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AHSN Network: supporting the response to COVID-19

25 March 2020

Now that our partners across the NHS and social care are mobilising at scale in response to the developing COVID-19 pandemic, the role of England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) is to support them by helping them take full advantage of the most relevant innovations and technologies that can improve care for patients and support our services in this challenging context.

Nationally, the AHSN Network is part of a coordinated NHS response to identify and enable the implementation of technologies that respond to areas of highest priority action, in particular solutions for remote consultation and patient monitoring, diagnostics and point-of-care testing.

Similarly, in the regions each AHSN is part of a system-wide approach, led by our regional NHS offices, to support our local health and care organisations – connecting them with potential solutions and offering up the specific operational or clinical skillsets of our teams where relevant. This includes our Patient Safety Collaboratives, who will be adapting their specialist skills towards keeping patients safe in these very demanding environments.

How to get in touch

The government has provided national guidance on where to register products to support the COVID-19 response. Please find these details below. You may also want to link into regional and local areas. If you wish to do this please contact your local AHSN either through your usual contact or by using our postcode finder. You can access UCLPartners’ advice and support by completing our form here.

PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

Contact the Surgical MedTech Co-operative (one of NIHR’s Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives) if you have a technology that could be adapted quickly for the healthcare setting to help protect healthcare workers against aerosol contamination.
Find out more about their ‘COVID-19 PPE Challenge’ here.

Vaccines

Contact Public Health England: nervtag@phe.gov.uk

Ventilators

Contact the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS): ventilator.support@beis.gov.uk or call 0300 456 3565

Innovation and Tech

Contact NHSX: DNHSX@nhsx.nhs.uk

Diagnostics

Contact Public Health England: coviddiagnostics@phe.gov.uk

General

The UK government has set up a service allowing businesses to share any support that might help the COVID-19 response, from PPE and medical testing equipment to transport/logistics and warehouse space. Find out more here.

If you have any other solutions (not specifically COVID-19 related) that could be useful to the health and care system during this unprecedented time, you can access AHSN advice and support by visiting www.ahsninnovationexchange.co.uk.

Regional AHSN support

During this current period of extreme operational pressure, the AHSNs will be supporting our colleagues on the frontline and in planning and operations by offering the most appropriate assistance as and when required. This will include supporting the implementation of technology to maximise the use of remote consultations and online guidance, freeing up valuable clinician time and reducing the risk of transmission.

We are working closely with our regional NHS teams to coordinate this support, but if you would like to speak to us please do get in touch.

If you have any other query or request for support, get in touch with the AHSN network at info@ahsnnetwork.com.