News from the Oxford Academic Health Science Network
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Issue 36 | November 2016


In this edition

  • We're leading the way in talking therapies

  • Sign up for our latest Innovation Programme

  • Study identifies added value of early intervention

  • 250 attend our workplace wellbeing roadshows

  • Partner news

  • Coming soon: pick of the latest events


Anxiety and depression networkThe Oxford AHSN region is home to almost one fifth of England’s new pilots integrating talking therapy services.

The four 'early implementer' sites – covering Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire – will lead the way in integrating psychological therapies with physical healthcare through co-located services to treat more patients with long-term conditions and co-morbid depression/anxiety.

It follows meetings between the Oxford AHSN Anxiety and Depression Clinical Network and senior ministers to help shape the allocation of the £600m pledged in the Comprehensive Spending Review to improve access to psychological therapies (IAPT) services.

The network also worked with NHS England South and Clinical Commissioning Groups in the Oxford AHSN region to build high quality bids for the ‘Pathfinder’ phase of the programme. All four of these bids were successful. They are among 22 ‘early implementer’ sites which were identified in a national announcement last month.
     Read more here >

  • Find out more about the IAPT work in Bucks here >

Sign up for our latest Innovation Programme

50 frontline NHS staff are currently taking part in our support programme for healthcare innovators. You could follow in their footsteps by joining the next programme which starts in January 2017.
Find out more here >     Application deadline: 23 December

The unique free programme helps frontline NHS staff identify and introduce new ways of improving patient care. Current participants are drawn from a range of disciplines and NHS organisations in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. You can see what some of them have to say about the programme in this short video. You can also watch it by clicking on the arrow in the image below.

Teaching sessions take place at Bucks New University, High Wycombe campus. The time commitment is approximately one day per month for a year (six study days per module). The Innovation Programme has been developed with and funded by Health Education England Thames Valley.

Further information or to find out how to enrol please contact:
  • Nominate now for Future Innovators Award: The Oxford AHSN is co-sponsoring one of the prizes at the Thames Valley and Wessex Leadership Academy Recognition Awards. Nominations are open now for our Future Innovators Award. Deadline: 16 December. More details here.
  • Clinical Innovation Adoption update: Read an update on the gestational diabetes monitoring programme here >

Collaborative study identifies added value of early intervention services

A new study published in BMJ Open, led by the Oxford AHSN Early Intervention in Psychosis Clinical Network Co-Lead Prof Belinda Lennox, demonstrates the value of services designed to step in at the earliest possible stage. The research built on work carried out last year by Johnson & Johnson with the Oxford AHSN Informatics team.

The study found that investment in early intervention services improves patient outcomes, reduces overall costs and leads to improvements in employment and social engagement. It calculated that rolling out early intervention services across the UK would save the NHS £33.5m a year. Taking into account employment and housing costs, the total annual saving to the taxpayer could be as much as £63.3m a year. Researchers found that those offered early intervention in psychosis already save the NHS over £4,000 per patient per year.

Each local area in the Oxford AHSN region – covering a population of 3.3 million – now has a multidisciplinary team reaching out to young people who might be having a first episode of psychosis.

Prof Lennox said: "Early intervention services improve outcomes for people with psychosis. In the NHS in our region we are helping people with serious mental illness recover, get back to work or education and get on with their lives. People in early intervention services also spend less time in hospital, which is good news for them, and also saves the NHS money.”

The Oxford AHSN has led preparations across southern England for new access and waiting time targets for early intervention in psychosis - the first of their kind in mental health services. The study was funded by the Oxford AHSN with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Oxford.     Read the BMJ Open article here >

Get Physical

Around 250 people registered to attend roadshows taking place on 3, 8 and 10 November for senior managers in the public and private sector. The focus was on improvements to health and wellbeing in the workplace. The events were held in High Wycombe, Newbury and Oxford, hosted by Johnson & Johnson, Vodafone and BMW/Unipart.     Further information here >


NHS and university combine to establish new clinical trials unit in Berkshire

Patients will have early access to a range of new treatments thanks to a new clinical trials unit which has opened in Reading. The Thames Valley Clinical Trials Unit (TVCTU) will host a range of trials including developing new medicines as well as bringing together existing work in dementia care and mental health.

The unit has been set up in a unique collaboration between the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Reading.

Professor Adrian Williams, Research Dean for Health at the University of Reading said: “The partnership brings together academia, primary care and secondary care and will utilise the significant research, medical and clinical expertise in the region to improve quality and wellbeing of patients.”

Dr Minoo Irani, Medical Director, Berkshire Healthcare, said: “We are strongly committed to research that contributes to enhancing patient care. This partnership will make a huge difference to the both patients in Berkshire and the wider medical research community.”
     Read more here >


Big rise in clinical research studies at hospitals in Oxford AHSN region

There has been a significant increase in the number of health research studies supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network at NHS organisations in the Oxford AHSN region, according to latest figures.     Read more here >

Use of digital wearables in medical consultations

Researchers at the Open University, in collaboration with Age UK Milton Keynes, would like healthcare professionals to complete a short survey about perceptions of the usefulness of digital health wearables such as Fitbits in medical consultations.
Complete the survey here >     Further information: 


New Chief Executive for Royal Berkshire

Steve McManus joins the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust in January following the retirement of Jean O’Callaghan this month.     Read more here >

MSc in surgical science and practice

The Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences in partnership with the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford is offering senior surgeons the opportunity to complete an MSc in Surgical Science and Practice. The programme is designed to prepare senior surgical trainees for life as independent specialists by providing key skills and knowledge essential for modern professional practices, which are not fully represented within most postgraduate training.     Further information:

Milton Keynes haematology service

The Haematology service at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (MKUH) ran its first Haemoglobinopathy clinic led by MKUH’s clinical sickle cell disease lead Dr Magbor Akanni in October. An annual review clinic will run alongside this clinic as part of the outreach service led by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. MKUH is a Local Haemoglobinopathy Centre (LHC) under OUH, Specialist Haemoglobinopathy Centre (SHC) and all form part of Thames Valley Haematology Network.    
Further information:


5 December – We're supporting a panel debate on the future of nursing as part of Oxford Brookes University's celebrations to mark 125 years of nurse education in Oxford. Oxford AHSN Chief Executive Prof Gary Ford CBE is among those taking part in the discussion.    Read more here >
See all events here >

Look out for the next Oxford AHSN newsletter in December       

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