Posted by: Tony Shannon | November 30, 2013

Leeds Lab Launch

After a move from working with the NHS NPfIT some years ago, I made a move into a CCIO role at Leeds TH a few years ago. The initial focus of that work has been an informatics strategy, and a clinically facing, open source Leeds Clinical Portal which I wrote about some time ago..

Beyond that hospital oriented solution, related efforts have been made in the last year to establish a Leeds Care Record for the city. The city of Leeds is well positioned to tackle the changes that face the NHS, with a medium size, a single large multi-hospital group, one community trust, one mental health trust, one social care service and one city council all working together. Under the leadership of the city’s Health & Social Care Transformation Board, a city wide Leeds Informatics Board is setting strategy and overseeing key developments such as the Leeds Care Record across the city.

As the Leeds Care Record is aimed at offering a joined up patient/citizen centred record for the people of Leeds, we have had to plan it carefully.  Working initially with a diverse group that represent the NHS & Social Care in Leeds, we’ve now laid the foundations of this record with an internationally leading EHR standard (openEHR) to ensure this is being built based on an open, flexible yet secure and robust architecture. Some of the key lessons that this city has learnt from its place in hosting the NHS National Programme for IT (NHS Connecting for Health) are the need for clinical leadership, to align healthcare change with technical innovation, the importance of openness and standards and fostering improvements from the bottom up (vs imposed from the top down)… Most all of these principles underpin the approach to the Leeds Care Record (LCR)..

While the LCR developments are in their early formative stages, needing to engage busy staff, patients etc.. the city of Leeds also hosts important agencies such as NHS England, the Health & Social Care Information Centre, Leeds & Partners… all of whom are keen to see Leeds thrive as city with an internationally leading edge in Health Informatics. As a result of this interesting mix Leeds attracts interest from a wide range of eHealth folk who want to know more about Leeds, explore working and investing in the city etc.

A series of city wide discussions recently led to the establishment of a Leeds Innovation Health  Hub group to foster this interest in Leeds. In order to channel that positive energy of innovation, while progressing critical projects that are needed at the frontline.. the idea of a Leeds Health Innovation Lab came to be. 

So earlier this month we launched the Leeds Innovation Health Lab..
The aim was relatively straight forward.. to bring together a diverse group .. who are interested in the challenges that healthcare presents.. who want to tackle real life challenges and exploring how a combination of people, process and technology solutions might be brought to bear to deliver value and results. We can foresee that “live” challenges might initially result in a solution in the lab setting, while the lab may also foster ideas and solutions that are worth bringing into a live environment.

How this Lab will work out remains to be seen. In many ways these are very early days in the history of eHealth, yet formative important ones, so I’d suggest we explore this initiative with a curious mind.

For now I’ll conclude this post with links to;

My slides on the Leeds Lab Launch event

Leeds Health Innovation Lab website

Leeds Innovation Lab Platform – technical details of the underpinning openEHR based platform

Leeds Health Innovation Lab LinkedIn Group.

Feel free to explore..



  1. Update: August 2014: An article to explain the Leeds Care Record as it begins to go live …has now been published.
    See here;
    and here;

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