Monthly news from Eastern AHSN - March 2019
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Welcome to our first Spring newsletter of the year where we highlight the promising green shoots of new initiatives and the growth of some of our more well-established projects.
We are looking forward to hosting our Cancer Innovation Exchange on 19 March, which is the culmination of six months’ work to find innovations to support the early detection and treatment of cancer in the region.
Our host, former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull, will share his personal story and we'll hear from innovators with promising solutions, including three technologies which have just been selected for the award-winning NHS National Innovation Accelerator (NIA).  
This month we also celebrate the launch of the MedTech Landscape Review, which gives companies a valuable guide to navigating the innovation pathway to the NHS. The health service spends £6bn a year on medical technology and the AHSN Network's report provides practical advice for innovators who are keen to access this market. 
In my NHS Confederation blog I also share my thoughts on the progress that's being made on simplifying the health innovation landscape.
Finally, we congratulate the 13 newly-announced NIA Fellows whose health solutions are helping to transform patient care in the areas of cancer, mental health and primary care. I was honoured to be one of the judges and to chair the launch event celebrating these latest technologies to be lauded by the NHS and AHSN Network partnership.  
For more on this, and the wide range of support we offer in the region, please visit our website.
Bill Turnbull to host Eastern AHSN Cancer Innovation Exchange
Former BBC Breakfast TV presenter Bill Turnbull will host Eastern AHSN’s Cancer Innovation Exchange event on 19 March, sharing his personal story of living with prostate cancer.
Innovators with promising solutions to support the early detection and treatment of cancer will present at the development day in Stansted. The aim is to support partnerships to set up pilots for innovations in the region.
Bill, pictured right, will chair a panel discussion featuring Jasmin Julia Gupta, founder of Cancer Hair Care, and Liz O’Riordan, consultant breast surgeon and author.
Attendees, including health and care representatives and people with lived experience, will be able to quiz the panel, hear from innovators, and network with colleagues from across the region. For more details visit Health InnX East.
New report maps the MedTech landscape for innovators

A newly-published MedTech report gives innovative companies an essential guide to navigating their way into the NHS.
The MedTech Landscape Review identifies the challenges and opportunities for firms supplying a wide range of medical technology, from devices and equipment to digital tools. 
The industry plays a major role in the UK’s economy, accounting for over 86,000 UK jobs -  a third of which are within small companies – and a £16.8bn turnover.
The AHSN Network report features case studies, statistics and practical advice for navigating the MedTech Innovation Pathway.
In his foreword, Eastern AHSN Chief Executive and AHSN Network Vice Chair Piers Ricketts outlines the goal "to make the entire MedTech Innovation Pathway work better for patients, clinicians and innovators and for UK plc."
Read more>>

Making sense of a challenging health innovation pathway

"It's not an easy road, but progress is being made to simplify the health innovation landscape," reflects Piers Ricketts in his blog for the NHS Confederation. 
He says the diversity of the MedTech sector has led to an innovation pathway which is less clearly defined than for pharmaceuticals. But the opportunities are enormous, driven by the convergence of technologies such as nanotechnology, robotics, machine learning and the internet of things.
With an NHS workforce under more pressure than he has seen in his 15 years in healthcare, he explains what he thinks is needed to ensure the NHS reaps the benefits of the latest innovations.
 Read more>>

World-leading healthcare solutions
join NHS Innovation Accelerator

An app for people to monitor their skin for early signs of cancer and a secure messaging service that puts young people in touch with healthcare professionals, are among the latest technologies to join the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA).
Thirteen innovations and Fellows were welcomed to the NIA at the launch of the fourth year of the award-winning programme. An NHS England initiative delivered in partnership with the 15 AHSNs, the NIA has supported the uptake and spread of 37 high-impact, evidence-based innovations across more than 1,700 NHS sites. Read more>> 

Social prescribing key to improving long-term health - Sir Sam 

Sir Sam Everington talks about social prescribing in our latest Primary Care Talks podcast. The long-term campaigner is a GP, chair of Tower Hamlets CCG in East London, trustee of The King’s Fund, and council member of the British Medical Association. Sir Sam shares his experiences about a way of working with patients that he feels is essential to improving long-term health, and vital to the future success of the NHS. Listen here.

Mendelian secures £500k grant for rare diseases project  

One of Eastern AHSN's partners, Mendelian, has secured a £500,000 grant to help GPs to identify NHS patients who may have rare or hard-to-diagnose diseases.
The Innovate UK funding is to implement the company’s specialised screening system. Once the technology has analysed a patient’s symptoms, they are flagged to the GP who has various options, including referring the patient to a specialist or recommending further analysis and testing.
The two-year project is being trialled in Hertfordshire, in partnership with Eastern AHSN and the NHS East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. The aim is for the technology to  be rolled out to other areas in the UK. Read more>>

Could you be a patient and public voice partner?
Interested in representing patients in your area? Eastern AHSN is offering free training and support to run workshops to gather views from your community members on health and social care issues. Their feedback will help to improve local services. For more information, visit our website. To apply, please submit your expression of interest here by noon on 18 March. If you have any queries, please email 

Take advantage of bursaries for cardiac update meeting

Eastern AHSN is offering bursaries for 20 healthcare professionals to attend the Arrythmia Alliance Cardiac Update meeting on Wednesday, 12 June at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. Pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals involved in the management and treatment of arrythmias are invited to apply by 5pm, 30 April. For more details, please visit our website.

Call to join Faculty of Genomic Medicine

The Faculty of Genomic Medicine is looking for new members to act as advocates for genomics within the health service. It brings together genomic specialists from within the NHS, academic institutions and other healthcare systems worldwide to create a professional community. The faculty encourages healthcare experts who have particular focus on personalised medicine and genomics, to share knowledge and best practice. To find out more or join the faculty, visit the website.
Clinical Entrepreneur Training Programme opens
Junior doctors and wider health professionals have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills in the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Training Programme. The scheme includes mentoring and coaching, placements, funding, and network events. Apply here by 29 March.
Upcoming events
Medical Director Masterclass
16 April, Newmarket
Speaker Dame Claire Marx, Chair of the General Medical Council and of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, and former President of the Royal College of Surgeons, will address medical directors at our next masterclass. To register your interest, please contact

Cancer Innovation Exchange
19 March, Stansted

Eastern AHSN Health InnX East will showcase the most promising innovations to support the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the region at the innovation exchange event. 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
25 March, Colchester
Discover ways to successfully develop and commercialise your digital solution in the NHS. Experts from NHS England and NHS Digital join other specialists in sharing their knowledge on topics such as how digital solution providers can best engage the NHS and what business support is available. Register for the event, supported by the University of Essex, via Eventbrite.

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>>

Digital Health and Care Congress 2019
22-23 May, London 
The NHS Innovation Accelerator is once again supporting The King’s Fund Digital Health and Care Congress. It brings together leading NHS and social care professionals interested in how data and technology can improve patient health and wellbeing and the quality and efficiency of services. 
Full details>>

Arrythmia Alliance Cardiac Update meeting
12 June, Cambridge
Consultant Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist Dr Claire Martin chairs this event for healthcare professionals involved in the management and treatment of arrhythmias. Eastern AHSN Senior Programme Manager and AF lead Dr Amanda Buttery will give an overview of what's happening in the region. More details

Heart Rhythm Congress
6-9 October, Birmingham
The UK's largest annual heart rhythm event is calling for abstract submissions, including posters and oral communications, by 31 May. Selected abstracts will be published in the peer-reviewed EP Europace journal. 
 Find out more>>
If you would like to include a story for the next newsletter or provide feedback, please contact
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