About ACHA

The Academic Centre for Healthy Ageing (ACHA) is a new centre focused on research, education and training to improve care and support for older people in north east London.

ACHA is a collaborative project between Barts Health NHS Trust, Queen Mary University of London and Barts Charity.

Based within Whipps Cross Hospital, with strong local community links, ACHA is closely connected to the Integrated Delivery Framework (IDF), a system-wide approach to transforming health and care services across the whole Whipps Cross catchment area. This means all our research happens where patient care happens.

People are living longer, but not always with good health and wellbeing. We want to make sure older people’s lives remain as healthy, productive, independent and enjoyable as possible.

All our research happens in real world ‘frontline’ care settings and involving patients and caregivers. Because of this, we can produce high quality evidence of what works. By connecting with national experts and networks, we can use this knowledge to improve services to better support healthy ageing across the UK.

The views and needs of our diverse local communities will inform everything we do: our research, our education programmes, and, most importantly, how we should design and deliver health and care services to improve care and support for older people.

How ACHA began

In February 2021, the Whipps Cross Redevelopment Strategic Partnership Board recognised the opportunity to collaborate with our academic partners at Queen Mary University of London to further establish the academic and research offer for north east London.

There was unanimous agreement that the approach should be in line with the vision for the new Whipps Cross hospital to stand out as a Centre of Care Excellence for the multidisciplinary care of older people, with complex health and care needs linked to multi-morbidity and clinical frailty, to address and begin to prevent poor quality population ageing in the Whipps Cross Catchment Area.

In the summer of 2021, a working group was established to develop the vision and materialise the aims for ACHA. They developed an application to bid for grant funding with Barts Charity. £6.6 million was granted in May 2023.

ACHA is now mobilising ahead of launching in autumn 2024.

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