News

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  • 16 August, 2017 - 10:37
    New video encourages healthcare innovators to collaborate via Meridian
    A new video has been released by WMAHSN, showcasing Meridian. The video features “talking heads” from just a few of the health innovators who have benefited from Meridian, discussing how the exchange has supported them, from initial engagement with potential collaborators to the adoption and spread of the innovations.

    These include, from the NHS, Dr Ruth Chambers, a Tunstall GP and Chair of Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group, and Hamid Zolfagharinia, Innovation Manager at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Academia is represented by Aston University’s Dr Chris Buckingham, while industry figures such as Simon Hudson, Director of Cloud2 Ltd; Mark Terry, Senior Consultant at Wendy Fisher Consulting Ltd; Joe Robinson, Training and Development Director of Move It or Lose It!; and Georgina Horton, Marketing Executive of Isansys, also talk about how Meridian has helped their companies.

    The video also shows illustrates some of the innovation impacts that WMAHSN has made in 2016/17, ultimately improving patient care, attracting investment or saving the NHS money.

    Dr Christopher Parker, Managing Director of the WMAHSN, said: “Meridian is the central part of our offer to our members and at the core of our Innovation and Adoption Service. Alongside Meridian, the service also offers expertise and support, an Industry Innovation Gateway and advice around intellectual property for NHS innovations.

    “Meridian pulls everything together for us, allowing people to connect across partner organisations, whether they are from academia, healthcare commissioners or providers, local authority providers or the life sciences industry.”
  • 16 August, 2017 - 07:45
    Latest NIHR funding calls and other opportunities
    i4i Connect: funding for SMEs to accelerate medical technology development 
    Details: The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme is launching a new funding stream – i4i Connect – aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need of a funding boost to reach the next stage in the development pathway.
     
    Offering up to £150,000 over a 6-12 month period, i4i Connect will help SMEs get to the point of eligibility for a full i4i award or, down the line, follow on-funding.  This will enable accelerated development of promising medical technologies, in line with recommendations from the Government’s Accelerated Access Review.
     
    NIHR’s i4i Programme is a translational funding scheme that supports healthcare technologies, devices and interventions for patient benefit in areas of existing or emerging clinical need.  The aim is to de-risk projects, making them attractive to follow-on funders and investors.  i4i Connect is specifically tailored for SMEs at this later point of product development, as well as in the early stage to provide support on the pathway to full i4i funding, with an NHS or academic partner.
     
    Deadline for proposals: 13 September 2017
    Find out more here
     
    NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme – new researcher-led funding calls 
    Title / area of focus: The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funds research into the effectiveness, costs and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care in the NHS.
     
    The HTA Programme is currently accepting applications to their researcher-led workstream as follows:  
    Find out more here
     
    MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship (SNCF): Transition to leadership
    Title / area of focus: The MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship (SNCF) supports researchers with a track record of effectively leading their own independent research to make the transition to research leadership and become an internationally recognised leader in their field.  An SNCF provides funding for a challenging research programme, and an ambitious programme of research training which offers accelerated personal and career development.
     
    To be eligible to apply, all applicants must be leading their own research group as an independent investigator, primarily demonstrated by senior / communicating authorship on publications which do not include previous supervisors, and have previous success in obtaining research / fellowship funding as a Principal Investigator (PI).
     
    The SNCF provides full personal salary costs, together with support for research staff, consumables expenses, travel costs and capital equipment appropriate for the research project.  Awards are made under Full Economic Cost (FEC).
     
    Deadline for proposals: 16:00 on Wednesday 20 September 2017
    Find out more here
      
    MRC Career Development Award (CDA): Transition to independence
    Details: The Career Development Award (CDA) supports talented post-doctoral researchers to lead their own research plans and establish their own research team to make the transition from post-doctoral researcher to independent investigator.  A CDA provides funding for a challenging research programme, and an ambitious programme of research training which offers accelerated personal and career development.
     
    Applicants proposing to continue their existing work, which is indistinct from their current group / leader, are not suitable to apply to the scheme and will be rejected.
     
    The CDA provides full personal salary costs, together with support for research staff, consumables expenses, travel costs and capital equipment appropriate for the research project.  Awards are made under Full Economic Cost (FEC).
     
    Deadline for proposals: 16:00 on Wednesday 20 September 2017
    Find out more here
     
    The Health Foundation – The economic and social value of health
    Details: The Health Foundation’s new £1.5 million funding programme is a research-led open call for innovative research on the economic and social value of health in the UK.
     
