News from the Oxford Academic Health Science Network
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Newsletter Issue 10 - August 2014

In this edition...

  • Patient Safety Academy off to flying start

  • Venturefest debates feed appetite for change

  • Helping you do business with the NHS

  • Tell us about your outstanding practice and innovation

  • Third sector spotlight: Young People With Dementia

  • Over 2,000 research journals now available

Patient Safety Academy off to flying start

Representatives from a broad range of organisations from inside the NHS and beyond demonstrated a shared commitment to better care at the launch of the Patient Safety Academy (PSA) at the Oxford Hotel on 22 July.

The PSA will strengthen engagement and set local priorities as well as forming part of the national network of Patient Safety Collaboratives, to be launched in October, through the Oxford AHSN. PSA Co-Directors Peter McCulloch and Helen Higham are pictured above at the launch event.

The Patient Safety Academy will work with existing expertise and experience, knit it together effectively and offer support, training and advice to ensure full frontline engagement. By developing regional projects co-designed with others, the Patient Safety Academy hopes to build a coherent approach to improving safety and quality in healthcare through large-scale long-term sustainable change to systems, technology and cultures.

Dr Joe McManners, GP and Clinical Chair of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, described the launch event as ‘inspiring, optimistic’ with 'lots of potential for improving care, primary care included'.

The Patient Safety Academy launch ended with a lively Q&A session which covered the role of the private sector, validation and appraisal, data capture and demonstrating value. These discussions will inform the Patient Safety Academy’s work plans which will link closely with those of the Oxford AHSN’s ten Best Care clinical networks.

Venturefest debates feed appetite for change

Better infrastructure, recruitment and business support are needed if life sciences companies in the Oxford AHSN region are to continue to grow and prosper. This was a common theme at different sessions at Venturefest Oxford on 8 July. Dr Nick Scott-RamThe Oxford AHSN’s Director of Commercial Development Dr Nick Scott-Ram, pictured left, was a panel member in a discussion on life sciences innovation. It was recognised that a strong life sciences cluster has grown in Oxfordshire – but a rethink is needed now if that success is not to stall. Nick said: “There’s been a gap in growing small and medium-sized enterprises to bigger companies compared to what happens in the United States. We have to understand better why companies haven’t been so successful in getting from research and development to selling products. We are developing new business models. Industry, NHS trusts, universities and local enterprise partnerships are building new collaborations to speed up the rate of innovation in drug discovery, new medical innovations and IT solutions and getting products to market.

“The NHS has arrived late to the innovation party. But the culture is changing and there is more of a focus on innovation. We are working on how to increase innovation and uptake at pace and at scale of new care pathways, apps and IT platforms within the NHS. There are opportunities to engage with clinicians to understand frontline problems and to bring together academics, clinicians and investors to find solutions. That will stimulate innovation and lead to us seeing more successful companies.

"We should also look at the broader regional perspective, where opportunities for business location, and supporting infrastructure, such as housing and communications, can be catalysed through more strategic partnerships between the universities, NHS partners, industry and Local Enterprise Partnerships across traditional county boundaries. This is something that the Oxford AHSN is looking to develop across its regional focus."

Key issues holding back growth identified during the discussion included:
  • Availability of lab and office space Venturefest Oxford 2014 logo
  • Sources of funding – and how to access them
  • Living costs
  • Travel and infrastructure restrictions

Helping you do business with the NHS

The Oxford AHSN has organised a practical session for companies doing business with the NHS in response to some of the issues raised at Venturefest. We are bringing business, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) together with health professionals to focus on how best to do business with the NHS. Our conference will seek to resolve the constraints relating to supplying products and services to the health service. The procurement issues covered will be relevant to the life sciences industry, including pharma, medtech and other areas.
The conference is on 7 October 2014 at Green Park Conference Centre, Reading, 13.00-16.00. The details have yet to be finalised, but it is likely to involve a networking lunch followed by a workshop including presentations from key speakers, Q&A session and feedback. Updates will be posted here. There is a small charge to attend this event.


Tell us about your outstanding practice and innovation

The Oxford AHSN is today launching a call to partner organisations and industry to propose innovative solutions that could be adopted in healthcare across our region in 2015/16. We want to hear about products and technology which have made significant improvements to the quality of care and solved clinical issues.

We are looking for examples of outstanding practice and innovation across all areas of healthcare - primary, secondary and community care, mental health, ambulance service or tertiary care services. If you have made a positive difference to patient care within your organisation - or through integrated work across organisations - we want to hear from you and share your experiences across our area.

