A major collaboration aimed at improving health and care services in Greater Manchester has been extended for a further three years.

Health Innovation Manchester and the University of Manchester have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which sets out a commitment to improving the health of the population.

The parties will work toward this goal through collaboration on research, informing health policy and practice and the development and evaluation of health technologies.

Teaching, training and education will also form a key focus of the MoU, Health Innovation Manchester said.

The formation of a “Data Lab” has been earmarked as a “major project” for the partnership, which will tie in with Greater Manchester’s recent appointment as a Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) by NHS England.

The Data Lab will explore how “routinely-collected information”, such as anonymised data from patient records, can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of medicines, new technologies and health interventions with the view of improving population health and informing NICE guidelines.

Ben Bridgewater, chief executive of Health Innovation Manchester, said the Data Lab formed “a key part of Greater Manchester’s digital innovation offer”.

He added: “Being able to use data for research purposes is vital so that we can provide modern day healthcare that radically improves the health and wellbeing of our citizens.

“Having a shared care record through the LHCRE programme will greatly enhance our ability to conduct world-leading research here in Greater Manchester, providing a richer and more accurate data pool.”

Greater Manchester is set to receive £7.5m investment from NHS England after being selected one of three new Local Health and Care Record Exemplars.

The funding will be used to link up clinical IT systems across all 10 boroughs to create a shared care record covering 2.8 million citizens.

The renewed partnership agreement was signed by leaders from NICE, Health Innovation Manchester and the University of Manchester on 22 June 2018.

Professor Peter Clayton, the university’s head of school of medical sciences, said: “Agreeing the memorandum of understanding for a further three years with NICE greatly enriches our ability to deliver real population health improvements through our world class research and education programmes alongside other partners, including industry.

“The Data Lab demonstrates our shared commitment to being at the leading edge of digital innovation”.