Health science network for North West England launched
20 March 2014
The North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (NWC AHSN), one of 15 such networks in England, has officially launched with an event to connect healthcare, academia and industry in the region.
The Network operates as part of the NHS to enable innovative products to spread quickly and successfully through the health and social care system. It is based at the Sci-Tech Daresbury Enterprise Zone in Cheshire, and marked its official launch with an introductory event for local businesses, SME’s, health organisations and academics on 12 March.
Covering Cheshire, Merseyside, South Cumbria and Lancashire, the NWC AHSN supports suppliers with practical and strategic advice and support as they look to tap into the market. It specialises in five key areas, including telehealth, personalised medicine, neurosciences, infection and tropical medicine and procurement. It also works with healthcare organisations to support their specific areas of expertise.
Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive of the North West Coast AHSN, said: “The NWC AHSN has an important role to play in accelerating innovation and collaboration in the NHS across the wider region. The North West is one of the UK’s top three biomedical clusters and we’re excited by the wide range of novel products, techniques and services being developed by companies in the region.
“Becoming an NHS supplier can involve complex procurement processes which are often difficult for smaller businesses to negotiate. The product life-cycle from research to widespread use in a patient care setting is an arduous one, which can take a long time- our role is to speed up that process and ensure that companies with innovative products or concepts are supported in their journey to develop their products and services for use by the NHS more quickly and more widely.”
The Network works with all parts of the NHS and its healthcare delivery partners, with the academic sector and with industry to accelerate the adoption and spread of innovation and ensure the most advanced treatments, technologies and medicines are available to health care service users.
The NWC AHSN has seven local clinical priorities: cancer, cardiac, child and maternal health, long-term conditions, muscular-skeletal services, mental health and stroke. It also holds the national lead for telehealth/telecare/telemedicine; infection and tropical disease; personalised medicine; and neurological conditions. The Network is also undertaking a lead role in respect of procurement.