A LINE of global investors are queuing up to help put Leeds at the vanguard of Jeremy Hunt’s new ‘paperless NHS’ as the city strives to become one of three centres of excellence for hi-tech industries across Yorkshire.
Leeds representatives wrote to the Health Secretary earlier this month to offer a commitment that the city can become the first place in the UK to have a revolutionary digital health record system in place for every one of its NHS and social care patients before the end of next year.
The pioneering scheme is part of the city’s wider push to become a global centre for healthcare technology, with marketing chiefs locked in talks with a number of leading American firms that could bring millions of pounds of new investment to the city over the next 12 months.
The Leeds healthcare ‘hub’ is one of three similar projects - Sheffield and Hull are the others - as the region’s largest cities look to reinvent themselves for the 21st century.
In a special report, the scale of the opportunities available are shown to be highly significant, with studies suggesting thousands of new jobs can be created in each city as the new high-tech industries expand over the coming years.
Lurene Joseph, chief executive of marketing agency Leeds and Partners, has made several trips to America to meet with global firms interested in helping Leeds become a centre of excellence.
She said: “The investors are coming. I don’t want to quote them at this stage. But we’re bringing in people at the cutting edge – one of them is world renowned, quoted in Forbes magazine as bringing a new approach to healthcare.”
Leeds has a long history of being at the forefront of the healthcare sector. It is home to the Department for Health’s headquarters for the north of England as well as one of Europe’s largest teaching hospitals, St James’s.