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Brunel University London and the NHS

In celebration of the National Health Service’s 75th anniversary, we thought we would highlight some of our close collaborations with the NHS, especially Hillingdon Hospital which goes back to our earliest years in Uxbridge.

5 July 1948

The National Health Service (NHS) is born from the idea that good health care should be available to all regardless of wealth.  The NHS is launched by Aneurin Bevan, Health Minister at the time.

Three core principles at the time are:

  • that it meet the needs of everyone
  • that it be free at the point of delivery
  • that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay


A Joint committee between Brunel and Hillingdon Hospital is established.  Professor Gillett (Head of Biology Department), Dr Ship (Vice-Principal), LJ Sapper (Governor) and Dr Topping (Principal/later VC) represent Brunel


The Joint Committee with Hillingdon Hospital submits a Medical Education paper for a medical school to be created.  The medical school is denied but Brunel/Hillingdon decide to pursue postgraduate teaching and scientific/engineering research together


Brunel helps design and test a hearing screening device to detect hearing impairments in babies just a few days after birth.  The Auditory Response Cradle (ARC) tests the hearing of babies born at Hillingdon Hospital between 1980 and 2004.  It is not until 2004 that a national screening programme is introduced across the UK

nurses ARC Brunel Bulletin June 1985

April 1974

Elliott Jacques’ (Head of School of Social Sciences) investigations of the working of the NHS culminates in the reorganisation of the NHS into Area and Regional Health Authorities


Brunel establishes a joint Postgraduate Research Centre with Hillingdon Hospital


Brunel Institute for Bioengineering is established with Heinz Wolff as director

2 November 1984

The Postgraduate Research Centre with Hillingdon Hospital is formally opened by the Earl of Halsbury, the University’s Chancellor.  The opening of the PG Centre seals a long-standing relationship between the University and Hillingdon Hospital

The creation of the Centre was the result of ambitious plans that existed early in the early 1970s to have a University Medical School.  The recognition of so many areas of common interest that were of great medical importance was the chief impetus towards raising the necessary money, in a campaign lasting 5 years.

The Research Centre has laboratories for research into cancer (cervix and colon), audiology, bioengineering, heart disease and Crohn’s disease, and also the use of computers in diagnosis, treatment and health economics.  The Centre provides training and research facilities, which are open to medical staff at all levels.  Professor Slater (Brunel), who chairs the Joint Research Committee, leads the cancer research.  Other members of Brunel based in part at the Centre include Professor Wolff (Bioengineering), Dr Robinson (ARMS – Multiple Sclerosis research) and Martin Buxton (Health Economics)

PG Centre


Brunel opens the Institute for Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics (BICGP) with the primary aim of identifying new cancer-causing genes to develop treatments.  Since 2002, the Institute has received over £5million in grants from various bodies including the Department of Health


Professor of Healthcare Systems, Terry Young, publishes a co-authored paper on care delivery and industrial processes, promoting an engineering approach to service provision.  From this and an EPSRC-funded project in 2007, The Cumberland Initiative is founded - a community of clinicians and healthcare managers committed to transforming the quality and cost of care by improving the design of health system delivery within the NHS


Brunel’s Health Economics and Research Group (HERG) undertake a project to value a screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysms – a disease that kills 6,800 mean each year.  HERG’s work leads to the introduction of a programme across England, which offered screening all men over the age of 65 (estimated 300,000 men) – publication of results ensures guidelines change across Europe and North America

13 September 2016

Students on Brunel’s first Physician Associate Master’s course are welcomed to a reception with local health professionals and Brunel staff

17 November 2017

The Brunel Partners Academic Centre for Health Services - a pioneering new partnership between Brunel University London, Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation trust and North West London NHS Foundation trust is officially launched in Brunel’s Eastern Gateway building

5 July 2018

The NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary

September 2022

Brunel opens its Medical School and welcomes it’s first cohort of students

Anatomy -09_16098 Clinical skills-15_15781

5 July 2023

The NHS celebrates its 75th anniversary