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CCGs urged to work with AHSNs in spreading innovation across STPs

By Carolyn Wickware
25 May 2017

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Clinical commissioning groups have been encouraged to work more closely with Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to improve patient care.

In a report from NHS Clinical Commissioners released today, CCGs were told how the evolving commissioning landscape is moving to a more collaborative model of delivering care across wider footprints, leaving the role of commissioner to become increasingly strategic.

The report says that by working together CCGs and AHSNs can contribute to effective local health commissioning in a number of ways, including developing a detailed understanding of a population’s health needs through the analysis and evaluation of NHS data sets to inform commissioning decision making.

The recommendation comes a day after Chris Hopson told NHS managers that the health service lacks the ‘heft’ to take on whole population health management using data analytics.

The report also said AHSNs can ensure patients receive the most up-to-date approaches to healthcare, drive out variation in service delivery and support collaboration across local health systems through partnerships developed between commissioners, providers and the research community to deliver quality services for patients.

NHSCC co-chair Dr Graham Jackson said CCGs can use AHSNs’ experience in spreading approaches across wider footprints as they move forward with sustainability and transformation plans.

He said: ‘We can only deliver a sustainable and transformed NHS through collaboration, working across local systems and organisational boundaries.’

AHSN Network Chair Dr Liz Mear added that the report highlights the ability for AHSNs to ‘unlock the potential for innovation to drive transformation’.

She said: ‘Since we were established by the NHS in 2013, England’s 15 AHSNs have been instrumental in driving the adoption and spread of over 220 innovative projects, devices, tools and systems within more than 11,400 sites around the country’.

She added that the network has leveraged £330m investment to help with the transformation of health and care services.

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