Monthly news from Eastern AHSN - October 2018
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Welcome from Piers Ricketts, CEO

This October edition of our newsletter reflects the great strides we’re making in delivering new and on-going initiatives to support and spread innovation across our region, including some of the national programmes we deliver for NHS England.

Our Suicide Prevention event, which is the culmination of six months’ work, takes place next month and we look forward to exploring innovators’ ideas for addressing this complex issue at our Innovation Exchange. Suicide prevention is an area in which we are investing considerable resource given the intractable and disturbing nature of the problem. We'll report more on this next month.

In a region where the suicide rate was 9.5 per 100,000 population in 2016, we welcome the appointment of a new Minister for Suicide Prevention, Jackie Doyle-Price, and the first global mental health summit, hosted by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in London on Mental Health Day.

As we head towards Self Care Week (November 12-18), our local initiatives to improve peoples’ lives continue apace; in Norfolk we are working with Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and Best Beginnings on a digital app to support pregnant women across the county; in Suffolk, a stroke telemedicine project is ensuring suspected stroke victims get the best care, as featured on BBC News. And in Stamford, people at risk of liver disease will be able to get an earlier diagnosis thanks to scanning technology in their GP surgery.

There are many other opportunities for innovators, clinicians, researchers, patient organisations and members of the public to work with us. Please check our website regularly and look out for our next newsletter.

ED'S NOTE: Congratulations to Piers, who is to become Vice Chair of the national AHSN Network from 20 November. He'll work alongside Dr Seamus O'Neill, who will be Chair of the AHSNs, a collaborative of England's 15 Academic Health Science Networks, which includes Eastern AHSN. 
Innovators step up in suicide prevention challenge

Former Premier League footballer and mental health champion Clarke Carlisle will talk openly about his own struggles with depression at the launch of our Innovation Exchange event next month.

With 4,500 people taking their lives each year in England, Eastern AHSN has called on innovators to come up with enterprising ways to tackle the complex issues surrounding suicide.

Thirty innovators have expressed an interest in the Suicide Prevention Challenge, and 12 will be shortlisted to attend our Innovation Exchange on 8 November in Peterborough. 

Clarke Carlisle will open the session, talking about his own depression and how he uses his position of influence to break down the stigma surrounding suicide, regularly appearing on TV, including This Morning

If you are interested in attending the Innovation Exchange, which is open to NHS heads of service, financial directors or procurement leads, email
Read more>>

Pilot scheme takes expert help into stroke patients' homes

A new initiative is enabling consultants in the region to assess suspected stroke victims out on the road.

When a diagnosis is not clear, paramedics at the East of England Ambulance Service can liaise with a stroke expert at Ipswich Hospital via a video conferencing app. The consultant can see or talk to the patient and decide whether the crew should bypass A&E and head straight to the hospital’s specialist stroke unit. It means speedier access to specialist tests and faster treatment. The pilot project, which launched on 1 October, is funded by Eastern AHSN. 

Visionary Owlstone Medical secures $50m funding
Owlstone Medical has secured $50million of investment in the drive to become a global player with its breath test technology.
The SBRI Healthcare-backed firm is developing a breathalyzer that has potential for earlier diagnosis of cancer, and inflammatory and infectious diseases, with the aim of saving hundreds of thousands of lives and $1.5bn in healthcare costs.
The latest funding round secures investors who can provide strategic support for its business and better access to key markets such as China. Read more>>
GP surgery scanning set to aid early liver disease diagnosis

Patients at risk of liver disease may soon be assessed at their doctor’s surgery in Stamford thanks to the latest scanning technology.

Cirrhosis is the third leading cause of premature death in the UK, but often symptoms are difficult to spot and are not diagnosed until a late stage, when treatment options are limited. Using a Fibroscan machine at Lakeside Healthcare surgery, doctors can detect liver damage early by checking for scarring, which can lead to cirrhosis. 

