MP endorses Keele health collaborations

Keele University’s work to address regional and national healthcare priorities has been commended by the MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Speaking at a recent Research and Innovation workshop, Aaron Bell praised Keele Deal | Health – an initiative that is bringing together key public and private sector healthcare organisations to address some of the region’s most significant health challenges.

Addressing the online audience of health care leaders and other Keele Deal | Health partners, Mr Bell said: “The Science Minister has spoken of her desire to foster a deepening of the interactions between science and society, and I think what you’re doing at Keele is a great example of that.

“Keele is thinking about how to tackle regional challenges and national issues, and how to use the resources available to do that through inclusive engagement. I really want to praise this project and commend you for what you’re doing.”

Keele Deal | Health builds on the new and mature relationships that the University has with health, care and industry partners, as well as patient, public, carer and client groups across Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire and Wolverhampton.

As well as praising the healthcare and medical technology benefits that the Keele Deal | Health partnership can bring to the region, Mr Bell also highlighted the economic impact that the University and its collaborations have the potential to deliver:

“I want Keele to be a big part of what drives forward North Staffordshire.  Not many places have the advantage of a Keele in their patch, that can bring new jobs and more money into the local economy, which in turn will support the local high streets and support our economic recovery.

“I see Keele University as a huge benefit for the constituency and integrating Keele with new companies is absolutely key to getting more money into our local economy.”

One such example of Keele bringing local industry, academia and healthcare partners together for innovative collaboration is the Business Bridge* project, which is helping SMEs in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to gain a competitive advantage in healthcare and medical technology sectors by facilitating access to University expertise and local industry experts.

Through Business Bridge, and its Healthcare Business Network, Keele has connected more than 150 local SMEs within these sectors and their associated supply chains, enabling more local partnership working.

Keele Deal | Health was launched in November 2019, and the benefits of its collaborative approaches were placed into the spotlight a few months later as the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic started to emerge.  In response to the pandemic, Keele University has worked with partners from across the healthcare sector to:

  • Support a national trial which saw 3,500 pioneering Covid-19 diagnostic tests take place on campus
  • Facilitate and support more than 270 final year nursing and medical students joining the healthcare workforce early, adding to the thousands of Keele-trained healthcare professionals who were already on the NHS frontline
  • Collaborate with the Institution of Engineering Designers to enable engineers and designers to help tackle some of the biggest issues affecting the NHS and care providers
  • Support the development of a new training module for GPs regarding the long-term effects of Covid-19, following research by Keele academics.

As the programme develops, Keele Deal | Health will enable partner organisations to work with Keele and each other to drive improvements in health and social care for regional populations, bringing additional social, cultural and economic advantages for individuals and the communities in which they live.

To find out more about Keele University’s other Keele Deals with local partners, visit

ERDF logo *The Business Bridge programme, accessible through the Keele Gateway, is open to eligible Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire SMEs who are looking to grow their business into the healthcare and medical supply chain.

The programme (Ref: 32R18P02530, Medical Research and Development Centre Phase Two) is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme.