For all of us 2019/20 will be the year that was marked by the emergence of COVID-19.

The pandemic has had, and will continue to have, an immeasurable impact on every aspect of our life, and it can at times be hard to remember what life was like before its emergence.

I’ve found the process of gathering content for this annual review and writing its introduction to be a heartening process, giving me and my team the chance to revisit and review our work for the whole financial year, rather than focusing on the immense challenges we all faced at its end.

Being part of a national network brings us untold strength and opportunities, and it’s clear that the AHSN Network, and KSS AHSN, had a clear role to play in strengthening and supporting the work of colleagues right across health and social care, as well as the life sciences sector, throughout 2019/20.

The AHSN Network has continued to have significant impact on patient outcomes and experiences, with more than 479,000 individuals benefitting from its two-year national adoption and spread programmes.

KSS AHSN has been leading nationally on the AHSN Network’s digital and AI work, as well as the roll out of the care bundles for Emergency Laparotomy Care and Respiratory.

Our positive impact on the region was evidenced through the independent survey, commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and the Office for Life Sciences, which set out to explore and evaluate the views of AHSN stakeholders.

The report, available here, showed that stakeholders generally spoke very highly of KSS AHSN, reporting multiple examples of good practice, such as the NHSE Atrial Fibrillation and Transfers of Care Around Medicines projects, which interviewees believed demonstrated our enthusiasm for collaboration and dedication to the partnerships we have built with our stakeholders.

I’d like to thank all of our partners, stakeholders and funders for their ongoing support and commitment to help us deliver and develop our work.  Indeed, as we moved through the financial year we took the decision to start scoping further projects, additional to the national remit, that were relevant and offered specific benefit to our region.

Our collaboration with the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent Surrey Sussex was key to this, helping us to look at what the region’s specific needs were, and how research and innovation could combine to meet them.

And then came COVID-19, drastically changing our focus and the way that we worked.

I’ve been humbled and inspired in equal measure by the commitment and sacrifices that colleagues across health and social care have made in response to COVID-19.

At the time of writing, health and social care is rapidly reviewing and resetting after the first phase of the COVID-19 response. I know that the NHS, industry, academia and the AHSN Network will work together to learn from the experience, and will continue to place citizens, their needs and their safety at the heart of that work.

Guy Boersma

Managing Director


Our work 2019-20

Our response
to COVID-19


Applied Research Collaboration KSS


KSS Patient Safety Collaborative


Our funders

Thank you to all of our partners, stakeholders and funders for their ongoing support. 

While we receive funding from a range of partners, our main income comes from: 

  • NHS England
  • NHS Improvement
  • Office for Life Sciences
  • NHS Digital
  • Health Education England Kent Surrey and Sussex
  • Interreg France (Channel Marche) England
  • The AHSN Network.