ACHA hosts first education and training event

In January 2024, the Academic Centre for Healthy Ageing (ACHA) – a brand new research, education and training centre based at Whipps Cross Hospital – began its mobilisation with a soft launch. A small, focussed event that aimed to inspire local leaders about existing and future research career opportunities for health and care professionals.

We would like to thank all those who attended, and in particular, a huge thanks to our four wonderful speakers.

Here’s a brief summary of the insightful and thought-provoking presentations:

  • Dr Amanjit Jhund, Whipps Cross Hospital’s CEO and the Chair of the ACHA Board of Directors, welcomed everyone and introduced the ACHA Board Members to the audience. Amanjit described the unique opportunity ACHA presents to deliver real impact locally; transforming how services support people as they grow older, supporting them to live well and independently, all while helping reshape and grow the local health and care workforce. ACHA has been designed to speed up health and care transformation by connecting research to frontline care and the team were thrilled to welcome speakers that are already making an impact in this way.


  • Professor Anne-Maree Keenan (Associate Dean, NIHR Academy) opened the event with a presentation about research development opportunities the NIHR (National Institute for Health and Care Research) are currently offering health and care professionals (HCPs) in the UK. This includes £30m of new government funding for people in HCP roles like nurses, health visitors, ambulance staff and care home workers – particularly aimed at those who may not have been informed or been encouraged to get involved in research as part of their job previously.


  • Dr Mark Rawle (ACHA Board Member and Consultant Geriatrician working at Whipps Cross) talked us through ACHA’s future vision for education and training initiatives and the benefits of the centre being based within a hospital – Mark explained how ACHA will work with care provider partners and offer front line staff the opportunity of some protected academic time working on research or education, supported by a permanent senior academic faculty and infrastructure. Employers will be reimbursed for staff time spent in these academic activities.  In this way the ACHA will help to attract, retain and develop staff, particularly in posts which have previously been hard to fill.


  • Professor Deborah Swinglehurst (Professor of Primary Care, Complexity and Social Science at the Wolfson Institute of Population Health, QMUL) gave us examples of practical research already taking place in health and care settings, focusing on her work on polypharmacy and how this research is now helping change the ways in which health professionals talk to patients about the medicines they take.


  • James Sinclair (COO, Care City) closed the event with the innovative work Care City are involved in to develop and support people working in social care. He shared the work they are doing to support and develop those already working in care, as well as how they’re raising the profile of careers in social care in schools and colleges in north east London.

More events will be held over the coming months in the lead up to ACHA’s full launch later this year and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

If you have any questions or would like to meet with any of the team to discuss ACHA’s work, please email

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