SAPC North and the new SAPC Northern Powerhouse

SAPC North

SAPC North is the network of departments of Academic Primary Care in North England. We welcome partners from established departments as well as the new medical schools. Our network now includes members from Edge Hill, Hull York Medical School, Keele, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Sunderland, and UCLAN.

SAPC North champions the three goals of our wider organisation: to raise the profile of a distinct discipline of APC; to help build the APC workforce; and to optimise the impact of APC through collaboration. A key part of the northern network activity has been in hosting our annual conference. In 2019, this was hosted by UCLan.The meeting provides opportunities to share and present new work across education and research; to network with colleagues; and to support career development opportunities.

SAPC has supported a partnership of academic deparrtments for 49 years. In more recent years, primary care research has welcomed opportunities for new partnerships including with the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, the Academic Health Science Networks, Clinical Research Networks and NIHR Applied Research Collaborations. At this year's SAPC North meeting, we came together to build on those links to establish a new SAPC Northern Powerhouse

SAPC Northern Powerhouse

Why a Northern Powerhouse: gaps to fill

SAPC North partners welcome the opportunities that have been created by growing partnerships across our region, but also reocgnise some emerging gaps:

  • in supporting access to primary care discipline specific expertise to partners across our region
  • in addressing equity of access to APC expertise though linking between geographical areas across the north
  • in broadening the range of schoalrship activity used to support excellence in primary care 

Recent discussions have recognised an opportunity,and possibly a need, for a 'network-of-networks': bringing together acedemic primary care experrtise across our region, and across networks.

So that we can provide the distinct Thought Leadership, knowledge and expertise that our NHS partners are calling for.

Establsihing an SAPC Northern Powerhouse starts to deliver on some the recommendations submitted by SAPC to the 2016 Health Select Committee Inquiry into Primary Care: namely to establish a distinct Primary Care Strategic Body for the NHS, along with a Primary Care Observatory to monitor the impact of policy and practice changes on primary care goals.

Establishing a Northern Powerhouse: remit and purpose

We propose three key goals for the Northern Powerhouse:

  • To offer distinct Primary Care Thought Leadership
  • To link academic primary care experience, expertise and innovation across our region
  • To support a different type of research and scholarship 

Establishing an Academic primary Care Observatory for Research in the North (ACORN)

We fheld our first meeting of the Northern Powerhouse at this year's SAPC North Conference. Welcoming partners including Dr William Van't Hoff, Clinical Director for NHS Engagement at NIHR; Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency; Professor Mark Gabbay from the Northwestcoast ARC; , partners from the Clinical Research Networks and Professor Dan Lasserson from PIONEER (the Health Data Research Hub for Acute Care)

Our furst meeting explored opportunities to establish an Acaedemic primary Care Observatory for Research in the North. Plans are in progress and we'll post further updates on this site.