Eastern AHSN is partnering with the East Midlands AHSN in the project, which aims to reduce the numbers of people being referred for hospital scans, cut waiting times and generally improve the patient experience. 
Read more>>

Eastern AHSN is supporting a range of activities for our region's population which promote the theme of Self Care Week 2018, organised by the Self Care Forum. Hearing loss workshops in Cambridgeshire are providing valuable advice to help people improve their lives while a new digital app is supporting mums-to-be through pregnancy in Norfolk.

Online support to help tackle hearing loss challenges

People living with hearing loss will be able to access online support with the launch of a new addition to Cambridgeshire Hearing Help's website next month.

The HealthUnlocked programme ‘your hearing matters’ has been designed for people in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area who cannot attend the charity's monthly Living With Hearing Loss workshops. It will include the same advice on a range of communication techniques and technology and tips on how to get the best out of their audiology appointment. It provides an excellent addition to the already popular face-to-face workshops. Sign up for the next workshop in Cambridge on 15 November or check out other dates. Read more>>
Baby Buddy app to guide women through pregnancy 

A personal digital ‘baby expert’ is helping to support mums-to-be through their pregnancy and the early months of their child’s life.

Baby Buddy is a free app which enables new parents to access a range of personalised daily self-care advice with the aim of promoting informed and confident pregnancies and early parenting. It also provides midwives with self-care resources that they can use in their consultation to ensure mothers under their care get the most effective support and make "every contact count".

Baby Buddy has recently updated its resources to support mothers in Norfolk, where there are 9,000 births each year. The app links them to a new website developed by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (CCS) that offers resources to encourage learning and peer support. Take a sneak preview before the official launch during Self Care Week next month. Eastern AHSN is supporting the partnership, working between CCS and Best Beginnings, which makes the app. Read more>>

Medical Director Masterclass series 'a real advantage'

Medical directors from across the region explain the benefits of the Medical Director Masterclasses which offer supportive coaching and mentoring opportunities and enable them to network, learn together and share best practice. Supported by Eastern AHSN, the sessions are organised in partnership with the East of England Leadership Academy and the East of England Medical Director Forum. 
Looking for stakeholders to join Editorial Board 
The next edition of our newsletter will feature the launch of the Health Innovation Exchange East website; an online platform that allows anyone to submit their healthcare innovation ideas.
In the run-up to this, we’re seeking to recruit members for the Health Innovation Exchange East Editorial Board. We’re looking for a diverse range of stakeholders with expertise in various parts of the healthcare sector, interested in influencing how we improve health services through innovation. If you’re interested and able to commit to monthly meetings (virtual or in person), please email, including a brief biography and what you think you could bring to the board.
Global AF awareness week aims to reduce strokes
With Global Atrial Fibrillation Aware Week fast approaching (19-25 November) we are encouraging all healthcare providers to get involved to prevent more strokes in our region. Order free resource packs to help plan your own events from the Heart Rhythm Alliance website.

Eastern AHSN is hosting a GP and pharmacist Cardiology Upskilling event in Newmarket on 24 November. The session will be led by Dr Yassir Javaid, Cardiovascular Lead for East Midlands Strategic Clinical Network, who will be joined by Mr Ketan Kavia, a clinical pharmacist with a specialist interest in anticoagulation for stroke prevention. Book a place.
NHS launches sepsis tool to improve
efforts to tackle deadly infection 

The NHS has launched a tool that for the first time accurately measures the number of patients admitted to hospital who are at risk of sepsis.

The life-threatening condition claims around 37,000 lives a year, although the exact figure is difficult to determine. It is caused when the body responds poorly to a bacterial infection and attacks its own tissues and organs. Sepsis is notoriously difficult to spot because there is no clear diagnostic test for the condition.

For the first time, the NHS will now be able to track improvements – such as rates of survival and length of hospitals stays. Now all hospitals across England, supported in this region by the Eastern Patient Safety Collaborative, are being asked to use a tool which will allow them to identify how many patients are at risk of sepsis.

Diabetes Hothouse - call to digital health innovators

NHS England, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the AHSN Network have joined forces to launch a new programme, connecting digital health innovators with pharmaceutical companies to explore new innovations that could help people living with diabetes.

