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

We start February with exciting news of two senior appointments to our team. On the 25th we welcome Louise Jopling as our new Commercial Director and Charlotte James as Head of Communications. 
Louise holds a PhD in immunology and joins us after six years as Senior Director of Immunology Scientific Innovation at Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Charlotte has extensive healthcare sector experience, most recently as interim Director, Global Communications at GSK. 
Louise and Charlotte join us at an important time as we further our work to accelerate innovation into the NHS and raise our profile in the region. Find out more about our response to the NHS Long Term Plan, and take a look at our job opportunities
We also celebrate £400K of funding for a health data project designed to transform the understanding and diagnosis of some rare genetic disorders. The bid is the result of a collaboration with our colleagues at Cambridge University, five NHS trusts and the private sector. We hope that it will be the first of a series of collaborations in this area, in which Cambridge science is pre-eminent.   
In other news, our success in driving economic growth in the life sciences economy by supporting innovators to get their technologies into the NHS is highlighted in a new report. And with submissions for our cancer challenges now in, we look forward to selecting the best solutions to take forward to our Innovation Exchange on 19 March. 
Eastern AHSN announces key senior appointments
Eastern AHSN is expanding its Senior Management Team with two key appointments.
Louise Jopling, pictured right, will join as our Commercial Director after six years as Senior Director of Immunology Scientific Innovation at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in London. Louise holds a PhD in Immunology from Imperial College London and undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School.
Charlotte James, pictured far right, will become our new Head of Communications, bringing 20 years of healthcare sector experience, most recently as interim Director, Global Communications at GSK. Her career has also included senior communications roles at Mundipharma International and Novartis. 

Project to help diagnose and treat rare diseases secures £400K
An innovative project with the potential to help identify, diagnose and treat people with rare diseases in the UK has won a £400,000 grant.
Working with five NHS Trusts, the Rare Diseases Sprint Exemplar Innovation Project aims to develop a secure cloud research platform with the potential to transform the understanding of rare genetic disorders, drive improvements in diagnosis and provide proof of principle for use in other diseases. The project is supported by Eastern AHSN and will be funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy. 
Read more>>

Eastern AHSN helping to grow UK life sciences economy

The AHSN Network’s success in helping to drive economic growth in the UK life sciences economy is demonstrated in a new report, which highlights two key Eastern AHSN-supported innovations.
Medtech company Cambridge Respiratory Innovations Ltd (CRiL) and all-in-one smart building specialist Beringar feature in the Innovation Exchanges: Delivering Economic Growth Through the AHSN Network. The case studies show how Eastern AHSN enabled CRiL to leverage extra funding of over £2.4million. An independent study by a health economist concludes that the technology could save the NHS £88million each year.
Read the report>>

Active Technology pilot scheme launches in Suffolk

A technology-based scheme to help older people to be more active and avoid the risk of loneliness is being piloted in Babergh and Mid Suffolk. 
Suffolk Sport is rolling out the Active Technology project using fitness trackers funded by Eastern AHSN. The aim is to encourage over 50-year-olds in rural areas to  improve their physical, social and mental wellbeing. Read more>>

Innovative health and wellbeing app achieves CE mark

An app that enables people with long-term conditions to manage their own health has been approved as a Class 1 medical device.
Aseptika’s Activ8rlivesHealth+Wellness App has been awarded the CE mark by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.The technology is central to the Eastern AHSN-supported Active+ self-care programme and has been used by participants to support their cardiac rehabilitation at Huntingdonshire District Council. Read more>>

Hospital stroke unit recognised as one of the UK's top 10

The stroke unit at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn has been ranked one of the top in the country by the Royal College of Physicians. Eastern AHSN supports the stroke team and the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) with clinics to help prevent stroke.
The CCG has reintroduced a West Norfolk Heart Support group to enable patients to meet with clinicians to discuss their care and seek advice about managing their own health. Read more>>  
Funding for Patient Safety Collaboratives agreed
Funding for the National Patient Safety Collaborative Programme has been confirmed for 2019/2020. Future funding will be dependent on a new business planning process that has yet to be confirmed.
The national PSC is the largest safety initiative in the NHS' history, supporting and encouraging a culture of safety, continuous learning and improvement, across the health and care system. Fifteen PSCs are hosted by their respective AHSNs and will deliver workstreams on deterioration, medicines safety, maternal and neonatal safety, and adoption and spread.
PSCs are included in a new national
patient safety strategy, which is being consulted on at the moment and will feed into the NHS Long Term Plan.

