Academic Health Science Networks: engaging with innovation and improvement

Academic Health Science Networks: engaging with innovation and improvementThis briefing paper, published by the NHS Confederation, provides an update on the development of Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) – a new tier of organisations to improve the identification, adoption and spread of innovation in the NHS.

It explores some of the forms that AHSNs could take, what contributions different sectors need to make and, building on the experience of other local innovation partnerships, how AHSNs will need to be supported as they emerge.

This briefing is part of a series on the NHS innovation landscape.

Key points

  • AHSNs are being created to drive innovation in the NHS – and create wealth for the UK economy.
  • Their core functions include informatics, service improvement, procurement and engaging the NHS with research.
  • Effective cross-sector governance and partnership working will be key to the success of AHSNs.
  • The pace of designation is rapid and may be at odds with the time required to establish productive partnerships.
  • Local variation in the configuration of AHSNs is to be encouraged.