Who we are

Our purpose is to transform lives through the adoption and spread of innovation in health and care and to generate economic growth as part of the national AHSN Network.

The South West Academic Health Science Network (South West AHSN) is one of 15 AHSNs set up by NHS England across the country in 2013.

As an AHSN, we are uniquely placed to connect NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, using our position to drive the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations.

Day to day, we collaborate with members and partners, as follows:

Identifying and spreading innovative practice illustrated by a patient being checked by a doctor with a modern technological instrument

Identifying and spreading innovative practice

Our practical experience and techniques that support health and care systems to identify, adopt and spread innovative practice to improve health and care services.

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Building capability illustrated with a lady talking to a man in a wheelchair working at a computer whilst a lady fixes a cog in the background

Building capability

Using our knowledge and experience of the conditions required to innovate and improve to build the capability of partners to spread innovative practice and improve quality.

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Evaluation & learning illustrated by two people chatting Infront of a whiteboard displaying graphs

Evaluation and application of learning

Using our experience evaluating improvements and testing innovation to support partners to evaluate the impact of changes and capture learning.

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The South West AHSN —

Our approach is grounded in the context of the place we work.

  • A place with one of the lowest population densities in the country
  • With people living across a mix of coastal communities, isolated rural areas and urban centres – who experience health and health & care services in very different ways
  • Creating considerable challenges in delivering health & care services and improving population health
  • And generating significant variation in equity of health – in equity of access to services, equity of health outcomes and equity of opportunity to live a healthy life.

Our work covers Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, taking in coastal, rural and urban areas and tackling the challenges associated with pockets of deep, long-standing and increasing deprivation, an aging population, children living in poverty, and a dispersed and sometimes isolated population.

Our work is funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Office for Life Sciences, and through contributions from our members, as well as income generated through other activities aligned to our core mission and purpose.

The South West AHSN provided the Devon system invaluable support around the planning and mobilisation of COVID Oximetry @home and COVID virtual wards.”

— LAUREN BENHAM, SENIOR COMMISSIONING MANAGER
COMMUNITY SERVICES, NHS DEVON CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP

Latest news

Health Innovation Programme 2022 – call for participants!

Health Innovation Programme 2022 – call for participants!

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Enter now! Innovate Awards celebrating health and care innovation

Enter now! Innovate Awards celebrating health and care innovation

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New study exploring equitable outcomes for babies born out of hospital

New study exploring equitable outcomes for babies born out of hospital

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