12 October 2023
Health Innovation Wessex (HIW), formerly known as Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), has published its latest business plan, summarising its priorities for 2023-24.
The plan demonstrates how HIW will continue to work with partners and innovators to support local health and care systems, driving the evaluation, adoption and spread of innovation to improve patient outcomes, support health and social care staff, and boost economic growth.
The plan features key programmes and projects to be delivered throughout 2023-24, many of which are already underway.
The plan has been co-designed to closely align with the Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) for Dorset and Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (HIOW), matching innovation to local priorities and population health needs.
In the plan, HIW outlines how its delivery teams will support Dorset and HIOW health and care systems to meet four key aims:
Alongside this, it details how HIW will deliver against its core cross-cutting themes of workforce, health inequalities, digital ecosystems, environmental sustainability, and patient partners and community conversations.
Looking back on work delivered so far in 2023-24, Joe Sladen, Associate Director Innovation Adoption for HIOW Locality at HIW, said:
“It has been fantastic working in partnership with HIOW ICB to deliver our locally agreed programmes on mental health, frailty virtual wards, and problematic polypharmacy.
“We are already thinking about how we can support the ICB in 2024-25 and have spotted numerous opportunities for innovation to be adopted to improve the lives of local people and staff working in the NHS – we are excited about building our future relationship with the ICB and wider health and care system.”
Leah Gallon, Associate Director Innovation Adoption for Dorset Locality at HIW, added:
“The Innovation Adoption team is working within the Dorset system to help facilitate innovation which will support health and social care both in terms of outcomes for patients and support for staff. There are five key outcomes for the Dorset system which have a real focus on prevention of illness, ensuring a reduction in health inequalities, and understanding better the needs of the Dorset system and how these can be addressed at a more local level.
“We’re focused on completing delivery of the current plan, which will include supporting identification and optimisation for patients with cardiovascular disease, supporting the system with virtual wards and pathways to enable care out of hospital, and working with communities to understand their health and social care needs and how these can be met.
“We will also be working closely with our Dorset partners to develop a delivery plan which will add value and impact to the five outcomes and be informed by the priorities within communities.”
Reflecting on the plan, Nicola Bent, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at HIW, said:
“Over the last year, we’ve been consulting with our stakeholders and local system partners to plan the delivery of our work to support their priorities.
“As a result, we’ve remodelled our core approach to create two delivery teams which are already supporting our Integrated Care Systems in Dorset and HIOW with their key aims for health and care.
“It’s exciting to be publishing our business plan and sharing highlights of the work already delivered in 2023-24 so far.
“Our work is all about transforming lives through innovation. We have a deep understanding of the role of innovation in addressing health and care challenges, and through collaboration at national, regional and local system levels, we convene our partners and identify opportunities for health improvement at scale.
“We’re proud to be working in partnership with our member organisations and innovators to drive economic growth and deliver better health and care outcomes for our local population, in 2023-24 and beyond.”
The plan is now publicly available following approval from NHS England and has been published to align with ICB planning cycles. Read the 2023-24 Business Plan.
Hear more about the plan and HIW’s priorities for 2023-24 in the latest podcast, available on SoundCloud.