Over the last year1, £455 million of investment has been leveraged and more than 1,800 jobs have been either created or protected as a result of the unique service offering of the AHSN Network.

Economic growth figures have been released as part of our 21-22 AHSN Network Impact Report, which looks at the collective impact of England’s 15 AHSNs.

Healthcare and technology businesses across the UK have been delivering remarkable innovation during an extremely challenging time as the NHS and social care system tackles the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Our economic growth results are drawn from surveying the companies that AHSNs support and this year’s figures demonstrate impressive development in the health innovation and life sciences sectors.

Commenting on the new figures, Nicola Hutchinson, Innovation Exchange and Economic Growth Director for the AHSN Network and Chief Executive at the AHSN NENC, said:

“It is hugely inspiring to see how well the companies we work with have performed during an extremely difficult time in the history of the NHS and social care system. To see the companies we work with continue to dynamically respond to ever evolving NHS needs, grow their businesses, create new jobs, and contribute significantly to the UK economy is incredibly impressive.

“It is also a testament to AHSN teams across the country who have worked tirelessly to provide a unique and essential connection between commercial innovators and the healthcare system. Our people use their diverse skills, connections, and knowledge of the system to give companies exactly the right kind of bespoke support at the right time.”

The AHSN Network provides a unique service offering for companies, helping them to respond to NHS and social care needs in the most effective way and deliver better care for patients. One example is the work with Safe Steps who developed the world’s first coronavirus management app for care homes.

Safe Steps had been introduced to care homes by one AHSN initially to co-develop a falls prevention app. When the pandemic hit, priorities changed, and the company was quick to respond. With their existing knowledge of care homes and support from multiple AHSNs, they were able to develop and deploy the coronavirus management app within one month. The company has evolved to now offer a package of apps to help manage deterioration and has reported significant growth in 2021/22, attracting £338,000 of investment, making sales of £810,000, safeguarding 26 jobs and creating four new jobs.

Commenting on the support, Lee Omar, Founder of Safe Steps said:

“We have had excellent support from multiple AHSNs. One developed a business case for us to go to every care home in Cheshire and Mersey, another put us through a process to prove the value of the innovation, then they helped us with adoption and scaling and pitching to Integrated Care Systems (ICS). I’d go so far as to say my business wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the AHSN Network.”

In 2021-22, the AHSNs have supported 2,438 companies, entering into 124 long term strategic partnerships to help companies navigate our complex health and social care system at every stage of their development.

For full details of our 20-21 impacts, read our report.

  1. From April 2021- end of March 2022.
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