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Case study

Connecting People and Technology to Improve Research Outcomes

The Trusted Research and Evaluation Environment (TREE) is a collaborative programme looking at how we connect the right people, skills, technology, data and governance to improve how we carry out and heath and care research and service improvement in the North East and North Cumbria.

TREE allows partners from across the NHS, local authorities and universities to collaborate on evaluation or research projects using linked data from different sources to answer specific questions.

The AHSN NENC is facilitating the development of the programme and has funded and supported the programme since the closure of the Connected Health Cities programme in 2020.

AHSN NENC has provided funding for Durham University to continue developing their knowledge and skills in how use of a Trusted Research Environment (TRE) can be applied to real world evaluations. One such example includes supporting the evaluation of a care home digital solution, provided by Health Call and its impact on hospital admissions. The AHSN provided seed funding prior to the project developing under HDRUK.

Since January 2021 the AHSN has provided dedicated resource for the Integrated Care System for the region to review how a regional TREE could be developed using learning from Durham and other similar environments in the UK.

Following a regional consultation and TREE strategy an outline business case was produced providing options for service delivery and indicative costs. This is now being incorporated into the ICS Data Strategy and currently work is underway to find ‘exemplar’ projects to test the current platform’s technical capability and the governance to make the North East and North Cumbria a world-beating place to carry out evaluation and research.

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