    Economic and social factors have a complex, dynamic and multi-directional relationship with people’s health.  While much is known about their impact on people’s health, relatively little is understood about the impact of individuals’ health on the economy and society.
     
    The Health Foundation is seeking to support research up to three years in duration that aims to generate new knowledge and expand our understanding of the impact a person’s physical and / or mental health has on their own economic and social outcomes over the medium to long term.
     
    Each project will receive between £150,000 and £350,000 for research that is up to three years in duration.
     
    Deadline for proposals: 12:00 on Friday 29 September 2017
    Find out more here
     
    The Health Foundation – Sciana: The Health Leaders Network
     
    Details: Apply to be in the second cohort of Sciana Health Leaders.  The Sciana network brings together outstanding leaders in health and health care policy and innovation across Europe.  The network is for leaders who share a deep commitment to quality, sustainability, universal coverage, and patient and community-centred care, nationally and internationally.  Sciana is focused on making change happen to address challenges and improve health care for our populations.  Each cohort comprises 18 outstanding leaders, six each from Germany, Switzerland and the UK.
     
    Deadline to apply to be in the second cohort: Friday 29 September 2017
    Find out more here
      
    NIHR Funding deadlines calendar
     
    For an overview of the year’s NIHR calls and ongoing opportunities, please view the online calendar:
    https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding-and-support/current-funding-opportunities/
     
  • 1 August, 2017 - 14:59
    WMAHSN celebrates successes with new video
    A video has been released outlining a year of successes from the WMAHSN in improving patient outcomes and generating economic benefits across the regional economy.

    The WMAHSN launched the annual report video at its recent Celebration of Innovation Event and Awards. This saw more than 400 people gather at the Hilton Metropole at Birmingham’s NEC to hear how the 40 plus programmes currently supported by WMAHSN are having an impact on the local population.

    The video reflects the WMAHSN’s traditional annual report, examining the impacts the programmes are bringing about in health improvement, adoption and spread, innovation and wealth creation. The video also covers the impact of WMAHSN’s membership scheme, and how the range of membership support networks and services has brought added benefits for its 14 NHS and academic premium members.

    Dr Christopher Parker, Managing Director of the WMAHSN, said: “Our prime purpose continues to be improving health outcomes and generating wealth by driving the adoption of proven innovations at scale and pace. Our long-term vision is that the West Midlands AHSN becomes pivotal to the generation of a healthier region in which there is access to quality, person-centred care, and this is being achieved. 

    "The video features interviews with our partners from across the West Midlands, as well as members of the West Midlands’ AHSN staff. The footage shows that while some of our programmes already enhance health outcomes and patient experience, others have laid the foundations for longer term improvements.”

    You can view the annual report video on YouTube, or if you would like a hard copy of the WMAHSN Annual Report 2016/17, please contact Sarah Millard on 0121 371 8058 or email sarah.millard@wmahsn.org.
     
     
  • 26 July, 2017 - 09:58
    WMAHSN celebrates successes in annual report

    The latest annual report from WMAHSN has now been published. The WMAHSN launched the report at its recent Celebration of Innovation Event and Awards, which saw more than 400 people gather at the Hilton Metropole at Birmingham’s NEC to see how the 40 plus programmes supported by WMAHSN this year are having an impact on the local population.

    The report examines the impacts the programmes are bringing about in health improvement, adoption and spread, innovation and economic benefit. Particular areas of focus are drawn from NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, as well as the challenges presented by the local health economy, with innovative ways to reduce the burden of disease and demand on health and social care services.

    The report also covers the impact of WMAHSN’s membership scheme, and how the range of membership support networks and services has brought added benefits for the 14 NHS and academic premium members, covering 71,664 staff. The results of the second AHSN annual stakeholder survey are also explored, which showed that three-quarters of respondents would recommend working with the WMAHSN.

    This year, the WMAHSN has produced two version of its annual report, a print version and an interactive digital version with animated graphics and videos. A video rundown of the year is also available.

    Dr Christopher Parker, Managing Director of the WMAHSN, said: “Our prime purpose continues to be improving health outcomes and generating wealth by driving the adoption of proven innovations at scale and pace. Our long-term vision was that West Midlands AHSN becomes pivotal to the generation of a healthier region in which there is access to quality, person-centred care, and this is now happening. 

    “While some of our programmes already enhance health outcomes and patient experience, others have laid the foundations for longer term improvements. This year, more than 27,000 people have benefitted from screening activity as a result of projects conducted by or with our AHSN’s involvement, while nearly a further 15,000 people have gained from health interventions. In addition, we have trained over 4,000 staff, and in all 294 West Midlands sites have implemented our innovations. Industry has benefited from our input, too, with 1200 plus companies supported by the West Midlands AHSN this year and the local economy has seen £15.6m investment leveraged for the region.

