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Matt Hancock praises innovation in the North

The Health and Social Care Secretary delivered a speech at the conference praising innovation in the North.

At the Northern Powerhouse Health Innovation Conference, Matt Hancock delivered a speech that promoted the work of the Northern Powerhouse and how the North of England is leading innovation across the country and benefiting the entire UK economy.

In the speech, the Health and Social Care Secretary talked about the link between the Northern Powerhouse and the NHS. Not just the way the NHS has been there for individuals and families and the way it saves lives, but the way the NHS contributes to the Northern Powerhouse by supporting employers, helping people to stay in work and inspiring innovation.

Sadly, 300,000 people a year are forced to leave work because of poor health. This can lead to a loss of financial security, dignity and can negatively affect mental health and wellbeing. What’s more, poor health can mean individuals face discrimination in the workplace, where people have to leave work rather than employers adapting to the needs of the individual.

As a result, the NHS is focused on helping those in need to find the right job to suit their skills, knowledge and abilities. Together the NHS and the Department for Work and Pensions are working together to help people fulfil their potential as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The reason this is such an important focus for the Northern Powerhouse is that health inequality costs the North over £13 billion a year. However, with more MedTech businesses in the North than in London, Cambridge and Oxford, the Northern Powerhouse has the chance to bridge the gap in health inequality and benefit the overall economy.

At the moment, the MedTech industry directly employs 250,000 people and contributes £70 billion to the UK economy; the North has the chance for dynamic growth and innovation. With the right investment such as the Fujifilm Diosynth project in Tees Valley and Rutherford Diagnostics centre in Liverpool Knowledge Quarter, the North has the chance to make innovation happen.

As his closing statement, Matt Hancock said to the conference; “So let’s work together. Let’s keep striving and seeking improvement. Let’s spur innovation here to drive growth across the UK, make the NHS the most innovative health system in the world and ensure Britain continues to be a world leader.”

You can read the full speech by Matt Hancock here.

Article source: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-most-innovative-healthtech-is-happening-in-the-north

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