AHSNs review of spread and adoption approaches for innovations in the health sector in England

08

Jun 2021

The 15 Academic Health and Science Networks (AHSNs) – collectively "The AHSN Network" – were established by NHS England in 2013 to spread innovation, improve health, and generate economic growth. Each AHSN works across distinct geography, serving populations within regional health systems to spread innovation whilst also operating as a connected national network.

On May 19, 2021, AHSNs issued a review of spread and adoption approaches for innovations in the health sector. The research was undertaken between January and November 2020 to determine approaches and challenges to spread and adoption across the AHSN Network. It was commissioned and funded by the AHSN Network and the NHS England Innovation, Research and Life Sciences team.

The study had the following objectives:

  • Generate a before unknown aggregated view of approaches and challenges;
  • Understand the range and type of approaches in use;
  • Explore one AHSN national program (Transfers of Care Around Medicines, TCAM) in depth;
  • Share learning back to AHSNs and beyond;
  • Increase the 15 AHSNs' capability to spread innovation.

Several common principles were identified for successful spread and adoption:

  • Engagement focused – building an in-depth understanding of stakeholders and working closely with them;
  • Working with the needs of health systems – being clear on local problems and needs and responding in a way that meets those needs;
  • Building and using networks – creating links between stakeholders to share learning, create peer support, and build plans for the spread of knowledge and experience;
  • Seeking and achieving sustained spread – aiming to achieve sustainable uptake, rather than just short-term use;
  • Promotion of an AHSN persona – being an "honest broker" and facilitator with independence and a strong emphasis on understanding context.

Furthermore, the review analyzes how AHSNs supports the national spread and adoption program (TCAM), as well as barriers and enablers to spread and adoption, and provides potential next steps for the AHSNs and their NHS partners.

See the full details here.

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