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Report highlights benefits of collaboration between CCGs and AHSNs

25 May 2017

NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) and the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) have launched a new joint report that shows how collaboration between clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and AHSNs is bringing positive benefits to local patients and populations.

As the commissioning landscape evolves and moves towards more collaborative models of designing and delivering care across wider footprints, the role of the clinical commissioner is developing into an increasingly strategic role.

In their continuing efforts to achieve the best for patients, CCGs are tapping in to the support and expertise that AHSN can offer, including their additional analytical capacity, expertise at sharing best practice at scale and links with industry that can lead to the development and implementation of new innovative approaches.

Case studies in ‘Supporting Strategic Commissioning’ that highlight the positive impacts of collaboration between CCGs and AHSNs, include:

  • Reducing anti-coagulation treatment costs by £1 million while at the same time improving patient outcomes
  • A six day fall in referral admission times for patients with acquired brain injuries
  • Development of a platform able to predict when a patient would present at a hospital if no intervention took place.

The report also highlights the potential for the AHSNs to support commissioners to ensure projects focus on delivery at scale, and identifies AHSNs as natural partners for commissioners working as a part of a Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships.

NHSCC co-chair Dr Graham Jackson said:

“We can only deliver a sustainable and transformed NHS through collaboration, working across local systems and organisational boundaries. CCGs as leading players in Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships can draw upon AHSNs’ experience in spreading approaches across wider footprints and sharing best practice across regional geographies, translating these to take local circumstances into account.”

NHSCC co-chair Dr Amanda Doyle continued:

Supporting strategic commissioning reaffirms the beneficial partnerships that exist between CCGs and AHSNs across the country, which is leading to improved quality of services and increasing innovation. We hope that it will also inspire the development of new relationships and closer collaborations between local clinical commissioners and AHSNs to the benefit of their local patients and populations.”

AHSN Network Chair Dr Liz Mear welcomed the document:

Supporting Strategic Commissioning outlines the strength and breadth of AHSNs’ support for CCGs to address local challenges and 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 – and our work has leveraged £330M investment to help with the transformation of health and care services.

“I warmly welcome our collaboration with NHS Clinical Commissioners and we will continue to seek all ways to support commissioners to create the sustainable NHS of the future. I would encourage Clinical Commissioning Groups to use Supporting Strategic Commissioning to identify how we could assist your organisation.”

The report can be viewed at