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National survey finds 73% of respondents would recommend working with AHSNs

30 October 2015

NHS England and the AHSN Network have today published the results of the first stakeholder survey to measure the current perception of AHSNs across England; with the majority of respondents (73%) saying they would recommend working with AHSNs.

The NHS needs to deliver a step-change in the way it identifies, adopts and spreads best practice, clinical innovations and new technologies more quickly and at scale in order to meet the enormous challenges set out in the Five Year Forward View. AHSNs have a critical role to play in equipping the NHS to do this, in particular by making productive connections between the NHS, industry, researchers and patients. They achieve impact by working with and through thousands of individuals and by acting as catalysts, brokers, coordinators, sponsors and knowledge-sharers.

1,200 people from across health and social care, patient groups, academia, industry, and the charity sector took part in the survey to share their views on how the AHSNs are delivering on increasing the adoption and diffusion of innovation and research, and spreading best practice across the NHS.

The survey results show that the AHSNs have a good reputation for facilitating collaboration and supporting partners to address the needs of their local communities. They also highlight clear demand for greater visibility of the AHSNs and their role in championing the uptake of innovation in the NHS. AHSNs are working together to address this demand, including by collaborating on the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme, supporting NHS England’s test beds initiative and providing input to the government’s Accelerated Access Review. Together, AHSNs are helping to put the NHS at the forefront of collaborative working for system-wide improvement and mobilise world-leading expertise within the NHS in support of economic growth.

Dr Charlie Davie, Managing Director at UCLPartners AHSN said, “We are always keen to learn what we’re doing well and where there is room for improvement. As an organisation which plays an important catalytic role in healthcare delivery, we will be acting on this feedback to strengthen relationships with all our stakeholders and to work with them to enhance our programmes to benefit the welfare of the 6 million population we serve.”

As the first national measurement of AHSN activity, the networks will use the results of this survey to:

  • Understand where AHSNs are performing well so that this can be maintained and improved further
  • Understand areas for improvement and development to improve overall service for the system
  • Benchmark future progress and success.

Adrian Bull, Chair of the AHSN Network and Managing Director of Imperial College Health Partners said: “I am encouraged by the results of this survey – not just in terms of the number of stakeholders who felt moved to provide feedback, but also by the progress and impact that the AHSNs have demonstrated to date.

“Our stakeholders are clearly happy to continue working with us, and see great value in our abilities to both understand the local health landscape and needs, and facilitate collaboration with partners to address them. However, we have noted the clear demand for greater visibility of the AHSNs, and we will continue to develop this through building on the good working relationships which have already been established right across the country.”

View the full results of the survey. Read more about the survey on the NHS England website.

To find out more about the work of the AHSNs, read the 2015 Impact Report.