Academic Health Science Network

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Posted on 24 June 2013

A consortium led by Birmingham, Keele and Warwick faculties of health, in conjunction with their NHS partner Trusts (UHB, UHNS and UHCW) and Medilink, was one of eight Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to be awarded by the Department of Health. 

The West Midlands AHSN has been licensed for five years by NJHS England and will receive £4.63 million in its first year. 

A further seven AHSNs were licensed with conditions, including the requirement to submit revised applications and spending plans. 

AHSNs were created as set out in Innovation, Health & Wealth published at the end of 2011 with the aim of facilitating identification, adoption and spread of evidence-based practice and health-related innovations at pace and scale.  

Bringing together clinical, academic and industry expertise extends the concept embraced by HIECs and seeks to improve patient outcomes and quality of care through universal adoption of best practice whilst supporting growth and unmet clinical need. 

Professor Andy Garner (PVC and Dean of Health) and Peter Croft (Professor of Primary Care) have represented Keele on the Interim Board of the AHSN,  which was chaired by Andy Hardy, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Coventry & Warwick.

The AHSN will operate as a matrix consisting of three sub-regional spokes and six themes. 

Dr Gavin Russell (Medical Director at UHNS) will be responsible for the North spoke.  Rhian Hughes (Director of the West Midlands Primary Care Research Network and Deputy Director of PCHS at Keele) will be responsible for leading what is arguably the region's key theme covering primary care and long term conditions.