Kent, Surrey & Sussex Academic Health Science Network bid strengthened by new appointment

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Guy Boersma has been appointed Interim Managing Director of the Kent Surrey & Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN). He takes up the post with immediate effect.

An Academic Health Science Network is a new partnership organisation established to focus and drive beneficial collaborative working by providing: “a systematic delivery mechanism for the local NHS, universities, public health and social care to work with industry to transform the identification, adoption and spread of proven innovations and best practice.” “Their goal will be to improve patient and population health outcomes by translating research into practice and developing and implementing integrated health care systems” (Innovation, Health and Wealth, Department of Health, 2011 – see link below for full document).

KSS Transition Board Chairman Adrian Bull said:

“I am delighted to welcome Guy to the KSS AHSN. Guy combines extensive public sector commissioning and systems development leadership and knowledge with private sector experience in high profile healthcare and management consultancy companies. He will work with the Transition Board to develop a robust structure and business plan for this new partnership organisation”

Over 60 partner organisations from across the NHS, Local authorities, Higher Education Institutions and Industry representatives from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, have been engaged over the last six months in producing an application to become an Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for this region.

Responding to his appointment Guy Boersma said:

“I am thrilled to be working with industry, academia, local government and the NHS to speed up the adoption of best practice, get more patients involved in clinical trials and create growth opportunities for the health technology sector. AHSNs are membership organisations and the success of the AHSN will come from harnessing the talent within local organisations. I look forward to working with members across Kent and Medway, Surrey and Sussex to deliver benefits from value-adding cross-organisational projects and initiatives.”

Key additional information, documents and links:

Academic Health Science Networks were first described in the Department of Health report ‘Innovation Health and Wealth : Accelerating Adoption and Diffusion in the NHS’. This is the NHS’s response to the ‘Plan for Growth’ and describes the contribution that the NHS can make to supporting sustainable economic growth for the United Kingdom.

Innovation Health and Wealth concluded that there was the need for “a more systematic delivery mechanism for diffusion and collaboration across the NHS by building strong cross boundary networks”. Thus it specifically recommended that the NHS Chief Executive and the Chief Medical Officer should work with partners to designate Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) that will “align education, clinical research, informatics, training and healthcare delivery.”

The AHSN authorisation process began with an expression of interest in July followed by submission of a prospectus before 1 October 2012. The Kent, Surrey & Sussex prospectus developed by representatives from partner organisations from academia, industry, local authorities and the NHS from across the region and involved a series of events where opinions were sought and exchanged. The ongoing process of engagement will provide opportunities to review and further develop the ideas in this prospectus.

A copy of the KSS AHSN prospectus can be found at:

A dedicated KSS AHSN website will follow.

Feedback to the prospectus will be provided by the NHS National Commissioning Board in November. This will be followed by a formal panel interview where a full business plan will be shared at a date to be arranged early in the New Year.
The intention is that the whole of England will be covered by AHSNs by the end of 2013. Funding from the NHS Commissioning Board will depend on the state of readiness of each AHSN and is expected to be up to £10m p.a for five years. It is also expected that additional resources will be made available by partner organisations.
An AHSN Transition Board has been appointed. Adrian Bull will be the interim Chair and the Board will be supported by an Interim Managing Director and Implementation manager recruited. Full details of the Transition Board will be provided in a later document.

If you would like further information, or you know someone else who would like to receive regular updates on the progress of the KSS AHSN, please contact:

Paul Carter
Tel: 01293 600300 ext1750

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