The AHSN NENC two years on

Written by Seamus O'Neill on 10th January 2015

Hi, this is – my first blog …. ever. Bear with me, it may take me a while to get the hang of it but here goes.

Even the keenest of AHSN-watchers may not have twigged that last December saw the second anniversary of the stakeholder event where we agreed what the content of the NENC prospectus would be. It was also the day that I was asked to lead the bid.

Birthdays and anniversaries tend to be times for both celebration and reflection. We have cause for both.

We have come a long way in the last two years. Broadly speaking the first year involved set-up: getting robust governance arrangements in place, engaging stakeholders, explaining what we do and initiating projects. This last year has been about developing our activities and demonstrating the value that is being added through the activities we are undertaking. As the quality of the interactions at the recent stakeholders event amply demonstrated, there is much that is worth celebrating.

We also reflect on the scale of the challenges we face as a region in terms of the need for economic growth and the challenges faced by our healthcare providers and commissioners.

There is much to do and the core values and operating principles cited in the Prospectus are more necessary than ever. The region still needs a collegiate, inclusive agency that facilitates interaction across organisational boundaries and is trusted in doing so. We still need to mobilise the assets that exist in the region’s Universities and NHS Organisations to support economic growth.

The AHSN is still all about facilitation and we only really know whether we are supporting the local system if we can demonstrate impact. In this respect the projects and programmes we support are crucial; they are indicative of the impact we are trying to achieve and the Stakeholder event and recent Programme workshops (Respiratory; Elderly Care and Telehealth) were terrific in that respect.

The project posters at the Stakeholder event demonstrated that many of the ideas we funded last year are coming to fruition and the enthusiasm and critical mass apparent at the Programme workshops indicated that there is much to be gained by rolling out the practice that is proven to work in these areas. We are going to be doing a lot more of that over the next 12 months and, while we will not be holding a similar, open project call, we will be investing in Programmes that roll-out of best practice in Respiratory Care; AF; Elderly Care; Mental Health; and Fractures. This is in addition to supporting cross-cutting themes such as Telehealth, PPI, Medicines Optimisation, Measurement and the Collaboration for Better Care Partnership.

More on these in future blogs and MUCH more to come on the wealth creation agenda!