    “All this work is made all the more remarkable by the fact that, despite expansion this year, the West Midlands AHSN core team remains relatively small. The staff should be proud of their many achievements across the board.”

    If you would like a hard copy of the WMAHSN Annual Report 2016/17, please contact Sarah Millard on 0121 371 8058 or email sarah.millard@wmahsn.org
  • 21 July, 2017 - 08:52
    The WMAHSN has celebrated the best of innovation in healthcare around the region by presenting its second annual awards.
    More than 300 people from across the West Midlands’ NHS, industry, academia, third sector, charities, care homes and patient population gathered at the NEC’s Hilton Metropole for the WMAHSN’s second Celebration of Innovation awards.

    The awards ceremony was the centrepiece of the WMAHSN’s annual stakeholder event, which brought to life the 2016/17 Annual Report and showcased programmes supported and introduced by the WMAHSN over the past 12 months.

    The awards were established to recognise and celebrate the work of individuals and organisations in developing better healthcare and economic benefit for the region, and the ceremony provided an opportunity to celebrate achievements from across the West Midlands. 
    107 entries were submitted across the 12 categories, which were assessed by a panel of experts. The winners were:
    • Innovative Organisation Award - Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
    • Innovative Team of the Year Award - University of Birmingham’s Human Interface Technologies Team
    • Economic Impact Award - Kaido Group Ltd for the Kaido Insights Engine, which turns health data from connected health monitoring devices into actionable insights for patients, clinicians and businesses
    • Excellence in Wellness and Prevention of Illness Award - University of Birmingham, for the Birmingham 3 step approach, a simple and practical aid implemented to help clinical decision-making with atrial fibrillation, streamlining primary and secondary care management for improving stroke prevention efforts
    • MidTECH Award for Best NHS Invention or Innovation - University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, for the NHS Live Waiting Times app, which enables patients and families to choose the location for the speediest appropriate medical care via an app showing waiting times for nearby urgent care sites
    • Patient Safety Award - Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, for the Paediatric Hydration and Nutrition Care Bundle, containing  what is believed to be the UK’s first paediatric hydration risk assessment
    • Supporting Self Care Innovation Award - Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and Kidney Research UK, for ACE – Acceptance, Choice and Empowerment, working together to engage with newly diagnosed kidney failure patients to support acceptance of their medical condition and empowering them to make choices to improve their outcomes and quality of life
    • Social Enterprise Award - PSIAMS Systems Ltd, for their collaborative approach to healthcare across the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, allowing the sector to scale and present solutions to divert and reduce the pressure of health services
    • Medicines Optimisation Award - University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, for the Royal Stoke multiple sclerosis service redesign, which ensures patients get the right choice of medicine, at the right time, in a safe environment
    • Mental Health Innovation Award - Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, for RAIDPlus, particularly the CADDI (Capacity and Demand Dashboard Information) internet-based dashboard, which provides ‘live’ patient flow information, allowing for more informed decisions on staff deployment and referrals across the Mental Health Urgent Care Pathway
    • Industry Collaboration Award - Sense.ly, for Ask NHS, where virtual nurse Olivia, delivered through a mobile app, guides and educates a patient through the NHS
    • Advanced Diagnostics, Genomics and Precision Medicine Award - Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, for the development of “non-invasive” prenatal diagnosis for rare diseases, replacing invasive sampling, which carries a risk of miscarriage.
    In addition, CitizenAID lifted a special WMAHSN Award, for their free app to help the public react effectively in the event of a shooting, stabbing or bombing.
    Dr Christopher Parker, Managing Director of WMAHSN, said: “It was so challenging to pick out the winners from such a strong field.  Every judge was in agreement that all the submissions showed an astonishing breadth of scope or approaches that were truly innovative and able to transform patient care, provide solutions to significant challenges or break down barriers across our region.  It was truly inspiring to be involved in judging the entries.”
  • 17 July, 2017 - 11:07
    NHS England's Innovation and Technology Payment applications open today
    Part of NHS England’s commitment to the Five Year Forward View, the application process for the Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) opens today. 

    The ITP aims to help deliver on the commitment detailed within the Five Year Forward View – creating the conditions and cultural change necessary for proven innovations to be adopted faster and more systematically through the NHS, and to deliver examples into practice for demonstrable patient and population benefit.
    The programme will be delivered in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), sponsors, national and international experts, and forms part of a wider set of activities to support innovation in the NHS, led by NHS England with the AHSNs.

