Monthly news from Eastern AHSN - November 2018
View in browser
Piers Ricketts welcomes guest speaker Tim Harford, behavioural economist, award-winning Financial Times columnist and BBC broadcaster, to Innovation in healthcare: new solutions to well-known issues

Welcome from Piers Ricketts, CEO

November has been a significant month for us. Our ongoing work in supporting partners to deliver innovative health and care initiatives culminated in our keynote event of the year, which gave us a fresh opportunity to engage with stakeholders from across the region.

The Wellcome Genome Campus at Hinxton was a fitting arena in which to share our achievements and reaffirm our hopes of working more closely together to improve the lives of our region's population and generate economic growth.

Established partnerships were strengthened and new ties forged, and we look forward to future collaborations. 

Our latest Innovation Exchange on suicide prevention brought innovators, healthcare specialists and people with lived experience together to explore possible ways of addressing the complicated issues around mental health. More about the next steps in this newsletter.

During Atrial Fibrillation Association Global AF Aware Week we congratulated the SOS-AF team at Addenbrooke's Hospital who were recognised for their innovative work in helping to prevent strokes. In Self Care Week we highlighted some of the other local projects we support to encourage people to manage their own health, including the launch of Just One Norfolk's new website.

In our latest podcast, inspiring local GP and NHS England Fellow Dr Nish Manek talks about her unconventional training programme which gives early career GPs the confidence and skills to innovate.

Find out more about all the opportunities and support we offer on our website.
Innovation Exchange highlights new ideas to prevent suicide  

Our Innovation Exchange on 8 November brought together innovators, health and care stakeholders and people with lived experience to discuss ways of addressing the complex issues around suicide prevention.

Former professional footballer and mental health champion Clarke Carlisle opened the Peterborough event, talking about his own struggles with depression.

With mental health affecting people from all generations and backgrounds, his wife Carrie said one of the ways to address the problem was to normalise talking about the issues.

Delegates had the opportunity to learn about 11 innovations aimed at addressing suicide prevention. Eastern AHSN plans to progress with some of the best projects that were identified through discussions and partnerships developed on the day. 

A short film describing the innovation exchange will be shared over the next few weeks. If you would like to be kept informed about that, email
Read more>>

Call for innovators to address region's cancer challenges

With the number of new cancer cases continuing to rise in England, Eastern AHSN Health InnX East is calling on innovators to help support early diagnosis and treatment in the eastern region.

If you have a new, market-ready solution that can support with overstretched workforce areas, lung and prostate cancer pathways, or cancers that are difficult to diagnose, Health InnX East wants to hear from you.

Challenge statements were recently agreed with partners across the region, outlining the problems that the cancer community is trying to solve. Visit Health InnX East to read more or submit an innovation for review.

The most promising innovations will be invited to a development day on March 19 to discuss their solutions with healthcare representatives, with the potential to set up pilots in the region. 

With Self Care Week highlighting the importance of helping people across communities, families and generations, we focus on self-care projects we support in the region. Visit our website to find out more or email
Self Care Week sees launch of Just One Norfolk website

Just One Norfolk is a new website designed by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust to support families across Norfolk (
It was officially launched with awareness events in shopping centres across the region, as reported by That's Norfolk TV.

The digital platform offers a wide range of resources to help families, children and young people feel confident about caring for their own health and well-being.

It enhances the successful Just One Number which gives Norfolk parents a one stop shop for all their concerns. It will also allow the health visiting team to use the patient activation measure to support mothers-to-be under their care more effectively and will soon provide an online community for parents to communicate on.

Antenatal parents are also encouraged to use the Baby Buddy app from Best Beginnings which has updated its goal setting feature, enabling women to set personal aims to improve their health and well-being during pregnancy. Read more>>

Two different projects support people to improve their health

Active+ is a supported self-care model for people with long-term conditions. It combines exercise sessions with peer support and participants are provided with technology to monitor their vital signs and movement at home.
The first 20 to complete the programme have shown an average 16% improvement in their patient activation measure, which means that they are more confident in managing their own health.

ESCAPE Pain is a six-week course to support people living with chronic joint pain. By following a series of exercises and pain management techniques they are encouraged to manage their condition and be better able to do the things they enjoy. The national programme is supported by NHS England and all 15 AHSNs for widespread scale. Eastern AHSN is supporting the initiative in the region by funding the training of a range of professionals, including physiotherapists and sports centre staff in community settings.

