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Issue 84  |  25 November 2021
KSS Health and Social Care

Raising awareness

As well as being World COPD Day, last Wednesday was also World Prematurity Day. To mark these two important events we released a series of blogs looking at the work taking place in both across the South-East. 

Jo Congleton, Co-Clinical Lead of the KSS AHSN Respiratory Programme, considered whether World COPD Day 2021 was the most challenging yet, thanks to the increased risk as a result of COVID.

Helen McElroy,  NeoNatal Clinical Lead MatNeoSip and Consultant Neonatologist at Medway Foundation Trust, gave a great overview on why World Prematurity Day is so important, and outlined what is being done, and what still needs to be done, to reduce preterm births and improve survival rates.  

And Heike Rabe, Professor of Perinatal Medicine at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and Consultant Neonatologist at University Hospitals Sussex, explained everything you need to know about Optimal Cord Management - a new patient safety initiative being introduced across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.  

Sustainability lead 

We're recruiting for an Environmental Sustainability Lead in conjunction with Oxford AHSN. It's a Programme Manager role, working closely with a broad range of partners and stakeholders to lead and grow the Environmental Sustainability function of both AHSNs.

It will be crucial in developing our contribution to the delivery of a substantial programme, in line with priorities set by NHS England policymakers and Greener NHS.

The role involves ensuring that all of the major AHSN programmes take into account their environmental impact, including carbon footprint and wider ecological implications on the NHS and that sustainability cases are produced in a consistent manner, using an agreed methodology.  This also involves calculating the impact using a sustainability toolkit, in conjunction with broader business case development.

Closing date is 14 December 2021.

Find out more and apply 

Draft constitution for proposed Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board

The Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board – which will be known as NHS Surrey Heartlands – is a new organisation that will be created as part of legislative changes to be introduced by the new Health and Care Bill 2021 and will start work in April 2022.

The new organisation will replace the Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and its draft constitution has been published for consultation.

Find out more

Proposals to improve cardiology services

People in West Kent are being asked for their views on proposal to improve cardiology care.

Currently cardiology services for patients are split across the two main hospital sites. Some specialist heart services are delivered from Maidstone Hospital, others from Tunbridge Wells Hospital. This often leads to patients being transferred from one site to another during a hospital stay, as well as specialist heart doctors and nurses being spread across the two sites. MTW wants to improve this situation and is seeking the views of patients, local residents, staff and stakeholders.
Details about proposed changes together with information on how you can give your views and a survey to complete can be found here

Designate Chief Executive for Kent and Medway NHS Integrated Care Board announced

Paul Bentley has been appointed as Designate Chief Executive of the new Kent and Medway NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB); due to be established in April 2022.

The ICB is part of new arrangements to improve joint working across the NHS, local authorities and a wide range of other partners to improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.

Find out more

CardMedic signs deal in Sussex

Congratulations to CardMedic, who have agreed a deal with University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust to deploy its app that helps NHS staff communicate with patients who have hearing or sight disabilities. 

KSS AHSN has been supporting CardMedic since it launched during the Covid-19 pandemic to help healthcare professionals care for patients with hearing, sight or other disabilities that could hamper vital communication. It offers online flashcards to help guide patients through common clinical interactions. By doing so it can help improve the patient experience and enhance the care they receive.

Find out more 

Giving a voice to care leavers

Care leavers will be presenting details of the Beyond Lockdown research programme, which looked at the impact of COVID on care leavers during and post lockdown, at the national Care Leavers Event 2021 next week. 

Funded through NIHR ARC Kent Surrey and Sussex, the Beyond Lockdown project included two videos from care leavers in Kent, one aimed at those working with care leavers, and the other at care experienced young people. 

We'll bring you more about the work taking place to support care leavers in the next Collaborate. In the meantime, you can see the video messages here. 

Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the clinically extremely vulnerable population

A new briefing from The Health Foundation shows the scale of the challenge of ensuring that the most clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 are kept safe, and in providing high-quality health and social care during the pandemic. It also indicates that there are substantial unmet needs that should be prioritised to ensure that the mental and physical health of this group does not deteriorate further.  

