The AHSN Network hosted a buzzing Innovation Zone at ConfedExpo 2022 on 15-16 June.

Thousands of people attended this year’s event, held at the ACC in Liverpool, which gave delegates an opportunity to network, spread learning, encourage innovation and inspire change at all levels across the system.

The conference consisted of several feature zones focusing on innovation; sustainable healthcare; digital and data transformation; recovery and system transformation; and international healthcare. There was also a busy programme of content sessions delivered through keynotes, theatre sessions, workshops and focused discussions.

The AHSN Network Innovation Zone was the largest of the five feature zones at the event and provided an opportunity for delegates to find out more about the work of the AHSNs and our partners and how we are spreading innovation at pace and scale.

Over the two days, hundreds of delegates attended 13 mini-theatre content sessions hosted in the Innovation Zone focusing on different aspects of health innovation and 28 innovators that have worked with AHSNs. As part of the zone, delegates were able to meet some of our partners in the Life Sciences Hub Wales, the NHS Innovation Accelerator and the team behind the new NHS Innovation Service, created by NHS England’s Accelerated Access Collaborative.

Experts from across the Network also spoke at a variety of sessions across the conference, including pop up university sessions focusing on topics ranging from sustainability to levelling up health.

In addition to the Innovation Zone, the conference saw the release of our AHSN Network Impact Report 2021-22, which summarises work undertaken by our 15 AHSNs on national initiatives and areas of work over the last year – including details of how we have helped to leverage £455m of investment into the economy and how our national innovation programmes have benefitted more than 480,000 patients. Read the report.

Matt Whitty, Chief Executive of the Accelerated Access Collaborative and Director for Innovation, Research and Life Sciences at NHS England, who attended ConfedExpo said: “The AHSNs have got a really valuable role. If you’re an innovator they’re a fantastic resource to go to, so I would urge anybody who’s got an idea that they want to develop to go and talk to your local AHSN. They can provide networking advice about organisations to talk to where you can get [your innovation] tested or developed, they can give commercial advice and help you to understand how the NHS works, so they’re a fantastic convening organisation for bringing together all those different skills.”

Session recordings from the Innovation Zone

Recordings from the AHSN Innovation Zone content sessions are available to watch on our YouTube channel, or click on each session title below to watch the recording:

Speakers: Richard Stubbs – Vice Chair, the AHSN Network and Chief Executive, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN; Suzanne Ali-Hassan – Deputy Director, NHS Innovation Accelerator and Deputy Director Commercial and Innovation, UCLPartners; Lesley Soden – Programme Director – Innovation, Health Innovation Network; Malone Mukwende – Founder at Black and Brown Skin, and part of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneurs Programme

Speakers: Laura Semple – Director for National Programmes, the AHSN Network; Stuart Monk – National Programme Director – Rapid Uptake Products and MedTech Funding Mandate, the AHSN Network; Dr Alan Blighe Senior Innovation Manager – Innovation, Research and Life Sciences Group at NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Accelerated Access Collaborative; Jon Siddall – Chief Executive Officer, South West AHSN

Speakers: Kathy Scott – Deputy Chief Executive, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and AHSN Network lead for sustainability; Amelia James – Sustainability lead for Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN and Oxford AHSN; Will Udall – Anaesthetic Registrar, Northern School of Anaesthetic and Intensive Care Medicine; Frank Swinton Frank Swinton – Climate Change Lead, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership

Speakers: Professor Gary Ford – Chair, the AHSN Network and Chief Executive, Oxford AHSN; Dr Joe Chidanyika – AHSN Network National Programme Manager – Lipids/FH, AHSN NENC; Dr Siân Rees – Director of Community Involvement and Workforce Innovation, Oxford AHSN; Dr Matt Kearney – CVD prevention and proactive care programme manager, UCLPartners

Speakers: Libby Graham – Project Manager, Commercial and Innovation Team, UCLPartners; Helen Hoyland – Lead for Enterprise and Relationships, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN

Speakers: Laura Semple – Director for National Programmes, the AHSN Network; Mark Dines-Allen – Focus ADHD National Programme Manager, the AHSN Network

Speakers: Dr Sean Clarkson – Head of Strategic Operations, Yorkshire & Humber AHSN; Dr Llinos Jones – Respiratory Consultant, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust; Ghalib Khan – Founder, Written Medicine; Laura Boyd – Deputy Programme Director CVD and Proactive Care, UCLPartners

Speakers: Suzanne Ali-Hassan – Deputy Director, NHS Innovation Accelerator; Elliott Engers – NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow and co-founder of Infinity Health; Liz Ashall-Payne – NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow and founder of ORCHA (the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Application)

Speakers: Dr James Rose – Head of Innovation Adoption, Oxford AHSN; Dr Hitasha Rupani – Respiratory Consultant, University Hospital Southampton; Joe Sladen – Associate Director – National Programmes, Wessex AHSN

Speaker: Cari-Anne Quinn – Chief Executive Officer, Life Sciences Hub Wales

Speakers: Natasha Swinscoe – Chief Executive, West of England AHSN and AHSN Network lead Chief Officer for Patient Safety; Dr Karen Luyt – Professor of Neonatal Medicine and Consultant Neonatologist, University of Bristol / St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol; Hayley McBain – Health Psychologist and Evaluation Lead, South West AHSN; Sarah Bates – Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Speakers: Sara Sekelj – Senior Research Analyst, UCLPartners; Logan Ryan – Innovation Manager, Imperial College Health Partners; Sophie Young – Health Research Lead, Imperial College Health Partners; Emma Mordaunt – Improvement Projects Manager, UCLPartners

Speakers: Juliette Kumar – Associate Director Culture and Workforce, the Innovation Agency, (the AHSN for the North West Coast); Charlotte Hall – Workforce Programme Manager, Innovation Agency; Jen Kohan – Head of the Coaching Academy, Innovation Agency

Watch the full playlist of recordings from each of the content sessions at ConfedExpo here.

You can also hear from some of the health and care innovators that joined at us at the event here.

  • Meet the Innovator: ChatHealth

    Clinical Lead of ChatHealth, Laura Burrowes, joined the Digital Health Transformation Service at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s (LPT)  in April 2022, following a career as a school nurse, where she was the lead practitioner for the confidential text messaging service for the school nursing service in Manchester. Nationally, the award-winning text messaging service has [...]

  • Preparing to implement the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework

    Dr Cheryl Crocker, AHSN Network Patient Safety Director, discusses how Patient Safety Collaboratives (hosted by the AHSN Network) are supporting ICSs and ICBs in preparations to implement the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework.   NHS England published the new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) in August 2022 outlining how NHS organisations should respond to [...]

  • Supporting people to manage long-term pain without opioids

    A blog from Dr Cheryl Crocker, AHSN Network Patient Safety Director, describing how Patient Safety Collaboratives (hosted by the AHSN Network) are supporting people to manage their long-term pain and reduce the harmful effects of opioid medication.   Opioids are highly effective medications and, when used judiciously for a time-limited period, can greatly benefit many [...]