Find out more about our self care projects or contact
People living with hearing loss can tap into Cambridgeshire Hearing Help workshops to gain advice about how to improve their listening environment. Sign up for the next sessions on December 3 in Linton, and December 8 and January 10 in Cambridge, or find out more about the opportunities, supported by Eastern AHSN. 

Leadership training gives early career GPs skills to innovate

Our sixth podcast in the series features Dr Nish Manek, a GP and NHS England Fellow, who has launched Next Generation GP, a leadership training programme.

She believes leadership is non-hierarchical, and involves having the determination and skills to change the world around you for the better.

She explains how the programme gives early career GPs the confidence and skills to innovate.
New programmes aim to speed up innovation in NHS   

Two new programmes were announced by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) to help speed up the process of getting innovative products into the NHS. 

The AAC is a unique partnership of representatives from healthcare landscape organisations and the health technology industry. Its focus is the improvement of patient access to breakthrough technologies and treatments through better alignment of activities and AHSNs play a core role in supporting these programmes locally.

The NHS Test Beds programme has been funded with over £7 million from the Office for Life Sciences and NHS England to create seven new NHS Test Beds in England to help improve patient outcomes and the way NHS staff work. Read more about those seven on our website.  

The second programme has established a fund of up to £2 million for ‘rapid uptake’ products; a set of innovative technologies proven to help improve patients’ lives. Eastern AHSN is already promoting uptake of two of the seven products selected for the AAC as they also sit on the Innovation Technology Payment (ITP) programme funded by NHS England. They are:
Heartflow: a non-invasive personalised cardiac test that reduces the need for unnecessary procedures;
Urolift: a device to improve procedures for lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

If you are interested in understanding more about the products selected for rapid uptake or the support that Eastern AHSN can provide, visit our website or contact
SOS-AF team at Addenbrooke's Hospital takes a bow
Congratulations to the Screening and Optimising Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation (SOS-AF) Team from Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge who received recognition for their innovative service that prevents strokes through detecting and improving the treatment of people with Atrial Fibrillation in the region.

The team attended the AF Association Global AF Aware Week parliamentary reception in the Terrace Pavilion, Palace of Westminster, London. Their work is published in the AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report 2019.
Read more>>

Eastern AHSN supports RAREfest to shine light on innovation

It takes seven years on average for a person with a rare disease to get the right diagnosis. At Eastern AHSN we are helping to deliver the latest NHS innovations to reduce this time and bring high-quality care faster to those who need it.

In supporting RAREfest the 'first-of-its-kind' rare disease-inspired festival conceived and organised by Cambridge Rare Disease Network, we are helping to shine a light on innovations that aim to address the challenges. 

The two-day festival (30 November-1 December) is free to attend at The Guildhall in Cambridge. It aims to raise awareness of rare conditions and bring together all stakeholders in the rare disease community alongside the region's public. Read more>> 

ELC programme launches to raise standards of patient care
The Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative (ELC) event in Nottingham on 18 October marked the launch of this new programme for Eastern AHSN.

Of the 30,000-50,000 patients who undergo emergency laparotomy surgery each year, 14.9% are reported to die within 30 days of surgery, rising to 24.4% for those over the age of 80 (Saunders et al, 2012). It is a costly procedure too, with over 25% of patients remaining in hospital for more than 20 days after surgery, costing the NHS more than £200m a year in ward care (NELA, 2016, p9).
Our collaborative has been launched in partnership with East and West Midlands AHSNs. Together we aim to raise standards of care and outcomes for patients having the surgery by implementing six evidence-based measures.
A key priority for the collaborative is to encourage expressions of interest for the post of Regional Clinical Lead. Please send your CV and expression of interest to by 30 November. Read more>>
GP and pharmacist cardiology upskilling event success
Eastern AHSN hosted a successful training event for over 50 GPs and pharmacists in the region at Newmarket on 24 November. It was led by Dr Yassir Javaid, cardiovascular lead, East Midlands Strategic Clinical Network and recently named Pulse "GP of the Year", and Mr Ketan Kavia, a clinical pharmacist with specialist interest in anticoagulation for stroke prevention. The day included diagnosis and primary care management of atrial fibrillation to improve stroke prevention in the region.

SBRI Healthcare fast tracks cancer diagnostic tools with £3.8m funding

SBRI Healthcare has awarded a total of £3.8m in funding to four innovative technology companies that are in the process of developing cutting edge cancer diagnostic tools.