The briefing presents analysis from the Networked Data Lab on the impact the pandemic has had on the clinically extremely vulnerable population. It assesses the mental health of people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and examines data on access to care for clinically extremely vulnerable. It goes on to assess the limitations to the use of an algorithm-driven approach to identifying the clinically extremely vulnerable population which were exacerbated by poor availability of high-quality data.

Read the report

GP carbon footprint calculator launches

The GP Carbon Calculator is now freely available to use at, enabling any practice in the UK to measure their carbon footprint. The ability to measure a practice’s carbon footprint is a vital first step in understanding where emission hotspots are and enabling focused and effective carbon reduction plans to be put in place. It also supports the opportunity for primary care to work at pace and scale to contribute to the decarbonisation of healthcare across the UK.
For further information about the GP Carbon calculator please visit or contact 

Watch the introductory guide video 

Reforms to NHS workforce planning and tech agenda

Recruitment, training and retention of NHS staff and digital transformation will be put at the heart of the NHS in England, under new reforms announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

The plans will aim to see more patients benefit from the best possible care, with the right staff in place to meet patients’ needs. It will sit alongside the strategic NHS workforce framework ministers previously commissioned to report in spring, looking at what the workforce of the future should look like.

The Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, intends to merge the body responsible for the education and training of the health workforce, Health Education England (HEE), with NHSE/I, putting long-term planning and strategy for healthcare staff recruitment and retention at the forefront of the national NHS agenda.

In addition, the Secretary of State has accepted the recommendations of Laura Wade-Gery, Non-Executive Director at NHS England and Chair of NHS Digital, including to merge NHSX and NHS Digital into NHSE/I.

Find out more 

Digital Health Partnership Award round 2

The Digital Health Partnership Award was created to help NHS organisations in England bid for funding to accelerate the adoption of digital health technologies to support patients with long term conditions. The award focuses on how digital products and services can support people to remotely monitor their health at home or in the community.

NHS organisations are able to bid for funding to accelerate new and ready to scale digital health technologies.

Find out more 

Latest funding news

The AHSN Network has published its latest funding newsletter, which contains a wealth of funding and grant news for start-ups, SMEs and health innovators. 

Read more

Bridging the gap between industry and the NHS

We're excited to share with you our new animation which explains how we can help bridge the gap between industry and the NHS. 

It talks about the importance of having a clear value proposition, the need to generate evidence, and how the AHSNs can support innovators - with products and services that match NHS priorities - through these stages and on to national adoption.

You can watch the video here or contact our industry engagement team for more information. 

Resources for innovators

Our colleagues in the AHSN Network Innovation Exchange have put together a package of some of the key resources for innovators that are available through the AHSN Network.

The guides, tips and toolkits cover topics such as:
  • Business case development
  • Market readiness
  • Evidence
  • Adoption and spread

Find out more

Integrated Clinical Academic Programme internship

The internship is designed to support non-medical clinicians (nurses and allied health professionals) and offer an introduction to research from research design and data management through to undertaking practical research in a clinical environment.

Internships are short duration awards for individuals with little or no research experience and provide a taught and academically supervised programme to support interns to develop and undertake preparation for research applications. No previous research qualifications are required. 

Funding covers: 
•    30 days of salaried contact time
•    Supervision and support with leading researchers, research groups and eminent clinical academics
•    Introduction to research, support and coaching for research proposal
•    Education and links to assist fellowship applications.

The deadline for applications is December 12th.

Find out more and apply 

Homecare Community of Practice

On the 6th of October, the ARC KSS Social Care and Public Health Themes hosted a Community of Practice which focused on the Homecare sector.  In attendance were public advisors, service providers, member organisations, commissioners and academics.   

