Academic health science networks

Title: Academic health science networks: request for expressions of interest to create AHSNs

Source: Department of Health

Link to main document

Links to DH policy Increasing research and innovation in health and social care

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: June 2012

Summary of driver: This document sets out the draft designation and establishment process and seeks expressions of interest to create Academic Health Science Networks. These will provide a systematic delivery mechanism for the local NHS, universities, public health and social care to work with industry to transform the identification, adoption and spread of proven innovations and best practice.

Key features of driver: The AHSN will build on existing collaborations to deliver the following:

  • Ensuring and supporting the adoption and spread of the nationally designated innovations (the high impact innovations and the designated “push” technologies); and identifying other innovations that the AHSN decides to prioritise for rapid diffusion;
  • Leading local work in the NHS on innovation and its role in supporting the delivery of high quality cost-effective health care, thus enabling partners in the AHSN to help each other to improve and account for their adoption and implementation of innovation and best practice to their partners and peers;
  • Supporting knowledge exchange networks to provide for rapid evaluation and early adoption of new innovations under tight surveillance and monitoring;
  • Delivering research together, through the NIHR clinical research networks, to time and target;
  • Supporting industry research using NIHR model agreements and processes
  • Pump priming innovation projects, similar to the Regional Innovation Fund;
  • Running Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) and similar competitions for innovations from industry, especially small and medium enterprises;
  • Applying improvement science and the change model1 being developed by the NHS Commissioning Board to raise the standards and quality of NHS services across the network;
  • Providing consistent advice on intellectual property management to the local NHS and universities together;
  • Identifying and supporting the development, testing and commercialisation of ideas that have the potential to become best practice;
  • Work with procurement teams to support systematic adoption and spread across the AHSN partners;

Six core functions and levers (page 10):

  • Research participation
  • Translating research and learning into practice
  • Education and training
  • Service improvement
  • Information
  • Wealth creation

Primary audience: All NHS Trusts; Higher Education; Industry; 

Impact on library policy/practice: Providing CPD (literature searching, training, current awareness) for staff in the the sector; Signposting opportunities for research and funding from outside the organisation; Supporting staff with research projects and writing for publication; Libraries in the NHS should contact their local AHSNs to provide support and highlight services available.

“Education must ensure that our future practitioners know how to access evidence, use evidence and contribute to the national research enterprise.” page 12

Case studies / Local service profile examples mapping to this driver: None as of 21.8.12

Date last updated: 5.10.2103

Due for review: Apri 2014

Group member responsible: Updated by TP

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