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Knowledge Hub

NHS England commits to health innovation

Will funding for AHSNs improve conditions in the NHS?


NHS England has relicensed academic health science networks (AHSNs) for five years with an option to extend the licence for a further five years, as part of a 10-year vision to drive health innovation and stimulate economic growth.


The 15 AHSNs were set up five years ago. Since then they have spread more than 330 innovations across 11,000 locations, benefiting 22m patients and creating 500 jobs, generating £330m investment for the country, according to NHS England.


AHSNs aim to build collaboration across all sectors of the NHS, social care, public health, universities, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) research bodies, charities and industry, said NHS England. They are intended to support economic growth by helping industry meet NHS needs.


The AHSNs will work with sustainability and transformation partnerships to deliver programmes on major NHS challenges such as:

  • preventing strokes
  • saving lives through better detection of atrial fibrillation
  • better use of medicines to save NHS money and reduce risk of patient harm
  • using digital technology to save money and help patients manage their care
  • preventing cerebral palsy in pre-term babies through administration of magnesium sulphate.


Further information

UCL Partners: AHSNs relicensed as key innovation arm of the NHS

Website: NIHR