'How QPSI shaped my view on patient safety'

In the first of our new series of blogs, midwife of 20 years Beccy Percival explains the benefits of embarking on a Quality and Patient Safety Improvement Masters course. She says her studies at Nottingham, which were supported by the Eastern Patient Safety Collaborative, completely changed her depth of thinking around patient safety and improving care. Read her blog>>
High-flying Owlstone's technology used in new cancer trial
Cancer Research UK has recruited the first of 1,500 patients in a trial to improve the early detection and diagnosis of different cancers, using technology developed by Owlstone Medical.
Its Breath Biopsy platform will be used in the study at Addenbrooke’s Hospital to try to identify breath biomarkers to detect and differentiate early-stage disease. The research is expected to run through 2020. Cambridge-based Owlstone Medical is one of many innovative companies to benefit from SBRI Healthcare support.

Films highlight how genomics is changing clinical practice

A series of short films has been launched to highlight the ways in which genomics is changing clinical practice across the NHS. 'Genomics in Ophthalmology', 'Genomics in Oncology: Inherited Risk’ and ‘Genomics in Oncology: Cancer Treatment’ were produced by Health Education England’s Genomics Education Programme to raise awareness among specialist clinicians. 
Eastern AHSN is supporting two innovative genomic projects aimed at improving patient care in the region. Read more>>
Upcoming events
Medical Director Masterclass
26 February
An opportunity for medical directors to connect, inspire and discuss pressing leadership priorities at our next masterclass in the series. Bernard Brett, Chair of the East of England Clinical Senate, is the speaker. To register your interest, please contact

Rare Disease Day Cambridge Lecture
28 February, Cambridge
The NIHR BioResource for Translational Research and Cambridge Rare Disease Network host an evening lecture, which will include talks on rheumatology, genomics, immunology and radiology.

Cancer Innovation Development Day
19 March, Stansted

Eastern AHSN Health InnX East is working with partners to deliver an Innovation Exchange to identify innovations that could support the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the eastern region. We will showcase the most promising innovations at our development day on 19 March. If you work in cancer services, or have lived experience, and are interested in attending to hear from innovators, please contact Cheryl Pilbeam.

NHS Readiness: Integrating and Commercialising Digital Health Technologies in the NHS

27 February, Stevenage
25 March, Colchester

Learn how to successfully develop and commercialise your digital solution in the NHS. Hear from NHS England and NHS Digital experts and other specialists on topics such as how digital solution providers can best engage the NHS and what business support is available. Register for either event on our website.

Pitchfest 2019
St John's Innovation Centre, Cambridge
Applications are open for the
Pitchfest 2019 Spring cohort of companies with innovative products and services with the potential to scale, or who are already scaling and are aiming to raise £100k-£1m. It culminates in a Showcase Day on 9 May when selected companies pitch their ideas to investors. Apply by 5 March.

AR/VR Applications in the Brain Injury Care Pathway
4 April, Madingley
A joint event between Cambridge Wireless and the NIHR Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative which explores Augmented and Virtual Reality applications for the prevention and treatment of brain injuries.
Reserve a place>>
We are an expanding company offering a range of new job opportunities. If you are interested in applying for any of these roles, please take a closer look: 
Clinical Improvement Lead - Deterioration
Quality Improvement Project Manager

Cancer Programme Manager

Local Learning System Lead
If you would like to include a story for the next newsletter or provide feedback, please contact
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