    The application process is now open and will close at noon on 8 September 2017. Successful innovation or technology themes will be identified through a competitive process and NHS England will then identify ways of supporting adoption of these across the NHS, for example through introducing a reimbursement for usage or centrally procuring items.

    The ITP builds on the Innovation and Technology Tariff (ITT) and aims to support the NHS in adopting innovation by removing financial or procurement barriers to uptake of innovative products or technologies. The ITP is looking to support medical devices, digital platforms and technologies, but is not suitable for pharmaceutical products or research projects. 

    An event on NHS England’s Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) – A Clear Route to Market for Industry is being run in the West Midlands on 18 July to support local companies. 

    Please take a look at the guidance notes and register your interest on the Innovation website
  • 14 July, 2017 - 15:10
    WMAHSN welcomes major government investment to speed up patient access to innovative medicines and technology
     The government has today announced a major initiative to drive the rapid uptake of health innovation – with a central role for AHSNs.

    The announcement, by the Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy of the Office for Life Sciences, confirms that England’s 15 AHSNs will co-ordinate ‘Innovation Exchanges’, enabling innovative new diagnostic tools, treatments and medical technologies to reach patients faster.

    Innovation Exchanges were one of the key outcomes of the Accelerated Access Review (AAR), an independent report commissioned by the government and published in 2016. The AAR looked at ways to ensure patients get quicker access to innovative new diagnostic tools, treatments and medical technologies, with the aim of making the UK a world-leader in healthcare innovation.

    AHSNs will receive funding for the next three years to co-ordinate the Innovation Exchange process. AHSNs will use their established networks and expertise to:
    • identify priorities and then act as honest brokers across sectors to bring people and organisations together
    • provide the first port of call for information – for example, signposting commercial innovators and matching already proven solutions to challenges faced by local NHS organisations
    • share best practice around health and care organisations, and offer expert advice on how to get transformation and innovation adopted
    • identify opportunities for patients to take part in trials and pilots
    • work with health and commercial partners to test out solutions
    • collaborate as a national network to identify what is working best locally, and then scale it nationally.
    Welcoming the announcement, Chair of the AHSN Network, Dr Liz Mear, said: "England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks support the healthcare system to quickly identify and spread new, better and cheaper ways to deliver services for patients and populations - since 2013 our work has benefited six million people, and we have spread more than 200 innovations across the health and care system.

    “The Innovation Exchanges will be built on the partnerships AHSNs have built in their local areas, bringing partners together across health, care and industry and will support the supply of products for the Accelerated Access Partnership and build on AHSNs’ existing expertise of supporting industry partners.”

    The funding is split into four packages. These are: 
    • £39 million of funding available to the Academic Health Science Networks, enabling them to locally assess the benefits of new technologies and support NHS uptake of those that deliver real benefits to patients according to the local need. 
    •  A £35 million Digital Health Technology Catalyst for innovators – this will match fund the development of digital technologies for use by patients and the NHS. 
    • Up to £6 million over the next three years to support SMEs with innovative medicines and devices to get the evidence they need by testing in the real world, building on existing opportunities such as the Early Access to Medicine Scheme. 
    • A £6 million Pathway Transformation Fund which will help NHS organisations integrate new technologies into everyday practices - this will help overcome more practical obstacles such as training staff on how to use new equipment. 
    Dr  Christopher Parker, Managing Director of WMAHSN, said: "ASHNs are a critical delivery partner for bringing the AAR to life, and £39 million of investment is an important first step in pulling industry and the health service together to realise the Review’s ambition. This significant financial commitment demonstrates our ongoing determination to keep the UK at the forefront of the life sciences sector and to address the barriers faced, particularly by SMEs, in entering the market. This overall package will benefit patients, the health system and the wider economy.

    "In the West Midlands, our role will be to assess locally the benefits of new technologies and support NHS uptake of those that deliver real benefits to patients, according to need. We will be building on our existing track record of matching products to challenges and directing our networks, services and expertise to assess innovations, and speed up their spread across our region, as well as throughout the  country."
  • 14 July, 2017 - 15:09
    Shortlist for WMAHSN's Celebration of Innovation Awards announced
    The shortlist has now been released for WMAHSN's Celebration of Innovation Awards 2017! 

    Following the success of last year's awards - which saw more than 80 entries flood in from across the West Midlands - this year, there are even more categories, celebrating innovation in healthcare across the region. 

    The awards will be presented at a glitzy ceremony at the WMAHSN's Celebration of Innovation Event on 20 July - you can take a look at the programme - and reflect the WMAHSN's dual aim of improving health and creating wealth, as well as the organisation's key priorities and themes. There are also special awards for innovative individuals or teams and innovative organisations.

