Set up the by NHS in 2013, the AHSNs (Academic Health Science Network) cover England and operate as the ‘innovation arm’ of the NHS. This means identifying innovative solutions and supporting their rapid spread.
Innovations could be a device, a diagnostic, an app, system, process pathway or programme; anything that improves the quality and safety of care for patients, supports people to better manage their own care, and enables efficient services.
Each AHSN operates in its region, working with all sectors involved in healthcare: local NHS organisations, councils, universities and research bodies, charities, voluntary organisations and patient groups.
It also involves supporting innovators themselves to develop and spread great ideas and open doors to the organisations seeking their solutions.
The essence of the AHSNs’ success is their ability to operate both locally and as a national collaborate (the AHSN Network).
This local and national focus means great solutions developed in one area can be quickly ‘exported’ and shared across England.