The Diabetes Hothouse is the first initiative arising from the NHS England and ABPI Priority Delivery Agreement launched earlier this year, which seeks to facilitate faster access of new, evidenced-based technology for patients.

The Diabetes Hothouse is calling for innovators with market-ready, digital or digitally-enabled innovations to take part in the programme. Successful innovations, with evidence of strong impact of improving outcomes for people with diabetes, will receive support in either funding or clinical expertise so they can spread their solutions across the country. Closing date for applications is 5 November. Download the application form.

Chance to apply for NHS Digital Academy

Applications for the second cohort of the NHS Digital Academy are now open.

The academy, through a partnership with Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Medical School, provides a year-long world class learning programme (Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Health Leadership) for digital change leaders.

The first cohort of 100 delegates from around the health and care system in England, who started earlier this year, includes Chief Clinical Information Officers, Chief Information Officers and many others charged with leading digital change, from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds.

Cohort 2 will commence in April 2019, and the deadline for applications is October 26. 

Upcoming events


East of England Public Health Conference 2018: Public Health in a Post-Brexit World
30 October, Cambridge 
The focus is the evolving challenges that affect public health action and how to better equip public health professionals to overcome such barriers now and in the future. The conference will also explore the potential impact of Brexit, devolution and other national policies on local public health action and influence. 

NHS England's Working Together to Prevent Suicide  
30 October, Coventry
The event aims to provide delegates with national updates, practical case studies from the region and workshop sessions with interactive discussions to ensure they gain practical advice on how to implement suicide prevention at a local STP level. Book your place.

MedTech FUTURES Conference  
31 October, Hinxton, Cambridge 
This Health Enterprise East event will include keynote addresses from clinical entrepreneurs and senior leaders within the NHS and industry speakers on areas such as AI, robotics and 3D printing. As well as dedicated breakout sessions looking at regulatory/IP, raising investment and R&D tax credits there will be a Medtech Accelerator Showcase, supported by Eastern AHSN. Book via Eventbrite.

CEOPS CIC Digital Health Masterclass
14 November, London
One in a series of masterclasses aimed at commissioners and senior decision makers which focuses on assessing and accelerating organisational readiness. The event features top speakers from the Innovation Network, NHS England, NHS Clinical Commissioners, NHS Horizons and The King's Fund.

NHS Readiness: Learn How to Navigate NHS Procurement
26 November, Chelmsford
Led by NHS and industry leading experts, this free event focuses on changes to NHS procurement and medical device prescribing, offering bespoke support to develop your business case. Ideal for healthcare companies with innovative solutions keen to know more about successfully selling to the NHS, it includes advice about how the NHS purchases products and the Innovation and Technology Tariff payment system. Register your interest via Eventbrite 

Polypharmacy and Medicines Optimisation Workshop

27 November, Granta Park, Cambridgeshire
The benefits and challenges of polypharmacy (multiple drugs) and strategies to optimise medicinal interventions in older patients is the focus of debate. The session, hosted by Medication Safety in Older People Network, will included contributions from patients and healthcare professionals with an emphasis on medicines used for stroke and dementia patients. Contact for more information. Register your interest at Eventbrite.

NHS Readiness: Learn How to Develop Your Clinical Evidence 
14 January, 2019, Cambridge
You can expect to learn about key opportunities for healthcare innovators; whether you need to do a clinical trial; the dos and don’ts. Plus, the world-leading expertise and facilities available to support clinical trials in the Eastern AHSN region and how to access these benefits for businesses working in the health, life science, medtech and digital health space. 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 a further 400,000 unaware that they have the condition, taking measures to tackle the issue is a priority. Register for this next Eastern AHSN event in the series. 

Digital Health and Care Congress 
May 22-23, 2019, London
For more details email Register at Eventbrite

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
Chief Clinical Officer 
Project Coordinator
Business Lead - Industry Support Programme
Innovations Research Analyst  
Regional Pharmacy Clinical Lead
If you would like to include a story for the next newsletter or provide feedback, please contact
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