C the Signs, Cambridge Oncometrix, Chromition and Deep Med IO were among the winners of the July 2017 SBRI Healthcare national competition, which had appealed for healthcare technology solutions geared specifically towards more effective cancer screening and diagnosis. This latest phase two funding comes in addition to the original £100k investment award made by SBRI Healthcare to each of these companies.

ABHI and AHSN Network announce new partnership

The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN). The partnership will see a joint commitment to developing and delivering services of mutual benefit, while ensuring healthtech companies experience a consistent process, irrespective of the individual AHSN they work with. It provides an important framework to strengthen engagement between England’s 15 AHSNs and ABHI’s 280 members. Read more >>

New review highlights potential bigger role for specialist trusts

A new report outlines how high-performing specialist trusts have the potential to do more to benefit the wider NHS.

A review of around one-third of England’s 21 specialist trusts looked at why they consistently score higher than their counterparts in performance and satisfaction ratings. It was carried out by two leaders from the AHSN Network, who recommended seven ways in which local systems can benefit more widely from the role of specialist trusts.

The review focused mainly on the North West and London where there are clusters of specialist trusts, to explore the reasons for higher performance indicators – and to identify whether there is potential for them to do more. Read more>>  

ICE announces new postgraduate courses to meet skills gap

Cambridge is a world-leading centre for innovation in electronic patient and clinical trial data. The Institute of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge has introduced new postgraduate courses designed to meet the skills gap in the management, handling and use of healthcare data.

Applicants for Masters in Healthcare Data: Informatics, Innovation and Commercialisation, should have a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a subject related to life sciences, medical sciences, computational or data science. Find out more and apply online 

Life sciences companies could benefit from PhD funding

The University of Hertfordshire is seeking commercial life sciences organisations looking to innovate through early stage collaborative research. It has secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund and the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership's Growth Deal which will subsidise commercial partners' contributions to PhD projects under the Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership. Find out more.  
Upcoming events


Polypharmacy and Medicines Optimisation Workshop
27 November, Granta Park, Cambridgeshire
Join the Eastern Patient Safety Collaborative for their workshop hosted by the Medication Safety in Older People Network, giving you the opportunity to learn and network with a diverse range of individuals. You can debate the benefits and challenges of polypharmacy and strategies to optimise medicinal interventions in older patients; listen to patients and healthcare professionals discuss medicines use for stroke and dementia patients and test the use of a medicines consultation aide memoire ‘MedCAM’. Register at Eventbrite.

East Midlands Rural Health and Care Innovation Exchange
6 December, Lincolnshire Showground 
East Midlands Academic Health Science Network, in collaboration with the National Centre for Rural Health and Care, focuses on addressing some of the challenges in delivering health and social care in rural areas. Open to NHS representatives, social care providers and  commissioners, academics, citizens, third sector organisations and companies. Register at Eventbrite

Bridging the Gap 2
12 December, Leeds   
Hosted by Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, this is an opportunity for health technology innovators and companies to get advice about accessing the health and care marketplace, with talks, workshops and 1-1 sessions. Contact for more information.

NHS Readiness: Learn How to Develop Your Clinical Evidence 
14 January, 2019, Cambridge
Healthcare innovators can find out whether they need to do a clinical trial; hear about the world-leading expertise and facilities available to support such trials in the Eastern AHSN region and get an outline of the National Institute for Health Research Design service and how it helps SMEs develop clinical trial funding submissions. Find out more>>

Preventing AF-related stroke: Accelerating Action and Collaboration series
7 February, Cambridge
With one million people in England diagnosed with AF and 400,000 unaware that they have the condition, measures to reduce the risk of stroke are in the spotlight. Dr Kayvan Khadjooi explains the importance of the SOS-AF service and health specialists discuss innovative approaches to addressing the issue at the next Eastern AHSN event in the series. 

We are an expanding company offering a range of new job opportunities. If you are interested in applying for any of our roles below, please take a closer look: 
Regional Clinical Lead – Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative
Clinical Improvement Lead - Deterioration
Quality Improvement Project Manager
Human Factors Adviser
If you would like to include a story for the next newsletter or provide feedback, please contact
Email us
Copyright © 2018 Eastern AHSN. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Ground Floor, Unit C, Magog Court, Shelford Bottom, Cambridge, CB22 3AD

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can 
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list