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Dear colleague,

It’s the start of a new academic year and it feels like a great time to re-energise our efforts to support partners in the North West Coast.

We have started a new phase of life in the AHSN Network - the partnership of the 15 Academic Health Science Networks - increasing our focus on spreading an agreed set of innovations across the country. It doesn’t mean we can’t get behind locally grown, great products, which has always been a strong part of our local offer. But it does mean that we have to be careful to strike the right balance, working closely with other AHSNs and national commissioners to make a big impact on spreading a number of selected innovations.

Our partnership board has looked at our national programmes and consider these to be highly relevant to our region. One of these is ESCAPE-pain, which you will read about below. These innovations are selected for the positive difference they make to people's lives.


Dr Liz Mear
Chief Executive

Health and Care Innovation Expo


Thank you to everyone who supported the AHSN Network presence at Expo last week; it was a big success for the AHSNs, with high profile visitors to our stand including Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock and NHS England senior staff including Prof Tony Young, National Clinical Lead for Innovation; and Ian Dodge, National Director for Strategy and Innovation.

A total of seven small businesses from our region were exhibiting at the AHSN Network Innovator Zone or related areas – far more than from any other region outside London. The health minister enjoyed trying out virtual reality with Barrow GP Farahan Amin on his Patient Memoirs stand!


NHS App to be piloted in Liverpool

At Expo, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock set out his plans to make the NHS an ecosystem for the best technology available, building on the £20 billion long-term plan to transform health and social care.

As part of his speech, he announced that a new NHS App will be piloted in five areas in England from next month, starting with Liverpool.

Read more here and listen to Dr Maurice Smith of NHS Liverpool CCG on BBC Radio Merseyside’s Paul Salt programme last Thursday; online here - forward to 1 hour 10 mins.

Have you got a great product ready for spread?


The search is on for great products that make health and care better or safer or cheaper. NHS England will select the best, cover purchase costs with the Innovation and Technology Payment and spread via the AHSN Network. Information about how to apply, here.

Using digital data to improve - coaching


There are just a few places left on our fully funded Innovation Coaching Academy programme starting in November 2018. This focusses on using data from digital technologies, in a structured environment with a trained coach, covering strategies, tools and techniques for the adoption and spread of innovations. It is suitable for professionals from health and care, third sector, academic, and public sector organisations in the North West Coast.

The course is sponsored by Connected Health Cities. Apply here by 7 October.

Knowledge session - what it means to be a facilitator

23 October, 2pm - 4.30pm, Holiday Inn Haydock

Aimed at everyone interested in quality improvement, this session will demonstrate some practical methods and tools that will help you get better results from meetings and groups, including simple coaching techniques and an introduction to Liberating Structures, which are new ways of organising the way we interact to get work done.

Enrol here.

Free training in ESCAPE-pain

We’re offering paid-for training of physiotherapists and fitness instructors as facilitators of a programme called Escape-pain. The programme helps people understand their condition, manage joint pain, avoid unnecessary visits to primary care and hospital. The programme is endorsed by NICE and backed by all AHSNs.

Find out more here.

Could you be an NHS Innovation Fellow?

The NHS Innovation Accelerator is recruiting a new cohort of exceptional individuals with evidence-based ready-to-scale innovations. The search is on for local, national and international innovations that address the following NHS priorities: Prevention and early intervention in cancer and cardiovascular disease; mental health; primary care.

To find out more, visit

Help to shape the next 10 years of the NHS

NHS England has launched a conversation to help shape the next 10 years of the NHS. Your feedback, comments and suggestions are being invited by 30 September on a series of themes that will form the new ‘Long Term Plan’. The Innovation Agency and our fellow AHSNs are supporting the research and innovation work stream.

Take part here.

NHS Digital Academy - apply now

Applications are invited for the second cohort in the NHS Digital Academy, a year-long world-class learning programme for digital change leaders, starting in April 2019.

Find out more here.

Integrated care for every community

Our health and care needs are changing with more people living longer, often with multiple long term conditions. This new animation from NHS England explains the challenges facing the health and care system and how partnerships are being formed between the NHS, local government and the third sector to integrate care and better meet our health and care needs now and in the future. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) - 'state of the nation' report

A major piece of work to map AI technology around the country has been carried out, to build understanding of the potential for it to transform healthcare.

