Robert Neill – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Robert Neill on 2015-10-30.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to page 21 of the Pharmaceutical Price Regulations Scheme, what steps he is taking to encourage academic health science networks to translate research into practice.

George Freeman

Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) have been set up to support local health economies to improve health outcomes in their communities, and maximise the National Health Service’s contribution to economic growth by enabling change through collaboration, and the spread of innovation and best practice. To do this, they bring together local NHS partners, academia and industry by acting as catalysts, brokers, coordinators, sponsors and knowledge-sharers.

Speeding up adoption of innovation into practice to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience has been one of the four core contractual objectives for AHSN since their establishment in 2013. As well as directly supporting partners to diffuse specific innovations and best practice, AHSNs also work to create an infrastructure and environment that enables the development, identification and adoption of innovation. This work encompasses the establishment of partnerships and networking opportunities, as well as investment in infrastructure.

AHSNs are supporting over 150 active programmes and projects across a range of clinical and cross-cutting themes. These have been selected in response to the priorities of their local populations and health economies. In addition to their individual programmes, AHSNs also work collectively to support national priorities which include a Medicine’s Optimisation programme. AHSNs are working with NHS England and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry among others to promote best practice that ensures patients, the public and society more broadly get the best outcomes from medicines. This includes programmes to encourage access to innovative medicines and to ensure safer use of medicines.

AHSNs have taken a range of approaches in delivering their objectives. Case studies and exemplars of some their work can be found in the resources section of the AHSNs Network website: www.ahsnnetwork.com