A new platform has been set up to support the drive to achieve 100,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of April – the platform can be found here.
The platform is a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care, the UK Bioindustry Association, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association and the Royal College of Pathologists.
In addition to scaling up existing technologies and channels, the government is looking for innovative solutions in specific areas. Solutions, ideas and comments can be uploaded to the platform, focusing on four key challenges:
Dry swabs for use in virus detection – availability of swabs is essential to speed up testing;
Transport media that inactivates the virus – increasing laboratory throughput and minimising processes including the need to handle test samples;
Desktop PCR equipment for Point of Care Testing – using machines that enable fast, accurate and safe results for the operator;
RNA extraction – new ‘ready to go’ methods of extracting viral RNA or enabling viral detection without an extraction step that can be integrated into PCR testing chains.
Every idea will be evaluated and all submissions will receive a response from the platform owners.
Registration is quick via an email address or by signing in with Twitter, Facebook, Google or LinkedIn. Whilst the system is ‘open platform’ to encourage sharing, contributions can be made confidentially through a private submission tab.
The platform will pause on the evening of Tuesday 14th April for an initial review of the solutions put forward.
Mike Bell, Patient and Public Involvement Facilitator for Bristol Health Partners, describes the work of the Bristol Young Persons Advisory Group (YPAG) which comprises young people aged between 10 and 17 who are interested in healthcare and research.
Being so close to Christmas, you might have expected a bit of a party atmosphere on 21 December at the last Generation R Young Person’s Advisory Group meeting and you’d be right. There was, however, some serious research work to be done in between the mince pies and chocolate log.
16 young people, whose ages ranged from 11 to 17, were asked for their opinions on a variety of topics, including the ‘Stealth project’ which looks at how to get young people to exercise without realising, and who they would prefer to teach them about sex (stop giggling at the back) and relationships: a teacher they knew or a complete stranger.
They were also given free rein to design novel medication adherence devices, which included tattoos that only ink up when you need to take your tablets and a friendship bracelet that changes colour to remind you to take your medicine.
It was a long and tiring day, finishing with a brief anatomy lesson and an opportunity to have a try at taking a blood sample from a variety of ‘arms’.
Finally, Santa dropped in to present the participants with a certificate and a lucky dip with various health research related gifts.
The next planned meeting will be on 5 April 2016. If you feel your research project might benefit from critical evaluation of a feisty group of young people, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 0117 342 1249 to discuss further.
We are pleased to report we’ve received an excellent response to our recent stakeholder survey, both in terms of the number of respondents and the feedback provided.
NHS England commissioned YouGov to carry out a national survey to measure the impact being made by all 15 regional AHSNs around the country. 123 people replied to the West of England questionnaire – the second highest response in the country. You can download our survey report here.
The study took on board views from across all our member organisations, including health and social care, patient groups, universities, private industry and the charity sector.
The West of England AHSN was highly recommended as a network to work with and 90 per cent of respondents reported good working relationships. Nearly half (44%) felt the network had achieved more than expected in the last 12 months and 85% agreed there is clear and visible leadership.
Other highlights of the survey included:
85% see the West of England AHSN as being effective at building a culture of partnership and collaboration;
83% rate its quality of advice as good
75% value the AHSN’s role in facilitating collaboration, while 69% value work around the identification, adoption and spread of innovation
two-thirds (69%) feel the AHSN has helped organisations in achieving their own objectives
more than half feel they have a good understanding of the AHSN’s role and 78% feel this has become clearer in the last 12 months
the vast majority (78%) are confident the AHSN will deliver its plans and priorities.
Deborah Evans, managing director of the West of England AHSN, said: “The results of the stakeholder survey are really encouraging and show we’re moving in the right direction and already making an impact.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see that our local NHS organisations and universities feel involved, that our role is clear and our expertise is well received. All of this helps us to be successful in promoting and spreading best practice in health care and adopting innovation. The positive results from the survey reflect a huge commitment and joint effort from our member organisations and a wide range of partners.
“We also recognise that this is no time to be complacent, and we’ll be taking on board the feedback as to where we as a network can make improvements. We want to lead by example and play an even bigger role in the future in shaping future healthcare provision both in our region and beyond, ensuring we are helping to give the very best service and experience to patients. We are working with other AHSNs to ensure that best practice in health care is spread rapidly and consistently across the country.”
The survey also asked members to tell us what we should continue or do more of. Some messages consistently rang out from the wealth of feedback, including:
keep holding events and bringing people together to share innovation and best practice
keep close to Clinical Commissioning Groups and keep supporting their work
continue to bring universities, the NHS and companies together
keep challenging leaders to work together.
We’re now assimilating all the feedback and will build it into our Business Plan for 2016/17. We are also looking at the best examples of adoption and spread from other AHSNs and will bring proposals forward this autumn.
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