18 May 2023
Wessex AHSN is working on projects with local communities, primary care clinicians and industry to improve access to new health technology and medicines. This community led approach is part of NHS England’s Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme (InHIP) and will highlight the achievements and learning of AHSNs and the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) in improving access to healthcare innovations.
Supporting initiatives to tackle healthcare inequalities in the local integrated care systems (ICSs), Dorset ICS and Hampshire & Isle of Wight ICS are among those to receive funding of £100,000. The focus is on cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the most socio-economically deprived communities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and on increasing earlier diagnosis of colorectal cancer through Faecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT testing) in Dorset’s rural and coastal communities. These areas of priority are in line with NHS England’s Core20PLUS5 approach to reducing healthcare inequalities.
The funding will engage communities to co-produce evidence-based pathways into NICE approved CVD treatment, and in Dorset to co-produce a FIT awareness campaign to support the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
Dr Rory Honney, Primary Care CVD Clinical Lead, HIOW Integrated Care System, said:
“This funding provides a wonderful opportunity to work with and learn from our communities in the more deprived areas of our Integrated Care System to co-produce solutions for tackling cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease, such as heart attacks and strokes, accounts for a quarter of the gap in life expectancy between our most and least deprived communities. High blood pressure is one of the most significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease but easily treatable if detected. This project can improve health outcomes and also reduce health inequalities.
We hope, by making new technologies available to these communities and their GPs, we will be able to overcome any existing barriers to individuals checking their pulse and blood pressure and accessing the right support to tackle these risk factors promptly.
We are hugely grateful to the Primary Care Networks supporting this project and to colleagues and communities working together to achieve better health for all.”
Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICS
Optimising self-management and treatment of CVD through proactive outreach into communities linked to Primary Care Networks in the most socio-economically deprived areas of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Communities will lead CVD screening with novel technology and foster pathways to GP practices as part of a co-designed clinical pathway, linking to the lead GP for clinical oversight, rapid hypertension and management of atrial fibrillation, on NICE-approved clinical pathways.
Dorset ICS – Dorset Cancer Partnership
Early diagnosis of colorectal cancer means there's a good chance of successful treatment. If bowel cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than nine in ten people will be successfully treated (Bowel Cancer UK). A Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a simple dipstick that can detect traces of blood in your stool (poo). This can be an early warning sign of early colorectal cancer. The Dorset Cancer Partnership in collaboration with the Wessex Cancer Alliance is keen to improve the awareness of FIT testing through targeted focus groups in coastal communities and digitise the return of FIT tests to improve the uptake rate, saving more lives through earlier diagnosis.
Wessex AHSN is committed to supporting health and care systems with the Health Inequalities agenda; through addressing digital equity, adopting a population management approach to our projects and listening and adapting innovations to the needs of diverse local communities within Wessex.
Dr Lindsay Welch, Wessex AHSN lead for Health Inequalities, said:
“I am excited to be delivering Wessex AHSN’s strategic ambition to work with health and care systems, local communities and patient partners, to co-produce and adapt innovations to be inclusive and accessible for all. The AHSN approach to link with trusted community voices and health inequalities leads in our partner organisations will ensure our projects address the priorities of those communities with the most need from the outset.”
Local Innovation for Health Inequalities (InHip) projects will centre around the core principles of inclusion and adaption of approaches, pathways and innovations for maximum accessibility and impact.
Please contact Lindsay Welch Lindsay.Welch@wessexahsn.net if you are interested in working with us.