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Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’ reinforces role of Academic Health Science Networks to drive innovation

NHS England has today (31 March 2017) published ‘Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’ which sets out how the NHS will deliver practical improvements in areas prized by patients and the public – cancer, mental health and GP access – while transforming the way that care is delivered to ease pressure on hospitals by helping frail and older people live healthier, more independent lives.

Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) will play a key role in supporting delivery of the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) during 2018/19, which is also when AHSNs will start a new licence period.

The document makes reference to the roles that AHSNs will play in helping to create the sustainable NHS of the future. In particular it recognises the support they give to Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), with challenges such as demand moderation, quality and safety improvement and accelerating the deployment of new technology. AHSN partnerships with test beds, vanguard sites and primary care will be crucial as the health and care system evolves and moves towards greater sustainability with new models of care. 

The AHSN Network has warmly welcomed the document and its vision for health and care. 

Dr Liz Mear, Chair of The AHSN Network and Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency, welcomed the document, saying: 

“Delivery of the Five Year Forward View sets out how the NHS and partners deliver high quality care in a changing demographic and financial climate. Today’s document shows how that will be achieved over the next two years and I’m delighted to see it highlight so many areas where Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) can play a key role.

 

“The “Next Steps” document recognises the unique role and skills of AHSNs to support FYFV delivery. Since we were set up in 2013, we have gained a reputation for building collaboration across sectors – supporting frontline NHS teams and industry to unlock the power of innovation, transforming services for patients and reducing costs.

 

“We are currently working with NHS England to relicense AHSNs beyond 2018. Since 2013, our national network of 15 AHSNs have benefited 6.3M people, supported the implementation of innovative systems, services and devices in 11,400 sites and leveraged over £330M in innovation funding.

 

“We look forward to collaborating with our partners to extend and increase our impact and meet the challenge of delivering the FYFV – and playing our part in achieving better health, better care and better value.”

 You can read the full ‘Next Steps’ document here