The agenda  covered three topic areas and attendees were invited to discuss the topics and share their own thoughts with the community.  The key themes and ideas that were discussed included:
  • How community-based care settings, for individuals who are vulnerable to Covid-19, can be supported when receiving new or returning clients.  
This very much focussed on the results of the ARC KSS funded study looking at the challenges of implementation of PHE guidance in community settings.  The results resonated with all attendees and have been widely shared with stakeholders across KSS, as well as the SAGE working group on Social Care, NICE and the COVID-19 Advice and Guidance Team for adult social care at PHE. 
  • Workforce - much of the discussion focussed on the current challenges of recruitment and retention in the Homecare sector, including:
    • The challenges for the homecare sector in relation to 'place', such as geographical distances being travelled and the recent fuel crisis
    • Contingency planning in homecare and innovative ideas like mutual aid and collaboration between homecare providers
    • The need for positive messaging about the sector to encourage more people, including students, to consider care as a career.
  • The development of a research question and proposal looking at addressing nutrition and food insecurity among elderly people receiving homecare.  
The next meeting is scheduled for January 19th with plans to share research and further explore the challenges of workforce and also digital technology.  If you would like to learn more or join the community, please contact Becky Sharp or Funmi Vaughn for more information.    

Innovation clinic with industry experts

29 November 2021 - 10:00 - 17:00 - online

Wessex AHSN has partnered with Morgan Innovation and Technology Ltd to deliver an Innovation Clinic that provides advice and guidance for healthcare-focused businesses, entrepreneurs, or innovators at any stage of their innovation development process.

The clinic will be of particular interest to those looking for advice on the NHS as a marketplace, who need help to create a prototype or require any other specific advice related to their business. 

Find out more

ARC KSS Winter Research Symposium

30 November 2021, 10:00 - 12:00 - online

The Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) KSS is hosting its Winter Research Symposium: spotlight on research on 30 November.

The symposium will provide the latest insights from current research projects, implementation and evaluation across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. It will be chaired by Professor Stephen Peckham, Director of ARC KSS.

Find out more and register

"Healing environments" - the connection between the built environment and mental health and wellbeing

2 December 2021, 11:00 - 12:15 - online

The design of buildings and the shaping of public spaces in the places we live, work and play contribute to our lived experiences, how we feel, and have the power to promote or stifle wellbeing and recovery.

Hosted by the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) as part of the Healthy Happy Places programme, this webinar will showcase perspectives from mental health, architecture and urban planning to explore why the built environment matters when thinking about mental health and wellbeing.
The webinar – ‘Healing Environments’ - will take place on Thursday 2nd December 2021, 11:00-12:15. 

Find out more

IP: how to protect your innovations and inventions

2 December 2021, 14:30 - 16:00 - online

Maucher Jenkins LLP and Wessex Academic Health Science Network present a workshop to provide guidance and answer questions regarding Intellectual Property (IP). The workshop will provide an overview of the various Intellectual Property (IP) rights that exist, as well as important topics such as ownership, confidentiality, freedom to operate, IP strategy and funding for IP. 

Find out more 

Research priorities in adult social care

6 December 2021, 12:00 - 14:00 - online

The social care theme of the Applied Research Collaboration Kent Surrey Sussex (ARC KSS) is holding a symposium on research priorities for adult social care on 6 December.

They will present findings from a series of region-wide focus groups, discussing innovative practice, the challenges for the sector and importantly priority areas for ARC KSS research to support evidence-based service change. As the national lead ARC for research in Social Care and Social Work, they will also share priority areas being developed nationally.

This event is suitable for anyone interested or involved in adult social care.

Find out more and register

The Whole School Approach within Mental Health Support Teams: best practice review and evaluation

7 December 2021, 11:00 - 12:30 - online

A chance to hear about the best practice review and evaluation of whole school approach (WSA) within Mental Health Support Teams (MHST). 

The review was commissioned due to concerns about a gap in current national monitoring and evaluation measures for MHSTs, which are weighted towards clinical outcomes. Over the course of a year, the review team gathered data on the ways in which local teams are developing the WSA element of MHST and the impact this was having.

The report identifies a number of clear ambitions about how this work should be taken forward nationally, regionally, locally and at school level.

Find out more and register

Digital Health, AI & IVDs: navigating the changing regulatory landscape

22 January 2022, 10:00 - 11:00 - online

2022 is poised to be a year of further growth in the medical technology field and, with it, increased regulations and related compliance needs. This briefing session led by SEHTA  is designed to give an update on the major topics to consider, the key actions that need to be taken to meet the challenges ahead, and an awareness of areas to explore further.

Find out more and register

We hope you enjoyed Collaborate, if you’ve got anything you’d like to share please get in touch.

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