Sheffield Labour MPs want Prime Minister’s support for breakthrough Sheffield health initiative

2nd July 2020

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 the 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 Watson Health, Cannon Medical, Phillips, 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 which has set up a Wellbeing Accelerator programme with nine companies already confirmed and a further fifteen expected before the end of the year.

Responding to the Pandemic, the AWRC team are setting up a COVID -19 rehabilitation research and innovation unit which will help victims of the virus back into normal life.

It also houses the headquarters and research facility for Sheffield’s National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, A London Olympics legacy, 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 the 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 supports SMEs and creates high value job opportunities,” they added.

The Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park since its founding 5 years ago is working with now 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

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