News from the Oxford Academic Health Science Network
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Newsletter Issue 8 - June 2014

In this edition...

  • Innovation high on national agenda

  • Working with LEPs to foster growth

  • Dementia clinical network launch

  • SBRI Healthcare competition details

  • Research Centre open day draws crowds

  • Dates for your diary...and more

Latest news

£10m boost for new Oxford Centre for Drug Delivery Devices
GSK in oncology push with $350m UK biotech deal (log-in needed)

Gary Ford welcomes new NHS chief's support for innovation

On his first day in post new NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens highlighted the importance of ‘unleashing innovation and improvement’. He said: “The NHS needs to become the best at harnessing the best – whether spreading good ideas from within, learning from other industries, or cherry-picking from other countries.”
Oxford AHSN Chief Executive Professor Gary A Ford CBE, pictured above, said this was good news for all AHSNs. “I was pleased to see Simon Stevens recognise and emphasise the key role of innovation in improving patient outcomes and patient experience in the NHS,” he said. “It’s our job now to demonstrate through our partners how supporting innovation brings improvements in patient care and boosts economic prosperity in our region.
“As an AHSN we will support innovation and spreading best practice through our clinical networks and adoption of the top ten innovations we identify each year.  A major focus in the coming year will be to support providers and commissioners improve integrated care supporting patients with long-term conditions and moving care closer to the patient – key strategic priorities of our NHS partners.”
  • Prof Ford was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences last month in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of medical science and excellence in research.

LEPs work with us towards life sciences growth

New organisations like Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) have a key role to play in ensuring the right infrastructure and clinical and commercial networks are in place to support growth in the life sciences sector. That was the overarching message from a workshop we hosted at last month’s BioTrinity event. Read more here >>>

Our poster showcase proves to be a BioTrinity talking point

We gave innovators the chance to showcase their bright ideas at BioTrinity – and 13 of them found their posters prompted many conversations with delegates. See them all >>>

Come to our first Partnership Council meeting on 18 June

We hope to see lots of our partners at the first annual Oxford AHSN Partnership Council meeting on 18 June. Details here. There will be a review of our first year and a look at what lies ahead. There will also be a poster showcase, question and answer session and presentations on mental/physical comorbidities and out-of-hospital care. Please contact Megan Turmezei to confirm your attendance.

Smartphone app development
follow-up workshop

The contributors have now been confirmed for our 24 June workshop showcasing apps and providing opportunities to share experiences. Details here >>>

Medicines optimisation: working together
A video recorded at the Medicines Optimisation launch event features contributions from NHS, academia and industry representatives.

Coming soon...

4/11/25 June
Therapeutics in the 21st century

18 June
AHSN Partnership Council meeting (see above)

3 July 
SBRI briefing

8 July  Venturefest

More events >>>

Sustainability training hits the mark

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare is running a training session on 17 June.
Here's what one participant thought of a similar session run in May: "It was definitely worth coming – the information presented was well worth hearing - and the networking was worthwhile, particularly hearing about the sustainability challenges in other specialties and professions."

"...With a little help from our friends" - Dementia network launch

The launch event for the dementia clinical network was inspirational to clinicians, researchers, carers and patients. It demonstrated the depth and leadership in dementia care and research among the members of the Oxford AHSN. Wide-ranging and engaging discussions covered everything from the latest research to novel ways of tracking medicine-taking habits. Read more here >>>

SBRI Healthcare offers £2.5m for technology developments

SBRI Healthcare has made available £2.5m for investment in developing technology products to meet healthcare needs. This new competition round features five clinical themes selected with Academic Health Science Networks:
  • child and maternal health  
  • improving medicines adherence
  • musculoskeletal
  • integrated care
  • telehealth for people with learning difficulties
Click here for more information.
SBRI Healthcare: 'a Longitude prize for the NHS' - The Guardian

There is an opportunity to find out more at a briefing organised by the Oxford AHSN on 3 July.
Click here for more details. The competition closes on 10 July with winners announced in October.
Last month SBRI Healthcare announced the latest competition winners – including some from the Oxford AHSN area. SBRI Healthcare is also looking for your category suggestions for future competitions.

Science showcase draws a crowd

Hundreds of visitors turned scientist for the day at a special exhibition of research.
The John Radcliffe Hospital’s West Wing atrium was transformed into a giant lab packed with technology, experiments and interactive games for the annual National Institute for Health (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) open day on 19 May.
Patients and the public explored the latest research tackling conditions including diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart disease and mental/physical health.
Oxford Biomedical Research Centre Director Keith Channon said: “Pioneering research led by Oxford University Hospitals and the University of Oxford is leading to new treatments, but it relies on patients and the public supporting our work by taking part in trials and studies.”
At the event the first patient to participate in a ground-breaking gene therapy trial for an inherited cause of blindness spoke about his experience. Jonathan Wyatt, who was diagnosed with choroideremia in his 20s, received the treatment as part of a BRC-supported clinical trial run by Professor Robert MacLaren at Oxford Eye Hospital.
He spoke of the improvement in his sight and urged others not to be apprehensive about taking part in research. He said: “If no-one is prepared to go first, then no progress will be made.”
Oxford Biomedical Research Centre is a collaboration between Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Oxford to support patient-centred research and innovation. Combining the clinical expertise of Oxford University Hospitals with the academic excellence of the University of Oxford, it is pioneering new treatments and technologies that are saving lives, both in Oxford and across the NHS.

Look out for the next Oxford AHSN newsletter in early July

Contributions welcome

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