“Who are we? We are Liverpool Health Partners” – read our new COO’s first blog

January 2022 was a momentous month for me. Starting in my new role at Liverpool Health Partners had meaning on many levels.

I have a vested interest in making a difference to the health and wellbeing outcomes of the people of the city region. I was born in the old maternity hospital on Oxford Street and was raised in north Liverpool. My Dad still lives in the south of the city, so I am incredibly familiar with the people, the culture, and the infrastructure, of the strengths we have in abundance and the challenges that our city region faces.

I have spent my career building a reputation as a convenor and collaborator, cognisant that when we work together, we make magic happen. I have spent the last ten years working for membership organisations dedicated to creating multi-organisation and trans-sector opportunities in research collaboration, knowledge exchange, and partnership working.

When I learned that my predecessor at LHP, Dr Mark Jackson, had announced his imminent retirement, I jumped at the chance to apply for the role and to bring my experience, knowledge, and extended work family of contacts back home. I consider myself a custodian of my role. In just the way that Mark has been, and the difference that he has made during his tenure, I am now taking custodianship in a new era of post-pandemic recovery and policy priorities for our scientific and clinical community.

When H.M. Government published the UK Research and Development Roadmap in 2021, it set its focus forward on post-COVID recovery; harnessing the expertise that established the UK as the pioneer of vaccine discovery and testing capability, which acts to future-proof our preparedness. The road map articulates the importance of partnership working, and for place-based scientific and clinical clusters, such as LHP, to maintain their place in the tapestry of UK science and innovation inter-connected systems of excellence and impact.

Excellence and impact – as two sides of the same coin – is a theme within NIHR’s 2021 report, Best Research for Best Health: The Next Chapter. In response to national policy drivers and NIHR’s call to arms we can build upon our capabilities and expertise in mental health research and contribute tangible improvements to the science behind addressing multi-morbidities. We can work with our civic colleagues on starting well, living well, and ageing well preventative measures at population level, demonstrating the #nobunkers ethos of unifying clinical, academic, public health, and social care delivery. As identified by NIHR, post-pandemic recovery requires an integrative, cross-discipline model of research delivery that serves to address disparities in health outcomes.

“No one can whistle a symphony; it takes a whole orchestra to play it.” Halford E. Luccock

With these objectives in mind, my eyes are firmly focussed forward, excited for the opportunities to showcase the best of what we are. Who are we? We are Liverpool Health Partners.

You can follow my #COODiary feed either on Twitter @NicWils68 or Nicola Wilson | LinkedIn. Drop me a message or an email to meet for a coffee and a chat. I am a big fan of walking meetings!