At Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN – soon to be Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex), we accomplished a great deal in the year 2022-23. Our Year in Review report reflects on the impact of our national and local programmes this year and also looks forward to our strategies and priorities for 2023-24. It dives into the ways in which we’ve supported our Integrated Care Systems, worked with our AHSN partners, signposted innovators, translated research into action through the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) and much more.
Over the past year, our programmes have contributed to at least one of our overarching success factors:
- Enabling the spread and adoption of innovation
- Improving the quality and safety of health and care
- Supporting innovators and driving economic growth
All of our programmes have also been delivered through the lens of our cross-cutting themes: inclusion and inequality, digital and AI, co-design, and environmental sustainability.
You’ll see in this report that we’ve achieved a great deal in 2022-23 across national NHS programmes and intend to continue this in the coming years. Dr. Charlotte Roberts, Associate Director: Innovation Adoption, said: “Through our national NHS England commissions we are delivering multiple programmes that have accelerated access to well-evidenced innovations for patients that transform lives. Through both the MedTech Funding Mandate and Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme we have seen benefits to patients across each ICS in KSS.”
This year we have made a significant contribution to economic growth through our targeted support of high growth innovators. 351 companies were supported in total and our work in the KSS region has contributed to £34m in economic growth for UK Plc, 60.6 jobs created and 39.6 jobs safeguarded. Nuala Foley, Associate Director, Commercial and Enterprise, said: “This year we have been delighted to see the growing impact of our approach to our innovation exchange work, both on bringing practical and beneficial solutions to our local system partners, and on the economic growth of the innovators we have supported. We have seen a significant increase in our contribution to the AHSN network economic growth figures. This is testimony to the investment in our industry support offering, focusing our enhanced support offer on high growth companies and on needs articulation that led to us identifying solutions that are matching system partner needs. We have worked closely with many other AHSN’s in the network and will continue to collaborate to bring about further impact.”
Translating research into action: Applied Research Collaboration (ARC)
The Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) is a core pillar of our support to local systems, bringing together NHS Trusts, local authorities, universities, communities and other partners to develop innovative research to improve health and social care for patients and families in the south east. Our Implementation Leads work across four research themes: dementia, social care, primary and community health, and children and young people’s mental health. The annual review details some of the key projects the ARC has completed in these areas over the course of the year.
As well as national NHS programmes, we’ve also collaborated with local partners in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex region to work on programmes which support the strategic goals of our Integrated Care Systems. For example in the cardiovascular space, we have collaborated with British Heart Foundation and NHS Benchmarking on the CVD Central Project to understand the impact and outcomes from health checks that detect high risk conditions, as well as utilising National Heart Failure Audit (NHFA) data to help enhance quality (EQ). In the digital space, we’ve developed a Digital Inclusion Framework for health and care with NHS Sussex and the University of Sussex, provided support to pilot SimEPR medical education platform, and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust also recommissioned KSS AHSN to design and deliver a digital fellows programme. Local programmes also included work in Children’s & Young People’s mental health services, medicine e-labelling and the Surrey Heartlands Health Tech Accelerator (HTA).