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A note from our Chair

This month marks 75 years of the NHS and as we celebrate its many achievements, we also celebrate ten years since AHSNs were first created. The dramatic changes in outcomes for people with HIV infection, hepatitis C, leukaemia and other cancers, hypertension, Covid 19 were only achieved through effective academic and industry research delivering new diagnostics and therapies that were then successful adopted at scale across the NHS.


AHSNs have supported the NHS identify, adopt and more rapidly spread promising innovations across the last decade - our recent work is described in the Impact Report 2022-23 published earlier this month, which evidences our collective impact as AHSNs.


As a network, we have made considerable impact by improving health outcomes and supporting economic growth on a national and local scale. Since 2018, the AHSN Network’s national initiatives have benefited more than 2.3 million patients and generated more than £1.8 billion of investment for the UK economy.


Embracing the opportunities offered by developments in digital, AI, and biomarker diagnostics, will be even more critical for the next 75 years of the NHS, to maximise the impact of our workforce in order to meeting the future needs of, and improving the outcomes of, our population.


As we begin our third license as the soon-to-be renamed Health Innovation Networks, we will continue to champion and support scale-up of the best healthcare innovations to support the NHS to tackle its most pressing issues and achieve economic growth.

Professor Gary Ford, Chair of the AHSN Network and Chief Executive of Oxford AHSN


NHS ConfedExpo

Last month, we hosted a packed Innovation Zone at NHS ConfedExpo, which was held at Manchester Central on 14 and 15 June 2023. Catch up on all the event happenings, access our with speaker details and presentations and listen to podcasts recorded live from the event.

Supporting the NHS supplement

To mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS, we partnered with a special health supplement called Supporting the NHS, which launched earlier this month through The Guardian newspaper. This thought-leadership piece from our Chair, Gary Ford, describes how AHSNs are bringing together expertise from across the NHS, academia and industry to accelerate the spread and adoption of innovation, benefiting patients for years to come.

Improving patient safety culture – a practical guide

Patient Safety Collaboratives are proud to see ‘Improving Patient Safety Culture – a practical guide’ released by NHS England this week. The new guide, developed by NHS England in association with the AHSN Patient Safety Collaboratives, supports teams to understand their culture and how to approach improving it.

Existing approaches to shifting safety culture are brought together in the guide, with a particular focus on teamwork; communication; just culture; psychological safety; promoting diversity and inclusive behaviours; and civility.

The guide supports teams to be curious and learn about their local safety culture and explore how to craft, create and nurture the positive conditions where we can all flourish and ensure safe, brilliant and compassionate care.

Find out more.

National FeNO programme: impact report launch

This month we launched our national FeNO programme impact report demonstrating how the FeNO programme helped to support faster, more accurate asthma diagnosis. 

'Taking a photo of your wound’ resource launched

The National Wound Care Strategy Programme, the AHSN Network’s Transforming Wound Care programme, and the Patient Experience Network have created a new resource to teach patients how to take a photograph of their wound to empower them to take an active role in their healthcare.

Developed for patients by patients, based on experience and medical information, the resource provides hints and tips on best practice with taking wound photographs, including the mechanics of getting the best possible photograph and what photographs should and should not include to assist healthcare providers in providing the best possible care.

The leaflet has been translated into 12 languages, with translation funded by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network.

Find out more.

New case study: improving diabetes care in inpatient mental health settings

Read our latest case study - Improving diabetes care in inpatient mental health settings - which explains how we piloted an audit to assess the diabetes care within London NHS Mental Health Trusts.

NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) partners with Greener NHS

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) - which is delivered by the AHSN Network to accelerate innovation across the NHS in England - has agreed a new collaboration with Greener NHS to make sure its Fellows are “climate-ready” in helping to reduce carbon emissions in healthcare.

Innovate Awards 

Next week we will be announcing the finalists for this year’s Innovate Awards – bought to you by the AHSN Network, in partnership with NHS Confederation. This year, saw 191 entries across the 11 categories – with the addition of a the new category – Best use of data in health innovation.

The shortlist of finalists will be named next week, with the winners being announced at an award ceremony in London on 21 September.

There are still partnership opportunities available to support the awards – so if you are interested in getting involved by supporting a category or the event overall, visit the package information to find out more. 

Good luck to all the teams and organisations that entered.


Last week, NHS England released its first comprehensive workforce plan and so, in this month’s Meet the Innovator interview, we re-visit Elliott Engers, CEO and Co-Founder of Infinity Health, who we interviewed last summer. Infinity Health is a task management technology that supports the NHS workforce by streamlining processes that increase efficiencies. Elliott is a graduate of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator and the NHS Innovation Accelerator.  In this blog, Elliott tells us about reducing NHS backlogs and how the AHSNs are Infinity Health’s biggest allies.


  • The Innovate Awards 2023: back for their second year, the Innovate Awards celebrate innovation in health and care.  21 September 2023, De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, London. Tickets go on sale soon.
  • HETT Show 2023HETT is the UK's leading health tech and digital health conference event, showcasing world-leading technologies and solutionsThis year’s show will take place between 26-27 September at ExCel London. Register here.
  • Ask the Experts: NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i): On 14 September 2023, the West of England AHSN has partnered with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to host a 90-minute webinar to help prepare innovators for the forthcoming NIHR i4i funding call this autumn. The event will provide in-depth guidance to healthtech innovators on the NIHR i4i application process, including hints and tips from expert speakers, as well as discussing regulatory, ethical and IP considerations for clinical and academic collaborations and subsequent trials.  Find out more and book your place here.


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