Representatives from NHS England and NHS Improvement attended a two-day event, hosted by BHP member the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN), at iCentrum Birmingham Innovation Campus, on 27 and 28 June.
The aim of the event was to showcase how the WMAHSN is transforming health and social care through innovation – supporting health equality and generating economic growth – across the region and nationally.
Key highlights presented at the event, of the impact the WMAHSN has had in the region, included:
- Improving the management of health deterioration and safety of residents in care homes – with 1,342 care homes in the West Midlands testing or adopting deterioration management tools
- 64 healthcare sites across England, and three sites in the West Midlands, adopting Heartflow – a non-invasive cardiac test, reducing intrusive investigation and patient risk, whilst improving NHS efficiencies
- An award-winning triage system, Birmingham Symptom-specific Obstetric Triage System, that determines clinical urgency – improving the safety of mothers and the management of the maternity departments, and adopted by 64 maternity units in the UK, and;
- Attracting ~£27m of inward investment, creating 10 jobs, and supporting 701 businesses in all stages of development between 2021-2022.
The event welcomed partners from across the network, including Matt Whitty, Director of Innovation, Research and Life Sciences, NHS England and NHS Improvement and CEO of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, Pollyanna Jones, Chief of Staff at Accelerated Access Collaborative, Innovation, Research and Life Sciences and Christina Farrow, Deputy Director for Innovation at NHS England, and NHS Improvement.
Speaking about his visit, Matt Whitty, NHS England Director of Innovation, Research and Life Sciences and Chief Executive of the Accelerated Access Collaborative, said:
“Through research and innovation, we can improve patient outcomes and reduce health inequalities and so it is important to celebrate and spotlight their impact as we hope to do so today. Already over 1.4 million patients have benefited from our programmes.
“Ground-breaking commercial partnerships are supporting the introduction of innovative new treatments for cardiovascular disease and cancer, and we have programmes such as the Small Business Research Initiative helping the NHS develop technologies that support the NHS’s net zero ambitions.
“It’s a great pleasure to visit West Midlands Academic Health Science Network and meet those teams helping get some of the NHS’s most promising healthcare innovations to patients faster.”
Tony Davis, Innovation and Commercial Director, WMAHSN, added:
“This event was an important opportunity to present the pioneering work being developed to transform health and care services in the West Midlands, and nationally.
“Seeking innovative solutions, and implementing them at scale and pace, is key to solving some of healthcare’s most complex problems. This is part of our networks’ remit and demonstrated in the catalogue of programmes we support.
“We have witnessed, first hand, how these programmes close the health gap, empower patients to manage their own care, at their convenience, and improve staff and patient safety.
“It was a pleasure to welcome key figures from NHS England and NHS Improvement and we are incredibly proud of the innovative work being developed right here, on our doorstep.”
Day one of the event featured a session on the importance of partnership working, to support the spread and adoption of innovative products and services, and a networking and exhibition session with innovators Dignio UK and Digital Innovators, Birmingham – both developed with the support of WMAHSN’s innovation gateway, Serendip.
On day two, delegates discussed strengths, challenges, opportunities and plans to support the future work of the WMAHSN, and the national network.