Academic Health Science Network (AHSN)
In 2011 the then head of the NHS, Sir David Nicholson, recommended the creation of a network of academic organisations that focussed upon the improvement of patient and population health outcomes by translating research into practice. It was recognised that a partnership between academia, industry and clinicians was necessary to develop solutions and to achieve spread across health economies.
In 2012 the Department of Health sought expressions of interest from the NHS and its partners to form organisations that could take on this role and in 2013, after a review of all applications a recommendation was made to the new NHS England Board that 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) be established.
In summer 2013 the AHSNs became operational and developed work plans. The work plans included a defined number of workstream initiatives as well as a remit to increase the uptake of technology and to generate wealth for the region and NHS as a whole through the development of the life sciences sector.
The Wessex AHSN has a work plan which includes a number of initiatives that are relevant to community pharmacy such as:
- Medicines Optimisation (including Transfer of Care, Repeat Dispensing, Polypharmacy etc.)
- Frailty (including Dementia & Nutrition)
- Mental Health
- Atrial Fibrillation (including uptake of AliveCor mobile ECG devices)
Some of the Wessex AHSN's previous workstreams relevant to community pharmacy have been handed on to other local partners following successful development, start up and implementation. Examples of these are:
- Respiratory (including Asthma, Breathlessness & COPD)
- Alcohol Harm Reduction
CPSC works closely with the AHSN as one of its local partners although it does not have a place on the Board of the AHSN and does not financially contribute to it.
More detail about the Wessex AHSN, its work and a number of freely available resources can be found on its website www.wessexahsn.org.uk