New name for the body
tasked with transforming the Merseyside health service
AN organisation which aims to speed
up the transformation of Merseyside's NHS, has been re-launched.
From 17 March 2016, the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (AHSN)
will be known as the Innovation Agency, with a tighter focus on driving
innovation in health care in the region.
Among the Agency's achievements in its 1st 3 years, has been support
and pump prime funding for ten innovation hubs, including the Alder Hey
Institute in the Park, where they helped to secure £12 million in European
They have played a key role in establishing the Genomic Medicine Centre for
the North West Coast, match funding posts and helping to secure £1.1 million
funding for the centre, which is part of the 100,000 Genomes Project.
Small businesses have been helped, as part of the remit to boost the local
economy by creating NHS partnerships with industry. 1 company, Leanvation
in St Helens, overcame barriers to breaking into the NHS Supply Chain after
intervention by the Innovation Agency. It is now expanding and creating new
jobs, with venture capital investment of £500,000.
The change comes as Chief Executive Dr Liz Mear takes on a national role as
chair of the Network of 15 AHSNs in England, representing the networks
nationally and internationally.
Dr Liz Mear said:- "Since our inception we have responded to a wide
range of local needs and agendas and contributed to several significant
national and regional projects. While this has helped us to build a
reputation for contributing advanced skills and expertise in innovation, it
has also meant our resources have been spread widely. In the next phase, we
will focus on where we know that innovation can have greatest impact."
The change of name is part of a two year business plan developed after
consultation with the Innovation Agency Board; a group of 40 leaders of
hospitals, commissioners, universities and other health and educational
organisations who steer the strategy.
The core purpose, shared by all 15 AHSNs, is to spread innovation, improve
health and generate economic growth. Other achievements have been:-
► Working with charities and a range of health care partners to deliver a
stroke prevention and atrial fibrillation detection campaign, potentially
protecting 46 people from stroke and achieving savings for the health
economy of £1.1 million in the first year after each stroke and £250,000 in
each subsequent year.
► Supporting small and medium sized companies by investing £500,000 and
running the Innovation with Impact competition, designed to drive adoption
and access to technologies in the NHS and in social care.
► Playing a leading role in securing £4 million Connected Health Cities
funding for the North West Coast to support the use of data to plan services
for patients and citizens.
► Being a founder member and part funder of the National Innovation
Accelerator programme, with a 1st cohort of 17 fellows with high impact
health innovations, who have achieved sales in their 1st year of
sponsorship of £7.65 million and improved the lives of many citizens.
► Actively supporting more than 550 small businesses to increase the impact of
their products and grow their workforce.
► Creating and supporting 50 Innovation Scouts to champion the adoption of
innovations within the NHS.