Sheffield’s five Labour MPs have written to the Prime Minister and Health Secretary to seek support for the building of a world class Centre for Child Health Technology (CCHT) on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
In what will be a significant project for the North of England, the CCHT, which is the first of a kind, has the backing of international companies including IBM, Canon Medical, Philips, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System.
The move by the MPs comes as the government sets up a new infrastructure delivery taskforce which it says will make sure it builds “the right things, better and faster than before” including health and education projects.
When built it will operate alongside Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) which has set up a Wellbeing Accelerator programme with twelve companies already confirmed in the first 4 months and a further twelve expected before the end of the year.
The AWRC also houses a research facility for Sheffield’s National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, a London Olympics legacy programme. Its three outreach centres, co-locating NHS services in sports and recreational facilities, delivered more than 90,000 clinical appointments last year.
The CCHT, at a capital cost of £24 million, will deliver 51,300 sq ft of clinical research space, to focus on bringing long term sustainable change to children’s health and wellbeing through:
- Rapid knowledge transfer for digital and technology development at scale
- Living Lab and Test Bed Facilities evaluating technologies in real-world and clinical settings, creating active testing and simulation
- Digital and telecommunications laboratories for rapid real-time communications managing patients at home
- Artificial intelligence supporting growth in large data management
- Virtual and augmented reality to support advanced rapid rehabilitation/prehabilitation technologies.
- Thermal imaging laboratory for early diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal conditions
- Internationally renowned sleep research technology centre
Clive Betts, Sheffield South East MP, whose constituency is home to Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said: “Investment in the CCHT will deliver excellent value for money and major benefits for the wider health of the economy of Sheffield City Region.”
The group of MPs outlined: “There will be many benefits including the acceleration of the development and adoption of new health technology products and software applications specifically designed for children and young people and a significant contribution to the delivery of the objectives contained within the Life Sciences Sector Deal and the Northern Powerhouse 2050 strategy. The CCHT also supports SMEs and creates high value job opportunities.”
Since its founding 5 years ago, Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is working with the world famous Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to form the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District which is a major driver to increase the competitiveness of Sheffield City Region’s economy.
Signatures to the letter are: Clive Betts MP, Paul Blomfield MP, Gill Furniss MP, Louise Haigh MP, Olivia Blake MP