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Welcome to our first newsletter of 2022/23. It’s been a busy start to the year at Eastern AHSN, with a new Chair and a visit from our commissioners which gave us an excellent opportunity to showcase some of the brilliant healthcare innovation happening across the region in a crucial time for the NHS. The full story is below but I would like to thank all the innovators, colleagues and partners who helped demonstrate the role of our region in driving forward innovation.

Piers Ricketts
Chief Executive, Eastern AHSN

Announcing our new chair

Tracy Dowling has been appointed as the new Chair for Eastern AHSN. She brings her extensive experience in healthcare leadership in the region, including 16 years in roles at boardroom level, most recently as Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. Eastern AHSN would like to thank Elisabeth Buggins CBE for her incredible contribution and leadership as she steps down from the role after almost seven years.

Spotlight on our local innovation community

A group of health leaders from the NHS visited the region this week to see for themselves how health innovation in the East of England has the potential to benefit both local and national populations. The team wanted to meet some of the innovators behind new technologies and services that are being piloted, evaluated and adopted across health and care systems in the region by Eastern AHSN to support the NHS with its post-pandemic recovery.


Supporting NHS net zero through innovation

In October 2020 the NHS became the first in the world to set the target of delivering a net zero national health system and we are committed to helping them in this goal. To this end we have launched an appeal to identify and support innovations which could support a greener NHS, including those which may not be directly health related.


AHSN Network launches Innovate Awards

The Innovate Awards is a collaboration between the AHSN Network and NHS Confederation, the membership body representing healthcare in the UK. There are ten categories open for entry in the awards, which are open to publicly-funded or charitable organisations and collaborations. Applications from other partners in the private sector are welcomed as part of a submission led by a public or voluntary sector body.

ADHD diagnosis innovation programme wins at HSJ Partnership Awards

The AHSN Network’s Focus ADHD programme was recently named Best Mental Health Partnership at the HSJ Partnership Awards. The aim of the programme is to enable services to improve how they assess children and young people for ADHD through the rollout of an objective assessment tool. The QbTest is an approved computer-supported objective test which measures attention, motor activity and impulsivity – the core symptoms of ADHD.

Spanish-owned life sciences firm invests in Cambridge with help from Growth Works

Quibim, a leading Spanish-owned life sciences company, has chosen Cambridge for its first expansion to the UK following support from the Combined Authority and Business Board’s dedicated business growth service, Growth Works. Having taken part in our 3rd annual scale-up academy last year, we have already brokered independent engagement meetings where NHS Trusts are keen to trial Quibim’s QP-Prostate product.


Funding awarded to develop innovative ways to collaborate health data in research

Eastern AHSN are partners in two Sprint Exemplar Projects funded through the Data and Analytics Research Environments (DARE) UK programme. Both aim to uncover and test early thinking in the development of a more joined-up and trustworthy national data research infrastructure.


Exploring the impact of 5G-enabled technology on healthcare

Our Chief Executive, Piers Ricketts, has recently been exploring how 5G can help meet the challenges healthcare services currently face, while highlighting the incredible work we’re already seeing in this space across the UK across three articles:

Piers also spoke to Ann Williams from Liverpool City Council and Tony Sceales from the UK Department for Culture, Ministry and Sports about the adoption of 5G mobile technologies in our latest podcast

New products added to the MedTech Funding Mandate

The MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM) is an NHS Long Term Plan commitment to give patients access to selected NICE approved, cost-efficient technologies more quickly. On April 1 the MedTech Funding Mandate entered its second year and has been expanded to include a further seven technologies, across a variety of clinical conditions, with potential savings of £44 million per year.


On our blog...

Jo Dempsey

Embedding cultural awareness in maternity services

Tendai Nzirawa, Maternity Clinical Improvement Lead, explains how listening to underrepresented groups has led to a new report into addressing health inequalities in maternity services.


The importance of having a plan… and knowing when to let it go

Dr Sarah Robinson explains what can lead leaders to stick with a plan even when the situation calls for change and gives her tips on how to plan flexibly.

Jo Dempsey

Why celebrating LGBT+ History Month empowers today’s LGBTQ+ NHS workforce

Tara Marshall, Clinical Lead for Deterioration at Eastern AHSN, describes why recognising the history of LGBTQ+ people is key to helping staff in the NHS feel they can be themselves.


Pandemics expose fault lines in society

Charlotte James, Director of Communications, Marketing and Engagement and Chair of Eastern AHSN’s diversity and inclusion group, explains our commitment to improving health equality.



Innovation grants and funding opportunities report

Whether you are a clinical entrepreneur, a start-up or an academic, we know how important it is for innovators to access capital to develop your ideas and scale your business. But with so any options out there, where do you start and who should you trust?

Eastern AHSN have developed our grant opportunities report to help you know what may be available, packed with the latest grants and wider funding opportunities from across our networks.



East of England Care Homes Network

12 May 2022, midday

Eastern AHSN is proud to launch a new series of events to provide safe space for attendees to share and learn from each other's skills, knowledge and experiences working in care homes. The network will meet every two months on the second Thursday of the month.


Thank you for supporting us as we continue to turn great ideas into positive health impact.

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