    The shortlisted organisations are: 

    Innovative Organisation Award Innovative Team of the Year Award Economic Impact Award
    • Rightangled Ltd, for the Heart DNA Test, a platform which provides health-related and clinically relevant genetic information to provide a personalised report on the patient’s health and wellbeing
    • Kaido Group Ltd, for the Kaido Insights Engine
    • Isansys, for new technology changing the face of healthcare
    Excellence in Wellness and Prevention of Illness MidTECH Award for Best NHS Invention or Innovation Patient Safety Award Supporting Self Care Innovation Award Social Enterprise Award Medicines Optimisation Award Mental Health Innovation Award Industry Collaboration Award Advanced Diagnostics, Genomics and Precision Medicine Award You can take a look at the full list of awards criteria here

    Tammy Holmes, Innovation and Adoption Programme Manager at WMAHSN, said: "We were absolutely delighted with the response to our first ever Celebration of Innovation Awards last year, and this year's awards have already proven to be bigger and better, with 107 entries across the 12 categories.  

    "As an AHSN, we work with innovators from across the healthcare sector, whether industry, NHS, academia, social enterprise or the third sector. These awards acknowledge the hard work going on throughout the West Midlands across the gamut of life sciences, and reward contributions towards our overall aim of accelerating the adoption of innovation to generate continuous improvement in the region’s health and wealth."

    Dr Christopher Parker, Managing Director of WMAHSN, said: "While it was a very difficult task to whittle down the entries, our shortlisted entries all show proof of a collaborative approach to identifying the problem and developing the innovation, and clear evidence that the innovation has been implemented effectively. Importantly, they have shown evidence of the impact of the innovation on patient outcomes and value for money, and are demonstrably scalable, whether across the UK, Europe or even internationally.

    "I would like to thank everyone for entering, and the very best of luck to our worthy shortlisted entrants!"
  • 12 July, 2017 - 14:02
    Creative England's iAMDigital Fund Addressing Digital Skills Shortage - New Round
    The iAMDigital Fund has been established to provide investment and support to businesses that use creative industry technologies to increase digital engagement, at scale.

    These companies may wish to improve the digital skills or digital participation of those they support. This can be achieved directly through the running of their business, or through the products and services they are delivering. 

    The main aims of the programme are:
    • To invest in scalable models for:
      • tackling the barriers limiting people's digital capabilities: lack of access, skills, confidence and motivation;
      • developing the digital skills of young people and adults; particularly those who are most marginalised.
    • To support the growth of the creative industries by increasing and diversifying the talent pool available to organisations outside of London.
    Investments range from £50,000 to £200,000. The investments will be made in the form of interest-free loans or equity, depending on specific needs, the business and its proposition. The maximum investment available is 50% of the total project costs, therefore applicants must contribute 50% of match funding to the project.
    The fund is open to SMEs (start up, early stage or established) in the English regions, or those with significant operations and/or beneficiaries in the English regions (outside of London).
    Applicants will need to demonstrate that their business has a defined and central commitment to social impact, growth potential, scalability, an innovative approach,
    experienced management teams and, where appropriate, dedicated in-house tech skills.

    Applications are now open until the end of July 2017.

    More details can be accessed at the Creative England website
  • 5 July, 2017 - 09:54
    NICE AdviSeME Prize
    The NICE AdviSeME Prize is specifically aimed at SMEs (small or medium sized enterprises), charities, and academic research groups.
     
    The winning applicant will receive a free Light Scientific Advice service (valued at £15,000) which will:
    ·         Provide detailed feedback on the company’s evidence generation plans from a NICE perspective
    ·         Help to integrate cost-effectiveness considerations into the company’s evidence generation plans
    ·         Provide insights from NICE-appointed experts
    ·         Help the company to prepare for future NICE evaluations of their product

    The competition for the NICE AdviSeME Prize is now OPEN, and we would very much appreciate your help in raising awareness of the competition among your colleagues and stakeholders.
     
    How can you help?
    Please spread the word about the competition: you can forward the flyer attached to this email to your colleagues and any external stakeholders who might be interested.
     
    If you have newsletters or bulletins that you send out to staff and/or stakeholders, please include a link to the competition’s web page
     
    Please tweet about the NICE AdviSeME Prize to your followers (and be sure to follow us @NICESciAdvice and @NICEComms if you don’t already so you can also re-tweet our posts!)
     
    Applications for the Prize can be downloaded from our website at http://www.nice.org.uk/advisemeprize