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Eastern Academic Health Science Network

Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) connect academics, NHS researchers and industry in order to accelerate the process of innovation and facilitate the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations.

AHSNs are catalysts and facilitators of change across whole health and social care economies, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for patients.  Eastern Academic Health Science Network has chosen “older people” as one of the two priorities focus areas for our Patient Safety Collaborative.  We launched our PSC in October 2014 at an event with colleagues from across the region.  Speeches from the presenters at the event, including Dr Mike Durkin, National Director for Patient Safety at NHS England, are available on our YouTube channel.

Our first task following the launch was to work with partners across the region to establish local priorities. This work led to our establishing the high level aims for the PSC including:

To develop a Quality Improvement infrastructure which will support continued service improvement and innovation. To be driven forward by:

  • A Board Leadership programme
  • Nomination of EAHSN Q Initiative Fellows
  • A suite of QI capability building programmes

To listen to and address the safety concerns of frail older patients in the community, in hospital and in care homes. The programme will encompass:

  • Medications safety
  • Safer transfers in care
  • Identification and response to deterioration

Local design work will continue and we are linking with other AHSNs working on the same topics and clinical processes.

Please sign up to the Eastern AHSN newsletter to get updates on all our work, including the patient safety collaborative. Also there is more information about our PSC on our website.   And follow us on Twitter at @EAHSN.

Susan Went
Director, Eastern AHSN Patient Safety Collaborative


What are patient safety collaboratives? 

The Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) are rooted in the Berwick Report, the response to the Francis inquiry into failings in care at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.  

“The most important single change in the NHS …would be for it to become, more than ever before, a system devoted to continual learning and improvement of patient care, top to bottom and end to end.” - Berwick Report, August 2013

The Berwick report gave rise to the creation of Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs), each led by one of the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) and with a national launch in October 2014.

What will this look like in the Eastern AHSN?

We have agreed a challenging set of principles, including the goal of bringing sectors together across the pathway of care for frail older people; we have begun the process to design a patient safety collaborative which will bring teams together across the AHSN to share good practice, spread innovations, test new care processes and share results.

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