The report is a partnership by the AHSNs with NHS England, NHS Digital and the Department of Health and Social Care, and was launched at Expo. 

Download it here.

Digital health innovations - videos

A series of 9 new films about NHS digital health innovation was launched by the AHSN Network as part of #NHS70.

Coordinated in partnership with NHS England, the films illustrate the latest ways the NHS is using technology to empower people to take control of their care. One is about the House of Memories app, developed by the National Museums Liverpool with local SME Damibu.

New case studies from around the Network

Our Atlas of Solutions in Healthcare brings together proven innovations from the AHSNs and Patient Safety Collaboratives that are making a positive difference to people’s lives and saving NHS money. The latest case studies are:
Person and community centred health approaches - residents in Merseyside are benefitting from this integrated approach to community-centred wellbeing. Read more

Community education provider networks - this initiative led by South West AHSN to set up local partnerships to coordinate education and support workforce planning. Read more
Tookie Vest - this supports patients fitted with a Central Venous Catheter undergoing haemodialysis to provide enhanced line security and helps patients to continue to live ‘ALifeMoreNormal’. Read more
Reducing pressure ulcers in multiple care settings - this is reducing pressure ulcers in the North East and North Cumbria AHSN - in year 1 ulcers were reduced by 36 per cent, and by 33 per cent in year 2. Read more
Transforming ADHD care – QbTest - this innovative computer test enables more effective diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. As a result of a highly successful East Midlands AHSN demonstrator project that evidenced cost savings and patient benefit, the innovation has been mainstreamed within a number of NHS trusts. Read more
Urinary tract infection checklist for care homes - Eastern AHSN provided quality improvement coaching to nurses to work with residential and nursing homes across. Unplanned emergency admissions have reduced by 22 per cent along with a reduction in antibiotic prescribing. Read more

Annual report e-book

As well as a written annual report published earlier this year, we have produced an e-book containing around a dozen short videos with individuals whose organisations we have supported in the past year.

Take a look here.

Maternity and Neonatal Learning System

2 October, 9.30am - 3pm, Haydock Park Racecourse, Newton-le-Willows

This is a Maternal and Neonatal Learning System event delivered jointly on behalf of the North West Coach (NWC) and Greater Manchester and East Cheshire (GMEC) Learning Systems.

Register here.

Self Monitoring and Self Management of Coagulation Status

23 October, 9.30am - 2.30pm, AJ Bell Stadium, Salford

This event will bring together regional and national key stakeholders, patients and others to share experience and good practice in the introduction of self-testing and  self-management as part of anti-coagulation management. It is organised by ourselves alongside Health Innovation Manchester. Register here.


‘Ready to Roll’ – blog by Dr Liz Mear has been published by NHS Confederation and on our own website. It focuses on how AHSNs are supporting the spread of innovations and navigating barriers.

Partner news

View #NHSWonderWomen 
This is a series of NHS R&D NW short films showcasing the talent of North West women in health and social care research. Interviewed by creative artist and comedian, Jana Kennedy, these women talk about the human side to their work, their passion for research, the personal cost, the hilarious and the mundane. First, is Professor Soo Downe from UCLan Midwifery Services, here.

AHSN-supported innovations recognised in national report
A national review of best practice health interventions by RAND has highlighted two innovations supported by the AHSNs – Escape Pain and Sleepio.
Reducing emergency admissions
This briefing from the Health Foundation looks at Patient Activation Measure (PAM) scores for over 9,000 adults with long-term conditions, assessing four levels of knowledge, skill and confidence in self-management.
Patient safety research survey
This survey from the NIHR Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, seeks views on priorities for research to help make care safer for adults with complex health needs. It is aimed at patients, carers and healthcare staff. The deadline is 15 October.
GSK IMPACT Awards for health charities
GSK’s IMPACT Awards reward charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health. Organisations must be at least three years old, working in a health-related field in the UK, with income between £80,000 and £2.5 million. Apply here by 20 September.

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