The UK Government has identified Life Sciences and Healthcare as important sectors to generate new economic growth as well as increasing the quality of care for patients within the NHS.
Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) present a unique opportunity to align education, clinical research, informatics, innovation, training and education and healthcare delivery. Their goal is to improve patient and population health outcomes by translating research into practice, and developing and implementing integrated health care services. They will support knowledge exchange networks to build alliances across internal and external networks and actively share best practice, and provide for rapid evaluation and early adoption of new innovations.
The Role of Academic Health Science Networks
AHSNs have been established to deliver a step-change in the way the NHS identifies, develops and adopts new technologies and are predicated on partnership working and collaboration between the NHS, academia, the private sector and other external partners within a single AHSN context and across AHSNs.
AHSNs will be system integrators and organisations which link different parts of the health ecosystem to ensure that a range of aspects to improve health outcomes are considered using proven methodology and improvement in science to lead large scale, sustainable transformational change across traditional boundaries.
AHSN have been established as autonomous bio-enterprises & small/medium enterprise in nature, with a five year licence commitment from NHS England. The relationship is one of investor return rather than traditional service provision and programme management. AHSNs are not the “delivery vehicle” for NHS England national programmes.
All AHSNs have an agenda to drive adoption and spread of innovation across all areas of healthcare provision and population health, each AHSN also has the remit to bring together the resources and assets in their geography to create a synergy between researchers in universities, industry and entrepreneurs, and the local NHS to identify, exploit and commercialise innovations that will have national and international significance.
Over the last few years, SEHTA has enjoyed working closely with Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN and has had interactions with Wessex, Oxford and South London AHSN Network.
“The formation of AHSNs is as much about wealth as it is about health,” says Dr David Parry, CEO of SEHTA. “Everyone recognises the need for improved healthcare, especially in the context of people living longer and long term conditions such as Dementia increasing, but for significant financial reasons the NHS cannot carry on as it has done in the past.”
“There has to be a better way of structuring healthcare in this country so that it is more streamlined and joined up in its approach, providing better patient care and value for money. Equally, innovation in the sector needs to become a valuable asset which can be sold abroad and in turn will help to fund improved healthcare in this country.”
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Celebrating innovation and improvement
Awards for ground-breaking and high achieving clinical teams and innovators from Kent, Surrey and Sussex were presented at an event on 13 January 2015 hosted by Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN).
Healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs who have made the most difference to improving patient care in Kent, Surrey and Sussex received awards for their achievements.
The prestigious London ceremony was hosted by KSS AHSN in partnership with South East Health Technologies Alliance (SEHTA), Kent Surrey Sussex Leadership Academy and South East Coast Strategic Clinical Networks (SEC SCNs).
The awards followed the region’s first ever healthcare Expo showcasing the best innovations with the potential to transform patient care. Among the many highlights of the day were speeches by NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh and the NHS Director of Patient Safety, Dr Mike Durkin. Videos of their speeches are available on the KSS AHSN YouTube Channel.
David Clayton-Smith, Chair of KSS AHSN, said:
“It’s fantastic to celebrate the clinicians and innovators whose ideas, knowledge and dedication have already led to improved care for patient across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, saving lives and improving quality of life. I’d like to congratulate all of the award winners and nominees on the incredible work they are doing to benefit patients every single day. The Expo gave us a chance to see the next crop of innovations which are being developed and have the potential to further transform patient care” .
“Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network is uniquely placed to help these products, services and technologies reach their potential. By working across the region and across the industry, research and health sectors we can minimise the traditional barriers that prevent innovation being taken up as quickly as it could. We can help build the partnerships and collaborations that mean innovation goes further, faster.
“We’ll continue to spread innovation far and wide, and to support clinical teams who are improving the quality of services for patients across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.”
For further information on the award winners please click here
CEO of SEHTA, Dr David Parry with Prof. Sir Bruce Keogh (NHS Medical Director for England) and David Clayton-Smith, (Chairman of the Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN) at the 2014 NHS Expo in Manchester
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