National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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New collaboration between NICE and The Academic Health Science Network will help embed innovations into the healthcare system for the benefit of patients

The agreement will draw on the strengths, skills, and resources of both organisations in order to seize every opportunity to support the healthcare system in adopting evidence-based healthcare and innovations

NICE and the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) have today (4 August) announced a two-year agreement to support the use of the best evidence-based healthcare in the NHS to improve the lives of patients.

The 15 regional AHSNs were established as the AHSN Network in 2013, with a core mission to accelerate the uptake of well-evidenced innovation in the NHS in England.

NICE and the AHSN Network share the common purpose of identifying and accelerating the uptake of well-evidenced innovations into the healthcare system and to improve quality, safety, outcomes and experience, as well as the effective use of resources. This shared purpose underpins the aim to improve healthcare in the UK, and globally, and to support the UK's reputation as a leader in healthcare innovation.

The two organisations have previously worked together to support and accelerate the rate of adoption and spread of evidence-based practice and innovation in the NHS. This formalised collaboration will focus on drawing together the expertise and resources of both organisations to deliver these improvements more effectively.   

The agreement outlines priority areas of work that the collaboration will focus on, including addressing market challenges for digital innovation, shaping and generating real world evidence, and supporting innovators into the healthcare system.

Expert teams from NICE and the AHSN Network will meet regularly throughout the year to develop a programme of work to deliver these priorities.

Prof Gillian Leng, NICE chief executive, said:

“By working together more closely we can increase the speed at which innovative new medicines and technologies recommended by NICE can be cascaded through the healthcare system. Our work with the AHSN Network will also ensure we are helping to produce the vital real-world evidence needed to guide the development of NICE recommendations.

“One of the key priorities of our new 5-year strategy is to increase the uptake and use of NICE recommendations across the healthcare system to maximise the impact of our work and ensure everyone has access to the latest innovations. We can best achieve this by working strategically with our key partners such as the AHSN Network, and we’re delighted to announce this new collaboration between our organisations.”

Prof Gary Ford, chair of the AHSN Network, chief executive of Oxford AHSN and non-executive director for NICE, said:

“This agreement builds on the successes of our past collaborative working and will help us further our work to ensure patients have access to the latest evidence-based technologies, advice and guidance.

“NICE and the Network share a common goal to accelerate the rate of adoption and spread of evidence-based practice and innovation within the NHS, and by working together we can use our combined expertise and experience to improve health at pace and scale.”

Richard Stubbs, vice chair of the AHSN Network and chief executive of Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, said:

“As a Network our aim is to transform lives through innovation. The role NICE plays in evidence generation and health and care excellence makes them an ideal partner for us to collaborate and work more closely with to support the spread and adoption of innovative solutions that meet the needs of patients and the health and care system.”

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