Now that our partners across the NHS and social care are mobilised at scale in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) is to support them by helping them take full advantage of the most relevant innovations and technologies that can improve care for patients and support our services in this challenging context.
Nationally, the AHSN Network is part of a coordinated NHS response to identify and enable the implementation of technologies that respond to areas of highest priority action, in particular solutions for remote consultation and patient monitoring, diagnostics and point-of-care testing.
Similarly, in our region the West of England AHSN is part of a system-wide approach, led by our regional NHS office, to support our local health and care organisations – connecting them with potential solutions and offering up the specific operational or clinical skill sets of our teams where relevant. This includes our Patient Safety Collaborative, who will be adapting their specialist skills towards keeping patients safe in these very demanding environments.
How to get in touch
All AHSNs within the AHSN Network are actively supporting the NHS and social care system regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you would like advice on immediate or future needs, and how best to present your offer to local and/ or national commissioners, please contact us.
Support for innovators
The government has provided national guidance on where to register products to support the COVID-19 response. If you are a company or an innovator with a potential COVID-19 related solution, you can also contact the relevant national agency direct:
- PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) Contact the Surgical MedTech Co-operative (one of NIHR’s Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives) if you have a technology that could be adapted quickly for the healthcare setting to help protect healthcare workers against aerosol contamination. Find out more about their ‘COVID-19 PPE Challenge’ here.
Contact Public Health England: email@example.com
Contact the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS): firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 456 3565
- Innovation and Tech
Contact NHSX: DNHSX@nhsx.nhs.uk
If you have a tech innovation that can support vulnerable people who are isolated, visit the NHSX TechForce19 website.
Contact Public Health England: email@example.com
The UK government has set up a service allowing businesses to share any support that might help the COVID-19 response, from PPE and medical testing equipment to transport/logistics and warehouse space. Find out more here.
If you want to get in touch with us directly, please go through your usual contact or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any other solutions (not specifically COVID-19 related) that could be useful to the health and care system during this unprecedented time, you can access AHSN advice and support by visiting the Innovation Exchange website.
Regional AHSN support
During this current period of extreme operational pressure, the West of England AHSN will be supporting our colleagues on the frontline and in planning and operations by offering the most appropriate assistance as and when required. This will include supporting the implementation of technology to maximise the use of remote consultations and online guidance, freeing up valuable clinician time and reducing the risk of transmission.
To date this support has involved:
- Supporting the NHS South West Regional team in the rapid uptake of digital solutions for use in primary care, including remote triage/ access and remote consultations. Find out more here.
- Providing selection support to the TechForce19 competition assessment process, alongside mentoring four of the selected companies.
- Providing adoption and spread support to the regional NHS team to coordinate and manage the wider portfolio of potential solutions that could help with the COVID-19 response.
- Re-orientating the Patient Safety Collaborative’s work programme to the COVID-19 response to include a focus on the deteriorating patient with care providers and primary care.
We are working closely with our regional NHS teams to coordinate this support, but if you would like to speak to us, please do get in touch.
Posted on May 24, 2020