Connected Health Cities (CHC)

Connected Health Cities was piloted in four city regions, one of which was Greater Manchester.

In its first phase as part of the Health North initiative, there was a £20 million investment to seed 'learning health systems'.

Health North aimed to test at scale the methodology of learning health systems through continuous care pathway redesign and quality improvement informed by analysis of routinely collected health data. 

Each participating region aimed to establish a Connected Health City; a civic partnership between NHS, local government, academia, and the population it serves.

Each CHC planned to:

  • establish the capability in that region to implement a learning health system;
  • redesign two care pathways;
  • evaluate the CHC implementation and methodology.

Each CHC also planned have a patient and public involvement programme and engage with industry to create an open innovation environment.

At the core of each CHC was an Ark; an organisation that physically brings together people from the CHC partner organisations to collaborate to create new knowledge that will inform decision-making.

The Ark aimed to be a secure combination data analytics facility with state-of-the-art data management and analysis tools underpinned by research, education and training.

It included facilities and infrastructure for secure data analytics, and is responsible to the CHC via a steering group and therefore to the population it serves.
The Greater Manchester CHC (GM CHC)

In Greater Manchester the pilot coincided with Devo Manc; the devolution of health and social care so Greater Manchester controlled its own budget.

The devolution agenda offered a unique opportunity to innovate and redesign pathways that would cut through different components of the health and social care system.

The Greater Manchester CHC closely collaborated with Health Innovation Manchester to speed up the discovery, development and delivery of data-intensive health care.


  • delivered actionable information to health, social care and citizens;
  • reduced the time lag between data being available and actions being taken;
  • built the public trust of data through public engagement;
  • built a platform of technology and tools reducing data-action latency;
  • new economic development in the North of England around digital health innovation;
  • greater engagement and empowerment of citizens to take control of their healthcare;
  • digital health innovation network built across Health North partnership by sharing knowledge and multiplying assets;
  • increased capacity and capability of the data science workforce