Across the country, AHSN member organisations are being approached this month to formalise their membership. Members are being asked to pledge a financial sum and contribute to the development of a vibrant, member-based network. The draft commitments from members include: undertaking to share data, raising the profile of research performance and uptake of NICE guidance, nominating an AHSN lead in each organisation and communicating with frontline staff about Innovation, Health & Wealth. To support this engagement, we have produced this short guide to the network’s plans and priorities.
Kent Surrey and Sussex Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care application – update from Prof Tom Quinn
A small group with representatives from across KSS is continuing to develop proposals for the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) application. I am delighted that Professor Sube Banerjee has agreed to act as Director, bringing world-class experience in applied clinical research and leadership to the team. Tanya Telling has also joined the team to provide support.
We are getting into the detail of what our proposed CLAHRC might look like, with several ‘candidate themes’ identified by a small working group, and the stocktake of applied health research is nearing completion.
Colleagues who wish to propose a theme or discuss any aspect of the CLAHRC bid are encouraged to contact Tom Quinn, Sube Banerjee or Tanya Telling.
We are also in the process of developing our PPI and governance arrangements, and organisational CEOs and Vice Chancellors have been asked to consider the issue of matched funding. More detail will be presented and discussed at the workshop on 19 March at Holiday Inn Gatwick – places are still available, please contact Anne Hrassnigg – we are very keen to ensure that the KSS community ‘own’ our proposals!
KSS AHSN establishment update
David Clayton-Smith is the new Chair Designate of Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network. David is currently chair at NHS Surrey and at NHS Sussex and has more than 28 years experience gained from working at board level in a number of major companies. His extensive commercial experience includes both executive and non-executive roles including those for Boots The Chemists Ltd, handbag.com and most recently as Chair of The Fairtrade Foundation Ltd.
David Clayton-Smith said: “I hope by matching my private sector skills together with my NHS experience in Surrey and Sussex will make a real difference to the KSS AHSN. I am truly excited by the potential of the network to unleash improvements for both patients and to the local economies and look forward to meeting and working with our partners from April.”
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Adrian Bull, our Interim Chair, for his time, energy and personal support. Starting any new enterprise is no small task and KSS ASHN now undertaking project work for members in its own right reflects Adrian’s vision and motivation to realise our shared ambition. I’m sure you will join me in wishing him every success at the Imperial College Health Partners AHSN.
Managing Director (interim)
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Academic Health Science Network
Telecare may not cut costs, but it could have other benefits for patients, says Adam Steventon, lead researcher on the DH’s Whole Systems Demonstrator trial
There’s been growing interest in the potential of telecare to help frail people maintain their independence at home. Though telecare can take many forms, since the Department of Health’s Building Telecare in England report, the number of pendant alarms in England has increased to around 1.5 million. And some local authorities are beginning to invest in newer forms of telecare like automatic falls and bed occupancy sensors.
Some advocates have claimed that telecare can deliver benefits for older people and their carers while reducing costs – the latter happening through reductions in admissions to care homes and hospitals, as well as a shortening of length of stay in hospital (through facilitating faster discharge to a safer place in the community). Evidence about the effect of telecare on use of care services, however, has been scarce, with several systematic reviews concluding that no high-quality studies exist.
As social care budgets become more and more strained, the need for robust evidence will increase. If telecare is cost effective, then increased adoption might be an efficient route to providing better services at lower overall costs. But if telecare is not cost effective, then the money might be better spent elsewhere – for example, being a bit less restrictive with eligibility for domiciliary care.
In recognition of the need for evidence, in 2006 the Department of Health announced three large ‘Whole Systems Demonstrator’ sites in Cornwall, Kent and Newham in England. This provided the opportunity for a large, randomised controlled trial of telecare, with 2,600 participants. We believe it is the largest such trial undertaken.
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The Department of Health has announced the successful applicants for stage 1 of the £50m funding of capital projects to improve care environments for people with dementia. Click here for details.
The National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research
The National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network has produced a resource pack to help NHS trusts raise awareness of clinical research among patients and carers, and deliver on the NHS Constitution commitment to provide research information supporting patient choice. Click here for details.