. "Top hospitals link up with university to form research centre". London Evening Standard. 10 April 2008. Archived from the original on 19 April 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  9. "NHS hospitals to forge £2bn research link-up with university". The Guardian. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  10. "Home". Cambridge University Health Partners. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  11. "Home". Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Archived from the original on 1 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  12. "Home". King's Health Partners. Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  13. "West Midlands Academic Health Science Network". WMAHSN. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  14. "Home". Manchester Academic Health Science Centre. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  16. "Home". UCL Partners. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  17. "Academic health sciences collaboration". The Scottish Government. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
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