Signing (3).JPGThe strategic partnership between the University of Winchester and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is set to become stronger, with the two institutions pledging to work together to help address the growing demand for healthcare professionals in the region.

An exciting new phase in the partnership will support the UK's newest university faculty for health and wellbeing, which launches at the University of Winchester on 1 August 2019.

University of Winchester students on new degree courses, including nursing and physiotherapy, will gain access to cutting-edge medical equipment, on-the-job training and teaching spaces at Royal Hampshire County Hospital. Plans are being developed for a new University building, where the former RHCH Outpatients building on Romsey Road is located, which will provide specialist learning and teaching space for health and wellbeing courses.

These new activities build on an existing strategic partnership agreement signed by the two institutions in February 2018, which already sees them collaborate on research and educational activities in areas such as orthopaedics, stroke and advanced clinical practice.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I am delighted that we are building ever closer links with the University of Winchester. We have so much in common in terms of our values and our commitment to serve our joint community.

"We want to work with the University to educate and train our healthcare workers of the future to meet the needs of people in North and Mid Hampshire as well as innovating and improving the healthcare we provide."

Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, added: "As institutions, we share the same values and aspirations for the communities we serve. We believe that health and wellbeing are at the heart of what it means to flourish.

"This new agreement, building on our existing partnership, will enrich the health and wellbeing of our community and help secure the next generation of healthcare professionals in the region. Our hope is that, by working together, we will help improve patient experience, treatment and ultimately provide outstanding care."

The University's new Faculty of Health and Wellbeing brings together existing degree programmes in sport, exercise and health disciplines, and social work, medical education, and community and youth studies, with new courses in physiotherapy and nursing.