Newcastle and the North East region
The NIHR Newcastle BRC plays an important role in the health ecosystem of the wider North East England region.
Across the partnership we are an exemplar of the positive impact world class translational research has on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of age-related disease now and in the future. In the region the Trust and University are anchor organisations creating and supporting a sustainable health system and nationally they are leading and influencing research delivery and policy.
Globally both have ambitions to realise their capability internationally using our outstanding foundations, enhancing our global reach.
North East of England faces a range of social and economic challenges, of which poor health is a major contributing factor. In Newcastle the chance of dying under the age of 75 is 20% higher than in the South of England. The number of people aged 65-74 in the area will grow by a third by 2028, with the over-85 age group the fastest growing sector, increasing by 58%. Life expectancy is lower than the national average and, significantly, the length of time that people spend in poor health – 20.4 years for men and 25.0 years for women – is higher than the national average. As our ageing population rapidly increases, and inequalities in healthy life expectancy expand, multi-morbidity will become the norm.
There is also a direct correlation between poor health and economic performance. This is documented in a recent NHSA report that identified a £4 gap in productivity per-person per-hour (over £13bn) between the Northern Powerhouse regions and the rest of England, attributable to a significant extent to the effect of deprivation and poor health.
When viewed within the context of demographic change and a rapidly growing proportion of older people in the region’s population, with associated risks of ill health and widening inequalities in terms of healthy ageing, the North East is challenged to innovate to improve economic performance, reduce inequalities, and increase wellbeing of its ageing citizens. As one of the first institutions to recognise the approaching challenges of the ageing population, over the last 35 years Newcastle University has coordinated its research efforts and led the world in the multi-disciplinary investigation of ageing, including the creation of the Campus for Ageing and Vitality. In 2010 Newcastle became a founding member of the WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities.