Monthly news from Eastern AHSN - January 2019
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Welcome from Piers Ricketts, CEO

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2019 and a very happy and healthy New Year to you all.
With the NHS Long Term Plan just published, we welcome its focus on new technology, earlier diagnosis and better treatments to improve the health and wealth of our population over the next decade. We will continue to collaborate with our partners to advance successful projects and enable fresh innovations to transform the lives of patients and staff in the eastern region.
In this issue we describe how thousands more patients are already benefitting from national programmes we are rolling out locally, including EMOP, which has reduced hospital readmissions and saved the NHS more than £1million in just six months.
We also look forward to our next Health InnX East Innovation Exchange, which focuses on early cancer diagnosis and treatment. We are looking for innovators who can offer solutions to three key challenges in our region. We are excited at the range of talent we have assembled in this space! Find out how you can apply.
In other news, greater numbers of people at risk of stroke have been diagnosed and treated, thanks to the Atrial Fibrillation programme we are supporting, and we have awarded NHS innovators £430k of funding for their pioneering projects through our Medtech Accelerator partnership. 
Find out more about how we are helping to deliver faster and better healthcare at Eastern AHSN.
I hope you will enjoy reading about these campaigns and I look forward to seeing you at our events over the next few months.

11,500 patients benefit from Eastern AHSN-supported projects
More than 11,500 patients have benefited from Eastern AHSN-supported health projects in six months, with one programme alone saving an estimated £1.1million for the NHS.
The Electronic Medication Optimisation Pathway (EMOP) has led to a reduction in patient readmissions rates, which has freed up much-needed hospital bed capacity and resulted in substantial savings.
EMOP is one of a number of national improvement and innovation programmes which are being adopted locally with the support of Eastern AHSN. Read our full report and our patient case study, or email enquiries to

Innovations wanted for Cancer Innovation Exchange
Eastern AHSN Health InnX East is calling on innovators to help support early diagnosis and treatment in the eastern region. We are looking for innovations to support overstretched workforce areas, lung and prostate cancer pathways, or cancers that are difficult to diagnose. If you have a new, market-ready solution, submit your innovation via Health InnX East by 5 February.
The most promising innovations will be invited to a development day on 19 March to discuss their solutions with healthcare representatives, with the potential to set up pilots in the region. If you work in cancer services, or have lived experience, and are interested in attending the event, please contact Cheryl Pilbeam.

Data shows regional success in stroke prevention programme
New data from NHS Digital shows that a nationwide push to find undiagnosed patients with an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation (AF) has identified over 130,000 people within the first year. In addition, a record number of people with AF have been prescribed the anti-clotting therapy needed to reduce the likelihood of life-threatening strokes related to the condition.
In the East of England, six of the 13 regional Clinical Commissioning Groups are now achieving the AHSN treatment target rate of 84% (people at risk of stroke being treated). Read more >>

Award-winning SOS-AF team prevents 16 strokes in first year
Sixteen people were prevented from suffering debilitating strokes in the first year of an award-winning screening programme at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The successful diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) - a common abnormal heart rhythm - and patients at high risk of AF-related stroke, which can cause disability, dementia and death, was recognised as best practice in this year’s AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report 2019.
In its first year, the Eastern AHSN-supported service screened almost 15,000 patients and identified 393 new cases of AF. Overall 401 were started on stroke prevention measures, which prevented 16 potentially disabling strokes and eight deaths. Read more>>

Medtech Accelerator injects £430k into early-stage innovations
Medtech Accelerator, the medical technology financial scheme that supports NHS innovators through the early stages of product development, has issued awards totalling more than £430,000 to four new pioneering projects. Eastern AHSN is one of the cornerstone investors in the scheme, which is run by our friends at Health Enterprise East.

