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Weekly Edition - Published  21 March 2016


Local News Report - Mobile Page


New name for the body tasked with transforming the Merseyside health service

pic caption: Specialist heart failure nurse Linda Hilton and patient Albert Edwards with a portable ECG monitor, AliveCor, promoted by the Innovation Agency. Pictured in a health clinic in Bootle.

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 funding.  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.


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