Connect Health sign exciting new partnership with Teesside University

New partnership will drive health care and education in the North East

28 November 2018

New partnership will drive health care and education in the North East


Teesside University has forged an exciting new strategic partnership with a leading specialist health care provider which will enable collaborative research and innovation opportunities and further develop the employability of students and graduates.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the University’s School of Health & Social Care and Connect Health, based in Newcastle, which formalises the commitment to work together.

Connect Health is the largest, independent provider of integrated community MSK (musculoskeletal) services (including orthopaedics, pain and rheumatology) in the UK, serving over 300,000 NHS patients a year across 19 Clinical Commissioning Groups and over 100 private businesses.  Historically, 30 million work days are lost each year due to musculoskeletal issues andConnect Health provides evidence-based, patient-centred care to enable people to improve their quality of life, reducing waiting times and clinical risk.

It also has one of the world’s largest collections of musculoskeletal data, seeing over 300,000 patients a year. Connect Health will work with experts at Teesside University to analyse this data, resulting in enhanced evidence based practice and innovation in services.

Teesside University’s School of Health & Social Care delivers a range of courses which meet today’s health and social care needs. It promotes evidence-based practice, giving students and graduates the most up to date knowledge and skills to deliver care. Research within the School focusses on rehabilitation and exercise sciences and public health and interdisciplinary work is carried out across the University and in partnership with external bodies and groups.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Professor Jane Turner OBE DL, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) at Teesside University and Professor Andrew Walton, Executive Chair at Connect Health.

It outlines a commitment to work together on a range of collaborative opportunities, including student placements, joint research, staff development, mentorships, education and training. The strategic partnership will also enable access to the capability and expertise that resides within the Schools of Science, Engineering & Design and Computing, Media & the Arts.

Professor Turner said:

“We have an outstanding reputation in terms of health and social care and already work with a wide range of regional employers and health care providers.

“Our mantra is ‘you are the company you keep’ and Connect Health is a values based entity on a mission and exactly the kind of organisation we want to align ourselves with. They are at the forefront of musculoskeletal care and physiotherapy – driving innovation and improving patient services.

“This formal relationship will put a discipline and structure in place to maximise joint research, employability opportunities and collaborative partnerships.”

Professor Walton added:

“Connect Health is 30 years old next year and in the last 5 years in particular we have enjoyed significant  growth both in terms of size and maturity.

“Partnerships like this are so important and underpin our business infrastructure. It has been an incredibly exciting journey to get to where we are and we are delighted to be signing a formal Memorandum of Understanding with Teesside University, which has a fantastic reputation for both research and training in the health professions.”

Linda Nelson, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement) in Teesside University’s School of Health & Social Care, said:

“This is a fantastic partnership which reinforces the shared ambition of both organisations.

“The core of research in our School is in rehabilitation and physiotherapy and this provides an opportunity to work together to improve patient outcomes.

“The partnership is also about looking to the future and providing our students with challenging and engaging placement opportunities at a company where they could be employed on graduation.”

Lisa Davidson, HR Director at Connect Health added:

“This partnership will support us on our journey to deliver a diverse workforce that has the right skills to deliver sustainable healthcare in the UK.

“Our roots are in the North East and we want to create employment opportunities for Teesside University students to support the local economy.”