Strategic activities

What was delivered in 2022-23? 

Health inequalities and Public Partnerships and Community Conversations (PPCC)

In 2022-23, we strengthened our relationships with Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) leads and groups across our region, with a specific focus on sharing best practice, collaboration and aligning our priorities. 

We also continued to deliver the Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme (InHip), which is a partnership between Wessex AHSN, our local authorities, and the Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in Dorset and Hampshire and Isle of Wight. Together, we have developed a portfolio of work that supports the use of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)-approved innovative technologies to address health inequalities. This includes improving access to healthcare environments and treatment pathways, as well as reducing barriers to technology which can result in digital exclusion.

In recognition of our commitment to meaningful patient and public involvement (PPI), our Public Partnerships and Community Conversations (PPCC) steering group meets regularly and helps ensure patient insight and experience is at the heart of our work.

Other activity in these areas has included: 

  • The setup of an internal Wessex AHSN health inequalities steering group, with objectives and deliverables aligned to the national AHSN workstream.
  • The development and rollout of a unique health inequalities tool called PAST (Population, Access, Service, Temporal capacity) to our core team. The tool allows our programme leads to carry out a health inequalities impact assessment, to rapidly understand the health and care needs of the local population and consider any necessary adjustments to programme delivery based on this insight.
  • The delivery of three health inequalities webinars, offering bitesize training for our core team on the following topics: Introduction to Public Health, Population health management and Marginalisation in health and social care.
  • Alignment of our PPCC programme and organisation-wide strategic activities and programmes with local Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) groups and processes, to facilitate meaningful patient partnerships. 
  • Mapping community assets in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to enable access to diverse communities and develop deeper relationships with users of health and social care services.
  • The expansion of our knowledge and network- we have connected and built relationships with local partners and stakeholders such as the Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICB Health Inequalities Group. We also delivered a session and poster at the Dorset Health Inequalities Symposium (led by Dorset Council’s public health team) to highlight our work and capabilities to support regional health inequalities initiatives. 
  • Following the event, we were asked to support a local Homeless Health group to scope their service and consider areas for improvement or evaluation. Support was offered to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council as part of recommissioning conversations. Scoping and service discussion was initiated in Southampton, with Solent NHS Trust Homeless Health Service. A focused development session was held with the team to develop a service map, risk and issues log, service assets, and to underpin this with academic frameworks. 

Environmental sustainability and net zero

The national Greener NHS programme exists to deliver the world’s first net zero health service and respond to climate change, improving health now and for future generations. With around 4% of the country’s carbon emissions, and over 7% of the economy, the NHS has an essential role to play in meeting the net zero targets set under the Climate Change Act.

We have developed our position supporting the drive for environmental sustainability, working with industry, research and our health and care systems to support the development and uptake of innovations addressing this crucial agenda. Each NHS partner organisation has outlined how they will focus on delivering the net zero ambition, with a Green Plan which meets the NHS ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions, prioritises sustainable interventions which improve patient care and tackle climate change issues, and makes the case for green capital investments.

We have provided early support for the implementation of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight (HIOW) Integrated Care System (ICS) clean air framework, which aims to tackle air pollution and subsequent health inequalities in areas such as Portsmouth and Southampton. This was delivered in partnership with Global Action Plan, Boehringer Ingelheim and the South East Greener NHS team. 

We have collaborated with the AHSNs in Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) and Oxford to create Better asthma outcomes for patients and planet, a practical guide for healthcare professionals working in the respiratory field which aims to benefit patients and reduce the environmental impact of asthma treatments. It contains information on reducing the carbon footprint of inhalers, optimising effective inhaler prescribing, identifying severe asthma and more.

We have also helped to develop and agree the AHSN Network net zero strategy, which contains the pledges we will deliver against in 2023-24 and is designed to enable each AHSN to become a key voice and net zero enabler. 

This is in addition to supporting the development of the AHSN Network innovator support guide to net zero, and our Industry team initiating surgeries and masterclasses during 2022-23 to help innovators navigate net zero procurement and funding requirements.

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