This latest funding round brings the number of awards granted by Medtech Accelerator to 11 since its launch in 2016 with over £1million committed to projects to date. The latest innovations to benefit are: a novel imaging device for cancer surgery; a breakthrough treatment for hernias and abdominal wall repairs; an innovative surgical retraction device; and bone conduction technology to help children with glue ear to hear. Read more>>

Pharmacists appeal for local groups
to talk about their medicines

Pharmacists are looking for pre-existing local groups in the east to talk about healthcare and getting the most out of your medicines.
Up to half of patients do not take their medicines as recommended and at least 6% of emergency hospital readmissions are caused by avoidable adverse reactions to drugs.
'Let's Talk About Medicines' sessions are funded by Eastern AHSN to help support patients, carers and members of the public to be confident that they are using prescriptions and drugs properly and effectively. Full report>> 
Norfolk website tops 30k views
Families and young people are turning to a new health website in Norfolk, with over 30,000 page views in the first two months of its launch. is one of a number of self-care projects Eastern AHSN supports in the region. The website offers over 250,000 residents round-the-clock access to a wide range of resources, aimed at helping them to develop the skills and knowledge to feel confident about managing their own health. Read more>>

Festival shines a light on rare diseases and innovative solutions
RAREfest 2018 raised awareness of rare diseases and the need for speedier diagnosis and treatment for people living with the conditions. Organised by Cambridge Rare Disease Network and supported by Eastern AHSN, the two-day Cambridge event showcased innovations, music and dance performances and presentations from other inspiring individuals. Read more>>

New website to champion patient and carer voice in region 
The East of England Citizens’ Senate, which represents the patient and carer voice in shaping strategic healthcare in the region, has launched its own website. The independent body, which is hosted by Eastern AHSN, engages with a wide range of a stakeholders, including clinical commissioning groups, Public Health England and STP service user groups. It offers free training to develop patients as leaders and plays a key role in challenging the NHS and in motivating change. Trevor Fernandes, Chair of the East of England Citizens' Senate, spoke about the patient perspective at the NHS National Innovation Accelerator Summit

AHSN Network welcomes Life Sciences Sector Deal 2
The AHSN Network welcomes the government’s Life Science’s Sector Deal 2, announced in December by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Businesses Secretary Greg Clark.
This second Life Sciences Sector Deal will support healthcare innovation and back businesses to create high-paid, high-quality jobs as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy. Read more>> 

Your chance to help shape new national patient safety strategy

Have your say on ambitious plans to halve avoidable patient harm by taking part in NHS Improvement's consultation on a new, national patient safety strategy. The document sets out how some types of avoidable patient harm can be halved over the next five years in areas such as medication errors and ‘Never Events’, alongside developing a ‘just culture’ for the NHS where frontline staff are supported to speak up when errors occur. Take part in the survey before 15 February


NHS Readiness: Learn How to Develop Your Clinical Evidence 
14 January, Cambridge
Find out how to get the right level of clinical evidence and regulatory approvals to sell your health innovation into the NHS, and how much it might cost; how to access world-leading expertise and facilities to support clinical trials in the Eastern AHSN region and how to benefit from the business, research and funding support available. Register>>

Improving Patient Safety & Care 2019: Continuous Learning, Measurement and Improvement 
6 February, London
Govconnect is offering a limited number of fully-funded places to NHS staff involved in the Improving Patient Safety agenda. It will focus on the surgical and clinical aspects of patient safety along with people-centred care across all health settings. A maximum of three from each trust can register for bursary places on a first come first served basis.

Medical Directors Masterclass
26 February, Newmarket   
NHS Medical Directors get the chance to discuss the challenges they face in their work and learn from their peers in this latest masterclass in the series. Guest speakers are Martin Frost, CMR Surgical and Jag Aluwalia, Director of Digital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Register your interest at

NHS Readiness: Integrating and Commercialising Digital Health Technologies in the NHS
27 February, Stevenage   
This latest event in the series explains how to integrate and successfully commercialise your digital app or medtech solution in the NHS. It will cover topics such as the use of platform technologies to speed development of compliant and interoperable systems and how the NHS evaluates digital solutions. Register your interest via Eventbrite.

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