As we publish our latest annual report, our chair Steve West reflects on what our network has delivered in 2015-16.
This year the West of England AHSN received just over £3 million in funding from NHS England, our member organisations and various other sources, and in my opinion what we have achieved with this in the last 12 months represents incredible value for money.
Rather than breakdown every pound spent, this report gives a snapshot of the difference we are making from the perspective of those people we are here to work for: citizens who need and depend on our healthcare system, our colleagues in healthcare organisations, entrepreneurs wanting to partner with the health service – the ‘customers’ this AHSN was established to serve.
As well as the facts and the figures demonstrating our impact, here are stories about the difference we are making to individuals, the organisations they represent, the services they provide, the care they receive. So much of our ‘impact’ is invisible when it comes to stats – how do you put a price on connecting people who share the same beliefs, passions and concerns and, through that connection, inspire and support them to find a solution together, a new way?
Our people in the health service have the knowledge, skills and experience. Our role as the AHSN is to bring those people together, to find space and platforms to allow people to share and shape new plans, introduce them to innovators and academics with the new technologies and proven evidence to shape these further. We are here to act as the enabler, the space giver, the catalyst.
I am immensely proud of the important conversations we are instigating, the culture shift we are embedding, and the varied range of work we are involved in and are acting as catalysts for. This work is all bringing about needs-focused, evidence-based, citizen-centred improvement for our health systems.
The AHSN staff team is itself small in numbers but big in heart and certainly punches above its weight. They are driven by a belief in and commitment to the NHS, as well as the desire to help reshape it for the society and economic climate we find ourselves in today.
Drive and vision
That drive and vision is shared by the many colleagues from our member organisations who commit their time and energy, over and above the long hours they already work, to help steer and deliver our projects and attend our events; and by the public contributors who guide, question and bolster our work programmes by making sure the citizen voice is heard as a constant.
We all do this, put in the extra hours, attend the extra meetings, because we care and we see the need.
Bring together the need, the evidence, the people with the innovations, and the people with the skills, knowledge, experience, heart and energy, and you’ve got a recipe to make sustainable change happen.
And that’s precisely what we’ve got at the West of England AHSN. So while our licence is currently due to end in March 2018, I’m confident the legacy and impact of our work is here to stay.
Posted on May 31, 2016 by Steve West, Chair of the West of England AHSN and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England