North West healthcare bodies get £1.1m boost to innovation

The North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (NWC AHSN) has awarded £1.1 million in funding to organisations for the implementation of infrastructure to aid innovation.

The funding will help applicants to develop and install infrastructure which will smooth the way for the uptake of new systems and programmes, and improve efficiency and innovation in health and social care delivery.

The NWC AHSN has approved funding applications from 15 organisations across Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire, and Cumbria. Bids came from NHS Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local Authorities, and Universities, which were all eligible to bid for the funding.

Successful applicants include: Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Cumbria, and South Ribble Partnership.

Dr Liz Mear, chief executive of the NWC AHSN, said:

“We’re very pleased to have received such strong, competitive and creative bids in response to this competition. This funding will help to put structures in place which will enable the implementation of initiatives which will have positive wide-reaching effects on how we deliver healthcare in the region.

“As we look forward to future models of healthcare, we need the infrastructure in place to support the uptake of the very best, most innovative products and systems, to ensure we’re reducing healthcare inequalities and offering the most advanced care possible. These schemes are part of our ongoing efforts to put the foundations in place to ‘future-proof’ the region’s health and social care systems and we look forward to working with our partners as we monitor and progress these programmes.”

Initiatives supported through this scheme will enable the development of large-scale, multi-partner infrastructure to support health innovation, and or job creation, across the North West Coast. Many grants are match-funded and progress is monitored by the AHSN board to ensure successful delivery.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital was awarded £280,000 to fund the internal fit out of a new innovation hub which is set to be constructed. Incorporating a hospital ‘living lab’ and co-creation space, the hub will be used for testing and training, with potential for international partnerships with organisations including Boston Children’s Hospital.

Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group has been awarded £136,000 to install an aggregator which will enable new digital technologies to link to and access the Trust’s NHS IT infrastructure; creating benefits for the NHS and SME suppliers.

Mersey Care successfully bid for £125,000 which will fund the development of an Employment and Enterprise Hub within the organisation’s new Centre for Recovery and Social Inclusion.

The hub will be accessed by service users, carers, staff and the public. It will integrate existing models of vocational support and engage local employers, entrepreneurs, the voluntary sector and the local community.

The ‘Connecting Care across Cheshire Pioneer Programme’ which brings together two councils and four clinical commissioning groups to efficiently deliver integrated care has been awarded £100,000.

While the Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group has been allocated £115,000 which will go toward the implementation of software which will help to address patient flow problems in South Cumbria and North Lancashire

The NWC AHSN has provided seed funding for numerous initiatives over the last 18 months that have led to schemes realising matched funding as a minimum and £millions in some cases. Examples include: Lancaster University Innovation Hub, Cheshire Innovation Hub, Liverpool Bio-Innovation Hub, Chorley Digital Technology Park, Lancashire People’s Record Exchange Service and Alder Hey training centre.

Progress against AHSN investment is reported quarterly to the AHSN Board to ensure successful delivery.



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