To make a proposal you need to complete this form. The closing date for proposals is 22 September 2014. Clinicians, patient representatives and procurement experts will review the proposals in detail in October. Depending on the quality of the proposals it is intended that the top ten chosen innovations will be supported for regional roll-out in 2015/16 and beyond.

Nominate now for our new award

Time is running out to make nominations for a new public-private collaboration award sponsored by the Oxford AHSN. We are looking for nominations from NHS providers and commissioners, universities and local authorities working with the life science industry.

Coming soon...

10 Sep  Horizon 2020 briefing

17 Sep  Our latest health app event

18 Sep  Showcase for innovation

More events >>>

Sustainable health: an update

Sustainable healthcare is being embedded in some of our clinical networks, including dementia.
Read more here >>>

Bookings are also being taken for the latest sustainability training covering low carbon healthcare.

Hands-on help for smartphone app developers

We are hosting a practical workshop in Reading on 17 September as part of our ongoing commitment to provide help and support to healthcare app developers. Find out more here
Did you use the 'Help Wanted' wall at our last event? You'll find an update here

National kudos for Psychological Medicine team and leader

Oxford psychological medicine team
Congratulations to the Oxford University Psychological Medicine service which has been shortlisted for the Royal College of Psychiatrists annual awards. They are in the running for the Psychiatric Team of the Year, while Prof Michael Sharpe, Professor of Psychological Medicine and strategic lead of the Oxford AHSN Comorbidity Best Care Clinical Network has been shortlisted for the Psychiatrist of the Year award. Winners will be announced on 6 November. Read the full shortlist here.

Pictured are: Back row (left to right) Mina Fazel, Michael Sharpe, Iain Jordan, David Okai
Front row (left to right) Katherine Carpenter, Bart Sheehan, Michael Yousif (Clinical Lead, Oxford AHSN Comorbidity Clinical Network), Zehanah Izmeth, Jane Walker

Third sector spotlight: Young People With Dementia

There are an estimated 17,000 people with young onset dementia in the UK which is defined as having started before the age of 65 years but most services are geared towards people who are much older.

The charity Younger People With Dementia (YPWD) was set up in 2012 to provide meaningful age-appropriate activities for people in West Berkshire. These include gardening, canoeing and singing - with the excellent Harmony choir, set up by Occupational Therapist Claire Watts (Berkshire Healthcare), which performed at the launch of the Oxford AHSN Dementia Clinical Network in May.

A carer of one member of the running group reported that “despite the hassle regarding having to shower and change afterwards he remains in a great mood for the evening. If only I could bottle that feeling and use as needed!”

YPWD supports an Admiral Nurse specialising in young onset dementia, and has produced a series of books designed to stimulate reminiscences. Dr Jacqueline Hussey, Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry at Wokingham Hospital, and one of the charity’s trustees, said that of the more than 50 people the service currently helps “several would have gone into residential or nursing care without the level of meaningful activity and carer respite provided”.

The Oxford AHSN Dementia Clinical Network aims to support the charity, through the production of a funding strategy and plan, and the preparation of an analytical report quantifying patient outcomes following YPWD service intervention.

Dr Hussey said: “The social contact that the workshops provide is obvious, but the main benefit has been through the sense of purpose generated for people. One patient said to me the groups have been a ‘lifechanger’ after having to be medically retired. There is clear evidence of improved mood and self-esteem.”

Over 2,000 research journals now available online

All NHS partners of the Oxford AHSN  now have enhanced access to research journals. Thanks to a pilot scheme organised by JISC Collections (representing UK Higher Education) and the NHS, all NHS staff now have online access to the full-text of over 2,000 research journals. 

Titles available include Science Translational Medicine, Cell, Science Signalling, Nature (and all other Nature branded titles such as Nature Medicine) and The Merck Index. Publishers taking part in the pilot include AAAS, Annual Reviews, Elsevier, IOP Publishing, Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Royal Society of Chemistry and Springer.
Some of the publishers have made their content available directly from computers on the NHS network whilst others have made their journals available from anywhere on the internet via NHS OpenAthens. NHS OpenAthens usernames and passwords are available to all staff working in the NHS and already provide access to a large number of online journals, books, databases and point of care tools.
Titles are being rolled out so full access to all content may not yet be available everywhere. Contact your local NHS library service to find out what’s available so far in your Trust.
Further information:
Donald M Mackay, Head of Health Care Libraries, The Bodleian Health Care Libraries

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Look out for the next Oxford AHSN newsletter in early September

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