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National programmes

England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks have a dual regional and national focus. They deliver local work programmes based on the needs of regional systems and collectively drive programmes that tackle national priorities and are expected to have a universal impact at scale.

In 2020/21 AHSNs started to deliver three new national adoption and spread programmes focused on:

These follow the first seven national programmes, developed regionally and selected for adoption and spread across the country during 2018-20. They were:

  • In 2018/19 our atrial fibrillation work helped prevent 3,165 strokes and saved 791 livesAtrial Fibrillation (AF)

Sharing learning and spreading best practice from across the 15 AHSNs to reduce AF-related strokes. Find out about the impact of this programme in the Oxford AHSN region.

  • Emergency Laparotomy Collaborative

A collaborative approach to improving standards of care for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy surgery.


Preventing prescribing errors by supporting pharmacists and GPs to identify patients at risk from their medications and taking the right action.

  • PReCePT

As a result of PReCePT 1,106 additional mothers received MgSO4 in 2018-20Working with maternity units to offer magnesium sulphate to prevent cerebral palsy in preterm labour. Read more about PReCePT.

  • Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM)

Bringing together police and healthcare professionals to make a positive difference to the lives of people with complex mental health needs.

Please note that Professor Tim Kendall, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, has asked Mental Health Trusts to review their models of care for service users experiencing cyclical and regular crises including, where adopted, SIM. The outcome of these reviews will be considered by NHS England in autumn 2021. Read the AHSN Network’s response to a Freedom of Information request on SIM.

  • Transfers of Care Around Medicine (TCAM)

Help for patients who need extra support taking prescribed medicines when they leave hospital.

  • ESCAPE-pain

A group rehabilitation programme for people with knee and/or hip osteoarthritis, providing self-management support in the community.

Read more about the AHSN Network’s national programmes