A collection of healthcare and academic institutions in North East England are pooling their resources in an attempt to advance the field of medical diagnostics.

Diagnostics North East is a collaboration between the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), Newcastle University and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and aims to develop new diagnostic tests and devices.

Through the partnership, a number of clinical facilities in the North East will work together to research, develop and evaluate new diagnostic technologies with a view to pushing them out to the wider NHS.

Facilities involved in the new partnership include the Newcastle University Cell Unit and its Institute of Genetic Medicine, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Assessment Centre in Newcastle.

Diagnostics North East aims to support researchers, clinicians and industry to “position the region at the forefront of technology and innovation in medical diagnostics,” while at the same time introducing better diagnostic tests to patients more rapidly.

No infrastructure will be shared under the initiative. Instead. Stephen Lynn, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals’ funding and development manager, told Digital Health News that Diagnostics North East was instead intended as a “one stop shop” through which the region’s diagnostics capabilities could be accesses through a single entry point.

Michael Wright, deputy medical director of Newcastle Hospitals, said the initiative would allow Diagnostics North East to provide better services for patients in the region, as well as “across the whole of the NHS.”

“Our strong collaboration, allied to first class clinical facilities and a strong culture of clinical research, is ideally placed to accelerate the pathway from innovation through to patient benefit.”

Last August, a number of trusts in North West England acquired a new picture archiving and communication system and vendor neutral archive to enable the sharing of diagnostic data between organisations.